Tuesday, July 10 – Saturday, July 14, 2012
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) is one of the world’s most prolific and beloved composers. The catalog of his works includes symphonies, operas, chamber music, songs, marches, and music for every instrument, composed with a style immediately recognizable in its sublime beauty and graceful proportions.
Mozart Camp brings Mozart devotees together to explore the work of this singular genius, through lectures, films, discussions, chamber music concerts, vocal recitals, staged readings, dinners and museum visits. Participants will be immersed in Mozart’s music, discovering some relatively unknown and rarely-performed works. Mozart Campers will be encouraged to share their own experiences and insights with other participants. The camp culminates with The Magic Flute, sung in English in a sparkling new production directed by SummerFest artistic director Jonathan Eaton. Set in the lush and verdant Fox Chapel suburb just north of downtown Pittsburgh, Mozart Camp takes place in The Hillman Center for Performing Arts on the campus of Shady Side Academy. With convenient access to dining, shopping, lodging, and recreational facilities, Fox Chapel offers an ideal setting for the week.
Key elements in the five-day Mozart Camp include:
Each day of the Mozart Camp begins with a “Kaffee und Kuchen” session which serves as an introduction to the day’s program. A daily formal lecture, presented by our roster of noted Mozart scholars, explores Mozart’s craft and the world in which he was composing:
Bringing “The Magic Flute” to Life—Artistic director Jonathan Eaton offers a behind-the-scenes look at transforming the printed score into a fully-realized opera performance. Discover how sets, costumes, staging, historical references, musical interpretation, and the director’s concept shape and guide a new production.
Recent Research Discoveries on “Die Zauberflöte” and the Schikaneder Circle—Emanuel Schikaneder, although best known as the librettist for The Magic Flute, was also an impresario, dramatist, actor, singer, and composer. He contributed to the collaborative opera Der Stein der Weisen (1790), along with Mozart, Franz Xaver Gerl and Benedikt Schack. (In The Magic Flute’s premiere, Gerl appeared in the role of Sarastro, his wife Barbara Reisinger as Papagena, and Schack as Tamino.) Dr. David Buch (University of Chicago), who discovered the work, explores this creative group and the links between Der Stein der Weisen and The Magic Flute of the following year.
Mozart’s Humor—How delicious that the composer of the sublime Requiem Mass also wrote salacious and scatological bar-room songs! We’ll sing some of these together as Mozart enthusiast Rudolph Weingarter walks us through a look at Mozart’s sense of humor in works for voice, chamber ensemble, and the stage, and hear how contemporary composers remain inspired by Mozart’s music and humor.
The Enlightenment, Freemasonry, and Political Commentary in “The Magic Flute”— Mozart’s final opera is filled with Masonic themes and imagery, and Professor James Cassaro (Finney Music Library, University of Pittsburgh) explores these in the greater context of the political and social history of the period.
The Controversies Surrounding Mozart’s Death—popularized in stage plays and movies, the conspiracy theories surrounding Mozart’s alleged poisoning by rival Antonio Salieri live on. Dr. Eugene Myers (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) brings a physician’s keen eye to the physical evidence and offers a diagnosis.
The only way to truly appreciate Mozart’s sublime musical output is to hear it in live performance by sensitive and skilled musicians. The Mozart in Concert series brings together, in four concerts, international guest soloists with local music ensembles to present rarely-performed works by Mozart, including the Divertimento for violin, viola, and cello (K563) and the Clarinet Quintet in A-major (K581), considered among Mozart’s finest compositions. Post-concert discussions offer an opportunity for participants and musicians to share observations and impressions of the selections.
Featured ensembles include the Pittsburgh Chamber Players (comprised of members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra), the Freya String Quartet, and the SummerFest Wind Ensemble with guest soloist Eleanor Weingartner, principal clarinetist with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of Mexico City.
Mozart wrote extensively for voice, and Mozart Camp offers participants a chance to experience rare live performances of the composer’s 31 songs. With themes touching on the beauty of Spring, love, loss, and regret, the songs display Mozart’s ability to craft small “mini operas,” full of feeling and pathos. Each day offers a short program of these songs, performed by members of SummerFest’s Young and Resident Artist programs.
