The last production of Opera Brittenica's 2013-2014 season will feature local celebrity baritone, Robert Honeysucker and NYC tenor, Marcos Vigil in Benjamin Britten's second church parable; "The Burning Fiery Furnace." The production will be led by Donald Teeters (Conductor Emeritus of the Boston Cecilia) and Erin Huelskamp (Founding Member of Juventas New Music) at All Saints Parish in Brookline, thanks to the generosity of the parish. There will be no official ticket price, but a donation of $10 would be greatly appreciated.
The Burning Fiery Furnace tells the story of Nebuchadnezzar and the three Israelites, Ananias, Misael and Asarias (corresponding Babylonian names:Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego), who were thrown into a furnace for their refusal to worship Nebuchadnezzar's image of gold. However, God saves them from death, as the voice of an angel joins the Israelites in a 'Benedicte'.
From the Britten/Pears Foundation Website:
After the inward concentration of Curlew River, Britten set out to make his second Church Parable, ‘something much less sombre, an altogether gayer affair’ as he put it. Based on the Old Testament story of Nebuchadnezzar and the three Israelites, The Burning Fiery Furnace uses the same basic vocal and instrumental forces as its predecessor and retains its most distinctive structural features, but the work makes a strongly contrasted impression.
The attempt to write in a generally lighter vein results in a more flexible approach and a greater variety of colour (aided by Britten’s imaginative deployment of the rarely used alto trombone). Although the work is no less powerful and concentrated as a result, the wider range can accommodate such memorable diversions as the young acolytes’ entertainment during the Babylonian feast and the march before the raising of the image of Merodak when the players traditionally take up their instruments and process around the church.
As King Nebuchadnezzar, a wonderful tenor, MARCOS VIGIL, from NYC will be coming to Boston for the week to take on the role that Peter Pears originated. As Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian High Priest, we are thrilled to have renowned Baritone, ROBERT HONEYSUCKER. The three Israelites will be performed by Baritones ZACHARY BALLARD and IAN POMERANTZ, and tenor JOSHUA COLLIER. The role of the herald will be sung by ROLAND MILLS. The production will be led by DONALD TEETERS (Conductor Emeritus of the Boston Cecilia) and scenically directed by ERIN HUELSKAMP.
The Performances will be held in the sanctuary of All Saints Parish in Brookline on the evenings of May 8 and 9, 2014, with a suggested donation of $10 per person.