Seraphic Fire celebrates its 20th anniversary with a season of extraordinary artistry.
Globally renowned artists join Seraphic Fire to present American folk songs and spirituals, Spanish sacred and secular selections, two spectacular weeks of Bach, and three world premieres in a season punctuated with Thomas Tallis’ ‘Spem in alium.’
The 20th Anniversary season of Seraphic Fire is teeming with music representative of both the history and the innovation that has been a hallmark of Seraphic Fire and includes three world premieres. Each program has an antithetical theme such as LOVE | WAR, LIFE | DEATH, and BEGINNING | END. This diversity of selections in theme, composers, and era allows the audience to compare the emotions and experiences they have with the contrasting music. In November, Monteverdi displays his genius in painting the controversial picture of love and war and expertly vocalizing its emotional nuances in a selection from his madrigals, “War and Love.” OLD | NEW, the theme for January, enables the listener to compare and contrast the style of Copland with African-American composers such as William Dawson, Moses Hogan, Roland Carter and Hall Johnson. The LIFE | DEATH program during the Enlightenment Festival includes Cantata 170, a death cantata that features an incredible solo with alto Reginald Mobley and English horn. Also, in February, the Ascension Oratorio will be performed and is particularly thrilling with spectacular opening and closing trumpets, its coloratura passages, and equally challenging chorale.
Two highly talented guest conductors join Seraphic Fire to deliver unprecedented programs. In January, Jason Max Ferdinand, of the Jason Max Ferdinand Singers and the Oakwood Aolians, will lead a concert of American folk songs and spirituals. In March, internationally renowned Venezuelan conductor María Guinand joins Seraphic Fire with a program that contrasts Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude with sacred and secular Spanish-language music.
A Seraphic Fire Christmas continues to be an audience favorite. Recording a new Christmas CD album during these performances, the ensemble will present new and exciting selections as well as the best carols and songs from the past 20 years, including the popular Jesus Christ the Apple Tree sung by candlelight.
After hosting sell-out audiences in 2022, the third annual Enlightenment Festival will return in February 2023 with what Seraphic Fire does best: Bach, featuring two of the composer’s greatest oratorios and joined by period instrument orchestra and students from the UCLA Ensemble Artist Program.
Seraphic Fire’s closing concert in April is designed to be “the fireworks of a musical experience.” It includes three world premiere performances of works by Alvaro Bermudez, Sydney Guillaume, and Tawnie Olson and the ensemble’s first performance of Thomas Tallis’ massive 40-voice motet Spem in alium.
This season, Seraphic Fire will also collaborate with two world-class ensembles: Miami’s New World Symphony with a performance of Orff’s Carmina Burana conducted by Patrick Dupre Quigley, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra performing Haydn’s The Creation, led by their new music director Robert Spano.
“I don’t think any artist who sang with Seraphic Fire 20 years ago was wondering what the group would look like 20 years later,” reminisced Patrick Dupre Quigley, Seraphic Fire founder and artistic director. “Over two decades, Seraphic Fire has morphed from your friendly neighborhood singing group to a nationally-recognized classical music institution. One of the keys to our longevity has been our deep friendship with our audiences. We are cooperatively creating amazing music experiences with our patrons. Seraphic Fire reflects the intellectual curiosity of South Florida and has led us to pursue programming that not only entertains but informs.”
Subscriptions are on sale at SeraphicFire.org/Subscribe and by phone at 305.285.9060.
** = World Premiere Performance
* = Seraphic Fire Premiere
+ = Seraphic Fire Second Performance
LOVE | WAR
Patrick Dupre Quigley, conductor
To open its 20th Anniversary Season, Seraphic Fire explores the juxtaposition and intersection of love and war. Paul Crabtree’s When David Heard sets the tragic Biblical love story of David sending his son Absalom to war in aching contrast with disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law’s exclamations upon meeting Catholic victims of abuse. Peace comes in human form in Ileana Perez Velazquez’s Tu Paz Mia, a Seraphic Fire-commissioned work. Selections from Claudio Monteverdi’s Madrigals of War and Love—with groundbreaking and gorgeous counterpoint—round out the program.
Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel Sea Drift*
Crabtree, Paul When David Heard+
Monteverdi, Claudio Madrigali guerrieri et amorosi * (selections)
Perez Velazquez, Ileana^ Tu Paz Mia+
Williams, Roderick Love Bade Me Welcome*
^Commissioned with the support of a generous gift from William Jaume.
Thu, Nov 3, 7:30pm | Miami
Fri, Nov 4, 8:00pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Nov 5, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Nov 6, 4:00pm | Boca Raton
APPLE | TREE
James K. Bass, conductor
Within a serene candle-lit setting, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season will quiet and the a capella voices of Seraphic Fire will fill the room with musical peace and joy. Enjoy familiar favorites such as the hauntingly simple, yet lush Jesus Christ the Apple Tree and the enchanting Silent Night, and come away cherishing a newly discovered gem. Associate Conductor James K. Bass and the ensemble are pleased to present seasonal carols and heart-warming music in the 20th season of A Seraphic Fire Christmas.
