CAFÉ D’ARTEK Lasciatemi Morire: Beyond Monteverdi


St. Michael’s Church, The Hall
225 West 99th Street New York
United States
Thursday, March 30, 2017Friday, March 31, 2017

The Café d’ARTEK is an acoustically excellent venue set up as a café, with small candlelit tables for the audience as well as complimentary wine and sparkling water.

This year’s program, Lasciatemi Morire: Beyond Monteverdi, is an exploration of Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna, through the predecessors inspiring Monteverdi and the imitators inspired by Monteverdi. The program includes, in addition to Monteverdi’s Lamento D’Arianna and Lamento d’Armida, madrigals by Prè Maria Riccio (fl. c.1544), Stefano Rossetti (d. c.1581), Pietro Vinci (c.1525-after 1584), Claudio Pari (1574-after 1619), and Antonio Il Verso (1565-1621).

Four performances:                                                                                                             

Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Friday, March 31, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Tickets:                       $50 (students & seniors $30).

                                     Online at: or,

                                    Telephone (212) 866-0468, or

                                    At the door (as available)

ARTEK has become well-known as America’s foremost ensemble interpreting the madrigal repertoire of the 16th and 17 centuries. The great Claudio Monteverdi, undisputed master of the early 17th century, received his reputation in large part because of the famous Lamento d’Arianna, “Lasciatemi morire,” a solo tour de force from his lost opera Arianna (1608) set to poetry by Rinuccini. However, Monteverdi’s first publication of the Lamento in 1614 was not for solo voice but instead as a five-part madrigal cycle. The tradition of using a madrigal cycle to illustrate the sufferings of love goes back to the poet Ariosto and settings of his Lamento d’Olimpia (Orlando Furioso) in the 16th century. Separately, the text “Lasciatemi morire” was set in music as the opening phrase of a madrigal (poet unknown) as early as 1544. Monteverdi himself foreshadowed the musical setting of “Lamento d’Arianna” with his setting of Tasso’s Lamento d’Armida in his madrigals, Book 3, published in 1592. After the publication of Monteverdi’s five-part madrigal cycle in 1614, other composers eagerly paid homage with their own imitations. Two Sicilian (Palermo) composers in particular, Antonio Il Verso and Claudio Pari, published their own Lamento d’Arianna madrigals in 1619 . Il Verso sets the first verse of Rinuccini’s Lasciatemi text, but Pari, after setting the first verse, goes on to set eleven anonymous verses paraphrasing not only the remainder of Rinuccini’s Arianna text but also texts from the Lamento d’Olimpia by Ariosto.

ARTEK’s program Lasciatemi Morire: Beyond Monteverdi is an exploration of Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna, through the predecessors inspiring Monteverdi and the imitators inspired by Monteverdi. The program includes, in addition to Monteverdi’s Lamento D’Arianna and Lamento d’Armida, madrigals by Prè Maria Riccio (fl. c.1544), Stefano Rossetti (d. c.1581), Pietro Vinci (c.1525-after 1584), Claudio Pari (1574-after 1619), and Antonio Il Verso (1565-1621). The madrigals display a progression of increasing emotional intensity, culminating in the masterpieces of Monteverdi, but the mannerist late madrigals of Pari and Il Verso are also fascinating in their extreme dissonances and expressivity.

ARTEK Performers will be Laura Heimes, soprano; Clara Rottsolk, soprano; Barbara Hollinshead, mezzo-soprano; Ryland Angel, countertenor; Andrew Fuchs, tenor; Philip Anderson, tenor; Peter Becker, bass-baritone. Gwendolyn Toth will direct and will also perform selected movements as keyboard intabulations.

ARTEK, founded by director Gwendolyn Toth in 1986, features America’s finest singers and instrumentalists in performances of 17th and 18th century repertoire from Italy and Germany. Audiences love ARTEK concerts for their exciting, dramatic performances of baroque music, with compelling musical settings of beautiful poetry and infectious dance rhythms that infuse the performances with vitality and spirit. In addition to acclaimed performances of I’ll Never See the Stars Again, highlights of past seasons include standing-ovation performances to sell-out crowds at the Regensburg (Germany) Tage Alter Musik Festival (1998 and 2003) and debut performances at the prestigious Boston Early Music Festival (2003) and the Berkeley Early Music Festival (2010). ARTEK toured internationally from 1997 to 2002 with the Mark Morris Dance Group, visiting major venues in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Canada as well as more than 50 of America’s premier theaters. ARTEK’s recordings of Monteverdi’s Orfeo , Monteverdi’s Madrigals Book V and other early Italian repertoire have been widely praised; the ensemble’s 2017 recording project is Monteverdi’s Madrigals, Book VII. (

