The Mozartists announce 25th Anniversary Season (2022/23)
and two new Associate Artists
Leading period-instrument ensemble The Mozartists today announce their 25th Anniversary London Season (2022/23).
The Mozartists, under the dynamic leadership of conductor and artistic director Ian Page, are leading exponents of the music of Mozart and his contemporaries. The company (formerly Classical Opera) was founded in 1997, and has received widespread international acclaim for its fresh and dynamic performances, its imaginative and innovative programming, and its ability to nurture and develop world-class young artists.
The Mozartists’ 2022/23 Season at a glance:
‘Mozart’s Czech Mates’
This programme of works by outstanding Bohemian composers who, like Mozart himself, settled in Vienna in the second half of the 18th century is framed by G minor symphonies by Vanhal and Kozeluch, and features the exciting Swiss-Belgian soprano Chiara Skerath in works by Gluck, Mysliveček, Benda and Mozart himself.
‘Mozart in 1772’
Ian Page’s ground-breaking MOZART 250 series continues with this concert of music by the 16-year-old Mozart. The programme features two symphonies, a keyboard concerto played by principal harpsichordist Steven Devine, and Giunia’s four arias from Lucio Silla sung by the outstanding British soprano Louise Alder.
- 17 January 2023 – Wigmore Hall
‘1773 – A Retrospective’
The ninth year of MOZART 250 begins with this typically dynamic and wide-ranging musical overview of the year 1773. The programme features works by Mozart, Haydn, Schweitzer, C.P.E. Bach, and Mysliveček, with Spanish-born British soprano Alexandra Lowe making her company début.
- 16 June 2023 – Wigmore Hall
‘Blackest Night’ – Handel arias with Ann Hallenberg
Celebrated Swedish mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg, one of the brightest stars of today’s international Baroque scene, makes a welcome return with this beautifully crafted sequence of Handel arias exploring the theme of night.
International dates will be announced in due course
Ian Page and The Mozartists will also record Volume 3 of their ongoing ‘Sturm und Drang’ series on Signum Classics in January, and this is due for release in Autumn 2023.
Ian Page says: “I am hugely looking forward to our 25th Anniversary Season. Each concert includes beautiful music that will be new and unfamiliar to over 95% of even the most avid audiences, as well as more well-known masterpieces that have the ability to elevate us and stay in our memory long after the last notes have died away. Each programme, too, has been carefully sculpted and fine-tuned so as to take the audience on a genuine journey, and not only the choice of music but also the order in which it is presented is the result of hours of consideration. Each concert will feature world-class singing and playing, and I’m thrilled to have assembled such a wonderful line-up of soloists for our anniversary season.”
The season launches on 26 September at Wigmore Hall with ‘Mozart’s Czech Mates’.Mozart felt that the people of Prague appreciated his music more than anyone else, and many of the most influential and highly-regarded composers of his era were Bohemians. This dynamic programme is framed by vibrantly dramatic G minor symphonies by Vanhal (who played string quartets in Vienna with Mozart and Haydn) and Kozeluch, and the centrepiece is the wonderful concert aria, “Bella mia fiamma”, that Mozart wrote for the celebrated Czech soprano Josepha Duschek in the days following the première of Don Giovanni in Prague. Either side of this Chiara Skerath sings settings by Gluck and Mysliveček of the same text from Metasasio’s La clemenza di Tito.
Gluck was not Bohemian by birth, but he ran away to Prague when he was in his early teens and lived and studied there until he was twenty. His setting of “Se mai senti spirarti” – now a popular item on recital discs by such artists as Cecilia Bartoli and Magdalena Kožená – caused an outcry at its première in Naples, prompting a group of composition students to demand assurances from their teacher Francesco Durante that it broke all the laws of harmony. “Yes it does”, Durante allegedly replied; “I wish I’d thought of it.” The programme also features a 10-minute scene from Georg Benda’s extraordinary melodrama Medea, in which a heightened spoken monologue is underpinned and enhanced by a visceral orchestral accompaniment. Mozart was so taken with this piece when he heard it in 1778 that he proclaimed that melodrama represented the future of opera.
