Juilliard Opera & Juilliard415
About the Artists
One of the most widely-produced English-language operas, Dido and Aeneas is based on the story of Dido, queen of Carthage, and the prince of Troy, Aeneas, with a libretto by Nahum Tate. First performed in 1689, it is perhaps most famous for Dido’s lament, “When I am laid in earth.” In June, Juilliard415 and singers from Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts will tour together for the first time, taking the Juilliard Opera production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas to Europe with performances at London’s Holland Park, and the Opéra Royal at Versailles. Conducted by Avi Stein and directed by Mary Birnbaum.
Since its founding in 2009, Juilliard415, the school’s principal period-instrument ensemble, has made significant contributions to musical life in New York and beyond, bringing major figures in the field of early music to lead performances of both rare and canonical works of the 17th and 18th centuries. The many distinguished guests who have led Juilliard415 include Harry Bicket, William Christie, Monica Huggett, Ton Koopman, Nicholas McGegan, Rachel Podger, Jordi Savall, and Masaaki Suzuki.
Juilliard415 tours extensively in the U.S. and abroad, having performed on five continents with notable appearances at the Boston Early Music Festival, Leipzig Bachfest, and Utrecht Early Music Festival (where Juilliard was the first-ever conservatory in residence), and on a 10-concert tour of New Zealand. With its frequent musical collaborator, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, the ensemble has played throughout Italy, Japan, Southeast Asia, the U.K., and India. Juilliard415, which takes its name from the pitch commonly associated with the performance of Baroque music, A=415, has performed major oratorios and fully staged productions: Handel’s Agrippina and Radamisto; Bach’s Matthew and John Passions; Cavalli’s La Calisto; and performances in the U.S. and Holland of Bach’s Mass in B Minor conducted by Ton Koopman.
The ensemble’s most recent international appearances were in Bolivia, in a tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State that marked the ensemble’s South America debut. The 2017-18 season was notable for the Juilliard debuts of the rising conductor Jonathan Cohen and the Belgian vocal ensemble Vox Luminis, a side-by-side collaboration with Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, as well as return visits by Rachel Podger, William Christie, an all-Bach concert with Maestro Suzuki, and the rare opportunity to see a fully-staged production of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie. This season’s international schedule includes performances in Canada, London, Athens, Versailles, and throughout Scandinavia. In New York, Juilliard415 welcomes Paul Agnew and Alfredo Bernardini for their Juilliard debuts.
About Juilliard Historical Performance
Juilliard’s full-scholarship Historical Performance program offers comprehensive study and performance of music from the 17th and 18th centuries on period instruments. Established and endowed in 2009 by the generous support of Bruce and Suzie Kovner, the program is open to candidates for the Master of Music, Graduate Diploma, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. A high-profile concert season of opera, orchestral, and chamber music is augmented by a performance-oriented curriculum that fosters an informed understanding of the many issues unique to period-instrument performance at the level of technical excellence and musical integrity for which Juilliard is renowned.
The faculty comprises many of the leading performers and scholars in the field. Frequent collaborations with Juilliard’s Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts, the integration of modern-instrument majors outside of the Historical Performance program, and national and international tours have introduced new repertoires and increased awareness of historical performance practice at Juilliard and beyond. Alumni of Juilliard Historical Performance are members of many of the leading period-instrument ensembles, including the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Les Arts Florissants, Mercury, and Tafelmusik, as well as launching such new ensembles as the Sebastians, House of Time, New York Baroque Incorporated, and New Vintage Baroque.