Alan Gilbert Conducts JOAN OF ARC AT THE STAKE, Starring Marion Cotillard, Beginning Tonight
The New York Philharmonic will present the U.S. Premiere of director Co?me de Bellescize's staging of Honegger's dramatic oratorio Joan of Arc at the Stake in season-finale performances conducted by Alan Gilbert and starring Academy Award-winning actress Marion Cotillard as Joan of Arc. The production - which follows Joan of Arc's final moments before being burned at the stake and places the Orchestra in the middle of a constructed platform on which the action occurs - continues the Philharmonic's recent emphasis on staging operatic and theatrical works. The concerts will be presented in French with English surtitles and without intermission tonight, June 10, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, June 12 at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, June 13 at 8:00 p.m.
In addition to Marion Cotillard, the cast will also include Come?die-Franc?aise members E?ric Ge?nove?se as Brother Dominique and Christian Gonon as the Narrator; soprano Erin Morley as the Virgin; soprano Simone Osborne as Marguerite; mezzo-soprano Faith Sherman as Catherine; tenor Thomas Blondelle and bass Steven Humes in multiple roles; the New York Choral Artists, director Joseph Flummerfelt; and Brooklyn Youth Chorus, director Dianne Berkun-Menaker. Pierre Vallet is the chorus master.
"Marion Cotillard is one of my heroes and a brilliant actress," Alan Gilbert said. "Joan of Arc at the Stake is probably Honegger's greatest work: it's a dramatic and piercing telling of this most serious of stories. It's such a pleasure to hear these scores played by the New York Philharmonic. There's a lot to learn by having to tell a story through music, with the drama primary and forward rather than underpinning."
"Honegger wrote this oratorio just before the Second World War, when it could have been a nationalistic opera: 'We will resist! We will fight!'" Co?me de Bellescize said. "But it's really the opposite: it is about going out of the darkness and trying to find the light with the power of love. I am so happy to have the great chance to work with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert. The whole world meets together in New York, and I think there is something universal to say with this production. It's a great pleasure and honor to have the opportunity to work with Marion, especially for a play that has such meaning for her."
"It is a great joy for me to be part of this tremendous adventure of Jeanne d'Arc au bu?cher staged by the inspired Co?me de Bellescize," Marion Cotillard said. "Sharing this experience with the New York Philharmonic and the great actors E?ric Ge?nove?se and Christian Gonon will be an amazing journey. I feel so lucky and I am looking forward to sharing this work, which is, at this point, one of my greatest experiences as an actress."
Honegger's oratorio follows Joan of Arc's final moments, as she looks back on her life through a series of flashbacks. In Co?me de Bellescize's staging, the costumes are colorful and many of the characters appear in the guise of circus animals, reflecting Joan looking back on her life from a child's perspective. In his production notes, Mr. Bellescize writes: "The mockery of politics, which appears throughout the oratorio, corresponds to that of a child's point of view, for whom a military conflict is a card game, and the political trial, a circus with all its clowns and beast. It is this childhood spirit that enables the story to always waver between nai?ve coolness and ludicrous humor, despite its dramatic tone. ... Joan is in the heart of the orchestra, and when the stake ignites, it is the music that burns Joan's body and transforms her into a figure of divine love."
Co?me de Bellescize first created this production of Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake for Japan's Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto in 2012, featuring Mr. Ge?nove?se, Mr. Gonon, Ms. Osborne, and Mr. Blondelle. Mr. Bellescize's staging was revived in March 2015 at the newly opened Philharmonie de Paris, featuring Ms. Cotillard, Mr. Ge?nove?se, Mr. Gonon, Ms. Osborne, Ms. Sherman, Mr. Blondelle, and Mr. Humes. The project was initiated by festival director Seiji Ozawa and actress Isabel Karajan, who performed the title role in the 2012 production, as a tribute to her father, the late conductor Herbert von Karajan.
The production features set design by Sigole?ne de Chassy, lighting design by Thomas Costerg, and costume design by Colombe Lauriot Pre?vost. Blanche D'Harcourt is the artistic advisor, Jane Piot is the assistant stage director, and musical preparation is by Dan Saunders.
