2019-2020 Concert Series

“The Italian-American Songbook”

Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 7:30 PM

New York’s acclaimed singer Anna Maria Villa and her Quintet will present The Italian-American Songbook on Saturday evening, Sept. 28, as the opening concert of the 2019-2020 four-concert season of the Greater Middletown Concert Association. The Italian-American Songbook program will also include jazz standards, swing and Great American Songbook selections along with Italian music both classic and more contemporary.

Italian-born singer Anna Maria Villa and her Quintet most recently performed at the 1500-seat Paramount auditorium in Huntington, Long Island, this past August. She has appeared nationally and internationally, including in her beloved Italy. In addition to her music career she is also an actress appearing on numerous TV shows and film productions.

Anna Maria’s style of singing has been described as smooth, elegant and appealing. Her entertainment approach is sophisticated and fun. She thrills audiences with her emotion-filled interpretations, singing and entertaining to provoke a smile, a tear and even a laugh from her listeners. Anna Maria draws you into the story with her passion and soothes you with her distinctive sound. Her style is smooth, elegant, smoky and fun, and her interaction with the talented group of band instrumentalists accompanying her pleases both them and the audiences.

Singer Anna Maria Villa was born in Abruzzo, Italy, in the little town of Celano, province of L’Aquila. She spends much of her time between the United States and Italy.

https://www.amventertainment.com/featured/anna-maria-villa-2/ https://www.facebook.com/AnnaMariaVillaOfficial

NOTE: In Middletown, CT, many residents have Italian roots. We welcome this musical opportunity to bring Anna Maria Villa and the Anna Maria Villa Quintet to our city


Friday, April 3, 2020 at 7:30 PM

Epic Brass is one of the most dynamic brass chamber music groups on the concert stage today. This brass quintet has been brought to such heights by its celebrated founder and leader Ed Raney. Founded in 1983, the Boston-based ensemble combines elegant musical artistry with a youthful flair and brilliance which captivates audiences worldwide.

The quintet has blazed a trail across forty-six states with performances at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Weill Recital Hall, and Ambassador Auditorium. The quintet is also a perennial favorite at summer festivals across the country including their headline performance at the celebrated Castle Hill Festival, where they thrilled thousands at the Fourth of July festivities. Internationally, the group has concertized in over ten countries including Canada, Bermuda, Austria, Germany, France, England, Scotland, Poland, and most recently the Far East. The Epic Brass is regularly featured on radio and television programs nationwide including live performances on Boston’s WGBH Morning Pro Musica and San Francisco’s KQED West Coast Weekend Show.

Epic Brass is praised for its richly varied repertoire which spans Renaissance to twentieth century, including red-hot Dixieland jazz. This five-piece brass music ensemble comprised of 2 trumpets, a French horn, trombone and tuba, has a broad repertoire containing musical

2019-2020 Opera Series
(Live opera, fully-staged)

The Connecticut Lyric Opera and the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, under direction of Adrian Sylveen, perform acclaimed operas professionally sung in the original languages with English titles projected over the stage.

TRISTAN UND ISOLDE by Richard Wagner

Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 7:30 PM

Tristan und Isolde is an opera by German composer Richard Wagner who wrote both the music and the libretto words for this “music drama” about sublime love.

First produced at Munich in 1886, it is based on the medieval tale of the same title by Gottfried von Strassburg and is a legend of forbidden love, a romantic tradition of the times. The story is not complicated. Isolde, a princess of Ireland, is on a ship, taking her against her will, to become the bride of King Marke of Cornwall, Britain. Isolde is being guarded by Tristan, King Marke’s nephew, who it turns out, killed her fiancée in a past battle incident. Angrily, she instructs her attendant Brangane to make a death potion for Tristan and herself, but Brangane makes a love potion instead that is unknowingly, but eventually, “lovingly” consumed by them both. Surges of passionate Wagnerian orchestral music accompany the singers’ divine outpouring of their love for each other. In Cornwall, Isolde rejects King Marke, and she eventually accepts Tristan’s pleas to be with him and follow to the “realm of death.”

Wagner did not use the traditional “opera” pattern of the times in Tristan und Isolde. Instead he made a music drama in which the orchestra plays a dominant role, commenting via an elaborate system of leitmotivs or “orchestral comments” and subject “branding.”

(Sung in German with English titles projected above the stage)
(A fully-staged live opera presented by Connecticut Lyric Opera and Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra)

DIE FLEDERMAUS by Johann Strauss II

Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 7:30 PM

Die Fledermaus was Johann Strauss II’s most celebrated and popular operetta intoxicatingly melodious and exuberant. Mistaken identities, flirtations at a masked ball, elegant frivolities and confusions of all kinds provide a hilarious vehicle for some of the most captivating music ever written. Die Fledermaus takes place around 1850 in Vienna. The operetta itself premiered in 1874. Its three acts move from the Eisenstein home to Prince Orlofsky’s villa’s New Year’s Eve Ball, to the city’s jail in the final act. Its orchestral overture is one of the most popular ever written with five of the best operetta’s tunes woven into a framework of the great ‘Fledermaus Waltz’.

The leading characters include Rosalinde and her husband Gabriel von Eisenstein, who is headed for jail on New Year’s Eve. Then there is Adele, the Eisenstein’s talented and ambitious maid. Next is Alfred, Rosalinde’s former suitor, and then Prince Orlofsky who grandly hosts the big New Year’s Eve Ball. We cannot overlook Dr. Falke, Eisenstein’s old friend, who is seeking revenge at the party for an embarrassing incident that took place when he was masquerading as a bat a year earlier. Frank is the warden of the jail, and his employee Frosch, who, although he has only a speaking role, stages a comic spellbinding scene in the third act.

(Sung in German with English titles projected above the stage)
(A fully-staged live opera presented by Connecticut Lyric Opera and Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra)