The Opera, ” The Rape of Lucretia,” by Benjamin Britten and Ronald Duncan will be performed by the Hexacollective as part of Fractured Atlas, on Friday 27, at the Mount Vernon Methodist Church at 8pm. Shakespeare’s narrative poem was taken to the stage as part of chamber opera in 1946, England. Hexacollective was founded by Sonya Alexandra Knussen and this performance is supported by the Charm City Collegium. A fine group of classical musicians lead by conductor Blair Skinner. This Opera’s music is a delight. Although the topic is harsh one, Britten’s melodies are original, unique, gentle and loaded with commentary. The musician’s professionalism and mastery of the material is evident.
September is Domestic Violence month and Baltimore celebrates their survivors’ experiences in different ways. This concert is a way of reminding society that Domestic Violence is a crime that affects women, children, and men. A talk by Tahirih Justice Center Immigration Staff Attorney Deepa Bijpuria on Immigrants affected by domestic violence this week, was an excellent way to learn what are the current statistics in the state of Maryland regarding domestic violence. Tahirih stands after the name of a female poet from Iran who was killed for representing women’s rights. Agencies such as House of Ruth, Maryland are amongst many of the agencies in the city that work with survivors of domestic violence.
Hexacollective also wanted to celebrate Benjamin Britten’s 100 birthday with this Opera. His birthday would have been on November and Hexacollective will present another concert during the month of May 2014.
This ensemble’s performance has a cast of singers whose voices enrich the experience of the opera. The depth, the maturity, and the diversity of voices that singers such as tenor Peter Scott Drackley project in the magical space that is the Methodist Church in Mount Vernon, make one almost feel guilty for enjoying an Opera that deals with issues such as crimes committed towards women. Lucretia is played by Mezzo Soprano Zoe Band. This singer’s emotional maturity is reflected in her voice and understanding of the material. One felt the pain and empathized with the character’s turmoil. Sara MacKimmie and Danielle Buonaiuto are the two sopranos whose voices add more variety to the palette of sounds that Britten created. MacKimmie’s professionalism and grandiose voice is an honor to listen. Buonaiuto’s performance add peace and tranquility but is savored with moments of profound commentaries. Alex Rosen is a bass singer whose mastery is worth following for future performances. Baritones Jeffrey Grayson Gates and Peter Tomaszewski complete the variety of masculinity in this Opera.
We hope that this will be the start to the series of Operas that such talented individuals will offer the public. Enjoy!