BOARD OF ADVISORS
When I began the Lotte Lehmann Foundation I knew that it would gain in respect, prestige and effectiveness if I assembled a group of artists who were well-known in the world of art song. But the original stationery couldn’t have no advisors on it, so I approached personal friends in the field. The very first to reply positively were composer Dan Welcher, pianist/conductor Natalie Limonick, Juilliard teacher Fred Fehleisen, and Great Song interviewees such as Elly Ameling (who later withdrew), Marilyn Horne, Dalton Baldwin, who had worked with Lehmann when she coached Souzay and finally, Thomas Hampson. Now armed with stationery that included these names I approached other specialists in the world of song and was amazed at the wonderfully prompt replies of acceptance. I thank them sincerely. Below you’ll find the list of advisors and thereafter a list of the people active as of 2016. The asterisks denote those I didn’t bring onto the Advisor Board. The “X” denotes the ones who have died. Many of these people were legends to me and it was really exciting to be in touch with them.
Derek Lee Ragin
Frederica von Stade
The active Lotte Lehmann League board members as of 2016 include:
Derek Lee Ragin
Larry Alan Smith
Frederica von Stade
Early in 1997, Olaf Bär made his highly successful American operatic debut as Papageno in Chicago, and has also appeared more recently as a guest artist in Dresden, performing as Marcello, Germont Pere and as the Count/Figaro (with Colin Davis). Olaf Bär’s success at the Vienna Festival in May, in Schubert’s Alfonso e Estrella led to a return invitation to sing Dr Falke in 1999. His other operatic appearances included the Count /Figaro in Rome, Wolfram in Dresden and Don Giovanni in Verona.
His recordings of opera and concert repertoire include performances in Ein Deusches Requiem and Die Zauberflöte with Roger Norrington and the London Classical Players, a disc of Bach Cantatas with Peter Schreier and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and both the Durufle and Faure Requiems. All are available on EMI Classics.
In the summer of 1985 Olaf Bär made his first Lieder record for EMI Classics, a programme of Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Liederkreis. Since then, under his exclusive contract for Lieder with EMI Classics, he has recorded much of the most important Lieder repertoire, including Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, (which won a Gramophone award) Winterreise and Schwanengesang, Schumann’s Liederkreis and Kerner-Lieder Op. 35, and a disc of songs by Brahms. His accompanist in all of these recitals was the late Geoffrey Parsons.
Bär has also joined forces with the Swedish mezzo soprano Anne Sophie von Otter to record Wolf’s Spanisches Liederbuch, again recorded with Geoffrey Parsons. The songs are performed in an order devised by Bär himself, and the recording was released by EMI Classics in June 1995. EMI Classics issued a recording featuring Olaf Bär in August, September and October 1995. First, a disc of Brahms’ Liebesliederwalzer, Op.52, and Neue Liebeslieder, Op.65, and Schumann’s Spanische Liebeslieder, Op.138. For this Bär was joined once again by Anne Sophie von Otter, as well as soprano Barbara Bonney, tenor Kurt Streit and the pianists Helmut Deutsch and Bengt Forsberg. This was followed by a recital of Liebeslieder and a collection of Lieder written by German composers primarily known for their operas, once again in partnership with Helmut Deutsch.
In August 1996 EMI Classics released a new recording of Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch on which Bär is joined not only by Helmut Deutsch, but also by the soprano Dawn Upshaw. In November ’96 this was followed by a Christmas album, Weihnachten in Deutschen Lied and in January 1997, a compilation of Schumann Lieder, Romances and Ballades, both recorded with the accompanist Helmut Deutsch. In November 1997 EMI Classics released a collection of Brahms Lieder, Op 63, 71, 72 and 94, together with Four Serious Songs Op 121, accompanied by the pianist Helmut Deutsch. Other recordings have included a disc of Schumann Lieder, Op 25 & 27, with the soprano Juliane Banse and the accompanist Helmut Deutsch, released in April 1998.
Mr. Bagwell is one of today’s most active young pianists in the fields of song recital and opera. Among the singers he has accompanied in concert include Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, Roberta Peters, Denyce Graves, Andrea Rost, Ying Huang, Kristine Jepson and Lucine Amara. He has performed with the violinists Midori, and Scott St. John, and has been a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival. At the Metropolitan Opera Thomas Bagwell has served as assistant conductor since 1997. His other music staff affiliations have included the Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, Washington Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Baltimore Opera. One of the highlights of his Met tenure was the Jonathan Miller production of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress where he performed the harpsichord continuo under the baton of James Levine. Thomas Bagwell’s career has taken him to such venues as Vienna’s Musikverein, London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Cologne’s Symphonie Hall, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. His work with the rising generation of singers include recitals with Marcus DeLoach (winner of the first Wigmore Hall International Song Competition), Michelle DeYoung, Gregory Turay, Eric Cutler, and Lynette Tapia. Under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation he has performed numerous recitals and galas. For his accompanying, Peter G. Davis in New York magazine wrote, “Thomas Bagwell’s bejeweled playing showed that the art of the accompanist is alive and well.”
At the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York, Mr. Bagwell presented a series of seven all Hugo Wolf Lieder recitals to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of the great Austrian composer. This series, which involved thirty singers from the rosters of the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera and many prestigious art song competition winners, was followed in the spring of 2005 by a Mahler Lieder series again at the Austrian Cultural Forum.
As a teacher and coach, Thomas Bagwell has taught at Yale University and is on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music.
Soprano Juliane Banse was born in the South of Germany and spent her childhood in Zurich, Switzerland. She began playing the violin at the age of five and while still at school, she trained as a ballerina at the Zurich Opera where she also appeared on stage. She began her singing lessons at the age of fifteen; her first teachers were Paul Steiner and Ruth Rohner (Opera Zurich). After leaving school she continued her studies with Brigitte Fassbaender and Daphne Evangelatos in Munich.Now she is a sought-after teacher herself and passes her experience on to young students. Her master classes lead her to Europe (Schubertiade Feldkirch) and the USA.In June 1989 she won First Prize at the singing competition of the Kulturforum, Munich. In December 1993 the International Franz Schubert Institute awarded Juliane Banse with the Grand Prix Franz Schubert for her excellent interpretation of this composer’s works.She made her operatic debut as Pamina at the Komische Oper Berlin in 1989 and was subsequently reinvited for Ilia in Idomeneo. Further engagements led her to Brussels (Pamina and Despina), Salzburg (Sophie), Glyndebourne (Zerlina), Vienna (Zdenka, Pamina, Susanna, Sophie, Marzelline etc.) and Cologne (Musette in La Boheme). She sang the title role in Massenet’s Manon at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the international press showered her with rave reviews for her performance of the title role in Heinz Holliger’s new opera Schneewittchen which was premiered in Zurich in 1998. She returned to Vienna to sing Ighino in Pfitzner’s Palestrina in a new staging. In 1999, she made her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich as Pamina, and performed the same role in a new production in Vienna in 2000. In 2001, she returned to Munich Opera as Galatea in Handel’s Acis and Galatea, and again in 2002, charming the audience in Jurgen Rose’s new staging of Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. In spring 2003, she sang Marzelline in Simon Rattle’s production and CD recording (EMI) of Beethoven’s Fidelio with the Berlin Philharmonic. In 2004, she will return to Munich as Pamina under Ivor Bolton.
Concert performances are of equal importance to the versatile artist. She regularly appears with Helmuth Rilling. In 1994, she made her debut with the Vienna Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado, where she sang Berg’s Lulu-Suite. The orchestra immediately reinvited her for concerts with Carlo Maria Giulini and André Previn. She made her US debut in 1995 with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under Slatkin. Under the baton of the late Sinopoli, she recorded Berg’s Sieben fruühe Lieder with the Staatskapelle Dresden for Teldec. Other highlights of the past include performances with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle, the San Francisco Symphony, with Boulez in Cleveland and with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Maazel as well as under Järvi. She sang Mahler’s Symphony No 2 on a much-acclaimed tour with the Vienna Philharmonic under Rattle and Symphony No 4 on the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s tour to Japan, conducted by Chailly. Under Marek Janowski, she sang at Tonhalle Zürich, participated in the world and German premiere of Braunfels’ Heilige Johanna under Manfred Honeck conducting the Swedish Radio Symphony respectively the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and continued her collaboration with Simon Rattle in Berlin with Bach’s St. John Passion.
Important events of the upcoming season include concerts with RAI Torino under Jeffrey Tate, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under Blomstedt (Missa solemnis) and Harding (Mahler 4) and she will return to Tonhalle Zurich and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, again under Simon Rattle. With Nikolaus Harnoncourt, she will perform at the Musikerein in Vienna.
Juliane Banse is a dedicated lied singer. After the final recitals of the Schubert Series in Cologne, the press hailed her as “Star of the Evening”. With pianist Maurizio Pollini, she sang Schubert recitals in New York’s Carnegie Hall as well as in Tokyo. With Helmut Deutsch, Wolfram Rieger or Andras Schiff, she is a regular guest at the major European lied venues, like Schubertiade Schwarzenberg and Konzerthaus Vienna or the Wigmore Hall in London. She just completed a tour with her colleagues I. Danz, Prégardien and Bär going to Florence, Strasbourg, Frankfurt, Berlin and Madrid.
Juliane Banse’s extensive discography includes Duets with Brigitte Fassbaender, a Schumann CD with Olaf Bär and Helmut Deutsch (EMI), Berg’s Altenberg Lieder and Lulu Suite under Abbado with the Vienna Philharmonic (DGG) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Cleveland Orchestra under Pierre Boulez, again for DGG.
