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Sunday, September 17th, 2017 at 4:00 pm - Cleveland, OH
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 17th at 4pm, internationally-renowned duo for voice and lute, Mignarda, will present their third 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 late 15th century. Mignarda and friends will perform rarely-heard historical arrangements of music by Agricola, Binchois, DuFay, and Ockeghem, featuring Josquin's Stabat Mater Dolorosa.
This year, the duo expands to feature a fine vocal ensemble of Cleveland-area early music specialists: countertenor Jay White, tenor David J. Rothenberg, baritone José Gotera, and bass-baritone Michael McKay, who will join them to present Josquin's wrenching Stabat Mater Dolorosa in its original 5-voice arrangement. Dr. Rothenberg, author of The Flower of Paradise: Marian Devotion and Secular Song in Medieval and Renaissance Music, published by Oxford University Press, will add contextual remarks describing how many seemingly secular love songs of the 15th century may have been conceived as devotional songs dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
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
“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 concertizing, teaching and recording, with twelve critically-acclaimed CDs. Mignarda's publications include a series of 12 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. Now in their 13th year as a duo, they have travelled tens of thousands of miles to share this music with audiences across the U.S., and they make their home in a handmade house in the forest of rural upstate New York.
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 while pursuing degrees in Human Biology and Music History. He completed an MA in Early Music at Case Western Reserve University. During his studies at Case, he sang with the Early Music Singers and St. Paul’s Episcopal Choir. He has sung professionally with Toronto’s Tafelmusik and more recently with the Cleveland Orchestra Opera Chorus, Apollo’s Fire, Opera Cleveland and Quire Cleveland. He has sung solo roles with Cleveland Opera on Tour, Opera Circle, and the West Shore Chorale. In addition to teaching voice at Cleveland State University, José is also a music instructor at Hiram College where he teaches voice, directs opera/musical theater workshop and the Hiram men’s chorus. He sings with the Trinity Cathedral Chamber Singers in downtown Cleveland and is also a section leader and baritone soloist for the chancel choir at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights.
About Michael McKay
Michael McKay, baritone, is office manager in the Performing Arts, Music, and Film department at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Having studied voice with Noriko Paukert and organ with Margaret Scharf, he graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of music from Cleveland State University. Michael has performed with Apollo’s Fire, the Old Stone Singers, the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Choir, and the CWRU Early Music Singers, as well as in various Cleveland-area chamber ensembles. He served as associate organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist from 1998 to 2012. He resides in Cleveland with his wife and two children.
About David J. Rothenberg
Dr. David J. Rothenberg, chair of the Case Western Reserve University Department of Music since 2015, is a music historian whose research explores connections between music, liturgy, visual art, and literature in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. He is author of The Flower of Paradise: Marian Devotion and Secular Song in Medieval and Renaissance Music (Oxford University Press, 2011) and has published extensively on many facets of historical music of the middle ages and forward in time. Rothenberg received the Alfred Einstein Award of the American Musicological Society (2007) has spoken at conferences and colloquia in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and has given numerous public presentations at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and is a regular pre-concert lecturer for the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Chamber Music Society.
About Jay White
Countertenor Jay White sang eight seasons with the internationally acclaimed ensemble, Chanticleer, with whom he recorded fourteen albums and garnered two Grammy Awards. Sought after as an interpreter of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque repertoire, he has appeared at early music festivals worldwide and has been featured on national and international radio programs. He trained at the Early Music Institute at Indiana University and at the University of Maryland, and has taught at the University of Delaware and DePauw University. Dr. White is currently Associate Professor of Voice at Kent State University.