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Ninth Season
April–May 2011
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Laura Heines headshot FEATURE

Laura Heimes as Ino
Taking On the Crazy Beast

by Anne Hunter

When Tempesta di Mare’s artistic directors programmed Georg Philipp Telemann’s Ino—a one-act, one-person, grand-opera-in-miniature—as the season’s finale, they knew who they had to have for their star: Laura Heimes.

“We wanted Laurie because she’s a great singer and this vocal part is ridiculously virtuosic, real showstopper stuff,” says Gwyn Roberts, Tempesta di Mare’s Artistic Co-Director. “She’s got amazing charisma and stage presence, and Ino has to have a singer who can own a character while pulling off intense vocal acrobatics, and that’s Laurie.”

“I think we’re all about to take a fabulous ride, do you know?” says Heimes, as she was getting ready to take on the formidable character who is Ino. “I think this is going to be an express train from start to finish.”

Heimes is well known to Philadelphia audiences as one of America’s most accomplished and sought after early music vocalists. She’s in constant demand to work with the field’s leading figures and best groups, beloved for her shining sound, impeccable musicianship, and extraordinarily sensitive interpretation of music and text.

Ino gives her the chance to strut some real diva stuff. A character from Greek myth, Ino is a human forced to risk her own life and her child’s by drowning. Sea spirits save the two of them and grant them immortality. In a musical journey that really earns the description “tour de force,” Ino takes its heroine from terror to grief and finally to transcendent peace over the course of half an hour.

(article continues below)

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Telemann’s Ino
a riveting, blood-and-guts cantata by an 84-year-old master
with soprano Laura Heimes, plus music by Fasch & Janitsch

May 20 & 21

Tempesta di Mare Orchestra with Laura Heimes, soprano

Ouverture Grosso in G
  modern premiere
Johann Gottlieb Janitsch
Ino, TWV 20:41
Georg Philipp Telemann
Concerto for Orchestra in D, FWV L:D5 Johann Friedrich Fasch

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Telemann’s Ino
a riveting, blood-and-guts cantata
by an 84-year-old master

plus works by Fasch and Janitsch

  • May 20 (Center City)
  • May 21 (Chestnut Hill)

Click the ticket roll image to order your seats today.


Fri, May 20 at 8:00 pm
Arch Street Meeting House
320 Arch Street
Center City

Sat, May 21 at 8:00 pm
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
8855 Germantown Avenue
Chestnut Hill

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FEATURE (continued)

Called by Telemann expert Steven Zohn “the outstanding masterpiece of his later years,” Ino holds a special place in the composer’s work. Telemann was an undimmed 84 years old when he wrote the piece in 1765.  He’d lived long enough to witness the end of one era—the baroque, on which he had left an indelible mark—and the beginning of a new one, classicism.

Georg Philipp Telemann But Telemann wasn’t a grumpy, cranky old man clinging desperately to past glories. In his 70s and 80s, Telemann embraced change like an old friend and was much admired for it at the time by young German composers who idolized him. While still trademark Telemann, Ino is steeped in the early classicism of Glück with even a little Mozart in the future.

All of which gives the show’s star a boatload of vocal opportunities. Ornamentations and cadenzas to improvise. Strange and unusual harmonies. Recitatives winding in and out of arias, accompanied by full orchestra. An ongoing dialogue between the singer and instrumentalists—including horns—that peppers the tale with sound effects to conjure up Ino’s magical underwater kingdom.

“It’s a stretch harmonically, it’s a stretch vocally,” says Heimes. “I can’t imagine that everyone is not looking at this score and going, OK, we have our work cut out for us … but in the best possible way.” She’s looking forward to the ride, her first with Tempesta’s orchestra. “That’s what this group is known for. They’ve really made a name for themselves with exciting, electrifying performances.”

“She’s a crazy beast, though!” says Heimes happily about Ino, the amazing woman that she’ll be bringing to diva-sized life.

You can count on it.

Anne Hunter, Contributing Editor,
is a writer and art historian living in Philadelphia.

Get tickets for Telemann's Ino here.

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June Collaborations
Tempesta joins The Crossing
and the Philadelphia Bach Festival

This June, Tempesta di Mare collaborates with two of our peer organizations to bring you two more programs here in Philadelphia.

On Sunday, June 4th, the Philadelphia Bach Festival presents the Tempesta di Mare Chamber Players performing Bach Trio Sonatas: the six Organ Trio Sonatas re-imagined for chamber ensemble. We’ll perform these on recorder, two violins, cello, lute and harpsichord.

