23 December 2011

The Opera Orchestra of New York: Rienzi at Avery Fisher Hall on Sunday 29 January 2012

Tenor Ian Storey stars in the title role with soprano Elisabete Matos as Irene and mezzo-soprano Geraldine Chauvet in her US debut as Adriano. Music Director Laureate and Opera Orchestra of New York founder Eve Queler conducts

The Opera Orchestra of New York continues its 41st season with an opera-in-concert performance of Wagner’s Rienzi conducted by Music Director Laureate, Eve Queler at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.  The opera, based on the life of Cola di Rienz (1313–1354), the Italian medieval politician and popular leader of the Roman people whose goal was to transform society by raising the power of the people, stars tenor Ian Storey in the title role, with soprano Elisabete Matos as Irene and mezzo-soprano Geraldine Chauvet in her US debut as Adriano.  All three artists will be making their Opera Orchestra of New York debuts.
Single tickets priced from $35 to $165 can be purchased online by visiting www.operaorchestrany.org or www.carnegiehall.org, or by calling the Opera Orchestra of New York’s box office at 212-906-9137.

Rienzi, one of Eve Queler’s signature operas,was first performed by The Opera Orchestra of New York in 1980 at Carnegie Hall and again in 1982 at Avery Fisher Hall and the Kennedy Center. Following the Kennedy Center performance The Washington Post reported, "Grand Rienzi: Eve Queler's Crowd-Pleasing Wagner...the near capacity crowd was storming and cheering,” and music critic Byron Belt also remarked," Rienzi set off skyrockets that sent most of the audience into the night buzzing with excitement. Thank you, Eve Queler, for an unforgettable experience!" The next performance of Rienzi by the Opera Orchestra of New York was at Carnegie Hall in 1992 and introduced German soprano Dorothea Röschmann as the Messenger of Peace. It has been Ms. Queler’s tradition to feature a young upcoming soprano in the role, and since singing the Messenger of Peace, Ms. Roschmann has gone on to sing at the Metropolitan Opera and at major concert halls worldwide.

For this performance of Rienzi, the title role will be sung by the Wagnerian heldentenor Ian Storey, who recently sang the role of Siegfried in the San Francisco Opera’s Ring Cycle. Soprano Elisabete Matos, who recently made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Minnie in Puccini’s La Fanciulla Del West, will sing Irene, the highest role Wagner wrote for soprano, and French mezzo soprano Gabrielle Chauvet will make her U.S. debut in the trouser role, Adriano. Young soprano Emily Duncan-Brown will be featured in the performance as the Messenger of Peace and rounding out the cast will be bass-baritone Philip Horst as Stefano Colonna, bass-baritone Brandon Cedel as Raimondo, baritone Shannon DeVine as Cecco Del Vecchio and tenor Jonathan Winell as Baroncelli.  They will be joined by The New York Choral society and the West Point Cadet Glee Club who will march into the hall singing the vigorous soldiers chorus.

The Opera Orchestra of New York was established in 1971 by Eve Queler, the company’s Conductor Laureate, to present to rarely-heard operas and provide the public with an opportunity to hear them performed in major concert venues. Among the Opera Orchestra’s numerous U.S. premieres are Puccini’s Edgar with Carlo Bergonzi and Renata Scotto; Boito’s Nerone with James Morris and Pablo Elvira; and Smetana’s Libuse with Gabriela Benacková and Paul Plishka. The company also performed the New York premiere of Tchaikovsky’s The Maid of Orleans, with Dolora Zajick and Jorma Hynninen, which was also the American premiere of the Russian language version.  The ensemble has also presented works long neglected in New York, such as Wagner’s Rienzi, Verdi’s I Lombardi, Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles, and Catalani’s La Wally. These pioneering efforts have led national opera companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric and Houston Grand Opera to add to their permanent repertoires works that received their first major modern hearing by The Opera Orchestra of New York including I lombardi, Donizetti’s La Favorita, Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini, Dvořák’s Rusalka and Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina.

