‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’, by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Gloriæ Dei Cantores and Elements Theatre Company present Ralph Vaughan Williams’s opera, The Pilgrim’s Progress, fully-staged with orchestra and guest soloists at the Church of the Transfiguration, Orleans, MA. For the first time in twelve years, the production is returning to a New England stage. Directed by Danielle Dwyer, CJ, the opera will draw an international audience into a timeless story portraying the universal journey of humanity’s search for spiritual redemption.
The opera is the culmination of 45 years of Vaughan Williams’s musical journey. It’s the ultimate expression of the wide variety of his musical style, exhibiting fabulous transparency of orchestration and a luminous sound.
The Pilgrim’s Progress is the featured event of an international symposium celebrating the arts and commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Sponsored in part by the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust of London, it will be the first fully-staged performance of the opera worldwide since performed in London in 2012.
Meet the Cast and Creative Teams! Soloists include Richard K. Pugsley, Andrew Nolen, Paul Scholten, Eleni Calenos, Kathryn Leemhuis, Martha Guth, John E. Orduña, Doug Jones, and Aaron Sheehan.
All performances SOLD OUT.
A Lenten Experience: Choices of the Disciples
MARCH 2016—Gloriæ Dei Cantores and Elements Theatre Company collaborated to offer A Lenten Experience: Choices of the Disciples in vignettes of sacred music and written word. Lent is a liturgical season forty days before Easter, a season of penance, reflection and a renewal of Baptism, a time of the year lending us opportunity to stop, look and listen anew. It’s a time for the lens of our soul to take a look through God’s eyes, to see and hear new insights, to be reminded and freshly inspired.
Through this renewed perspective, Gloriæ Dei Cantores and Elements Theatre Company gave A Lenten Experience exploring the concepts of trust, betrayal of that trust, and the opportunity for reconciliation. The experience portrayed the disciples Peter, Andrew, Judas, plus Mary, Mother of God, Mary Magdalene, and others whose lives were forever changed by their decisions in the face of mercy and forgiveness.
“In the same way, after the supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’” Luke 22:20 (NIV)
Mozart’s Requiem & Britten’s The Company of Heaven
OCTOBER 2016—Gloriæ Dei Cantores presented Mozart’s Requiem, as well as a hidden gem, Britten’s The Company of Heaven in celebration of the Feast of All Saints. Led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Richard K. Pugsley, the concert was performed with full orchestra and world-class guest soloists Martha Guth, Soprano; Kathryn Leemhuis, Alto; Aaron Sheehan, Tenor; and Andrew Nolen, Bass. The concerts took place October 28 & 29 at the stunning Church of the Transfiguration at Rock Harbor in Orleans, Massachusetts (on Cape Cod). Filled with mosaics, frescos, and other sacred art, the venue provided the perfect setting for this pinnacle performance of Gloriæ Dei Cantores’ 2016 season. This concert was a highlight in New England for classical music and fine arts lovers.
The Mozart Requiem, Mozart’s final work, left unfinished at the time of his premature death in December of 1791, remains one of the most beloved works of the choral repertory. It is the summation of all that Mozart had absorbed of the classical style and the genius that he brought to the sacred music of his era. Benjamin Britten’s The Company of Heaven masterfully intertwines music with biblical text, as well as poetry and prose by distinguished poets that highlights Britten’s great gift for setting words. The Company of Heaven is a masterful piece of incidental music, full of color with illuminating and dramatic support of the angelic texts. In celebration of the Feast of All Saints, Gloriæ Dei Cantores presented these masterpieces—visionary works painting pictures of heaven, angels, and God’s glory.
Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
MAY 2016—Cape Cod Symphony and Gloriæ Dei Cantores presented:
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on the 192nd anniversary of the premiere of the work that was held at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna on May 7, 1824.
