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Kristine Opolais joins Andris Nelsons for an exciting evening of opera and song!

Tanglewood

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On Saturday, August 26, soprano Kristine Opolais, bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus join Music Director Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra for an evening of opera and song. Bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel replaces baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Saturday, August 26, opera gala program at Tanglewood.

Featured Performers & Ensembles

Andris Nelsons, conductor
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The 2018-19 season is Andris Nelsons’ fifth as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Ray and Maria Stata Music Director. Named Musical America’s 2018 Artist of the Year, Mr. Nelsons will lead fourteen of the BSO’s twenty-six subscription programs in 2018-19, ranging from orchestral works by Haydn, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and Copland to concerto collaborations with acclaimed soloists, as well as world and American premieres of pieces newly commissioned by the BSO from Thomas Adès, Sebastian Currier, Andris Dzenītis, and Mark-Anthony Turnage; the continuation of his complete Shostakovich symphony cycle with the orchestra, and concert performances of Puccini’s one-act opera Suor Angelica. In summer 2015, following his first season as music director, Andris Nelsons’ contract with the BSO was extended through the 2021-22 season. In November 2017, he and the orchestra toured Japan together for the first time. In February 2018, he became Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, in which capacity he brings both orchestras together for a unique multi-dimensional alliance. Immediately following the 2018 Tanglewood season, Maestro Nelsons and the BSO made their third European tour together, playing concerts in London, Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Lucerne, Paris, and Amsterdam. Their first European tour, following the 2015 Tanglewood season, took them to major European capitals and the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals; the second, in May 2016, took them to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg.

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. His recordings with the BSO, all made live in concert at Symphony Hall, include the complete Brahms symphonies on BSO Classics; Grammy-winning recordings on Deutsche Grammophon of Shostakovich’s symphonies 5, 8, 9, and 10, the initial releases in a complete Shostakovich symphony cycle for that label; and a new two-disc set pairing Shostakovich’s symphonies 4 and 11, The Year 1905. Under an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, Andris Nelsons is also recording the complete Bruckner symphonies with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the complete Beethoven symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic.

The 2018-19 season is Maestro Nelsons’ final season as artist-in-residence at the Konzerthaus Dortmund and marks his first season as artist-in-residence at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. In addition, he continues his regular collaborations with the Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic. Throughout his career, he has also established regular collaborations with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and has been a regular guest at the Bayreuth Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

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 from 2008 to 2015, principal conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany, from 2006 to 2009, and music director of Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007.

 

Andris Nelsons, conductor Kristine Opolais, soprano
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Kristine Opolais is one of the most sought after sopranos on the international scene today, with a firmly established reputation amongst the world’s pre-eminent singing actresses, combining lustrous tone and fierce dramatic intensity. Opolais appears at the Metropolitan Opera New York, Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Opernhaus Zürich and Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She is working with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons, Fabio Luisi, Kirill Petrenko and Semyon Bychkov.

Kristine Opolais is one of the most sought after sopranos on the international scene today, with a firmly established reputation amongst the world’s pre-eminent singing actresses, combining lustrous tone and fierce dramatic intensity. Opolais appears at the Metropolitan Opera New York, Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Opernhaus Zürich and Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She is working with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons, Fabio Luisi, Kirill Petrenko and Semyon Bychkov.

Kristine Opolais is known for notable collaborations with the Metropolitan Opera, her performances frequently broadcast in HD worldwide. In Autumn 2018 Opolais returns to the Met to sing “Suor Angelica”, a role she has recorded for label ‘Orfeo’ but until this point she has not sung on stage. Previously, she starred as the title role in Zimmerman’s 2017 production of “Rusalka”, and received critical praise for her “vocally lustrous and achingly vulnerable performance” (New York Times). Opolais maintains a strong relationship with the Met since her debut as Magda in “La Rondine”. Famously, in 2014 she made history at the Met, with two role debuts in 18 hours. She gave a renowned performance in “Butterfly”, only to step in for a matinee of “La boheme” the next day, which was cinema broadcast worldwide.

