Red Priest conjures the spirit of Halloween

Red Priest conjures the spirit of Halloween – Living – MiamiHerald.com

BY REBECCA J. RITZEL
SPECIAL TO THE MIAMI HERALD

… Adams leads Red Priest — a quartet named for the flame-haired cleric and composer Antonio Vivaldi — that opens the St. Martha-Yamaha Concert Series in Miami Shores on Saturday.

Ever since the ensemble released its Nightmare in Venice CD in 2000, he says, it has been asked to play music from the album on U.S. tours.

“For some reason, you tend to go very big into Halloween over there, so we always end up playing our big Nightmare in Venice Halloween spectacular,” Adams said, speaking from his home in England last week. “It’s actually nice to come back to it each year. It’s a funky program, and we rather like doing it.”

If “funky” seems an odd adjective for Baroque music, well, that’s because Red Priest is an unusual Baroque ensemble, given to creeping onstage in dark-hooded capes, employing atmospheric lighting and even fog machines to amp up the ambience for Vivaldi’s La Notteconcerto, otherwise known as The Nightmare.

Red Priest brings drama to chamber music, but that’s not why Paul Posnak, a piano performance professor at the University of Miami and founding artistic director of the St. Martha’s series, booked the group.

“Under all the theatricality, all the costumes, these are serious musicians and scholars,” Posnak said. “People are going to be dazzled.” …

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