An Evening of Musical Revelry
Elise Groves, soprano
Rebecca Stager, soprano and piano
Adam Grieve, tenor
Daniel Fridley, bass
Program (45 minutes with short intermission prior to the Coffee Cantata):
When people think of Renaissance and Baroque composers, their sense of humor and desire for whimsy are not the first things that come to mind. With that in mind, we are delighted to showcase the lighter sides of Orlando di Lasso and Johann Sebastian Bach. From offering supplications to God that one might at least find their bed if not avoid a hangover to plotting to steal the neighbor’s goose. Lasso shines a spotlight on revelry and mischief that transcends time and shows that while wine isn’t necessary to make interesting choices, it certainly helps.
- A ce matin | “This morning, I want to feast on salty ham” Orlande Lassus (1532-1594)
- Baur, was trägst im Sacke | “Farmer! Cheese and Butter! Dancing!” Lassus
- Lucescit iam o socii | “More feasting!… but we’re out of money…” Lassus
- Audite nova | “Let’s steal and roast the goose!” Lassus
- En m’oyant chanter | “Musicians drink too much…” Lassus
- Deus qui bonum vinum | “God created wine. We got drunk. Bedtime.” Lassus
- Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht | (“Coffee Cantata”), BWV 211 J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Bach’s Coffee Cantata (BWV 211) is a short comic opera detailing the ongoing argument between a stern father, Schlendrian, and his coffee-loving daughter, Liesgen. Whether coming from his desire for her best possible future or his curmudgeonly “get off my lawn” attitude toward whatever is in vogue at the time, he offers both bribes and punishments which are equally ignored and evaded. The work skewers both the incredible popularity of coffee shops in 18th-century Leipzig and the opinion shared by some that coffee is a bad habit in desperate need of being broken, or even a moral failing which requires extreme measures to reform. Is he concerned about her ability to find a husband or is he concerned for her immortal soul?
Elise Groves, soprano, is a dedicated and versatile soloist and chamber musician. Her repertoire ranges from Medieval to new compositions, with a special focus on the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Recent solo highlights include Haydn’s “Lord Nelson” Mass (Church of the Advent), Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass (Church of the Advent), Bach’s St. John Passion (Ensemble Musica Humana, Schola Cantorum of Boston) and St. Matthew Passion (Brown University), and fully-staged versions of Schütz’s Weihnachtshistorie (Musica Nuova/The Weckmann Project) and Hildegard’s Ordo Virtutum (Ensemble Musica Humana, Cantoris), as well as ensemble appearances with The Tallis Scholars, Vox Vocal Ensemble, Handel and Haydn Society, True Concord Voices & Orchestra, Exsultemus, and The Bach Project. A native Oregonian, she received a BA and MA in Music Education from Oregon State University and an M.M. in Early Music Performance from the Longy School of Music. When Elise isn’t singing, you can find her doing various things with yarn or continuing her lifelong search for the perfect mocha. www.elisemgroves.com
Rebecca Stager is a collaborative pianist and vocal coach residing in the greater Portland area. Oregon born and bred, Rebecca received her bachelor’s degree in Music from Oregon State University, and her Master’s in vocal Accompanying from the Manhattan School of Music in New York. Rebecca has been collaborating with musicians in and around Portland for nearly 20 years and enjoys playing everything from opera to choral works, from Schubertian Lieder to the Avante Garde, from Brahms trios to Broadway classics. Recent performances include a series of new instrumental works with the National Association of Composers USA, an original adaptation of “Orfeo in Underland” with Renegade Opera, and a workshop performance of a brand new opera by Dave Ragland, commissioned by Portland Opera (set to debut in the fall of 2022.)
Adam Grieve received his BA and MA in Music Education from Oregon State University. While teaching in the public schools, Adam has performed as a soloist and chorus member with many ensembles throughout Oregon, most recently with the Oregon Chorale. While currently working as a program analyst with the State of Oregon, you will find him performing a varied repertoire nightly in McMinnville, Oregon for his two children. While he was raised among the Lutherans, Adam prefers cream in his coffee.
Daniel Fridley, bass, recently relocated to Boston after receiving his Doctorate of Musical Arts in the spring of 2021 from the Case Western Reserve University Historical Performance Practice program, studying with Ellen Hargis and Jesse Blumberg. He graduated in 2017 from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance. His “spotless, resonant bass” (Cleveland Classical) lends itself well to both early music and opera. Performance credits from recent seasons include Bass Soloist in Handel’s Messiah (Bourbon Baroque); Basilio in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia (Teatro Nuovo); Pretore in Rossini’s La gazza ladra (Teatro Nuovo); Bass Soloist in J.S. Bach’s Coffee Cantata (Wyoming Baroque); Dottore Grenvil in Verdi’s La traviata (The Cleveland Opera); Jesus in J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (Atlanta Baroque); and Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea (CWRU). He is thrilled to return to Corvallis*, where he grew up, with this concert celebrating coffee, one of his favorite beverages.
* …a very special return visit to The Arts Center, indeed!