We had a fun and successful season-opener! Almost 2 weeks later and there are still ear-worms from the Alegría concert zinging through my head. Or is that my allergies? Hard to tell sometimes. Anyway, welcome to our Celebramus Season and welcome to the many new season subscribers—we’re glad to have you for our 20th anniversary season.
But, Vespetta, well: She’s something else! The heroine character from our upcoming Telemann opera concert is strong-willed, conniving, entertaining, obviously well-educated on a number of subjects, and makes Pimpinone’s heart go pitter-patter. He may be a nerdy bachelor with industrial strength pocket-protectors, but he has a few tricks up his sleeve as well. But, is this a match made in heaven, hell, or merely for the comedic intermezzi of 18th century Hamburg? Here’s a hint: the real title is Pimpinone, or The Unequal Marriage, or The Domineering Chambermaid! Telemann’s vocal music is singable and catchy and quite beautiful! See the full description below, but don’t miss Gitanjali Mathur and Peter Walker in the starring roles!
See you at the theatah!
How to Marry a millionaire (c. 1725)
Saturday, November 3, 2018, at 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 4, 2018, 3:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX
Admission $30 general; $25 seniors (60+); $5 students (at the door only)
Tickets available in advance online or by cash, check, or credit card at the door.
Take advantage of preferred seating by purchasing Season Tickets by clicking the button below or at the venue door through November 4!
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Georg Philipp Telemann’s short comic opera Pimpinone: The Unequal Marriage Between Vespetta and Pimpinone or The Domineering Chambermaid, written in 1725, is hilarious, touching, prophetic, and beautiful.
The interplay between the two characters, Vespetta and Pimpinone, is hilarious both in the witty dialogues and duets and in the acrobatic arias; the more intimate arias in which each separately explores inner fears and desires are tender and heartfelt. How can an opera be prophetic, one might ask? In at least two ways, actually: First, one of Pimpinone’s songs foreshadows Papageno’s “Pa, pa, pa, Papagena” from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, written 66 years later. It uses the one syllable motive “Pim, pim, pim…” The second way the opera is prophetic is the feminization of his own name, “Pimpinona.” Mozart knew a clever idea when he heard it!
The subtitle gives an idea of the nature of the plot. It is a story that has been told often in theater, opera, movies, and television sit-coms: Pimpinone is a wealthy but homely bachelor while Vespetta is a clever and attractive chambermaid looking for a rich boss (soon-to-be-husband.) Guess who marries whom and guess who is in control of the marriage! The arias expertly define the personalities of the characters: Vespetta’s arias are flirty and saucy and become more complex as her station in life elevates. Pimpinone’s arias are tender and heartfelt, yet also very funny. The orchestral music is delightfully sophisticated with brilliantly written imitations of vocal lines and stunningly complimentary countermelodies.
Early music stars from around the USA join TEMP’s Austin regulars for this entertaining and virtuosic music. TEMP core-member Gitanjali Mathur (soprano) sings the role of Vespetta and New York’s Peter Walker (baritone) portrays the put-upon title character in this performance, set in current times and fully staged, and with supertitles for easy comprehension of the comedy and pathos. The accompanying period-instrument ensemble includes violinists Anna Griffis (Boston) and Bruce Colson (Austin), violist Bruce Williams (Austin), and cellist Jane Leggiero (Cleveland), Scott Horton (theorbo), and Austin newcomer Donald Livingston on harpsichord. We will also feature a couple of Telemann’s fantasies for solo flute, performed by traverso master Marcus McGuff.