March 8, 2018
For immediate release | Press Contact: Stephanie Janes, (617) 419-0445, email@example.com
April 13 and April 15, 2018 | NEC’s Jordan Hall
Grammy-nominated Boston Baroque, the first Baroque orchestra founded in North America, presents Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio in its Boston Baroque debut performance, and the first-ever period instrument performance of the work in Boston. The performances offer a rare opportunity to enjoy a semi-staged production of the two-act version of Fidelio, a work that has received limited attention from the historic performance community in the United States.
The performances will take place at NEC’s Jordan Hall (30 Gainsborough St, Boston, MA 02115) on Friday, April 13 at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 15 at 3:00pm. The 30-minute pre-performance lectures by Dr. Laura Prichard will take place on Friday at 6:30pm and Sunday at 2pm.
Tickets are $25-$90 and may be purchased at bostonbaroque.org or by phone at 617-987-8600.
The performance will be conducted by Music Director Martin Pearlman and the stage direction will be by noted director Mark Streshinsky. The performances feature soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer as Leonore/Fidelio; tenor William Burden as Florestan; bass-baritone Nathan Stark as Rocco; soprano Anna Christy as Marzelline; tenor Andrew Stenson as Jaquino; baritone Mark Walters as Don Pizarro; and bass Brian Kontes as Don Fernando.
“This will be the first time a period-instrument performance of Fidelio will be presented in Boston, and only the second time in North America,” says Executive Director Miguel Rodriguez. “We are particularly excited to present Beethoven’s only opera with a stellar cast of singers in a setting acoustically fitting for our period-instrument orchestra.”
MORE ABOUT THE ARTISTS (bios shortened for length. Full vocalist bios may be downloaded here)
Martin Pearlman is the founder, music director, and conductor of the orchestra and chorus of Boston Baroque, the first Baroque orchestra founded in North America. The four-time Grammy-nominated ensemble is widely regarded as being “Some of the finest American interpreters of music of this era,” according to Fanfare Magazine. Pearlman leads Boston Baroque in an annual subscription concert series in Greater Boston, tours in the United States and Europe, and has produced more than 25 major recordings. Hailed for his “fresh, buoyant interpretations” and his “vivid realizations teeming with life,” Pearlman has been acclaimed for over forty years in the orchestral, choral and operatic repertoire from Monteverdi to Beethoven.
Stage Director Mark Streshinsky is the General Director of West Wedge Opera and has created many productions for the company, such as Eugene Onigin, Legend of the Ring, Xerxes, Ariadne auf Naxos, and many others. Nationally, Mark has been on the staging staffs of several large companies including San Francisco Opera, The Dallas Opera, Los Angeles Opera and New York City Opera. He has directed his own productions for Florida Grand Opera, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Seattle Opera, Dallas Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Boston Baroque, Cincinnati Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. For the Reina Sofia Opera House in Valencia, he directed Massenet’s Manon. Outside of the opera world, Mark has an association with The Crucible center for industrial art where he has created several fire performances, most recently “Machine” — a fire opera for which he wrote the libretto and directed and produced the huge fiery production.
This season, soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer (Leonore/Fidelio) returns to the Metropolitan Opera for The Magic Flute. She most recently made two important role debuts: the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Palm Beach Opera and Senta in Die fliegende Holländer. A graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Ms. Harmer has appeared in their productions of Le nozze di Figaro, War and Peace, Khovanshchina, Parsifal, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Die Agyptische Helena, and Jenufa. She also appeared in the Met’s HD broadcasts of the Ring Cycle and The Magic Flute, which have subsequently been released on DVD (Deutsche Gramophone). In concert, Ms. Harmer has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony in performances of the Beethoven Symphony No. 9, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in concert performances of Das Rheingold, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as a soloist at the Schubert Festival, and in Lincoln Center’s Tribute to Renata Tebaldi.
Born in California, Ms. Harmer graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from The Boston Conservatory and attended the Music of Academy of the West. She was also a member of the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, the Gerdine Young Artist Program at Opera Theater of St Louis, and was one of nine singers invited to study at The Music Academy in Villecroze, France. Her many awards include a 2010 Richard Tucker Grant, the 2007 Jensen Award, the Teatro alla Scala Award at the 2007 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, first place at the Palm Beach Opera Competition, the 2005 winner of the George London/Leonie Rysanek Award, and an award from The Marilyn Horne Foundation.
