Matthew Polenzani & Corinne Winters to Open George London Foundation for Singers' 2013-14 Season, 10/20
Tenor Matthew Polenzani, who has been praised as "perhaps the finest tenor voice of his generation" (Boston Phoenix), and fast-rising young star soprano Corinne Winters will launch the 2013-14 season of events of The George London Foundation for Singers with a recital at The Morgan Library and Museum on Sunday, October 20, 2013, at 4:30 PM. The George London Foundation Recital Series presents pairs of outstanding opera singers, many of whom were winners of a George London prize early in their careers or are recent George London Award recipients. Mr. Polenzani is a 1998 George London Award winner, and Ms. Winters won a George London Award in 2012 (watch Corinne Winters's George London Award-winning performance of Meyerbeer's "Robert, toi que j'aime" here).
Pianist Ken Noda joins the pair for the program. Mr. Polenzani sings songs of Liszt, Ravel's Cinq mélodies populaires grecques, and an aria from Massenet's Werther, and Ms. Winters performs songs by Hahn, Saint-Saëns, Rachmaninoff, and Rimsky-Korsakov, and an aria from Massenet's Thaïs. The two will join for the St. Sulpice scene duet from Massenet's Manon. (Full program is below.)
The summer of 2013 was busy for both singers. Matthew Polenzani headlined a new production of The Tales of Hoffmann with the San Francisco Opera, about which Anthony Tommasini said in The New York Times, "The formidable role of Hoffmann is ideal for Mr. Polenzani, who seems in his prime these days. ... Mr. Polenzani had it all: refinement, sweep, passion and power." And Heidi Waleson said in the Wall Street Journal, "Matthew Polenzani inhabited the title role of the luckless poet Hoffmann, relating his love stories with ardent, full-throttle lyricism. Singing his paeans he was a man possessed, not caring that he is making a fool of himself. He was all about passion, and you felt it." Corinne Winters received raves for her performance with Opera Theater St. Louis in Smetana's The Kiss. "One of the best reasons to see 'The Kiss' is for soprano Corinne Winters' spectacular turn as Vendulka," wrote Sarah BRyan Miller in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "She's now singing in major houses around the world, and her performance on Sunday night demonstrated why." And of her Violetta in La traviata with Wolf Trap Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra, Anne Midgette said in the Washington Post: "The anticipatory buzz of this production centered on Corinne Winters... She didn't disappoint. ...she has a gamine intensity that made for a magnetic performance."
The George London Foundation's 2013-14 season continues with two more recitals and the annual competition:
- John Relyea, bass, and Lori Guilbeau, soprano, with Warren Jones, piano. Ms. Guilbeau is a 2010 George London Award winner. Sunday, March 9, 2014, at 4:30 PM
- Christine Brewer, soprano, and Dominic Armstrong, tenor, with Craig Rutenberg, piano. Mr. Brewer is a 1991 George London Award winner; Dominic Armstrong just won the award in March 2013. Sunday, April 6, 2014, at 4:30 PM
- The 43rd annual George London Foundation Awards Competition begins with three days of preliminary auditions and culminates with the final round and award ceremony open to the public. The 2014 competition takes place February 17-21, and the public is invited to attend the competition finals and awards announcement on Friday, February 21, 2014, at 4:00 PM.
The Legacy of George London
The goal of the George London Foundation, the support and nurturing of young singers, was an abiding interest of the great American bass-baritone George London, who devoted a great part of the time and energy of his later years to this purpose. "Remembering his difficult road to success, George wanted to devise a way to make the road a little easier for future generations of singers," said George London Foundation President Nora London. Initially created under the auspices of the National Opera Institute, the George London Awards program has been administered since 1990 directly by the Foundation as a living legacy to George London's own exceptional talent and generosity. www.georgelondon.org