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Andris Nelsons conducts Wagner's Das Rheingold

Andris Nelsons conducts Wagner's Das Rheingold


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On Saturday, July 15, Maestro Nelsons leads the BSO in one of the great highlights of the 2017 Tanglewood season: the festival's first-ever complete concert performance of Wagner's epic Das Rheingold, the first of the four dramas from Wagner's masterpiece Der Ring des Nibelungen. The performance features a cast of all-star vocal soloists among the most respected for these roles, including bass-baritone Thomas J. Mayer as Wotan (in his BSO and Tanglewood debuts); mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as Fricka; tenor Kim Begley as Loge (BSO and Tanglewood debuts); and baritone Jochen Schmeckenbecher (BSO and Tanglewood debuts) as Alberich, along with other prestigious singers known for their expertise performing Wagner's music. The performance of Das Rheingold-sung in German with English subtitles-will run without an intermission. 

Due to ill health, and on the advice of her doctor, Dame Sarah Connolly regretfully has had to withdraw from the BSO's performance of Das Rheingold.  The role of Fricka will now be sung by Stephanie Blythe, who has graciously agreed to join the cast at short notice.


Featured Performers

Andris Nelsons, conductor
Andris Nelsons, conductor View biography in full page >

The 2020-2021 season is Andris Nelsons seventh as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Ray and Maria Stata Music Director. In summer 2015, following his first season as music director, his contract with the BSO was extended through the 2021-22 season. In February 2018 Mr. Nelsons was also named Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. On October 5, 2020, the BSO and GHO jointly announced extensions to Mr. Nelsons current contracts. His contract with the BSO was extended until 2025, and his GHO contract until 2027. An evergreen clause in his BSO contract reflects a mutual intention for a long-term commitment between the BSO and Mr. Nelsons beyond the years of the agreement.

Mr. Nelsons’ two positions, in addition to his leadership of a pioneering alliance between the institutions, have firmly established the Grammy Award-winning conductor as one of the most renowned and innovative artists on the international scene today. In fall 2019 Mr. Nelsons and the BSO hosted the Gewandhausorchester in historic concerts at Symphony Hall that included two performances by the GHO as well as concerts featuring the players of both orchestras together.

In the 2019-20 season, Andris Nelsons led the BSO in repertoire ranging from favorites by Beethoven, Dvořák, Grieg, Mozart, Mahler, Ravel, and Tchaikovsky to world and American premieres of BSO-commissioned works from Eric Nathan, Betsy Jolas, and the Latvian composer Arturs Maskats. The season also brought the continuation of his complete Shostakovich symphony cycle with the orchestra and collaborations with an impressive array of guest artists. Mr. Nelsons’ work with the BSO resumes with his return to Boston at the start of 2021.

Andris Nelsons’ and the BSO’s ongoing series of recordings of the complete Shostakovich symphonies for Deutsche Grammophon has included the composer’s symphonies 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, and 11 (The Year 1905), and most recently a two-disc set pairing Shostakovich’s symphonies 6 and 7 (Leningrad). The cycle has earned three Grammy awards for Best Orchestral Performance and one for Best Engineered Album. The next installment, featuring symphonies nos. 1, 14, and 15 and the Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a (arr. Rudolf Barshai), is scheduled for release in summer 2021. Future releases will go beyond the symphonies to encompass the composer’s concertos for piano, violin, and cello, and his monumental opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. Mr. Nelsons’ other recordings with the orchestra include the complete Brahms symphonies for the BSO Classics label and a Naxos release of BSO-commissioned world premiere works by four American composers: Timo Andres, Eric Nathan, Sean Shepherd, and George Tsontakis.

The fifteenth music director in the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons made his BSO debut at Carnegie Hall in March 2011, his Tanglewood debut in July 2012, and his BSO subscription series debut in January 2013. In November 2017, Mr. Nelsons and the BSO toured Japan together for the first time. They have so far made three European tours together: immediately following the 2018 Tanglewood season, when they played concerts in London, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Lucerne, Paris, and Amsterdam; in May 2016, a tour that took them to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg; and, after the 2015 Tanglewood season, a tour that took them to major European capitals and the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals. A scheduled February 2020 tour to East Asia was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

In his capacity as BSO Music Director and Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Mr. Nelsons brings the BSO and GHO together for a unique multi-dimensional alliance including a BSO/GHO Musician Exchange program and an exchange component within each orchestra’s acclaimed academy for advanced music studies. A major aspect of the alliance is a focus on complementary programming, through which the BSO celebrates “Leipzig Week in Boston” and the GHO celebrates “Boston Week in Leipzig,” highlighting each other’s musical traditions through uniquely programmed concerts, chamber music performances, archival exhibits, and lecture series. The two orchestras have jointly commissioned and premiered works from Latvian, American, and German and Austrian composers.

In addition to his Shostakovich recordings with the BSO, Mr. Nelsons’ exclusive partnership with Deutsche Grammophon includes two other major projects. With the Gewandhausorchester he continues his critically acclaimed Bruckner symphonic cycle under the Yellow Label, of which four volumes have been released to date. His recordings of Beethoven’s complete symphonies with the Wiener Philharmoniker were released by Deutsche Grammophon in October 2019.

