The Bach and Beethoven Ensemble presents
THE GENTLE SHEPHERD: A Scottish Folk Opera
Old Town School of Folk Music
September 24 2016, Chicago
About the opera
The Gentle Shepherd is unique amongst operas. Written by poet Allan Ramsay and published in 1725, the music comes from the Scottish fiddle and folk music tradition, and features heartfelt ballads and foot-stomping traditional dance music. Instrumentalists play a fusion of traditional fiddling and Italian Baroque style, while singers perform “arias” based on folk and fiddle tunes.
A modern premiere performance
There is no documented record of The Gentle Shepherd having been performed in its entirety in the United States since 1792. So, we're thinking of it as a U.S. (re)premiere! But more than that, the show has not been performed in the UK--or the rest of the world--but for a few times in the past 200 years.
The production and outreach
The show will feature a 16-member ensemble of young actors and musicians from Chicago’s next generation of Baroque musicians. Instrumentalists will perform on 200+ year old instruments and replicas of original period instruments. Audiences will “travel back in time” to hear the opera as concert-goers would hear in 1725.
The production will be developed as part of a three month residency at the Old Town School of Folk Music. During this time, the public and Old Town students will have opportunities to learn about the musical genre and techniques through (1) master classes about performing Scottish music, (2) educational programming to children taking music classes at Old Town, and (3) open rehearsals for the public with Q&A sessions with the cast and artistic team.