Havana’s Early Music Festival

HAVANA TIMES, Feb. 3 — Havana’s Early Music Festival takes place from February 5–27, 2010, sponsored by the Office of the Havana City Historian and the Ars Longa music group.  Here is the schedule for concerts at the Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis, the San Francisco de Paula Church, and the Hispano-Americano Cultural Center:

Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis

Friday, February 5, 7:00 p.m.:

Opening night concert. French violist François Joubert —along with the Conjunto de Musica Antigua Ars Longa, directed by maestro Teresa Paz— will be headlining this inaugural program with a concert titled “Vanitas,” bringing together works by Jean-Baptiste Forqueray and Marin Marais.

Saturday, February 20, 7:00 p.m.:

Concert of the polyphonous Camerata Vocale Sine Nomine, directed by Leonor Suarez

Saturday, February 27, 7:00 p.m.:

Closing concert featuring the Conjunto de Musica Antigua Ars Longa and guest musicians performing the complete historical version of Georg Friedrich Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” for the first time in Cuba

Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula

From February 1–5, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.:

A course on the viola da gamba with French maestro François Joubert-Caillet.

Saturday February 6, 2:00 p.m.:

Introduction to Samuel Felsted (1743-1802), the first classical composer from Jamaica. The conference is headed up by Rosina Moder, an Austrian professor residing in Jamaica.

Saturday February 6, 7:00 p.m.:

“La Réthorique des Dieux,” a concert with a consort of violas led by François Joubert-Caillet, along with musicians of the Conjunto Ars Longa.

Saturday, February 13, 7:00 p.m.:

“Rosa Mystica,” a concert by the Conjunto de Musica Antigua Ars Longa, directed by Teresa Paz.

Friday February 19, 7:00 p.m.:

Bassoon and oboe concert featuring Abraham Castillo and Frank Ernesto Fernandez, along with the Symphonic Orchestra of the Superior Art Institute (ISA).

Friday February 26, 7:00 p.m.:

Conference-concert devoted to the work of Esteban Salas, featuring specialist Maria de la Gracias Bernardo, the Conjunto de Musica Antigua Ars Longa and youth of the Conservatorio Amadeo Roldan.

Centro Hispano-Americano de Cultura

Projection of audiovisual materials under the direction of Ubail Zamora

Wednesday February 10, 3:00 p.m.:

“Dido y Aeneas,” an opera by English composer Henry Purcell with performances by sopranos Maria Ewing and Rebecca Evans, baritone Karl Daymond and the countertenor James Bowman, along with the Collegium Musicum 90 orchestra, directed by Richard Hickox.

Wednesday February 17, 3:00 p.m.:

“Icônes du Seicento,” recital by the French countertenor Phillippe Jaroussky with the group L’Arpeggiata, directed by lutist Christina Pluhar, performed at the Ambronay Festival in 2008, with works by Monteverdi, Ferrari, Cazzati, Uccellini, Rossi and others.

Wednesday February 24, 3:00 p.m.:

“Cadmus et Hermione,” the lyric tragedy by French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully in a rendition of “Le Poème Harmonique,” directed by Vincent Dumestre, with the voices of sopranos Claire Lefilliatre and Camille Poul, tenor Jean-François Lombard and baritone André Morsch, among others.