Mr. Nelsons frequently leads such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. As an opera conductor, he has made regular guest appearances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Bayreuth Festival. Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, Andris Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying conducting. He was Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (2008-2015), Principal Conductor of Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany (2006-09), and Music Director of the Latvian National Opera (2003-07).


Andris Nelsons, conductor Thomas J Mayer, bass-baritone (Wotan)
Thomas J Mayer, bass-baritone (Wotan) View biography in full page >

German baritone Thomas Johannes Mayer first studied history, German language and literature, music education and philosophy, before beginning his vocal training at the College of Music in Cologne with Liselotte Hammes and Kurt Moll.

Following on from initial engagements in Regensburg and Darmstadt, Thomas J. Mayer enjoyed acclaim at the municipal theatre in Basel in the title role of Mozart's opera ›DON GIOVANNI‹ and as Achilles in Othmar Schoeck's ›PENTHESILEA‹ (director: Hans Neuenfels). Thomas J. Mayer was also greatly praised when he played Wotan/Wanderer in Wagner's ›THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG‹ at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe and the title role in Hindemith's ›MATHIS DER MALER‹. In the 2008/09 season he moved to the Hamburg State Opera, where he played a number of roles including the four villains (LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN), Mandryka (ARABELLA), Kaspar (DER FREISCHÜTZ), Jochanaan (SALOME), Wotan (DIE WALKÜRE), Rigoletto and Scarpia (TOSCA).

Thomas J. Mayer has been a freelance artist since 2010.

His international career began in the 2007/08 season, playing the title role in Berg's ›WOZZECK‹ (directed by Jürgen Flimm) at La Scala in Milan, where he was susequently engaged as Posa for the new production of ›DON CARLOS‹ in December 2008/09.

Since then, Thomas Johannes Mayer has guested at many opera houses including De Nederlands Opera in Amsterdam, the theatre in Basel, the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the State Opera Unter den Linden and Komische Oper in Berlin, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, the Aalto Theater Essen, the Hamburg State Opera, the opera houses in Cologne and Leipzig, La Scala in Milan, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Opéra National de Paris, the New National Theatre Tokyo, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Theater an der Wien, the Zurich Opera House and at the Bregenz Music Festival, the Herodus Atticus festival in Athens, the Bayreuth Festival (2012, 2013, 2014) and the Salzburg Festival (2010 and 2011).

Highlights of his career so far have been his Wotan/Wanderer at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (musical direction: Kent Nagano), Wotan at the State Opera Unter den Linden (musical direction: Daniel Barenboim), his Wotan at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin (musical direction: Sir Simon Rattle) his Amfortas (musical direction: Donald Runnicles), his Wotan/Wanderer at the Opéra National de Paris (musical direction: Philippe Jordan) and his Wotan (musical direction: Zubin Mehta) in Valencia.

The 2014/2015 season saw Thomas J. Mayer as Barak in DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN at the Zurich Opera and the Leipzig Opera and singing the role of Mandryka in Strauss's ARABELLA in a new presentation at the Munich Opera Festival and returning as Wotan/Wanderer in a repeat of Wagner's RING DES NIBELUNGEN at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.

2015/2016 brought a guest appearance as Wotan in THE RHINEGOLD with the Odense Symfoniorkester and an acclaimed role debut as Moses in Schoenberg's MOSES UND ARON at the Opéra National de Paris. At Munich's Bavarian State Opera, Thomas J. Mayer was back as Mandryka in ARABELLA, Wotan/Wanderer in Wagner's RING and as Telramund in LOHENGRIN. The 2016 Bayreuth Festival welcomed him in the title role of the Dutchman in Wagner's THE FLYING DUTCHMAN.

2016/2017 sees Thomas J. Mayer back with the Odense Symfoniorkester in a guest appearance as Wanderer in Wagner's SIEGFRIED, at the Leipzig Opera as Mandryka in ARABELLA and as Wotan in DIE WALKÜRE, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Amfortas in PARSIFAL and at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie Brüssel as Sharpless in MADAMA BUTTERFLY. At the Opéra National de Paris, Herr Mayer will be singing Thoas in Gluck's opera IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE, the parts of Vautrin/Trompe-la-Mort/Jacques Collin in Luca Francesconi's TROMPE-LA-MORT and Misgir in Rimsky-Korsakov's SNEGUROCHKA (The Snow Maiden). In a gala performance at the the State Theatre of Lower Saxony in Hanover he will play the Dutchman in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER. Before Thomas J. Mayer embodies the Wanderer in SIEGFRIED at the 2017 Bayreuth Festival he will be making a guest appearance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Wotan in a concert performance of Wagner's RHEINGOLD.

Thomas J. Mayer has worked with famous conductors like Daniel Barenboim, Daniele Gatti, Philippe Jordan, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Andris Nelsons, Sir Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Ulf Schirmer, Stefan Soltesz, Christian Thielemann and Simone Young.

Thomas J Mayer, bass-baritone (Wotan)
Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano
Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano View biography in full page >

Ms. Blythe has sung in many of the renowned opera houses in the US and Europe including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the Opera National de Paris. Her many roles include the title roles in Carmen, Samson et Dalila , Orfeo ed Euridice, La Grande Duchesse, Tancredi, Mignon, and Guilio Cesare; Frugola, Principessa, and Zita in the Il Trittico, Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera, Baba the Turk in The Rake's Progress, Ježibaba in Rusalka, Jocasta in Oedipus Rex, Mere Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites; Isabella in L'Italiana in Algeri,, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, Ino/Juno in Semele, and Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus.

