New chamber opera about cellist Jacqueline du Pré, with former protégé Haimovitz

Posted on: February 24, 2020

“When Matt Haimovitz performs at the world premiere of [Toronto-based] Tapestry Opera’s Jacqueline: a portrait of virtuosity, the audience can anticipate music that resonates with the poignant timbre of the famed cellist’s intimate association with Jacqueline du Pré as her young protégé,” writes Toby Saltzman in last Monday’s (2/17) Canadian Jewish News. The chamber opera by composer Luna Pearl Woolf and librettist Royce Vavrek features soprano Marnie Breckenridge as Jacqueline, with Haimovitz on cello. “Haimovitz explains that the opera portrays du Pré’s struggle with an illness that stole her identity, her musical gift and life…. Haimovitz’s relationship with du Pré [began] when he was 13. He recalls, ‘[Itzhak] Perlman said, “Can you come over, because Daniel Barenboim is here and we’d love to play some chamber music.” … ‘She was very sick,’ says Haimovitz…. ‘I spent a week caring for her, listening to her recordings, watching videos and playing for her…. We remained close until she passed away.’ … Musically inspired by du Pré’s iconic interpretation of the Elgar concerto, the story begs the question: Who are you when all that you are and have known is taken from you?”