The Philharmonic performed the U.S. Premiere of Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake in 1948 at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Charles Munch. Subsequent performances took place in 1958, led by Leonard Bernstein; in 1967, led by Seiji Ozawa, as part of the Orchestra's 125th Anniversary celebrations and the Lincoln Center Festival; and in 1994, conducted by then Music Director Kurt Masur.
The New York Philharmonic's free Insights at the Atrium series will present "Joan of Arc at the Stake: Drama in Music," Monday, June 1, 2015, at 7:30 p.m., at which Alan Gilbert and cast members will reflect on Honegger's dramatic oratorio in particular as well as about storytelling through music, in advance of the production. The event takes place at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center (Columbus Avenue at 62nd Street) and is co-presented with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
- Philharmonic Free Fridays
The New York Philharmonic is offering 100 free tickets for young people ages 13-26 to the concert Friday, June 12 as part of Philharmonic Free Fridays. Information is available at nyphil.org/freefridays. Philharmonic Free Fridays offers 100 free tickets to 13-26-year-olds to each of the 2014-15 season's 18 Friday evening subscription concerts; it is part of Share the Music!, a new initiative to support expanded access to the New York Philharmonic.
- Insights at the Atrium -- "Joan of Arc: Drama in Music" New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, speaker Cast members tba
Monday, June 1, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center (Columbus Avenue at 62nd Street)
Music Director Alan Gilbert and members of the cast discuss the inner-workings of a composition that defies categorization, and the importance of storytelling through music. Insights at the Atrium events are free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first- come, first-served basis. Subscribers, Friends at the Affiliate level and above, and Patrons may secure guaranteed admission by emailing AdultEd@nyphil.org. Space is limited.
Music Director Alan Gilbert began his New York Philharmonic tenure in September 2009, the first native New Yorker in the post. He and the Philharmonic have introduced the positions of The Marie-Jose?e Kravis Composer-in-Residence, The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in- Residence, and the Artist-in-Association; CONTACT!, the new-music series; and the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today's music by a wide range of contemporary and modern composers inaugurated in spring 2014. As New York magazine wrote, "The Philharmonic and its music director Alan Gilbert have turned themselves into a force of permanent revolution."
In the 2014-15 season Alan Gilbert conducts the U.S. Premiere of Unsuk Chin's Clarinet Concerto, a Philharmonic co-commission, alongside Mahler's First Symphony; La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema; Verdi's Requiem; a staging of Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake, featuring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard; World Premieres; a CONTACT! program; and Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. He concludes The Nielsen Project - the multi-year initiative to perform and record the Danish composer's symphonies and concertos, the first release of which was named by The New York Times as among the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012 - and presides over the EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour. His Philharmonic- tenure highlights include acclaimed productions of Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre, Jana?c?ek's The Cunning Little Vixen, Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma
Thompson, and Philharmonic 360 at Park Avenue Armory; World Premieres by Magnus Lindberg, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and others; Bach's B-minor Mass and Ives's Fourth Symphony; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey alongside the film; Mahler's Second Symphony, Resurrection, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11; and eight international tours.
Conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of Hamburg's NDR Symphony Orchestra, Alan Gilbert regularly conducts leading orchestras around the world. His 2014-15 appearances include the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, The Metropolitan Opera, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. He made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut conducting John Adams's Doctor Atomic in 2008, the DVD of which received a Grammy Award. Rene?e Fleming's recent Decca recording Poe?mes, on which he conducted, received a 2013 Grammy Award. His recordings have received top honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine. Mr. Gilbert is Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where he holds the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. In May 2010 Mr. Gilbert received an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music and in December 2011, Columbia University's Ditson Conductor's Award for his "exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music." In 2014 he was elected to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
French author and theatrical stage director Co?me de Bellescize received his bachelors of arts degree in literature from La Sorbonne and studied acting at L'E?cole Claude Mathieu before deciding to dedicate himself to writing and directing, creating the company The?a?tre du Fracas with Vincent Joncquez. From 2004 to 2007 he wrote and directed Les Errants, which received the Paris jeunes talents award. He went on to direct Maxim Gorki's Sun's Children in Paris and Catherine Anne's Ah! Anabelle ... at the The?a?tre Nanterre-Amandiers. He then wrote Ame?de?e, which he directed at Paris's The?a?tre de la Tempe?te, which earned him a best author nomination for the Beaumarchais Figaro award. During the summer of 2013 he participated in the Ope?ra en Cre?ation workshop at the European Academy of Music in Aix and directed Viardot's la liberte? for the Festival of Aix en Provence. In June 2014 he returned to the European Academy of Music/Festival of Aix en Provence to stage Rossini's La Scala di seta (The Silken Ladder). Future projects include a new production of Berlioz's Be?atrice et Be?ne?dict, conducted by Seiji Ozawa, at the Matsumoto Seiji Ozawa Festival in August 2015, and his new play Euge?nie, which will be premiered at Paris's The?a?tre du Rond-Point in autumn 2015. He first staged this production of Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake in 2012 at Japan's Matsumoto Seiji Ozawa Festival, under the baton of Kazuki Yamada coordinated by the artistic direction of Seiji Ozawa; it was revived in concert versions in February 2015 in Monaco and Toulouse, and the staging was revived in March 2015 at the new Philharmonie de Paris. These performances mark Co?me de Bellescize's New York Philharmonic debut.