Ms. Blythe has appeared with many of the world's finest orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Orchestra of New York, Minnesota Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Ensemble Orchestre de Paris. She has also appeared at the Tangelwood and Ravinia Festival, and at the BBC Proms. The many conductors with whom she has worked include Harry Bicket, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Nicola Luisotti, Sir Charles Mackerras, John Nelson, Antonio Pappano, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, and Michael Tilson Thomas.

A frequent recitalist, Ms. Blythe has been presented in recital with her collaborative partner, Warren Jones, by Zankel Hall, Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series at Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Town Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Vocal Arts Society and at the Supreme Court at the invitation of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in Washington, DC; the Cleveland Art Song Festival, the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Shriver Hall in Baltimore.

Ms Blythe has also developed a strong relationship with the composer, Alan Smith. She premiered Vignettes: Ellis Island, a song cycle written especially for her, and has since performed it at the Ravinia Festival and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. It was also featured in a special television program entitled Vignettes: An Evening with Stephanie Blythe and Warren Jones. Ms. Blythe's most recently collaboration with Mr. Smith was Covered Wagon Woman, a piece commissioned for Ms. Blythe's residency with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and recorded with the ensemble on their own label, CMS Studio Recordings.

Ms Blythe recently starred in the Metropolitan Opera's live HD broadcasts of Orfeo ed Euridice and Il Trittico. Her recordings of works by Mahler, Brahms, and Wagner and of arias by Handel and Bach are available on the Virgin Classics label.

This season, Ms. Blythe appears as Fricka in the Metropolitan Opera's new productions of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre and makes her debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Un Ballo in Maschera and The Mikado. She also appears in concert at the Concertgebouw and with the Collegiate Chorale in Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Blythe was named Musical America's Vocalist of the Year for 2009. Her other awards include the 2007 Opera News Award and the 1999 Richard Tucker Award.

Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano Kim Begley, tenor
Kim Begley, tenor View biography in full page >

After initial training and experience as an actor, Kim Begley found his true vocation when he joined the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as a principal tenor. In six seasons he sang over thirty roles and has since returned as a regular guest in productions such as Wozzeck (Drum Major), Die Walküre (Siegmund), Billy Budd (Captain Vere) and most recently Król Roger (Edrisi), conducted by Music Director Antonio Pappano.

In an illustrious career spanning over three decades, Kim Begley has performed around the world at the highest level and been a regular guest at The Metropolitan Opera, Opera National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Glyndebourne Festival and La Scala Milan to name just a few. In 2000, under the late Giuseppi Sinopoli, Begley made his Bayreuth Festival debut as Loge (Das Rheingold), a role which subsequently became his major calling card and for which he remains in high demand today.

In Kim Begley's earlier career he excelled in Janáček's operas and sang Laca (Jenufa) in numerous productions on both sides of the Atlantic, including as his debut at The Met under Vladimir Jurowski in 2003. He sang his first performances as Florestan (Fidelio) under Sir Simon Rattle at the Glyndebourne Festival and his first Peter Grimes at De Nederlandse Opera with Edo de Waart. Having always enjoyed a strong relationship with English National Opera, Kim Begley has sung principal roles there by Britten, Janáček and Mussorgsky as well as his first portrayal of Parsifal, which saw him nominated for an Olivier Award. In 2011/12, Kim returned to the Coliseum in critically acclaimed performances as Walter in David Pountney's production of Mieczysław Weinberg's The Passenger and as Captain Vere in David Alden's new production of Billy Budd  under Edward Gardner.

Recent seasons have seen the addition of further new roles to Kim Begley's already extensive repertoire: Sellem (The Rake's Progress) in Paris under Jeffrey Tate, Bob Boles (Peter Grimes) in San Francisco under Michael Tilson Thomas, Aegisth (Elektra) in Paris under Philippe Jordan, and Fatty (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny) for Teatro Municipal de Santiago. This season Kim creates the role of Polonius in the world premiere of Brett Dean's Hamlet under Vladimir Jurowski for Glyndebourne Festival, and returns to the role of Mephistopheles (Doktor Faustus) at Semperoper Dresden under Tomas Netopil as well as Aegisth (Elektra) for his company debut with Teatro Municipal São Paulo.

