CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Performance Friday, May 6, 2016 | 7:30 PM

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Zankel Hall
Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra give the New York premiere of Alessandro Scarlatti’s La Gloria di Primavera. The serenata, a secular vocal work for two or more singers typically set to an allegorical story, is the ideal vehicle for the luscious and lyrical vocal writing that made Scarlatti one of the great operatic composers of his day.

Performers

  • Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
    Nicholas McGegan, Music Director and Conductor
  • Suzana Ograjenšek, Soprano
  • Diana Moore, Mezzo-Soprano
  • Clint van der Linde, Countertenor
  • Nicholas Phan, Tenor
  • Douglas Williams, Bass-Baritone

Program

  • A. SCARLATTI La Gloria di Primavera (NY Premiere)

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two and one-half hours, including one 20-minute intermission. 

Bios

  • Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra


    Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has been dedicated to authentic performances of Baroque, Classical, and early-Romantic music on original instruments since its inception in 1981. Under the leadership of Music Director Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia was named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America in 2004.

    The orchestra performs an annual subscription season in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is regularly heard on tour in the United States and around the world. It has its own professional chorus, the Philharmonia Chorale, under the leadership of Bruce Lamott.

    In addition to Carnegie Hall, Philharmonia's recent US tour appearances include Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival and Great Performers series, and the Tanglewood and Ravinia festivals. Internationally, the orchestra has performed at the BBC Proms in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the International Handel Festival in Göttingen, Germany.

    The orchestra has collaborated with celebrated composers and choreographers. Its first commissioned work was a one-act opera by Jake Heggie with a libretto by Gene Scheer entitled To Hell and Back. Additional collaborators have included the Mark Morris Dance Group, including premieres of highly acclaimed productions of Handel's Acis and Galatea, Henry Purcell's King Arthur, and Rameau's ballet-opera Platée, as well as a reprise of Handel's L'allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato. Philharmonia has also collaborated with many Bay Area performing arts groups, such as Alonzo King LINES Ballet, American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco Girls Chorus, and Chanticleer.

    Philharmonia's extensive discography includes 32 highly praised recordings for harmonia mundi, Reference Recordings, and BMG, including a Grammy-nominated performance of Handel's oratorio Susanna. After starting its own recording label in 2011, Philharmonia Baroque Productions, PBO released nine recordings, including critically acclaimed performances of Haydn's symphonies nos. 104 ("London"), 88, and 101("The Clock"), which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance. Recent releases include Haydn symphonies nos. 57, 67, and 68, and the first-ever recording of Alessandro Scarlatti's La Gloria di Primavera, released on CD and Blu-ray in spring 2016.


    Nicholas McGegan


    As he embarks on his fourth decade on the podium, Nicholas McGegan is recognized for his probing and revelatory explorations of music of all periods. He is now in his 30th year as music director of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and continues as principal guest conductor of the Pasadena Symphony.

    Best known as a Baroque and Classical specialist, Mr. McGegan's approach--intelligent, infused with joy, and never dogmatic--has led to appearances with many of the world's major orchestras. At home in opera houses, Mr. McGegan shone new light on close to 20 Handel operas as the artistic director and conductor of the Göttingen International Handel Festival for 20 years (1991-2001), and on the Mozart canon as principal guest conductor at the Scottish Opera in the 1990s.

    Mr. McGegan's 2015-2016 season features appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (with which he has appeared annually for 20 years); St. Louis Symphony; BBC Scottish, RTÉ National, and New Zealand symphony orchestras; The Cleveland Orchestra and Blossom Music Festival; Orchestra of St. Luke's at Caramoor and Carnegie Hall; and The Juilliard School.

    Mr. McGegan's extensive discography features eight releases on Philharmonia Baroque's label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions (PBP), including the 2011 Grammy-nominated recording of Haydn's symphonies nos. 88, 101, and 104.

    Born in England, Mr. McGegan was educated at Cambridge and Oxford. He was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to music overseas." Most recently, he was invited to join the board of Early Music America. Other awards include the Halle Handel Prize, the Order of Merit of the State of Lower Saxony (Germany), the Medal of Honour of the City of Göttingen, and a declaration of "Nicholas McGegan Day" by the mayor of San Francisco. In 2013, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music awarded him an honorary doctorate of music. Visit nicholasmcgegan.com for more information.

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  • Suzana Ograjenšek


    Praised for her silvery and vibrant sound and captivating stage presence, Slovenian soprano Suzana Ograjenšek has worked extensively in Baroque repertoire, collaborating with conductors who include William Christie, Christopher Hogwood, Nicholas McGegan, and Ivor Bolton. Notable operatic appearances include Purcell's The Fairy Queen at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at Teatro Real in Madrid, Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at Theater an der Wien, and Handel's Jephtha at Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg.

