Pirate-inspired music opens orchestra’s second season

Composer Sam Wu

CAPE COD TIMES – Cape Cod’s most famous pirate, Captain “Black Sam” Bellamy from the ship Whydah, is the inspiration for Sunday’s season-opening concert for the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra.

The program, “Haydn the Pirate,” will include a commissioned work by composer Sam Wu based on the life of notorious pirate Bellamy, in collaboration with the Whydah Pirate Museum. A pre-concert talk will feature conductor Matt Scinto and Chris Macort, archaeologist and conservator at the West Yarmouth museum.

Bellamy was reputed to be one of the richest pirates in history when he went down with his crew in 1717 aboard the ship Whydah during a violent storm off the coast of Wellfleet.

“I’ve become fascinated with Bellamy’s life because it has it all – intrigue, love, adventure – and an end at age 28 when his ship wrecks in a violent Nor’easter,” Scinto said in announcing the concert. “I couldn’t imagine a better musical narrative for composer Sam Wu to depict, an incredible story that is so close to home here on the Cape.”

Macort has been diving and collecting artifacts from the Whydah wreckage off Wellfleet for more than two decades. The Whydah was the first, and remains the only, pirate shipwreck to be positively identified.

The rest of the program connected to the Whydah theme: Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Mourning” Symphony No. 44 in E minor, and music by Jean Sibelius and Jean-Philippe Rameau.

The overall theme for the orchestra’s season is “Towards the Sea.”

When: 3 p.m. Sunday (with pre-concert talk at 2:15 p.m.)

Where: Pilgrim Congregational Church, 533 Main St. (Route 28), Harwich Port

Tickets: $30 in advance, $35 at the door, free for students and children; $100 for a four-concert season pass

Reservations and information: capecodchamberorchestra.org508-432-1668

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