The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s Bittersweet Obsessions


The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra under its artistic director Paul Dyer AO, presents Bittersweet Obsessions, a dramatic staging of music from the Renaissance and the Baroque that fuses music, drama and design.

Bittersweet Obsessions will be constructed around three works by two of the most iconic of baroque composers and includes JS Bach’s famous comic coffee cantata.

Joining the musicians in this project are NIDA graduates director Constantine Costi, set designer Charlotte Mungomery and costume designer Genevieve Graham who collaborated with the ABO in their production of Handel’s Messiah earlier this year. The creative team will be completed by the leading Australian lighting designer, John Rayment. Joining the ABO musicians on stage are rising New Zealand soprano Natasha Wilson, who sang in the ABO’s Spanish Baroque programme with tenors Karim Sulayman from the USA and Australian Spencer Darby and Danish bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen.

“Bittersweet Obsessions is a project that has been in my mind for several years. I’m especially thrilled to bring it to life in 2017, the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth in 1567,” says Dyer.

“We are bringing together music, theatre and design, creating a unique concert experience,” says director Constantine Costi, who will travel to Beijing later this year to work as revival director for a remounting of Sir David McVicar’s Falstaff  or the Vienna State Opera.
“Bittersweet Obsessions is the emotional narrative of one woman presented as three short stories or scenes, a triptych. There’s a lament, a tragedy and a comedy, stories of unrequited love, violent passion and teenage rebellion. In 2017, these are stories and life challenges that still resonate strongly for us.”

Musicians and creative team:Paul Dyer Artistic Director/ Australian Brandenburg Orchestra/ Natasha Wilson, soprano (New Zealand)/ Karin Sulayman, tenor (USA)/Spencer Darby, tenor (Australia)/ Jakob Bloch Jesperson, bass (Denmark)

Constantine Costi, Director/ Charlotte Mungomery, Set Designer/ Genevieve Graham, Costume Designer/ John Rayment, Lighting Designer

Scene 1
A beautiful, moving story of loss and mourning, the nymph, angrily and with broken heart, sings the story of her traitorous lover.
KAPSBERGER Toccata arpeggiata
MONTEVERDI Lamento della ninfa, SV163 *
Scene 2
A story of love, tragedy and mistaken identity.
MONTERVERDI Overture to Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria
MONTEVERDI Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda *
TRABACI Consonaze Stravaganti
A rollicking satire about the coffee-drinking antics of a caffeine-crazed woman.
JS BACH Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 BWV 1049 (1st movement)
JS BACH Coffee Cantata BWV 211 *
major vocal works marked by *

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