A conversation with Solenne Païdassi
I’m still coming down from the summer– Schoenberg, Shostakovich, “The Jury,” everything and everyone who turned up
Putting a festival together requires a lot of elbow grease from many individuals and the center of the entire operation is the board of directors. I’m delighted to announce we have a new board member, Maryellen Moreland. The Morelands are a force of nature in the cultural scene of Newburyport and also friends I’ve known for years. Daughter Anna, now working in Rotterdam, volunteered for NCMF back when Jane Niebling and I were running the festival; son Andrew has assisted as general factotum for years, padre John is our Treasurer (yes, he kind of holds the festival together), and now we have matriarch Maryellen officially on the board. As she said: “I guess you could say NCMF is a family affair.”
Maryellen has a long background in choral singing and is also active on the board of our friends in the Newburyport Choral Society. In her professional life, she is Special Education Team Chair at Pine Grove over in Rowley. When I asked for her favorite musical experience she didn’t hesitate:
My first experience performing with a large SATB choir and full professional orchestra was singing Mozart's Requiem in college, and it blew me away. The Lacrymosa in particular (the first eight measures of which are supposedly the last thing Mozart ever wrote) is stunningly beautiful. I have since performed it several times and got to hear Andrew perform it in Symphony Hall with the Handel and Haydn Society under Harry Christophers, in a thrilling rendition.
The scene of Mozart’s burial in an unmarked grave at the end of Amadeus, Miloš Forman’s masterpiece, uses the Lacrymosa to devastating effect.
Welcome, Maryellen. We’re lucky to have you!
David Yang, Artistic Director