Two weeks later, on Saturday, June 18th, we collaborate with the extraordinary Philadelphia chamber choir The Crossing (pictured below) for the world-premiere performance of The Waking Sun, a new work composed for this occasion by acclaimed local composer Kile Smith. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the websites of the Philadelphia Bach Festival and The Crossing.

The Crossing

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Bus to Newark TOUR REPORT

Gute Reise
Tempesta’s Trip to Germany

by Gwyn Roberts

On Wednesday, April 6th, eighteen members of Tempesta di Mare and our Managing Director/Tour Manager Ulrike Shapiro boarded a chartered bus in South Philadelphia and headed to Newark to catch a plane to Germany.

This was a first. Tempesta has toured since 1996 when our first CD of Veracini Recorder Sonatas was released, and we have been to Europe twice before, to premiere the Weiss lute concerti at the 2000 Prague Spring Festival and for a German tour in 2009 that included a concert at the famed Göttingen Handel Festival. Fasch WearBut all of those earlier trips were with our chamber ensemble. Traveling as an orchestra is an entirely different operation. Hence the bus.

This tour was all about the music of Johann Friedrich Fasch, the Bach-contemporary whose orchestral music we have been premiering, recording and championing for the past four years. Our anchor concert for this tour would be in Zerbst, the town in Eastern Germany where Fasch worked for most of his life, and where we would play an all-Fasch concert for a room full of Fasch experts and enthusiasts at the International Fasch Festival. We were the first non-European orchestra ever invited to perform at this festival, which draws experts from around the globe and audiences from the entire region, so the stakes were extra-high.

After landing in Berlin on Thursday morning, we hopped on another charter bus and traveled south for two hours to Zerbst. We moved into our home-base lodgings at Domäne Badetz, an historic hunting lodge and farm outside the city that has been turned into a comfortable hotel with an excellent restaurant. The proprietor and his staff took excellent care of us, serving up feasts consisting almost entirely of food raised on the premises, Badetzsupplemented with game hunted in the surrounding woods.

Friday was a day off, and many of our group hopped on the train to visit Bach’s church in nearby Leipzig or to see the sights of Magdeburg, where Telemann was born. Richard and I attended the morning musicology sessions at the Fasch festival, and yet another group took a walk in the beautiful, bucolic surroundings of our home in Badetz. We also caught a few concerts at the Fasch festival.

On Saturday, we boarded our bus in the morning and drove two hours into the Harz mountains to the beautiful medieval Michaelstein Abbey, outside Magdeburg, for our first concert. Michaelstein warmupWe rehearsed in the hall, then split into two groups to eat at the only two restaurants in the area: a fish place, specializing in various preparations of the local trout, and a restaurant with a more varied menu, including herbs and vegetables from the Kloster’s historic garden and an awesome selection of fancy cakes.

Our concert that night was sold out, and we played one of our best performances ever. The crowd came together in a chorus of rhythmic clapping at the end to encourage us to play an encore. We finished the evening with a Fasch fugue that coincidentally takes the theme from Rocky as its subject—perfect for South Philadelphia’s baroque orchestra. The writeup in the local press called our show “a spectacular concert.” Why, thank you!

Zerbst warmup

On Sunday, we had a much shorter bus ride from Badetz into Zerbst for our concert at the Fasch Festival. Our performance was in the Katharina-Saal, named for Catherine the Great, who grew up in the castle right next door. We paused on the way in to photograph Eve and Edmond wearing their fantastic Fasch outfits, standing under an appropriate street sign (see insert). Then, into the hall for a warmup and our final show. We played another of our very finest performances that afternoon, and the audience responded warmly once again, clapping until we rewarded them with that Rocky-themed encore.

Badetz LunchOur hosts from the Fasch Festival joined us that evening for a celebratory feast back at Badetz, including much good German beer and more than a few glasses of eau-de-vie distilled from pears and herbs from the property. Then, off to bed, and up again at dawn to board the 5AM bus back to the Berlin airport.

Some of us stayed on for a few more days or weeks to visit friends and/or see the sights. Richard and I dove into the music archives of the Berlin Staatsbibliothek for the rest of the week to get new repertoire for upcoming seasons.

It was a whirlwind of a tour and a huge success. Check our website for two rave reviews, and peruse our Facebook page for more photos and commentary.

We can’t wait to do it again!

Gwyn Roberts is Artistic Co-Director of Tempesta di Mare.

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