matters

Amorous cantatas and arias of the baroque Performed on period instruments by

A Joyful Noyse

Saturday, June 4th at 7:30 p.m. at Hancock Church

The allure of romantic love as a subject for musical compositions flourished in the baroque era and even appeared in sacred works such as Handel’s oratorio Joshua, in which a romanticized love plot was added to feed the audience’s insatiable appetite for the subject. In no small part the subject matter of this music was popularized by the novelty of the emergence of a highly talented class of professional female singers. Trained in Italy, many found their way to England, brought back by affluent patrons of music.

This concert presents compositions by three contemporary composers, all active in the music scene of London in the early 18th century. Through their compositions we see love in its myriad of facets, from the innocence and purity of the young lovers, Achsah and Othniel in Joshua, to the withering of passion and romance in Ariosti’s L’Olmo and finally to the manic railings against fate and Cupid, who have left a maiden’s life in torment and a living hell in Steffani’s Inquieto mio cor.

The ensemble’s vocal soloists in this concert are: Sierra Marcy, 22 year old Soprano, sings in the Boston area and recently was the Soprano soloist in Mozart’s Solemn Vespers of Confession with the Rhode Island Civic Orchestra and Chorale, as well as in Faure’s Requiem with the Longy Conservatory Orchestra. She is a member of the Labyrinth Choir as well as Newton Baroque. Most notably among other appearances, Sierra has performed the role of Blondchen in Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio with the Unadilla Theatre Company. Sierra is a rising Senior at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge MA studying under the instruction of Jayne West, and attends under the school’s Presidential Scholarship.

Mezzo soprano  Shiba Nemat Nasser has  numerous  opera  and  recital  appearances  to  her  credit. Her main  areas in performance focus  on Baroque  and bel  canto  repertoire,  contemporary works, and experimental theater. She has appeared with groups  such as  Newton  Baroque,  Orpheus  Singers,  Labyrinth  Choir,  SoHIP,  Opera  by  the  Bay,  Masterworks,  Longwood Opera, Warebrook  Contemporary  Music  Festival,  SONOR,  and  was recently a Haas Visiting Artist at Wheaton College. She has appeared with A Joyful Noyse for the past  several years. Her  singing has been described as “vocally  rich” and sultry” by the Boston Globe, and by the BostonMusic Intelligencer as having a “powerful  mezzo soprano voice … with richness and clarity.”  Upcoming projects include the release of  a  recording  of  Erlebach’s Harmonische  Freude  musikalischer  Freundewith  Newton  Baroque  on  the  Toccata  Classics  label. Ms.  Nemat Nasser  graduated  with  degrees  in  music  and  literature  from  the  University  of  California,  San  Diego,  and  completed  the  master’s program in vocal performance at New England Conservatory.

Jeanne Lucas is a native of Lexington, Kentucky. She holds a BM from Northwestern University and a MM from the Longy School of Music in vocal performance specializing in music from the early baroque period. In her thirteen years living in the Boston area, she has sung professionally with the Labyrinth Choir, Boston Lyric Opera Chorus, Cappella Clausura, Boston Secession, the Schola Cantorum at St. Stephen’s and A Joyful Noyse. She has also appeared in plays and musical theater, taught private voice students, and sung in bluegrass gospel bands. A devoted church musician, she has worked as a music director for Methodist, UCC, Presbyterian, and Disciples of Christ churches and presently serves as music director of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Cohasset.