IN RECITAL – Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, Sunday afternoon, April 27th
By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka
On Wednesday April 23rd, and from Friday the 25th through Sunday the 27th, Bernard Labadie leads the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in an all Haydn program. The concert features Haydn’s Mass in Time of War with the SFS Chorus and soprano Christine Brandes, mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, tenor John Tessier, and bass-baritone Nathan Berg. The program also includes Te Deum for the Empress Maria Therese and Symphony No. 100, Military.
FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN and BERNARD LABADIE
Soprano Christine Brandes is noted for her radiant, crystalline voice and superb musicianship. She brings her committed artistry to repertoire ranging from the 17th century to newly composed works and enjoys an active career in North America and abroad, performing at many of the world’s most distinguished festivals and concert series in programs spanning from recitals and chamber music to oratorio and opera. Ms Brandes’ operatic career has been highlighted by engagements at Houston Grand Opera, in Handel’s Ariodante with Christopher Hogwood and in Falstaff with Patrick Summers, and by performances at San Diego Opera in Ariodante, Lyric Opera of Kansas City in The Turn of the Screw, Central City Opera in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Foundation in Così fan tutte, Opera Theatre of St. Louis in Cimarosa’s The Secret Marriage, Glimmerglass Opera both in Handel’s Orlando and Acis and Galatea, San Francisco Opera in Semele under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras, the Opéra de Nancy in Alcina, New York City Opera in Acis and Galatea and Platée, and at the Opera Company of Philadelphia in Die Zauberflöte, L’Elisir d’amore, and Don Giovanni. Additionally, Ms. Brandes has performed Le Nozze di Figaro with New York City Opera, Opera Pacific, and with the opera companies of Philadelphia, Montréal, and Quebec.
CHRISTINE BRANDES, Soprano & JOHN TESSIER, Tenor
Tenor John Tessier has gained attention and praise for the beauty and honesty of his voice, for a refined style and artistic versatility, and for his handsome, youthful presence in the lyric tenor repertoire. He has worked with many of the most notable conductors before the public today including Lorin Mazel, Leonard Slatkin, Plácido Domingo, John Nelson, Franz Welzer-Möst, Donald Runnicles, Robert Spano and others. On the opera stage Mr. Tessier has sung Il Barbiere di Siviglia for New York City Opera and in a new Leon Major production for Glimmerglass Opera, Lakmé for the operas of Calgary and Edmonton, Così fan tutte at Vancouver Opera and in a new production by Tim Albery at Glimmerglass Opera, Don Pasquale with Opera Lyra Ottawa and Arizona Opera, The Merry Widow with L’Opéra de Montréal, Dialogues des Carmélites, Don Giovanni, and La Fille du Régiment at Vancouver Opera, Don Giovanni and Acis and Galatea at New York City Opera, Il Re Pastore at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Die Zauberflöte with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Edmonton Opera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Il Barbiere di Siviglia with L’Opéra de Québec, Little Women with Minnesota Opera, and Haydn’s Orlando Paladino and Handel’s Imeneo at Glimmerglass Opera. He has offered solo recitals in Edmonton, Calgary, and in San Francisco under the auspices of the Schwabacher Foundation.
KELLEY O’CONNOR, Mezzo-Soprano & NATHAN BERG, Bass-Baritone
Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor has quickly emerged as one of the most compelling performers of her generation. During the 2007-08 season the California native’s impressive calendar includes performances with Iván Fischer and the National Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bĕlohlávek and the Dallas Symphony, Norman Mackenzie and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Labadie and the San Francisco Symphony, and Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The artist is profoundly honored to offer performances of Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs with Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and to make her New York City recital debut at Weill Hall in a Carnegie Hall presentation. Ms. O’Connor enjoys a particularly warm musical collaboration with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra with whom she has sung numerous performances. Additional highlights of past seasons have included collaborations with Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic, both Louis Langrée and Edward Gardner with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and with Michael Christie and the Phoenix Symphony.
Bass-Baritone Nathan Berg has emerged as one of the most in-demand bass-baritones of his generation. Berg enjoys a versatile career that incorporates a balance of concert, recital and operatic performances. With repertoire ranging from Bach and Handel to Mozart and Mahler , he has travelled extensively to perform with such conductors as Abbado, Boulez, Christie, Davis, Dohnanyi, Dutoit, Eschenbach, Haenchen, Harding, Herreweghe, Hogwood, King, Leppard, Lockhart, Masur, Maazel, Norrington, Rilling, Salonen, Slatkin and Tilson-Thomas. Mr. Berg’s operatic credits include the roles of Figaro, Leporello, Ferrando (Il Trovatore), Mercurio (L’Incoronazione di Poppea), Schaunard and Coline (La Bohème), Gugliemo (Cosi fan tutte) and many more at companies including the Canadian Opera Company, English National Opera, Glyndebourne, New York City Opera, Opera de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper, Vancouver Opera and Netherlands Opera.
On Sunday afternoon, April 27th at 2:00 pm, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes will be featured in Recital. The Program will consist of Bach’s Toccata in E minor; Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 13 in E-flat Major; four compositions by Sibelius: Elegiaco, The Birch, Barcarola, and Final piece from Kyllikki; Grieg’s Ballade in G minor; and Preludes by Debussy (Selections from Books 1 and 2). Mr. Andsnes has attracted considerable interest and excitement since his international debut in the early 1990s. He is now firmly established as one of the most compelling artists on the international concert circuit and has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras.
LEIF OVE ANDSNES, Pianist
Mr. Andsnes is co-artistic director of his own festival in Risør, an event which every year draws some of the most esteemed artists to Norway, including Ian Bostridge, Matthias Goerne, Barbara Hendricks, Maxim Vengerov, and Gidon Kremer. He is a regular guest at leading European and American summer festivals including Aspen, Ravinia, Saratoga, Verbier, Tanglewood, and New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival. In May 2002, Leif Ove Andsnes was made a Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, Norway’s most distinguished award. Leif Ove Andsnes records exclusively for EMI Classics and is the recipient of three Gramophone Awards, most recently in the Best Concerto category for his recording of Grieg and Schumann Piano Concertos with the Berlin Philharmonic and Mariss Jansons. Mr. Andsnes made his SFS debut in April 1994 and most recently appeared in Davies Symphony Hall in April 2006. He will return to perform Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 with MTT and the Orchestra May 8-11 as part of the SFS Brahms Festival.
To order tickets on-line: LEIF OVE ANDSNES IN RECITAL
Seán recommends these recordings for your Classical Library:
CD – MOZART: Requiem in D minor, K 626. Featuring tenor John Tessier, Donald Runnicles conducts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
CD – BACH: Mass in B Minor, BWV 232. Featuring bass-baritone Nathan Berg, Martin Pearlman conducts the Boston Baroque.
CD – BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9 . Featuring mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Cleveland Orchestra.
CD – THE RIVALS: Handel And Porpora. Soprano Christine Brandes performs five arias from the Baroque period, accompanied by the Four Nations Ensemble.
CD – BALLAD FOR EDVARD GRIEG . Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes performs ten pieces by the Norwegian composer.
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Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: email@example.com.
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