Kim Begley, tenor
David Cangelosi, tenor
David Cangelosi, tenor View biography in full page >

David Cangelosi has firmly established himself as an artist who combines both excellent singing with winning characterizations. He is highly acclaimed by major opera companies and symphony orchestras in the U.S. and abroad. In 2004, Mr. Cangelosi made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Mime in Das Rheingold, conducted by James Levine, and has returned in recent seasons with principal roles in Andrea ChenierIl Tabarro, and Tales of Hoffmann. He returned to the Metropolitan Opera in 2014/2015 for performances of Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg. Other roles at the Metropolitan include Basilio (Marriage of Figaro), Goro (Madame Butterfly), and Spoletta (Tosca). He will reprise his signature role of Mime for Washington National Opera's production of The Ring in 2015/2016, and continues a performance/recording project of the same with the Hong Kong Philharmonic in 2015 and 2017. He recently performed his role debut of the 'Witch' in Hansel and Gretel in the summer of 2015, and made his company debut with Houston Grand Opera (Tosca/Eugene Onegin) to open their 2015/2016 season. He will enjoy return engagements with the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and Dallas Opera in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Mr. Cangelosi's recent performances include, Mime in Francesca Zambello's internationally acclaimed "American" Ring Cycle with San Francisco Opera; Shuisky (Boris Godunov), Goro (Butterfly), and Montostatos (Magic Flute) with Dallas Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago, respectively; Nick (Fanciulla), Spalanzani (Hoffman), and Spoletta (Tosca) for the Lyric Opera Chicago; and 'The Four Servants' (Hoffmann) with the Santa Fe Opera. In 2012, Mr. Cangelosi made his debut with the Canadian Opera Company reprising the role of Spoletta in Tosca; and returned in 2012/2013 for performances of Die Fledermaus,  which he also reprised at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2014. Additional recent performances in 2014/2015 included Salome with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Cunning Little Vixen  with the Cleveland Orchestra. He was also engaged in August 2014 at the Saito-Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Japan; and returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago for Toscain early 2015.

A long-time veteran of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Mr. Cangelosi made his debut in Salome in 1996. Engagements with the home company have included his signature role of Mime (Siegfried 2004) (Ring Cycle2005), Madame ButterflyAriadne auf NaxosDie ZauberflöteCarmen (Dancairo), Turandot, and Boris Godunov. Mr. Cangelosi continues this close association with roles that include Dr. Caius (Falstaff), Guillot (Manon), Goro (Madame Butterfly), Beppe (Il Pagliacci), Little Bat (Susannah), Tobias (Sweeney Todd), and Guillot (Manon). Recent productions with LOC include Die MeistersingerMadame Butterlfy, and Tosca.

Cangelosi made his debut at the Spoleto Festival (U.S.A.) singing the roles of the Noctambulist/Pape des Fous in Louise, and performed as a featured soloist for their Intermezzi Recital Series. Recent recital/concert performances include The Montgomery Symphony, Davis Concert Hall (UAF) with Opera Fairbanks, and the PACC Concert series in Boston. Other recent performances include Pang with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Santa Fe Opera, Valzacchi with the San Francisco Opera, Dr. Caius with Los Angeles Opera, and Monostatos with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Hollywood Bowl) and Santa Fe Opera.

Career highlights include, Il Pagliacci (Beppe) with Placido Domingo and the Washington Opera (telecast on the PBS "Live from Kennedy Center" series), his Carnegie Hall debut with the Cleveland Orchestra as Torquemada in Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole (under the baton of Pierre Boulez), Monostatos and Basilio with the Paris Opera (Bastille/Garnier), and Pedrillo with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. Additionally Mr. Cangelosi recorded the Sword Forging Scene from Siegfried with Placido Domingo for the CD "Domingo/Scenes from the Ring" with EMI Classics. In 2000, he completed the CD/Film project of Tosca and made his screen debut at the2001 Venice Film Festival.

Other engagements include, Bob Boles (Peter Grimes), Bardolpho (Falstaff), Don Juan (Don Quichotte), and Tybalt (Romeo et Juliette) for the Washington Opera; Sellem (The Rakes Progress) for San Francisco Opera; Cassio (Otello) with Nashville Opera; Goro with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, The Magician in Menotti's The Consul with Berkshire Opera (available on CD), Jacquino (Fidelio) with the Cincinnati Symphony, Pang with the Columbus Symphony, Prunier (La Rondine) with the Boston Lyric Opera, and First Jew (Salome) with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood under Seiji Ozawa.

Mr. Cangelosi also serves as the Artistic/Program Director of the Vann Vocal Institute in Montgomery, Alabama; and actively travels the country as a recitalist, symphonic guest-artist, competition adjudicator, and Master Class instructor for aspiring vocalists.


David Cangelosi, tenor Jochen Schmeckenbecher, baritone (Alberich)
Jochen Schmeckenbecher, baritone (Alberich) View biography in full page >

The German baritone Jochen Schmeckenbecher was raised in Hockenheim, and studied with Kurt Moll at the Musikhochschule Köln. After being a member of the ensemble at the Theater Hagen and the Komische Oper Berlin he now is a regular guest of leading opera and concert stages.

The season 2016/17 includes Faninal in a new production of Rosenkavalier (Andris Nelsons/Robert Carsen) at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, his role debut as Dr. Schön in a new production of Lulu (Kent Nagano/Christoph Marthaler) at the Staatsoper Hamburg and Klingsor in a new production of Parsifal (SemyonBychkov/AlvisHermanis) at the Staatsoper Wien, where he also will perform again as Alberich and Faninal.

Future plans include his return to the Opera de Lyon, the Oper Frankfurt and the Staatsoper Wien and his debuts at the Musikverein Wien and the Grafenegg Festival. In 2017 he will make his role debut as Kaspar/Freischütz.

