Vivica Genaux to Make Chicago Symphony Debut, 2/13 & 18

Vivica Genaux is one of the Baroque music world's Leading Ladies, having dazzled audiences through her live appearances on the concert and operatic stages in most of the world's music capitals, as well as through her numerous CDs, with such estimable ensembles as Concerto Köln, Europa Galante, Les Talens Lyriques, Venice Baroque Orchestra and Les Violons du Roy, to name but a few.

Yet, in all this time, she has never appeared in a public performance in Chicago. This oversight will finally be redressed when she makes her Chicago Symphony debut (February 13 & 18). Conductor Nicholas McGegan will lead Vivica and the Orchestra in a Baroque/Classical program featuring breathtaking displays of virtuosity and vocal expressiveness in arias by Vivaldi (La fida ninfa), Porpora (Polifemo), Hasse (Artaserse), and Broschi (Idaspe), as well as instrumental compositions by Bach, Händel and Haydn.

Vivica and Maestro McGegan have previously collaborated on a series of concerts in 2011 with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the San Francisco Bay-area ensemble he has helmed since 1985. Mezzo, Conductor and Ensemble will reassemble there this spring to perform Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans (April 2-6).

This season, Vivica adds four new characters to her repertory of fifty-seven roles, thirty-seven of which are "trouser" parts. They are Manlio in Vivaldi's Tito Manlio, the title role in Bertoni's L'Orfeo, Sesto in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito and Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. She also develops a new concert program with soprano Simone Kermes entitled "Rivalries - Cuzzoni & Bordoni," in which the two singers pay tribute to the 18th Century divas who, through their intense rivalry, inspired so many Baroque composers to write great music.

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by Peter Danish