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Jamie Barton, Mezzo-Soprano
Kathleen Kelly, Piano

Monday, December 18, 2017 7:30 PM Zankel Hall
URL Copied
San Jose’s Mercury News asked a poignant question about Jamie Barton: “Is there anything this artist can’t sing?” Judging by her meteoric rise to the top tier of mezzo-sopranos, the answer is a resounding “no.” She has dazzled audiences around the world in operas that span the bel canto of Bellini to Wagner and concert music from Brahms to Elgar. Musical Toronto wrote, “The moment she opened her mouth, my jaw (figuratively) dropped.” Be prepared for a similar experience when she comes to Carnegie Hall.


Jamie Barton, Mezzo-Soprano
Kathleen Kelly, Piano


WARREN "Heather"
L. BOULANGER "Attente"
BEACH "Ah, love but a day" from Three Browning Songs
N. BOULANGER "S'il arrive jamais" from Les heures claires
HAYDN Arianna a Naxos
IAIN BELL of you (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
LIBBY LARSEN Selections from Love after 1950
·· Boy’s Lips
·· Big Sister Says, 1967
·· The Empty Song
RAVEL "Chanson à boire"
DUPARC "Phidylé"
R. STRAUSS "Cäcilie," Op. 27, No. 2

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Carnegie Hall's 125 Commissions Project

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

This concert and the Pure Voice series are sponsored by the Jean & Jula Goldwurm Memorial Foundation in memory of Jula Goldwurm.

At a Glance

The first four songs on this program, devoted to different aspects of love, are all by women composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. French composer Lili Boulanger was the younger sister of the great pianist and teacher Nadia Boulanger; American composer Elinor Remick Warren was Nadia’s student. We also hear one work by the late-Romantic American composer Amy Beach.

At the age of 57, Joseph Haydn composed a virtuosic cantata in which the Cretan princess Ariadne, abandoned by Theseus, laments and rages by the seashore. Haydn—always prone to bold harmonic experimentation—vividly conveys the inner turmoil and rapidly shifting emotions of a woman in extremis.

British composer Iain Bell’s love affair with the human voice is evident in his considerable output of vocal works. His song cycle of you, on poems by E. E. Cummings, was commissioned by Carnegie Hall and receives its world premiere this evening. This work explores the experience of love through the prism of the senses and celebrates the sensual quality of the mezzo-soprano voice.

With a catalog of more than 500 compositions, Grammy Award–winning composer Libby Larsen has given many singers cause to rejoice. In her song cycle Love after 1950, different women poets tell of modern love from the woman’s (often disillusioned) point of view. Each song is a different genre: Tonight we hear blues, honky-tonk, and tango.

Two French songs follow: Maurice Ravel’s rendition of the immortal Don Quixote singing a drunken but joyous serenade to his Dulcinea, and Henri Duparc’s exquisite love song to “Phidylé,” her name permanently engraved in our memory in the wake of this inimitable French mélodie. We end with one of Richard Strauss’s most passionate love songs to “Cäcilie,” or Cecilia—the name of both the poet’s wife and the patron saint of music.


Jamie Barton, Mezzo-Soprano
Recently honored by the Metropolitan Opera with the 2017 Beverly Sills Artist Award, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is recipient of the 2015 Richard Tucker Award, and both the main and song prizes at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition; she was also a winner at the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

This season, Ms. Barton appears in recital with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax, debuts at the Teatro Real in Madrid as Léonor in La favorite, and returns to many of America’s best-loved opera houses. She sings Adalgisa in Norma at the Metropolitan Opera and Houston Grand Opera; Princess Eboli in Don Carlo at Washington National Opera; and Fricka, Waltraute, and Second Norn in Wagner’s Ring cycle at San Francisco Opera. Orchestral debuts include Handel’s Messiah with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Bernstein’s “Jeremiah” Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Rückert Lieder with the Oulu Sinfonia in Finland, and Verdi’s Requiem with her hometown orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Last season, Ms. Barton released her debut solo album, All Who Wander, featuring songs by Mahler, Dvořák, and Sibelius. She returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Fenena in Nabucco and Ježibaba in a new production of Rusalka (both simulcast in cinemas worldwide), and to Houston Grand Opera as Waltraute and Second Norn in Götterdämmerung. Other recent engagements include debuts at Wigmore Hall and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and with the New York Philharmonic. She also returned to the Toronto and Iceland symphony orchestras, and premiered Jake Heggie’s The Work at Hand at Carnegie Hall and with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Winner of a 2014 International Opera Award and the 2014 Marian Anderson Award, Ms. Barton’s recent operatic performances include Adalgisa (Norma) at LA Opera and San Francisco Opera, Giovanna Seymour (Anna Bolena) at the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago, Fricka (Das Rheingold, Die Walküre) at Houston Grand Opera, Waltraute and Second Norn at Washington National Opera, Cornelia (Giulio Cesare) at Oper Frankfurt, and Fenena (Nabucco) at Seattle Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Kathleen Kelly, Piano
Kathleen Kelly enjoys a wide-ranging and dynamic musical life as a pianist, opera coach, conductor, and master teacher. The first woman and first American named director of musical studies at the Vienna State Opera,
Ms. Kelly has notably been associated with the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and San Francisco Opera.

Ms. Kelly joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2015 as the school’s first coach and conductor of opera, leading performances of Giulio Cesare, Gianni Schicchi, L’heure espagnole, Così fan tutte, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Dinner at Eight. Since returning to the US, she has led performances of Le nozze di Figaro at Wolf Trap, the premiere of Emmerich Kálmán’s Arizona Lady at Arizona Opera, and Francesca Zambello’s critically acclaimed Ariadne auf Naxos at the Glimmerglass Festival. She also conducted the West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egypt, starring Frederica von Stade.

In the 2017–2018 season, Ms. Kelly joins Jamie Barton in recital on a six-city US tour. She also leads performances of Hänsel und Gretel for El Paso Opera and the difficulty of crossing a field for Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, and returns to San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program, where she trained as an apprentice coach, to conduct the 60th anniversary season of the Schwabacher Summer Concerts. She is a guest coach this season at the Michigan Opera Theatre, the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, Opera McGill, and the Houston Grand Opera Studio.

Ms. Kelly has performed as a recital pianist at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, Vienna’s Musikverein, the Vienna State Opera’s Mahler-Saal, New York City’s Neue Galerie, the Tucson Desert Song Festival, and numerous universities and colleges across the US. Recital partners have included Christine Goerke, Michael Kelly, Troy Cook, Amber Wagner, Susan Graham, Albina Shagimuratova, Valentina Nafornit‚ă, Joyce DiDonato, and Thomas Hampson. Ms. Kelly has curated art-song series for the Vienna State Opera and Houston Grand Opera, and currently serves as artistic director of Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is also a writer, librettist, and arranger.

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