Jochen Schmeckenbecher focuses on the German repertoire and thus he sing score-parts like Alberich/Ring des Nibelungen, Amfortas and Klingsor/Parsifal, Kurwenal/Tristan und Isolde, Musiklehrer/Ariadne auf Naxos, Faninal/Rosenkavalier, Peter/Hänsel und Gretel, Pizarro/Fidelio and Wozzeck at the state operas in Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg and Stuttgart, the Opera National de Paris, the Met New York, the Scala Milano, the Liceu Barcelona, the Teatro Real Madrid ans the opera companies in Essen, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Lyon, San Francisco and Turin.

Furthermore he appeared as Kolenaty/Vec Makropulos in Paris and at the Salzburger Festspiele, Marquis de la Force/Dialogues des Carmelite sat the Theater an der Wien and the Staatsoper München and as the Four Villains/Hoffmanns Erzählungen at the Volksoper Wien.

Concert performances led him as Spielmann/Königskinder to the Hamburger Symphoniker in the Laeiszhalle, as Alberich/Ring des Nibelungen to the Rundfunk-Sinfonie orchester Berlin in the Philharmonie Berlin, as Orest/Elektra to the Gulbenkian Orchester in Lissabon, as Kurwenal to the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, as Mauregato in Schuberts Alfonso und Estrella to the Berliner Philharmoniker in the Philharmonie Berlin and as Zsupan/Zigeunerbaron to the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hannover.

In concert he sang a.o. Bauer/Gurrelieder in the Philharmonie de Paris, Jesus/ Johannespassion in the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid and in Düsseldorf, Lieder aus Des Knaben Wunderhorn in the Festspielhaus Bregenz, Beethoven's 9th Symphony in Porto, Brahm's Deutsches Requiem in Paris, Mahler's 8th Symphony in theMeyerson Center in Dallas,  Janacek's Glagolitic Mass in the Royal Festival Hall in London ans Cerha's Baal-Gesänge in the Konzerthaus Wien.

Jochen Schmeckenbecher, baritone (Alberich)
Morris Robinson, bass-baritone (Fasolt)
Morris Robinson, bass-baritone (Fasolt) View biography in full page >

Morris Robinson is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most interesting and sought after basses performing today.

A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Mr. Robinson made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in their production of Fidelio.  He has since appeared there as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte(both in the original production and in the children's English version), Ferrando in Il Trovatore,    the King in Aida, and in roles in NabuccoTannhäuser, and the new productions of Les Troyens  and Salome.  He has also appeared at the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera,  Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Vancouver Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Australia, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. His many roles include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Ramfis in Aida,  Zaccaria in Nabucco,  Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Commendatore in Don Giovanni,  Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos,  Timur inTurandot, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly,  Padre Guardiano in La Forza del Destino,  Ferrando in Il Trovatore,  and Fasolt in Das Rheingold. 

Also a prolific concert singer, Mr. Robinson has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, L'Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Met Chamber Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, New England String Ensemble, and at the Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, Verbier, and Aspen Music Festivals. He also appeared in Carnegie Hall as part of Jessye Norman's HONOR!  Festival. In recital he has been presented by Spivey Hall in Atlanta, the Savannah Music Festival, the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 

Mr. Robinson's first album, Going Home,  was released on the Decca label. He also appears as Joe in the newly released DVD of the San Francisco Opera production of Show Boat.

This season, Mr. Robinson returns to the Los Angeles Opera as Oroveso in Norma  and the Dallas Opera as Joe inShow Boat.  He also appears in concert with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Milwaukee Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony, and as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's 2015-2016 Artist in Residence, he appears in several concerts and recitals throughout the season. And in the fall of 2016, he makes his debut at the Teatro alla Scala in the title role of Porgy and Bess  conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt

An Atlanta native, Mr. Robinson is a graduate of The Citadel and received his musical training from the Boston University Opera Institute.

Morris Robinson, bass-baritone (Fasolt) Ain Anger, bass
Ain Anger, bass View biography in full page >

Hailed by The Guardian as "one of the great Wagner basses of our time" Ain Anger made his Bayreuth Festival debut as Fafner in Das Rheingold and Siegfried under Christian Thielemann before singing Hunding in new Ring Cycles at Bayerische Staatsoper (Kent Nagano), Wiener Staatsoper (Franz Welser-Möst) and Oper Frankfurt (Sebastian Weigle). He made an acclaimed debut at Teatro alla Scala as Daland (Der fliegende Holländer) under Hartmut Haenchen, sang Pogner in San Francisco's production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under Sir Mark Elder and joined Deutsche Oper Berlin at the BBC Proms in Tannhauser under Donald Runnicles.

A mainstay of the Wiener Staatsoper stage since his house debut as Monterone (Rigoletto) in 2004, Ain Anger has now sung more than forty roles there ranging from Dosifei (Khovanshchina), Koenig Heinrich (Lohengrin) and Philippe II (Don Carlos) to Pogner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Zaccaria (Nabucco) and Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra).

Ain Anger's current season includes two anticipated roles debuts: Boris Godunov for Deutsche Oper Berlin under Kirill Karabits and Hagen in Tim Albery's production of Götterdämmerung at the Canadian Opera Company under Music Director, Johannes Debus. Elsewhere in the season, Anger joins Christian Thielemann as Fafner (Das Rheingold) at Semperoper Dresden, and Adam Fischer as Hunding (Die Walküre) at Wiener Staatsoper, both subsequently touring to Japan.

