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FEATURING MET OPERA RISING STAR ANTHONY ROTH COSTANZO

JUNE 6 & 7, 2014 | MEMBERS $10 | NONMEMBERS $15

SALEM, MA - The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) continues its music initiative with new concerts led by the museum's Composer-in-Residence Matthew Aucoin with performances on Friday, June 6, and Saturday, June 7. Explore the boundaries of classical music with a mix of imaginative staging, projected effects, poetry, original contemporary composition and sophisticated performance.

In PEM's historic East India Marine Hall, Aucoin and the 35-piece Encounters Ensemble delve into the myth of Orpheus -- on earth and in the underworld -- as he searches for his beloved Eurydice. The ancient Greek tale has inspired multiple interpretations, from tragic to comic, in music, art and literature. Enjoy selections from C.W. Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice (1762) and the premiere of Aucoin's The Orphic Moment, written for solo violin, chamber ensemble and countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, who has been called "a bona-fide star" in the opera world by The New Yorker.

"The story of Orpheus -- of his attempt to retrieve his wife, Eurydice, from the underworld -- is music's founding myth," said Aucoin. "It's every musician's justification and self-glorification and favorite bedtime story - it's also a cautionary tale. I'm drawn to it for the same reasons every composer and poet are drawn to it: it's just true. Music can conquer death and stop time, but it can't save us."

PEM's music initiative aims to cultivate cross-disciplinary experiences and celebrate art, culture and creativity in innovative ways. A 2012 graduate of Harvard College, Aucoin is the youngest assistant conductor in the history of New York's Metropolitan Opera and is currently composing an opera commissioned by the American Repertory Theater, which will premiere in Boston this season. With his occasional op-ed pieces and outspokenness regarding classical music, Aucoin is known for upending conventional experiences of classical music performance.  

Aucoin's last concert program at PEM, performed in March, juxtaposed music and words in forms that included instrumental music and recited poetry. The program explored the border between music and speech, finding new creative potential in the space between these traditionally siloed forms. His 90-minute program Tracing a Line, performed at PEM in the spring of 2013, took audiences through time, following a single melody, from Johann Rudolph Ahle's 17th-century folk chorale to Johann Sebastian Bach's cantata BWV 60 and Alban Berg's modern violin concerto. The immersive program combined choral, orchestral, theatrical and literary elements, which included the words of great writers such as John Donne, Samuel Beckett and Wallace Stevens.

The performance was reviewed by Jeffrey Gantz in The Boston Globe who said, "Matthew Aucoin didn't just trace the line, he explored it, in the tradition of the seafarers who founded the museum. And he extended it into the 21st century by incorporating the chorale into a startling work of his own that provided the magnificent climax to a magnificent evening."

ORPHEUS | FRIDAY, JUNE 6, AND SATURDAY, JUNE 7, 2014 | 8 PM | DOORS OPEN AT 7:30

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT PEM.ORG/CALENDAR | MEMBERS $10 | NONMEMBERS $15 |RESERVATIONS BY JUNE 2

ABOUT MATTHEW AUCOIN

Matthew Aucoin is a composer, conductor, poet and pianist. A 2012 graduate of Harvard College (summa cum laude) and the youngest assistant conductor in the history of New York's Metropolitan Opera, Aucoin's next opera has been commissioned by the new works program of the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater. Aucoin, music director of the Encounters Ensemble, is currently composing his third opera, commissioned by the American Repertory Theater, which will be premiered in Boston in the 2014-15 season. Aucoin recently won the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Solti Conducting Apprenticeship. Aucoin's orchestral work, This Same Light, was premiered in May 2013 to rapturous reviews under Aucoin's baton at the Peabody Essex Museum, where he is Composer in  Residence. For more, see matthewaucoin.com.

ABOUT ANTHONY ROTH COSTANZO

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo began performing professionally at the age of 11 and has since appeared in opera, concert, recital, film and on Broadway. Recent performances include Prince Orlofsky in the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Die Fledermaus, presented live in HD, the role of Ferdinand and the role of Prospero in the MET's baroque pasticcio, The Enchanted Island, and Oberon in the MET's A Midsummer Night's Dream. In 2012, Costanzo won first place in Placido Domingo's international competition Operalia. He is also a 2009 Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. For more, see anthonyrothcostanzo.com

IMAGE

Anthony Roth Costanzo, photo by Matthu Placek.

SPONSOR

Eunice and Jay Panetta and the Robert N. Shapiro Fund for Innovation provided generous support.

ABOUT THE PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM

Founded in 1799, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents outstanding works of artistic and cultural creativity in ways that transform people's lives. The museum's collection is among the finest of its kind, showcasing an unrivaled spectrum of American art and architecture as well as outstanding Asian, Asian export, Native American, African, Oceanic, maritime and photography collections. In addition to its vast holdings, the museum offers a vibrant schedule of changing exhibitions and an interactive education center. The museum campus features numerous parks, period gardens and 22 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. Currently, a comprehensive $650 million Campaign is underway to advance PEM's mission, fortify its endowment, improve infrastructure and build a 175,000-square-foot expansion. HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm and the third Thursday of every month until 9 pm. Closed Mondays (except holidays), Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. ADMISSION: Adults $18; seniors $15; students $10. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 17 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang. INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit pem.org.

 

PR Contacts:

Whitney Van Dyke  -  Manager of Public Relations  -  978-745-9500 X3228  -  whitney_vandyke@pem.org

Dinah Cardin  -  Press Officer / Special Projects Writer  -  978-745-9500 x3230  -  dinah_cardin@pem.org

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