Press kit / materials for presentersFull bios & high resolution photos
may be downloaded here
Sunday, September 15th, 2019 at 4:00 pm - Cleveland, OH
sacred music for lute, harp, and voices
Immaculate Conception Church
4129 Superior Avenue in Cleveland
free-will offering; free parking in church lot off East 43rd
(216) 431-5900 for information
Sunday, September 15th at 4pm, internationally-renowned early music duo Mignarda will present their fifth annual concert commemorating the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. The 130-year-old sanctuary of Immaculate Conception Church in Cleveland provides a perfect setting for the evocative music of the Franco-Flemish Renaissance. Mignarda and friends will perform sacred music by Josquin des Prez and his lesser-known contemporary Antoine de Févin in settings for a cappella voices and the angelic sound of harp and lute.
The duo will be joined this year by early music specialists Anna O'Connell and José Gotera, to feature the famous setting of Ave Maria by Josquin des Prez (c.1450 – 1521), as well as the thematically-related Missa Ave Maria by Antoine de Févin (c. 1470 – 1512).
Ron & Donna first met at Immaculate Conception singing together in the schola cantorum for the Latin Mass, and they are delighted to present this evocative program on home ground, in the glorious acoustic that suits this music so well.
Quotes from Audiences, Colleagues & Critics
"Mignarda created a splendid vocal quartet who sang revelatory versions of Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices and Ave verum corpus."
"...singing of uncommon expressiveness and intimacy. It was entirely possible to imagine yourself hearing these pieces at a clandestine mass in a Catholic country house of the time, even though you were actually sitting in the vast acoustic of St. John’s Cathedral. Stewart, Rauschenfels, Gotera, and Andrico blended their voices superbly and visited every nuance in Byrd’s imaginative music. "
- Daniel Hathaway, Cleveland Classical
“I have always admired Stewart's beautiful voice but I thought she surpassed herself in this repertoire which obviously means a great deal to her. She captures the intense religious fervour of the music simply by letting the words speak for themselves with subtle variations in dynamics, ranging from an introspective pianissimo in the reflective pieces to some ecstatic alleluias in the more joyful ones.”
Stewart's ornamentation of the vocal line in Victoria's Ne timeas, Maria is exquisite and her interpretation brings out the intensity of religious devotion, but also subdued passion inherent in [the] poetry."
- Monica Hall, Lute News (UK)
"Congratulations on a really exquisite rendering of your selection from 'Pilgrimes Solace'! The lovely open quality of Donna's voice I find really endearing, and so suitable for giving us the 'inner passion' of these marvelous texts. And such intelligence shines behind every word."
- Anthony Rooley, Consort of Musicke
"I believe that you and Donna form the pre-eminent lute song duo of our time."
"I was transfixed by the clarity and musicality of the lute...and of course Donna's voice was absolutely beautiful. I can see why your CDs are being met with critical acclaim. I was enraptured."
- Gregory Heislman, Director of Music at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist (Cleveland, Ohio)
"Your concert was revelatory in several ways, especially as it challenged our ears and hearts to enter a realm difficult to access these days, where subtlety and elegance trump flash and flamboyance, and content, rather than effect, is primary." - Rev. Cullie Mowers, Rector, St. Thomas Episcopal Church (Slaterville Springs, NY)
Cleveland natives Donna Stewart & Ron Andrico, better known as Duo Mignarda, are well-known to Cleveland audiences and one of the few professional lute song duos in the US. Dedicated to music of the 16th century, Mignarda's engaging approach has set a new standard for interpretation, authenticity and musicianship, offering thoughtful programming illuminating the vibrant mingling of renaissance music and poetry.
Noted for awakening modern audiences to an appreciation for historical music, their work encompasses research, writing, and teaching as well as performance and recording, with twelve critically-acclaimed CDs to their credit. Mignarda's publications include a series of 13 music editions, scholarly articles, reviews and the internationally-popular blog, Unquiet Thoughts. The couple met in a schola providing liturgical music for the Latin Tridentine Mass, and they continue their dedication to historical sacred and secular music, having travelled tens of thousands of miles to share this music with audiences across the U.S. Now in their 16th season as a duo, Mignarda is based in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
The Lute Society (UK) has called their CD La Rota Fortuna "essential listening", and Au pres de vous their "lute disk of the year". Divine Amarillis, their recording of French music from the early 17th century, was awarded first place for Best Classical/Voice Album in the 2009 JPF awards. Their recordings have been featured on the internationally syndicated Millennium of Music, hosted by Robert Aubry Davis, and all are included among CD Baby's top 40 best-selling classical CDs. Mignarda was featured in a one-hour live concert produced by Binghamton, NY PBS affiliate WSKG TV, which has been rebroadcast frequently and is available from PBS.org on DVD.
About José Gotera
José Gotera began his musical training at the age of eight at St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, Ontario. He attended the University of Toronto where he obtained degrees in Human Biology and Music History. He completed an MA in Early Music at Case Western Reserve University. José has sung professionally in Canada with Toronto’s Tafelmusik. He has also sung with the Cleveland Orchestra Opera Chorus, Apollo’s Fire (2000-2010), Opera Cleveland (formerly Cleveland Opera, 2003-2009) and Quire Cleveland (2010-2018). He has sung solo roles with Cleveland Opera on Tour and Opera Circle. José taught voice, directed opera workshop and conducted the Hiram Men’s Chorus at Hiram College from 2005-2015; and he has been teaching voice and opera workshop at Cleveland State University since 2011. He is a cantor at The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. He has also sung at Plymouth Church, at South Euclid United Church of Christ and with the Trinity Cathedral Choir & Chamber Singers (2003-2018). José is very pleased to be collaborating with duo Mignarda for a third season.
About Anna O'Connell
Soprano/Harpist Anna O’Connell has been noted for her “lovely tone” (Cleveland Classical) and regularly performs early music as well as newly composed works. Her interest in medieval chant and the German Baroque led her to study at Case Western Reserve University in Historical Performance, where she is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree. Previously, Anna was Director of Music Ministry for the Cornell Catholic Community at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where she directed choirs, mentored collegiate musicians, and taught voice lessons. In addition, she assisted direction of, and later performed as a soloist (Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah)with the Cornell Chorale, a 120 voice choir that performs varied repertoire from the Baroque to Modern. She has been a featured soloist with the Cornell Chamber Singers, performing Haydn’s Harmoniemesse with the Maui Chamber Orchestra in Hawaii. An avid traveler, O’Connell has performed as a soloist on two continents, and in a choral ensemble in a third; she is delighted to make her vocal solo debut in Asia in Hong Kong this coming January. O’Connell received degrees in music education (Providence College) and choral conducting (University of Southern California). She currently studies early music with Ellen Hargis, and classical styles with Dina Kuznetsova.
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