Marilyn Horne Song Celebration
Michelle Bradley, Soprano
J’Nai Bridges, Mezzo-Soprano
Mario Chang, Tenor
Eugene Villanueva, Baritone
Warren Jones, Piano
Ken Noda, Piano
Valeriya Polunina, Piano
with Special Guests
Javier Camarena, Tenor
Gerald Martin Moore, Piano
BRAHMS "Alte Liebe," Op. 72, No. 1
BRAHMS "Verzagen," Op. 72, No. 4
BRAHMS "Von ewiger Liebe," Op. 43, No. 1
WOLF "Der Rattenfänger" from Gedichte von J.W. v. Goethe
WOLF "Gebet" from Gedichte von Eduard Mörike
WOLF "Abschied" from Gedichte von Eduard Mörike
TURINA Poema en forma de canciones, Op. 19
·· Nunca Olvida
·· Los dos miedos
·· Las locas por amor
SANDOVAL "Sin tu amor"
DEBUSSY Chansons de Bilitis
·· La flûte de Pan
·· La chevelure
·· Le tombeau des naïades
BIZET "Chanson d’avril"
CHAUSSON "Le temps des lilas" from Poème de l' amour et de la mer, Op. 19
BIZET "Adieux de l’hôtesse arabe" from Vingt mélodies, No. 4
R. STRAUSS Four Last Songs
LISZT Tre sonetti di Petrarca
·· Pace non trovo
·· Benedetto sia'l giorno
·· I' vidi in terra angelici costumi
This concert and the Pure Voice series are sponsored by the Jean & Jula Goldwurm Memorial Foundation in memory of Jula Goldwurm.
This concert is part of the Marilyn Horne legacy at Carnegie Hall.
At a Glance
Next, we visit Spain and Italy, beginning with a song cycle by Spanish composer Joaquín Turina. Although he studied in France, we hear full-throated Spanish musical character at the beginning of this 1917 work and in the special brand of Iberian lyricism that follows. Italian-born composer Paolo Tosti wrote numerous salon-style songs, including the deservedly popular song we hear on this evening's program. A song by Giuseppe Verdi follows, telling the story of an exile longing for home set to music that is alternately dramatic, wistful, and lyrical. The group ends with an ardent love song by Guatemalan-born American composer Miguel Sandoval.
Songs from France follow, starting with a mini cycle of three songs on erotic prose-poems by Claude Debussy, who transformed French song-or mélodie-with his revolutionary approach to harmony, tonality, vocal writing, texture, and above all, sonority. This masterpiece is followed by three more French songs; two by Georges Bizet and one by Debussy's friend Ernest Chausson. A wonderfully fresh spring song by Bizet is followed by Chausson's characteristic melancholy and Bizet's setting of Arabian exoticism imagined by Victor Hugo.
Richard Strauss remained committed to the musical language of late Romanticism for his entire life. He is, of course, famous for his operas and symphonic tone poems, but he wrote songs intermittently throughout his life; the Vier Letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs) are among his greatest. Composed shortly before his death in 1949, the rich textures and soaring melodies in these songs represent Strauss's farewell to life and his unique approach to song composition.
Finally, we hear Franz Liszt's three settings of immortal sonnets by Francesco Petrarca. Arias in all but name, they challenge the pianist and the singer alike with their harmonic audacity and thrilling virtuosity.
A native of Houston, Texas, Michelle Bradley is in her second year of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. She has performed such roles as Mozart's Fiordiligi and Donna Anna, Strauss's Marschallin, and Alice in Verdi's Falstaff. During the Metropolitan Opera's 2016-2017 season, Ms. Bradley makes her debut in Mozart's Idomeneo and as the High Priestess in Verdi's Aida. She is the recipient of the 2016 Hildegard Behrens Foundation Award and a first place winner in the Gerda Lissner Foundation and the Serge and Olga Koussevitzky vocal competitions. Ms. Bradley is also the 2014 Grand Prize winner of the Music Academy of the West's Marilyn Horne Song Competition, and completed a nationwide recital tour in May 2015. She has participated in master classes with Stephanie Blythe, Anne Sofie von Otter, Marilyn Horne, Deborah Voigt, James Morris, and Renata Scotto. In January 2016, Ms. Bradley performed as part of Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Concert series, and in May 2016, she made her debut in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Santa Cruz Symphony. She received her master's degree in vocal performance from Bowling Green State University.