Pianist Blanche d'Harcourt (artistic advisor) studied at Paris's E?cole Normale de Musique, with Helena Costa at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and with Jean Fassina in Paris. For several years her duo with Italian singer Maria-Fausta Gallamini performed extensively in Italy, Spain, the U.S., Japan, Belgium, and France; France 3 devoted a week of the television show Carnets de notes to them. At the same time she gave solo recitals throughout Europe and performed chamber music with Hugh Mackenzie, Philippe Hirshhorn, and Lorenzo Gatto. More recently she joined Mitsuko Shirai and actress Ce?cile de France in programs set around Robert and Clara Schumann's correspondence. After working with Marthe Keller and Georges Wilson for a production of Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake with Seiji Ozawa, Ms. Keller invited her to develop a program of German Romantic melodramas performed in Vienna, Lausanne, and Nuremberg, and at the Verbier Festival, Carnegie Hall, and Saito Kinen Festival. She served as artistic director of Belgium's Enghien International Musical Encounters (1993-2010) and is now the director of Switzerland's Seiji Ozawa International Academy.
Jane Piot (assistant stage director) has worked in several opera houses, serving at the National Opera of Paris as music director Myung-Whun Chung's assistant (1990-92) and working in press and communications for the Opera of Lausanne (1995-96 and as production administrator for Paris's The?a?tre des Champs Elyse?es (1998-2003). She has served as assistant stage director for numerous directors including Georges Lavaudant (Ope?ra National de Lorraine and Vlaams Ope?ra), Fre?de?ric Be?lier Garcia (Chore?gies d'Orange, Baalbeck Festival, Lebanon), Robert Lepage (Brussels's The?a?tre Royal de la Monnaie), Vincent Boussard (Festival International d'Aix-en-Provence, Grand The?a?tre du Luxembourg), Jean Liermier (Ope?ra National de Lorraine, The?atre de Caen), Omar Porras (Ope?ra National de Lorraine, Ope?ra de Gene?ve, Ope?ra de Bordeaux, Ope?ra de Lausanne, The?a?tre de Caen), and Dagmar Pischel (Ope?ra de Rouen, Grand The?a?tre du Luxembourg).
After completing her studies at the Paris National School of Fine Arts, Sigole?ne de Chassy (set designer) joined the National Theatre of Strasbourg's set design department. After teaching at Stanford University, she returned to France, where she became scenographer Nicky Rieti's assistant and worked with numerous theater directors. At the same time she directed, worked with new circus, and continued her research in painting, engraving, and sculpture, and conceived installations and performances. Ms. Chassy began collaborating with Co?me de Bellescize in 2004, with their most recent musical collaboration being this production of Joan of Arc at the Stake, first mounted at the 2012 Saito Kinen Festival, where the two will return in 2015 to mount Berlioz's Beatrice and Benedict under the musical direction of Seiji Ozawa.
After studying fashion design and historical costume, costume designer Colombe Lauriot Pre?vost (costume designer) educated herself on the job in various artistic fields including haute couture, cabaret, musicals, cinema, circus, theater, and opera. She recently worked with Stephane Ricordel for the circus show Gala de l'union des artistes, with Pierre Notte at the The?a?tre du Rond-Point, and with Jeremie Lippmann on an adaptation of Venus in Fur. For film, she designed the costumes of Alexander Sokurov's most recent movie, Francofonia, which is selected for the Cannes Festival 2015. She collaborates regularly with Co?me de Bellescize for theatrical and opera productions, and is part of the team working on the new production of Berlioz's Beatrice and Benedict for the 2015 Seiji Ozawa Festival.
Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard (Joan) is internationally renowned for her unbridled commitment to her art, challenging herself with each new role. In 2008 she became the second French actress to ever win an Oscar - and the first to win an acting award for a film in the French language - for her iconic portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose (2007). Ms. Cotillard's credits include the successful French Taxi film series, written by Luc Besson; Yann Samuell's Love Me If You Dare; and Tim Burton's Big Fish. She garnered her first Cesar Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement. She then went on to star in Ridley Scott's A Good Year, Michael Mann's Public Enemies, and Rob Marshall's Nine, the screen adaptation of the hit musical (a performance that brought her Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Award nominations, and for which she shared in a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast Performance). Her first leading role in an American movie was Ewa Cybulska, a Polish immigrant who wants to experience the American dream, in James Gray's The Immigrant (2013). In that same hear she appeared in Guillaume Canet's Blood Ties opposite Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Mila Kunis, and Zoe Saldana, and in 2014 she starred as Sandra in Two Days, One Night, the Belgian film by the Dardenne brothers; her performance was unanimously praised at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, earned several critics awards, her second Oscar nomination, and her sixth Ce?sar nomination. In 2010 Marion Cotillard was named Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters for her contribution to the enrichment of French culture. She first performed the title role in Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake in 2005, and just completed a tour of Co?me de Bellescize's staged production in Monaco, Toulouse, and Paris. Marion Cotillard has said that she has long felt a connection to Joan of Arc in this telling; her mother, actress Niseema Theillaud, also portrayed Joan in Honegger's oratorio. In addition to her March 2015 performances as Honegger's Joan at the Philharmonie de Paris, Ms. Cotillard appeared as Honegger's Joan in concert versions with the Orle?ans Orchestra in 2005 and the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra in 2012. These performances mark her New York Philharmonic debut.
Eric Ge?nove?se (Brother Dominique) graduated from the Paris National Conservatory for Drama in 1991. He simultaneously leads three different careers: as an actor, narrator in musical pieces, and stage director of theater and opera. Named a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres, he has performed major roles in works by playwrights including Pasolini and Corneille, in stagings by acclaimed directors such as Brigitte Jaques-Wajeman and Stanislas Nordey. He first appeared with the Come?die Franc?aise in 1993 in a production of Claudel's L'Echange), and went on to perform major roles in important classical and contemporary dramas by Shakespeare, Molie?re, Feydeau, Rostand, Duras, Kushner, Copi, Noren, La Fontaine, and others. Mr. Ge?nove?se's musical interests, which began with childhood piano lessons, led to his work as narrator in concert performances with an array of orchestras and conductors, including Kurt Masur, John Nelson, Emmanuel Krivine, Alain Altinoglu, and Jean-Christophe Spinosi, as well as composer Vladimir Cosma. He has also appeared with the Wanderer Trio, pianists Claire De?sert and Muza Rubackyte?, and baritone Matthias Goerne. In the summer of 2012 he made his Japanese debut at the Saito Kinen Festival with Seiji Ozawa for the World Premiere of this production of Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake. Eric Ge?nove?se's first project as a director was the 2001 production of Robert Garnier's Les Juives, staged in Paris. He has since directed Fernando Pessoa's Le Privile?ge des Chemins at la Come?die Franc?aise, and Jean-Rene? Lemoine's Erzulie Dahomey. He directed Verdi's Rigoletto at Bordeaux Opera in 2007, and was invited back to stage Rolph Liebermann's Die Schule der Frauen. He has also directed productions of Mozart's Cosi? fan tutte at p The?a?tre des Champs Elyse?es in Paris, and made his Vienna Staatsoper debut with Donizetti's Anna Bolena. These performance mark his New York Philharmonic debut.