Steven Blier enjoys an eminent career as an accompanist and vocal coach. Among the many artists he has partnered in recital are Samuel Ramey, Lorraine Hunt, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Kurt Ollmann, William Sharp, Suzanne Mentzer, Dwayne Croft, Roberta Peters and Arlene Auger. His collaboration with Cecilia Bartoli, begun in 1994, has continued with appearances at Carnegie Hall, throughout the US and Canada, where Mr. Blier played both piano and harpsichord. In concert with soprano June Anderson, he was most recently heard at La Scala, Milan. He began a new recital collaboration in winter, 1999 with soprano Renee Fleming, with concerts throughout North America and Europe and also with bass Samuel Ramey. In the 1999-2000 Mr. Blier will collaborate with soprano Jessye Norman and baritone Wolfgang Holzmair in the US, including a recital at San Francisco Performances and in Chicago.Mr. Blier is the co-founder and co-artistic director, with Michael Barrett, of the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS). Since its inception in 1988, he has programmed, performed, and annotated over fifty vocal recitals, with a wide-ranging repertoire from Brahms and Janacek, to Gershwin and Lennon-McCartney, as well as music from South America, Scandinavia and Russia. A champion of American music, he has participated in world premiere performances of works by John Corigliano, Ned Rorem, William Bolcom, John Musto, and Lee Hoiby, many of which were commissioned by the New York Festival of Song.In keeping the traditions of American popular music alive, Mr. Blier has brought back to the stage many of the rarely-heard songs of Gershwin, Arlen, Kurt Weill, and Cole Porter. He has also played ragtime, blues, and stride piano works from Eubie Blake to William Bolcom, both as soloist and in duo-piano evenings with John Musto. His discography includes the premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles (Koch International), which won a Grammy Award; the NYFOS discs of Blitzstein, Gershwin, and German Lieder (“Unquiet Peace”); Gershwin’s Lady Be Good! for Nonesuch Recordings; and the songs of Charles Ives on Albany Records (in partnership with baritone William Sharp). Soon to be issued is a disc with cellist Dorothy Lawson, including premiere recordings of music by Busoni and Borodin. Mr. Blier’s recent engagements have included Ned Rorem’s full-length song cycleEvidence of Things Not Seen, commissioned by the NYFOS and the Library of Congress.The highly acclaimed premiere has been followed by performances across the United States, as well as a recording on New World Records. The music of George Gershwin also figures prominently in Mr. Blier’s 1998-99 schedule, including centenary concerts in New York and Washington, D.C.
Mr. Blier is on the faculty of the Juilliard School, and has been active in encouraging young recitalists at summer programs including the Wolf Trap Opera Company and the Chautauqua Festival. His writings on opera have been featured in recent issues of Opera News magazine. He has also been a regular guest on the Metropolitan Opera’s broadcast intermissions. A native New Yorker, he received an Honors Degree in English literature at Yale University.
Ms. Bonney writes: “There is not much difference between the so-called “art-song” of the 19th and 20th centuries, and “pop-songs” of today; they reflect the mood of the times, the culture, and are an expression of the ideology and needs of our civilization. It is important to remind ourselves of history, to have a taste of different languages, and to be inspired by the music and the poetry.”Barbara Bonney is one of the world’s most accomplished lyric sopranos.She is widely recognised as one of the foremost lieder singers of her generation, and has performed her signature roles of Mozart and Strauss the world over. She has been praised for her radiant tone, interpretative gifts, and stylistic versatility in a repertoire that ranges from the Baroque to twentieth-century music. The engaging warmth of her personality, her thoughtful approach to programming, and her extraordinary ability to convey the nuances of a poetic text are most evident in the recitals that serve as the cornerstone of her career. Dedicated to guiding and inspiring the younger generation in the realm of song literature while she herself is actively performing, she frequently gives masterclasses for young singers.Her impressive discography of more than 70 recordings encompasses the genres of Lieder, sacred and choral music, opera and contemporary works. She has recorded her favourite Mozart roles with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, as well as with original instruments and Arnold Östman. In her signature role of Sophie she appears in two video recordings of Der Rosenkavalier with Sir Georg Solti and Carlos Kleiber.
Appearances in 2000 are devoted entirely to concert and recital. Highlights of the season include appearances at the Salzburg Mozartwoche, recital tours of America, including appearances at the Tanglewood and Ravinia Festivals, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Miss Bonney also sings several recitals throughout Europe with appearances in London (Wigmore Hall), Munich, Paris, the Schubertiade in Feldkirch, and Amsterdam. In the Pacific region, Miss Bonney will give a concert and recital tour of Australia with the Sydney and Melbourne symphonies, a recital tour of Japan, and a concerts with the Saito Kinen Festival and Seiji Ozawa. Further concert tours include America with the Gothenburg Symphony, a European Tour with the Oslo Philharmonic (Janssons), and with the Concertgebouw Orchestra (Chailly), with Harnoncourt and the Concentus Musicus, with Riccardo Muti at La Scala, and a further tour with the Freiburg Barock Ensemble. She will also give lectures commemorating the Grand Tour of ‘Swedish nightingale’ Jenny Lind in the United States in 1850/51. Miss Bonney will receive an honorary Doctorate degree from her Alma Mater, the University of New Hampshire.
Known for her lustrous voice and pitch perfect three-octave range, soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson commands an extraordinary amount of vocal literature spanning many centuries, and is especially known for her performances of twentieth-century repertoire. With the Ensemble InterContemporain under the direction of Pierre Boulez, she has traveled to Canada, Japan, Australia and Russia, as well as throughout Europe. Her unaccompanied recitals have received standing ovations in Paris, at the Warsaw Festival, Salzburg Festival, in Israel, and in the United States.A versatile musician who has studied piano, organ and violin in addition to voice, she made her debut as a soloist in Berg’s Lulu Suite with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1966. Her first operatic performance was in the role of Malinche in the 1976 U.S. Premiere of Roger Sessions’ Montezuma. In 1993, she took part in a year-long celebration of the 70th birthday of György Ligeti, performing his works in Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles and Paris. Other recent performances include the New York premiere of Kafka Fragments by György Kurtäg at the Guggenheim Museum, and a celebration of the life and work of Milton Babbitt with performances of Philomel and Vision and Prayer in Los Angeles. Ms. Bryn-Julson has recorded over 150 CDs and recordings and has been nominated for two Grammy awards. Her recording of Arnold Schoenberg’s Erwartung with Simon Rattle won the 1995 best opera Gramaphone award. Ms. Bryn-Julson’s most recent premier and recording of An American Decameron by Richard Felciano took place in Los Angeles and the Library of Congress. This work was written for her. She was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame in 2000. The first American ever to give a master class at the Moscow Conservatory (in 1988), Ms. Bryn-Julson currently serves as Chair of the Voice Department at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland.
Grace Bumbry has been awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award of the Music Academy of the West.One of the most renowned American singers of the past four decades, mezzo-soprano, Grace Bumbry was born in 1937 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was one of Lotte Lehmann’s most famous students. She made her concert debut in 1959 in London and her operatic debut at the Paris Opera the following year. Her distinctive dark-timbered voice lent itself perfectly to the core dramatic mezzo-soprano roles, such as Carmen, Amneris, and Eboli; Venus in Tannhäuser was a perfect role for Bumbry. Her appearance at the Bayreuth Festival in 1961 in that role marked the first performance given by a black artist there. It also won her the Richard Wagner medal. Here is an excerpt from the May 2002 Opera News review of Bumby’s Liederabend in Hommage to Lotte Lehmann held on 21 February 2002 in Alice Tully Hall. “Grace Bumbry wowed an already affectionate audience without relying on those nostalgic allowances made for a beloved veteran artist. Paying tribute to her mentor in the best possible way — by example — she presented a program of Schubert, Brahms, Liszt and Richard Strauss songs….Lehmann was a singer whose every word brimmed with emotional frenzy; Bumbry has never been about that. She communicates through the beauty of her voice, her regal presence and immaculate forward diction…” —Ira Siff
We have a copy of the Munich recital program performed by Ms. Bumbry in honor of Lotte Lehmann. Here are excerpts from the reviews that followed that program: “…Am Ende ihre Karriere, jenseits des strahlenden Zenits, besann sich Grace Bumbry nun voller Dankbarkeit ihrer Mentorin und Lehrerin Lotte Lehmann und versenkte sich ihr zu Ehren und zu ihrem Gedenken im Prinzregententheater in die subtile und empfindsame Welt des deutschen romantischen Klavierliedes. Niemand im Saal hatte wohl erwartet, dass Grace Bumbry die letzten Geheimnisse von SchubertsLiebesbotschaft oder Der Taubenpost zu entschl;ässeln vermag, aber mit welch emotionaler Glut sie Von eweiger Liebe (Brahms) sang oder die zarten Schwingungen von Schumanns Nussbaum zum Klingen brachte, traf dann noch unmittelbarer ins Zentrum als der rauschhafte Klangluxus der Cäcilie von Richard Strauss…” Abendzeitung —Rädiger Schwarz
Here are some words written after Bumbry’s recital of February 2002 in New York City: “…I was amazed at her interpretations. For me they were fabulous because they set an example of how to sing Lieder. The clarity of what she wanted to accomplish and the economy of means by which she did it should be a model to anyone trying to sing this repertoire. Clearly she knew every word of every song she was singing (and perhaps more so, since the program indicates that much of her time is spent teaching master classes at summer festivals) and was able to project this to the audience.
There were so many amazing things to be heard in each piece, but the song that sticks in my mind is Brahms’s Von ewiger Liebe op. 43, no. 1. “Dunkel, wie dunkel in Wald und in Feld! Abend schon ist es, nun schweiget die Welt.” Dark, how dark in the wood and field! Evening is here, now quiets the world.