The Opera Orchestra of New York was also established as a means to identify and foster young operatic talent, providing young singers with an opportunity to rehearse and perform with full orchestra and chorus. The Opera Orchestra of New York has nurtured the talents of Renée Fleming, Aprile Millo, Vivica Genaux, Deborah Voigt, Latonia Moore, Stephen Costello, Michael Fabiano, Bryan Hymel and Eglise Gutiérrez. Other singers who have worked with Opera Orchestra very early in their careers include José Carreras, Barbara Hendricks, Dwayne Croft, Samuel Ramey and James Morris. Singers who made their U.S. or New York debuts with Opera Orchestra include Gabriela Benacková, Stephanie Blythe, Olga Borodina, Ghena Dimitrova, Jane Eaglen, Carlo Guelfi, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Vesselina Kasarova, Paul Plishka, Rosalind Plowright and Krassimira Stoyanova and Dolora Zajick.

Eve Queler is internationally recognized for her ground-breaking work with the Opera Orchestra and as a guest conductor of symphonic and opera repertoire at venues that span the international musical world. She has conducted more than 100 operas in concert at Carnegie Hall, many of which are rarely performed, bringing them to the attention of the American public and introducing them to the standard repertoire. Ms. Queler has conducted at opera companies worldwide, including Oper Frankfurt, Oper Bonn, Kirov Opera, Hamburg Oper, Rome Opera, and the Australian Opera; and has led the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, and the Orchestra Sinfonia Siciliana in Palermo, Italy.  Ms. Queler championed many Russian and Czech operas unknown in the U.S. and was the first conductor in America to perform Mussorgsky’s unfinished Khovanshchina with orchestration by Shostakovich, as well as the first Czech-language performance of Janacek’s Katya Kabanova in 1979, Jenufa in 1988 and Dvorak’s Rusalka in 1987. Ms. Queler recently made her conducting debut at the Puccini Festival, Torre del Lago leading Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

In October 2010, Ms. Queler was named a National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honoree for her focus on rarely performed operas and for her dedication to emerging singers, which she has brought to her work as music director, and now Conductor Laureate of the Opera Orchestra of New York. This award for Lifetime Achievement in Opera is considered the nation's highest honor in opera and salutes our nation’s cultural treasures. Ms. Queler has been named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of the highest awards presented by the French government, for her commitment to French operas.   

Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.
Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, New York, NY

The Opera Orchestra of New York
Eve Queler, conductor
Cola Rienzi                    Ian Storey
Irene                             Elizabete Matos
Adriano                         Geraldine Chauvet
Stefano Colonna            Philip Horst
Raimondo                      Brandon Cedel
Baroncelli                      Jonathan Winell
Paolo Orsini              Ricardo Rivera   
Cecco Del Vecchio        Shannon DeVine
Messenger of Peace      Emily Duncan-Brown

Single tickets priced from $35 to $165 can be purchased online by visiting www.operaorchestrany.org or www.carnegiehall.org, or by calling the Opera Orchestra of New York’s box office at 212-906-9137.

Wagner productions and concerts 2012 here

15 December 2011

Esa-Pekka Salonen, Peter Sellars and Bill Viola’s Tristan und Isolde at Helsinki Festival

Helsinki Festival will be bringing Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde to Helsinki’s new Music Centre on 18 and 21 August 2012. This truly unique and sumptuously visual production of the classic work, a collaboration between conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, director Peter Sellars and video artist Bill Viola, will expand beyond the confines of the stage to take over the entire concert hall. Salonen will be conducting the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and joined by an impressive roster of soloists, including Gary Lehman, Violeta Urmana, Matti Salminen and Jukka Rasilainen. Tickets will go on sale through Lippupalvelu on 15 December 2011 at 9 am.

Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde is widely acknowledged to be one of the most significant works in musical history. The Helsinki Festival production draws on the possibilities afforded by media art and set design to bring new perspectives to this much-performed classic. The American video art pioneer Bill Viola’s breathtaking images will be projected onto an 11-metre screen. Viola’s videos breathe with the rhythm of the music. Directed by the highly acclaimed Peter Sellars, the performers move across the concert hall, creating a powerful three-dimensional effect.

”We have succeeded in securing a genuine first-class ensemble, a real dream team for this production and the Helsinki performances in particular. What’s more, Esa-Pekka Salonen will be making his debut performance at the new Helsinki Music Centre,” commented Helsinki Festival Director Erik Söderblom.

Salonen, Sellars and Viola’s Tristan project was first performed in Los Angeles in 2004 and has since played in major cities across the world, including Paris, London, Tokyo and New York City.


10 December 2011

Seth Godin on the music industry

Seth Godin talks about the music industry not understanding the customers. Do you agree with him?

Seth Godin has written thirteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. Godin’s second book, Unleashing the Ideavirus, is the most popular e-book ever published, and in 2003, his book Purple Cow was the #1 best-selling marketing book on Amazon. His other works include The Big Red Fez, Survival Is Not Enough, Free Prize Inside, All Marketers Are Liars, The Big Moo, Small is the New Big, and Meatball Sundae. His recent release, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, became an instant best-seller, and his 2010 Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? inspires audiences to overcome the resistance that holds them back from becoming an indispensable asset to any organization.

Seth Godin's Homepage

01 December 2011

Marek Janowski's Wagner Cycle Continues

The Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of Wagner’s Ring Cycle will reach its peak in the 2012-2013 season with the “Ring of the Nibelung” tetralogy.

Season 2011 | 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 | 6 pm
Tristan and Isolde

Saturday, May 5, 2012 | 6 pm
Tannhäuser and the Singing Contest on the Wartburg


Thursday, November 22, 2012 | 8 pm
Ring of the Nibelung, The Rhinegold

Saturday, November 24, 2012 | 6 pm
Ring of the Nibelung, The Valkyrie

Saturday, March 1, 2013 | 6 pm
Ring of the Nibelung, Siegfried

Sunday, March 15 2013 | 6 pm
Ring of the Nibelung, Twilight of the Gods

Crimes of love

They all do it, from Senta and Elsa, Elisabeth and Isolde, Sieglinde and Brünhilde to Venus, Ortrud, Gutrune and Kundry: They break taboos, stretch the limits, breach well-nigh sacrosanct conventions. But they must commit these crimes, offering themselves up in the name of love and forsaking their very selves for their heroes (who also freely follow in their footsteps, committing further transgressions).

His breaking of taboos, his stretching of limits and his radical approach to conventions not only characterize Richard Wagner’s life, characters and texts, they are also hallmarks of his music that even go so far as to provoke the polarizing present-day fascination with his works. Even with eyes closed, the listener can clearly hear these defining traits, measure by measure; and the pictures to accompany them arise of their own accord.

Following on the heels of the performances of the  "The Flying Dutchman", Parsifal“ and “Meistersinger“ in the 2010-2011 season, the 2011-2012 program now brings us „Lohengrin”, „Tristan and Isolde“ and „Tannhäuser“.

The leading Wagner singers to make guest appearances with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra for the concerts include Klaus Florian Vogt (Lohengrin), Torsten Kerl (Tannhäuser), Stephen Gould (Tristan), Nina Stemme (Isolde and Elisabeth), Günther Groissböck (Heinrich) and Christian Gerhaher (Wolfram von Eschenbach). The Wagner cycle is being held under the aegis of Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag. Deutschlandradio Kultur will be broadcasting each of the concerts, which are also to be produced on CD by the Netherlands-based PentaTone label. The "The Flying Dutchman" was released in September 2011, as well as “The Meistersinger” in November 2011.

It is the objective of the RSB’s principal conductor and artistic director, Marek Janowski, to convey to the audience the high musical quality of Wagner’s compositions in the absence of scenic interpretation, focusing on the music alone.