Christian Gonon (Narrator), Socie?taire de la Come?die Franc?aise, entered the Jean Pe?rimony Course when he moved to Paris at age 18, and in 1982 he enrolled in the E?cole Nationale Supe?rieure des Arts et Techniques du The?a?tre. In July 1998 he joined the Come?die Franc?aise as an auxiliary in the role of Pacorus in Pierre Corneille's Sure?na; after that performance and his portrayal of Eilif in Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children he became a resident of the troop. Mr. Gonon has since appeared in numerous roles, including Maxime in Corneille's Cenna (2000), Bassanio in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (2001), and Man and The Fox in La Fontaine's Fables (2004). He acted in and directed Fabrice Melquiot's Bouli Miro (2004), played Cassius in Paul Claudel's Te?te d'or (2006), Gremio in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew (2007), and Jack in Michel Vinaver's The Ordinary (2009). He became a regular member of the Come?die Franc?aise in January 2009. Christian Gonon's engagements outside the Come?die Franc?aise have included the roles of de Guiche in Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac at The?a?tre Mogador (1983), Edward in Caryl Churchill's The Seventh Heaven at the The?a?tre du Chaudron (1992), D'Artagnan in Jean-Louis Martin Barbaz's production of the Three Musketeers (for which he won the Jean Marais Prize for best actor in 1991), and Maffio in Victor Hugo's Lucretia Borgia at Regional The?a?tre 71. Mr. Gonon has also appeared in an array of short films, including Jean-Max Peteau's Memento (1992, for which he received the Grand Prize of Avoriaz and the Audience Award at Clermont Ferrand in 1993) and Guillaume Georget's Chambre Oscure. These performances mark his New York Philharmonic debut.
Erin Morley (Virgin) made her breakthrough performance as Marguerite de Valois in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots at Bard SummerScape. In the 2014-15 season she makes company debuts at the Ope?ra national de Paris (as Konstanze in Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio), Vienna Staatsoper (Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto and Sophie in R. Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier), and Palm Beach Opera (Marie in Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment); she also returns to The Metropolitan Opera (Olympia in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann). In concert, she sings Mater Gloriosa in Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, led by Andris Nelsons at Tanglewood, as well as Mozart concert arias for the opening of Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, led by Louis Langre?e. Earlier in the summer, she recorded the role of Sylvie in Gounod's La Colombe with Mark Elder for Opera Rara. Future projects include returns to The Metropolitan Opera, Ope?ra national de Paris, and Bavarian Staatsoper; debuts at Glyndebourne and Houston Grand Opera; and a European and American tour singing Angelica in Handel's Orlando with The English Concert and Harry Bicket. Ms. Morley appeared as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier at The Metropolitan Opera in the 2013-14 season, and later made company debuts at Ope?ra de Lille and Ope?ra de Dijon (Sandrina in Mozart's The Pretend Garden-Girl in both theaters), as well as Bavarian Staatsoper (Gilda in Rigoletto). She returned to Santa Fe Opera in summer 2014 for Mozart's The Impresario (Madame Silberklang) and Stravinsky's Le Rossignol (title role). Erin Morley made her New York Philharmonic subscription debut in May 2008 in Lerner & Loewe's Camelot, conducted by Paul Gemignani; most recently she performed in Nielsen's Symphony No. 3, Sinfonia espansiva, led by Alan Gilbert in June 2012.
Simone Osborne (Marguerite) was one of the youngest winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and recently completed her tenure as a member of the Canadian Opera Company Studio Ensemble. In the 2014-15 season, she appears as Nannetta in Robert Carsen's production of Verdi's Falstaff at the Canadian Opera Company, and makes her role debut as Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at Edmonton Opera. Ms. Osborne returned to the Canadian Opera Company as Oscar in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera and as Musetta in Puccini's La bohe?me in the 2013-14 season. She has appeared with the Vancouver Symphony singing Richard Strauss songs and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. Recently, she made her Opera Hamilton debut as Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto and returned to Vancouver Opera as Pamina in Mozart's The Magic Flute. In the 2012-13 season she made debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel as Barbarina in Christopher Alden's production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, and at Carnegie Hall with pianist Warren Jones as part of the Marilyn Horne Song Celebration. She also participated in Viva Verdi! with Lotfi Mansouri in Zurich to celebrate the composer's bicentennial. Simone Osborne won the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition at the Music Academy of the West (2008) and International Czech and Slovak Opera Competition (2007), and was a prizewinner at the George London Foundation Competition, Palm Beach Opera Competition, Sylva Gelber Foundation, and Jaqueline Desmarais Foundation. She made her Saito Kinen Festival debut in 2012 as Marguerite in Co?me de Bellescize's production of Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake, under the guidance of Seiji Ozawa; she recently reprised the role with Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and Orchestre de Paris, all under Kazuki Yamada. She makes her New York Philharmonic debut in these performaces.