Bumbry shaded the word “Dunkel” as if to send a shiver going up the audience’s spines. The word itself was sung within its own darkness. Then when she got to the word “schweiget” she made a quick diminuendo on the word (accompanying its downward leap), almost as if changing to a whisper, so as to demonstrate the quiet that takes hold of the world. All these dramatic touches were so appropriate for a song that speaks of an illicit love affair that has become public.
At the point where the boy (or man) speaks, “Leidest du Schmach,” Bumbry indicated a change of tone, becoming somewhat lyrical yet still “nervous” as opposed to the narrator which has been speaking from the outset. Clearly the boy was trying to be sympathetic, yet still carried the feeling of shame within him….
When the girl (or woman) began speaking (“Spricht das Mägdelein…”), Bumbry again signaled a very changed tempo (this time also indicated by Brahms), and shifted her body so as to become the girl. One felt that this girl was not going to be traumatized by the event, but felt that love would vanquish all enemies since it was stronger than them. It was here that Bumbry let loose, showing that love is stronger than ice or steel.
Bumbry kept on astounding me with what she did with the texts of songs, whether it was in German or in French (the latter for which she had a different battery of effects). Having seen a very reputable Lieder singer the previous night whom I felt did not really understand how to sing Lieder, I was thrilled to see Bumbry so totally enter the emotional space of each song. How did she do it? It wasn’t merely that she kept still (the previous night’s singer kept swaying according to the musical line). Very often, Bumbry did not keep still, but moved her head, her eyes, her left hand, or took a step forward, or changed her expression. I have to admit that, as much as I was conscious of the spell she so easily cast over the audience, I can’t figure out how she did it. But it was almost magical in the way, from start to finish of each song, you felt totally held by the music and presentation.
[The recital was in homage to Bumby’s teacher Lehmann.] Lacking a recording of Lotte Lehmann teaching “Von ewiger Liebe,” I’m not sure we can say that Bumbry transmitted Lehmann’s thoughts about it. But perhaps, even better, we might consider Bumbry to have captured the spirit of what Lehmann taught and has made it her own. In that sense it matters less whether Bumbry’s interpretational choices are the same as Lehmann’s but rather that she carries her mentor’s ideals and make them her own, freeing her to make them her own interpretational choices. I was not just convinced by Bumbry’s performance, but was so very moved by the impact it made on me. She made the technical flaws seem insignificant, while the communication was the priority.
International mezzo soprano and philanthropist Violet Chang has performed Lieder with such eminent pianists as Erik Werba and Dalton Baldwin. Her performances in Europe and Asia were hailed as landmark events. At this point, Violet Chang travels widely and among other things, promotes the Lehmann Foundation’s CyberSing.
In celebration of his one hundredth birthday, the Lotte Lehmann Foundation awarded Hugues Cuénod the World of Song Award for 2002. Hugues Cuénod, tenor, is a singer who has sung everything, from Machaut to Stravinsky. An outstanding sight-reader, with a flair for the unusual, Cuénod has left a discographic heritage of the first order. Especially noted for his recordings of mélodie, Bach and Elisabethan song, his performing career continued until his mid-90s.
He was born in 1902 and holds the record as the oldest person to make a debut at the Metropolitan Opera, singing the Emperor there in Turandot in 1987. In an interview in 1997, 95-year-old Swiss Cuénod talked to pianist Graham Johnson, recalling prewar Vienna and Paris, where he frequented aristocratic salons and worked with Nadia Boulanger. After the war, the new early-music boom relied heavily on his light, unmannered, natural sound, and Cuénod made several pioneering LPs — his 1950 recording of Couperin’s Lamentations prompted Stravinsky to ask him to sing in the premiere of The Rake’s Progress.
Opera has been a constant thread, but at the heart of Cuénod’s repertoire is French song — he knew and worked with Honegger, Auric, Roussel, Poulenc and others.
Though he didn’t know Mme. Lehmann personally he has written letters to the Foundation recalling specific performances that he enjoyed both in Vienna and Paris in the 1930s.
Mike Richter writes the following: Anyone familiar with French opera must know of Hugues Cuénod, the great, Swiss-born leggiero tenor of the Opéra. Like his successor, Michel Sächal (25 years younger), Cuenod’s career extended far beyond the comprimario rôles of opera. He was also noted in concert, singing exquisitely in English, German and Italian as well as in his native French. His style is unquestionably French and his voice has the characteristic softness and fluidity of that land’s most lyric instruments.He did sing at the Met, though his debut was a bit later than that of most: he was 85 when he took that stage as the Emperor Altoum in Turandot. Despite the delicacy of Cuénod’s production, he was easily heard even in the most demanding venues and was a mainstay at Glyndebourne in over 470 performances. Of course, he did have the advantage of sixty-year career to amass such a total.
The American pianist Mary Dibbern has resided in France since 1978, but now lives in the US. She is appreciated as an accompanist and vocal coach for operatic productions, recordings, recitals and competitions.Dibbern has music diplomas from the University of North Dakota (Grand Forks) and Southern Methodist University (Dallas) where she graduated summa cum laude with a Master of Music in accompaniment under the direction of Maestro Paul Vellucci. She studied vocal recital repertoire in Paris and Vienna with Nadia Boulanger, Dalton Baldwin, Gérard Souzay, Pierre Bernac, Erik Werba, Jörg Demus and Hans Hotter. In Vienna, she received the Franz Schubert Prize for Lieder Accompaniment. In 1987 she received a grant from the Fondation Internationale Nadia and Lili Boulanger that allowed her to undertake an extensive study of French opera with Janine Reiss, who later chose her as assistant for productions at the Thêtre Musicale de Paris-Chátelet, at the CNIPAL (Marseille) and in Toulouse.Mary Dibbern works internationally as a free-lance vocal coach and accompanist. She is a frequent guest at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées, Centre de Formation Lyrique of the Opéra National de Paris as well as on the main stage of the Opéra National de Paris and at the operas of Nice, Bordeaux, Lyons, TMP-Chatelet, the Opéra-Comique, the Opera of Toulouse, the Festival de Radio France & de Montpellier Languedoc-Rousillon, the Théatre Municipal de Lausanne (Switzerland), the Hawaii Opera Theatre and the Shanghai Opera House (PRC). She was in charge of musical and language preparation for the first French-language productions in China of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette and Bizet’s Carmen.
She has worked on the musical preparation of French, Italian and German operas and recordings in close collaboration with the world’s finest conductors. Mary has accompanied vocal recitals in the USA, Europe and Japan—notably at La Scala, the Théatre des Champs-Elysées, the Opéra-Comique, Radio France and the Opéra Royal de Versailles. Her recital recordings include Mélodies de Jacques Leguerney released by Claves (Switzerland), a CD produced to honor the composer’s 90th birthday celebration in Paris and which won the Grand Prix du Disque; Offenbach au Menu on the Maguelone label and Mélodies de Jacques Leguerney, Vols. I and II (LPs) for Harmonia Mundi France. After the success of her world premier recordings of Leguerney’s songs, she was chosen to edit eight volumes of the composer’s previously unpublished mélodies for Editions Max Eschig (Paris).
Mary has been guest master class teacher for both singers and accompanists at the Hawaii Opera Theater, the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, North Dakota State University Fargo, the University of Nevada Las Vegas (Artist in Residence), the University of Texas Austin, Coe College, Oregon State University Corvallis. She was also guest teacher and performing artist for the National Association of Teachers of Singing 1999 Summer Workshop: French Art Song in Study and Performance at Rutgers University as well as the following NATS chapters: Iowa Chapter, Las Vegas Chapter, San Diego Chapter, Cascade Chapter (Oregon), Puget Sound Chapter (Seattle), Georgia Chapter in collaboration with the Georgia Music Teachers Association, and the Dallas Ft. Worth Chapter.
She is the author of Tales of Hoffmann: Performance Guide and Carmen: Performance Guide for Pendragon Press, she has also written Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney: A Guide for Study and Performance in collaboration with Carol Kimball and Patrick Choukroun also published by Pendragon. Her book Faust and Romeo et Juliette: A Performance Guide, will be published by Pendragon in 2004.
Fred Fehleisen is currently the Assistant Dean of Mannes College of Music in New York City, where he has been a member of the Music History faculty since 1989. He has also been a member of the Music History faculty of The Juilliard School since 1996. As a violinist, he has appeared regularly with leading period instrument ensembles, including Concert Royal, the Smithsonian Concerto Grosso, the Classical Band, and London’s Hanover Band. Mr. Fehleisen has performed on recordings for Sony Classics, Newport Classics and ProArte.
Nicolai Gedda is perhaps the most versatile tenor of the 20th Century. Performing opera and song, he has sung in nine languages and in a vast repertoire that includes more than 60 opera roles. He has made more than 200 recordings over his 40 year career and has appeared at all of the major opera centers with the most prestigious conductors and colleagues.
Christine Goerke was chosen as the recipient of the 2001 Richard Tucker Award, an award given to a singer poised on the edge of a major national and international opera career. The award carries with it a $30,000 cash prize and participation in Tucker Foundation events. Christine was supported by the Foundation in 1994 with a Robert Jacobson Study Grant and in 1997 by a Richard Tucker Career Grant, the two other levels of awards granted by the Foundation. She joins in a very distinguished group of winners including, in the past five years, Greg Turay (2000 Award winner), Stephanie Blythe (1999), Patricia Racette (1998), David Daniels (1997) and Dwayne Croft (1996).
