MISSA SOLEMNIS – Christine Brewer to appear with the SF Symphony, June 23–26

Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) will lead the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and Chorus in performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis June 23rd – 26th at Davies Symphony Hall. The performances will feature soprano Christine Brewer, mezzo-soprano Katarina Karnéus, tenor Gregory Kunde, and bass Ain Anger.

Soprano Christine Brewer last appeared with the SFS in 2006 and this season was featured soloist in the New York City Opera’s opening gala. Mezzo-Soprano Katarina Karnéus participated in the San Francisco Symphony’s Grammy-winning recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, and will perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the SFS on the Orchestra’s May 2011 tour in Europe.  Tenor Gregory Kunde performed with the SFS in 2007 and will soon release a recording of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.  Bass Ain Anger, an active soloist and ensemble member at the Vienna State Opera, makes his San Francisco Symphony debut with these concerts.

Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis was last performed by the SFS in 1995 under the direction of Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt in his last season of concerts as Music Director.



American soprano Christine Brewer’s appearances in opera, concert and recital are marked with her own unique timbre, at once warm and brilliant, combined with a vibrant personality and emotional honesty reminiscent of the great sopranos of the past. A Grammy Award winning Her range, golden tone, boundless power, and control make her a favorite of the stage as well as a sought-after recording artist.
Meet Christine Brewer at a CD signing in the Symphony Store following the June 25th and 26th concerts.

On the opera stage, Ms. Brewer is highly regarded for her striking portrayal of the title role in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, which she has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Lyon, Théâtre du Châtelet, the Santa Fe Opera, the English National Opera, and the Opera Theater of St. Louis. She has performed Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at the San Francisco Opera, Gluck’s Alceste with the Santa Fe Opera, the Dyer’s Wife in Strauss’s Die Frau Ohne Schatten at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Paris Opera, and Lady Billows in Britten’s Albert Herring at the Santa Fe Opera. She is also celebrated for her work in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride with the Edinburgh Festival, the Rio de Janeiro Opera, and Madrid Opera as well as Strauss’s Die ägyptische Helena with the Santa Fe Opera. Christine Brewer is a stunning recitalist. In addition to her many appearances at Carnegie and Wigmore Halls, she has participated in Lincoln Center’s “Art of the Song” series at Alice Tully Hall. Other appearances include the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Spivey Hall in Georgia, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Mondavi Center in California. She has also been featured at the Gilmore, Ravinia, and Cleveland Art Song festivals.

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Photo, Mats Backer

Born in Stockholm, Katarina Karnéus studied at Trinity College of Music in London, and at the National Opera Studio. In 1995 she won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Opera engagements have included The Metropolitan Opera New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Opéra National de Paris, the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, the Netherlands Opera Amsterdam, La Monnaie Brussels, the Geneva Opera and the Frankfurt Opera. Her repertoire includes the great mezzo roles of Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Bizet, Wagner and Strauss and highlights of recent seasons have included Brangaene in Glyndebourne, the title role in Ariane et Barbe-bleu in Frankfurt, Elisabetta/Maria Stuarda in Berlin, Der Komponist in Geneva, and the title role in Xerxes in her native Stockholm. Most recently her recording of Mahler’s Symphony No 8 with the San Francisco Symphony conducted my Michael Tilson-Thomas received two Grammy Awards as best album and best choral album of 2009. Future plans include Donna Elvira for Covent Garden, Ariane et Barbe-bleu in Frankfurt, Fricka for the Liceu in Barcelona and for Opera North; concert tours to the USA and Europe with the San Francisco Symphony as well as concerts throughout Europe and in Australia.


Gregory Kunde has earned wide­spread acclaim for his performances of the most demanding tenor roles of the French and Italian bel canto operas, including, most notably: Arnold (Guillaume Tell), Julian (Louise), Des Grieux (Manon),  Nadir (Les Pecheurs des Perles), Elvino in (La Sonnambula), Fernando (La Favorita), the title roles in Gounod’s Faust and Romeo et Juliette, Rodrigo (La Donna del Lago), Arturo (I Puritani), and Otello. He is a favorite of conductors and stage directors alike and has collaborated with many outstanding talents such as Sir Richard Bonynge, Roberto Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Michel Plasson, George Prêtre, Sir Simon Rattle, Charles Dutoit, Sir Graham Vick, John Nelson, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Sir Colin Davis among others. Mr. Kunde began the 2010–2011 season as Poliuto for the Donizetti Festival in the composer’s birthplace of Bergamo, Italy then as Arnold in (Guillaume Tell) in La Coruna, Spain. He will continue with a debut as Arrigo (I Vespri Siciliani) with Sondra Radvanowsky in Turin then to Lima, Peru for Verdi’s Requiem and onto Naples, Italy for more Verdi in Les Vepres Sicilienne. Summer of 2011 brings him to Taormina, Sicily for Bellini’s Norma.


Ain Anger’s concert repertoire includes a wide range of Estonian, Finnish and Russian songs, vocal pieces and vocal-symphonic music by Jacques Ibert, Hugo Wolf, Franz Schubert, Carl Loewe, Gioachino Rossini and others. He has been featured in the Requiems of Mozart, Dvořák, and Verdi and in Bach’s St. John and St. Matthew Passion. His numerous opera roles include characters as the Poet (Cyrano de Bergerac), Angelotti (Tosca), Colline (La Bohéme), Montenore and Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Pistola (Falstaff), Zaccharia (Nabucco), Filippo (Don Carlos), Banquo (Macbeth), Ramfis (Aïda), Padre Guardiano (La forza del destino), Zuniga (Carmen), Leporello and Komtuur (Don Giovanni), Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Bartolo and Basilio (ll barbiere di Siviglia), Fafner (Das Rheingold and Siegfried), Titurel (Parsifal), Hunding (Die Walküre), Daland (Der fliegende Holländer), Pogner (Meistersinger), König Heinrich (Lohengrin), Landgraf (Tannhäuser), Krahv Des Grieux (Manon), Balthasar (La Favorite) and Orest (Elektra).

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, 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”. 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: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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