Recent highlights include a unanimously praised debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Pimen in Richard Jones' new production of Boris Godunov under Sir Antonio Pappano, and as Cardinal Brogni in Calixto Bieito's new production of La Juive at Bayerische Staatsoper, conducted by Bertrand de Billy. At Washington National Opera, Ain Anger appeared as Daland under Philippe Auguin, and has appeared in productions of both Tannhauser and Lohengrin at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

On the concert platform, Ain Anger has recently performed Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Olari Elts), Mahler's Symphony No.8 with Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Mariss Jansons), Verdi's Messa da Requiem with Sydney Symphony Orchestra (David Robertson) and Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Jaap van Zweden), as well as Beethoven's Symphony No.9 with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (Riccardo Chailly).

Trained at Tallin's Academy of Music, Ain Anger began his career in his native Estonia before joining the ensembles of Oper Leipzig, Staatsoper Hamburg and subsequently Wiener Staatsoper.

Ain Anger, bass
Malin Christensson, soprano (Freia)
Malin Christensson, soprano (Freia) View biography in full page >

Born in Sweden, soprano Malin Christensson studied at the Royal College of Music.    

Highlights in her 2016/17 season include Fauré's Requiem with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Alexandre Bloch, Bach's Mass in B Minor and Mahler's Symphony no. 2 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons and Handel's Messiah with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and Paul Goodwin and in staged performances for the Bergen National Opera.           

Recent engagements have included Susanna in staged performances of Le nozze di Figaro  with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dudamel and with the Gulbenkain Orchestra under McCreesh; Zerlina Don Giovanni for the Houston Grand Opera and at the Helsinki Festival; Bach's Weihnachts-Oratorium with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and Pinnock, the Matthäus-Passion  with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Nézet-Séguin, Mozart's Mass in C Minor with the CBSO and Nelsons and Beethoven's Symphony no. 9 with the Swedish Radio Orchestra and Blomstedt.         

Appearances in opera have also included Barbarina Le nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival and Susanna at the Aix-en-Provence Festival and in Santiago di Chile; Sophie Werther at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden; Miss Wordsworth Albert Herring at the Glyndebourne Festival; Marzelline Fidelio at the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw; Flower Maiden Parsifal at Covent Garden; Drusilla L'incoronazione di Poppea  at the Drottningholms Slottsteater and Papagena Die Zauberflöte at the Théâtre du Châtalet, in Montpellier and at the Vienna Festival.        

She has also appeared at the BBC Proms and at the Lucerne and Daytona Festivals and her recent highlights have included the London Symphony Orchestra with Harding; the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Bělohlávek; the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Jacobs, Labadie and Leonhardt; the Philharmonia Orchestra with John Wilson, the Gävle Symfoni Orkester with Søndergård; the Royal Scottish National Orchestra with Denève and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Ticciati.       

In recital she works regularly with Simon Lepper, Malcolm Martineau and Roger Vignoles and her appearances include London's Wigmore Hall, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Tonhalle in Zurich and the Innsbruck, Cheltenham, Bath Mozart and Oxford Lieder Festivals.      


Malin Christensson, soprano (Freia) Jacqueline Echols, soprano Jacqueline Echols, soprano
Catherine Martin, mezzo-soprano (Wellgunde)
Catherine Martin, mezzo-soprano (Wellgunde) View biography in full page >

American mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin has been praised by The Washington Post for her "gorgeous, warm voice that you want to keep listening to," and she continues to make an impact in repertoire ranging from Verdi and Wagner to Strauss and Bellini.

Her 2016-2017 season begins in Taiwan at the National Taichung Theatre reviving Wellgunde in Das Rheingoldwith the La Fura dels Baus production team, a debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago singing Hécube and covering Didon in Les Troyens, a concert with The Dallas Opera at the Winspear Opera House, as well as the final installment of the Ring Cycle at Houston Grand Opera, singing Wellgunde in Götterdämmerung with La Fura dels Baus.

The 2015-2016 season included debuts with Opera Colorado in her signature role of Amneris in Aïda and a role debut with Florida Grand Opera as Adalgisa in Norma, a return to Washington National Opera as Wellgunde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung and Grimgerde in Die Walküre.

Engagements for the 2014-2015 season included her debut with Dayton Opera as Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking, Waltraute in Die Walküre with Houston Grand Opera, a return to Opera Santa Barbara as Maddalena in Rigoletto, and Genevieve in Hindemith's The Long Christmas Dinner  with the American Symphony Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall.

Her landmark 2013-2014 season included two important assignments for Houston Grand Opera: Amneris in its season-opening production of Aïda, filling in at the last minute for an indisposed artist, and her role debut as Wellgunde in Das Rheingold for the company's first-ever Ring cycle. Adding several key Strauss roles to her repertoire, she made her role debut as Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos  at The Glimmerglass Festival and sang Annina and covered Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. Other performances included Mary in the world premiere Jeanine Tesori's The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me  with Washington National Opera, Amneris for her debut with Opera Santa Barbara, leading roles in the double bill of Musto's Bastianello and Bolcom's Lucrezia at UrbanArias outside Washington, D.C., and Schubert's Mirjams Siegesgesang with the San Antonio Symphony.

