16 October: Stories of Clorinda, Jephte and Ismène


THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OPERA FESTIVAL

Production of Collegium Musicum Riga (Latvia) 

Stories of Clorinda, Jephte and Ismène 
Part I 
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) 
Operatic scena Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (1638) 
Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674) 
Oratorio Jephte (~1648) 
Part II 
François Rebel (1701-1775) / François Francœur (1698-1787)  
Pastorale heroique Ismène (1747) 

One of the most beautiful master works of the first half of 17th century, one act scenes – Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Jephte – represent early form of opera. Rhetoric and historical gestures are main keywords to this wonderful world of Greek tragedy. 
Whereas story of Daphnis and Ismène love is delicate 18th century example of fashion of Versailles in that period. Moreover, already at that time, among their contemporaries, both composers – François Rebel and François Francœur – were famous for deliberately hiding their authorship, creating a veil of mystery around Pastorale heroique Ismène to this day. 

">Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda 
At a time when Crusader troops heroically defend the kingdom of Jerusalem, the knight falls in love with the Saracen princess. It is even more foolish to fall in love with a woman who, dressed in knight’s armor, fights invincibly against crusaders and is at the forefront of the best warriors. Tancredi’s love does not allow him to accept Clorinda's challenge to the duel, and only the accidental encounter in the dark is once fatal – Tancredi does not recognize Clorinda, accepts the challenge, and as a result of a long-lasting combat, Clorinda is killed in the chest. Only after that desperate Tancredi finds out his irreversible mistake, but it is too late. Love, which turns out to be mutual, is not destined to come true. Clorinda dies. 

Jephte 
The Israelis must prevent an Ammon attack that can prove to be fatal. Managing the struggle against the Ammon was entrusted to Jephte, a brave soldier. He promised Jehovah, "If you help us win this battle, I'll give you the first one coming out of my home to expect me to come back." Jehovah listened to Jephte's request and helped him win. 
When Jephte came home, his daughter - his only child - came out in front of him. She danced and played tambourine. How will Jephte act? Remembering his promise, he exclaimed, "Oh no, my daughter! You break my heart! I made a promise to God. I have to keep it! But Jephte's daughter said, "Father, if you have promised God, you have to do it. Just allow me to spend two more months in the mountains with my friends. Then I would obey my destiny. 

Ismène 
Oh, this Daphnis, whose heart is full of love for beautiful Ismène. The flowers in the meadow, the mountain stream and the air to breathe are full of his love. The good friend Cloé also feels the flames of love sparkling in the hearts of Daphnis and Ismène. But what will Oracle say? Will Gods allow both lovers enjoy the pleasures of love? Maybe Daphni's story of the shepherd and the beautiful nymph who loves each other will make Ismène's heart beat faster and increase magic between the two, or will they remain as beautiful images in a vicious fairy tale? However, the feelings of both are so real that Oralus does not resist them to feel the most beautiful of the pleasures - love. 

Conductor and director MĀRIS KUPČS 
MĀRIS KUPČS started his musical career as a choir conductor, later focusing on harpsichord and orchestra conducting. He is a winner of many contests, as well as with the established choir “Balsis” (BBC Silver Rose Bowl, etc.). He is founder of the baroque orchestra Collegium Musicum Riga, baroque choir Collegium Choro Musici Riga, as well as Early Music Department of J. Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. He equally successfully acted as guest conductor of the symphony music concerts and operas. He staged operetta (J. Strauss Die Fledermaus, Latvian National Opera, J. Strauss Wiener Waltz, Liepaja Theatre) and opera (Z. Liepiņš Notre-Dame de Paris (“Parīzes Dievmātes katedrāle”), Latvian National Theatre) and more than 20 baroque operas (G. F. Handel Acis and Galatea, Deidamia, A. Vivaldi Ottone in villa, etc). His specific knowledge, obtained through research of early music and finding new, undiscovered music libraries, was of great importance during the production process. The most successful co-operation once turned to the Liepāja Symphony orchestra, the CD Blow, Wind received Latvian Music Record of the Year award of the 2000s. 
Māris Kupčs is a well-esteemed and popular guest lecturer in European universities, particularly in questions concerning the Bach era vocal and instrumental performance peculiarities, as well as 18th century opera performance and theatre repertoire. He was chosen by the Festival d'Ambronay and Centre of Baroque as one of the seven European early music mentors in the Creative Europe project eeemerging (Emerging European Ensembles). Since year 2018 Māris Kupčs is artist of prestigious label Toccata Classics. 

The name of the Baroque orchestra COLLEGIUM MUSICUM RIGA has been borrowed from an orchestra that performed in Riga in the 17th century. Both then and now the musicians are united by their affection towards the Baroque music. The existing orchestra was founded in year 1990 by Maris Kupcs, who is one of the most determined researchers of Baroque and Classicism music in Latvia. He is also involved in the education of young musicians, enthusiastically drawing their attention to the unique magnificence and virtuosity of the Baroque music. Since 2004, the Baroque Orchestra is complete 20 people baroque orchestra who play historical instruments, according to the historical interpretation and this is the only in Latvia and Baltic countries. 
The Baroque orchestra Collegium Musicum Riga and conductor Māris Kupčs have been nominated for The Great Music Award in categories 'Musical Group of the year' (2010) and 'Oustanding work throughout the year' (2017). In the year 2012, CD Music in Riga 1570-1800 has been nominated for Latvian Music Record of the Year award. 

A specific priority is our own Latvian territory written 17th and 18th century music, which the conductor Māris Kupčs with a relentless interest are searching in the archives in Latvia and all Europe. Staged a number of significant premieres – J. A. Hiller – opera Die Jagd, Latvian cantata Ta Simtaa Dzeesma (100. Psalm), G. M. Telemann Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh, F. A. Veichtner opera Cyrrus und Casandea, J. V. Meder St. Mattew passion and many other pieces that without these searches would be lost. Also played in the all-time most popular baroque masterpieces – J. S. Bach (cantatas 21, 36, 62, 106, Bauern, Peasant), G. F. Handel Wassermusik, A. Vivaldi Bassoon concert e-moll and many others. 

ARTISTS 
Soloists: 
Ilze Greēvele-Skaraine (soprano) 
Monta Martinsone (soprano) 
Rinalds Kandalincevs (baritone) 
Ansis Bētinš (tenor) 

Baroque orchestra COLLEGIUM MUSICUM RIGA 
Baroque choir COLLEGIUM CHORO MUSICI RIGA 
Baroque dance group in direction by Guna Ezermale

Credits:

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