May 7 & 8
Barnstable Performing Arts Center
JULY 2015—Under the direction of Richard K. Pugsley, featuring guest soloists Martha Guth (Soprano), Jossie Pérez (Alto), Limmie Pulliam (Tenor), and Andrew Nolen (Bass). Performed in the original German, the concerts will be accompanied by full orchestra, July 10 & 11 at the Church of the Transfiguration, a contemporary expression of an ancient basilican style of architecture, located in Orleans, MA. Concerts are at 7:30pm, Pre-Concert Lecture at 6:45pm. Elijah Program Notes
“There are some beautiful moments, that really grab hearts and souls.” View CC Times article
TICKET INFO: $35 general admission $30 senior admission 18 and under and students, free 508-240-2400
Soprano Martha Guth’s engagements include the Brahms Requiem in New York City (Sacred Music in a Sacred Space), Washington, D.C. (Cathedral Choral Society) and Grand Rapids (Calvin College, John Nelson conducting); Carmina Burana (Florida Orchestra, Mobile, West Michigan and Lima Symphonies), Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Evansville Philharmonic and Fourth Symphony with the Flagstaff Symphony, Mozart’s C Minor Mass with New York’s Voices of Ascension and Columbus, Ohio’s Pro Music Chamber Orchestra, Händel’s Messiah with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Columbia Pro Cantare and Gloriæ Dei Cantores and Poulenc’s Stabat Mater with the Spokane Symphony. She recently sang Frau Fluth in Boston Midsummer Opera’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and reprises the role of Older Alyce in Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied at Chelsea Opera. Winner of First Prize at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in London, she has been welcomed at Wigmore Hall with pianist Graham Johnson, New York’s Liederkranz Foundation with Dalton Baldwin, and MusicFest Vancouver with Erika Switzer.
Mezzo-soprano Jossie Pérez’s voice has been described as “a big smoky, mezzo-soprano with strong chest voice, expansive range and striking power all the way up to clarion top notes.” Her interpretation of the title role in Carmen was recently seen in Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Teatro Liceu, Barcelona, Spain; in Bogota, Columbia; in Shanghai and Beijing, China; as well as with Seiji Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan. She will also be performing Carmen in Madrid, Spain, at The Teatro de la Zarzuela. Ms. Pérez had debuted Carmen with the Boston Lyric Opera where she performed in Boston Common for an audience of over 150,000 people. Other past performances include Portland Opera; Teatro de la Opera in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Les Amis du Lyrique en Bretagne in France. For the 2009–2010 season, Ms. Pérez was Cloe in L’arbore di Diana at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Teatro Real de Madrid, and returned to Barcelona in the 2010–2011 season. Other recent engagements for the Puerto Rican mezzo-soprano have included performances of Prince Orlovski in Die Fledermaus, Opera Oviedo, Spain; Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro at Gran Teatre del Liceu; Maddalena in Rigoletto with Portland Opera; Charlotte in Werther in Seville under the baton of Michel Plasson; Sesto in La clemenza di Tito at the Liceu in Barcelona; Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Michigan Opera Theatre; Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri with Opera Pacific; Annio in La clemenza di Tito with Washington National Opera; and Sifare in Mitridate in Granada, Spain as well as concerts of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin. Ms. Pérez has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera in such roles as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro; the Second Lady in the premiere of Julie Taymor’s production of Die Zauberflöte; Lola in Cavalleria rusticana; Ascanio in Les Troyens; and Siébel in Faust; as well as roles in Ariadne auf Naxos, La traviata, Carmen, Hänsel und Gretel, and Parsifal. She has appeared in recital with Carol Vaness at the Casals Festival, and had successes as Maffio Orsini in Lucrezia Borgia in Oviedo, Spain; Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni in San Antonio; and Dorabella in Così fan tutte in Santiago; the Spoleto Festival USA; and in Boston; as well as Idamante in Idomeneo in Washington, D.C. with Plácido Domingo. She also performed Ravel’s Chansons madecasses with James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Ensemble at Weill Recital Hall. Ms. Pérez was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the 2001 OPERALIA competition in Washington, D.C, and a Sara Tucker Study Grant from The Richard Tucker Music Foundation. She was also a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
American tenor Limmie Pulliam has thrilled audiences throughout the United States and Europe and has been praised for his captivating stage presence and his powerful and expressive voice. Mr. Pulliam, who trained at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with the late renowned pedagogue Richard Miller, is a former artist in residence with Cleveland Opera, Opera Delaware, and Memphis Opera. He has appeared in such roles as Nemorino in L’Elisir D’Amore, Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess, Romeo in Romeo et Juliette, Don Jose in Carmen among others. A versatile vocalist, Mr. Pulliam has appeared throughout the United States as a member and featured soloist of the internationally renowned American Spiritual Ensemble. During the upcoming 2015-16 season, Mr. Pulliam will make his role and company debut as Canio in I Pagliacci with Vashon Opera. With his third place finish, Mr. Pulliam was the highest placing male vocalist in the third Annual Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition in Catania, Sicily, in 2013. He was also selected as one of six finalists in the 2012 Wagner Division of the Liederkranz Vocal Competition. Mr. Pulliam was the 2012 Grand Prize Winner of the National Opera Association’s National Vocal Competition, where he was also presented with the Todd Duncan Legacy Award. Mr. Pulliam has appeared with such notable conductors as Maurizio Arena, Michael Ching, Ward Holmquist, Louis Lane, Stephen Lord, Michael Morgan and Robert Spano.