In the 2018/19 season Opolais continues her strong collaboration with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, returning to the House as Tosca. In London, Opolais has particularly cemented her title as “the leading Puccini Soprano of today” (The Telegraph), appearing in Kent’s 2014 production as Manon Lescaut, as well as starring as Cio-Cio San in „Madama Butterfly“. This season Opolais also returns to the Wiener Staatsoper for further signature performances of “Tosca” and makes her debut at the Staatsoper Hamburg for two special performances of “Manon Lescaut” as part of Hamburg’s notable Italian Opera Festival and also tours to Japan, her Japanese debut, in “Manon Lescaut” with the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. Opolais also has a significant relationship with the Bayerische Staatsoper, which started in 2010 when she made her acclaimed debut as Rusalka in Kušej’s production, which she has been invited back numerous times to perform. Since this time Opolais has appeared in titles including “Manon Lescaut”, “Madama Butterfly”, Tatjana in “Onegin” and Margherita in “Mefistofele”.

Opolais’ solo concert and recital appearances, for which she is highly in demand, include performances at the Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms, George Enescu, Turku and Tanglewood Festivals, the Vienna Musikverein, Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, Royal Opera House Muscat, Royal Concertgebouw and Carnegie Hall, to name but a few. Opolais has appeared with orchestras including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, with whom she tours this season, the Concertgebouworkest, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Filarmonica della Scala.

Opolais’ most recent opera recording was released in Autumn 2017, a DVD of “Tosca”, from Himmelmann’s production in Baden-Baden, with the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

Last update: August 30, 2018

 

Kristine Opolais, soprano
Sir Bryn Terfel, bass-baritone
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The Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel has performed in all the great opera houses of the world, and is especially recognised for his portrayals of Figaro, Falstaff and Wotan. He made his operatic début in 1990 as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte for Welsh National Opera. His international operatic career began in 1991 when he sang the Speaker in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and in the same year he made his United States début as Figaro at the Santa Fe Opera. Other roles performed during his career include Holländer in Der fliegende Holländer, Méphistophélès in Faust, both the Title Role and Leporello in Don Giovanni, Jochanaan in Salome, Scarpia in Tosca, the Title Role in Gianni Schicchi, Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress, Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Balstrode in Peter Grimes, Four Villains in Les contes d'Hoffmann, Dulcamara in L'Elisir d'Amore and the Title Role in Sweeney Todd.

Bryn is also known for his versatility as a concert performer, with highlights ranging from the opening ceremony of the Wales Millennium Centre, BBC Last Night of the Proms, and the Royal Variety Show to a gala concert with Andrea Bocelli in Central Park, New York. He has given recitals in the major cities of the world and for nine years hosted his own festival in Faenol, North Wales.

He is a Grammy, Classical Brit and Gramophone Award winner with a discography encompassing operas of Mozart, Wagner and Strauss, and more than ten solo discs including Lieder, American musical theatre, Welsh songs and sacred repertory.

In 2003, Bryn was made a CBE for services to Opera in the Queen's New Year Honours list and in 2006 was awarded the Queen's Medal for Music. He is also the last recipient of the Shakespeare Prize by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg.

Highlights in recent years include Bryn's debut in the role of Hans Sachs in the critically acclaimed production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Welsh National Opera, his return to La Scala, Milan to open the 2011 season singing Leporello in Don Giovanni and Scarpia in Tosca. Highlights in 2012 included the role of Wotan in Wagner's Ring Cycle for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera, New York, the title role in Der fliegende Holländer for Zurich Opera, Scarpia for Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich and host to a four day festival, Brynfest, at the Southbank Centre, London as part of the Southbank Centre's Festival of the World.

