The San Diego Story
Ken Herman
August 22, 2019

Music Director Inon Barnatan continues to demonstrate why the 2019 La Jolla SummerFest is not your grandmother’s SummerFest. Wednesday, August 21, he and the festival’s Synergy Initiative Co-producer Clara Wu Tsai presented the renowned Mark Morris Dance Group, accompanied by SummerFest musicians, in the Baker-Baum Concert Hall.

Eye, ear, and imagination have never been so simultaneously deluged in SummerFest’s 33 years of programming. Seventeen lithe, kinetic dancers brought five of Morris’ dances to Baker-Baum, including the premiere of his 2019 “Arrows. Eros,” set to the vocal music of G. F. Handel.

When Handel was not churning out Italian operas or English oratorios or bristling concerti grossi, he amused himself by writing florid Italian vocal duets, and Morris selected two of these rarely performed Italian duets for “Arrows. Eros.” Agile soprano Jennifer Zetlin and commanding countertenor John Holiday gave a rapturous account of these florid gems, accompanied by a basic continuoadroitly supplied by harpsichordist Colin Fowler—who is also the Mark Morris Music Director—and cellist Clive Greensmith.