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Love on the Brink.

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Fogarty squareMelissa Fogarty ~ soprano
Leah Nelson ~ violin
Motomi Igarashi ~ viola da gamba
Jennifer Griesbach ~ harpsichord

Love on the Brink is a program of unrestrained chamber cantatas from the court of Louis XIV, celebrating the stories of two powerful mythological women interpreted by Melissa Fogarty. These two 18th-century cantatas are essentially miniature one-woman operas, with a surprising dramatic heft.

Hailed by The New York Times for her “delirious abandon” onstage, eclectic soprano Melissa Fogarty’s wideranging experience has led her to appear at diverse venues ranging from the New York City Opera to popular clubs including Le Poisson Rouge and City Winery. Known for her lively and elegant interpretations of Baroque music, highlights include King Arthur at New York City Opera, and La serva padrona and Agar e Ismaele in esiliate with Seattle Baroque. Her solo album Despite and Still is a critically acclaimed collection of songs by Samuel Barber, and she is a highlighted performer and commentator in the biopic Samuel Barber: Absolute Beauty (Zen Violence Films, 2017).

Leah Nelson, violin, specializes in music from the 17th to early 19th centuries. She has led ensembles for Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Gotham Chamber Opera, Aspen Festival Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, and is Artist-in-Residence at New York’s Church of St. Luke in the Fields. She holds a Masters degree from Mannes College where she studied with David Nadien, and historical performance with Nancy Wilson and Arthur Haas. In 2011, her recording Biber: The Sacred Mysteries was released to critical acclaim, Oxford’s Early Music hailing it “an elegant and beautiful recording.” Leah teaches historical performance at Rutgers University.

Motomi Igarashi performs regularly on viola da gamba, double bass, violone and lirone. She has appeared mainly in New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston, playing with The American Classical Orchestra, Anima, ARTEK, Boston Baroque (as Principal Bass), the Dryden Ensemble, Lenape Ensemble, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Motomi recently appeared as a lirone soloist on Brad Mehldau’s Grammy nominated jazz album Jacob’s Ladder. She graduated from The Juilliard School, studied viola da gamba in Europe, and lirone in the United States with Erin Headley.

Jennifer Griesbach studied harpsichord with Colin Tilney in Toronto and Davitt Moroney in Paris. She cofounded Teatro Bacchino in Berkeley, CA, and has performed in chamber music concerts and Baroque opera on both coasts. She collaborated with The Wooster Group on their reconstruction of Cavalli’s La Didone and has stage directed and assisted on opera productions in the United States and Europe. Jennifer is an organist and music director, recently retired from Grace Episcopal Church in Hastings-on-Hudson. She is a gestalt therapist in private practice in New York.


1:15–2:00 pm
All concerts are free; no tickets or reservations are necessary.

In person at St. Malachy's Church, 239 West 49th Street, Manhattan

Live stream details: You can watch it on your computer in any of two places by clicking on the name you wish: our website or YouTube.

Midtown Concerts sponsors lunchtime performances of music of the 18th century and earlier. Ensembles are chosen by a panel of early music specialists from the metropolitan area.

Time: Thursdays, 1:15–2:00 pm
All concerts are free; no tickets or reservations are necessary.

Concerts are in person at St. Malachy's Church, 239 West 49th Street, Manhattan, AND live streamed.