• Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011

    Marin Alsop Conducts Performance of Arthur Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on November 19

    Large-Scale Dramatic Choral Work Depicting the Final Hours of Joan of Arc To Be Presented in Semi-Staged Performance with Featured Singers, Actors, and Four Choirs
    Carnegie Hall presents Music Director Marin Alsop leading the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a rare, semi-staged performance of Arthur Honegger’s sweeping oratorio Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake) on Saturday, November 19 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. Acclaimed opera director and Grammy Award-winner James Robinson—who recently directed this work at Canadian Opera Company, the Barbican, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic—serves as the stage director for this one night only performance. (The work will also be performed in Baltimore—as the centerpiece of the orchestra’s season-long celebration of revolutionary women—on November 17 and 18.) To view a short video of Ms. Alsop discussing this work, click here.

    Joining the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as soloists are a cast of emerging, young vocalists: sopranos Tamara Wilson (The Virgin) and Hae Ji Chang (Marguerite), mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor (Catherine), tenor Timothy Fallon (Porcus), and bass Morris Robinson. Also featured in speaking roles are Caroline Dhavernas (Joan of Arc) and Ronald Guttman (Brother Dominic). The ondes martenot—the early electronic instrument utilized in several mid-20th century works by Honegger, Olivier Messiaen, and their contemporaries—will be played by Cynthia Millar. The performance also features the contribution of four choirs: Concert Artists of Baltimore Vocalists, The Peabody-Hopkins Chorus, Morgan State University Choir, and the Peabody Children's Chorus.

    January 2012 marks the 600th anniversary of the birth of the legendary Joan of Arc: heroine, soldier, and martyr. Swiss composer Arthur Honegger’s 1935 masterpiece Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher, with a libretto by French poet/dramatist Paul Claudel, depicts the final hours of Joan of Arc as she enters into a dialogue with her confessor. The oratorio examines her life in flashbacks, including the heresy trials before she achieves her final peace with God in death. Honegger, a member of Paris’s Les Six, employed musical elements from Joan of Arc’s own era, such as folk tunes and plainchant. He also incorporated more modern sounds, including parts for saxophone and the ondes martenot, a French instrument created just seven years earlier that emits eerie, wavering notes.

    Marin Alsop
    Hailed as one of the world’s leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. In 2005, Ms. Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award, and in 2009 Musical America named her Conductor of the Year. Ms. Alsop was named to The Guardian’s Top 100 Women list in March 2011, and is a regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition to her performance activities, she is also an active recording artist with award-winning cycles of Brahms, Barber, and Dvořák. Ms. Alsop attended Yale University and received her master’s degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she won the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize at Tanglewood where she studied with Leonard Bernstein.

    Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
    The Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is internationally recognized and acclaimed for its enduring pursuit of artistic excellence, having attracted a devoted national and international following while maintaining deep bonds throughout Maryland with innovative education and community outreach initiatives. Under music director Marin Alsop’s leadership, the BSO has added several critically acclaimed albums to its impressive discography. The BSO and Maestra Alsop partnered with the Naxos label to record a three-disc Dvořák symphony cycle, which were released between 2008 and 2010. Also in 2010, they recorded and released with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet a single disc recording of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Piano Concerto. In 2009, the BSO and Ms. Alsop released Bernstein’s Mass featuring baritone Jubilant Sykes, the Morgan State University Choir, and the Peabody Children’s Chorus, which was also performed in concert as part of Carnegie Hall’s citywide Bernstein festival in 2008. The album rose to number six on the Classical Billboard Charts and received a 2009 Grammy Award nomination for Best Classical Album. The orchestra made its foray into online distribution in 2007 with the release of a live-concert recording of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring on iTunes, which quickly became the site’s number one classical music download. In addition to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, where the orchestra has performed for 28 years, the BSO is a founding partner and the resident orchestra at the new state-of-the-art Music Center at Strathmore, just outside Washington, DC. With the opening of Strathmore in 2005, the BSO became the nation’s only major orchestra with year-round venues in two metropolitan areas.

    Program Information
    Saturday, November 19 at 8:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

    Marin Alsop, Music Director and Conductor
    James Robinson, Stage Director
    Caroline Dhavernas, Speaker (Joan of Arc)
    Ronald Guttman, Speaker (Brother Dominic)
    Tamara Wilson, Soprano (The Virgin)
    Hae Ji Chang, Soprano (Marguerite)
    Kelley O'Connor, Mezzo-Soprano (Catherine)
    Timothy Fallon, Tenor (Porcus)
    Morris Robinson, Bass
    Cynthia Millar, Ondes Martenot
    Concert Artists of Baltimore Vocalists
    The Peabody-Hopkins Chorus
    Edward Polochick, Director
    Morgan State University Choir
    Eric Conway, Director
    Peabody Children's Chorus
    Doreen Falby, Director

    ARTHUR HONEGGER Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher

    Pre-concert talk starts at 7:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage with Benjamin Sosland, The Juilliard School.

    This concert and the Choral Classics series are made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
    Ticket Information
    Tickets, priced at $31–$91, 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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