A recipient of a 2016 National Opera Center Discovery grant
ARTEMISIA is an opera of passion, betrayal and art in 17th century Italy
With libretto by Ginger Strand
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Artemisia, about the life the great baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, will receive five performances this year, three in New York and two in San Francisco
The performances by Trinity Wall Street, as part of their Time's Arrow Festival in February and March, directed by the world renowned opera director Christopher Alden, were featured in the New York Times Fall Preview.
Artemisia, a new opera by Laura Schwendinger with Libretto by Ginger Strand, is an opera of passion, betrayal and art in 17th century Italy based upon the life of famed female Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 –c.1656)
The first of these performances will happen Nov. 3 at Symphony Space, Thalia Theater-- New York by the Center for Contemporary Opera in piano reduction, with an all star cast featuring Augusta Caso, mezzo soprano as Artemisia Gentileschi, and Sara Jobin conducting. Hailed by the LA Times as “mysteriously smoldering…a name to remember,” mezzo-soprano Augusta Caso is becoming known for her “silken…beguiling mezzo” and “fine subtle acting” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle). This past season, Augusta made her makes her Metropolitan Opera debut as a Flowermaiden in Wagner’s Parsifal under the baton of Maestro Nézet-Séguin.
Then in February and March, the award winning Trinity Wall Street Novus will present a partly staged production of Artemisia. Trinity’s Time’s Arrow festival, taking place this season from March 5-9, is conceived as a unique combination of Baroque and contemporary works united by a common theme. Continuing its commitment to amplifying the voices of female artists and exploring sensitive contemporary themes, this year’s Time’s Arrow festival juxtaposes old and new stories of the biblical figure Susanna. The festival includes Handel’s Susanna, as Trinity continues its long-term presentation of the composer’s oratorios, and the new opera Artemisia, fully staged by director Christopher Alden. Artemisia tells the story of the Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, who portrayed herself as Susanna in her famous painting Susanna and the Elders. The opera was composed by Laura Schwendinger to a libretto by Ginger Strand and will be conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya.
In June the award winning Left Coast Ensemble will present the fully staged chamber music version of Artemisia. They will focus on the art and milieu of Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi and Depression Era photographer Dorothea Lange, in two chamber operas with projected images that come to life. Laura Schwendinger’s new opera tackles Gentileschi’s struggles and triumphs as she battles inequality and reveals hidden stories.
TRINITY WALL STREET, Julian Wachner, Director, Times Arrow Festival
Jan. 7, 2017 St. Paul's Chapel, New York City
Coming MARCH 2019, to Trinity NY in chamber orchestra premiere, Time's Arrow Festival with Christopher Alden
March 7; March 9, 2019 at 7pm,
Time’s Arrow Festival
CHAMBER ORCHESTRA VERSION
Oliver Mercer – Agostino Tassi/Elder 1
Christopher Burchett – Cosimo di Medici/Elder 2
Brian Giebler – Tomasso/Occulist
NOVUS NY; Lidiya Yankovskaya, conductor; Christopher Alden, stage director
Complete cast and players will be announced shortly
Trinity’s Time’s Arrow festival, taking place this season from March 5-9, is conceived as a unique combination of Baroque and contemporary works united by a common theme. Continuing its commitment to amplifying the voices of female artists and exploring sensitive contemporary themes, this year’s Time’s Arrow festival juxtaposes old and new stories of the biblical figure Susanna. The festival includes Handel’s Susanna, as Trinity continues its long-term presentation of the composer’s oratorios, and the new opera Artemisia, fully staged by director Christopher Alden. Artemisia tells the story of the Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, who portrayed herself as Susanna in her famous painting Susanna and the Elders. The opera was composed by Laura Schwendinger to a libretto by Ginger Strand and will be conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya.
Continuing our commitment to amplifying the voices of female artists across multiple mediums, this year’s Time’s Arrow festival juxtaposes old and new stories of the biblical figure Susanna.
450 Florida St, San Francisco
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 7:30 PM
Sunday, June 2, 2019, 2:00 PM
Artemisia: Bethany Coffland
Tomasso: Kyle Stegall
Susanna: Marnie Breckenridge
Abra/Tuzia: Nikki Einfeld
With Artists Anna Presler, violin
Leighton Fong, cello
Nikki Einfeld, soprano
Marnie Breckenridge, soprano
Matilda Hofman, conductor
Complete cast and players will be announced shortly
Christopher Stark From the Field WORLD PREMIERE. Laura Schwendinger Artemisia WORLD PREMIERE. We focus on the art and milieu of Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi and Depression Era photographer Dorothea Lange, in two chamber operas with projected images that come to life.
Excerpt of Susanna and the Elders featuring
Marnie Breckenridge with Supertitles!