Other highlights from 2013 included the role of Sara Miller in the world premiere of Approaching Ali  with Washington National Opera, performances in the Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival, her debut with the New Haven Symphony performing Elgar's rarely heard masterwork The Dream of Gerontius, and her debut with Vancouver's West Coast Chamber Players singing Alan L. Smith's Vignettes: Covered Wagon Woman.

An alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Catherine spent three seasons from 2009-2012 performing roles such as Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Anna in Maria Stuarda, Flora in La traviata, Berta inIl barbiere di Siviglia, and Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos. She also had the opportunity to work extensively with conductor Patrick Summers and to cover artists such as Susan Graham, Joyce DiDonato, and Michelle DeYoungin roles such as Der Komponist, Sister Helen, and the title roles of Xerxes and The Rape of Lucretia. In 2012 she was a member of The Glimmerglass Festival Young Artists Program, making her role debut as Amneris. In 2011 and 2010 she was a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, where her roles included Nicklausse in Les contes d'Hoffmann, Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Zaida in Il turco in Italia, plus multiple recitals with accompanist and vocal coach Steven Blier.

Winner of the 2011 National Opera Association Competition, Catherine was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a finalist in the 2012 George London Competition, a 2nd place winner in the 2013 Jensen Competition, a semi-finalist in the 2013 Hans Belvedere Competition, and won awards in the Eleanor McCollum Competition at Houston Grand Opera, The Dallas Opera Guild, Annapolis Opera. She has received The Richard F Gold Career Grant at both Houston Grand Opera and Wolf Trap, and the Catherine Filene Shouse Career Grant. A native of San Antonio, Texas, she holds a master's degree from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music and a bachelor's degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas.


Catherine Martin, mezzo-soprano (Wellgunde) Renée Tatum, mezzo-soprano (Flosshilde)
Renée Tatum, mezzo-soprano (Flosshilde) View biography in full page >

Noted for her "commanding and dramatic presence" (Opera News), mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum opens the 2014-15 season with a return to the Metropolitan Opera as the Second Lady in Julie Taymor's production of Die Zauberflöte led by Ádám Fischer.  She also returns to Houston Grand Opera both as Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte under the baton of Robert Spano and as Grimgerde in a new production of Die Walküre conducted by Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers.

Last season, the California native made her Houston Grand Opera debut as Wellgunde in Das Rheingold led by Patrick Summers, and made role debuts as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Chautauqua Opera and as Rosina in Il baribiere di Siviglia with Opera Las Vegas. Concert appearances included Salome with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Mozart's Requiem with Music Director Daniel Stewart and the Santa Cruz Symphony, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with conductor Daniel Wachs and the Orange County Philharmonic Society.

A recent alumna of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Miss Tatum's Metropolitan Opera performances include The Magic Flute conducted by Jane Glover, Rusalka led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Die Frau ohne Schatten with Vladimir Jurowski, Otello under the baton of Semyon Bychkov, Zandonai's seldom heard Francesca da Rimini conducted by Marco Armiliato, Fenena in Nabucco with Paolo Carignani, and Flosshilde in Robert Lepage's landmark production of Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Fabio Luisi.

Miss Tatum made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2010-11 season as Inez in Il trovatore conducted by Marco Armiliato.  Highlights of the recent past also have featured the artist as Háta in Smetana's The Bartered Bride in a new production by Stephen Wadsworth, led by James Levine, in a collaboration between the Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard School, and in the roles of Flosshilde and Grimgerde in San Francisco Opera's Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Donald Runnicles.  Other performances include La Haine in Gluck's Armide in a co-production between the Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard School and the role of Medea in Handel's Teseo with Chicago Opera Theater.  As a member of the Adler Fellowship program, her San Francisco Opera performances have included Inez in Il trovatore, Annina in La traviata, and Emilia in Otello.

She has sung Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with the Santa Fe Opera conducted by Lawrence Renes and in a new production at San Francisco Opera led by Rory Macdonald, Amando in Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert, and The Secretary in Menotti's The Consul with Chautauqua Opera.

Ms. Tatum is a winner of the 2011 Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, a finalist of the 2011 George London Foundation Competition, 2010 Grand Prize Winner of The Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Competition, The Opera Index Competition, The Jensen Foundation Award from Chautauqua Opera, and two-time recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant.  A Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Tatum holds degrees from The Juilliard School and The Manhattan School of Music.

Renée Tatum, mezzo-soprano (Flosshilde)
Patricia Bardon, contralto
Patricia Bardon, contralto View biography in full page >

Irish mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon is the youngest ever prize-winner of the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and is in demand for repertoire ranging from the Baroque through to Rossini and Wagner. Her distinguished career has brought numerous opportunities to collaborate in both opera and concert with a wide range of conductors such as James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Bernard Haitink, Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir Mark Elder, Christophe Rousset, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Alberto Zedda, Fabio Luisi, Harry Bicket, Ivor Bolton, Christoph Eschenbach, William Christie, Pinchas Zuckerman, Ingo Metzmacher, Sir Charles Mackerras, and Rene Jacobs.

Highlights of the 2016/17 season include Principessa in Puccini Suor Angelica for Opera North, and Arsace in Handel Partenope at English National Opera. In concert Bardon can be seen in a performance of Mahler Symphony No. 8 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski, and Mahler Kindertotenlieder with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in her native Dublin. She will also perform Mahler Symphony No. 2 in Florence, with Fabio Luisi.

