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February 2015

Paul Goodwin Conducts SFS

NewGoodwin_MannyEspinoza* Notes * 
Conductor Paul Goodwin (pictured left, photograph by Manny Espinoza) is leading the San Francisco Symphony in a rather traditional program of Bach and Mozart this weekend. Goodwin, however, is anything but staid. He has a clear point of view and the orchestra sounds powerful under his direction. Last night's concert began with a stately rendition of J.S. Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3. The trumpets were particularly vital and in tune.

These performances mark the San Francisco Symphony debut of soprano Lydia Teuscher, who sang two Mozart arias and Bach's Wedding Cantata. Her voice is bright and pretty. The tenor clarinets were lovely in "Al desio, di chi t'adora." The oboist sounded quite happy in the Bach, and the string soloists also played well. The bass player seemed to be having a lot of fun.

The evening ended with Mozart, a rousing Symphony No. 31, Paris.

* Tattling * 
There was some whispering noted in the orchestra. Someone seated around Row N Seat 5 left in the middle of the Wedding Cantata, climbing over other patrons while quietly apologizing.

Houston Grand Opera's 2015-2016 Season

Wortham_CenterOctober 23 - November 14 2015: Tosca
October 30- November 13 2015: Eugene Onegin
December 4-20 2015: The Little Prince
January 23- February 8 2016: Le Nozze di Figaro
January 29- February 12 2016 : Rusalka
March 5-13 2016: Prince of Players
April 16- May 1 2016: Siegfried
April 22- May 7 2016: Carousel

Details on the Season | Official Site

PBO's 2015-2016 Season

PBO_byRandiBeachOctober 4-10 2015: Scarlatti's La gloria di primavera
November 12-15 2015: Bach's Brandenburgs with Richard Egarr
December 2-6 2015: Händel's Ode for St. Cecilia's Day and "Tra amplessi innocenti" and Purcell's Te Deum and Jubilate in D and Suite from Distressed Innocence
December 19 2015: Händel's Messiah
February 3-7 2016: Mozart's Concerto for Fortepiano No. 23 with Kristian Bezuidenhout, Symphonies No. 27 and 39
February 11 2016: Arias from Ariodante and Xerxes with Susan Graham
March 2-6 2016: Vivaldi's Concerto in D major and Rameau's Suite from Les Fêtes de L'Hymen et de L'Amour
April 27- May 1 2016: Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3, Elegiac Song, and Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage and Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2, Hymn of Praise

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra's 2015-2016 season was announced today. The soloists for the Scarlatti are Suzana Ograjensek, Diana Moore, Clint van der Linde, Nicholas Phan, and Douglas Williams. The soloists for Messiah are Amanda Forsythe, Meg Bragle, Isaiah Bell, and Tyler Duncan. PBO will also tour major North American concert halls in Spring 2016 with guest artists Anne-Sofie von Otter and Andreas Scholl.

Official Site

LA Opera's 2015-2016 Season

F1_1_Dorothy-Chandler-PavilionSeptember 12- October 3 2015: Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci
October 8-11 2015: Song From the Uproar
October 30-31 2015: Dracula
October 31- November 28 2015: Moby-Dick
November 21- December 13 2015: Norma
February 13- March 6 2016: Die Zauberflöte
March 12- April 3 2016: Madama Butterfly
May 14- June 12 2016: La bohème
June 16-19 2016: Anatomy Theater

Official Site

Lydia Teuscher's Upcoming SFS Debut

LydiaTeuscherSoprano Lydia Teuscher (pictured left) is having her San Francisco Symphony debut this Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 2pm with performances on the following two days at 8pm. She will be singing "Al desio, di chi t'adora" from Le nozze di Figaro, "Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben" from Zaide, and Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten (Wedding Cantata). Teuscher was a resident artist at the Semperoper in Dresden. She has also performed at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Glyndebourne Festival, and Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin.

Paul Goodwin will be conducting the performances, replacing Bernard Labadie, who is being treated for a lymphoma. The program also includes Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068 and Mozart's Symphony No. 31 in D major, K.297(300a), Paris.

Lydia Teuscher | Paul Goodwin | San Francisco Symphony

ABS Performs Acis and Galatea

Nola_Richardson_3813* Notes *
This weekend American Bach Soloists is performing Händel's Acis and Galatea with Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4. During last night's Berkeley concert Jeffrey Thomas conducted a crisp, vibrant Acis and Galatea. All of the soloists sang with a fine lucidity and the chorus sounded decisive.