At Covent Garden on June 10, 2001 she performed as part of the Gala there. Tim Oldroyd worte: Christine Goerke, clearly a huge talent and who tossed off a fearless “come scoglio” with excellent runs and big tone.Ms. Goerke’s engagements have included Cosi with Ozawa in Japan, the War Requiem with the National Symphony under Slatkin, Vitellia at the Paris Opera (Garnier), and the Female Chorus in the Rape of Lucretia at Glimmerglass. With Mostly Mozart, she sang Schumann’s Paradies un die Peri. She has appeared as a vocal soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Dallas Symphony, the Oratorio Society of Washington, the San Francisco Symphony, the Saito Kinen Orchestra of Japan, and the Boston Symphony.
Baritone Nathan Gunn creates the excitement of the all-too-rare complete artist. He continued his growing relationship with the Metropolitan Opera in March 1997 when he sang Guglielmo in the house’s international radio broadcast ofCosi fan tutte. A graduate of the Met Young Artist Development program, his most recent appearances were as Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos and the Novice’s Friend in Billy Budd. He returned to the house as Schaunard in La Bohéme. Operatic engagements include Glyndebourne, the Bastille Opera and with the opera companies of Santa Fe and Seattle.
He is also a young master of Lieder, a genre he fell in love with during his days as a music student at the University of Illinois. He so excelled in it he was engaged to take part in a seven-year series on the songs of Franz Schubert initiated in 1990 by John Wustman, one of today’s most distinguished accompanists. His gift for Lieder shines in his concerts and recitals, as it did at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall where he sang Die schöne Müllerin to critical acclaim.
Concert engagements include his Carnegie Hall debut in Brahms’ German Requiem under Robert Shaw, appearances with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnanyi and the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur. He made his European debut in the title role of Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to the ARIA award, Nathan Gunn has won competitions and prizes coveted by aspiring young singers: the 1996 Marian Anderson Award, the Pope Foundation Music Award, the MacAllister Award, the St. Louis Symphony Young Artist Competition, and the 1994 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. At the MET, besides the roles already mentioned he has sung: Morales in Bizet’s Carmen and Paris in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette.
This young baritone has also had successful associations with other opera houses. At 23 in the Boston Lyric Opera’s production of Gounod’s Faust, he sang a splendid Valentin of which it was written: ” …it was hard not to wish the opera was entitled Valentin, instead of Faust.” He has also sung with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Glimmerglass Opera, the Wolf Trap and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in such diverse roles as Dandini (in La Cenerentola), Don Giovanni, Guglielmo, Papageno, and Oreste (in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride).
Mr. Gunn recorded on the EMI label a solo album of American songs, Bartok’s Cantata Profana, and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem (with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra) on the Telarc label.
Thomas Hampson is one of the world’s leading baritones. Equally at home on both concert and opera stages, he has recorded art song extensively and has appeared in several television specials on song.
Mr. Hampson studied at the Music Academy of the West, which Lehmann helped found. His major teacher, Sister Marietta Cole, was a former student of Lehmann. Another important teacher was Martial Singher at MAW.
Here is an appreciation of Hampson the Master Class teacher: Close to 11 on this stormy night, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music was still packed. Few left even now, in the fourth hour of Thomas Hampson’s voice master class – an event without a break.And now, a stir ran through Hellman Hall. The quiet, well-behaved, fascinated audience suddenly became transformed into a stadium crowd at the climatic moment of the home team’s playoff game. The crowd leaned forward collectively, rooting intensely for Sarah Viola to hit the high G in Schubert’s “Gretchen Am Sprinnrade” on pitch and with the “right tone” Hampson has been hammering into her through a dozen repetitions by now.
The ball landed in the end zone, a cheer went up almost simultaneously with the voice, Hampson beamed. . . but the young soprano from Eugene rebuked herself angrily, as if she carried the ball for the Ducks and some upstart California team blocked her way.
A hug from Hampson and the continued applause didn’t make much difference to Viola.
By the time she was done lifting a chair during the aria (“to help keep your ribs out”), got rid of her shoes (“so you won’t lean forward”), pressed her cheeks together with the back of her hands (“to force the air upward, but keeping your shoulders high, which you don’t get if you use your palms”), told to ignore the audience (“to hell with them”), and witnessed an intense discussion between Hampson and pianist Steven Bailey about the sound of the spinning-wheel – Viola was about as shell-shocked as a quarterback after a dozen concussions.
One thing though: she might not have realized, but everybody else – cheering lustily – certainly has: what seemed impossible 40 minutes ago, her getting that note right, did happen.
Enjoyable theater as Terence McNally’s Master Class may be, the drama of a master singer working with students is far more intense and moving. Vocal master classes, in my experience, are never about the “star” (if you listen to Callas’ classes, you will find none of the preening and carrying on McNally ascribed to her), and this is especially true about Hampson. He cares passionately about the music and his young charges. On one hand, he uses intelligent, self-deprecating humor (talking about his golf game, for example) to put the young people at ease; on the other hand, he is involved in the class with a serious, almost scary intensity.
In fact, as the baritone was circling Patricia Barboza (a soprano from Concord, originally from Pakistan) working on Mahler’s “Ich atmet’ einen linden Duft,” he corrected her posture, led her around, sang to her, towered over pianist Satoko Leisek, pressed in first his own cheeks, then hers – a bizarre image sprang to mind.
Hampson at his most intense (which is pretty much all the way through class and don’t be fooled by the banter and smiles) and most effective, resembles a Filipino faith-healer reaching into the guts of their “patients” with bare hands, removing the “bad part” and seeing the sick rise and walk away in glowing health. The big difference, of course, is that the Manila “surgery” is a terrible hoax and Hampson’s work is real, with lasting, beneficial effect.
Heather Clemens (from Moss Beach) and Elizabeth Amisano (from Elmira, New York) went through the same hour-long, “instant fix” Viola and Barboza experienced. In the heat and light of Hampson’s furious involvement, they all improved drastically, internalizing, using basic information they might have heard hundreds of times before. Here and now, the manipulation took place in the guts.
Thursday’s master class was both similar to and different from his Wigmore Hall appearance I attended in November. In London, he worked with brilliant young singers, at the beginning of promising careers. In San Francisco, the four sopranos were all more in need of a voice lesson than a final push before appearing in Wigmore Hall themselves. The Hampson method was the same, the transformation from weak to good much more noticeable, more dramatic, more impressive.
Impressive too is how little Hampson tries to impress the audience, how he deflects the young singers’ hero worship. At the beginning of the class, the “star” disappears, the working-teacher taking his place. He wants no attention on himself.
Where should the attention be? Hampson’s mantra is simple and powerful: H -B – S.
Over and over, he tells singers and their accompanists, he pleads, he yells, he repeats: H to hear the opening note, the phrase. B to take a breath. S to Sing. If you know where you want to go, you can’t get there, he says. Must hear what you want to sing. To the pianists, he repeats all evening long: wait until you “hear” the singer hear the music inside, and only then begin to play. He stops them: “Did you hear what she was hearing?” Many times, when the answer is “no,” Hampson says: “Exactly. Because she didn’t hear it either.”
Breath, obviously, is at the heart of the physical end of the singer’s triptych (the others are “the spiritual,” meaning the inexplicable magic of music and “the emotional”), and I have seen, here and elsewhere, Hampson improve breathing technique “instantly,” time and again.
He has some standard tricks – holding the chair is his favorite – and he has a knack for explaining principles with great economy, but it is his understanding of the students, his empathy and physical/total involvement that makes the difference.
Along with the physical and practical, Hampson’s emphasis on the text, the poetry, the meaning, the idea – the sources of music seems to communicate as well and as effectively. He tells the singer to breathe through the nose AND mouth, while warning her that “German romanticism must never be sentimental.. . it’s all about release.” Hear the music, he says, then touching her face: “breathe into THIS space.”
Hampson’s advice to focus on the beauty of the scene depicted in the music is simultaneous with the observation that “projection” is for physical objects, the task before the singer is to make the voice vibrate the right way. Goethe’s unhappiness with Schubert (“the song is no longer the poem, it ‘s something new and different”) is mentioned even as he is explaining that the voice goes sharp with too much air pressure, flat because of muscle tension. Through it all, he urges the singers – often in vain – to enjoy what they do, to acknowledge every little success, “not just remember the inevitable failure. . . find the pleasure that’s inside the music you’re singing.
Barbara Hendricks, soprano, is equally at home in opera, recital, jazz and popular song; her recordings have sold all over the world and received many accolades. Born in Arkansas, Ms. Hendricks studied at Juilliard with Jennie Tourel. Acclaimed as one of the leading recitalists of her generation, she has appeared at every major music center in Europe, Japan and North America and has also toured extensively in the Soviet Union.
Marilyn Horne recently retired from a career as the world’s most famous coloratura mezzo soprano. Almost single-handedly she restored Rossini operas to prominence. Her recordings of this repertoire would be sufficient to ensure her name in history, but she has also recorded many other operas and art songs to critical acclaim. She is head of the vocal department of the Music Academy of the West, where she was a student of Lehmann. Ms. Horne has established her own foundation which supports young artists performing classical songs in recital.
