January 15, 2014

NEC Opera Presents Fully Staged Production of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, February 8—11, 2014

Production Conducted by Joseph Mechavich; Directed by Steven Goldstein

New England Conservatory Opera will present a fully staged production of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, February 8—14, 2014 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont St. in Boston. Joseph Mechavich, Principal Conductor of Kentucky Opera, will conduct and Steven Goldstein of the NEC faculty, will direct the stellar all-student cast and orchestra in four performances. The opera will be performed in Italian with English surtitles.

Claudio Monteverdi’s infrequently performed 17th century opera is marked by music of great sensuality and a libretto that is stunningly modern in its treatment of sexual obsession, ambition, treachery, and the corrupting influence of unlimited political power. Based on a true story, L’Incoronazione di Poppea, presents the powerful love story of the Emperor Nero and his mistress Poppea and her ascendancy to the throne of Empress despite opposition on all fronts.  Indeed, after numerous interfering characters are banished or have died, Nero and Poppea crown their victorious love with one of the most ravishing duets in all of opera.

Performances take place February 8 at 8 pm, February 9 at 3 pm, and February 10 and 11 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20, $16 for students/seniors; 2 for 1 with WGBH Member ID. To order, go online or call 617-824-8000.

Joseph Mechavich, Biography

Regarded as a conductor of authority and warmth, Joseph Mechavich is known for his exceptional artistry and infectious energy which he brings to every performance. In 2012 he presided over Jake Heggie’s highly acclaimed opera Moby-Dick for both San Diego Opera and Calgary Opera. He has also conducted Il barbiere di Siviglia for The Washington National Opera, Porgy and Bess for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Madama Butterfly for New York City Opera and Roméo et Juliette for Florida Grand Opera. Recent engagements include La boheme for Kentucky Opera, The Telephone/The Medium for Opera Naples, Tosca for Dayton Opera and La traviata for The Florentine Opera in 2013. Upcoming engagements are Silent Night and Madama Butterfly for Calgary Opera; Fidelio for Kentucky Opera in 2014; as well A Street Car Named Desire for Kentucky Opera and Nixon in China for San Diego Opera, both in 2015.

Joseph Mechavich studied at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Yale University School of Music.

What the critics say about Joseph Mechavich:
“The orchestra, conducted by Joseph Mechavich is superb.”-Valerie Lord, SARATOGA WIRE writing about Opera Saratoga’s Lucia di Lammermoor.

“Conductor Joseph Mechavich led the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in a sensitively handled performance that supported the cast, giving principals plenty of interpretive freedom.” – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Milwaukee performance of La Traviata

For further information, check the NEC Website or call the NEC Concert Line at 617-585-1122.  NEC’s Jordan Hall, Brown Hall, Williams Hall and the Keller Room are located at 30 Gainsborough St., corner of Huntington Ave. Pierce Hall is located at 241 St. Botolph St. between Gainsborough and Mass Ave.

A cultural icon approaching its 150th anniversary in 2017, New England Conservatory (NEC) is recognized worldwide as a leader among music schools. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, on the Avenue of the Arts in the Fenway Cultural District, NEC offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate music students from around the world. Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide. Half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC-trained musicians and faculty.

NEC is the oldest independent school of music in the United States. Founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee, an American music educator, choral conductor and organist, its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions. On the college level, NEC features training in classical, jazz, and Contemporary Improvisation. Graduate and post-graduate programs supplement these core disciplines with orchestral conducting and professional chamber music training. Additional programs, such as the Sistema Fellows, a professional training program for top postgraduate musicians and music educators that creates careers connected to music, youth, and social change, and Entrepreneurial Musicianship, a cutting-edge program integrating professional and personal skills development into the musical training of students to better develop the skills and knowledge needed to create one’s own musical opportunities, also enhance the NEC experience.

Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Programs and Partnerships Program, the Conservatory provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, and adults. Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music, jazz, and Contemporary Improvisation. Currently more than 750 young artists from 46 states and 39 foreign countries attend NEC on the college level; 1,400 young students attend on the Preparatory level; and 325 adults participate in the Continuing Education program.

The only conservatory in the United States designated a National Historic Landmark, NEC presents more than 900 free concerts each year. Many of these take place in Jordan Hall (which shares National Historic Landmark status with the school), world-renowned for its superb acoustics and beautifully restored interior. In addition to Jordan Hall, more than a dozen performance spaces of various sizes and configurations are utilized to meet the requirements of the unique range of music performed at NEC, from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to big band jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, and opera scenes. Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre or Paramount Center in Boston, and a semi-staged performance in Jordan Hall. This past 2012-2013 season, the operas produced were Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, and Rossini’s La Gazzetta.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Senior Communications Specialist
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115