Last season, mezzo-soprano Faith Sherman made her German operatic debut as Concepcion
in Ravel's L'Heure espagnole at Oper Frankfurt, and premiered the lead role in Ricky Ian Gordon's Rappahannock County at Virginia Opera. She covered the role of the Composer in Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos at Houston Grand Opera, sang the Verdi Requiem with period instruments at the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele and Ope?ra de Vichy under Michael Hofstetter, and was presented in recital at The Arts at St. Matthew's (a ministry of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Wilton, Connecticut) and The Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota (in Sarasota, Florida). Future engagements include Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, and English National Opera. While earning her artist diploma at The Juilliard School, Ms. Sherman performed in Mozart's Requiem on the 9/11 Memorial Concert at Carnegie Hall, as well as the programs Songs of Peace and War and 100 years of Juilliard Composers in Song with the New York Festival of Song. Her appearances with the Juilliard Opera Center include Clytemnestre in Gluck's Iphige?nie en Aulide, Ramiro in Mozart's La finta giardiniera, Fay Doyle in the World Premiere of Lowell Liebermann's Miss Lonelyhearts, and Hermia in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has sung Brahms's Alto Rhapsody with the Cincinnati Conservatory Orchestra, Mrs. Allan in Argento's The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe, and Mother/Witch in Humperdinck's Ha?nsel und Gretel. Faith Sherman was a member of San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, where she sang the title role in scenes from Rossini's La Cenerentola. In 2007 she won the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition and the New England Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions; she was also a semi-finalist in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Auditions and the 2011 Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition. These concerts mark her New York Philharmonic debut.
In 2014 tenor Thomas Blondelle returned to Ope?ra National du Rhin in Alsace for his first performance as Erik in Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, and to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for his debut as Tambour-Major in Berg's Wozzeck. A member of Deutsche Oper Berlin since 2008, his repertoire and new productions during the 2014-15 season include Berlioz's Romeo et Juliette, Male Chorus in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia, Tamino in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Prince in Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges, and Sinovi Ismailov in Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. In 2011 Blondelle won the second prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels; his other honors include prizes at Barcelona's Vinas Competition (2005) and Vienna's Belvedere Competition (2012). Mr. Blondelle has sung at Munich Opera and the Lucerne, Schleswig-Holstein, and Saito Kinen music festivals, and at Munich's Bavarian Staatsoper and Vienna's Volksoper. He has appeared at De Nederlandse Opera (as David in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nu?rnberg in 2013), and made his U.S. debut in 2014 in Kevin Puts's Silent Night at Cincinnati Opera. He returned to the BBC Proms in 2014 for Richard Strauss's Salome, and has performed at the Grand The?a?tre de Luxemburg, De Vlaamse Opera, Deutsche Oper am Rhein Du?sseldorf-Duisburg, Braunschweig Staatsoper, and Ope?ra de Toulon. In recital and concert, Blondelle has appeared with renowned orchestras and worked with conductors including Marc Albrecht, Bertrand de Billy, Michail Jurowski, Andrew Litton, Jir?i? Kout, Sigiswald Kuijken, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott, Sr Simon Rattle, Carlo Rizzi, Donald Runnicles, Ulf Schirmer, Michael Schønwandt, Steven Sloane, and Kazuki Yamada. In 2015-16 Thomas Blondelle will sing Debussy's Pe?lle?as et Me?lisande (in Berlin), Salome (Luxemburg), Weber's Der Freischu?tz (Stuttgart), Wagner's Das Liebesverbot (Strasbourg), and Leha?r's Der Graf von Luxemburg (Wiesbaden). he will also appear in solo concerts at the Vlaamse Opera, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and make his Chinese debut touring a French song recital program. These performances mark his New York Philharmonic debut.