    This evening marks Ms. Ograjenšek's Carnegie Hall debut. Other concert engagements have featured performances with the Freiburger Barockorchester as well as the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra in works by Handel and Mozart. She is the founder of Ensemble La Falsirena, devoted to the vocal music of the high Baroque. Her chamber music engagements have featured collaborations with the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, with which she has performed both classical and contemporary repertoire.

    Ms. Ograjenšek's discography includes a DVD of L'incoronazione di Poppea in Madrid on Virgin Classics, J. K. Dolar's Miserere with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, and Haydn songs with the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. She is a winner of the Williamson Prize for Musical Performance, has edited Handel's Il pastor fido for the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe, contributes to The Cambridge Handel Encyclopedia, and has co-edited Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage for Oxford University Press.

    Forthcoming projects include La Gloria di Primavera with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra at the Tanglewood Festival and throughout the US; a European tour with the ensemble Odissea under the direction of Benjamin Bayl, featuring a program of Roman cantatas by Handel and Scarlatti, which has already been warmly received at the Handel festivals in London and Göttingen; and a solo concert with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, featuring arias by Mozart and Gluck. Visit suzanaograjensek.com for more information.

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  • Diana Moore


    English mezzo-soprano Diana Moore has been lauded on both sides of the Atlantic for the emotional depth of her performances, technical bravura, and evocative sound. She enjoys a varied international career of opera, oratorio, and concert performances, and is a popular recitalist.

    Recent and upcoming engagements include Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius at Royal Albert Hall, Messiah with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the title role in Rinaldo at the National Theatre in Prague, and Mendelssohn's Elijah at the Barbican Centre.

    Ms. Moore is in demand for trouser roles that include the title role in Rinaldo (Göttingen International Handel Festival, Vlaamse Opera, National Theatre in Prague, and Opera de Versailles), Sesto in Giulio Cesare (Göttingen), Armindo in Partenope with the Early Opera Company, and Medoro in Handel's Orlando, a role she has performed with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan at the Ravinia Festival, Lincoln Center, and Tanglewood Festival. Other operatic roles include Penelope in Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse for the Aldeburgh Festival and Dido in Dido and Aeneas for the Early Opera Company.

    Ms. Moore's vocal quality and training place her firmly within the fine tradition of English mezzo-sopranos, and she is known as a leading exponent of English song. For the centennial of Kathleen Ferrier's birth, she devised the critically acclaimed A Celebration of Kathleen Ferrier--Her Life, Letters, and Music, which has been endorsed by the Kathleen Ferrier Society and presented at several major venues. Visit dianamoore.co.uk for more information.

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  • Clint van der Linde


    Born in South Africa, Clint van der Linde started singing at the Drakensberg Boys Choir School at age 10. In 1996, he was offered an international scholarship to spend a year at Eton College, during which he was offered the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Scholarship for a four-year bachelor of music degree at London's Royal College of Music. After receiving his degree in 2001, he was offered a Martin Harris Scholarship to complete his postgraduate diploma, during which he attended master classes by Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Roger Vignoles, Sarah Walker, Michael Chance, and James Bowman.

    Mr. van der Linde has performed in concert halls throughout Europe, the US, Australia, and Japan at venues that include Lincoln Center, Tanglewood Music Festival's Ozawa Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Suntory Hall (Japan), and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw; in festivals such as the Edinburgh Festival, Bachfest Leipzig, Handel Festival in Halle, Mannheim's Mozart Summer Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, and at the BBC Proms; and in staged performances in theaters across the UK as well as in Brussels (La Monnaie), Copenhagen (Royal Opera House), Schwetzingen, and Bielefeld Opera.

    Mr. van der Linde has performed with world-renowned groups and orchestras that include the Academy of Ancient Music, Göttingen Festspieler Orchestra, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Il Fondamento, Hanover Band, Israel Camerata, The King's Consort, Le Musiche Nove, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and Bach Collegium Japan. Conductors with whom Mr. van der Linde has collaborated include George Petrou, Masaaki Suzuki, Stephen Layton, Sir Roger Norrington, Frieder Bernius, Nicholas Kraemer, Stephen Cleobury, Peter Schreier, Wolfgang Katchner, Gérard Korsten, Kazushi Ono, Jan Willem de Vriend, Lawrence Cummings, and Paul Dombrecht.