Juilliard-trained American bass-baritone Andrew Nolen has performed a diverse repertoire in opera and concert venues spanning the globe, from Carnegie Hall to the Royal Lyceum Theater in Edinburgh. Since joining the ensemble of Theater Krefeld-Mönchengladbach in 2011, he has sung numerous roles including the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro, Oroveso in Norma, Swallow in Peter Grimes, Orsini in Rienzi, and Leporello in Don Giovanni. Mr. Nolen’s operatic roles include the title roles in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Olin Blitch in Susannah, Alidoro in La Cenerentola, and Alexandr Petrovič in From the House of the Dead. He has performed with international theaters and companies such as the Brussels Kaaitheater, Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theater, Grand Théâtre du Luxembourg, Lyrique-en-Mer in France, Santa Fe Opera, Oper Bonn, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Dubai Festival Opera, the Wooster Group, and the Waverly Consort. Andrew can be heard as the bass soloist on Naxos of America’s box set of Haydn’s complete masses with maestra Jane Glover and the Rebel Orchestra. Andrew trained at Oberlin Conservatory, the Cincinnati Conservatory, and the Juilliard Opera Center, and was an apprentice with Seattle Opera and Santa Fe Opera. Mr. Nolen has worked under the direction of distinguished stage directors and conductors including Colin Graham, Elizabeth LeCompte, Frank Corsaro, Julius Rudel, Robert Shaw, Ton Koopman, Jane Glover, Robert Spano, and Stephen Lord, and is frequently the bass-baritone choice of composers to premiere new works.
A graduate of Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Pugsley studied with Lorraine Manz and Richard Miller. He also studied at New England Conservatory of Music and with the late Dr. Mary Berry, CBE, of the Schola Gregoriana in Cambridge, England. He has performed with Gloriæ Dei Cantores for over 20 years in concert halls and churches in 23 countries throughout Europe, Russia, and North America, and has conducted the choir for the past 15 years. Mr. Pugsley has been instrumental in creating the highly esteemed concert series at The Church of the Transfiguration located at the Community of Jesus. In collaboration with full orchestra, he has brought to life many monumental works including Handel’s Messiah, Israel in Egypt, and Saul; Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors; and J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Recent works have included William Walton’s The Twelve, Poulenc’s Gloria, Durufle’s Requiem, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, with world-renowned soloists Andrew Nolen and Jossie Pérez; and Finzi’s Imitations of Immortality with tenor Limmie Pulliam. Under his leadership, Gloriæ Dei Cantores collaborated with Philippe Entremont and the Munich Symphony Orchestra performing Mozart’s Requiem on a 16-city tour of the United States. In addition to being conductor of both choral and orchestra ensembles, Pugsley has been hailed as an extraordinary teacher and coach of vocal technique. Numerous students have been taught at his studio. His own performance as the lead baritone in the New England premiere of Pilgrims Progress won accolades from the Boston Globe. Pugsley has also directed workshops with thousands of students throughout the world, and is a tenacious advocate for youth music education, Pugsley has produced over 25 recordings both choral and instrumental on the Paraclete Recordings record label, and is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in the Producers and Engineers wing. Pugsley most recently produced Gloriæ Dei Cantores’ collaborative Russian recording of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil with an anticipated release in December 2015. His vision for creating transparency of sound between the listener and the recorded performer has led to the addition of surround sound, Super Audio Compact Discs and studio master downloads to the Gloriæ Dei Cantores recordings catalog. Notable recordings produced under Pugsley include Mozart: Rare Choral Works, praised for the “finely executed, energetic, vibrant choral ensemble singing and equally dynamic and tightly-knit orchestral accompaniment, expertly conducted by Richard Pugsley” (Classics Today) and Mandorla: Choral Masterworks of Frank Martin, Edvard Grieg, Howard Hanson, which ArkivMusic called “a terrific recording, featuring repertoire that only a truly imaginative mind would think of combining on one disc.”