Mr. Johnson is the recipient of the Lehmann Foundation’s 2004 World of Song Award. After arriving in Britain from his native Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Graham Johnson studied at London’s Royal Academy of Music and subsequently with the late Geoffrey Parsons. In 1972 he was official accompanist at Peter Pears’s first masterclasses at The Maltings, Snape, and thereafter worked regularly with the great tenor. In 1975 he was invited by Walter Legge to accompany Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. In 1976 he formed The Songmakers’ Almanac to further the cause of neglected areas of piano-accompanied vocal music and to place the staple repertoire of song in new and challenging contexts. This endeavour was much supported by the late Gerald Moore, whose guiding influence in Johnson’s career was of crucial importance.Apart from devising and accompanying over one hundred and fifty Songmakers’ recitals, Graham Johnson has presented a number of summer recital cycles for London’s South Bank and Wigmore Hall, as well as a seven-part cycle of Goethe settings for the Alte Oper, Frankfurt. He has written and presented programmes for both BBC Radio and Television on the songs of Schubert, Poulenc, Liszt and Shostakovich. He is Professor of Accompaniment at London’s Guildhall School of Music, and a Fellow of that School as well as of the Royal Academy of Music. He has given masterclasses as far afield as Finland, New Zealand, and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.Graham Johnson has accompanied such distinguished singers as Elly Ameling, Victoria de los Angeles, Arleen Auger, Brigitte Fassbaender, Lucia Popp, Tom Krause, Jessye Norman, Peter Schreier, Marjana Lipovsek, Felicity Palmer, Ann Murray, Christine Schäfer, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Matthias Goerne and Dame Margaret Price. He has accompanied Dame Felicity Lott since their student days at the Royal Academy of Music where they worked together with the late Flora Nielsen.
Graham’s project to record the entire Schubert Lieder for Hyperion continues to attract critical acclaim, including the ‘Gramophone’ Solo Vocal Award in both 1989 (for his disc with Dame Janet Baker) and 1996 (for Die schöne Müllerin with Ian Bostridge); his other collaborators in the series include Thomas Allen, Brigitte Fassbaender, Thomas Hampson, Christoph Prégardien, Dame Margaret Price, Dame Felicity Lott, Ann Murray, Edith Mathis, Philip Langridge, Arleen Auger, Lucia Popp, Marjana Lipovsek, Christine Schäfer, Matthias Goerne and Peter Schreier. He has now embarked on a new project for Hyperion, to record the entire Lieder of Schumann. The first disc in this series, with Christine Schäfer, won the 1997 ‘Gramophone’ Solo Vocal Award.
Graham Johnson was awarded an OBE in the 1994 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Pianist Warren Jones frequently performs with many of today’s best-known artists, including Marilyn Horne, Denyce Graves, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Ruth Ann Swenson, Barbara Bonney, Carol Vaness, Samuel Ramey, James Morris, Olaf Bär and Bo Skovhus. In the past he has partnered such great singers as Kathleen Battle, Judith Blegen, Tatiana Troyanos and Martti Talvela. His collaborations and chamber music performances have earned consistently high praise from many publications: the Washington Post has remarked that he is “an indispensable partner”, while the San Francisco Examiner declared him to be “the single finest accompanist now working”.Mr. Jones has been featured in an interview with Eugenia Zuckerman on “CBS Sunday Morning” in which his work as a performer and teacher was explored, and he has appeared on television across the United States with Luciano Pavarotti. He has often been a guest artist at Carnegie Hall and in Lincoln Center’s Great Performers Series, as well as the festivals of Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Caramoor. His international travels have taken him to recitals at the Salzburg Festival, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, the Maggio Musicale Festival in Florence, the Teatro Fenice in Venice, and Opéra Bastille, Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Cultural Centre in Hong Kong and theatres throughout Scandinavia and Korea. Mr. Jones has been invited three times to the White House by American presidents to perform at concerts honoring the Presidents of Russia, Italy and the Prime Minister of Canada-and three times he has appeared at the U.S. Supreme Court as a specially invited performer for the Justices and their guests. He was featured in the United Nations memorial concert and tribute to Miss Audrey Hepburn, an event which was telecast worldwide following Miss Hepburn’s death.Recently three new compact discs with Mr. Jones have caught the public’s ear: on BMG/RCA Red Seal, he is featured in songs of Brahms, Sibelius and Stenhammar; on the Samsung Classics label, with Korean soprano Youngok Shin in A Dream, her first recital disc with piano; and for NPR Classics, a recital of spirituals with Denyce Graves, entitled Angels Watching Over Me. In 1997 several recordings were released featuring Mr. Jones: I carry your heart, with Ruth Ann Swenson on EMI, Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye, with Samuel Ramey on SONY Classics, and Fauré Songs with Barbara Bonney on RCA Red Seal. Other RCA Victor compact discs also feature Mr. Jones: Strange Hurt, in which he collaborates with young Metropolitan Opera soprano Harolyn Blackwell in contemporary American music of Ricky Ian Gordon; and Divas in Song, a live recording of Marilyn Horne’s 60th birthday concert from Carnegie Hall. A critically-acclaimed survey of the songs of Edward Grieg has also been issued by BMG/RCA Victor. Mr. Jones’ recording of Copland and Ives songs with Mr. Ramey for Decca/Argo was nominated for a Grammy Award; and he can be seen on the best-selling Deutsche Grammophon video/laser disc of his memorable Metropolitan Museum of Art concert with Kathleen Battle.Mr. Jones is a member of the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where highly gifted young artists work with him in a unique graduate degree program in collaborative piano. Each summer he teaches and performs at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. For ten years he was Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera and for three seasons served in the same capacity at San Francisco Opera.
Mr. Jones is also a prominent musical jurist, having been a judge for the Walter Naumberg Foundation Awards, the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Artists’ Association International Fine Arts Competition and the American Council for the Arts. In the Spring of 1997 he joined the jury of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, at Mr. Cliburn’s special invitation.
Born in Washington, D.C., Mr. Jones grew up in North Carolina and graduated with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts-where he was recently honored with the Conservatory’s Outstanding Alumni Award
Mr. Jones currently resides in New York City, where he enjoys reading historical novels, running, cooking and engaging in lively political discussions.
“Making music together is one of life’s greatest collaborations. Sharing the miracle and wonder of music with friends and colleagues is an incredibly special activity – and teaching, coaching, and helping others develop their skills in this pursuit has long been a passion of mine. It is one of the many reasons that I find my work on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City to be tremendously rewarding and fulfilling; additionally, it is a perfect match for my own performing in my personal development as a pianist and musician.
When visiting other schools for master classes, I generally like to work with performers/students who are selected and prepared to work together as a team on whatever song, opera or chamber literature they are assigned. Since making music together is the key here, all of the partners receive equal attention in their roles. They are encouraged to get to know one another’s parts in the collaboration and to act and react with each other as equals. Why do the words that are being sung necessarily influence the keyboard approach of the pianist? What role does the bowing of the violinist have in the phrasing of the singer? How does the pianist’s concept of pedalling and legato come into play with the articulation of the singer’s words? These are but some of the thousands of questions – and the search for the answers can be tantalizing indeed…”
Soprano Judith Kellock has been described in the press as “a singer of rare intelligence and vocal splendor, with a voice of indescribable beauty”. A primary influence in her musical life was the late Jan DeGaetani, with whom she studied for many years.Ms. Kellock has been featured with the St. Louis Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, the Honolulu Symphony, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Greek Radio Orchestra, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the West Virginia Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, and orchestras throughout New England. At the Aspen Festival she has been soloist with the Symphony Orchestra as well as in chamber music and oratorio. Other festival performances include Monadnock, Arcady Stockbridge Chamber Concerts, the Music Festival of the Hamptons, Windham chamber Concerts and SongFest, a performance and training program in southern California. Highly acclaimed for her song recitals and chamber music performances, she is also sought after by composers for her interpretation of contemporary music. She is a founding member of the new music group “Ensemble X”, whose music director is composer Steven Stucky. Ms. Kellock’s residency in Prague included recitals of German Lieder and American art song with pianist Phillip Moll, as well as master classes and lectures at the Prague Conservatory. As a recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts recitalist fellowship, she toured the West Coast with a variety of programs.Ms. Kellock has sung major operatic roles in Italy and Greece, toured with the Opera Company of Boston and performed with the Mark Morris Dance Company at the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels. She has recorded for Koch International, Turnabout, Sine Qua Non, Fleur de Son, Albany and Gasparo labels. Upcoming releases include music of Steven Stucky, Charles Fussell and Judith Weir.She has sung with major symphony orchestras and in the Aspen Festival. She sings oratoria and opera…but not the standard fare opera, rather Monteverdi, Chin, Hindemith, Tippet and Poulenc.
Ms. Kellock has recorded for Koch International, turnabout and Gasparo and is a 1995 Naitonal Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellow.
Ms. Kellock writes: “Of all the music there is to sing in the world, there is nothing more rewarding than poetry set for the voice in the form of solo song. A concert of songs can be, at once, an intimate emotional odyssey, and a breathtaking dramatic adventure.
I was thrilled when I learned of the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, and the work that [the Foundation] is doing to promote the sublime art of song in all its forms. Those of us who love and practice the song recital are all trying to find ways of getting people to take notice of the riches that lie within the solo song. And so we must be creative in our methods of delivery. It is no longer enough to plug in the standard repertory to the traditional format, and hope for the best. Now we have to find new connections, whether they are poetic, harmonic, geographical or stylistic. We have to be willing to mix Barber and Strauss, Schubert and Cole Porter. And a luxury it is to be able to create your own journey out of the wealth of song literature.
Language is another issue. I have been experimenting with singable translations of foreign language texts. Although this often doesn’t work, either for the sake of the poem or the music, there are many instances where it can be very successful. Many composers, from Handel to Poulenc, requested that their vocal music be performed in the vernacular of the audience. Another brilliant solution is the brainchild of Mr. Hickling: supra titles for Lieder! This could have far-reaching implications for the future of the song recital. I look forward to following the progress of that, and to my involvement with the Lotte Lehmann Foundation.”
Ms. Kellock serves on the performing faculty of Cornell University, and is much in demand as a master class teacher.