About the artists of ARTEK

Praised for her “sparkle and humor, radiance and magnetism” and hailed for “a voice equally velvety up and down the registers,” soprano Laura Heimes is widely regarded as an artist of great versatility, with repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. She has collaborated with many of the leading figures in early music, including Andrew Lawrence King, Julianne Baird, Tempeste di Mare, The King’s Noyse, Paul O’Dette, Chatham Baroque, Apollo’s Fire, The New York Collegium, The Publick Musick, Brandywine Baroque, Trinity Consort, and Piffaro – The Renaissance Band, a group with whom she has toured the United States. She has been heard at the Boston, Connecticut and Indianapolis Early Music Festivals, at the Oregon and Philadelphia Bach Festivals under the baton of Helmuth Rilling, at the Carmel Bach Festival under Bruno Weil, and in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil in concerts of Bach and Handel. With the Philadelphia Orchestra she appeared as Mrs. Nordstrom in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Ms. Heimes has recorded for Dorian, Pro Gloria Musicae, Plectra Music, Sonabilis, Albany and Avian records.

Soprano Clara Rottsolk has been lauded by The New York Times for her “clear, appealing voice and expressive conviction.” In a repertoire extending from the Renaissance to the contemporary, her solo appearances with orchestras and chamber ensembles have taken her across the United States, the Middle East, Japan and South America. She has sung with the American Bach Soloists, Tempesta di Mare, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Les Délices, Pacific MusicWorks, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, Magnificat Baroque, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Piffaro, Colorado Bach Ensemble among many. She has performed at the Carmel Bach Festival, Indianapolis Early Music Festival, Berkeley Early Music Festival, Philadelphia Bach Festival, Whidbey Island Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, and the Festival de Música Barroca de Barichara (Colombia) as well as on myriad concert series across the country. Her recordings are Myths and Allegories, French Baroque cantatas with Les Délices and “supple and stylish…and unflaggingly attractive” (Gramophone Magazine) Scarlatti Cantatas with Tempesta di Mare on the Chandos-Chaconne label. Currently Ms. Rottsolk is based in Philadelphia and teaches voice at Swarthmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges.

Mezzo-soprano Barbara Hollinshead has been a member of ARTEK since 1995. A popular soloist in the Washington, DC area, the Washington Post has described her as singing with “an artful simplicity that illuminated the text and beguiled the ear.” She studied with Max van Egmond in the Netherlands, and has since sung under the baton of Christopher Hogwood and Andrew Parrott, appeared with many of the finest early music groups in eastern North America including Tafelmusik, Chatham Baroque, and the Four Nations Ensemble, and is a regular guest artist with the Folger Consort, Opera Lafayette, and the Washington Bach Consort. This season she has also been featured with Ensemble VIII in Austin, Texas and several performances with the Bethlehem Bach Choir. Her discography includes works by Carissimi, Rossi, Bach, and Mrs. H.H.A. Beach, as well as two recordings with lutenist Howard Bass of English lute songs and French airs de cour. She has made numerous recordings in genres from Sephardic Song to music of Mrs. H.H.A. Beach.

Born on St. Cecilia’s Day, the British countertenor Ryland Angel has built an international reputation on both the opera and concert stage, in repertoire ranging from the baroque era to new operatic commissions throughout Europe and the USA. He has performed with William Christie, René Jacobs, Ivor Bolton, Nicholas McGegan, Roy Goodman, Christophe Rousset, Philippe Herreweghe, Christophe Coin, Gabriel Garrido, Cantus Köln, Le Concert Spirituel, Le Parlement de Musique, Ensemble La Fenice, Les Folies Françaises, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra of San Francisco, as well as ARTEK. Mr. Angel has performed on over 50 recordings of baroque and contemporary music and additionally with Bobby McFerrin, and received a Grammy nomination in 2006. He composed the score and sang the title track of the forthcoming Warner Bros. documentary film The Mystery of Dante. He is also featured on film soundtracks of Le Petit Prince, Le Peau, Henry IV, Machete, and the PBS TV special Heavenly Voices.