American tenor William Burden (Florestan) has won an outstanding reputation throughout Europe and North America. He has appeared in many prestigious opera houses in the United States and Europe, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Santa Fe Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Thèâtre du Châtelet, Bayerische Staatsoper, Berliner Staatsoper, Madrid’s Teatro Real, the Netherlands Opera, and the Saito Kinen Festival. A supporter of new works, he appeared in the US premiere of Henze’s Phaedra at Opera Philadelphia, and created the roles of George Bailey in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life at the Houston Grand Opera, Peter in Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, and Dan Hill in Christopher Theofanidis’ Heart of a Soldier at the San Francisco Opera, Frank Harris in Theodore Morrison’s Oscar at the Santa Fe Opera, Gilbert Griffiths in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera, Dodge in Daron Hagen’s Amelia at the Seattle Opera, V.P. Inglesias in Jimmy Lopez’ Bel Canto at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Niklas Sprink in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize- winning Silent Night at the Minnesota Opera.
Mr. Burden’s recordings include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS Media), Barber’s Vanessa (Anatol) with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Chandos) and Musique adorable: The Songs of Emmanuel Chabrier (Hyperion). He also appeared in the Metropolitan Opera’s live HD broadcast of Thomas Adès’ The Tempest. This season, Mr. Burden creates the role of Dr. Robert Knox in the premiere of Julian Grant’s The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare and sings Florestan in performances of Fidelio with Boston Baroque. He also appears in concert with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Music of the Baroque.
Bass-baritone Nathan Stark (Rocco) has been praised by the Washington Post as having a voice of “unearthly power,” The Houston Press as being a “blow away singer,” and the San Jose Mercury News as a “natural comic actor.” He has performed on stages throughout the United States, Europe and China. Mr. Stark has performed with opera houses throughout the United States, including the Metropolitan Opera, Atlanta Opera, Virginia Opera, and Arizona Opera, to name a few. Some of his noted operatic roles included Mustafà in L’Italiana in Algeri; Don Basilio and Don Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia; Leporello and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni; Monterone and Sparafucile in Rigoletto; Zuniga in Carmen; and Cardinal Barberini in Glass’ Galileo Galilei.
Mr. Stark is prizewinner of several awards, including Fort Worth’s McCammon Voice Competition, Opera Columbus’ Cooper-Bing Vocal Competition, Brentwood Artist of Tomorrow Competition, Sun Valley Opera Competition, Westwood Vocal Competition, Burbank Aria Competition, Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition, Pasadena Opera Guild Competition, and the Opera Buffs Competition. He is first place winner of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Corbett Scholarship Opera Competition, the Classical Singers Association Vocal Competition in Los Angeles, and was district winner of the 2006 Metropolitan Opera Vocal Competition, San Diego District.
Soprano Anna Christy (Marzelline) has been praised by The New York Times as “nimble of voice, body and spirit,” and continues to impress and delight audiences with an extraordinary blend of sparkling voice, powerful stage presence, and innate musicality. She has performed on stages around the world, including The Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, in Kyoto, Japan with Seiji Ozawa, at Tanglewood, Opera Colorado, Santa Fe Opera Teatro Real in Madrid, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Bayerische Staatsoper. Ms. Christy made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Papagena in Julie Taymor’s new production of Die Zauberflöte followed by Hortense in the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy. Two more debuts followed with appearances as Muffin in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s A Wedding at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Zemire in Zemire et Azor. Last season, Ms. Christy was seen as Morgana in Alcina with Harry Bicket at the English Concert on tour in London, Madrid, Vienna, and New York. She made New York City recital debut at Pace University’s “Voce at Pace” series and was seen with Baroque ensemble Les Vents Atlantiques as Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In the summer of 2015, she returned to Santa Fe Opera as Marie in La fille du régiment.
On the concert stage, Ms. Christy has been a featured soloist the New York City Opera Gala “American Voices” and portrayed Angela in a semi-staged version of Kurt Weill’s The Firebrand of Florence at Carnegie Hall. She has performed Candide with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carmina Burana with the Saint Louis Symphony, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, and Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival. Other engagements have included appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York Festival of Song, and recitals in Japan. Anna Christy is the recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award presented annually to nominees by two of Lincoln Center’s twelve resident arts constituents. She is also the recipient of a Richard Tucker Music Foundation Career Grant, the ARIA Award, Sullivan Foundation Grant, a Richard F. Gold Grant and the Shouse Debut Artist Award from Wolf Trap Opera.
