New York City Opera to Open Spring 2013 Season with POWDER HER FACE, 2/15-23
Mr. Ferguson is the recipient of several awards and honors including First Place in the Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition, The Elihu Hyndman Career Grant from Opera Theatre of St. Louis, The Judges' Award in the Opera Index Competition, a Bagby Foundation Career Grant and The Alan Weiler Award for Excellence presented by Opera Orchestra of New York. In 2003 he was awarded the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital Award granting him a New York recital debut in Alice Tully Hall.
Other recent performances include a staged production of Handel's Messiah with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, appearances with Orchestra of St. Luke's, the Richmond Symphony, The Waterbury Symphony, a world premiere song cycle by Chester Biscardi with the new music ensemble Sequitur, recitals with guitarist David Leisner in New York and Nebraska, a concert with cellist Yahuda Hanani at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, and Nanki-Poo in The Mikado with Opera Omaha.
Matt Boehler (Hotel Manager)
Matt Boehler has been critically acclaimed both for his dramatic skill and his vocal ability. With Wolf Trap Opera Company, Mr. Boehler garnered much praise in the title role in Sweeney Todd. The Washington Post wrote, "There are times, in fact, when this young man with a huge crossover career ahead of him is standing in a crowd of actors, and you'd swear he was the only person onstage."
In 2012-13, Mr. Boehler has joined the ensemble of Theater St. Gallen in Switzerland as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Il Pedone in La Wally, and Sparafucile in Rigoletto, a role he debuted last summer with the Minnesota Orchestra. He will return to Theater St. Gallen as Count Horn in Un ballo in maschera this spring and as Leone in Attila this summer. In December, he won praise in performances of Messiah with Musica Sacra New York at Carnegie Hall. This spring he will make his Madison Opera debut as Leporello in Don Giovanni.
In 2013-14, Mr. Boehler makes his debuts with both the Canadian Opera Company and The Metropolitan Opera. He returns to Switzerland as well, singing Baldassare in La favorita, Daland in Die Fliegende Höllander, and Leporello in Don Giovanni with Theater St. Gallen.
In the 2011-12 season he sang Drebednev in Moscow, Cheryomushki with Chicago Opera Theater, Nourabad in Les pêcheurs de perles for Hawaii Opera Theater, and two operas by Philip Glass: In the Penal Colony with American Opera Projects and Kepler with Spoleto Festival USA. Additionally he was heard in performances of Messiah with the Jacksonville Symphony and the Portland Baroque Orchestra.
In recent seasons, Mr. Boehler has enjoyed busy opera and concert schedules. He joined the rosters of Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Metropolitan Opera, covering roles at both houses. He has been featured in productions with Minnesota Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Central City Opera, Florentine Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, Opera New Jersey and Festival Lyrique-en-mer. In concert, he has been heard with the New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Oratorio Society of New York. He has been seen in several critically acclaimed performances with the New York Festival of Song, and he recently appeared in recital with the Lotte Lehmann Foundation in their first annual Emerging Artists Concert Series.
Mr. Boehler is also a frequent collaborator within the world of contemporary music. He has appeared in two John Musto world premieres: The Inspector with Wolf Trap Opera and Bastianello, along with William Bolcom's Lucrezia, with New York Festival of Song. He premiered Michael Dellaira's The Secret Agent with Center for Contemporary Opera and appeared in Dominick Argento's Casanova's Homecoming and Poul Ruders' The Handmaid's Tale, both with Minnesota Opera. His discography includes recordings of Bastianello and Lucrezia with NYFOS and an album of songs by Stefan Wolpe with pianist Ursula Oppens. He can also be heard on recordings of Bernstein's Mass with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Schumann's Scenes from Goethe's Faust with American Symphony Orchestra.
He is a graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center and he held a three-year tenure as a resident artist with Minnesota Opera. At Viterbo University, his first alma mater, he graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts.