A passionate advocate for classical song, Carol Kimball is the author of Song: A Guide to Art Song Style and Literature, a highly regarded reference and text that has become “the principal one-volume American source on the topic,” and Interpreting the Songs of Jacques Leguerney: A Guide for Study and Performance (with Mary Dibbern and Patrick Choukroun). She has edited The French Song Anthology, Women Composers: A Heritage of Song, and Art Song in English: 50 Songs by 21 American and British Composers, all publications of the Hal Leonard Corporation. Her writing also includes the Singer’s Edition opera anthologies and articles and reviews on opera and song in many professional journals, including The Opera Quarterly, The Opera Journal (National Opera Association), and The Journal of Singing (National Association of Teachers of Singing). She has served as past editor of The Journal of Singing and The Opera Journal. Dr. Kimball has written liner notes for the following recordings: Four Composers-One Voice (cycles by Del Tredici, Hagen, Rorem, and Baley with the composers at the piano), Arsis Records; Le Premier matin du monde (works by Chausson, Fauré, Debussy, Poulenc, and Satie), Cambria Master Recordings; and(In)Habitation: Musical Settings of Margaret Atwood Poetry, forthcoming in 2008 (newly commissioned works by Libby Larsen, Amanda Harberg, Lori Laitman, Tania Léon, Elisenda Fabregas, and Judith Cloud), Centaur Records. As a performer, Carol Kimball earned a reputation as an expressive and versatile performer in concerts, opera, and musical theater. Recognized as a gifted recitalist, her imaginative programming and the unusual scope of her repertoire garnered critical praise. A specialist in French repertoire, Dr. Kimball has studied and coached with Pierre Bernac, Gerard Souzay, Martial Singher, Thomas Grubb, and Dalton Baldwin. Carol Kimball is Professor of Voice and Vocal Literature and a Barrick Distinguished Scholar at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she has taught since 1972. For her accomplishments in and for the Arts, she was honored with the 1992 Nevada Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in the Arts. She remains active teaching, presenting master classes and clinics, and writing.
Jennifer Larmore’s operatic début in France as Sesto inMozart’s La clemenza di Tito in 1986 marked the start of a brilliant international career in which the operas of Rossini, Bellini, Mozart and Handel have come to figure particularly prominently. As Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia she has appeared to great acclaim in Paris, Amsterdam, Bonn, Berlin, Bilbao and London. It was also this role that she chose for her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1995. She was first heard at La Scala, Milan, in Rossini’s Le comte Ory, later returning for Ravel’s Lé enfant et les sortiléges. She has appeared as Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchiin Paris, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Lisbon, Geneva and Vaison-la-Romaine. She made her Salzburg Festival debut in 1993 as Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and has sung the title role in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Amsterdam, Lisbon, New York and Paris.Ms. Larmore writes: “In the beginning, when you’re doing auditions and basically feeling insecure, the last thing you need or want is for someone to throw discouragement in your face. I sang several competitions as a young singer, and although many judges and other people involved with these competitions told me they thought I was the best singer that evening, I still didn’t win. In addition, I was given some of the most amazing reasons by the judges. One told me that I was going to have a great career anyway, so I really didn’t need the prize! Another told me that he was afraid to give me a prize because I was too pretty, and people would have thought I won because of my appearance. Again, right before I walked on to sing in a prestigious East Coast competition, one of the judges told me that I had no business being there because I was too young. It shook my confidence, but I still won third prize. I was told by a well-known opera director that I would never be able to make a career because I had a fast vibrato!”Jennifer Larmore is equally at home on the concert stage with a wide-ranging repertory extending from Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Magnificat to Rossini’s Stabat mater and Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, which she has sung not only at the Vienna Musikverein with Riccardo Muti and the Vienna Philharmonic but also at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
Natalie Limonick accompanied singers in master classes held by Lehmann at the Music Academy of the West, and was associated with that institution for decades. Former Professor of Music and General Director of Opera at the University of Southern California, Ms. Limonick was also Associate Director of Opera at the University of California at Los Angeles. One of the first women and Americans to coach at Bayreuth, she was visiting professor at the Universities of Indiana and Texas and has shared the recital stage with such art song specialists as Elly Ameling, Carol Neblett, Marni Nixon and Marilyn Horne. She remained active in the musical life of Los Angeles, until she retired from the position of President of the Opera Guild of Southern California, shortly before her death.
Lotfi Mansouri was San Francisco Opera’s general director from 1988 until 2002; his association with the Company dates back to 1963, when he directed six productions. He directed over 60 productions for the San Francisco Opera.Born in Iran, he attended college at UCLA and studied briefly with Lotte Lehmann at the Music Academy of the West. Mr. Mansouri served as resident stage director at Zurich Opera from 1960 to 1966. In 1965, he started working simultaneously at the Geneva Opera, where he became head stage director in 1966 and stayed until 1976. During this period, he began fulfilling engagements as guest director at various houses throughout Italy and North America, including Chicago, Houston, Santa Fe, Philadelphia, Dallas and both the Metropolitan and New York City Opera companies.In 1976, he was named general director of the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, where he directed 30 new productions, 12 of them Canadian premieres.
A leading soprano with the Metropolitan, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Buenos Aires, Salzburg, Hamburg, and Covent Garden opera companies, Miss Neblett has been acclaimed the world over by both critics and audiences. Extraordinarily personable, intelligent and beautiful she is a singing star equally at home in opera, recital, concerts, radio, television, recordings and films. In recent season she opened the Maggio Musicale in Florence as the Prima Donna in Hindemith’s Cardillac, Didon in Les Troyens for the Los Angeles Opera, Tosca, Musetta in La Boheme and Minnie in La Fanciulla del West at the Met, The Merry Widow for Baltimore Opera and the title role in Opera Pacific’s production of Regina. She returned to the San Francisco Opera for performances of Helen of Troy in Mefistofele. Ms. Neblett made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1979 as Senta in the Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production of Der Fliegende Hollander and has sung regularly with the Met inTosca, Don Giovanni, Manon Lescaut, Un Ballo in Maschera, Falstaff, and La Fanciulla del West. In the 1993-94 Metropolitan Opera season Carol celebrated her 25th operatic anniversary as Musetta in La Boheme. She made her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in 1976 as Tosca with Luciano Pavarotti, and has sung this role more than 400 times! Subsequently, she was invited to sing Minnie with Placido Domingo for Queen Elizabeth’s 25th Jubilee Celebration at Covent Garden, which was filmed live and recorded.Since her 1969 debut with the New York City Opera as Musetta, Miss Neblett has sung many leading roles with the company, including La Traviata, Manon, Louise and Ariadne auf Naxos, Le Coq d’Or and Faust. Her critical triumph in the dual roles of Marguerita and Helen of Troy in Boito’s Mefistofele with famed bass Norman Treigle created a sensation world-wide. Miss Neblett revealed her unique dancing, acting and singing skills with her performance of Korngold’s Die Tote StadtL which she subsequently recorded.
Impresarios and directors have always looked to Ms. Neblett as an artist who could bring life to operas which are rarely performed. She has been heralded for her performances in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, La Wally, L’Amore dei Tre Re, Idomeneo Le Cid and La Vestale. In 1987, European critics hailed her performance in Palermo, Italy, in the title role of Respighi’s Semirama, and in 1989 she sang an equally acclaimed performance of Bellini’s La Straniera at the Spoleto Festival.
Carol Neblett’s extensive orchestral repertoire includes more than one hundred oratorios and symphonic works, many of which have bee documented. Her recordings include Musetta in La Boheme for Angel/EMI, James Levine conducting, La Fanciulla del West, with Placido Domingo and Sherrill Milnes, Zubin Mehta conducting (DGG); Marietta in Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt, Erich Leinsdorf conducting (RCA); Mahler’s Symphony No.2 with Claudio Abbado and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and a special recording with Roger Wagner on Angel/EMI entitled Magnificat. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a compact disc was issued of Miss Neblett singing Soprano #1 in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, James Levine conducting. Miss Neblett is featured in “James Levine’s 25th Anniversary with the Metropolitan Opera” recording singing the role of Alice Ford in Falstaff with Giuseppe Taddei.
Further triumphs include an international broadcast of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, under Maestro Carlo Maria Giulini. Miss Neblett performed in the television broadcast of a tribute to George London, featuring an illustrious group of singers at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. A recording of this performance, “A Tribute to George London,” has been released by RCA.
Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson was born in 1918 in the town of Vastra Karup in the province of Skane (Scania) in southern Sweden. Miss Nilsson made her operatic debut in 1946 as Agathe in Der Freischütz with only 3 days notice. Her debut came shortly after she had joined the Swedish Opera School. After her brief stint as Agathe, Miss Nilsson made her breakthrough performance as Lady Macbeth in 1947 at the Royal Opera in Stockholm.
Miss Nilsson attained international stardom after a performance as Isolde in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1959. She said, though, that the single biggest event in her life was when she was asked to perform at the opening of the 370th season at La Scala as Turandot in 1958. She became the first non-Italian other than Maria Callas ever granted the privilege of opening a season at La Scala. In 1966, Miss Nilsson was asked to appear in a rather unusual performance at the Metropolitan Opera. During a showing of Tannhäuser, she was asked to sing the parts of both Venus and Elisabeth. They did not appear on stage at the same time, of course!
Birgit Nilsson was probably best known for her portrayals of Turandot, Brünnhilde in Richard Wagner’s Der Ring Des Nibelungen, Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, and Elektra. Miss Nilsson was also known for her interesting relationship with Rudolf Bing. When Bing was asked if Birgit was difficult, he replied, “Not at all, you put enough money in and a glorious voice comes out.” When preparing her taxes Miss Nilsson was asked if she had any dependents. “Yes,” she said, “Rudolf Bing.” Miss Nilsson retired from opera in 1984.
In 2001 Birgit Nilsson was Guest of Honor at The Richard Tucker Foundation Gala being held at Covent Garden. The participants included one of the Lotte Lehmann’s students and a Foundation Advisor, Grace Bumbry.
