Seraphic Fire plans a bountiful post-pandemic season

By Lawrence Budmen

Patrick Quigley will open Seraphic Fire’s 2021-22 season November 4-7 with Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.

A valedictory masterpiece by Pergolesi, an encore performance of a major score by Hildegard von Bingen, the second Enlightenment Festival featuring works by Henry Purcell and J.S. Bach, and a complete performance of Handel’s Messiah highlight Seraphic Fire’s 2021-2022 season.

“We, the artists and staff of Seraphic Fire, are incredibly excited to return to musical normalcy,” said artistic director Patrick Dupré Quigley, in a released statement. “After a year of producing many hours of programming for our audiences who were confined to their homes, it is a great relief to know that we will be able to return to that very special audience-ensemble relationship that we have with our enthusiastic supporters in South Florida.”

Artistic director Patrick Dupré Quigley leads Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, written in the last weeks of the composer’s life, on November 4-7 to open the season. Soprano Lauren Snouffer and countertenor Reginald Mobley are the featured soloists. Associate conductor James K. Bass takes the podium for “Twas the Night,” the choir’s annual Christmas program December 7-19.

A repeat performance of Benedictine abbess von Bingen’s musical morality play Odo Virtutum (Play of Virtues), in celebration of Seraphic Fire’s upcoming CD release of the score, will be sung by the group’s female voices under Quigley’s direction January 20-23, 2022. The staged performance will be helmed by opera director Francesca Zambello.

The Enlightenment Festival returns opens February 17-20 with “If Music Be the Food of Love” featuring soprano Margot Root and lutenist John Lenti performing love songs by Henry Purcell and Thomas Moore. Quigley also directs ensemble members in a program of English madrigals. The festival will conclude with Quigley conducting a program of sacred music by Bach with chamber orchestra. The Mass in G minor and cantatas “Nun komm, der Heiden Helland” and “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben” (which includes the familiar “Jesu, joy of man’s desiring”) are the concert’s major offerings.

Franz Biebl’s Ave Maria is the centerpiece of a program of works for male voices under Bass March 23-27. Sea shanties and German part-songs share the bill of fare with new works by Ileana Vazquez and University of Miami student composer in residence Melissa D’Albora. 

The season concludes with Quigley directing the choir’s first complete performance of Handel’s Messiah since 2004, presented in commemoration of the Easter season (as the composer originally intended) April 28-31.

Performances will take place at venues in Miami, Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Cutler Bay and Naples.

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Fri Mar 12, 2021
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