Ian Page’s ongoing MOZART 250 series has been hailed by The Observer as “among the most audacious classical music scheduling ever”, and it continues on 21 November at Cadogan Hall with ‘Mozart in 1772’, a concert of works written 250 years ago by the 16-year-old Mozart. Symphony No. 20 in D major is characterised by the military élan of trumpets and No. 21 in A major by the tender mellowness of flutes, while The Mozartists’ principal keyboard player Steven Devine is the soloist in a charming harpsichord concerto based on sonata movements by Mozart’s friend and mentor Johann Christian Bach. Louise Alder, one of the leading Mozart singers of her generation, completes the programme with Giunia’s four arias from Lucio Silla, rarely performed showcases that incorporate arguably the most spectacularly virtuosic, technically challenging and hair-raisingly exciting vocal music that Mozart ever wrote.
On 17 January 2023 the ninth year of MOZART 250 begins at Wigmore Hall with ‘1773 – a retrospective’, offering a fascinating overview of the year in music. The programme begins with one of Mozart’s most genial early symphonies and ends with his first popular masterpiece, the motet “Exsultate, jubilate”. In between, Ian Page and The Mozartists perform symphonies by C. P. E. Bach and Haydn – the slow movement of the latter taking the horns to the almost ridiculous extremes of its compass – and new Associate Artist Alexandra Lowe sings arias by Schweitzer, Mysliveček and Haydn that are by turns dramatic, lyrical and virtuosic.
The Mozartists’ London season concludes at Wigmore Hall on 16 June 2023 with ‘Blackest Night’, a recital programme given by the internationally acclaimed and award-winning Swedish mezzo-soprano Anna Hallenberg. This all-Handel programme explores the theme of night, charting a nocturnal journey through three of Ariodante’s greatest arias and incorporating further highlights from Hercules, Floridante, Teseo, Arianna in Creta and Ottone. The programme also includes Handel’s exquisite Concerto grosso in B flat, Op. 3, No. 2.
Last season The Mozartists’ outreach workshops reached over 1200 children. The company will continue and expand their important outreach work in partnership with Ealing Music Service, inspiring children through the music of Mozart in their own music-making. Next season will see the launch of an extended programme of SEN (Special Education Needs) workshops for ARP (Assisted Resource Provision) Schools, as well as the continuation of our MOZART 250 Schools’ Discovery Programme and Introduction to Opera workshops across primary and secondary schools in Ealing.
Announcing two new Associate Artists
The Mozartists are delighted to announce that two outstanding young sopranos, Alexandra Lowe and Emily Pogorelc, have become Associate Artists of the company. The development and promotion of top-quality young singers has always been central the company’s mission, and its Associate Artist Scheme, founded in 2006, provides mentorship, coaching and extensive training and performance opportunities, as well as a small bursary. Previous members of the scheme have included Louise Alder, Sophie Bevan, Allan Clayton, Anna Devin, Alessandro Fisher, Stuart Jackson, Natalia Romaniw and Chiara Skerath.
Alexandra Lowe studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the National Opera Studio, and she won Second Prize at the 2020 Glyndebourne Opera Cup. She has just graduated from the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where she recently enjoyed tremendous success in an acclaimed staging of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. She makes her Mozartists début on 17 January 2023 at Wigmore Hall.
Emily Pogorelc was born in Milwaukee and studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She was the youngest finalist in the inaugural Glyndebourne Cup in 2018, and since 2020 has been a member of the ensemble at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, where her roles have included Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Musetta in La bohème and Adina in L’elisir d’amore. She made her Mozartists début at Cadogan Hall in November 2021, and will feature in the next release in their ‘Sturm und Drang’ recording series.