Born in Altadena, California, Marni Nixon’s career includes Opera, (Seattle, San Francisco, Ford Foundation TV Opera Cameos, the former Los Angeles Guild Opera and Cosmopolitan Opera), Chamber and Symphony Orchestra, Oratorio soloist and Grammy Nominated recordings both Popular and Classical (Boulez, Villa-Lobos, Ives, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Copland) including conductors Von Beinum, Wallenstein, Previn, Mehta, Stravinsky, Stokowski, Mauceri, Slatkin and Bernstein. Awards include Four Emmys for Best Actress on her children’s TV show Boomerang and two Gold Records for Songs for Mary Poppins and Mulan(voice of Grandma Fa), and 2 Classical Grammy Nominations. Broadway appearances include Heidi Schiller in Sondheim’s Follies, and originating the roles of Sadie McKibben in Opal, and Edna in Taking My Turn, and Aunt Kate in James Joyce’s the Dead. In Regional and Off-Broadway her roles have included Nurse in Shakespeare’sRomeo & Juliet, Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret, and recently Eunice Miller in Kander and Ebb’s “70, Girls, 70”. In the recent premiere of Richard Wargo’s Opera Ballymoreat Skylight Opera in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (taped for PBS) she originated the role of Mrs. Willson . She is a popular favorite on Garrison Keillor’s MPR radio show A Prairie Home Companion. A much sought after judge of Metropolitan Opera Auditions, National Association of Teachers of Singing, etc. Miss Nixon presents Master Classes in both Classical and Music theater repertoire, in Colleges and Universities and teaches privately throughout the USA. Miss Nixon is the singing voice for Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood and Audrey Hepburn in the Motion Pictures and on the Soundtracks of The King and I, An Affair to Remember, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, and Grandma Fa in The Legend of Mulan. “Stardom isn’t the goal,” says Nixon, who has mouthed songs for so many stars. “Staying in the industry and being successful at whatever you do is.”
Kurt Ollmann, baritone, has a broad-ranging career and is heard regularly with opera companies, orchestras, chamber music groups and on many recordings, but he has always been especially devoted to the song repertoire. Ollmann has sung recitals in all the major New York concert venues, at Wigmore Hall in London, at La Scala, Milan, in Paris, Geneva, Montreal, Chicago and many other European and American cities. He has appeared with such distinguished pianist-colleagues as Ned Rorem, Steven Blier, Dalton Baldwin, Donald St. Pierre, Mary Dibbern and James Tocco. Kurt Ollmann’s recordings of songs include those of Roussel for EMI, Leguerney for Harmonia Mundi, Bowles for BMG-Catalyst and Rorem for New World Records. He also sings on the AIDS Quilt Songbook (Harmonia Mundi).
Pianist J.J. Penna has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, South America and the Far East with a variety of eminent singers, including Kathleen Battle, Harolyn Blackwell, Amy Burton, Denyce Graves, David Daniels, Kevin McMillan, Roberta Peters, Florence Quivar, Sharon Sweet and Ying Huang.He has performed at Weill Recital Hall in New York, at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, at Wigmore Hall in London, at the Kennedy Center, and at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood. Devoted to the study and performance of new music, he has premiered works by William Bolcom, Tom Cipullo, Lowell Liebermann, Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Cohen.Mr. Penna received his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan in 1996 as a student of Martin Katz, and has received fellowships for further training at the Tanglewood Music Center, Banff Centre For the Arts, Chautauqua Institution, the Norfolk Summer Chamber Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West, and the Merola Opera Program, where he was presented with the Otto Guth Award as outstanding apprentice coach in 1994.Mr. Penna appeared at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in January 2004 as part of the Marilyn Horne Foundation’s The Song Continues series. Other engagements include recitals with Courteney Budd, Nancy Maultsby, Measha Brueggergosman and Denyce Graves, including appearances under the auspices of Young Concert Artists and the Marilyn Horne Foundation.Mr. Penna was the director of the vocal program at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival from 2001 to 2003. He is currently on the staff of the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival, in addition to directing his own song festival in Princeton, New Jersey each summer. Devoted to the teaching of art song literature, he is on the faculties of the Yale University School of Music and Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Troy Peters is a dynamic conductor noted for committed performances in a wide range of repertoire. In the fall of 2004, he was appointed Conductor of the Middlebury College Orchestra. As Music Director and Conductor of the Vermont Youth Orchestra since 1995, he has overseen a period of tremendous growth and received national acclaim for innovative programming. He is equally respected for his work with professional orchestras, and he has been a frequent and popular guest conductor with many groups including the Vermont Mozart Festival, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and the Vermont Philharmonic. Peters has also gained international attention for his orchestral collaborations with Trey Anastasio, guitarist and composer from the rock band Phish.Under the leadership of Troy Peters, the Vermont Youth Orchestra received four ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music and has grown from two orchestras to four, nearly tripling its student population. Peters was also a key player in the $2 million renovation of the VYO’s new home, the Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michael’s College. Before coming to Vermont in 1995, he worked with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra for seven years, serving as Assistant Conductor and Director of Chamber Music and conducting the orchestra on international tours to Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, England, Wales, Jordan, Israel, and Spain. He is the former Artistic Director and Conductor of the Pacific Chamber Soloists (Tacoma, Washington) and the former Artistic Director of Perpetuum Mobile (Philadelphia). A graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music and the University of Pennsylvania, he has also participated in numerous conducting workshops and clinics.Throughout his career, Peters has been consistently committed to music education. He has become a popular clinician and conductor for district, regional, and All-State orchestras around the U.S. He also has extensive experience with other youth orchestras, college and university orchestras, and community orchestras. A popular lecturer and teacher, he has presented pre-concert lectures and music appreciation classes for many groups, including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.Peters is also busy as a composer, where his work ranges from orchestral and chamber music to a large body of songs and an opera for hand puppets. Among his honors are the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and grants from Meet the Composer and the Rockefeller Foundation. His composition teachers included Ned Rorem and George Crumb. A versatile instrumentalist, Peters not only plays the viola, but has also performed on tenor banjo and electric guitar with symphony orchestras. He was born in 1969 in Greenock, Scotland, of American parents.
Prégardien, tenor, began his music career in a boys choir before studying voice in Frankfurt, Milan and Stuttgart. He is regarded as one of today’s outstanding lyric tenors and has received invitations from renowned conductors such as Chailly, Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Marriner and Rilling for major roles in oratorios, passions and operas. A substantial part of his repertoire is dedicated to the German romantic song. Prégardien’s numerous CD releases and tours outside Europe (Japan and North America) have brought him world wide fame. He sang for the Hyperion Schubert Edition.Born 1956 in Limburg, Germany, Christoph Prégardien began his musical education as a choirboy. He then studied singing with Martin Grändler and Karlheinz Jarius in Frankfurt, Carla Castellani in Milan, Alois Treml in Stuttgart.Widely regarded as among the foremost lyric tenors, Christoph Pr´gardien frequently collaborates with conductors such as Barenboim, Chailly, Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Jacobs, Koopman, Marriner, Nagano, and Sawallisch . His repertory spans a wide range from the great Baroque, Classical, and Romantic Oratorios and Passions to 20th century works by Britten, Killmayer, Rihm, Stravinsky.Recognized as an eminent recitalist, Christoph Prégardien is regularly welcomed at the major recitals venues of Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin, Cologne, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Zurich, Vienna, Barcelona and Geneva, as well as to concert tours throughout Italy, Japan and North America. A long lasting collaboration unites him with his favourite piano partners Michael Gees and Andreas Staier.
Soloist of Choice for renowned orchestras, he performed with the Berlin Symphony and Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, the London Philharmonia, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Orchestra Philharmonic de Radio France, the Boston and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
An important part of his repertory has been recorded by major labels such as BMG, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips, Sony, Erato and Teldec. He is represented on more than a hundred and twenty titles, including nearly all of his active repertoire.
His recordings of German Romantic Lied repertory have been highly acclaimed by public and press and received international awards including the prestigious OrphÆ dÓr of the Academie du Disque Lyric — Prix Georg Solti, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Edison Award, Cannes Classical Award, and Diapason dor.
He collaborated with Nikolaus Harnoncourt on two Teldec recordings: his “signature” part of the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (2002 Grammy winner for Best Choral Recording) and the role of Rinaldo in Haydn’s opera Armida opposite Cecilia Bartoli. His recording of Don Giovanni with John Eliot Gardiner, the English Baroque Soloists, and Monteverdi Choir was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.
As an opera singer, Christoph Prégardien has made stage appearances in major European houses, performing such leading roles as Tamino (Zauberflöte), Max (Der Freischütz), Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Sevglia), Fenton (Falstaff), and Monteverdi’sUlisse.
Currently Christoph Prégardien teaches a vocal class at Zurich’s Hochschule für Musik und Theater.
Derek Lee Ragin
Derek Lee Ragin, countertenor, began formal vocal training at the Newark Boys Chorus School, later attending Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. A specialist in Baroque music, Mr. Ragin also performs a wide repertoire of new music. He has performed in Salzburg, Vienna, Tanglewood, at the Metropolitan Opera, and with conductors such as Mazur, Ozawa, Gardiner, Salonen, and Shaw. He has recorded operas, cantatas, Italian lute songs and spirituals.
