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The 2019-20 season, Andris Nelsons’ sixth as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Ray and Maria Stata Music Director, marks his fifth anniversary in that position. Named Musical America’s 2018 Artist of the Year, Mr. Nelsons leads fifteen of the BSO’s twenty-six weeks of concerts this season, ranging from repertoire favorites by Beethoven, Dvoˇrák, Gershwin, Grieg, Mozart, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, and Tchaikovsky to world and American premieres of BSO-commissioned works from Eric Nathan, Betsy Jolas, Arturs Maskats, and HK Gruber. The season also brings the continuation of his complete Shostakovich symphony cycle with the orchestra, and collaborations with an impressive array of guest artists, including a concert performance of Tristan und Isolde, Act III—one of three BSO programs he will also conduct at Carnegie Hall—with Jonas Kaufmann and Emily Magee in the title roles. In addition, February 2020 brings a major tour to Asia in which Maestro Nelsons and the BSO give their first concerts together in Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
In February 2018, Andris Nelsons became Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester (GHO) Leipzig, in which capacity he also 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 highlight of the BSO/GHO Alliance is a focus on complementary programming, through which the BSO celebrates “Leipzig Week in Boston” and the GHO celebrates “Boston Week in Leipzig,” thereby highlighting each other’s musical traditions through uniquely programmed concerts, chamber music performances, archival exhibits, and lecture series. For this season’s “Leipzig Week in Boston,” under Maestro Nelsons’ leadership in November, the entire Gewandhausorchester Leipzig comes to Symphony Hall for joint concerts with the BSO as well as two concerts of its own.
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. 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.
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 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, and 11 (The Year 1905) as part of a complete Shostakovich symphony cycle for that label; and a recent two-disc set pairing Shostakovich’s symphonies 6 and 7 (Leningrad). This November, a new release on Naxos features Andris Nelsons and the orchestra in the world premieres of BSO-commissioned works by Timo Andres, Eric Nathan, Sean Shepherd, and George Tsontakis. 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.
During the 2019-20 season, Andris Nelsons continues his ongoing collaborations with the Vienna Philharmonic. Throughout his career, he has also established regular collaborations with the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, 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
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Kristine Opolais is one of the most sought after sopranos on the
international scene today, appearing at the Metropolitan Opera New
York, Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische
Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Opernhaus Zürich and the Royal Opera
House Covent Garden. She is working with such conductors as Daniel
Barenboim, Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder,
Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons, Fabio Luisi, Kirill Petrenko and
In the 2017/18 season Opolais continues her notable
collaboration with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, making her
role debut as Elsa in "Lohengrin", in a new production by David
Alden, starring opposite Klaus Florian Vogt. Previously 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 and
Floria Tosca. This season Opolais also looks forward to making her
debut at the Hamburg Staatsoper, in "Madama Butterfly", in two
special performance as part of the Italian Opera Festival. She also
returns for performances of this signature role at the Wiener
Kristine Opolais is particularly known for her notable
collaborations with the Metropolitan Opera, her performances
frequently broadcast in HD worldwide. She recently starred as the
title role in Zimmerman's 2017 production of "Rusalka", and she
received the highest critical praise for her "vocally lustrous and
achingly vulnerable performance" (NY Times). Opolais has maintained
this strong relationship with the Met since her debut as Magda in
"La Rondine" in 2013. Famously, in 2014 Opolais 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
bohème" the next day, which was additionally cinema broadcast
worldwide and Opolais wowed audiences around the globe. She has
also forged a strong relationship with the Bayerische Staatsoper,
which began in 2010 when Opolais made her debut, to wide acclaim,
as Rusalka. Since this time Opolais has appeared in numerous titles
including "Manon Lescaut", "Madama Butterfly", Tatjana in "Onegin"
and Margherita in "Mefistofele".
In recent seasons, Opolais' concert performances have included
appearances at Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms and Tanglewood
Festival, where Opolais is a regular guest - this season headlining
closing weekend in opera gala, including Act II of "Tosca", with
Sir Bryn Terfel. Opolais has appeared with orchestras including the
Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig,
Concertgebouworkest, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
and Filarmonica della Scala. Highlights of 2017/18 include Opolais'
joining an all-star cast, with Piotr Beczała and Rene Papé in
Dvorak's Stabat Mater, opening the Prague Festival. She also debuts
with the Wiener Philharmoniker, which stands as her third
consecutive season appearing at the prestigious Musikverein.