Bass Steven Humes has appeared at the Bavarian Staatsoper, Teatro Real Madrid, Hamburg Staatsoper, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Bolshoi Theatre, Salzburg Festival, Rome's Rieti Festival, and Tokyo's Bunka Kaikan and NHK theaters. In the United States he has performed with Los Angeles Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Boston Lyric Opera, as well as at Chicago's Ravinia Festival, among others. Recent and upcoming engagements include additional performances of Co?me de Bellescize's production of Honegger ?s Joan of Arc at the Stake in Toulouse, Monaco, and Paris; Don Giovanni in Boston; Banco in Verdi's Macbeth in St. Gallen; his role debut as King Marke in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in Paris, led by Daniele Gatti; Arabella at the Bavarian Staatsoper; and Wagner's Das Rheingold in Odense. As a concert soloist, Mr. Humes has performed Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, the Mozart Requiem, Dvor?a?k's Stabat Mater, the Verdi Requiem, and Bach's St. Matthew Passion. He has performed with the Atlanta, Charlotte, and New Haven symphony orchestras, and he regularly appears with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Munich Philharmonic. Recent operatic roles include Rocco in Beethoven's Fidelio and Daland in Wagner's The Flying Dutchman (Teatro Regio di Torino), his role debut as King Heinrich in Wagner's Lohengrin (Bejing), Fafner in Das Rheingold and Siegfried in Wagner's Ring Cycle (Bavarian Staatsoper and a new production at The?a?tre de Gene?ve), Commendatore in Mozart's Don Giovanni (The?a?tre des Champs Elyse?es), Richard Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten and Arabella (Salzburg Festival, conducted by Christian Thielemann) and Ariadne auf Naxos (in Baden-Baden, also under Thielemann), Handel's Semele with Rinaldo Alessandrini (Canadian Opera Company in Toronto), Vodnik in Dvor?a?k's Rusalka (Opera Rome), and King Karl in Schubert's Fierrabras (in Brussels). These performances mark Steven Humes's Philharmonic debut.
Founded in 1979 by Joseph Flummerfelt, the New York Choral Artists has since then been a regular part of the New York Philharmonic season. Its many collaborations with the Orchestra include a memorial performance of Brahms's A German Requiem, conducted by Kurt Masur, immediately following the events of 9/11. In more recent years, appearances have included Britten's War Requiem and Mahler's Symphony No. 8 led by Lorin Maazel. Highlights of Philharmonic collaborations under the direction of Alan Gilbert include Bach's B-mMinor Mass, Beethoven's Missa solemnis, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Ligeti's Le Grande Macabre, and in January 2015, the Verdi Requiem. Noteworthy among its Philharmonic recordings are the Grammy- nominated release of Mahler Symphony No. 3 conducted by Bernstein, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 with Masur, and John Adams's Grammy Award-winning On the Transmigration of Souls with Maazel. In 2014 the New York Choral Artists also appeared with the Vienna Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony in Carnegie Hall. Jacqueline Pierce is the group's manager.
For more than 40 seasons Joseph Flummerfelt has been preparing choral performances for the New York Philharmonic. Named Conductor of the Year in 2004 by Musical America, is the founder and musical director of the New York Choral Artists was an artistic director of the Spoleto Festival USA for 37 years and conductor of the Westminster Choir for 33 years. He has collaborated with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Chailly, Colin Davis, Alan Gilbert, Carlo Maria Giulini, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Robert Shaw, and William Steinberg. Dr. Flummerfelt's choirs have been featured on 45 recordings, including Grammy Award-winning versions of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Bernstein, Barber's Antony and Cleopatra, and John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls. He has also received two Grammy nominations, and his Delos recording of Brahms's choral works - Singing for Pleasure, with the Westminster Choir - was chosen by The New York Times as a favorite among Brahms recordings. Joseph Flummerfelt's honors include Le Prix du Pre?sident de la Re?publique from L'Acade?mie du Disque Franc?ais and five honorary doctoral degrees. He is sought out as a guest conductor and master teacher of choral conducting in New York and throughout the United States.