Jon Morris (Waiter)
Jon Morrishas performed and created with Fuerzabruta, Cirque du Soleil, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Patrice Chereau, Robert Wilson, Jay Scheib, Tina Landau, Aszure Barton, Spymonkey, Diavolo Dance Theatre, Ken Roht and Fabulous Monsters. He has appeared in films by Jonathan Dayton and Valari Faris, David Michalek and Anson Mount. He is the founder/director of The Windmill Factory. Recent projects include Castle of Shadows in Cartagena, Colombia; Balloon Vortex at MIT's Media Lab and for Red Bull; Reflecting the Stars, recreating the night sky in the Hudson River; Our Hearts, a music video for the band Firehorse; Atomic City at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center/La Mama E.T.C.; and The Wedge, a large-scale slide/aerial performance space at Burning Man. Mr. Morris is a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, a Tennessee Williams Fellow, a six-time All-American Springboard Diver, and holds a B.A. from the University of the South, Sewanee. He has taught master classes at NYU, Pace, Vanderbilt and the University of the South.
Kaneza Schaal (Nurse)
Ms. Schaalfirst worked with Jay Scheib in Bellona: Destroyer of Cities at The Kitchen. She performs with The Wooster Group in Vieux Carré (Baryshnikov Arts Center) and Early Plays (St. Ann's Warehouse), the company's collaboration with New York City Players directed by Richard Maxwell. Schaal joined Elevator Repair Service in 2007, working on The Sound and The Fury (New York Theater Workshop)and then on The Select (NYTW). Her film credits include Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty and Chelsea Kinght's The End of All Resistance. Currently she is working on Claude Wampler's N'a pas un gramme de charisme at The Kitchen and developing Bury Me: Antigone X, a project she will premiere this fall. Ms. Schaal received a Princess Grace George C. Wolf Award and earned her BA from Wesleyan University.
Marsha Ginsberg (Set Designer)
Marsha Ginsbergworks in the interdisciplinary overlap between scenic design for theater and opera, installation art and photography. She studied theater design at NYU Tisch School of Arts, and Visual Arts at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and Cooper Union, School of Art. Opera: With director Christopher Alden: Phaeton, Saarlandisches Staatstheater; Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Theater Basel; Imeneo, Glimmerglass Opera; Carmen, Nationaltheater Manheim; In Mahler's Shadow, EOS Orchestra; La serva padrona, Le pauvre matelot, Rita, San Francisco Opera Center. With Roy Rallo: The Methusalem Projekt, Nationaltheater Weimar; Ariadne auf Naxos, Opera National de Bordeaux; Don Pasquale, Nationaltheater Weimar; La finta Giardiniera, San Francisco Opera Center; Bluebeard's Castle and Elektra, Long Beach Opera. With Ken Rus Schmoll, sets and costumes for the U.S. premiere of Wolfgang Rihm's Proserpina, Spoleto Festival. Recent theater: Environment/costumes for Habit, by David Levine, Luminato Festival, Toronto, Mass MoCA & Watermill Center; Blueflower, directed by Will Pomerantz, A.R.T. (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Design); Lascivious Something, Sheila Callaghan, Women's Project; Bleakhouse with Heiko Kalmbach, Bauhaus Festival, Theaterhaus Jena; Kafeneion directed by Dimitri Kourtakis, Athens/Epidaurus Festival; The Obie Award-winning Telephone, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, The Foundry Theatre; Knock-Out directed by Heiko Kalmbach, Thalia Theater, Hamburg; Theaterhaus Jena. Select solo and group exhibitions: Moving House, Sheffield Historical Society; Pavlov's Lab and Other Rooms, solo exhibit at Magnus Muller Gallery, Berlin; Design Life Now, National Design Triennial, Cooper Hewitt Museum, ICA Boston and Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Ms. Ginsberg has received a NEA/TCG career development award and multiple MacDowell Colony fellowships.
