SERGIO CERVETTI, a Uruguayan-born American composer, came to the United States in 1962 to study composition. By 1966 he attracted international attention by winning the chamber music prize at the Caracas Venezuela Music Festival. After graduating from the Peabody Conservatory in 1967, where he studied with Ernst Krenek and Stefan Grové, he was invited by the DAAD to be a composer-in-residence in Berlin, Germany in 1969-70. From 1972-97 and 2007-08 Cervetti was Professor of Music at New York University / Tisch School of the Arts.
With a distinguished career and extensive body of work, Cervetti remains invested in composition as an intimate medium of communication, and gives each piece a complex, personal voice. He has composed over 150 works for orchestra, chamber music, song cycles, choral, solo instruments, and opera that range from acoustic to electronic music. They represent a post-modern synthesis of European tradition, folk elements, and minimalist aesthetics, and reflect his interest in literature, painting, dance, and socio-political topics as well as his rich South American heritage. Contributions to the early minimalist movement, available on Navona Records, are Guitar Music (the bottom of the iceberg), …from the earth…, Concerto for Trumpet, Strings and Timpani, and Candombe for Harpsichord. Three Next Wave Festivals at the Brooklyn Academy of Music featured his collaborations with New York City’s dance world. The Alicante Festival in Spain commissioned the harpsichord concerto Las Indias Olvidadas to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America. The opera Elegy For A Prince was premiered in several excerpted concert scenes by New York City Opera/VOX 2007, followed by a similar performance in 2020 by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) at Carnegie Hall. Other highlights include two tours in Spain with the National Youth Orchestra of Spain (JONDE), and sections of The Hay Wain, an electroacoustic tone-poem, are heard in Oliver Stone’s film Natural Born Killers. The Navona album Parallel Realms - XXI Century Works for Orchestra was Global Music Awards’ Gold Medal Winner in 2019.
MORTAL DREAMS: Four Vocal Works is the ninth all-Cervetti Navona album produced by PARMA Recordings. NAZCA and other Works was the first to be released in 2012 followed by KEYBOARD3: Works for Piano, Harpsichord and Organ, WIND DEVIL & CO.: DanceElectronics, UNBRIDLED: Chamber Works, TRANSITS: Minimal to Mayhem, SUNSET AT NOON: Six Works in Memory Of, TRIPTYCH REVELATION, PARALLEL REALMS: XXI Century Works for Orchestra. www.sergiocervetti.com
The composer wishes to thank all the generous contributors who have supported his work and this project; to all the singers, musicians, engineers, and the PARMA Team for their collaboration in producing this album.
Cervetti’s work is available at The Arthur Friedheim Library and Archives at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University and the New York Public Library. Video documentation of his music and dance collaborations is archived at the New York Public Library’s Dance Collection/Dance Theater Workshop Permanent Archives, the BAM/Next Wave Video Archive for Contemporary Performing Arts, and the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute of Ohio State University. Scores are available through PARMA Publishing. For information contact PARMA Publishing.
Four Fragments of Isadora is dedicated to Stuart and Elizabeth Hodes. Madrigal III is In Memoriam of Richard Kinsey (1941-2000).
Photo: Pirjo-Leena Bauer
ELIZABETH ESRIS collaborated as librettist with Sergio Cervetti on Elegy For A Prince. She adapted the libretto from Oscar Wilde’s fairy tale, The Happy Prince, adding influences from Wilde’s De Profundis as well as original material to create a fanciful but mature story that echoes the marginalization of outsiders in today’s world. The opera was selected in a competition sponsored by New York City Opera and featured in its VOX Opera Showcase in 2007. Two scenes from Elegy For A Prince were also performed at Carnegie Hall’s Perpetual Light Concert in February 2020. She and Cervetti collaborated again on YUM!, a chamber opera that plays upon motifs of wine, cooking, and friendship. Childhood is from a collaborative work-in-progress with Cervetti that explores autism. An English and creative writing teacher for more than 23 years, her poems have appeared in journals including The Schuylkill Valley Journal, River Heron Review, Pearl Buck Literary Journal and in France Revisited, where several of her travel articles appear. Now retired from teaching, Esris lives and writes in Bucks County PA, where she shares her work in poetry readings and writing workshops.