Now in its 23rd season, the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, under the direction of founder and artistic director Dianne Berkun-Menaker, has performed with major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, and Mariinsky Orchestra, and conductors Valery Gergiev, Marin Alsop, James Levine, Charles Dutoit, Robert Spano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Leon Botstein. The chorus has also performed with artists including Barbra Streisand, Sir Elton John, Philip Glass, Kronos Quartet, Grizzly Bear, John Legend, Natasha Bedingfield, Alicia Keys, and Judy Collins. Its commissioning program, New Voices, creates innovative, genre-bending repertoire that challenges and thrills both singers and audiences. Among the celebrated composers are Pulitzer Prize winners David Lang, Caroline Shaw, and Paul Moravec, plus Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, The National's Bryce Dessner, Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry, and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden. The chorus has also appeared at such important music festivals as BAM's Next Wave and Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festivals, Ecstatic Music Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, MusicNOW Festival, Prototype Festival, and Park Avenue Armory's Tune-In Music Festival. The young singers, who are drawn from all five boroughs of New York City, receive performance-based vocal music education training at their headquarters in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, as well as neighborhood locations in Red Hook and Bedford-Stuyvesant. Dianne Berkun-Menaker is a regular choral clinician and teaching artist for The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic and has presented workshops and master classes for the New York State School Music Association, American Choral Directors Association, and New York City Department of Education. She is the creator of the chorus's groundbreaking Cross-Choral Training program. The Brooklyn Youth Chorus made its New York Philharmonic debut in 2002 in the World Premiere of John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls, conducted by Lorin Maazel; the recording won a Grammy Award in 2005. It most recently appeared with the Philharmonic in March 2015, performing Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream on six Young People Concerts for Schools.
French conductor Pierre Vallet (chorus master) is co-founder and music director of the Bahamas International Opera Festival, opening in 2016. A long-serving member of The Metropolitan Opera - first as a pianist and coach and, more recently, a staff conductor - he has led operas around the world, including Wagner's Tannha?user at the Ope?ra national de Paris. He has been chorus master for Britten's War Requiem (Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra at Carnegie Hall); Berlioz's La Damnation of Faust; Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Resurrection; Schoenberg's Gurrelieder; and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. He has appeared as conductor and lecturer at the Tokyo Cantat choral festival, conducted at the Spoleto Festival USA, and regularly leads the Greenwich Village Orchestra. In April 2015 he conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and his CD of the Chopin piano concertos with Elizabeth Sombart and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be released in March 2015. Pierre Vallet's musical partnership with Seiji Ozawa has included collaborating on some 40 operatic productions and concerts throughout Japan, the U.S., and Europe, including the first production of this staging of Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake at the Saito Kinen Festival.
Arthur Honegger (1892-1955) joined the French Resistance during World War II, and although the Nazis allowed him to continue composing, he became depressed by the war and composed some of his most emotional works during and after. Originally commissioned by actress Ida Rubenstein in 1935, Joan of Arc at the Stake (1938), which sets a libretto by French poet and playwright Paul Claudel, portrays Joan's final moments, during which she looks back on her life through a series of flashbacks. Her confessor, Brother Dominique, reads from the book of her life, starting with her trial and conviction of heresy and witchcraft in 1431 and, going backward to Charles VII's coronation, the voices she heard of Saints Catherine and Margaret, and her simple pastoral childhood. Honegger's musical invention is spectacularly diverse: the two main roles (Joan and Brother Dominique) are speaking parts; they are joined by chorus, children's chorus, and an orchestra that includes saxophones, pianos, and ondes Martenot, and its musical mediums range from plainchant, Baroque dance, and folk song to jazz rhythms, humming, shouting, and 1930s-era classical music. The Philharmonic performed the U.S. Premiere of the work in 1948 at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Charles Munch. Subsequent performances took place in 1958, led by Leonard Bernstein; in 1967, led by Seiji Ozawa, as part of the Orchestra's 125th Anniversary celebrations and the Lincoln Center Festival; and in 1994, conducted by Kurt Masur.
Tickets for these performances start at $48. Tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the Box Office closes one-half hour after performance time; other evenings it closes at 6:00 p.m. A limited number of $16 tickets for select concerts may be available through the Internet for students within 10 days of the performance, or in person the day of. Valid identification is required. To determine ticket availability, call the Philharmonic's Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656.
Insights at the Atrium events are free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Subscribers, Friends at the Affiliate level and above, and Patrons may secure guaranteed admission by emailing AdultEd@nyphil.org. Space is limited.
Pictured: Marion Cotillard as Joan of Arc. Photo by Patrick Burger.