Anonymous Adeste Fideles
DiOrio, Dominick Woods in Winter
Fissinger, Edwin I Saw Three Ships
Gjielo, Ola Away in a Manger
Gjielo The Holly and the Ivy
Gruber, Franz Silent Night
Niles, John Jacob I Wonder as I Wander
Praetorius, Michael In Dulci Jubilo
Praetorius, Michael Quem Pastores Laudavere
Poston, Elizabeth Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree
Rudoi, Paul Coventry Carol
Martin, Matthew Adam Lay ybounden
Wolters, Gottfried Maria Durch ein Dornwald Ging
Sun, Dec 4, 7:00pm | Naples
Wed, Dec 7, 7:00pm | Sarasota
Fri, Dec 9, 7:30pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Dec 10, 7:00pm | Miami Beach
Sun, Dec 11, 7:00pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Tue, Dec 13, 7:00pm | Boca Raton
Wed, Dec 14, 7:30pm | Miami
Fri, Dec 16, 8:00pm | Coral Gables
Sun, Dec 18, 4:00pm | South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
OLD | NEW
Jason Max Ferdinand, conductor
Guest conductor Jason Max Ferdinand leads a program that sees contemporary composers breathing new life into traditional melodies and texts. Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs blur the line between historic and contemporary. Originally written for baritone William Warfield and tenor Peter Pears, the Old American Songs dress traditional tunes in 20th-century clothing. Masterpieces by modernist Betty Jackson King and Renaissance man Thomas Tomkins meld with arresting contemporary gems by Ken Burton and Stacy Gibbs, sparkling against a backdrop of bedrock works by William Dawson, Moses Hogan, and Hal Johnson.
Burton, Ken Many are the Wonders*
Carter, Nathan If I Can Help Somebody*
Carter, Roland Lift Every Voice and Sing*
Copland, Aaron Old American Songs (selections)+
Dawson, William Zion’s Walls*
Stacy Gibbs/Sean Kirchner No Color*
Hogan, Moses My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord*
Johnson, Hal I Cannot Stay Here by Myself*
King, Betty Jackson Psalm 57*
Mulholland, James Keramos*
Robinson, Diedre Steal Away*
Thompson, Joel Hold Fast To Dreams*
Tomkins, Thomas When David Heard*
Thu, Jan 19, 7:00pm | Naples
Fri, Jan 20, 8:00pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Jan 21, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Jan 22, 4:00pm | Miami Beach
The Enlightenment Festival
The third annual Enlightenment Festival returns with two back-to-back weeks of choral-orchestral works. This year’s Festival will celebrate the music of Bach with programs highlighting the enduring composer’s sacred cantatas and oratorios.
Enlightenment Festival Week I
LIFE | DEATH
Patrick Dupre Quigley, conductor
During an age of high mortality, Johann Sebastian Bach experienced the stark and tenuous nature of life and death firsthand. As a result, Bach’s music of human existence and death is, unsurprisingly, probing and profound. Seraphic Fire sings two of Bach’s haunting cantatas on death, and Reginald Mobley is featured in the solo alto cantata Vergnügte Ruh in this musical evening of inspiration and reflection.
Bach, Johann Sebastian Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht*, BWV 105
Bach Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir*, BWV 131
Bach Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust*, BWV 170
Buxtehude, Dietrich Jesu, meines Lebens Leben*, BuxWV 62
Vivaldi, Antonio Laetatus sum+, RV 607
Thu, Feb 16, 7:30pm | Miami
Fri, Feb 17, 7:30pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Feb 18, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Feb 19, 4:00pm | Miami Beach
Enlightenment Festival Week II
BEGINNING | END
Patrick Dupre Quigley, conductor
Joyous arrivals and awe-inspiring departures feature in the closing concert of Seraphic Fire’s third annual Enlightenment Festival. Two cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio portray an expectant mother preparing for a child’s arrival and the Magi searching for that child. The Ascension Oratorio is particularly thrilling with spectacular opening and closing trumpets, its coloratura passages, and equally challenging chorale. Chamber orchestra and students from the UCLA Ensemble Artist Program join Seraphic Fire singers to perform two of Bach’s great works in a burst of sonic glory in this arresting program.
Bach, Johann Sebastian Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen*, BWV 11
Bach Jauchzet, frohlocket! *, BWV 248/1
Bach Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen*, BWV 248/5
Accompaniment by the Seraphic Fire Period Band
Thu, Feb 23, 7:00pm | Naples
Fri, Feb 24, 8:00pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Feb 25, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Feb 26, 4:00pm | Boca Raton
SACRED | PROFANE
María Guinand, conductor
María Guinand, internationally lauded director of the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, joins Seraphic Fire to weave a program that contrasts the heavenly love of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude with secular, Spanish-language Renaissance and contemporary works on earthly themes of humor, desire, and the sea. Disparity and contradiction are on display in this thought-provoking program.
