JOYCE DIDONATO CONCLUDES HER CARNEGIE HALL PERSPECTIVES SERIES WITH
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18
Concert Features a Program of Bel Canto Arias, Ensembles, and Orchestra Selections Conducted by Maurizio Benini with Soprano Nicole Cabell and Tenor Lawrence Brownlee
Orchestra Returns with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and
Pianist Emanuel Ax on May 14
|Celebrated mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato concludes her season-long Carnegie Hall Perspectives series on Wednesday, March 18 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, joining The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Maurizio Benini for a program of bel canto arias, ensembles, and orchestral selections with special guests and close colleagues soprano Nicole Cabell and tenor Lawrence Brownlee. Music from Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan and L’elisir d’amore, Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and Rossini’s Zelmira will be performed, along with other pieces.
“We tend to think that bel canto music is quite simplistic,” Ms. DiDonato said. “It doesn’t feel like the most enlightened (music), especially because Wagner was right on their heels and turned the whole world upside down. But what I find is there are an incredibly infinite number of possibilities to convey emotion simply through the melody of the voice, the line of the voice. Sometimes it feels a little superfluous; sometimes it does feel like this is just a chance to show the voice off, so we’re going to throw in some high staccatos, or we’re going to plunge from the top B-flat way down to a low G (two and a half octaves) in the space of one measure. But what I’m always looking for is the emotional relevance and truth to underline that. If we can identify that, this music penetrates the heart more than most. That’s the magic of bel canto. And it’s the magic of the voice.”
Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin returns to lead the final concert of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Carnegie Hall season on Thursday, May 14 at 8:00 p.m. The program features the New York premiere of Nico Muhly’s Mixed Messages as well as Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 44. In addition, pianist Emanuel Ax is guest soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37.
About the Artists
Winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 2005, with a voice described by Opera magazine as “amongst the most alluring voices around”, Nicole Cabell is now one of the most sought-after lyric sopranos in the world. Especially adept in French repertoire, on stage Nicole has sung Leïla in Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles for Santa Fe Opera and Juliette for Palm Beach Opera. The major lyric soprano roles are central to her repertoire: she recently made an acclaimed company debut as Giulietta in Bellini’s I capuleti e i montecchi with San Francisco Opera, and returned there as Violetta Verdi’s La traviata. She has also sung the roles of Adina in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore at the Gran Teatre del Liceu and the New National Theatre, Tokyo. Demonstrating her affinity with the music of Mozart, Nicole has sung Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro in Montreal, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni in Tokyo. An award-winning recording artist, Nicole’s debut album for Decca—Soprano—was named an Editor’s Choice selection by Gramophone magazine and won an Echo Klassik Award as well as the Georg Solti Orphée d’Or from the Académie du Disque Lyrique. She is featured in the title role in Opera Rara’s release of Donizetti’s Imelda de’ Lambertazzi.
The most in-demand American tenor in the world in the bel canto repertoire, Lawrence Brownlee continues to astonish audiences with the elegance and agility of his instrument. From firmly American roots, Mr. Brownlee has become a star on the international scene, lauded for the seemingly effortless beauty of his voice. Mr. Brownlee has been featured in nearly every major theater in the world and enjoys a relationship with many prominent conductors and symphony orchestras. Mr. Brownlee has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall and Rosenblatt Recital Series, Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, SUNY Potsdam, Cape Town Opera, as well as at various venues across the US under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation. Mr. Brownlee’s discography and videography continue to grow. In 2013, the Delos label released Virtuoso Rossini Arias, a collection of lesser known Rossini arias. In 2012, EMI released a recording of Rossini’s Stabat Mater featuring Mr. Brownlee, Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, and Ildebrando d’Arcangelo, with Antonio Pappano leading the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. In addition to being a winner at the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Mr. Brownlee was named Seattle Opera’s 2008 Artist of the Year, received the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s 2007 Alter Award for Artistic Excellence, and was the winner of both the 2006 Marian Anderson and Richard Tucker Awards, a feat never before achieved by any artist in the same year.
Italian conductor Maurizio Benini made his Royal Opera debut in May 1999 conducting a concert performance of Verdi’s Un giorno di regno. He has since conducted La sonnambula, Roberto Devereux (in concert), Rigoletto, Luisa Miller, Faust, La traviata, Un ballo in maschera, Il turco in Italia, and Tosca for The Royal Opera, and returns there in the 2014–2015 season to conduct Rigoletto. Mr. Benini studied in Italy and throughout his career has specialized in French and Italian repertory. He regularly conducts for the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Paris Opéra, Vienna State Opera, Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro Real in Madrid, La Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Teatro San Carlo in Naples. He has also conducted at the Wexford Festival, the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, and the Glyndebourne Festival. His repertory includes bel canto operas, many Verdi operas—from comparative rarities such as Stiffelio to grand operas such as Don Carlos—and Puccini’s La bohème, Madama Butterfly, and Tosca, among others. Mr. Benini’s recordings include Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira and Mercadante’s Virginia for Opera Rara.
The Philadelphia Orchestra first appeared at Carnegie Hall in November 1902. By the mid-20th century, the orchestra had begun a series of annual appearances at America’s most celebrated concert hall, presenting a variety of its concerts each year, less than two hours from home. The Philadelphia Orchestra continues this long-standing partnership. Renowned for its distinctive sound, desired for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences, and admired for an unrivaled legacy of “firsts” in music-making, The Philadelphia Orchestra remains one of the preeminent orchestras in the world. While wholly committed to the exploration of classical music and repertoire, the orchestra also continues to develop compelling programs that resonate with contemporary audiences. The orchestra is inspiring the future and transforming its rich tradition of achievement, sustaining the highest level of artistic quality, but also challenging—and exceeding—that level, by creating powerful musical experiences for audiences at home and around the world.
Carnegie Hall’s Perspectives
Previous Perspectives artists have included conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim; conductors Pierre Boulez, James Levine, Michael Tilson Thomas, and David Robertson; violinists Gidon Kremer and Christian Tetzlaff; cellist Yo-Yo Ma; pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Leif Ove Andsnes, Martha Argerich, Emanuel Ax, Maurizio Pollini, András Schiff, Peter Serkin, and Mitsuko Uchida; sopranos Dawn Upshaw and Renée Fleming; bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff; the Emerson String Quartet; the Kronos Quartet; early music ensemble L’Arpeggiata; Senegalese vocalist Youssou N’Dour; Brazilian singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso; Indian classical tabla player Zakir Hussain; experimental rocker David Byrne; and singer/songwriter James Taylor. For the 2015–2016 season, three artists will offer Perspectives series: pianist Evgeny Kissin, conductor Sir Simon Rattle, and singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash.
GIOACHINO ROSSINI Overture to Aureliano in Palmira
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Funding for the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast series is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
NICO MUHLY Mixed Messages (NY Premiere)
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Image at top of release by Richard Termine