Day 4 of the Academy; Festival opens tonight! (Daily Festival log, July 11)

Jeffrey Thomas leads the first full rehearsal for the Mass in B Minor in the main concert hall on Wednesday night

Jeffrey Thomas leads the first full rehearsal for the Mass in B Minor in the main concert hall on Wednesday night

Whereas Wednesday was occupied by rehearsals for Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Thursday featured another big rehearsal for Handel’s L’Allegro, which will open the second weekend of performances on Friday, July 18. Just as Bach’s Inspiration will be explored and celebrated during this summer’s festival, Bach’s exact contemporary, George Frideric Handel, will also receive his due with an eagerly anticipated performance of this gorgeous work (you can read more about L’Allegro here). Many of the soloists from the Academy’s vocal studio will enjoy great opportunities to shine in L’Allegro’s many arias. I dropped in on the rehearsal for only a few minutes and heard four exquisite arias sung with great beauty by Michael Jankosky, Ben Kazez, Hailey Fuqua, and Anna Gorbachyova, each supported by a magnificent ensemble of Academy participants and faculty playing side by side. Due to the great demand for tickets to this performance, a few seats have been made available in the gallery seating behind the stage, but these won’t last long. If you don’t have a ticket yet, get one soon before they’re gone; you don’t want to miss this chance to hear one of Handel’s most entrancing works performed by this outstanding assemblage.

A quartet of Academy singers at Thursday's L’Allegro rehearsal: Ben Kazez, Jason Rylander, Hailey Fuqua, and Anna Gorbachyova

A quartet of Academy singers at Thursday’s L’Allegro rehearsal: Ben Kazez, Jason Rylander, Hailey Fuqua, and Anna Gorbachyova

ABS’s Executive Director Don Scott Carpenter introduced a feature of this year’s Academy curriculum: a lecture on the business side of the early music world that explored how emerging artists can best promote their performances and careers as artists. As many of the Academy participants are in various stages of the transition from Conservatory to career, this session’s emphasis on the uses of social media provided Academy participants with some helpful strategies to put into practice immediately. Look for these Academy participants on Twitter; if they weren’t there before, they are now.

L’Allegro rehearsal: Melissa Niemeyer and Arthur Omura are seated at the harpsichords and theorbo player Paul Morton is on the right

L’Allegro rehearsal: Melissa Niemeyer and Arthur Omura are seated at the harpsichords and theorbo player Paul Morton is on the right

The Academy was a beehive of activity all day. Along with leading their sections and master classes, members of the ABS Faculty rehearsed works they will perform at the opening night concert and at Saturday’s continuation of the Bach’s Inspiration program. Visiting soloists Mary Wilson, Eric Jurenas, and Derek Chester are now here and they immediately hopped aboard the Festival & Academy train. Mary and Eric joined the faculty for a rehearsal of Bach’s version of the Pergolesi Stabat Mater and Derek presented a master class for the Academy participants last night. Stay Calm; Festival On!

Continue with Day 5.