Opolais' forthcoming recording is a DVD of Tosca, from
Himmelmann's 2017 production in Baden-Baden, with the Berliner
Philharmoniker, conducted by Rattle. Further DVD recordings include
Royal Opera House's "Manon Lescaut", in which Opolais sings the
title role opposite Jonas Kaufmann, Prokofiev's "The Gambler" at
the Deutsche Staatsoper under the baton of Barenboim and "Rusalka"
from the Bayerische Staatsoper. CD recordings include those with
WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln of "Suor Angelica", released with Orfeo
and nominated for a BBC Music Magazine Award, "Simon Boccanegra" on
the Decca label and collaborating with Jonas Kaufmann on his Grammy
recognised Puccini disc with Sony.
Kristine Opolais, soprano (Sister Angelica)
Violeta Urmana, mezzo-soprano (The Princess)
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Eqyptian soprano, Fatma Said, is one of the most exciting young artists of her generation. Hailed by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as “a discovery” – Fatma has not only distinguished herself in opera houses and on concert stages, but also in a humanitarian capacity, regularly representing her home country as an ambassador for culture and education.
In 2016, she made her sensational role debut at Teatro alla Scala as Pamina in Peter Stein’s critically-acclaimed new production of Die Zauberflöte, conducted by Adam Fischer. The production, in which Fatma was described as “luminous” “warm and mature” and full of “incredible depth”, was broadcast by ARTE and has since been released on DVD.
Fatma has established a reputation as an extraordinarily gifted recitalist and is currently a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist.
This season, as well as her New Generation Artist commitments, Fatma will perform Die Schöpfung at Tonhalle Düsseldorf and in Budapest; Strauss lieder with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Birmingham; and will give recitals in Perth, Leeds, Dresden, Bonn, Mallorca, and at Wigmore Hall. Fatma will make her debut at the Salzburg MozartWoche a production of Mozart’s T.H.A.M.O.S by La Fura del Baus, and will give gala concerts at The United Nations in Geneva, and in Muscat with Juan Diego Flórez.
Recent highlights include L’Amour in the new John Fulljame/Hofesh Schechter Orphée et Eurydice at Teatro alla Scala, concerts in Lucerne, Vienna and Salzburg with Rolando Villazón, and performances and recording of Mahler 8 at Tonhalle Düsseldorf with Adam Fischer.
Fatma is an alumna of the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler and the prestigious Accademia del Teatro alla Scala in Milan, where she the first Eqyptian to ever have debuted at the house. Fatma represented Egypt twice at the United Nations to highlight children’s right to education and dignity through music and this year was part of the “Silk Road Concert” at the Temple of Luxor.
In 2016, Fatma Said received an honorary award from Egypt's National Council for Women and was singled out for one of Egypt’s highest accolades during the first National Youth Convention: she became the first opera singer ever to be awarded the state’s Creativity Award for her outstanding artistic achievement on an international level.
Fatma Said, soprano (Sister Genovieffa)
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During the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Miller joins the Metropolitan Opera for their acclaimed Ring Cycle production in Die Walküre to cover the role of Grimgerde and returns to Boston Lyric Opera as Offred’s Mother in The Handmaid’s Tale . Ms. Miller opened her 2017-2018 season as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with New Orleans Opera. She then made her debut in the United Kingdom with English National Opera as Amneris in a new production of Aïda at the London Coliseum. Her season continued with Erda in Das Rheingold at Arizona Opera, the mezzo-soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the Oregon Symphony, and Dame Quickly in Falstaff with Opera Colorado. Ms. Miller began her 2016-2017 season with the National Taiwan Symphony as the contralto soloist in Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. She then made a critically acclaimed debut with Washington Concert Opera, in Washington, DC, in the title role of Massenet's Hérodiade. Other engagments during the season included Amneris in Aïda at Pensacola Opera, Margret in the David McVicar production of Wozzeck for her return to the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the mezzo-soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the Český Krumlov International Music Festival in the Czech Republic, and Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera for her return to Florida Grand Opera.
She opened her 2015-2016 season at the Grand Théâtre de Genève as Anna in Les Troyens with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Charles Dutoit and as Hippolyta in a new production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. She then joined Florida Grand Opera as Adalgisa in Norma, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra as the alto soloist in Handel's Messiah, Tulsa Opera as Dalila in Samson et Dalila, and both Arizona Opera and the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe as Dame Quickly in new productions of Falstaff. In addition, she returned to Deutsche Oper Berlin for Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes and Azucena in Il Trovatore.
