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March 29, 2002

Baroque meets MTV at CSUS concert

Photo of BimbettaMesmerizing 17th century Baroque music accompanied by the silky vocals of five women prancing around in bike shorts and sunglasses, playfully trying to upstage each other like it was a game. It's a typical Bimbetta show and they will give Sacramento audiences a taste of that fun at 8 p.m., Sunday, April 14.

The concert is at California State University, Sacramento in the Music Recital Hall in Capistrano Hall and is part of the University's 10th annual Festival of the Arts in conjunction with the New Millennium Concert Series.

Bimbetta's imaginative use of costumes is only one of the things that has won them considerable acclaim from critics at the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Village View and many other publications. Their creative use of stage, lights, props and references to today's pop culture has been repetitively described as a "blend of cabaret, commedia dell'arte and MTV unplugged."

Bimbetta, is an ensemble of five women from Indiana who were tired of the formal format that goes with performing classical music. That's when they banded together in 1993 to form Bimbetta and to make a statement.

"When we perform in concert, we use theatrical staging and lighting, humor, women's views and American popular culture both between and during the music to convey a setting, a mood, a snapshot of the text - all to create a bridge between the original and contemporary experience. We are building a bridge not only from the past to the present, but also from the stage to your living room," Bimbetta states on their web site.

Building a bridge from the past to the present seems to be easy for these talented women. Bimbetta creates vivid performances of music from the early Baroque period using early period instruments, a harpsichord and a cello, and vocal styles.

Through their new style Bimbetta aims to deconstruct the typical idea of 17th century music and transform it into something of grace and splendor. Within the four years they have been together, they have been very successful in taking the music of the Baroque from its distant home and bringing it into the 20th century.

Sonja Rasmussen, Andrea Fullington and Allison Zelles are all professionally trained sopranos from the Early Music Institute at Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. Their resumes are filled with several distinguished performances ranging from the European Hessian Chamber Orchestra to the Seattle Baroque Orchestra.

Shelley Taylor and Katherine Shao have also performed worldwide. Taylor is the cellist who performs regularly with Zephyrus Baroque Ensemble, of which she is a founding member. Shao has played her harpsichord with ensembles and festivals across the country, including the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

Tickets for the event are $15 and are available at the CSUS Ticket Office at (916) 278-4323. Additional media assistance is available at the CSUS office of public affairs at (916) 278-6156.


For further information, send an e-mail to or contact
public affairs at (916) 278-6156. For ticketed events, call the CSUS Ticket Office at (916) 278-4323.   

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