• Monday, Apr 11, 2011

    Carnegie Hall Presents James Levine Leading MET Orchestra and Soprano Natalie Dessay, 5/15

    Ms. Dessay Sings Works by Berg, Ravel, Glière, Rachmaninoff, Poulenc, and Massenet

    On Sunday, May 15 at 3:00 p.m., Music Director James Levine conducts The MET Orchestra in their final concert of the 2010–2011 season at Carnegie Hall with special guest, soprano Natalie Dessay. Ms. Dessay, who next season appears as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata for the first time at the Metropolitan Opera, is featured here in a program of vocal works rarely heard in concert, including Berg’s Lulu Suite; Ravel’s Vocalise-étude en forme de Habanera; Reinhold Glière’s Andante from Concerto for Coloratura Soprano and Orchestra; and Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise. She will also sing arias from Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias and Massenet’s Manon. The Orchestra will also perform Debussy’s Images. Complete program information is listed below.


    An admired interpreter of bel canto and lyric heroines, soprano Natalie Dessay was born in Lyon, France, and grew up in Bordeaux. She studied acting and singing at the Bordeaux Conservatoire and in 1989 entered France’s first Concours des Voix Nouvelles where she won second prize, going on to study at Paris Opera. In 1992, she sang her first Olympia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Opéra Bastille in a staging by Roman Polanski. In 1993, she made her debut at the Vienna State Opera and in the same year sang Olympia in the opening production for the rebuilt Lyon Opera. By 2001, she had performed the role of Olympia in eight different productions, including her La Scala debut. Ms. Dessay made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1994 singing the role of Fiakermilli in Richard Strauss’s Arabella. Also at the Met, her roles have included Amina in Bellini’s La Sonnambula, Marie in Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment, Olympia, Zerbinetta in Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, and Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. She has sung the title role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in several stagings, including productions at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opéra Bastille, San Francisco Opera, and in the premiere of a new production for the opening of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2007–2008 season. This season, Ms. Dessay returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Lucia (a performance that was transmitted Live in HD to movie theaters worldwide), and additional season highlights included Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare at the Paris Opera, Mélisande in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande with the Orchestre de Paris, and Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata at the Aix-en-Provence Festival.


    Since his June 5, 1971 debut at The Metropolitan Opera with Tosca, Music Director James Levine has developed a relationship with the company that is unparalleled in its history and unique in the musical world today. He conducted the first-ever Met performances of Mozart's Idomeneo and La Clemenza di Tito; Gershwin's Porgy and Bess; Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex; Verdi's I Vespri Siciliani; I Lombardi and Stiffelio; Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny; Schoenberg's Erwartung and Moses und Aron; Berg's Lulu; Rossini's La Cenerentola and Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini; as well as the world premieres of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles and John Harbison's The Great Gatsby. All told, he has led nearly 2,500 performances of 85 different operas at the Met. Maestro Levine inaugurated the Metropolitan Opera Presents television series for PBS in 1977, founded the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program in 1980, returned Wagner's complete Der Ring des Nibelungen to the repertoire in 1989 (in the first integral cycles in over 35 years there), and has reinstated recitals and concerts with Met artists at the opera house. Expanding on that tradition, he and The MET Orchestra began touring in concert in 1991, and since then have performed around the world as well as in its own subscription series at Carnegie Hall. Since 1998, Maestro Levine and The MET Chamber Ensemble have also performed concerts annually at Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall. During his 40th anniversary season; Maestro Levine, who has conducted more performances at the Met than any conductor in the company’s 126-year history; led performances of Das Rheingold, Don Pasquale, Simon Boccanegra, Wozzeck, and Die Walküre.


    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is today regarded as one of the world’s finest orchestras. From the time of the company’s inception in 1883, the ensemble has worked with leading conductors in both opera and concert performances and has developed into an orchestra of enormous technical polish and style. Seven new productions, including two company premieres and the first two parts of a new Ring cycle, featuring many of the world’s greatest singers and conductors, are a highlight the Metropolitan Opera’s 2010–2011 season. In the spring of 1991, the orchestra under the leadership of James Levine began concert touring, taking them across the US and to Europe several times.



    Program Information

    Sunday, May 15 at 3:00 p.m.

    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage


    James Levine, Music Director and Conductor

    Natalie Dessay, Soprano


    ALBAN BERG Lulu Suite

    MAURICE RAVEL Vocalise-étude en forme de Habanera

    REINHOLD GLIÈRE Andante from Concerto for Coloratura Soprano and Orchestra

    SERGEI RACHMANINOFF Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14


    FRANCIS POULENC "Non, Monsieur mon mari" from Les Mamelles de Tirésias

    JULES MASSENET "Je marche sur tous les chemins . . . Obéissons quand leur voix appelle" from Manon



    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.


    Ticket Information

    Tickets, priced at $52–$164, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.


    For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.


    In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.

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