American mezzo-soprano J'Nai Bridges is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after talents of her generation. Her performances during the 2016-2017 season include debuts at San Francisco Opera and Bavarian State Opera as Bersi in Andrea Chénier; Los Angeles Opera as Nefertiti in Akhnaten; and Vancouver Opera as Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking. She also appears as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in its "Farewell to Christoph Eschenbach" concert; with The Philadelphia Orchestra; and with the NDR Symphony Orchestra in its inaugural week in the Elbphilharmonie. Ms. Bridge's recent performances include the roles of Carmen in the world premiere of Bel Canto with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with San Diego Opera; and the title role in The Rape of Lucretia with Wolf Trap Opera, as well as concert engagements with Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel; the NDR Symphony Orchestra in her first performances of Ravel's Shéhérazade; and the Oregon Symphony.
Ms. Bridges recently completed a three-year residency with the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, which included performances as Ines in Il trovatore, Vlasta in Mieczysław Weinberg's The Passenger under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, and Flora in La traviata. In 2015, Ms. Bridges represented the US at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. She was also the recipient of a 2016 Richard Tucker Music Foundation Career Grant, the first prize winner at the 2016 Francisco Viñas International Singing Contest, and the 2015 Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition. She was previously a young artist at the Glimmerglass Festival. A native of Lakewood, Washington, Ms. Bridges earned her master's degree in music from the Curtis Institute of Music and her bachelor's degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music.
A First Prize, Zarzuela Prize, and Audience Prize winner at the 2014 Operalia Competition, tenor Mario Chang-a native of Guatemala City-recently completed the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and the advanced diploma in opera studies program at The Juilliard School. During the 2015-2016 season, Mr. Chang returned to Oper Frankfurt as an ensemble member for the second consecutive season, where he starred as Edgardo in a revival of the Matthew Jocelyn production of Lucia di Lammermoor and reprised the role of the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier. Mr. Chang also returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Nemorino in the vibrant Bartlett Sher production of L'elisir d'amore, and made his debut with LA Opera as Rodolfo in Puccini's La bohème conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.
Mr. Chang's upcoming concert engagements include an evening of Donizetti arias with the Clarion Music Society conducted by Steven Fox, as well as an appearance as a featured artist in Rolando Villazón's "Stars of Tomorrow" program, which will be broadcast on Arte TV. Mr. Chang's operatic highlights include the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier at the Met Opera under Edward Gardner, and with the National Symphony Orchestra and Renée Fleming under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach; his Met Opera debut as the Fourth Squire in a new production of Parsifal; his Israeli debut as the Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites with the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv; Gastone in La traviata with Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Teatro Lirico D'Europa; and Fritz Kobus in Mascagni's L'amico Fritz with Miami Lyric Opera. Mr. Chang also sang Nemorino in selections from L'elisir d'amore conducted by James Levine with the Scenes Program of the Met Opera and The Juilliard School.
American baritone Eugene Villanueva is establishing himself as one of the most promising talents of his generation. The San Francisco native has performed with many prestigious international companies and festivals, including the San Francisco Opera, France's Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Festival Puccini in Italy, Switzerland's Theater Basel, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Michigan Opera Theater, and China's Shanghai Grand Theater. His repertoire includes the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Lescaut (Manon), Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Danilo (The Merry Widow), Prince Yeletsky (The Queen of Spades), Dandini (La Cenerentola), Marcello and Schaunard (La bohème), Ping (Turandot), and Albert (Werther), among others.
An avid recitalist, Mr. Villanueva made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2008 and returned in 2011. He was a member of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, which has presented him in recital in both New York and Pennsylvania. He has also given concerts for San Francisco Opera's Schwabacher Debut Recital Series and the New York Festival of Song, and was featured in the prestigious Podium der Jungen series in Hannover, Hamburg, and Frankfurt in Germany. Mr. Villanueva is the first American ever to have been awarded the coveted International Tosti Song Prize from the Istituto Nazionale Tostiano in Ortona, Italy. He has been featured as a soloist with orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Parma's Filarmonica Toscanini, NDR Radiophilharmonie, and Orchestra de la Suisse Romande in repertoire that includes Orff's Carmina Burana, Fauré's Requiem, Brahms's Requiem, Copland's Old American Songs, Vaughan Williams's Songs of Travel, Dvořák's Te Deum, and Ligeti's Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures. Mr. Villanueva is a graduate of the Music Academy of the West, Ravinia Festival's Steans Music Institute, San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program, and the Seattle Opera's Young Artists Program.
