Fanfare: 'Anna Bolena' from AVA, and Davóne Tines at McCarter
Welcome to Fanfare — our weekly guide to live classical music in the Philadelphia area. Subscribe now to get the weekly mailing delivered straight to your inbox. To let us know about an event on the horizon, or share other feedback, drop us a line!
Spotlight: Academy of Vocal Arts: Anna Bolena — Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, Academy of Vocal Arts
More than 170 years before Philippa Gregory conquered bestseller lists with her novel The Other Boleyn Girl, Gaetano Donizetti channeled the swirling courtly drama of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, with equal aplomb in his 1830 opera Anna Bolena. Donizetti’s bel canto barnburner, one of several operas he based on doomed Tudor royals, demands lavish theatricality and vocal acrobatics fit for a queen — a delectable challenge for the rising singers of the Academy of Vocal Arts.
During AVA’s six-performance run, which opened on Nov. 11 and ends on Nov. 28, Lydia Grindatto and Mali Deng share duties as Anna Bolena, starring opposite Dylan Gregg and Cumhur Görgün as Enrico (Henry VIII). Monique Galvão and Jenny Anne Flory feature as Bolena’s upstart rival, Giovanna Seymour; Alla Yarosh and Ariana Maubach trade turns as the Queen’s meddlesome page, Smeton; and Angel Raii Gómez and Matthew Goodheart tackle the role of Riccardo Percy, the Queen’s former lover. Conductor Steven White makes his AVA debut in this production, directed by Christopher Mattaliano.
Nov. 14, 16, 18 and 21 at 7:30 p.m., Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce Street, $68 to $103. Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m., Haverford Centennial Hall, 450 Lancaster Avenue, $25 to $103. Tickets and information.
Music at Bunker Hill: A Concert for Peace — Sunday, Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church
Ukrainian-American violinist Mark Peskanov organized this program of ariose chamber music as a fundraiser to support humanitarian relief efforts for the people of Ukraine. Following a reflective work by Valentin Silvestrov, the most famous living Ukrainian composer, Peskanov and his fellow musicians — violist William Frampton, cellist Julian Schwarz and pianist Marika Bournaki — take on a late masterpiece by Schubert, his Piano Trio in B-flat major, and an early masterpiece by Fauré, his Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor.
Nov. 12 at 3 p.m., Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church, 330 Greentree Road, Sewell, NJ, $12 to $28; purchase tickets.
The Philadelphia Orchestra — Friday and Saturday, Verizon Hall
We may be rapidly approaching parka, long john, and carry-Kleenex-everywhere-you-go weather, but spring is in the air at Verizon Hall. Guest conductor David Robertson joins The Philadelphia Orchestra, fresh off of an international tour through Europe and China, for Beethoven’s eternally vernal Pastoral Symphony. The concert’s first half also spotlights works suggestive of renewal: Reena Esmail’s 2021 work ReǀMember, written to celebrate the return of collective music-making after the Covid-19 pandemic, and Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1, whose score was thought to have been lost for centuries until it was rediscovered in the 1960s, featuring principal cellist Hai-Ye Ni.
Nov. 17 at 2 p.m., Nov. 18 at 8 p.m., Verizon Hall, Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 South Broad Street, $48 to $199; tickets and information.
Musicians from Marlboro — Tuesday, American Philosophical Society
Three cadres of musicians associated with the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival are set to migrate south to the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society this season. The first, a group of five string players, brings an eclectic program from the Festival’s idyllic Vermont homebase, including quartets by Haydn and Mendelssohn, George Walker’s Slow Dance (the precursor to his heart-rending Lyric for Strings), and Viola, Viola, a new work by the Marlboro’s composer-in-residence, George Benjamin.
Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m., Benjamin Franklin Hall, American Philosophical Society, 427 Chestnut Street, $30; tickets and information.
Davóne Tines — Thursday, McCarter Theatre Center
Bass-baritone Davóne Tines has been heaped with praise for Recital No. 1: Mass, a daring reimagination of the Ordinary Mass. Accompanied by pianist John Bitoy, Tines interrogates the liturgy’s spiritual depths with curatorial edge, charting a winding course between the disparate sound worlds of Bach, Caroline Shaw, Margaret Bonds and Tyshawn Sorey in search of meaning and catharsis.
Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m., McCarter Theatre Center, 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ, $25 to $55; purchase tickets.
Philadelphia Youth Orchestra — Nov. 19, Verizon Hall
The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra opens its 2023-24 season, its 27th under the direction of Maestro Louis Scaglione, with two stalwarts of the late-Romantic era: Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 and Elgar’s Enigma Variations. As always, this group of tremendously talented young musicians promises to dazzle, infusing these repertoire warhorses with fresh-eyed vigor, curiosity, and charisma.
Nov. 19 at 3 p.m., Verizon Hall, Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 South Broad Street, $25 to $35; tickets and information.