“The place where brothers and strangers are one…”
– Jalal al-Din Rumi, 13th-c. Persian poet
In this new program from Jeannette Sorrell, music and poetry evoke a “tour” of the Jewish, Christian, Arab, and Armenian quarters of Jerusalem. Selections from Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 echo the rapturous singing of Jewish cantors in the temples. Medieval harp, oud, and exotic percussion blend with Arabic love songs and Sephardic ballads. The performers, including musicians of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian backgrounds, join in celebration of brotherhood and sisterhood.
“A magic carpet that swept the audience away.”
–CoolCleveland (review of AF’s “Sephardic Journey”)
FRIDAY (11/16) & SUNDAY (11/18) NIGHTS!
Enjoy fresh dates and Middle Eastern baklava with sparkling cider – and meet the performers. FREE!
has been praised for her “abundant vocal technique and infectious spirit” (ClevelandClassical.com) and enjoys a diverse career in the realms of classical, folk, and jazz. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Shenandoah Conservatory and a certificate in jazz improvisation from the Jazz in July Institute (University of Massachusetts). Ms. Powell’s solo performances with Apollo’s Fire in recent seasons have included Handel’s Messiah (mezzo soloist), Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Second Lady), Praetorius Christmas Vespers (soprano soloist), and Liza Jane in the 2013 national tour of the acclaimed Come to the River program. Her work as an internationally recognized leader in the field of sacred world music has taken her to concert halls in Italy, Spain, France, Mongolia and China. Her debut solo album, entitled Beyond Boundaries, was released in 2015 and quickly sold out on Amazon. The album explores folk and jazz traditions of cultures around the world.
is consistently praised for his sensitive musicianship, vivid portrayals, and beautiful voice. With a vast repertoire that spans from the Renaissance to contemporary music, he has firmly established himself as a sophisticated and versatile artist of his generation. Recent highlights include engagements at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Aldeburgh Festival and Snape Proms, the Casals Festival, Aspen Music Festival and the International Bach Festival. Mr. Sulayman recently completed three seasons at the Marlboro Music Festival collaborating with Mitsuko Uchida and Richard Goode, and continues to focus on championing vocal chamber music under the auspices of Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, Cleveland ChamberFest, among other esteemed presenters, and earlier this season performed programs of French chamber works at the Roman River Festival in the UK which were recorded by the BBC. Also in the 2016-2017 season he debuted with Houston Grand Opera as Albert in the world premiere of Laura Kaminsky’s Some Light Emerges.
This season he looks forward to debuts with the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center in Messiah, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra as Testo in Monteverdi’s Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, his professional acting debut in Karin Coonrod’s groundbreaking production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (Off Broadway), and to a US national tour as the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra, along with the release of his debut solo album, Songs of Orpheus, of 17th-century Italian composers on the AVIE label. Next season he plays the role of Claudio Monteverdi at Stockholm’s beloved Drottningholms Slottsteater in the world premiere of The Voice of Europa. He also appears and sings “I go on” from Mass in the upcoming ARTE documentary Leonard Bernstein – The Composer, to be aired throughout Europe in the summer of 2018 and subsequently released on DVD.
His growing discography includes the title role in Handel’s Acis and Galatea, and two releases for NAXOS in works of Philidor and Grétry, as well as the release of Sephardic Journey with Apollo’s Fire on AVIE which debuted at the Number 2 slot on the Billboard World Music Chart and Number 7 on the Classical Chart. He is also featured on the album of Jonathan Dawe’s 21st-century chamber works, Piercing are the Darts, on the Furious Artisans label and on the future EP release of Matt Frey’s new chamber opera 111 Heavy with the ensemble Hotel Elefant.
Mr. Sulayman’s musical education began with violin studies at age three, and years as a boy alto soloist, which included performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti and the St. Louis Symphony under Leonard Slatkin. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Rice University and also studied improvisation at the Second City Training Center in Chicago.
is an “authoritative artist” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) whose performances have been praised as “captivating” (Chicago Tribune) and “serenely beautiful” (New York Times). In addition to his many performances with Apollo’s Fire, he has appeared with period-instrument ensembles including The Consort of Musicke with Emma Kirkby, the Taverner Consort under Andrew Parrott, Tafelmusik, the Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), Seattle Baroque, Tempesta di Mare (Philadelphia), and the Newberry Consort (Chicago).