Tenor Andrew Stenson (Jaquino) is quickly building a reputation as one of the United States’ most exciting young tenors, with a brilliant tone, artistic intellect, and superb portrayals of a variety of roles. Mr. Stenson’s 2017-2018 season began with Wexford Festival Opera as Ernesto in Foroni’s Margherita. He returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, the San Francisco Symphony as the title role in performances of Candide conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, and makes his company debut with Opera Theatre of St. Louis in the world premiere of the two-act version of An American Soldier, singing the role of Danny Chen. Mr. Stenson’s 2016-2017 season included appearances as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Seattle Opera, Frederic in Pirates of Penzance with Palm Beach Opera, the title role of Candide with Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, and Opéra National de Bordeaux, and a company debut with Washington National Opera as Tonio in La fille du Régiment. He concluded the season with a return to Glyndebourne Festival Opera to sing Ernesto in Don Pasquale. He has sung roles like Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, in Messiah, and Beppe in Pagliacci.
Andrew Stenson was a 2nd year member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, a Young Artist with the Santa Fe Opera in 2009, and a Regional Finalist in the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He is the 2015 recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation (Lindemann Program), a Major Award Winner from Opera Index (2015), Second Prize winner from the Queen Sonja International Vocal Competition (2013), and Second Prize winner from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation (2015). He is the first prize winner in both the 2015 Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition and 2016 Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition. He is also the recipient of a 2011 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation.
Being touted as one of the next great American Verdi baritones, Opera News describes baritone Mark Walters (Don Pizarro) as “a force to be reckoned with.” He has been lauded for his performances throughout the United States as Scarpia in Tosca, Germont in La traviata, and Pizarro in Fidelio. For his performance in La forza del destino, The Chicago Sun Times commended his “vocal fury.” Walters is now foraying into richer, more dramatic roles including: Die fliegende Holländer, Jochanaan in Salome, Wotan in Der Ring des Nibelungen, the title role of Sweeney Todd, and Iago in Otello. Recent engagements include a company début as Scarpia in Tosca with Minnesota Opera and a return for their world première of The Shining as Mark Torrance; the title role of Rigoletto with Florida Grand Opera and Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra; the title role in Don Giovanni with Seattle Opera; Germont in La traviata with Arizona Opera, Florentine Opera, and Finger Lakes Opera; Don Pizarro in Fidelio with Kentucky Opera and Opera Omaha; Marcello in La bohème with Florida Grand Opera and Opera Coeur d’Alene; Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles with Opera Carolina; Renato in Un ballo in maschera with Opera Tampa; Valentin in Faust and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Arizona Opera; a production of Peter Grimes with Canadian Opera Company; Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West with Mobile Opera; his début with the Spoleto Festival USA in John Adams’ El Niño; début with Opera Santa Barbara in the title role in Don Giovanni; Scarpia in Tosca with Sarasota Opera; and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Florentine Opera.
Career highlights include the world première of Rappahannock County by American composer Ricky Ian Gordon recorded on the Naxos label, his European début as Germont in La traviata with Den Nye Opera, Norway, and his Asian début as Don Giovanni in Osaka, Japan. He also portrayed the Reverend Olin Blitch in a special 50th anniversary production of Susannah, personally overseen by Carlisle Floyd.
Noted by Opera News for his “dark bass and strong dramatic energy,” Brian Kontes (Don Fernando) is a frequent artist at the Metropolitan Opera as well as opera companies throughout the United States and Europe. Mr. Kontes is also known for his musicianship and expressive interpretation of oratorio and concert repertoire. He has sung with symphonies throughout the United States and has been a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall in New York City on numerous occasions throughout his career.
In opera, career highlights have included Hans Foltz in Die Meistersinger at the Metropolitan Opera, Leporello in Don Giovanni at Seattle Opera, Colline in La Boheme at Opera Hong Kong, Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Sivigilia at Ash Lawn Opera, Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni at New York City Opera, Palemon in Thais at the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, and Banquo in Macbeth at Opera National de Lorraine, France. Brian Kontes was a first place winner of the George London Foundation Competition and is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Information for Calendar Listings:
Boston Baroque: Beethoven’s Fidelio
Friday, April 13 at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 15 at 3:00pm
NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St, Boston, MA 02115
Tickets: $25-$90 | bostonbaroque.org
617.987.8600 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Beethoven’s opera is a compelling story of political oppression, the fight for justice, and the triumph of love. A Boston Baroque premiere featuring an internationally renowned cast that includes Metropolitan Opera singers, tenor William Burden and soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer, in Boston’s first-ever period instrument performance of this work.