Bach, Johann Sebastian Jesu meine Freude, BWV 227
Calcaño, José Antonio Evohé*
Carreño, Inocente Pregúntalea ese mar*
Castellanos, Gonzalo Al mar anochecido*
del Encina, Juan Cucú, Cucú*
Flecha, Mateo “El Viejo” La Bomba*
Flecha Teresica Hermana*
Galíndez, Otilio Caramba mi amor*
Guerrero, Francisco Claros y hermosos ojos*
Guinovart, Albert Cuando, me vaya*
Grau, Alberto Guararé*
Gavilán, Guido López El Guayaboso*
Wed, Mar 22, 7:30pm | Miami
Thu, Mar 23, 7:00pm | Naples
Fri, Mar 24, 7:30pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Mar 25, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Mar 26, 4:00pm | Miami Beach
FIRST | LAST
20th Anniversary Concert
Patrick Dupre Quigley, conductor
To honor the conclusion of our 20th Anniversary season, Seraphic Fire celebrates with a program containing both the oldest and newest pieces in our repertoire. William Billing’s Invocation was the first work performed by Seraphic Fire, and the first line of this American hymn—“Majestic God, our Muse inspire, and fill us with Seraphic fire”—is the source for the ensemble’s name. Shawn Crouch’s The Road From Hiroshima was the first piece of music commissioned and premiered by Seraphic Fire. Representing Seraphic Fire’s newest projects are three world premiere performances of works by Alvaro Bermudez, Sydney Guillame, and Tawnie Olson. The ensemble’s first performance of Thomas Tallis’ massive 40-voice motet Spem in alium is the icing on the birthday cake of this celebration of 20 years of glorious music.
Billings, William Invocation*
Bermudez, Alvaro^ Danzas del Silencio**
Crouch, Shawn Road from Hiroshima+
Guillaume, Sydney World Premiere TBA**
Olson, Tawnie^^ Beloved of the Sky**
Tallis, Thomas Spem in alium*
Thu, Apr 27, 7:00pm | Naples
Fri, Apr 28, 8:00pm | Coral Gables
Sat, Apr 29, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Apr 30, 4:00pm | Boca Raton
Alvaro Bermudez, guitar
UCLA Ensemble Artist Program, James K. Bass, director
University of Miami Ensemble Ibis, Shawn Crouch, director
University of Miami Ensemble Artist Program, Amanda Quist, director
^Commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
^^Commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University
Made possible by The Clinton Family Fund, Bruce and Martha Clinton and William Jaume.
TWO SPECIAL COLLABORATIVE PRESENTATIONS
Carmina Burana: Seraphic Fire Special Appearance with New World Symphony
Patrick Dupre Quigley, conductor
From the powerful “O, Fortuna” to the jaunty “Tempus est iocundum” and virtuosic “Dulcissime,” experience New World Symphony, Seraphic Fire, and students from the choral programs of Florida International University, Florida Memorial University, Miami-Dade College, and University of Miami performing Carl Orff’s cinematic illustration of fate, Carmina Burana. 2021 Leonard Bernstein Award recipient and international rising star pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason is soloist in Clara Schumann’s dramatic Piano Concerto. Then, Seraphic Fire steps to the fore with the New World Symphony in Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music for 16 solo voices and orchestra.
Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano
Florida International University Choral Department, Erynn Millard
Florida Memorial University Choral Department, Argarita Johnson-Palavicini, director
Miami-Dade College Choral Department, Misty Leah Bermudez, director
University of Miami Choral Department, Amanda Quist, director
Orff, Carl Carmina Burana
Schumann, Clara Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 7
Vaughan Williams, Ralph Serenade to Music
Sat, Jan 14, 8:00pm
Adrienne Arsht Center
Knight Concert Hall
To purchase tickets, visit nws.edu
Haydn: The Creation
Seraphic Fire Special Appearance with Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra
Robert Spano, conductor
Seraphic Fire will join Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra to close out Robert Spano’s inaugural season as Music Director with Haydn's monumental work, The Creation, a dramatic oratorio for vocal soloists, orchestra, and choir that renders the Biblical text in music. Acclaimed visual artist Elaine J. McCarthy - whose work has appeared at The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, on Broadway, and more - lends her talents to bring this ambitious production to life.
Fri, May 19, 7:30pm
Sat, May 20, 7:30pm
Sun, May 21, 2:00pm
Bass Performance Hall
4th and Calhoun Streets
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
To purchase tickets, visit fwsymphony.org