Warren Jones enjoys a notably eclectic career that has taken him to every corner of the musical world. He was recently named artist-in-residence at the world-renowned Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and performs with some of today's best-known artists, including Stephanie Blythe, Anthony Dean Griffey, Bo Skovhus, Eric Owens, John Relyea, and Richard "Yongjae" O'Neill. He is also the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Principal Pianist for Santa Barbara-based chamber music group Camerata Pacifica, and has partnered with such great performers as Marilyn Horne, Håkan Hagegård, Kathleen Battle, Samuel Ramey, Christine Brewer, Barbara Bonney, Carol Vaness, Judith Blegen, Salvatore Licitra, Tatiana Troyanos, Thomas Hampson, James Morris, and Martti Talvela. He is a long-time member of the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and Music Academy of the West, and received Music Teachers National Association's 2011 Achievement Award, the organization's highest honor.
Mr. Jones was selected as Musical America's 2010 Collaborative Pianist of the Year. He has been invited to perform at the White House for state dinners in honor of the leaders of Canada, Russia, and Italy, and has also been invited three times by the Justices of the United States Supreme Court to perform in musical afternoons. A graduate of New England Conservatory of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Mr. Jones currently serves on the former's board of visitors and has been honored with a doctorate degree from the latter. His discography includes 31 recordings on every major label in a wide range of repertory, and his conducting repertory is similarly varied. He has led sold-out, critically acclaimed performances of Mascagni's L'amico Fritz, Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, and he conducted the world premiere of a new operatic version of A Christmas Carol at the Houston Grand Opera in 2014. Mr. Jones returned to the Merola Opera Program at the San Francisco Opera for performances of Donizetti's Don Pasquale in the summer of 2015, and in February 2016, he led an innovative new production of Menotti's The Telephone and Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti for Tri-Cities Opera. For more information, visit warrenjones.com.
Ken Noda is musical assistant to James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera, where he began working in 1991. He studied with Daniel Barenboim and performed as soloist with such orchestras as the Berlin, Vienna, New York, Israel, and Los Angeles philharmonics; the London, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal, and National symphony orchestras; The Cleveland Orchestra; Orchestre de Paris; and Philharmonia Orchestra, under such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Chailly, Rafael Kubelík, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, and André Previn. He has also collaborated as chamber musician with Maestro Levine, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Nigel Kennedy, and the Emerson String Quartet, and as accompanist to Kathleen Battle, Hildegard Behrens, Maria Ewing, Aprile Millo, Kurt Moll, Jessye Norman, Matthew Polenzani, Dawn Upshaw, and Deborah Voigt. Mr. Noda has been a regular participant at the Marlboro Music Festival since 1999 and taught for four summers at the Renata Scotto Opera Academy at the invitation of Miss Scotto. At the Met, he devotes much of his time to the training of young singers in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and also gives master classes at The Juilliard School.
A native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Valeriya Polunina is in her first year of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Ms. Polunina served as a rehearsal pianist in The Juilliard Opera's 2015 production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte conducted by David Stern, and as a rehearsal pianist for Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream conducted by Alan Gilbert for Juilliard's 2016 biannual gala. She was also a vocal coach and rehearsal pianist for Juilliard's production of Le nozze di Figaro conducted by Gary Thor Wedow; at the Crested Butte Music Festival; and for Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Marcello Giordani Young Artist Program.
Ms. Polunina's recital engagements this season have included concerts with soprano Sofia Fomina at The Travellers Club in London and at the International Tchaikovsky Competition Winners' Recital, hosted by Valery Gergiev at Carnegie Hall. In the summer of 2014, Ms. Polunina performed in the Miami Summer Music Festival, playing continuo in a production of Le nozze di Figaro conducted by Michael Rossi and serving as a vocal coach. Ms. Polunina has also been an active participant in prestigious festivals and summer courses, including the 2015 Solti Peretti Répétiteurs Masterclasses, Tel-Hai International Piano Master Classes, and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival. During her Solti Peretti residency in Venice, Ms. Polunina had the privilege of playing under the baton of Richard Bonynge and working closely with Jonathan Papp. Ms. Polunina made her orchestral debut at the age of 15 with Russia's renowned BACH Chamber Orchestra. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees at Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moskow, her professional diploma in solo piano performance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and her master's degree in collaborative piano at The Juilliard School.
