2016 – 2017 Season
On the Margins

Joining the world-wide 500th anniversary commemorations of the creation in Venice of the world’s first ghetto, our eighth season explores the musical worlds shaped by ancestors and descendents of exiles. From Esther to Shylock, from Troubador to Dowland, we glimpse at fault lines of acceptance refracted through the prism of music.

 

We invite you to join us on a journey through time and a trip through venues, from Ghetto to Cappella, from Opera House to Souk, from Salon to Sanctuary.


To order tickets by phone, please call 1 888 718 4253

Sunday, December 11th 7:00pm

The Bernie Wohl Theater 
Goddard Riverside Community Center
647 Columbus Avenue between 91st and 92nd Street
Ezra Knight is Shylock in The Floor of Heaven
Starring Ezra Knight as Shylock

with

Jessica Gould, Soprano
Nicholas Tamagna, Countertenor
Christopher Morrongiello, Renaissance Lute

Erica Gould and Deborah Houston, Co-Directors
Script and Dramaturgy by Erica Gould

Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is poised between two Empires – The Sceptered Isle and La Serenissima. In honor of the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare and the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Venetian ghetto, The Floor of Heaven interweaves moments from Shakespeare's complex and revolutionary text with the play's original music and songs from the English-Venetian soundscape that Shakespeare's characters would have played and heard.   

Acclaimed musicians soprano Jessica Gould, countertenor Nicholas Tamagna, and lutenist Christopher Morrongiello, educated at Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music, collaborate with a cast of actors, and directors Erica Gould and Deborah Houston to create a dynamic reflection on Shylock's Venice.




Thursday, January 12th 
8:00pm

The Sanctuary of Brotherhood Synagogue
28 Gramercy Park South

Corina Marti, recorders & clavisymbalum

Ivo Haun, tenor

Ayelet Karni, recorders

Christa Patton, harp

 

The nationalist German culture that cherished Richard Wagner as a prophet of national identity saw the imagined Teutonic past enshrined in his operas as blueprints for the future. Yet the time and place that birthed the Aryan icon Meistersinger was also the source of an international, racial, and cultural hybrid which evolved into the quintessentially Jewish popular musical form known as Klezmer.

 

An ensemble of Israeli, Swiss, Slovak, Brazilian, and American artists offer a unique program of medieval repertoire from Germany, Poland, France, Bohemia, and the Middle East – distinctive national styles that entwined over centuries and emerged as an iconic soundscape of Ashkenazi Jewry.


Members of Brotherhood Synagogue, please call (212) 674- 5750 for special discount code




Thursday, February 16th 8:00pm
The Chapel of Temple Emanu-El
1 East 65th Street

Presented in partnership with 
the La Serenissima Festival of Carnegie Hall
Jessica Gould, soprano & Noa Frenkel, contralto
Diego Cantalupi, theorbo
James Waldo, viola da gamba
Davide Pozzi, harpsichord and organ

Most recently presented at the Great Synagogue of Florence, Italy, we are honored to partner with Carnegie Hall's La Serenissima Festival, the Temple Emanu El Skirball Center, and NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò in presenting the third annual New York performance of From Ghetto to Cappella, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the creation of the Venetian Ghetto. 

While the Inquisition raged throughout Counter-Reformation Italy, the ghetto walls that separated Gentile from Jew were more porous than impenetrable. A lively dialogue between Jewish and Catholic musical cultures traversed the forbidding walls and enriched the music of both Synagogue and Sanctuary at a time of great oppression.

Works of Benedetto Marcello, Francesco Durante, Barbara Strozzi, Salomone Rossi, and unaccompanied Hebrew chants attest to a vibrant conversation, as do selections from the 1759 Hebrew libretto of Handel's Esther, commissioned by the Jewish community of Amsterdam in the year of the composer's death.

