How do I choose a program?
There are numerous factors that lead me to choose a program. The musicians of Catacoustic are basically me and people I choose for the particular project. This is both good and bad. Bad because there is a large expense that is associated with importing early music performers from around the world: travel, housing, and food. But, there is a lot of flexibility that goes along with that. I can program many types of music: Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical and vocal and instrumental. I enjoy bringing in incredibly talented musicians from whom I can learn and grow. For example, my partnership with Michael Leopold of Milano, Italy, has truly helped me grow and learn so much about Italian music, and this transfers to better concerts year-after-year for the Catacoustic audience!
I choose a program based on:
1)being inspired by a talented musician.
The program "The Virtuoso Basso" featured talented bass singer Dan Cole.
2)desire to feature a special instrument.
The "Awakening of the Harpsichord" was the inaugural concert for Catacoustic's new harpsichord. While we occasionally will have a harpsichord in a concert, it normally serves an accompanying function. This concert featured the harpsichord in a solo role, showcasing the many colors and characters of the instrument.
Several years ago, we had a program featuring the cornetto, and this season we will have a concert for the baroque oboe.
3)Genre that speaks to me.
I particularly love vocal music of early 17th-century Italy. Catacoustic's winning a national competition and release of the Italian laments CD only pushed me further into this exploration of this passionate music.
4)Particular piece of music.
Sometimes I listen to a piece and feel like I will absolutely DIE, if it is not programmed in a Catacoustic concert. An example of this is Charpentier's opera La Descente d'Orphee aux Enfers.
5)Historical period that pricks my interest.
17th-century nuns have been a delight to read about, and fortunately, their music is wonderful! Often the interest in the historical context of the music is a natural result of interest in the music, such as 18th-century French women who played the pardessus de viole.
I chose Couperin's Lamentations of Jeremiah (Lecons de Tenebres) was on our season last year. This was a result of our collaboration with Hebrew Union College, the Roman Catholic Community, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Oberlin College. They were interest in the text, historical context, and musicological background, about which they gave lectures prior to our concert.
We also collaborated with Cincinnati's Esquire Theatre to play a concert of music from Tous les Matins du Monde following a free screening of the film.
While there is always a need to balance many factors, including fiscal responsibility and an understanding of the area where we share our music and the desires of our audience, Catacoustic has had a wonderful amount of variety of programming that has been inspiring, and educational for all!