“Delightful to hear and watch from start to finish”: Peter Harvey at the Bach Festival in Carmel

30 July 2015

Peter Harvey’s fruitful cooperation with Carmel Bach Festival continues in his latest return to the Californian sea-side town. Singing at the festival the third year running, the English baritone appeared in four different programmes, which included music by Bach, Zelenka, Hasse, Haydn, and Mozart. Following performances of Die Zauberflöte as Sprecher under Ivan Fischer in Budapest and Abu Dhabi earlier this season, Peter now revisits the opera in the role Papageno. In addition to his performances, Peter’s contribution also includes giving master classes to the four holders of the festival’s prestigious Virginia Best Adams fellowship.
As this year’s festival draws to a close, we are rounding up the reviews:

The Magic Flute

“Best in this cast were Harvey, an engaging Papageno…”
(Richard S. Ginell, Classical Voice North America)

“Harvey steals the show as Papagano, the endearing birdman looking for his ladylove, Papagena.”
(Barbara Rose Shuler, Monterey Herald/Play Monterey Bay)

“Peter Harvey as Papageno was delightful to hear and watch from start to finish. The concert version allowed us to enjoy his acting, and his well-developed character charmed us the entire evening.”
(Robin McKee Williams, Peninsula Reviews)

St John Passion, BWV 245 (1725 version)

“Other fresh elements in the 1725 version include a couple of arias and recitatives that don’t exist in any other works by Bach, including a stunning bass aria sung by Harvey.”
(Barbara Rose Shuler, Monterey Herald/Play Monterey Bay)

Wachet auf (BWV 140) / Haydn Harmoniemesse

“In a performance of pure beauty, Johann Sebastian Bach’s much-loved “Sleepers Awake” cantata introduced the festival chorale along with soloists Dominique Labelle, Peter Harvey and Aaron Sheehan. Harvey and Labelle delivered superb accounts of the cantata’s bass and soprano love duets.”
(Barbara Rose Shuler, Monterey Herald/Play Monterey Bay)

Recital: Bach and Dresden

“A short solo cantata for bass by J.S. Bach (BWV 158) opened the program… Soloist Peter Harvey has a beautiful tone in all registers, with even the lowest notes maintaining focus and quality. ... Baritone Harvey joined the ensemble for Salve Regina by Zelenka, a Bohemian composer active in Dresden and in Vienna. The virtuoso solo part indicates that the composer had talented musicians to work with, and Harvey glided effortlessly through the long melismas. ... A recitative and aria from [Johann Adolphe Hasse’s] oratorio “Pilgrims at the Tomb of Our Lord” for baritone and ensemble was probably the most dramatic work on the program. Peter Harvey was superb in the vocal demands of the operatic work, demonstrating agility and a warm sound from the high to low notes… It was a joy to hear.”
(Roger Emanuels, Peninsula Reviews)

“Peter Harvey’s warm, resonant baritone comfortably took on Bach’s Cantata No. 158, Zelenka’s Salve Regina, and a recitative and aria from Johann Adolphe Hasse’s Italian-flavored I Pellegrini al Sepolcro di nostro Signore.”
(Richard S. Ginell, Classical Voice North America)

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