Thomas Dunn (Lighting Designer)
Thomas Dunn designs lighting for architecture, dance, music, theater, and visual art venues in the US and abroad. Design credits include works with The Civilians (Gone Missing and Paris Commune), DD Dorvillier/human future dance corps (Coming Out of the Night With Names, No Change or "freedom is a psycho-kinetic skill," Nottthing Is Importanttt, for which he received a 2007 Bessie Award, and Choreography, a Prologue for the Apocalypse of Understanding, Get Ready!), Sens Production/Noémie Lafrance (Noir, Agora, Melt, Rapture and Home), and Trajal Harrell (Notes On Less Than Zero, Before Intermission, Showpony, and Quartet for the End of Time). Mr. Dunn received a 2009 Kevin Kline Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for The Little Dog Laughed, with The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. He was educated at Bennington College and Yale School of Drama.
Alba Clemente (Costume Designer)
Alba Clementestudiedset and costume design at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Naples, Italy while performing as an actress in many classical and experimental productions in Naples and Rome. After a long hiatus, during which she raised a family, she returned to the theater. In 2009, she designed the costumes and props for Made in Naples by Karole Armitage, and in 2012 she began collaborating with Jay Scheib on World of Wires. Currently, Mrs. Clemente is the ambassador in New York for the Spoleto Theater Festival. In addition, she has written songs with Thomas Lauderdale for the band Pink Martini, with which she has also appeared onstage.
Joshua Higgason (Projection Designer)
Mr. Higgason has toured internationally with The Builders Association, Big Dance Theater, Sufjan Stevens, Toni Dove and Jay Scheib, on Scheib's Bellona. His work has been seen and heard at Carnegie Hall, BAM, The Kitchen, The Flea, HERE, La Jolla Playhouse, Philly Live Arts and other notable venues. Recent projects include Jim Findlay's Botanica, The Builders Association's Sontag:Reborn and House/Divided, and Big Dance Theater's Supernatural Wife. He is a founding partner in Workhorse, a live event media company.
Thomas Adès (Composer)
Born in London in 1971, Thomas Adès studied piano (Michael Blackmore and Paul Berkowitz), composition (Erika Fox and Robert Saxton) and percussion at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and read music at King's College, Cambridge. In 1993 he made his recital debut as pianist and composer at the Park Lane Group in London.
Between 1993 and 1995 he was Composer in Association with the Hallé Orchestra, which resulted in These Premises Are Alarmed for the opening of the Bridgewater Hall in 1996. Asyla (1997) was a Feeney Trust commission for Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO, who toured it together and repeated it at Symphony Hall in August 1998, in Rattle's last concert as Music Director. Rattle subsequently programmed Asyla in his opening concert as Music Director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2002.
Powder Her Face (commissioned by Almeida Opera for the Cheltenham Festival in 1995), Adès' first opera, was televised by Channel Four, and is available on a DVD as well as an EMI CD. Most of the composer's music to date has been recorded by EMI. Adès' second opera, The Tempest, was commissioned by London's Royal Opera House and was premièred there in February 2004 and revived in 2007.
In September 2005 a Violin Concerto for Anthony Marwood was premiered at the Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under his baton. His second orchestral work for Simon Rattle, Tevot (2007), was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall. In 2008 Adès collaborated with video artist Tal Rosner on a commission from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and London's Southbank Centre for a piano concerto with moving image (In Seven Days). This work was given its world premiere in April 2008 by Nicolas Hodges, the London Sinfonietta and Adès at the Royal Festival Hall, London.
Among the festivals at which he has been the featured composer are Helsinki Musica Nova (1999), Salzburg Easter Festival (2004), Radio France's Présences, Paris (2007), the Barbican's 'Traced Overhead', London (2007), New Horizons Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia (2007), Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Festival (2009), Melbourne Festival (2010); in addition Carnegie Hall, New York appointed him to the R and B Debs Composer Chair and featured him as composer, conductor and pianist throughout the 2007-08 season.
Adès is also a renowned interpreter of a range of music as conductor and pianist. He has recorded composers including Kurtág, Janácek, Nancarrow, Stanchinsky, Grieg, Busoni, Stravinsky, Schubert, Ruders and Berlioz, and premiered and widely performed several works by Gerald Barry. Orchestras he has conducted include City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, BBC, Finnish, Dutch, Danish and North German Radio Symphony Orchestras, Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony and ensembles such as Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern and the Athelas Ensemble, Copenhagen.
