Just a few days after concluding our 2006-2007 season, Magnificat was honored to be presented by the Society for Seventeenth Century Music as part of their annual conference. The concert was a repeat of our subscription series program that featured music of Chiara Margharita Cozzolani in a reconstruction of an Easter Vespers liturgy. The musicians performing were (left to right in the photo) Catherine Webster, Margaret Bragle, Jennifer Ellis, Kristen Dubenion Smith, John Dornenburg, Katherine Heater, Warren Stewart, Elizabeth Anker, David Tayler, Andrea Fullington, Suzanne Elder Wallace, and Jennifer Paulino.
The concert took place in the beautiful Patricia George Decio Theatre in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on the Notre Dame campus. The recently built concert hall boasts extraordinarily clear acoustics and the stage crew were exemplary – making us all feel like rock stars. A small but remarkable audience, made up almost entirely of scholars specializing in seventeenth century music, attended the concert. It was particularly meaningful for me to perform Cozzolani’s music for colleagues that I have known and worked with for many years, including members of Magnificat’s artistic advisory board, Jeffrey Kurtzman of Washington University St. Louis and Robert Kendrick of the University of Chicago, who graciously supplied authoritative program notes. The appreciative audience and the post-concert conversations made this one of the most memorable Magnificat concerts and a fitting conclusion to our 15th season.
Earlier in the Spring, Magnificat performed at the Tropical Baroque Festival in Miami. The program was Stradella’a oratorio La Susanna, which we had recently performed on our subscription series in the Bay Area.
The concert was enthusiastically received and the Miami Herald noted the “heady mixture of seamless, voluptuous melody”, and commented that “all of the other singers and instrumentalists contributed towards the success of a sublime work”. The reviewer was especially taken by soprano Laura Heimes, who sang the title role and will return for three sets next season. “Heimes, given a lion’s share of the singing as Susanna, was balm to the ears. Her tones were perfectly floated over the ensemble, and her willingness to sing softly made her a Susanna of beauty indeed.”
In addition to Ms. Heimes, the musicians for the Miami performance were Jennifer Paulino, Chris Conley, Paul Elliott, Peter Becker, Rob Diggins, David Wilson, Waren Stewart, and Katherine Heater.