CHARLES ABRAMOVIC is Chair of Keyboard Studies at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music in Philadelphia, where he has taught since 1988. Abramovic has performed often with such stellar artists as Midori, Sarah Chang, Robert McDuffie, Viktoria Mullova, Kim Kashkashian, Mimi Stillman, and Jeffrey Khaner. His recording of the solo piano works of Delius for DTR recordings has been widely praised. He has recorded for EMI Classics with violinist Sarah Chang, and Avie Recordings with Philadelphia Orchestra principal flutist Jeffrey Khaner. He has also recorded works of Milton Babbitt, Joseph Schwantner, Gunther Schuller and many other contemporary composers for Albany Records, CRI, Bridge, Avie, and Naxos. An active participant in the musical life of Philadelphia, he performs regularly with Network for New Music, Orchestra 2001, and the Dolce Suono Ensemble. In 1997 he received the Career Development Grant from the Philadelphia Musical Fund Society, and in 2003 received the Creative Achievement Award from Temple University. Abramovic is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Peabody Conservatory, and received his DMA from Temple University. His teachers have included Natalie Phillips, Eleanor Sokoloff, Leon Fleisher, and Harvey Wedeen.
EVA BENETT (née Eva Kolková), a Czech soprano, studied classical singing at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts under the direction of Marta Beňačková. In this study she completed a residency at the Salzburg Mozarteum with Prof. Marta Sharp. She also studied at the Conservatorio di Verona in Italy with Cristina Miatello where she studied interpretation of Italian and French baroque music. Most recently she has been working with Markéta Cukrová and Kateřina Kněžíková.
In 2017 she made her debut in the main role of Dido Antonio Boroni’s opera La Didone in the baroque theatre in Český Krumlov (CZ). She provided a stunning performance and was invited to participate in the next productions. (Antonio Gianettini: L’ingresso alla gioventù di Claudio Nerone (2018); Johann Adolph Hasse: Demofoonte (2019). In 2019 she appeared in the role of Amor (Paride et Helen, G. W. Gluck at the Smetanova Litomyšl Festival), and in the role of Šárka (A. Vivaldi: Praga Nascente) with Musica Florea. In 2020 she debuted with great success in the role of Susanna in the opera Le nozze di Figaro in Slezské Divadlo Opava.
Benett focuses mainly on baroque and classical music. As a soloist she regularly collaborates with Musica Florea, Hof musici, Czech virtuosi, Košice (SK), Pardubice, and Hradec Králové Philharmonic. In 2012 she recorded for Navona Records with the Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc led by Peter Vronsky towards an album with music of the contemporary composer Sergio Cervetti: NAZCA. In 2016 she recorded Jakub Jan Ryba songs for Braunensis Art with pianist Zdeněk Klauda and in 2018 she recorded music by Jan Anselm Fridrich with Musica Florea and Marek Štryncl.
Julianne BORG appeared in Carnegie Hall with Leon Botstein and The Orchestra Now (TŌN) singing the title role of Susanna in Il Segreto di Susanna by Wolf-Ferrari. As a member of the ensemble at the Salzburger Landestheater, Borg performed the roles of Donna Elvira Don Giovanni, Countess Le nozze di Figaro, Agathe Der Freischütz, Frau Luna Frau Luna, Celia The Passion of Jonathan Wade by Carlyle Floyd, Gilade Farnace by Vivaldi and Pamina in Die Kleine Zauberflöte. She sang 5th Maid Elektra with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Lorin Maazel and appeared previously with the New York Philharmonic as Die Magt Sancta Susanna with Riccardo Muti on the podium. She has sung with Opéra de Nice, France where she performed Flaminia in Haydn's Il Mondo della luna at Théâtre du Capitole, with Toulouse, France where she sang First Niece Peter Grimes, and with L’Opéra-Théâtre de Limoges, France performing Mimi La Bohème.