In 2013, Bryn made his debut in concert at the Abu Dhabi Festival and the Royal Opera House, Muscat and performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and returned to the Sydney Opera House in recital. His new album with the Mormon Tabernacle choir was released on the Deutsche Grammophon label in September 2013.

Highlights in 2014 include semi-staged performances of Sweeney Todd at the Lincoln Center, New York and at the Llangollen International Music Festival, a concert tour of South Africa and a return to ROH, Covent Garden to sing Méphistophélès in Gounod's Faust and Dulcamara in L'Elisir D'Amore.

Highlights in 2015 will be his debut in the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the  Roof  for Grange Park Opera and concerts to  celebrate his 50th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall, London and Wales Millennium Centre.

Bryn is pleased to have an association with several companies, most notably Rolex, Clogau Gold and the Penderyn Distillery.

 

Sir Bryn Terfel, bass-baritone Russell Thomas, tenor
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A native of Miami, Tenor Russell Thomas is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting vocal and dramatic talents on the international opera and concert scene, most recently as the First-Prize winner of the prestigious "Viñas Competition" in Barcelona (First Prize, Audience Favorite and Best Tenor) and at the "Competizione dell'Opera" in Dresden.

Russell Thomas' current season begins with his role debut as Pinkerton in MADAMA BUTTERFLY for his return to the Welsh National Opera.  He will then be heard in two operas at his home company, the Metropolitan Opera, first as Foresto and Uldino in a new Pierre Audi/Riccardo Muti production of Verdi's ATTILA, then as the Steersman in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER.  Later in the season, Mr. Thomas will add two more Verdi parts to his repertoire: the tenor solo in his MESSA DA REQUIEM for the Basel Opera and Cassio in OTELLO with the Cincinnati Opera.  Future plans include returns to the Metropolitan Opera and a debut with the Frankfurt Opera, all in leading roles.

Mr. Thomas' recent projects included Tamino in THE MAGIC FLUTE at the Metropolitan Opera, his debut as the Duke of Mantua in RIGOLETTO with the Arizona Opera, and the Steersman in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER with Atlanta Opera.  Russell Thomas also reprised his role of the Prince for John Adams' A FLOWERING TREE with Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Perth International Festival and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.  Among other notable debuts were the role of Mao Tse-Tung in Mr. Adams' NIXON IN CHINA with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the composer conducting as well as concerts of Schubert's MASS NO. 6 with the Houston Symphony and Hans Graf. He also performed George Walker's LILACS with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Verizon Hall and Carnegie Hall/Stern Auditorium, conducted by Charles Dutoit, as well as the tenor soloist in Michael Tippett's A CHILD OF OUR TIME as part of the Honor! Festival at Carnegie Hall/Stern Auditorium.  In addition, Mr. Thomas appeared at Carnegie's Weill Hall for the Marilyn Horne Foundation in a joint recital that was part of the mezzo's 75th birthday celebration.

Further engagements included Tamino in THE MAGIC FLUTE for Welsh National Opera, Malcolm in MACBETH for the Metropolitan Opera, as well as appearances at Festival d'Aix-en-Provence where he reprised his role of the Sultan in ZAIDE and A FLOWERING TREE at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, among other concert and recital engagements.

In the 2006/2007 season the tenor returned to the Metropolitan Opera to cover Tamino in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, while creating the role of the Prince in the world premiere of John Adams' A FLOWERING TREE for Peter Sellars' New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna. The work was also the vehicle for his Berlin Philharmonic debut under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, as well as his San Francisco Symphony debut. Other engagements this season included debuts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Michigan Opera Theatre as Tybalt in ROMEO ET JULIETTE, concerts with the London Symphony at the Barbican Centre in London and recitals in Miami and NYC with renowned pianist Ken Noda.

