Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents
“ARMISTICE: THE JOURNEY HOME”
John Brancy, baritone
Peter Dugan, piano
November 3 and 4 at the Historic Asolo Theater
As official commemorative partners of the WWI Centennial Commission, award-winning artists John Brancy and Peter Dugan return to Sarasota with a new and critically acclaimed program inspired by the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. Their Sarasota performances are part of a nation-wide tour commemorating the anniversary, making stops also at the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Naval Academy, and Kennedy Center.
“Brancy’s program, developed with pianist Peter Dugan, was great in every way.”
– Michael Barrett, The New York Festival of Song
“Brancy fulfilled one of the chief requirements of a good recitalist: a sound that can sustain interest over a whole program.” – Opera News
“A vibrant, resonant presence.”
– The New York Times
(Sarasota, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota is pleased to present baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan performing “Armistice: The Journey Home,” Saturday, November 3, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, November 4, 3:00 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. The program, which tells the story of men and women who must find their way back home, literally and figuratively, from the ravages of war, features a compelling selection of music by Holst, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, Irving Berlin, Pete Seeger, and more. Reserved seat tickets are $25 to $45 and are available online at www.artistseriesconcerts.org or by calling 941-306-1202. $10 student tickets are available at the door with current student ID.
Baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan have been redefining the art song recital ever since the critically acclaimed debut of their program “A Silent Night” four years ago at the Kennedy Center. That program, hailed by The Washington Post as “so refreshingly, marvelously different,” paid homage to the centennial of the beginning of World War I.
The duo’s new companion piece, “Armistice: The Journey Home,” commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of that war. It debuted to critical acclaim earlier this year at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, with noted conductor and New York Festival of Music director Michael Barrett calling it “a spectacular recital.” Like “A Silent Night,” “Armistice: The Journey Home” pays tribute to a WWI centennial via the music of composers who lived through, fought in, and died in the Great War.
While most of the music is directly related to World War I, its themes are universal, reaching as far back as Homer’s Odyssey. The program features music from Schubert’s “Der Wanderer,” Vaughan Williams’ “Songs of Travel” and popular WWI era tunes by Oley Speaks and Irving Berlin. The program also features music by Gustav Holst, Rudi Stephan, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Ivor Novello. The duo will also present composer Leonardo Dugan’s original setting of the haunting WW I poem, “I Have a Rendezvous With Death.” The poet was Alan Seeger, a New Yorker who joined the French Foreign Legion when war was declared in Europe in 1914 and who was killed in battle in 1916. Alan Seeger’s nephew was the celebrated folk singer Pete Seeger, whose famed song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” is also on the program.
“Although nearly a century has passed since the end of the World War I, its global impact has never been forgotten,” says Joseph Holt, artistic director of Artist Series Concerts. “John Brancy and Peter Dugan’s exquisite new program conveys the enduring and uplifting power of art and music even during times of war. Their creative and unique approach to programming, incorporating a wide variety of styles and genres, creates an experience that powerfully evokes emotional responses that not only underscore but also illuminate the annual observance of Veterans Day on November 11.”
Known for his versatility, intense musicality and his “beautiful, virile and warm” voice, John Brancy is moving rapidly to the front ranks of baritones of his generation. Hailed by the New York Times as “a vibrant, resonant presence,” Brancy won first prize (accompanied by Peter Dugan), in the Art Song division of this year’s Concours musical international de Montréal, a win that recognizes him as a premiere interpreter of art song repertoire. He also won first prize in the 2018 Lotte Lenya Competition in New York, and second prize at the 2017 Wigmore Hall Competition in London. He recently performed to rave reviews in Oper Frankfurt’s production of “Lost Highway,” part of a busy season that also includes a tour of Handel’s “Messiah,” a return to Carnegie Hall under the baton of Kent Tritle, and his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a new production of Meredith Monk’s “Atlas.”
Pianist Peter Dugan‘s 2017 debut solo performances with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony were described by the Los Angeles Times as “stunning” and by the San Francisco Chronicle as “fearlessly athletic.” He has appeared as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician at venues across the globe and has performed in duo collaborations with Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell.
Brancy and Dugan met as students at the Juilliard School. As longtime collaborative partners, they are committed to reenergizing and reinventing the approach to art song. Their repertoire ranges from the classic song cycles of the 19th century to original arrangements of the Great American Songbook and modern popular tunes.
Tickets for Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s 2018-2019 season are on sale now. Visit www.ArtistSeriesConcerts.org for more information.