Borg appeared frequently with the New York City Opera where she performed Micaela in Carmen, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Musetta in La Bohème, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Beth in Little Women, Serpetta in La Finta Giardiniera, Ygraine in Ariane et Barbe-Bleue, and Cleone in Ermione. In Japan she played Mimi in La Bohéme, with the Tokyo City Opera. She performed Violetta in La Traviata with the Skylight Opera Theater in Milwaukee and sang the roles of Virtù and Valetto in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She created the role of Lucy in the premiere of Stephen Paulus's opera The Woman at Otowi Crossing with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. As a soloist on the concert stage she has performed works including the Mozart’s Requiem, Brahms’s Requiem, Carmina Burana, Mahler's Fourth and Second Symphonies, Bach’s Magnificat, Handel's Messiah, the Poulenc Gloria, Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons), The Creation, The Lord Nelson Mass, Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, and Knoxville; Summer of 1915.
Borg’s education includes an Artist Diploma: Yale School of Music, Master of Music: Peabody Conservatory, Bachelor of Music: Western Michigan University, and professional studies at the Manhattan School of Music.
ALENA HELLEROVÁ, a Czech soprano, received basic school vocal studies and piano lessons from 1991 to 1997. She began her formal musical studies at the Conservatory in Teplice with Professor Ludmila Abrahámová from 1997-1998, and continued at the Prague Conservatory with Professor Antonie Denygrová from 1998-2003. The studies ended at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the class of Professor Magdaléna Hájossyová (2004-2009), where she obtained her Master of Art degree. She has attended several master-classes, including: master singing courses in Karlovy Vary (2000), International Summer Academy (Austria, Reichenau an der Rax) with Professor Magda Nádor (2006), International Summer Academy (Austria, Reichenau an der Rax) with Professor Sonia Ghazarian (2007), and Summer Baroque Academy in Kelč (Czech Republic) with Professor Joel Frederiksen (2010). Her awards and prizes include: 2nd Place in the Mozart Competition Duškova (2006), Honorable Mention in The International Antonín Dvořák Competition for the song category (2006), and prize for the best interpretation of song by M.Š.Trnavský in the International Vocal Competition in Trnava, Slovakia (2008).
From 2005, Hellerová became a member of vocal chamber choir Octopus pragensis (artistic leader: Dr. Petr Daněk). This choir specializes in interpreting music of the 16th-17th centuries. They have performed at a concert tour in Israel, in Prague Spring 2007, and in other festivals. In 2007 she co-operated with the conductor Tomáš Netopil on the implementation of the arias and duets from the operas by W.A. Mozart. Since 2008, she has regularly worked with Chamber Orchestra Berg (conductor: Peter Vrábel), which interprets the premieres of contemporary composers and important works of the 20th Century. She is also intensively dealing with the interpretation of the music of the Baroque with Collegium Vocale 1704 under the direction of Václav Luks. As a soloist she also works with the Prague Symphony Orchestra (conductor: Ondřej Kukal; since 2008), Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, and The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice. With the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc she made recordings of contemporary composers for PARMA Recordings. She attended many of the festivals of Baroque music, not only in the Czech Republic (the Prague Spring since 2009), Concentus Moravie, but also abroad, in Belgium and France.
In 2009, Hellerová sang at the Prague Spring as soprano solo in B. Martinů cantatas with the Kühn Mixed Choir conducted by Marek Vorlíček and recorded for The Czech Radio; soprano solo in George Frideric Handel’s Messiah with the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice at the Czech Opera Festival (Smetanova Litomyšl); with Musica Florea (an ensemble specialized in Baroque music) conducted by Marek Štryncl; and as soprano solo in A. Liehmann’s Missa Pastoralis, with the Prague Chamber Symphony conducted by Jaroslav Brych. In 2010, she sang soprano solo in Gustav Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic orchestra conducted by Stanislav Vavřínek; soprano solo in A. Dvořák's Stabat Mater with the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic orchestra conducted by Stanislav Vavřínek; and soprano solo in G.F. Handel’s Israel in Egypt with Baroque Academy Kelč conducted by Roman Válek. In 2011, she sang soprano solo in G.F. Handel’s Messiah, with Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704 conducted by Václav Luks in Prague and Dresden; soprano solo in Jan Dismas Zelenka’s Missa Votiva with Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704 conducted by Václav Luks in Prague and Dresden; soprano solo in J.S. Bach's St. John's Passion (BWV 245), with Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704 conducted by Václav Luks in Ostrava and Opava; and soprano solo in J.D. Zelenka’s Te Deum, with Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704 conducted by Václav Luks in Prague and Dresden.
