Elīna Garanča, Mezzo-Soprano
Kevin Murphy, Piano
Due to a death in his family, pianist Malcolm Martineau has regretfully withdrawn from this performance. Kevin Murphy will perform in his place.
Elīna Garanča, Mezzo-Soprano
Kevin Murphy, Piano
SCHUMANN Selections from Myrthen, Op. 25
·· "Der Nussbaum"
·· "Lieder der Braut aus dem Liebesfrühling I"
·· "Lieder der Braut aus dem Liebesfrühling II"
WAGNER Wesendonck Lieder
FALLA Siete canciones populares españolas
VĪTOLS "Aizver actiņas un smaidi"
BIZET "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" (Habanera) from Carmen
SAINT-SAËNS "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix" from Samson et Dalila
At a Glance
The first half of this evening’s program is devoted to German cycles that were written in the heat of the composers’ passionate love affairs. For years, Schumann waged a public battle to win Clara Wieck’s hand over the objections of her father, who ultimately took the composer to court in a vain effort to prevent the marriage. Schumann’s song cycle Myrthen was a bridal gift to Wieck just before their wedding in 1840. Far more clandestine was Wagner’s adulterous love for Mathilde Wesendonck, the wife of his Swiss benefactor while he was writing Tristan und Isolde. Wagner’s sumptuous Wesendonck Lieder set Wesendonck’s hothouse poetry and included test pieces for Tristan und Isolde’s radical score.
The French and the Spanish share a deep fascination with each other’s music. On the second half of this evening’s program, we hear song cycles by Ravel and Falla, who became close friends in Paris in the first decades of the 20th century. Ravel’s Shéhérazade exemplifies the French love of foreign cultures, while Falla’s Siete canciones populares españolas depict a Spaniard re-embracing his native land after absorbing the flavors of France.
Elīna Garanča was born into a musical family in Riga, Latvia, where she studied at the Latvian Academy of Music with her mother. Ms. Garanča won the 1999 Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition and was a finalist in the 2001 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. She began her professional career appearing in many leading roles as a resident artist with Meiningen’s Südthüringisches Staatstheater, later appearing as a resident artist with Oper Frankfurt.
Ms. Garanča has established herself as a major star through her performances with leading opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world. She has captured critical and popular acclaim for her beautiful voice, intelligent musicianship, and compelling stage portrayals. In September 2005, Ms. Garanča became an exclusive artist with Deutsche Grammophon. Her first solo recording, Aria Cantilena, was released in March 2007 to great acclaim. Her 2012 album, Romantique, and 2015 album, Meditation, both won ECHO Klassik awards; her 2016 album, Revive, was released to unanimous critical praise.
During the 2018–2019 season, Ms. Garanča opens the Metropolitan Opera’s season in a new production of Samson et Dalila, and makes her anticipated role debut as Didon at the Opéra national de Paris in a new production of Les Troyens. She also returns to the Vienna State Opera in Cavalleria rusticana. On the concert platform, Ms. Garanča sings Mahler with The MET Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Verdi’s Requiem with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Riccardo Muti. Ms. Garanča also gives recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, and stars at various festivals and galas throughout Europe, South America, and beyond.
Recent highlights include critically acclaimed role debuts in new productions of Don Carlos (Princess Eboli) at the Opéra national de Paris and Samson et Dalila (Dalila) at the Vienna State Opera. Additional highlights include a new production of La favorite at the Bayerische Staatsoper, which was recently released by Deutsche Grammophon. Ms. Garanča also starred in a new production of Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera, which was broadcast in cinemas worldwide.
Ms. Garanča is the recipient of many awards, including Musical America’s 2010 Vocalist of the Year, MIDEM’s 2007 Singer of the Year, and ECHO Klassik’s 2007 Female Singer of the Year. She has also given numerous gala concerts and recitals across the world, including Verdi’s Requiem at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala with Daniel Barenboim, Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, and René Pape, which was released by Decca.
In May 2013, Ms. Garanča was awarded the honorary title “Kammersängerin” by the Vienna State Opera. One of the youngest recipients of the award, Ms. Garanča was honored for her devotion to the house, where she has sung more than 140 performances of 18 roles since her debut in 2003.
Born in Edinburgh, Mr. Martineau studied at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and the Royal College of Music. Recognized as one of the leading accompanists of his generation, he has worked with many of the world’s greatest singers, including Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Janet Baker, Olaf Bär, Florian Boesch, Barbara Bonney, Ian Bostridge, Angela Gheorghiu, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Della Jones, Christiane Karg, Sir Simon Keenlyside, Angelika Kirchschlager, Magdalena Kožená, Solveig Kringelborn, Jonathan Lemalu, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, Karita Mattila, Lisa Milne, Anne Murray, Anna Netrebko, Anne Sofie von Otter, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Dorothea Röschmann, Michael Schade, Frederica von Stade, Sarah Walker, and Sir Bryn Terfel.
Mr. Martineau has presented his own series at London’s Wigmore Hall and at the Edinburgh International Festival. Performing throughout Europe, he has appeared at the Barbican Centre, Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London; Teatro alla Scala in Milan; Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; the Philharmonie and Konzerthaus in Berlin; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; and the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna. He has also appeared in North America at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and in Australia at the Sydney Opera House.
Recording projects have included Schubert, Schumann, and English song recitals with Mr. Terfel; Schubert and Strauss recitals with Mr. Keenlyside, as well as Songs of War, which won a Grammy Award; recital recordings with Ms. Bonney, Ms. Gheorghiu, Ms. Jones, Ms. Kožená, Ms. Kringelborn, and Ms. Roocroft; the complete Fauré songs with Ms. Walker and Tom Krause; Britten’s complete folk songs; Beethoven’s complete folk songs; Poulenc’s complete songs; Britten song cycles, and Schubert’s Winterreise and Schwanengesang with Mr. Boesch; Scene! and R. Strauss’s Heimliche Aufforderung with Ms. Karg; and Portraits with Ms. Röschmann.
This season’s engagements include appearances with Ms. Garanča, Ms. Karg, Ms. Netrebko, Mr. Maltman, and Mr. Terfel; recitals at Wigmore Hall with Ms. Röschmann, Mr. Boesch, and Anne Schwanewilms; and a US tour with Mr. Keenlyside. Mr. Martineau was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2004, and was appointed an international fellow of accompaniment by the school in 2009. Mr. Martineau was also the artistic director of the 2011 Leeds Lieder Festival and was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 New Year’s Honours.