Miss von Stade’s career has taken her to the stages of the world’s great opera houses and concert halls. She began at the top, when she received a contract from Sir Rudolph Bing during the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, and since her debut in 1970 she has sung nearly all of her great roles with that company. In 1995, as a celebration of her 25th anniversary with the Metropolitan Opera, the company mounted a new production of Pelleas et Melisande specifically for her. In addition, Miss von Stade has appeared with every leading American opera company, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Music Center Opera, San Francisco Opera and Dallas Opera, among others. Her career in Europe has been no less spectacular, with new productions mounted for her regularly at La Scala, Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, and the Paris Opera. She is invited regularly by the world’s top conductors, among them Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Andre Previn, and Michael Tilson Thomas, to appear in concert with the world’s leading orchestras including Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony, Orchestra of La Scala, and many others.With seemingly effortless versatility she traverses an ever-broadening spectrum of musical styles and dramatic characterizations. A noted bel canto specialist, she excels as the heroines of Rossini’s La cenerentola and of Bellini’s La sonnambula. She has been one of the world’s favorite interpreters of the great trouser roles, from Strauss’ Octavian and Composer to Mozart’s Sextus, Idamante and Cherubino. Miss von Stade’s artistry has inspired the revival of neglected works such as Massenet’sCherubin, Thomas’ Mignon, Rameau’s Dardanus and Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. Her repertoire is continually expanding with newer works such as Dominick Argento’s The Aspern Papers and Thomas Pasatieri’s The Seagull. It was in San Francisco that she performed the role of Madame de Merteuil in the world premiere of Conrad Susa’s Dangerous Liasons which was broadcast on PBS.A respected recitalist, Miss von Stade combines her expressive vocalism and keen musicianship with a gift for communication engaging audiences throughout the world. Here too, her repertoire encompasses an expansive range, from the Italian “Arie antiche” to the songs of contemporary composers such as Dominick Argento, who compose specifically for her, from the classical style of Mozart and Haydn to the music of Broadway’s greatest songs.She has made over three dozen recordings with many major labels, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy’s Premio della Critica Discografica, and “Best of the Year” citations by Stereo Review, Opera News, and other journals.
Miss von Stade also appears regularly on television, with “Live from the Met” performances of Cherubino, Hansel and Idamante as well as a Unitel film of the classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production of La cenerentola. She created the role of Tina in the world premiere production of Argento’s The Aspern Papers (a work written for her) which was broadcast from Dallas Opera on PBS. In January 1996, Miss von Stade celebrated the art of American song with Thomas Hampson, Marilyn Horne, Dawn Upshaw and Jerry Hadley in a program at New York’s Town Hall titled, “I Hear America Singing,” which was televised by PBS. During the Fall of 1995 she recorded another television special for PBS which included arias, art songs and popular crossover material. A holiday special, Christmas with Flicka, was shot on location in Salzburg and appeared on PBS, and in the spring of 1990 she was the focal point of another PBS special, Flicka and Friends, in which she was joined by bass, Samuel Ramey, and tenor, Jerry Hadley, for an evening of operatic and musical theater selections. In December 1991 she appeared with Kathleen Battle and Wynton Marsalis in a Carnegie Hall Christmas Concert, which was conducted by Andre Previn and broadcast internationally on television; audio and home video recordings were issued by Sony Classics. She was the guest soloist for the Berlin Philharmonic’s 1992 New Year’s Eve gala, conducted by Claudio Abbado, which was also telecast worldwide and recorded in audio and video formats by Sony.
Frederica von Stade is the holder of honorary doctorates from Yale University, Boston University, the Georgetown University of Medicine, and her alma mater, the Mannes School of Music. In 1983 she was honored with an award given at the White House by former president Ronald Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts.
Nathalie Stutzmann, French contralto, enjoys a brilliant international career with equal success in the fields of opera, concert, recital and recording. She has made over 40 recordings, many for RCA Victor Red Seal, and has received many awards such as the Deutsche Schallplatten Kritik, Diapason dor, Japan Record Academy Award, and a Grammy Award. Her repertoire includes both French and German art song.Here is a more thorough biography of this great singer: Contralto Nathalie Stutzmann was born in Paris. She studied singing with her mother, the lyric soprano Christiane Stutzmann, and then at the Ecole d’Art Lyrique de lâ Opéra de Paris where she improves her lieder repertoire with the baritone Hans Hotter. She is also a highly accomplished pianist, bassoonist and chamber musician.Regarded as one of the greatest voices and musical talents of our time, Nathalie Stutzmann works very often with conductors like Chailly, Ozawa, Gardiner, Rattle, Dohnanyi. Her vast repertoire covers the main Oratorios and Passions of the baroque period, classical, and romantic, as well as works of the 20th century.Nathalie Stutzmann is particularly renowned for her interpretations of German Lied and French melody. Since 1994 she has collaborated intensely with the Swedish pianist Inger Sødergren. They are regularly performing recitals together in Paris, London, Berlin, New York, Amsterdam, Madrid, Geneva, Brussels, Milan, and throughout Japan, the United States and South America.
She is also in great demand as soloist of famous orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, Boston and Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, la Staatskapelle Dresden, le Sinfonieorchester des Bavarian Radio Orchestra of Munich.
A large part of her repertoire has been recorded by RCA the record company with which she has recorded with since 1991. Her discography today includes more than sixty recordings for labels including Erato, Philips, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, and Sony.
Notable recordings include 5 volumes of Schumann Lieder, Chausson and Poulenc mëlodies for RCA, Mahler Symphony No. 2 with Ozawa for Sony and Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus for Hyperion. Her talent has been rewarded with a number of awards including: the Deutsche Schallplatten Kritik Prize, Diapason dor, Japan Record Academy Prize, and a Grammy Award. Her most recent releases are Vivaldi’s La Verita in cimento (with Növe) and a re-release of the French Melodies collection on RCA “Repertoire”.
On the operatic stage Nathalie Stutzmann has performed the roles of Giulio Cesare (Giulio Cesare, Handel), Radamisto (Radamisto, Handel), Orfeo (Orfeo ed Eurydice, Gluck), Amastre (Xerxes, Handel), and Ombra Felice (Mozart Pasticcio) creation at Salzburg Festival.
She gives regular masterclasses throughout the world.
Composer Dan Welcher has written over 80 works, including more than twenty orchestral works, an opera, works for wind ensemble, choral music and many combinations of chamber music. He has written two art song cycles, as well as a great number of individual songs with various types of accompaniment. Mr. Welcher is currently Professor of Composition at the University of Texas in Austin, where he also conducts both the New Music Ensemble and the University of Texas Opera Theater. His music is represented on more than a dozen CD recordings on the New World, Marco Polo, Crystal, Gasparo, Summit, and Klavier labels.Critic Royal S. Brown, writing in High Fidelity magazine in 1974, called Dan Welcher “one of the most promising American composers I have heard”. Welcher has been steadily fulfilling that promise ever since. With over seventy works to his credit, more than half of which are published, Welcher has written in virtually every medium, including opera, concerto, symphony, wind ensemble, vocal literature, piano solos, and various kinds of chamber music. Also a highly respected conductor, Welcher has made guest appearances with a number of leading professional orchestras and ensembles in the US, and was for ten years Assistant Conductor of the Austin Symphony Orchestra.Dan Welcher has won numerous awards and prizes from institutions such as the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Reader’s Digest/Lila Wallace Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Meet The Composer, the MacDowell Colony, the American Music Center, and ASCAP. From 1990 to 1993, he was Composer in Residence with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra (Donald Johanos, Music Director). His orchestral music has been performed by more than fifty orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Dallas Symphony. His recent large works include an orchestral work commissioned by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra entitled Bright Wings: Valediction for Large Orchestra, premiered in Dallas in March of 1997; an overture entitled Spumante commissioned by the Boston Pops, and premiered by that orchestra under its Music Director, Keith Lockhart, in May of 1998; an oboe concerto entitled Venti di Mare premiered in February 1999 by oboist John Snow with the Rochester Philharmonic under Peter Bay, and JFK: the Voice of Peace, an hour-long oratorio for narrator, solo cello, chorus and orchestra, premiered by the Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra and Chorus, with cellist Paul Tobias and narrator David McCullough, in March 1999. Dan Welcher holds the Lee Hage Jamail Regents Professorship in Composition at The University of Texas at Austin.Mr. Welcher has written: “‘Great Songs’ was the prototype for my own show ‘Knowing the Score’ (which is now being produce at radio station KMFA-Fm in Austin, Texas, and which was the 1999 winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Broadcast Award)…”
Robert White, tenor, was born into a New York family that enjoys a strong tradition of song. He studied at the Juilliard School, earning a Master’s Degree in voice. European studies included work with the legendary Nadia Boulanger at Fountainebleau.Versatility has been the tenor’s trademark throughout his career. Just after college he toured Europe and America as soloist in Medieval and Renaissance music with Noah Greenberg’s New York Pro Musica, while also giving premieres of twentieth-century works by Menotti, Schuller, Babbitt, Corigliano and Hindemith (under this latter’s direction).Today his singing is applauded by audiences worldwide. He has sung for five American Presidents, Britain’s Queen Mother and Prince Charles, Monaco’s Royal Family, and Pope John Paul II. Symphonic and chamber music appearances include the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony, the New York Pops, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony and the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. Mr White has sung at major music festivals, including New York’s Mostly Mozart, as well as the Aspen, Edinburgh, Prague, Hong Kong and Spoleto Festivals. His work in opera ranges from Baroque pieces to Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Smetana’sThe Two Widows, Bizet’s Carmen, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, and modern operas such as Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner, and Menotti’s Labyrinth.In the 1980s Mr. White attracted a large concert public in Britain and Ireland. Following a month-long English tour with flautist James Galway he was given the rare opportunity to host his own weekly radio programme with orchestra on the BBC, singing music ranging from Handel and Beethoven to Kern and Berlin.
Robert White has recorded more than a dozen solo albums. In addition to his busy performing schedule, he is a member of the Voice Faculty of the Juilliard School.