Artemisia, an opera based on the life of Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 –c.1656), with music by Laura Elise Schwendinger, and a libretto by Ginger Strand, was premiered by Trinity Wall Street Novus, Directed by Julian Wachner at the Times Arrow Festival on Jan. 7, 2017 at St. Paul's Church, New York City.
Marnie Breckenridge- Susanna; Andrew Garland- Agostino Tassi/ Elder 1
Jonathan Woody- Cosimo di Medici/ Elder 2
Artemisia Gentileschi, mezzo soprano- Patricia Green; Andrew Fuchs-Tomasso
Occulist- Christopher Sokolowski
featuring Emily Birsan, William Anderson and Joan Forsyth in Barbara Strozzi’s aria “Che si può fare”
Artemisia Gentileschi was born in Rome in 1593, the eldest child of the Tuscan painter Orazio Gentileschi and was one of the most important followers of the Caravaggist style. Artemisia Gentileschi achieved renown in an era when women painters were not accepted by patrons and was the first women member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence. Her painting of the Judith story, Judith Slaying Holofernes, is perhaps the most well-known of the subject in art. As a sixteen year-old, Artemisia was raped by Agostino Tassi, while she was studying with him. Orazio pressed charges against Tassi. Artemisia was subjected to torture to verify her testimony. At the conclusion of the trial, Tassi was sentenced to prison for one year, but never served. The court case seemed to overshadow Artemisia’s achievements as an artist for many years, however today, she is regarded as one of the most advanced painters of her time.
In a Tableau Vivant of Artemisia's great painting "Susanna and the Elders", we see the canvas come alive as an autobiographical scene. In Artemisia’a fevered mind, Susanna now embodies Artemisia as a young woman, on the day Agostino Tassi raped her.
She is in her garden, bathing. The bees hum and swirl around her, heard in the florid lines of wind instruments that spiral around Susanna’s vocal lines. The elderly men behind the wall watch and harass her, threatening to rape her if she does not offer herself to them. In the tableau vivant, the two men now become Agostino Tassi and Cosimo de Medici. The two that came the day Artemisia was raped. The elderly Artemisia enters the scene and starts to question Tassi, Cosimo and Susanna, as the embodiment of the young Artemisia. In this moment, the elder Artemisia is the inquisitor and through this “inquisition” Artemisia relives the most horrible day of her life, when Agostino Tassi raped her.
Artemisia, an excerpt featuring Artemisia and Tomasso. Artemisia sings an aria about the creation of great art. Music by Laura Schwendinger, libretto by Ginger Strand, Julian Wachner directing Trinity Wall Street. Time's Arrow Festival.
Jan. 7, 2017
Patricia Green-Artemisia Gentileschi, Andrew Fuchs-Tomasso, Marnie Breckinridge-Susanna, Andrew Garland-Tassi/ Elder 1, Jonathan Woody-Cosimo Di Medici/ Elder 2. And In Strozzi's "Che si può fare? -Emily Birsan, soprano; William Anderson- theorbo, Joan Forsyth- harpsichord
"There are three types of painting, Tommaso
Three ways to make great art
They are not all equal any more than
All artists have equal skill.
Third in line is the painting
Made from the pure idea
The artist’s imagination alone
Gives birth to the image we see.
Better than that is the painting
That bursts forth from the world itself
The painter’s eye finds beauty in nature
And captures her with the brush.
But the highest form of painterly art
Is the synthesis of the two
Where the high idea and the world of the real
Are brought into unity.
When the manner born in the mind
Meets the matter of all that’s real
The resulting marriage of truth and ideal
Makes an art that is truly rare."
Libretto (for Susanna and her Elders excerpt)
ARTEMISA will be presented in its entirety
2018 by the Award Winning Left Coast Ensemble and Trinity Wall Street
Their sold out performances of Kurt Rohde's opera
Death with with Interruptions
OPERA AMERICA ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF OPERA GRANTS FOR FEMALE COMPOSERS
Supported by The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation
SEVEN COMPOSERS AND SEVEN OPERA COMPANIES
AWARDED A TOTAL OF $200,000
The most recent round of Discovery Grants attracted 68 applicants,
and an independent adjudication panel selected seven composers to receive a total of $100,000. The recipients are Julia Adolphe for So Donia Speaks, Mary Ellen Childs for On Beyond, Emily Doolittle for Jan Tait and the Bear, Nkeiru Okoye for We’ve Got Our Eye On You, Rene Orth for Machine, Elena Ruehr for Crafting the Bonds and Laura Elise Schwendinger for Artemisia. This is the third round of Discovery Grants to be awarded since the program’s inception. See below for composer biographies and summaries of their operas.
Artemisia is a co-commission from Trinity Wall Street Novus, NY and the Left Coast Ensemble, SF
Jan. 2018 in a chamber version with The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble
Made possible by Opera America
Articles about ARTEMISIA