Elizabeth DeShong
Sorrows and Solace

Haymarket Opera Orchestra
February 28, 2020

Elizabeth DeShong.jpg

Haymarket Opera Orchestra is thrilled and honored to have lauded mezzo soprano Elizabeth DeShong join us for this program which includes two of
Bach’s most profound cantatas.  

Ich habe genug (I am content) for mezzo soprano, oboe, and strings was a favorite in the Bach household. Its peacefully entrancing aria “Schlummert ein” was copied into the personal notebook of his beloved second wife, Anna Magdalena. A musical sermon on the Biblical story of Simeon embracing the infant Jesus, Ich habe genug expresses the deep contentment of one who does not fear death, closing with a vigorous, dance-like aria on the text “I look forward to my death.”

Mein Herze schwimmt in Blut (My heart swims in blood) takes us on spiritual journey from shame and self-loathing through repentance and forgiveness. The aria “Stumme Seufzer, stille Klagen” (“Mute sighs, quiet laments”) is one of the most cathartic utterances of sorrow in all of music. The cantata closes with an ecstatic jig--Bach’s expression of the complete happiness found in forgiveness. 

“DeShong was an unstoppable presence. . . . one of the finest new voices to be heard at the Met…” — Opera News

“A contralto opulence with blazing top notes and some of the most staggering coloratura you will ever hear.” — The Guardian

“...DeShong sings like a vocal giant. Her lowest notes have body and depth; her midrange is rich and compelling; and her highs are dispensed with a freedom that many a mezzo daily prays for.” — EDGE San Francisco

Friday, February 28 at 7:30pm