Immaculate Heart Chapel,
place musicians behind the audience for antiphonal effects. The campus boasts ample parking.
Marianiello said that she is intent on presenting musicians “from a range of performing groups in the area — but a central idea is to use New Mexico-based artists. As soon as I moved here, I was struck by how many affordable, high-quality, really world-class artists are here, including a surprising number of people who have retired here after successful musical careers and remain excellent players.” Although as artistic director she will plan and participate in some of the concerts, she is also big on the ideal of collaboration with other performing organizations, several of which have already dropped in to check out the space. The inaugural event on Feb. 13 features the Taos Chamber Music Group, directed by Nancy Laupheimer (another flutist), and it is seasonally themed for Valentine’s Day. The evening starts with an optional dinner in the Retreat Center’s Sunmount Room and continues in the chapel with Franz Schubert’s E-flat-Major Piano Trio, Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, and Jake Heggie’s song cycle The Deepest Desire, set to poems by Sister Helen Prejean, which will be performed by the local wife-and-husband team of Kirsten Lear (mezzo-soprano) and Robert Tweten (pianist), along with Laupheimer. The concert begins with a recent work for alto flute and electronics by the experimental composer Eve Beglarian; its title, I Will Not Be Sad in This World, sets the optimistic tone that Marianiello hopes may rule over the whole series.
An ulterior motive also works its way into her programming: a desire to encourage musical interest among young listeners. The second concert this spring, on April 17, features chamber music for wind instruments by Mozart, Ibert, Poulenc, and Piazzolla. “Curiously,” she said, “wind instruments are somewhat underrepresented among student musicians locally. We want to encourage wind study.” And the final concert this season, on May 15, features the New Mexico School for the Arts Chamber Choir, with an instrumental ensemble assisting, all directed by Franz Vote, who has conducted many performances at the Metropolitan Opera and the entire 2001 Ring cycle at Seattle Opera — and who happens to be Marianiello’s husband. The concerts are modestly priced, and discounts are available to students and to parents accompanied by their children. That being the case, one hopes that an abundance of younger listeners will be on hand to help launch this promising new series, joining the more experienced music-lovers who will undoubtedly flock to discover Santa Fe’s newest performing venue.