Ms. Miller opened her 2014-2015 season with the German premiere of Hans Krasa's Die Verlobung im Traum at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe in the role of Marja Alexandrowna. She returned to Deutsche Oper Berlin as a guest artist in a reprise of her acclaimed Dame Quickly in the Christoph Loy production of Falstaff, Annina in Der Rosenkavalier, Sonyetka in a new production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Erste Magd in Elektra, and Princess Clarissa in L'amour des Trois Oranges. Additionally in the United States, Ms. Miller joined Washington National Opera for Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer and made her role debut as Azucena in Il Trovatore with Knoxville Opera.
From 2012 -2014, Ms. Miller was a principal soloist and member of the prestigious ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Highlights included her first Erda in two complete Ring Cycles with both Sir Simon Rattle and Donald Runnicles, Dame Quickly in a new Falstaff directed by Christoph Loy, La Cieca in La Gioconda, Mrs. Sedley in David Alden's Peter Grimes from English National Opera, and Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera. Additional engagements during those two seasons included a return to Opera Colorado for Maddalena in Rigoletto, the alto soloist in Mahler’s Third Symphony with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer for her debut with both the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Princeton Festival, and Amneris in Aïda with Tulsa Opera.
The 2011-2012 season saw her as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with Edmonton Opera, Dame Quickly in Falstaff with Deutsche Oper Berlin for her European operatic debut, Maddalena in Rigoletto with Florida Grand Opera, and Amneris in Aïda for Arizona Opera.
Highlights of earlier seasons include her first Carmen at Boston Lyric Opera, the Foreign Princess in Rusalka at Opera Colorado, Margared in Lalo's rarely performed opera, Le roi d'Ys, with the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with Pensacola Opera, Dulcinee in Massenet's Don Quichotte, with Tulsa Opera, Maddalena in Rigoletto with San Antonio Opera, the mezzo-soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and Oratorio Chorus, both the Mother and Witch in Hansel and Gretel with Cleveland Opera and Tulsa Opera, the mezzo-soprano soloist in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Austin Symphony, Mère Marie in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites with Austin Lyric Opera, and the mezzo-soprano soloist in Stravinsky's Les Noces with the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center.
Ms. Miller won first place in both the 2006 Classical Singer National Vocal Competition and the 2004 Jensen Foundation Voice Competition, was awarded second prize and the Leonie Rysanek Award at the 2006 Elardo International Opera Competition, took third place in the 2003 Opera Index Career Grant Competition, the 2003 Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition and the 2004 Eleanor Lieber Awards at Portland Opera, and was a finalist in the 2005 and 2006 Richard Tucker Career Grant Competition. She has also won first place in the National Opera Association Competition, received Career Development Grants from both the Dallas Opera and the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, and has won several district and regional awards in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms. Miller holds a bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas College of Music. She continued her education with Master of Music studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and post-graduate work at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
Dana Beth Miller, mezzo-soprano (The Abbess)
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Internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano MaryAnn McCormickhas been hailed in the press as “charismatic”, “spell-binding”, and “elegant”. Her international operatic credits include Isabella inL’italiana in Algeri at La Scala in Milan, Azucena in Il Trovatore at the Teatro Regio di Torino, the title role of Carmen at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Maddalena in Rigoletto under Daniele Gatti at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Gluck’s Alceste under Bruno Bartoletti at the Teatro Regio di Parma, and First Maid in Elektrawith Christoph von Dohnanyi at the Opéra National de Paris. A frequent interpreter of the role of Carmen, her performances include Theater St. Gallen, Switzerland of which the critics wrote “She acts and sings a wonderful Carmen”, along with Teatro Regio di Torino and the Staatsoper Stuttgart among others. Ms. McCormick is also a recipient of the Grammy award for Best Opera Recording (2012) for her participation in Wagner’s Ring Cycle with the Metropolitan Opera in Die Walküre in the role of Grimgerde for the premiere of the Robert LaPage production. Her most recent operatic engagements include performances as Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Metropolitan Opera, Enrichetta in I Puritani with the Metropolitan Opera, Erda in Das Rheingold with North Carolina Opera, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at Lyric Opera of Chicago, the North American premiere of Huang Ruo’s opera Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, sung in Mandarin, in the role of Ni Gui-Zhen for Santa Fe Opera, and Ricky Ian Gordon’s newly revised opera The Grapes of Wrath at Opera Theatre of St. Louis in the role of Grandma Joad. Recent orchestral engagements include performances at the Astoria Music Festival and the Portland SummerFest in Oregon singing the role of Azucena in Il Trovatoreopposite Angela Meade as Leonora; as the alto soloist in Mahler’s 3rd symphony with the Spokane Symphony; a concert of select Bach arias with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the NY Metamorphoses Orchestra, and Mahler’s Rückert lieder and selected lieder by Richard Strauss with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.
MaryAnn McCormick, mezzo-soprano (The Monitress)