Sounds of America The Scene
Alan Gilbert heads to Vail with the New york Phil leon Botstein tackles Die liebe der Danae at
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:P H o t o g r a P H y major US production of a rare Vivaldi work? The innovative iconoclast who boasts a particularly astute touch on works of the Baroque era teams up with conductor Grant Gershon and an early music dream team of a cast. Tenor Paul Groves portrays the Sicilian king Gualtiero. Ukranian countertenor (and 2009 Cardiff Singer of the World finalist) Yuriy Mynenko and the justifiably popular David Daniels sing the sibling roles of Corrado and Roberto. Adding some oestrogen to the mix are plucky mezzo Isabel Leonard as Costanza, soprano Amanda Majeski as Ottone and the promising and powerful mezzo Meredith Arwady in the title role. And with Los Angeles artist Gronk creating the sets (his second stint in Santa Fe, the first being Golijov’s Ainadamar), there ought to be some visual sparks on top of the anticipated vocal fireworks. www.santafeopera.org
Vail Valley Music Festival
Vail Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival Augustin Hadelich and the New York Philharmonic (July 23) Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic head for the hills (or, more appropriately, the mountains) for their summer residency at the Vail Valley Music Festival. Hard to go wrong whenever Gilbert is on the podium, but the most attractive of the three concerts he leads with his orchestra in Colorado is the contrasting combination of Mozart’s Turkish Violin Concerto No 5 and Mahler’s Symphony No 5, the rage of the latter being tempered by the luminosity of the former. Even more tempting is the chance to see Augustin Hadelich perform. A commanding solo artist — as seen on his 2009 recording for the Avie label — it will be fascinating to see him on this grander scale. www.vailmusicfestival.org xxxxxxxx
Menlo Park Music@Menlo The Young Eagle (July 23-24) Brahms the Prismatic (July 26) Two husband-and-wife teams dominate the first week of David Finckel and Wu Han’s chamber music festival in Northern California. And with this year’s focus on Brahms and his vital body of work, there’s plenty Romanticism to go around. The opening weekend focuses on the composer’s early masterpieces and influences. Finckel and Wu Han themselves kick things off, alongside clarinettist Carey Bell, pianist Juho Pohjonen, violinist Arnaud Sussmann, violist Yura Lee and cellist Laurence Lesser for works by Mozart, Schubert and Schumann, plus Brahms’s Scherzo in C minor and Piano Trio in B major.
Later that week, the young, vibrant and bold piano duo of Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung return to Menlo Park for Brahms’s Sonata for Two Pianos. Also featured on this line-up, which explores the “prismatic” nature of Brahms, are works by Bach, Rachmaninov, Schoenberg and Harbison, played by Lee and Lesser, plus Jorja Fleezanis and Ian Swensen on violins. www.musicatmenlo.org annandale-on-Hudson Bard summerscape Die Liebe der Danae (July 29 – August 7) In his ongoing quest to unearth rare operas, Bard College president Leon Botstein turns to an uncommon work by a celebrated opera composer: Richard Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae (The Love of Danae). Directing this new production is Kevin Newbury, a regular collaborator with the Minnesota Opera on productions including Roberto Devereux, Maria Stuarda, Il barbiere di Siviglia and Il trovatore (he has also worked with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on Bernstein’s Mass, the audio recording of which was nominated for a Grammy in 2010). Renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, who has created geometrically striking works in Tokyo, Seoul, Buenos Aires and, coincidentally, Bard College campus, will create the sets.
Like his more famous work, Ariadne auf Naxos, Strauss’s penultimate opera fuses comedy and Greek mythology and, while the libretto comes courtesy of Joseph Gregor, it has roots in a concept by Ariadne’s wordsmith, Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Under Bostein’s baton, soprano Meagan Miller stars as Danae. www.fishercenter.bard.edu
HigHland Park ravinia Festival Tosca (July 30) James Conlon and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra convene in Northeastern Illinois for a concert performance of Puccini’s so-called “shabby little shocker”. True, Tosca is a familiar standby for summer concert opera, but this account has added appeal in its casting, with Patricia Racette and Bryn Terfel reprising their roles from the Met’s 2010 production (which also starred Jonas Kaufmann as Cavaradossi; here Salvatore Licitra sings that role). In that performance, Racette was a velvet-voiced Tosca with the acting skills of the role’s original interpreter in play form, Sarah Bernhardt. Bryn Terfel was a textbook Scarpia, who brought a compelling amount of sadism to the character while richly delivering some scintillating moments. If their performances are half as fiery as those from last year, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra would be advised to keep some extinguishers on hand just in case. www.ravinia.org
Previews by olivia giovetti
VI GRAMOPHONE July 2011
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In an encore to their recent GRAMMY ® wins, conductor Giancarlo Guerrero leads the Nashville
Symphony in the world premiere recording of Chasing Light… by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner.
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