Last season's highlights included title role Agrippina at Theater an der Wien, title role in Porporo Germanico in Germania at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, Mary in John Adams Gospel according to the other Mary with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Mendelssohn Elijah with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Mahler Symphony No.2 with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, and Handel Messiah with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Le Concert Spirituel, and RLPO.

Having studied in Dublin with Dr Veronica Dunne, Bardon's career embraces an impressive diversity of roles: Erda in the Grammy-award-winning production of Der Ring des Nibelungen at The Metropolitan Opera (DVD/Deutsche Grammophon), La Nourrice Ariane et Barbe Bleu for Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona (DVD/Opus Arte), her highly-acclaimed interpretation of Azucena Il trovatore at Welsh National Opera, her creation of the title role in Saariaho's Adriana Mater for Opera national de Paris, her glowing reviews last season for Carmen in Los Angeles, conducted by Placido Domingo - a role she has recorded for Chandos - and her Laurence Olivier Nomination for Maurya Riders to the Seaat ENO are all testament to an exceptional

An acclaimed Baroque and bel canto singer, highlights have included the title roles in Giulio Cesare at The Liceu Barcelona, Orlando for the Opéra National de Paris (CD/Erato), Rinaldo for Oper Köln as well as Cornelia Giulio Cesare for Bayerische Staatsoper, The Metropolitan Opera, ENO and Glyndebourne Festival Opera (DVD/Opus Arte). She has sung Rosmira Partenope for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Teater an der Wien and ENO (Olivier nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Opera), Andronico Tamerlano in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Amsterdam and Madrid; Bradamante Alcina in Drottingholm and Moscow, Penelope Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria for Maggio Musicale Florence, Amsterdam, Berlin Staatsoper and Athens; Ruggiero Alcina for Trieste and Montpellier, Amastras Xerxes for Montpellier, Dresden and Munich Staatsoper (DVD Opus Arte), Juno Semelefor ENO and Innsbrook, Ottavia L'incoronazione di Poppea in Oslo (DVD/EuroArts) and most recently Zenobia Radamisto for Theater an der Wien and at Carnegie Hall.

Bel canto highlights include Tancredi and Arsace Semiramide for La Fenice, Calbo Il Maometto Secondo for Santa Fe Opera, Smeaton Anna Bolena for San Francisco Opera, title role La Cenerentola for La Monnaie, Andromache Ermione Festival Hall (CD/Opera Rara), Malcolm La donna del Lago for the Edinburgh International Festival (CD/Opera Rara).

Enjoying an ongoing relationship with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bardon has appeared there in productions of Guillaume Tell, Mefistofele, Rigoletto, Moise in Egitto, The Rake's Progress (earning an Olivier nomination) and most recently in Richard Jones' acclaimed staging of Britten Gloriana (DVD).

Bardon has extensive concert experience and has performed with many of the world's leading Orchestras including The New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, St Louis Symphony Orchestra, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Les Arts Florissants, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Concerto Koln, Academy of Ancient Music, Les Talens Lirique, The Halle Orchestra, Le Concert Spirituel, English Chamber Orchestra, RTE Symphony Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, The English Concert, Filarmonica della Scala, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra de RAI, and Orchestra de Paris, in repertoire including the Bach Passions, Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, Verdi Messa di Requiem, Handel Oratorios, Wagner Wiesendonk Lieder and the Mahler Symphonies.

Patricia Bardon, contralto David Butt Philip, tenor (Froh) David Butt Philip, tenor (Froh)
Ryan McKinny, baritone (Donner)
Ryan McKinny, baritone (Donner) View biography in full page >

American bass-baritone Ryan McKinny makes his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut as Donner in Das Rheingold. Next season, he will debut at the San Francisco Opera in the world premiere of John Adams' Girls of the Golden West in a production by Peter Sellars and will sing his first performances of Mandryka ina new production of Arabella directed by Uwe Laufenberg at Staatstheater Wiesbaden. With the San Francisco Symphony, he will sing Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles with Michael Tilson Thomas and will return to Santa Fe Opera as J. Robert Oppenheimer in John Adams' Dr. Atomic.

He made a highly acclaimed Bayreuth Festival debut as Amfortas in a new production of Parsifal by Uwe Laufenberg, a role he also sang for his debut at Teatro Colòn in Buenos Aires.  Other recent performances include a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Biterolf in Tannhäuser under James Levine which was broadcast around the world in HD and Kurwenal in Trisan und Isolde at the Detusche Oper Berlin under Donald Runnicles.  He debuted at the Washington National Opera as Donner and Gunther in Der Ring des Nibelungen and returned to the Hamburg Opera for his first European performances of Der fliegende Holländer. Mr. McKinny was the first recipient of the Birgit Nilsson Prize for singing Wagner at Plácido Domingo's Operalia Competition held at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Kirsten Flagstad/George London Award from the George London Foundation.  He also represented the United States in the 2007 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, where he was a finalist in the Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize.  He was a Grand Finalist in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is featured in the film The Audition released by Decca on DVD.

Ryan McKinny, baritone (Donner)
Program Notes Audio
WAGNER - Das Rheingold