Nola Richardson (pictured left) had a lovely debut with ABS. Her Galatea is clear voiced and exact. Her Acis, Kyle Stegall, sounded pretty and light. Stegall's tenor contrasted nicely with Zachary Wilder's. The latter's sound is bright and his coloratura in "Consider, fond shepherd" was good. Bass Mischa Bouvier is an imposing Polyphemus. His trio with Richardson and Stegall was great.

The evening started with Bach. The violin soloist, Elizabeth Blumenstock, was not particularly precise but always quite lively. The recorders, played by Judith Linsenberg and Debra Nagy, sounded elegant, especially in the middle movement Andante.

* Tattling *
Parking by First Congregational was exceedingly difficult as there was a basketball game at nearby UC Berkeley.

The concert ended with an encore by the chorus and orchestra of "Happy We."

MTT Conducts L'Histoire du soldat

Mahler51213* Notes * 
This weekend Michael Tilson Thomas (pictured left, photograph by Kristen Loken) is conducting seven members of the San Francisco Symphony in performances of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du soldat. The vivid piece is narrated by Elvis Costello, who does a fine job declaiming his lines. Nick Gabriel (The Soldier) is earnest and Malcolm McDowell (The Devil) certainly is charming. It is adorable when MTT himself speaks the lines of The King in Part II. The playing is incisive and spirited. Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik sounded particularly lovely, as did clarinetist Carey Bell.

The performance starts with John Adams conducting his 1982 piece Grand Pianola Music, which is being recorded for future release. Adams addresses the audience before commencing the piece, explaining the genesis of the piece and its influences. He also notes a tuba solo in Part I, which he called a "bovine moment."

The work, in fact, is startlingly beautiful. The pianists, Orli Shaham and Marc-André Hamelin play cohesively. The orchestra, which included woodwinds, brass, and percussion, sound grounded. Synergy Vocals is wonderfully ethereal, the three singers make for haunting sirens.

* Tattling * 
The audience on the orchestra level was very quiet for the John Adams. For the most part people were also quiet for the Stravinsky, but a woman in Row W Seat 102 was compelled to whisper to those adjacent to her as the ensemble played in Part II.

Canadian Opera Company's 2015-2016 Season

Four-seasons-centre-house-of-canadian-opera-companyOctober 8- November 6 2015 : La Traviata
October 20- November 7 2015: Pyramus and Thisbe
January 23- February 14 2016: Siegfried
February 4-27 2016: Le Nozze di Figaro
April 12- May 15 2016: Carmen
April 29- May 14 2016: Maometto II

The world premiere of Barbara Monk Feldman's Pyramus and Thisbe will be performed with Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and "Lamento d'Arianna."

Details on the Season | Official Site

SF Opera's 2015-2016 Season

Open-house-david-wakelySeptember 11-27 2015: Luisa Miller
September 12-29 2015: Sweeney Todd
October 8-28 2015: Lucia di Lammermoor
October 20- November 20 2015: The Magic Flute
November 18- December 6 2015: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
November 25- December 9 2015: Il barbiere di Siviglia
December 8-13 2015: Usher House and La Chute de la Maison Usher
May 27- July 3 2016: Carmen
June 12-29 2016: Don Carlo
June 14-July 1 2016: Jenůfa

David Gockley announced his last season at San Francisco Opera today. Leah Crocetto, Michael Fabiano and Thomas Hampson star in Luisa Miller. Gerald Finley is Sweeney Todd opposite Stephanie Blythe. Diana Damrau sings the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor. Greer Grimsley and Brandon Jovanovich sing in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Calixto Bieito's production of Carmen features two casts. René Pape is Philip II in Don Carlo. Karita Mattila is Kostelnička in Jenůfa.

Press Release

Seattle Opera's 2015-2016 Season

Seattle-opera-space-needleAugust 8-22 2015: Nabucco
August 21-23 2015: An American Dream
October 7-31 2015: Les pêcheurs de perles
January 16-30 2016: Le Nozze di Figaro
February 27- March 12 2016: Maria Stuarda
May 7-21 2016: Der fliegende Holländer

Seattle Opera announced the 2015-2016 season today, the first for new General Director Aidan Lang. The company returns to full-year programming with six operas, including a world premiere by Jack Perla.

Official 2015-2016 Site