Monday, March 13th 8:00pm

The Abigail Adams Smith Auditorium
417 East 61st Street between 1st and York Avenues
Caspar David Friedrich, Sunset

Jessica Gould, soprano & Eric Hoeprich, clarinet

Diego Cantalupi, classical guitar

Kenneth Hamrick, fortepiano

 

One of the world's leading historical clarinetists, Eric Hoeprich, joins us from London for this program, originally premiered at the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori of Florence, Italy.

 

In 1797 the walls of the Venetian Ghetto came tumbling down on orders of Napoleon. Bonaparte's favorite composer, Domenico Maria Puccini, the grandfather of Giacomo, and Mozart’s contemporary, receives an American premiere of his precociously bel canto Sei Canzonette. His Czech coeval, Jan Ladislav Dussek, looks back rather than forward, penning a pianistic ode to a decapitated French Queen in The Sufferings of the Queen of France.

 

Giacomo Meyerbeer returns from the Opéra Comique, this time in German mode in a charming Hirtenlied, while a proto-Wagnerian song cycle by Louis Spohr caps off a program that stands on the ruins of the ghetto, looking forward into a Brave New World of dubious liberation.


Thursday, May 11th
8:00pm

The Sanctuary of Brotherhood Synagogue
28 Gramercy Park South
Artemisia Gentileschi, Esther before Ahasuerus
The Salon/Sanctuary Chamber Orchestra, Chorus, and Soloists
Pedro d'Aquino, Music Director
Hebrew Libretto by Jacob Saravall, arranged by Shalev Ad El

Georg Friedrich Handel (1685 – 1759) set the story of Esther twice – in a privately presented masque in 1718 and a publicly presented oratorio in 1732. The story of the biblical heroine, set in English and received well at its public performance at the King's Theatre in Haymarket, London, joined a body of Old Testament oratorios in English for which the German-born, Italian-trained composer is revered.

In 1759, the year of the composer's death, another audience clamored for a version of Handel's masterwork. This was the Jewish community of Amsterdam. Descended from victims of the Spanish and Portuguese Expulsion of 1492, the thriving Dutch Jewish population commissioned a new libretto of Esther's story, translated into the language of the work's eponymous heroine.

The translator was Jacob Raphael Ben Simhah Judah Saraval (1707 – 1782), poet, composer, former Rabbi of Mantua, and native of Venice.

Members of Brotherhood Synagogue, please call (212) 674- 5750 for special discount code

Past events this season
Friday, October 28th
8:00pm

The Abigail Adams Smith Auditorium
417 East 61st Street
between 1st and York Avenues

Rebecca Ringle, mezzo-soprano

Kenneth Merrill, fortepiano


with William Ferguson, tenor

 

"Fearlessly focused, Ms. Ringle sounded mellow and melancholy, her mezzo taking on an otherworldly luminousness in “Au cimetière” and a poignant richness in “L’île inconnue.” – The New York Times


The glittering salons of mid-19th century Paris played host to several Jewish composers who enjoyed dizzying success at the nearby Opéra Comique before falling into disfavor as targets of Richard Wagner's antisemitic screeds. Fromental Halévy, Giacomo Meyerbeer, and Jacques Offenbach, among others penned songs that were enjoyed by friends and patrons alike in private gatherings far away from the operatic stages.

 

Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Rebecca Ringle joins fortepianist Kenneth Merrill in our season opener concert, distilling the public splendor of the opera house for the private intimacy of the recital.


Special thanks to Klavierhaus for the use of their restored 19th century Pleyel for this performance.


Online sales for this event have ended. Tickets may be available at the door.



Wednesday, November 30th 7:00pm

The Harvard Club of New York
35 West 44th Street
between 5th and 6th Avenues
Works of Holborne, Byrd, and the great John Dowland, a Catholic exile from the Protestant court of Elizabeth I, form this program to be performed by "Living Legend" Hopkinson Smith, as a benefit event for Salon/Sanctuary Concerts. 

Please email us or call us at 646 470-1837 to reserve tickets for this special event. Please click here to see the different levels of support.