    Operatic roles include Oberon (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Farnace (Mitridate, re di Ponto), as well as the title roles in Handel's Flavio, Ottone, Lotario, Tolomeo, and Rinaldo, and Cavalli's Il Giasone. Other Handel roles include Andronico (Tamerlano), Judas (Brockes Passion), Arsemenes (Xerxes), Dardanus (Amadigi), and Narciso and Ottone (Agrippina). Additional roles include Fernando in Conti's Don Chisciotte in Sierra Morena and the Guardian of the Threshold in Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten.

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  • Nicholas Phan


    This season, American tenor Nicholas Phan performs the role of Tamino in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte with Boston Baroque, and sings both the tenor arias and the Evangelist on a tour of Bach's St. John Passion with Apollo's Fire, and the Evangelist in Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg. As artistic director of the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, he curates and performs in the organization's fourth annual Collaborative Works Festival. Other highlights include solo recitals at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and the Green Music Center in Sonoma; returns to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, and Da Camera of Houston; and his debut with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

    Mr. Phan has appeared with leading orchestras in North America and Europe that include the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras, San Francisco Symphony, Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and English Chamber Orchestra. He has toured Europe with Il Complesso Barocco and appeared at the Edinburgh, Ravinia, Rheingau, Tanglewood, and Marlboro music festivals, as well as at the BBC Proms. Operatic appearances have included Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Oper Frankfurt, and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. In recital, he has been presented by Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Boston's Celebrity Series, and Atlanta's Spivey Hall.

    Mr. Phan's most recent solo album, A Painted Tale, was released on Avie Records in February 2015. His previous solo album, Still Falls the Rain (Avie), was named one of the best classical recordings of 2012 by The New York Times. His growing discography includes a Grammy-nominated recording of Stravinsky's Pulcinella with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO Resound); his debut solo album, Winter Words (Avie); the opera L'Olimpiade with the Venice Baroque Orchestra (Naïve); and the world-premiere recording of Elliott Carter's orchestral song cycle A Sunbeam's Architecture (NMC).

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  • Douglas Williams


    Bass-baritone Douglas Williams has collaborated with leading conductors, including Nicholas McGegan, Helmuth Rilling, Sir Neville Marriner, John Nelson, and Christophe Rousset in such venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Stuttgart's Mozartsaal, and Frankfurt's Alte Oper.

    Mr. Williams was highly acclaimed as Polyphemus in the world premiere Mark Morris Dance Group production of Handel's Acis and Galatea, and he performed the role last fall with the Boston Early Music Festival. Other recent appearances include Laurence in Grétry's Le magnifique with Opera Lafayette (recorded for Naxos) and Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas with the Boston Early Music Festival. His recording of Charpentier's La descente d'Orphée aux Enfers with the Boston Early Music Festival won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.

    Mr. Williams's concert highlights include Charles Wuorinen's It Happens Like This at Carnegie Hall with James Levine and The MET Chamber Ensemble, Handel's Messiah with the Houston Symphony and Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven's Missa solemnis with the Cathedral Choral Society, Elgar's Dream of Gerontius with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and Bach's St. John Passion with Les Talens Lyriques.

    His 2015-2016 season features performances and a new recording of Scarlatti's La Gloria di Primavera with conductor Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and a reprisal of his role of Caronte in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo with the dance company Sasha Waltz & Guests in Berlin, Bergen, and Baden-Baden, and with Opéra de Lille in France.

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Pre-concert

Pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 PM in Zankel Hall with Nicholas McGegan in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.

Audio

A. SCARLATTI Il Vespero di Santa Cecilia—Magnificat: Magnificat
Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
AVIE Records

At a Glance

Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra present the East Coast premiere of Alessandro Scarlatti's recently discovered 300-year-old serenade La Gloria di Primavera. Written to celebrate the birth of the heir to the Hapsburg throne, La Gloria di Primavera became lost to obscurity after the infant prince died soon after its premiere. It was only recently uncovered in an Italian library by Scarlatti scholar Benedikt Poensgen.

As an internationally renowned and passionate early-music scholar himself, Nicholas McGegan has revived this astounding work to give audiences a rare encounter with this lost serenata, as realized by his revered period orchestra. His adventurous artistic drive has been at the core of his successful 30-year career as the Waverly Fund Music Director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

"Three hundred years ago, Italy's operatic master Alessandro Scarlatti composed a lavish work to celebrate the birth of a new Hapsburg prince. It electrified audiences of the time and even enjoyed the rare privilege of repeat performances. But then it vanished from the scene, never to be heard again. Until now," says McGegan.

"It's rare to have the opportunity to be among the very first in the world to present this stunning serenata to modern listeners. I have been so eager to bring this to our audiences," says McGegan. "I assure you, after 300 years, it is worth the wait!"
Program Notes

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This performance is part of Baroque Unlimited.