Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

San Francisco Bach Choir

October 20, 2013 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The Glory of Vivaldi: Sacred Music from the Ospedale della Pietà with mezzo-soprano Gina Morgano and the SFBC Baroque Orchestra

Sunday, October 20, 4PM

At historic Calvary Presbyterian Church at Fillmore and Jackson Streets in San Francisco.

TICKETS: Advance $25-$30 ($24-$28 Senior)

Door $30-$35 ($28-$32 Senior)

Students $10, Youth up to 18 FREE.

The San Francisco Bach Choir begins its 78th season with a special concert for all who love Vivaldi. This joyful program offers a unique opportunity to experience rarely performed works, including his powerful Credo, RV 591, magnificent Kyrie, RV 587 for double choir and orchestra, and the lively In exitu Israel, RV 604. The SFBC Baroque Orchestra will perform with the choir, and the brilliant mezzo-soprano Gina Morgano, who delighted both choir and audiences at SFBC’s Songs of San Francisco last May. The public is warmly invited to attend a free pre-concert lecture by Dr. Alexandra Amati-Camperi at 3 PM.

“All of the samples in this diverse program were given expressive and stimulating interpretations under Jamason’s direction. The chorus was nicely blended in both its homophonic and polyphonic passages; and Jamason’s approach to phrase-shaping always served the needs of the text.”–San Francisco Examiner

The Ospedale della Pietà was an orphanage for girls celebrated for its remarkable musical performances in concerts as well as in church services. It was one of four such institutions in Vivaldi’s native Venice and the most important musically. Vivaldi received an appointment as maestro di violino to the Pietà in 1703. He remained attached to the organization in varying capacities for almost 40 years, beginning as a violin teacher, later as music master of the entire institution, and later still primarily as a supplier of new compositions. At the Ospedale, girls and women generally sang tenor and bass choral parts as well as the usual soprano and alto ones. Several contemporary accounts of their performances exist, including a vivid report from Charles Burney’s The Present State of Music in France and Italy (1771). Though published three decades after Vivaldi’s death, the performances Burney attended were likely similar in quality to those of Vivaldi’s day:

“This afternoon I went again into the Pietà. There was not much company and the girls played a thousand tricks in the singing, particularly in the duets, where there was a trial of skill and natural powers, as to who could go highest and lowest, or run divisions with the greatest rapidity. They always finish with a symphony…the band here is certainly very powerful…at the hospitals and churches where it is not permitted to applaud in the same manner as at the opera, they cough, hem, or blow their noses to express admiration.”

In an era when employment for women in professional orchestras was impossible, the Ospedale offered a rare opportunity for women in 18th century Italy to perform in a high-level orchestral setting. Performers at the Pietà such as Anna del Basso, famous for her violin and viola d’amore playing, and as her name implies, capable of singing a bass part, gained celebrity at the Pietà during an age when such opportunities were elsewhere denied to women.

ABOUT: The San Francisco Bach Choir is an auditioned volunteer choir providing the Bay Area with exceptional concerts focused particularly on the music of J.S. Bach, his contemporaries, and predecessors, and on rarely heard music of the Renaissance and baroque periods. Founded in 1937, it is the oldest continually performing community choir in the western United States. The Choir uses a historically informed approach, period instruments and professional instrumentalists and soloists.

GENERAL INFORMATION: for more information about the San Francisco Bach Choir, to order tickets, or to arrange an audition, visit the SFBC website at www.sfbach.org, visit us on Facebook, or call the SFBC at 855-4SF-BACH (855-473-2224, toll-free).


October 20, 2013
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Categories:
Event Tags:
, ,


San Francisco Bach Choir
855-473-2224, toll-free
View Organizer Website


Calvary Presbyterian Church
Fillmore and Jackson Streets + Google Map