Adès' music has attracted numerous awards and prizes, including the Grawemeyer Award (2000), of which he is the youngest-ever recipient. He is the only composer to have won the Royal Philharmonic Prize for Large-Scale Composition three times.
Philip Hensher (Librettist)
Philip Hensherwas born in London in 1965 and was educated at Oxford University. He is the author of eight novels and a collection of short stories. He has won numerous prizes, including the Somerset Maugham Award and the Stonewall Journalist of the Year. His 2008 novel The Northern Clemency was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and The Commonwealth Prize. In 2003 he was nominated by Granta magazine as one of 20 Best of Young British Novelists. A regular presence in the British media, Mr. Hensher writes a Wednesday column for The Independent, and also contributes to The Spectator and Mail on Sunday.
Mr. Hensher' first novel, Other Lulus (1994), is set in Vienna and centers on a young girl's discovery of a family connection with Alban Berg. His six years spent working at the House of Commons in London provided the backdrop to his second novel, Kitchen Venom, published in 1996. The book combines a story of murder and intrigue at the House with a deft account of the eccentric relationships and rituals that have been played out for centuries. It sparked controversy when it was revealed that the author had been dismissed from his job as a parliamentary clerk after giving an interview to the gay magazine Attitude.
A.S. Byatt included Mr. Hensher's short story "Dead Languages" in The Oxford Book of English Short Stories (1998). The Bedroom of the Mister's Wife, a collection of short stories, was published in 1999. Many of the stories had previously been broadcast on radio or published in newspapers and magazines including Granta, The Independent and The Erotic Review. Mr. Hensher's most recent novel is Scenes from Early Life (2012).
Philip Hensher lives in South London and is a member of the Council of the Royal Society of Literature.
ABOUT NEW YORK CITY OPERA
For nearly seventy years, since Mayor Fiorello La Guardia established it as "The People's Opera," New York City Opera has introduced generation after generation of young singers who are stars in the making, brought the public exciting new works and compelling, fresh interpretations of classics, acted as a champion for American composers and performers, and ensured that every New Yorker can experience the live art of opera.
Now is a time of extraordinary achievement by the Company. Under the leadership of George Steel, New York City Opera's ninth General Manager and Artistic Director, the Company will, in Spring 2013, present four brand-new productions, all by New Yorkers, in two of the city's most iconic venues: the Brooklyn Academy Of Music and New York City Center, New York City Opera's original home, which Mayor La Guardia dubbed "The People's Theater."
In the past three years, 64 singers and 25 directors and designers have made their New York City Opera debuts. Among singers alone, those who have gone from New York City Opera debuts to international success are Joshua Hopkins (2011 A Quiet Place, made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2012); David Lomelí (2011 The Elixir of Love, debuted with Santa Fe in 2011 and Glyndebourne in 2012); Corinne Winters (2012 Rufus Wainwright Concert, 2012 George London Competition winner) and Anthony Roth Costanzo (2010 Partenope, made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2012).
These artists join the ranks of more than 3,000 young singers whose international careers New York City Opera has launched, including David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Lauren Flanigan, Reneé Fleming, Sherrill Milnes, Samuel Ramey, Beverly Sills, Tatiana Troyanos, Carol Vaness and Frederica von Stade, to name a few.
Many innovations that define New York City Opera's identity and mission-promoting accessibility through the use of supertitles, prioritizing affordable ticket prices, nurturing young American artists, championing 20th-century opera and American works and presenting groundbreaking productions-have been adopted by leading U.S. companies of all sizes.
Prior to New York City Opera, Steel, a protégé of Leonard Bernstein, served as Executive Director of Columbia University's Miller Theatre, which he transformed into one of New York's most acclaimed showcases for early and modern music. Mr. Steel has received the Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming twice (2001-02 and 2005), the 2003 Trailblazer Award from the American Music Center and the 2003 ASCAP Concert Music Award.
At New York City Opera, Mr. Steel has achieved the first balanced budget the Company has enjoyed in a decade. He has, in so doing, accomplished a feat that was all but unimaginable just a few years ago: helping the Company find a sustainable model that will allow it to remain true to its original promise for decades to come.