Born in Xalapa in Mexico's state of Veracruz, tenor Javier Camarena is one of the preeminent Mozart and bel canto specialists of his generation. Praised for his burnished tone, gleaming high notes, flawless coloratura, and veracious portrayals, he regularly appears in leading roles alongside today's foremost stars and at the world's top opera houses. He made his professional debut at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City as Tonio in a 2004 staging of La fille du régiment, and has since returned to the house for three additional productions. In 2007, he joined the ensemble of the Zürich Opera, where he has appeared in 15 productions to date. Four years later, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Rossini's Count Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), which is now one of the signature roles. Additional roles include Rossini's Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola) and Count Ory (Le comte Ory); Mozart's Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) and Ferrando (Così fan tutte); Donizetti's Nemorino (L'elisir d'amore) and Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor); Verdi's Fenton (Falstaff); and Bellini's Elvino (La sonnambula).
Equally celebrated for appearances at the San Francisco Opera, Opéra national de Paris, Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu, Dresden's Semperoper, Vienna State Opera, and Bavarian State Opera, Mr. Camarena has collaborated with such eminent conductors as Claudio Abbado, Marco Armiliato, Maurizio Benini, Daniele Gatti, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, and Franz Welser-Möst. Future projects include his first performances as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto as well as singing Tonio in La fille du regiment. Mr. Camarena also makes house role debuts as Lord Arturo Talbo in Bellini's I puritani at the Met Opera and in Zürich. Mr. Camarena's discography includes three solo titles for Sony: Recitales (2014), a live recording of arias by Rossini, Scarlatti, and Donizetti with songs by Mexico's Agustín Lara and María Grever, among others; Serenata (2015), a collection of songs by Lara and his compatriots; and the Latin pop album Javier Camarena Canta a Cri Cri (2016). Mr. Camarena appears on numerous operatic DVD and Blu-ray releases, captured live at Europe's leading opera houses.
Gerald Martin Moore
Gerald Martin Moore is an internationally renowned singing teacher and vocal consultant. He has worked closely with Renée Fleming for many years on a variety of roles, and has also worked with leading artists, including Natalie Dessay, Joyce DiDonato, Marie McLaughlin, Elīna Garanča, and Sarah Connolly. He has worked in opera houses that include London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Milan's Teatro alla Scala; the Metropolitan Opera; San Francisco Opera; Paris's Opéra Bastille, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and Théâtre du Châtelet; as well as the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, and Glyndebourne Festival. Since moving to New York City in 2008, Mr. Moore has been on the teaching faculty of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, as well as the adjunct faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music. He regularly gives master classes at the Glyndebourne Festival, Merola Festival, Washington National Opera, Toronto's Canadian Opera Company, Atelier Lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal, LA Opera, and the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
An authority on vocal technique, Mr. Moore is a frequent guest on multiple radio programs and is a regular host of the Metropolitan Opera Quiz. He is also in demand as a judge for prestigious vocal competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera's Regional Auditions. In addition to teaching voice, Mr. Moore has assisted William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, as well as Sir Charles Mackerras, at the Edinburgh International Festival for Mozart's Idomeneo and La clemenza di Tito, Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, and Rossini's Zelmira, Adelaide di Borgogna, and La donna del Lago conducted by Maurizio Benini. As a specialist in ornamentation, Mr. Moore has composed countless embellishments for leading singers, notably in his role as a vocal consultant to Opera Rara and Decca. An additional area of his expertise is the neglected French repertoire of Delibes, Thomas, Gounod, Meyerbeer, and Massenet. Mr. Moore is featured as a vocalist with soprano Rebecca Caine in a cabaret evening they created and recorded as an album that celebrates legendary stars of the British musical stage (Leading Ladies). He is also a frequent recitalist, most notably with Renée Fleming. Mr. Moore has performed before such dignitaries as President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Prince Charles, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Future engagements include a recital tour of South America with Ms. Fleming and a series of master classes for the Glyndebourne Festival.