When Franz Vote and Linda Marianiello retired to Santa Fe in 2009, they thought they would be leaving their careers in music behind. Instead, the married couple is on stage and performing through their organization the New Mexico Performing Arts Society.
The New Mexico Bach Society, which is part of the New Mexico Performing Arts Society, presents its annual concert of works by J.S. Bach on March 10 in Los Alamos, March 11 in Santa Fe and March 25 in Albuquerque.
“I always dreamed of living in Santa Fe,” explains Vote, a conductor who has been on the podium in many European opera houses and at the Metropolitan Opera at the invitation of conductor and pianist James Levine. “My grandfather was a forest ranger in the Pecos in 1902. As a child, I remember coming to Santa Fe when the plaza was all dirt and there weren’t any sidewalks.”
When Vote and Marianiello, a flutist and former professor of music who enjoyed an active career as a soloist, left Chicago and moved to town, they didn’t realize how many talented musicians lived up and down the Rio Grande valley.
“Almost immediately after moving here, we started meeting musicians in the area,” Vote recalls. “We work with seasoned professionals and young musicians. The mission of the New Mexico Performing Arts Society is to promote the work of New Mexico-based professional musicians as well as offer educational and mentoring opportunities to student musicians and those in the early stages of their careers.”
The musicians participating in the annual spring concert are a mix of seasoned pros and up-and-coming talents. Eight singers and 10 instrumentalists perform Bach’s “Cantata BWV 8: Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben?” and excerpts from Bach’s “St. John Passion” and “St. Matthew Passion.”
Pianist Jacquelyn Helin, who performs with the group regularly, plays Bach’s “French Suite No. 1 in D minor, BWV 812.”
The New Mexico Performing Arts Society presents concerts at Santa Fe’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel throughout the year. Opera lovers will be happy to hear that the group is presenting a program featuring selections from four operas on June 17.
For more information about the New Mexico Performing Arts Society, visit nmpas.org.