FLAMENCO MEETS VIVALDI took place at Arcosanti on Saturday, May 6, 2017.

This years event was beautiful, informative, lively and well performed.

The annual Vivaldi festival has been a favorite at Arcosanti for 19 years. Michel Sarda conceived the idea and his passion for Vivaldi is apparent in an unflagging effort over the years to bring Vivaldi’s music to Arizona and familiarize the audience with the amazing story of his life and time.

Michel is an Architect DPLG (Paris, France), who was born in France and moved to Phoenix, AZ in 1984. He established the Art Renaissance Foundation in 1992. Michel was part of the Cosanti Foundation Board of Directors for many years.

In the photo is Cosanti Foundation Co-Director Jeff Stein introducing Michel Sarda.

[photo by Sue Kirsch]

Michel is an accomplished author and photographer, some of his publications are: 

Monograph on Arizona sculptor John Henry Waddell (1996)
The Millennium Trilogy (3 books of portraits, 1999-2005, including a portrait of Paolo Soleri, Mary Hoadley and Roger Tomalty)
The Mind Garden – conversations with Paolo Soleri, 2007
Pathways to the Arts, 2008
Believing in Beauty – conversations with Vernon D. Swaback, 2009

In the photo is soprano Eileen Mager

[photo by lvb]

PROGRAM

Welcome Music Spring from The Four Seasons (1725)
Fabio Biondi & Europa Galante

Introduction by Michel Sarda
Who was Antonio Vivaldi?
Homage to the memory of Paolo Soleri
Vivaldi — Et in terra pax hominibus from Gloria RV 589
with Soleri bells

Ballerina Aubree Dagilis in her original choreography of

Allegro#1 of Vivaldi’s Cello Concerto RV 416 (Coin / Hogwood)

In the photo is Ballerina Aubree Dagilis.

[photo by lvb]

Duet of sopranos Eileen Mager & Helene Bianca
with pianist Luba Brodsky
Laudamus te — from Gloria RV 589

Soprano Helene Bianca
Aria Un certo non so che — Arsilda, Regina del Ponto (1716)

In Palazzo Ercolani, September, 1707
Jeff Stein (Narrator), Elley Reppond (Stradivarius), Michel (Vivaldi)
Agitato from Four Seasons’ Summer (recording Fabio Biondi)

[photo by lvb]

Fandango by Antonio Soler (1729-1783)
Original choreography and performance by Aubree Dagilis
Recording by Rafael Puyana, harpsicord

Duet of sopranos Eileen Mager & Helene Bianca
with pianist Luba Brodsky
Esurientes implevit bonis — from Vivaldi’s Magnificat

Soprano Eileen Mager
Aria, Sposa son disprezzata — from Bajazet RV 703 (1735)

A Change of Pace — Flamenco & Tap
Bernadette Gaxiola & Donnalee Sarda

Flamenco Meets Vivaldi with Bernadette Gaxiola & her dancers

Largo, from The Four Seasons’ Winter — by Fabio Biondi
Allegro from Violin Cto RV 177 —
by Giuliano Carmignola
Allegro of L’Estro Armonico Op 3 nº10 — by Neville Marriner

CAST

JEFF STEIN — the NARRATOR —is an architect, writer and copresident of the late Paolo Soleri’s Cosanti Foundation. An architecture critic and architecture school dean in Boston, he has taught in architecture schools in the US and in Europe. He knows a little about Vivaldi, but you should see his TED talk and blog about urban design at www.arcosanti.org

MICHEL SARDA — VIVALDI — created the Arizona Vivaldi Festival in 1998. The first performance ever was held at Arcosanti at the invitation of Paolo Soleri himself. Sarda, raised and schooled in Paris, France, is an architect, a writer, a photographer and publisher. An art advocate along with his wife Donnalee, he established the Art Renaissance Initiative in 1992.

EILEEN MAGER, SOPRANO — is a Cleveland-born concert and recording artist, actress, and director — has been performing solo recitals and appearing in concerts with Arizona’s orchestras and choral groups for many years.   She has been the Artistic Director for several Arizona Vivaldi Festivals, as well as a featured performer in many Festival concerts, including the American premieres of two of Vivaldi’s operas.

PIANIST LUBA BRODSKY graduated from Mussorgsky College of Music in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1990, she immigrated to the U.S., and soon became the accompanist at ASU Department of Dance and Choral Music, and also accompanied for Ballet Arizona. She taught piano at California’s UC Irvine. She has also accompanied such performers as Patrick Swayze, Irena Kolpakova, and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

HELENE BIANCA, SOPRANO has a long musical career singing a very eclectic repertoire going from Vivaldi’s Baroque arias to all-time favorite French songs. Helene’s recent involvement in the opera Kokopelli the Legend evolved from interpret to composer when tasked with writing the music for her own solo song — discovering in the process a new musical passion. She then composed the music for almost all the songs of the opera.

AUBREE DAGILIS started dancing at three at the Dance Studio in Prescott, Arizona.  She began her classical ballet training with The School of Ballet Arizona in 2007. has attended many summer dance programs, including Southwest Classical Dance Institute, School of Ballet Arizona, Boston Ballet, School of American Ballet, CPYB, American Ballet Theatre, and Ballet West. danced with Terpsicore Dance Company under the direction of Danna Parker from 2013-2016.

ELLEY REPPOND, playing the role of Stradivarius is excited to be joining us for the first time. Elley has performed in a number of theatrical performances including lead roles in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Jekyll & Hyde, Cats, Sweeny Tod, Oliver, Mamma Mia, Gypsy, and The Producers. Elley has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Geology. She also enjoys modeling and her two cats.

BERNADETTE GAXIOLA has performed in major venues/ festivals around the US and continues to perform/instruct/choreograph. Participation in the festival inspires her to push the boundaries of her craft in fusing Flamenco/Spanish Dance to the beautiful sounds of Vivaldi’s music. This is her 4th Vivaldi Festival.
With Alanna Romero and Master Ballet Academy Students: Alicen Carter – Avery Stamm – Catherine Lukner – Erina Ueda – Madison Penney – Wesleigh Dichter

*****************************************

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was born in Venice in a family of modest origin. His father Gian Battista, a barber, was a good violinist who introduced his son to music at an early age. At 12, Antonio was playing the violin at services in San Marco, the chapel of the Doge. Ordained a priest in 1703, Vivaldi was hired the same year to teach at the prestigious orphanage of La Pieta, an institution recognized as one of the best music schools in Europe. This position gave the young virtuoso the opportunity to create a large number of works and have them performed by excellent musicians. His involvement in the Venetian operatic scene for 25 years generated 50 operas. The “Red Priest” (because of the color of his hair) was possibly the most famous composer and violinist of his time. However, within a few years after his death in Vienna, his music and his name fell into oblivion. The unexpected discovery of hundreds of manuscripts of his music in the 1920s led to a spectacular revival.
Today, Vivaldi’s music is more popular than ever.

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