He made his concert debut at 17 with the Buffalo Philharmonic and studied voice with Elsa Charlston in Chicago, Yvonne Rodd-Marling in London, and Gérard Souzay in Paris. An accomplished stage actor, favorite projects include the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, praised as “deeply moving” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), Jesus and Pilate in the J.S. Bach Passions, Méphistophélès in Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust, and Apollo in Handel’s Apollo e Dafne. His 2014 portrayal of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof was hailed by the Buffalo News as “masterful.”
His longstanding commitment to contemporary music includes numerous appearances with the Contemporary Chamber Players (Contempo) in Chicago and performances of Ned Rorem’s song cycle Aftermath, Lawrence Axelrod’s The Immanence of Angels and Ophélia, Paul Schoenfield’s Camp Songs, a jazz oratorio with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, and premieres of works by Bernstein, Babbitt, Shapey, and Cipullo. CD recordings with Apollo’s Fire include the Monteverdi 1610 Vespers; Handel’s Messiah; Sephardic Journey, which debuted in February 2016 at #2 on the Billboard World Music chart; and Bach’s St. John Passion, released in March 2017.
oud, lute & co-director
is a modern-day troubadour. He holds a Master’s degree in music from Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied lute and theorbo. He specializes in historical plucked instruments and ancient songs of various world traditions. He is a songwriter and poet, and also paints and plays a variety of percussion and wind instruments. Cleveland Classical.com called him “far-ranging,” “brilliant,” and “exciting,” and Early Music America called his work “phenomenal.” His newest album, Three Ravens, was released in January 2015.
oud & accordion
A Chicago native of Palestinian descent, Ronnie Malley is a multi-instrumentalist that has been performing for audiences since his youth. Ronnie began guitar lessons at age nine, later moving on to piano, Middle Eastern percussion, and being self-taught on his principle instrument, the Oud (Mid- Eastern lute). As a member of the family band with his father and brother on percussion, Ronnie’s stage experience began by performing at weddings, concerts, festivals and local Middle Eastern clubs accompanying renowned artists such as Kazem Al Saher, Majdi Husseini, Wael Jassar, and Tony Hanna.
After years of playing Middle Eastern and American rock music, Ronnie expanded his musical palette to explore different traditions from around the world. He has studied and collaborated with musicians from – Senegal, Sudan, North Africa, India, Kashmir, Macedonia, Iran, Greece, Turkey, as well as with Afro-Peruvian folk artists, Rodolfo Munoz and Miguel Ballermos. Through these experiences, he has gained a vast repertoire of folk, classical, and spiritual songs from various cultures.
His more recent credits include principal musician and actor in the Lookingglass, Berkeley, and Arena Stage Theatre productions of “Arabian Nights”, assistant music arranger and performer in the Goodman Theatre production of “Mirror of the Invisible World”, both written and directed by Mary Zimmerman, French FTS Production documentary,“Modou The Hang Player – One World Music”, and MPEF Productions documentary, “At The Gate”.
Ronnie currently teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music, conducts Arabic music workshops for Chicago Public Schools and the University of Chicago’s Startalk camp, composes and records for various film projects, as well as performing and touring with music groups Lamajamal, Mucca Pazza, Duzan Ensemble and the U of C Middle Eastern Music Ensemble.
ney & recorder
has performed throughout Europe and the United States as both a soloist and ensemble player. Mor’s “astonishing virtuosity” (Chicago Tribune) has been heard in solo recitals in the United States, Croatia, Germany and Switzerland. She has performed as a soloist with the New York Collegium, the New York Early Music Ensemble and Little Orchestra Society, and as a member of the orchestra with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Mor was awarded First Prize in the Settimane Musicali di Lugano Solo Competition and the Boston Conservatory Concerto Competition, and has appeared in a duo with Joyce DiDonato on the singer’s promotional tour for the album In War and Peace. Devoted to new music, Mor has recorded on John Zorn’s Tzadik label, and has performed the world premiere of David Bruce’s Tears, Puffes, Jumps, and Galliard with the Metropolis Ensemble. Also active in the world music community, Mor has performed in festivals and on stages worldwide, including New York’s Summer Stage and Munich’s Gasteig. She can also be heard on Sting’s album If On A Winter’s Night for Deutsche Grammophon. Mor serves as the Music Director of Beineinu, a New York initiative dedicated to the modern cultivation of Jewish culture, and is a performer and teacher of liturgical music of the Jewish diaspora. She leads programs for the Education Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.