CARA LATHAM, drawing from an extensive professional music theatre background, has received critical praise for her many roles in regional and state theaters including Maria in Bernstein’s West Side Story, Mabel in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, Louisa in The Fantasticks, and Sr. Amnesia in Nunsense. Along with Pamina in Magic Flute, and Marguerite in Faust with Berks Opera, her professional and academic opera credits include the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Mrs. Wordsworth in Britten’s Albert Herring, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutti with Concert Opera Philadelphia and Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. She performs regularly with the Symphonic Singers, Philadelphia’s Art Song Repertory Theater Company, and as a soloist on the Lyric Fest Recital Series and Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. Latham has taught voice and musical theater on the faculties of West Chester University, The Guthrie Theater and the Yale School of Drama. She holds a doctorate in Voice from Temple University as well as degrees in vocal performance from Oberlin Conservatory and the Yale School of Music.
Earlier on a very successful young violinist (Beethoven's Hradec competition 1964), Petr began his conducting career in 1971 at the Plzeň Opera, from where he moved to Ústí nad Labem as head of the opera company there. His musical development was greatly influenced by his successes in conducting competitions in Olomouc (1970), Besançon in France (1971) and in the Herbert von Karajan competition in Berlin (1973).
In 1978 Petr Vronský was appointed conductor of the State Brno Philharmonic and, during the years 1983-1991, he was its Chief Conductor. He took this orchestra on tour to many countries in Europe, in the United States and Japan. While he was working in Brno he also taught at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts. In the years 2002-2005 he was Chief Conductor of the Janáček's Philharmonic Ostrava, with whom he also travelled extensively on tour (Taiwan, Japan, Spain, Austria, Germany, Poland etc.). He has been Honorary Chief Conductor of the Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc since the 2005-2006 season, and he lectures on conducting at Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
Petr Vronský is regularly invited to conduct leading world orchestras (Royal Flemish Philharmonic in Antwerp, the Berlin Symphony, Istanbul Devlet Senfoni Orkestras, Tokyo's Metropolitan Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra in Rio de Janeiro, the Munich Radio Orchestra, the St Petersburg Philharmonic). He also works with the top orchestras in this country (Czech Philharmonic, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra) and with opera theatres at home (Prague's National Theatre, the State Opera in Prague, the Janáček Opera in Brno, J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plzeň) and abroad (Viennese Chamber Opera, Netherlands Dance Theatre in the Hague).
His repertoire comprises over two hundred symphonic and operatic works. He is regarded as a versatile conductor with a broad scope, and an exceptional disposition and sensitivity for musical interpretation. Vronský's discography is also fascinating, wide-ranging and highly acclaimed by the critics.
The MORAVIAN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA is one of the foremost and oldest symphony orchestras in the Czech Republic. It is based in the historical capital of Moravia, the city of Olomouc, and has been a leader of music activities in the region for the past 70 years. Its artistic development was directly influenced by distinguished figures from the Czech and international music scene. Namely, they include conductors like Otto Klemperer and Václav Neumann, violinists Josef Suk and Gidon Kremer, or violoncellist Pierre Fournier.
During the course of its long history, The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra has put together an exceptionally broad, rich and varied repertoire. Its focus is mostly on the grand figures of classical music of the 19th and 20th Century. Nonetheless, it also seeks to promote contemporary Czech and worldwide musical compositions, as evidenced by the fact that the Orchestra has performed over 250 new compositions. Moreover, the Orchestra is an authentic performer of Czech classics such as Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček, and Bohuslav Martinů.
The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra takes pride in having a rich discography under its belt and performing at renowned international festivals both in the Czech Republic and abroad. However, first and foremost, it is a cultural institution and a major contributor to the organization of artistic life in the region of Olomouc. It holds the Dvořák’s Olomouc festival and the International Organ Festival and also organizes a number of educational activities for children and young people.
The current director is conductor Petr Vronský. Notable collaborators include David Oistrakh, Václav Hudeček, Josef Suk (1929–2011) grandson of the composer, Sviatoslav Richter, Yehudi Menuhin, Václav Neumann, Libor Pešek, and others.
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