In the 2005/06 season the tenor covered Tamino and performed the 1st Prisoner in FIDELIO at the Metropolitan Opera, and returned to the Seattle Symphony for Mozart's MASS IN C-MINOR, and the finale of Strauss' IDOMENEO. Other appearances included the Sultan in Mozart's ZAIDE at the Vienna Festwochen, the Barbican Centre in London, and Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival in a new Peter Sellars production. During the 2003/04 Season Mr. Thomas performed Orff's CARMINA BURANA with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Ernesto in DON PASQUALE with Spokane Opera, and appeared in recital in NYC, Miami, and Manchester, VT. In the 2004/05 Season he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as the Herald in DON CARLO and covered Tito in Mozart's LA CLEMENZA DI TITO. Other appearances that season included debuts with the Seattle Symphony and Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival and a summer at the Marlboro Music Festival where he returned in 2006 to perform Mozart's IDOMENEO. In 2006 he was awarded 1st Place at the Liederkranz Competition as well as the George London Foundation Competition and was a major award recipient of the Lee Schaenen Foundation. In 2005 he was a winner in the Young Concert Artist Competition, George London Foundation Compeition, and the Loren L. Zachary Society Competition, as well as 1st place winner of the 2004 Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Competition.

Mr. Thomas has also performed with the Florida Grand Opera (Roderigo in OTELLO, Mayor Upfold in ALBERT HERRING, Ivan in Wargo's THE MUSIC SHOP, Male Chorus in THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA), Seattle Opera (Tamino in THE MAGIC FLUTE and Rodolfo in LA BOHEME) and Tulsa Opera (Nemorino in L'ELISIR D'AMORE, Borsa in RIGOLETTO, Ruiz in IL TROVATORE, Janicku in Janacek's DIARY OF ONE WHO VANISHED).

Other notable appearances include his 2001 Tulsa Philharmonic debut with Simon Estes in a benefit for the Simon Estes Foundation, Handel's MESSIAH with the New Jersey Symphony, Rossini's STABAT MATER with Florida Grand Opera Chorus, and the U.S. Premier of Lorenzitti's MESSE A GRANDE SYMPHONIE with the Miami Bach Society. Mr. Thomas also recorded Thomas Sleeper's ACELDAMA: FIELD OF BLOOD for Albany Records.

An alumnus of the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program of the Metropolitan Opera, Russell Thomas was also a member of Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, a Roger R. Hinkley artist at the Florida Grand Opera, a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St Louis, an apprentice at the Sarasota Opera and was proud to take part in the 2005 and 2006 Marlboro Music Festivals.  He holds a Bachelor's Degree of Music in Performance from the New World School of the Arts.

Russell Thomas, tenor
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
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Tanglewood Festival Chorus
James Burton, BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus
John Oliver (1939-2018), Founder

Originally formed under the joint sponsorship of Boston University and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the all-volunteer Tanglewood Festival Chorus was established in 1970 by its founding conductor, the late John Oliver, who stepped down from his leadership position with the TFC at the end of the 2015 Tanglewood season. In February 2017, following appearances as guest chorus conductor at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood, and having prepared the chorus for that month’s BSO performances of Bach’s B minor Mass led by Andris Nelsons, the British-born James Burton was named the new Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, also being appointed to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director. He occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky Chair on the Boston Symphony Orchestra roster. This season the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins the BSO for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (October 25-30), Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (November 29-December 1), Puccini’s Suor Angelica (February 21 and 22), and Dvořák’s Stabat Mater (February 28-March 2) all under Andris Nelsons, and Estévez’s Cantata Criolla (April 11-13) with conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

