The Man at the Crossroads

Midday Preview with Mime Thurs, November 21, 2019 at 1:15 PM
The Chapel at St. Bartholomew’s Church, 325 Park Ave, NYC, NY
free; preview only; presented by GEMS

Live + Streaming
Church House, White Plains Presbyterian Church
39 N Broadway, 10601
St. Vincent Ferrer Church
869 Lexington Ave, 10065
The VisionPerformersProgram
“A group of four silken-toned string players shared in the melodic bounty, and a continuo … wove ever-changing textures in support. In fact, the whole performance seemed tailored to the present moment, as it breathed melodious life into a dusty manuscript that had waited 300 years to be so up-to-date.” —New York Classical Review

cast: Nola Richardson, Andrew Padgett, Clifton Massey, Michael Jones
directors: Jeremy Rhizor, Tony Lopresti
guest speaker: Marc Bellassai
genres: sacred drama, oratorio, biblical drama, Baroque music, Italian music, Italian-language libretto

This season, music director Jeremy Rhizor teams up with movement director Tony Lopresti to create a comprehensive and totally original visual and listening experience. In “The Man at the Crossroads”, they combine a highly dramatic 17th-century oratorio, Gianettini’s L’huomo in bivio in an American premiere with a lecture and a reception at its midpoint. The oratorio depicts a man at the crossroads between Heaven and Hell. An eloquent exchange between the man (Huomo), his guardian angel (Angelo), a demon (Demonio), and the narrator (Testo) weighs pleasure versus sanctity as the purpose and summit of the man’s life.

The recreation of this forgotten masterpiece was made possible by a new edition based on the 1687 manuscript in the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Modena, transcribed and edited by Jeremy Rhizor and Leili Zhang. Additionally, a new English translation was written by Mara Gerety based on the 1687 printed libretto in Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Modena.

The Academy of Sacred Drama’s oratorio performances move beyond passive entertainments to engaging experiences of cultural value through the organization’s rediscovery of forgotten musical treasures, restoration of historical performance formats, and unification of high-quality music-making with social and intellectual exploration. Believed to be the American premiere of Antonio Gianettini’s L’huomo in bivio, the Academy’s November 2019 performances will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the revival of this masterful full-scale work in a format that parallels its premiere.

Directors, Musicians, and Guest Speaker

Jeremy Rhizor, music director & violin
Tony Lopresti, movement director & mime
Marc Bellassai, harpsichord & guest speaker

Nola Richardson, Angelo (soprano)
Andrew Padgett, Demonio (bass-baritone)
Clifton Massey, Huomo (countertenor)
Michael Jones, Testo (tenor)

Chloe Fedor, violin
Arnie Tanimoto, cello
Arash Noori, theorbo

Program Information
L’huomo in bivio (1687)
composer: Antonio Gianettini* (1648–1721)
librettist: Anonmyous

Edition based on manuscript in the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Modena
edition: Jeremy Rhizor and Leili Zhang

Translation based on 1687 printed libretto in Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Modena
translation: Mara Gerety

Program Order
First Half of Oratorio
Contextual Lecture by Marc Bellassai
Intermission with Reception
Second half of Oratorio

*The composer’s last name is also spelled Giannettini, Zanettini, and Zannettini.