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Andris Nelsons conducts Dvořák Stabat Mater

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Andris Nelsons leads the BSO, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and four internationally acclaimed soloists in Antonín Dvořák's Stabat Mater, the first major religious work by the great Czech composer, who was a pious Catholic. Dvořák wrote the piece in 1876-77 in response to the deaths of three of his children, using the traditional Medieval Latin poem on the subject of Mary's sorrow over Christ's death. Dvořák's poignant and dramatic setting expresses a heartfelt, personal experience of grief via the four solo roles, and its universality through the power of the chorus and orchestra. The BSO has only performed this work in its entirety on two previous occasions: under Seiji Ozawa in 1980, and in a single performance in Louisville, Kentucky, led by Arthur Nikisch in 1891.

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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.

 

Kristine Opolais, soprano
Violeta Urmana, mezzo-soprano Violeta Urmana, mezzo-soprano Dmytro Popov, tenor Dmytro Popov, tenor
Ain Anger, bass
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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
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 Ch

The Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins the BSO this season 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 guest conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Also in October, the TFC performed Maija Einfelde’s Lux aeterna with James Burton, BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, making his subscription-series conducting debut. 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 Massled by Andris Nelsons, James Burton was named the new Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, also being appointed to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director. Mr. Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky Chair on the Boston Symphony Orchestra roster.

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; the ensemble now 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 at Symphony Hall, 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. For more information about the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and upcoming auditions, please visit www.bso.org/tfc.

 

 

James Burton
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James Burton was appointed Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director, in February 2017. He made his BSO subscription-series conducting debut in October 2018, leading the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Maija Einfelde’s Lux aeterna. Born in London, Mr. Burton holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. He began his training at the Choir of Westminster Abbey, where he became head chorister, and was a choral scholar at St. John’s College, Cambridge. 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. He made his debut with the Boston Pops in December 2017 and returns to the Pops podium this coming December. He is a regular guest of the Orquestra Sinfónica Nacional of Mexico and returns this season to lead performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Opera credits include performances at English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, and the Prague Summer Nights Festival, and he has served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera and Opéra de Paris. Mr. Burton’s 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 in the inaugural season of Dubai’s Opera House in 2017. 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 was music director of Schola Cantorum of Oxford from 2002 to 2017. Mr. Burton is well known for his inspirational work with young musicians. In 2017 he was director of the National Youth Choir of Japan; he has recently conducted the Princeton University Glee Club, Yale Schola Cantorum, and University of Kentucky Symphony. In 2018 he founded the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir. Mr. Burton has given conducting master classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Tanglewood Music Center, and founded a scholarship for young conductors at Oxford. His growing composition portfolio contains works for commissioners including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the 2010 World Equestrian Games, the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and the Exon Festival, where he was composer-in-residence in 2015. In July 2019, Mr. Burton will conduct the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir and Boston Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of his The Lost Words, as part of next summer’s gala Tanglewood on Parade concert. His 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
DVOŘÁK - Stabat Mater (90 min)