Tenor Philip Anderson is in the cast of the Philip Glass opera, Einstein on the Beach, which is currently touring the world. Hailed for his “voice of liquid warmth and easy stage presence,” he is much in demand among early music ensembles. In New York he sings regularly with ARTEK, My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort and has been a guest artist with Chatham Baroque, Lionheart, Mark Morris Dance Group, The New York Collegium, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Piffaro, and The Waverly Consort. For three seasons he toured the United States in the title role of The Play of Daniel with New York’s Ensemble for Early Music. In Europe he has sung at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Tage Alter Musik Festival in Regensburg and Festival Scarlatti in Sicily. In the spring of 2007 he appeared on Broadway in Coram Boy. His recordings include the Grammy nominated O Magnum Mysterium with the Tiffany Consort, John Dowland’s First Book of Songs with My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort, Madrigals of Monteverdi with ARTEK, Jane’s Hand - The Jane Austen Songbooks with Julianne Baird, and Music of Kapsperger with Chatham Baroque.

A native of Kansas City, MO, tenor Andrew Fuchs recently made his Lincoln Center debut in Bach’s Magnificat with the American Classical Orchestra. Other concert performances include the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion, Haydn’s The Creation, Britten’s Saint Nicolas, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. An avid recitalist, Andrew spent two summers as a Vocal Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center where he worked closely with Dawn Upshaw, Håkan Hagegård, and Mark Morris. He was also a Stern Fellow at SongFest, and attended the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, a highly-competitive, week-long program that focuses on American art song by living composers, led by Stephanie Blythe. Highlights from his operatic credits include Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Carissimi’s Jephte, Acis (Acis and Galatea), Zotico (Cavalli's Eliogabalo), and Tom Rakewell in abridged performances of The Rake's Progress. Mr. Fuchs is also a member of the Choir of Trinity Wall Street where he is a frequent soloist on their “Bach at One” series at St. Paul's Chapel.

Bass-baritone Peter Becker has performed throughout the USA, Europe, Asia, and South America in repertoire ranging from medieval to contemporary. Theater credits include performances with Canadian Opera Company, Macerata Festival, Teatro Opera di Roma, the New York Shakespeare Festival, Glimmerglass Opera, the 21st Century Consort, and the Broadway show Band in Berlin. Guest appearances include those with Tafelmusik, Smithsonian Chamber Players, Magnificat, the Newberry Consort, Folger Consort, Portland Baroque, ARTEK, and Mr. Becker has performed at a number of festivals including Spoleto (Italy and USA), Caramoor, Ravinia, Aldeburgh, Utrecht, Hong Kong, Ravenna, Jerusalem, Macao, Miyazaki, and Saratoga. As a member of Hudson Shad, he has performed with such distinguished conductors as Kurt Masur (New York Philharmonic), Zubin Mehta (Los Angeles Philharmonic), Michael Tilson Thomas (San Francisco Symphony), Charles Dutoit (Philadelphia Orchestra), Dennis Russell Davies (Austrian Radio Orchestra, and the Bruckner Orchester Linz), Bruno Bartoletti (Orchestra Regionale Toscana), and Ingo Metzmacher (Orchestra Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia).

Recognized as one of America’s leading performers on early keyboard instruments, ARTEK Founder and Director Gwendolyn Toth performs with equal ease on the harpsichord, organ, and fortepiano. Her interpretations have been acclaimed for their spirit and intelligence, and her technique is founded on historical performance principles of fingering, articulation, and phrasing. She has been heard in concerts throughout North America, Europe and the Far East, and on radio networks in Holland, Germany, France, and America’s National Public Radio. She has performed in festivals in Boston, Berkeley and Indianapolis, USA; Utrecht, Holland; Regensburg, Germany; Edinburgh, Scotland; Trevi nel Lazio Italy, and the Czech Republic. As a soloist and recording artist on historical organs, Ms. Toth tours each summer in Europe, performing on organs such as the 1434 organ in Sion, Switzerland; the 1509 organ in Trevi, Italy; the 1531 organ in Krewerd, Netherlands; the 1649 organ in Zeerijp, Netherlands; the 1696 Arp Schnitger organ in Noordbroek, Netherlands; and the 1714 organ in St. Michael’s Church, Vienna, among many others. Ms. Toth also has an active career as a conductor of historical performance ensembles, orchestras, and opera.