Though first established for performances at the BSO’s summer home, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus was soon playing a major role in the BSO’s subscription season as well as BSO concerts at Carnegie Hall. Now numbering more than 300 members, the ensemble performs year-round with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. It has performed with the BSO on tour in Hong Kong and Japan, and on two European tours, also giving a cappella concerts of its own on those two occasions. The TFC made its debut in April 1970, in a BSO performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Leonard Bernstein conducting. Its first recording with the orchestra, Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust with Seiji Ozawa, received a Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance of 1975. The TFC has since made dozens of recordings with the BSO and Boston Pops, with Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Keith Lockhart, and John Williams. In August 2011, with John Oliver conducting and soloist Stephanie Blythe, the TFC gave the world premiere of Alan Smith’s An Unknown Sphere for mezzo-soprano and chorus, commissioned by the BSO for the ensemble’s 40th anniversary. Its most recent recordings on BSO Classics, all drawn from live performances, include a disc of a cappella music marking the TFC’s 40th anniversary; Ravel’s complete Daphnis et Chloé (a 2009 Grammy-winner for Best Orchestral Performance), Brahms’s German Requiem, and William Bolcom’s Eighth Symphony for chorus and orchestra (a BSO 125th Anniversary Commission). On July 4, 2018, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joined Keith Lockhart for the “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular” on the Charles River Esplanade.

Besides their work with the BSO, TFC members have also performed with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic and in a Saito Kinen Festival production of Britten’s Peter Grimes under Seiji Ozawa in Japan. The ensemble had the honor of singing at Sen. Edward Kennedy’s funeral; has performed with the Boston Pops for the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics; and can be heard on the soundtracks of Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, John Sayles’s Silver City, and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. TFC members regularly commute from the greater Boston area and beyond to sing with the chorus in Boston and at Tanglewood. Throughout its history, the TFC has established itself as a favorite of conductors, soloists, critics, and audiences alike.

 

 

James Burton
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James Burton was appointed Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and to the new position of BSO Choral Director, in February 2017. Born in London, Mr. Burton began his training at the Choir of Westminster Abbey, where he became head chorister. He was a choral scholar at St. John's College, Cambridge, and holds a master's degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. He has conducted concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hallé, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, and Manchester Camerata; in early 2016 he made his debut with the Orquestra Sinfònica Nacional with concerts in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Opera credits include Don Giovanni and La bohème at English National Opera, Così fan tutte at English Touring Opera, The Magic Flute at Garsington, and Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica at the Prague Summer Nights Festival. He has served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Paris, English National Opera, Opera Rara, and Garsington Opera, where he was honored with the Leonard Ingrams Award in 2008. He has also conducted in London's West End and led a UK tour of Bernstein's Wonderful Town in 2012. His extensive choral conducting has included guest invitations with professional choirs including the Gabrieli Consort, the Choir of the Enlightenment, Wrocław Philharmonic, and the BBC Singers, with whom he performed at the Dubai Opera house in its inaugural season earlier this year. From 2002 to 2009 he served as choral director at the Hallé Orchestra, where he was music director of the Hallé Choir and founding conductor of the Hallé Youth Choir, winning the Gramophone Choral Award in 2009. He returned to Manchester in 2014, preparing the choirs for a Grammy-nominated recording under Sir Mark Elder of Vaughan Williams's Sea Symphony. From 2002 to 2017 he was music director of the chamber choir Schola Cantorum of Oxford, touring all over the world and recording with Hyperion Records. He collaborates regularly with leading young musicians and in 2017 appeared as guest director of the National Youth Choir of Japan and the Princeton University Glee Club, as well as the Genesis Sixteen. He teaches conducting, and has given master classes at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Welsh College of Music. In 2011 he founded a conducting scholarship with Schola Cantorum of Oxford. His compositions and arrangements have been performed internationally, and his orchestral arrangements for Arlo Guthrie have been performed by the Boston Pops, by many other leading U.S. orchestras, and at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. His commissions have included the music for the 2010 World Equestrian Games opening ceremony, a setting for chorus and orchestra of Thomas Hardy's The Convergence of the Twain commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, and a recent Christmas carol premiered by the Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge, live on BBC Radio 3. His choral works are published by Edition Peters. As BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky Chair, endowed in perpetuity.

Program Notes Audio