Encountered even more rarely are performances of Mozart’s songs for castrato. In order to provide participants with an opportunity to hear these songs in as close to their original sound as possible, Mozart Camp presents countertenor Andrey Nemzer in recital. Nemzer was the first place winner of the 2011 Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, and has gone on to win the prestigious 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Also on the same program is Mozart and Constanze: Arias for Soprano, performed by our Young and Resident Artist Program artists, in vocal works for soprano and ensemble Mozart may have composed for his talented wife.
On Saturday, July 14, Mozart Camp relocates to the Frick Art & Historical Center, located on exquisite landscaped grounds in Pittsburgh’s East End. The museum and its multiple collections are the legacy of Helen Clay Frick, daughter of Henry Clay Frick, one of America’s great industrialists and art collectors. The day’s lectures and chamber music concert will be held in the Frick’s attractive auditorium, and Mozart Camp participants will have an opportunity to visit the galleries of 18th century art that so beautifully depict the Mozartean era.
Mildred Miller Posvar, internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano and founder of Opera Theater, hosts two intimate dinners at the nearby Fox Chapel Golf Club, where she recounts her experience in creating memorable roles in Mozart’s operas. As a featured artist for 23 consecutive seasons at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Miller’s debut role was Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro—and her exclusive domain there for a decade. Additional roles included the title role in Carmen; Dorabella in Così fan tutte; Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier; Suzuki in Madama Butterfly; and Rosina in The Barber of Seville.
Mozart Camp 2012 culminates in a performance of a sparkling new production of The Magic Flute, directed by Opera Theater artistic director Jonathan Eaton. Mozart’s paean to noble love, duty, and optimism, The Magic Flute is Mozart’s final opera, composed in the months prior his death in 1791. Mozart Camp participants receive premium reserved seating for The Magic Flute’s closing night.
In addition to The Magic Flute, Mozart Camp will also present staged excerpts from Der Stein der Weisen, a collaborative work from 1790 to which Mozart contributed a number of arias, along with Schikaneder, Gerl, and Schack. With a similar story line and thematic material, Der Stein der Weisen is considered by scholars to have served as Mozart’s inspiration for The Magic Flute the following year.
Participants may also choose to purchase individual tickets (at a 40% percent discount) for SummerFest’s other repertory, including a flamenco-influenced production of Bizet’s Carmen–The Gypsy, Leonard Bernstein’s charming Candide, and Night Caps, a series of newly-commissioned short operas scored by some of today’s leading composers. These ‘late-night quickies’ which follow the mainstage performances are set in Miss Darlington’s hotel, a place of romance, mystery, and danger. Journey through each of its bedrooms, enchanted by the decadence of secrets, haunted by the ghosts of presidents, and perfumed with the memory of love.
Tuition for Mozart Camp is just $650 per person, which includes all lectures, workshops, concerts and recitals, two intimate dinners, and premium reserved seating for The Magic Flute. Mozart Campers also receive a 40% discount on other operas and performances at SummerFest.
Bring a friend and save! Tuition fee is only $500 per person when two individuals purchase in one transaction.
Accommodations are not included in the Mozart Camp tuition, but we offer an exclusive arrangement with our hotel partner, the Fairmont, which was recently named a Pittsburgh outstanding hotel. Offering superb and distinctive guest services and accommodations in a luxury setting, the Fairmont boasts breathtaking views of the Pittsburgh city skyline, and is convenient to the SummerFest venue and all area attractions. To book your stay at the Fairmont, please mention promo code: POPA to save 15% when booking online or over the telephone (412) 773-8800.
Mozart Camp is perfect for tourists. Whether you already know every back street of the city, or have never set foot in the city of three rivers, Mozart Camp offers a great reason to visit the area. And while you’re here, make the most of your trip by visiting some of the region’s other fine attractions: the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, Frank Lloyd Wright’s impressive Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob. The website of VisitPittsburgh contains many resources to help you plan your visit.
“Pittsburgh has major assets: a natural setting that rivals Lisbon and San Francisco, a wealth of fine art and architecture, and a quirky sense of humor..”
–National Geographic Traveler