Cal Performances will present two world premieres by renowned choreographer Mark Morris within the span of less than one year featuring musical works by radically different composers both recognized as geniuses in their own time: Stravinsky, one of the most influential composers of the 20th century and Händel, one of the most prolific and admired of all baroque composers.
This coming June, Cal Performances will present the world premiere of Mark Morris’s new choreography to Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring June 12 and 13 at Hertz Hall. The two performances will open the third annual Ojai North!, a multi-year partnership with the esteemed Ojai Music Festival. Rite of Spring will be performed by Mark Morris Dance Group and jazz trio The Bad Plus (“about as badass as highbrow can get” according to Rolling Stone Magazine), who has rescored the explosive masterpiece for piano, bass, and drums. The collaborative effort between the Ojai Festival and Cal Performances makes possible annual reprises of Ojai concerts in Berkeley, as well as co-commissions and co-productions. More than just a sharing of resources, Ojai North! represents a joining of artistic ideals and aspirations. The combined efforts of Ojai’s legacy of artistic innovation and Cal Performances’ tradition of groundbreaking productions create a joint force that allows artists to achieve more than would be possible by each organization separately.
Cal Performances again partners with the legendary choreographer for the world premiere of a new, fully staged opera production of Mozart’s arrangement of Händel’s Acis and Galatea April 25-27, 2014. This new production features visual artist and scenic designer Adrianne Lobel, fashion and costume designer Isaac Mizrahi, and lighting designer Michael Chybowski. Four lead singers will perform the work in English: Thomas Cooley as Acis, Sherezade Panthaki as Galatea, Douglas Williams as Polyphemus, and Zach Finkelstein as Damon. Nicholas McGegan leads the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for the three performances in Berkeley. The popular Händel opera Acis and Galatea is based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses with the libretto written by John Gay in 1739. Mozart’s arrangement, written in 1788, broadens Händel’s original orchestration through the addition of bassoon, clarinet, and horn which allows an expanded range of sound color. The two-act opera—a tale of great tenderness, rivalry, and eternal love—focuses on a triangle tragically tested by unrequited love between Acis, an Arcadian shepherd, Galatea, a sea nymph, and the cyclops Polyphemus, who jealously slays Acis. Acis and Galatea is a Mark Morris Dance Group/Cal Performances/ Celebrity Series of Boston production, in association with the Harriman-Jewell Series, Kansas City; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York. After the premiere at Cal Performances, the production will tour the commissioning partners’ cities through 2015.
Morris, whom the New York Times called … “the most successful and influential choreographer alive, and indisputably the most musical” has long considered Cal Performances his West Coast home, having partnered with the organization since 1987. In recognition of his significant long-term collaborative relationship with the institution, Cal Performances recently honored him with its Award of Distinction in the Performing Arts.
“The Bay Area understands the genius of Mark Morris and his talents as a dancer, choreographer and musician, perhaps better than anywhere else in the world,” said Cal Performances’ Director Matías Tarnopolsky. “We are fortunate to be able to bring Mark’s unique creative vision with two such remarkable works written hundreds of years apart to genius composers with radically different ideas.”
Cal Performances, located on the campus of the nation’s finest public university, is a beneficiary of UC Berkeley’s renowned intellectual and cultural environment. Under the leadership of Director Matías Tarnopolsky, Cal Performances offers one of the world’s finest performing arts seasons reaching nearly 200,000 people each year through its programming and community outreach. Local, national and international collaborations and partnerships allow Cal Performances the opportunity to combine a significant local impact with global reach.
Tickets for Ojai North! on Wednesday-Saturday, June 12-15, at Hertz Hall range from $20.00-$110.00 and are subject to change. Tickets for Mark Morris’s Acis and Galatea April 25-27, 2014, will go on sale April 29, 2013. Tickets are available through the Cal Performances’ Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for purchase by UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. Rush tickets are announced three hours prior to a performance on Cal Performances’ Facebook page and at 510-642-9988 and are available in person only at the Ticket Office beginning one hour before the performance; one ticket per person; all sales are cash only. For more information, call Cal Performances at (510) 642-9988, or visit www.calperformances.org.