The Opera Orchestra of New York opens its 41st season with an opera-in-concert performance of Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur conducted by new Music Director Alberto Veronesi at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.
Francesco Cilea’s best known opera Adriana Lecouvreur, based on the true story of 18th-century French actress Adriana Lecouvreur, leading lady of the Comédie-Française in Paris who was believed to have been poisoned by a love rival, stars soprano Angela Gheorghiu making her Carnegie Hall debut in the title role, tenor Jonas Kaufmann as Maurizio, and mezzo soprano Anita Rachvelishvili also making her Carnegie Hall debut as the Princess de Bouillon.
All three artists are making their Opera Orchestra of New York debuts.
Single tickets priced from $35 to $165 can be purchased online by visiting www.operaorchestrany.org or www.carnegiehall.org, or by calling the Opera Orchestra of New York’s box office at 212-906-9137.
Ms. Gheorghiu and Mr. Kaufmann performed their roles in Adriana Lecouvreur in concert with the Deutsche Oper Berlin in October 2010 and in a staged version with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in November 2010.
The in-concert performance was hailed by Tagesspiegel as “one of those rare performances that burns itself into memory, because everything is right…” and the Berliner Morganpost called Ms. Gheorghiu and Mr. Kaufmann “the acclaimed perfect couple of concert opera performance.”
Also, following the performance in London, the Associated Press wrote “[Kaufmann] used his supple tenor to thrilling effect, whether on commanding high notes or his ravishing extended soft phrases,” and London’s The Independent wrote “Gheorghiu reminds us what a consummate artist she is…[she] effortlessly asserts her dominance musically and dramatically.”
Mezzo soprano Anita Rachvelishvili was most recently heard in New York at the Metropolitan Opera in January 2011 where she made her debut in the title role of Bizet’s Carmen. Following her performance The New York Times wrote: “She brought an ample, earthy voice and sensual lyricism to her performance, winning a hearty ovation.”
Adriana Lecouvreur also stars tenor Ambrogio Maestri as Michonnet, bass Craig Hart as Prince de Bouillon, soprano Megan Hart as M.lle Jouvenot, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Feinstein as M.lle Dangeville, tenor Alexander Lewis as Poisson, baritone Zachary Nelson as Quinault and tenor Nicola Pamio as L’Abate di Chazeuil.
Adriana Lecouvreur was last performed by the Opera Orchestra of New York, conducted by Eve Queler in 2002.
The Opera Orchestra of New York was established in 1971 by Eve Queler, the company’s Conductor Laureate, to present to rarely-heard operas and provide the public with an opportunity to hear them performed in major concert venues.
Among the Opera Orchestra’s numerous U.S. premieres are Puccini’s Edgar with Carlo Bergonzi and Renata Scotto; Boito’s Nerone with James Morris and Pablo Elvira; and Smetana’s Libuse with Gabriela Benacková and Paul Plishka.
The company also performed the New York premiere of Tchaikovsky’s The Maid of Orleans, with Dolora Zajick and Jorma Hynninen, which was also the American premiere of the Russian language version. The ensemble has also presented works long neglected in New York, such as Wagner’s Rienzi, Verdi’s I Lombardi, Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles, and Catalani’s La Wally.
These pioneering efforts have led national opera companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric and Houston Grand Opera to add to their permanent repertoires works that received their first major modern hearing by The Opera Orchestra of New York including I lombardi, Donizetti’s La Favorita, Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini, Dvořák’s Rusalka and Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina.
The Opera Orchestra of New York was also established as a means to identify and foster young operatic talent, providing young singers with an opportunity to rehearse and perform with full orchestra and chorus.
The Opera Orchestra of New York has nurtured the talents of Renée Fleming, Aprile Millo, Vivica Genaux, Deborah Voigt, Latonia Moore, Stephen Costello, Michael Fabiano, Bryan Hymel and Eglise Gutiérrez.
Other singers who have worked with Opera Orchestra very early in their careers include José Carreras, Barbara Hendricks, Dwayne Croft, Samuel Ramey and James Morris. Singers who made their U.S. or New York debuts with Opera Orchestra include Gabriela Benacková, Stephanie Blythe, Olga Borodina, Ghena Dimitrova, Jane Eaglen, Carlo Guelfi, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Vesselina Kasarova, Paul Plishka, Rosalind Plowright and Krassimira Stoyanova and Dolora Zajick.
Alberto Veronesi begins his role as Music Director of the Opera Orchestra of New York this season.
In 2010, he made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the Opera Orchestra of New York in a double-bill of Massenet’s La Navarraise and Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana starring Roberto Alagna, Elīna Garanča and Maria Guleghina. Mr. Veronesi previously conducted Ms. Gheorghiu on two Deutsche Grammophon recordings; Giordano’s Fedora and Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz, the latter of which was recorded during critically acclaimed live performances at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
The recordings are part of a Mr. Veronesi’s verismo opera series on DG that also includes Puccini’s Edgar, Leoncavallo’s I Medici, Puccini Rediscovered – a collection of original editions and alternative versions of Puccini’s arias and ensembles, and La Nuit de mai – an album of Leoncavallo’s songs and arias.
Mr. Veronesi is also Music Director of the Puccini Festival at Torre del Lago, Artistic Director of the Filarmonica del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, and Music Director of the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana.
He was also recently appointed Permanent Conductor of the Petruzzelli Theatre in Bari, one of Italy’s leading opera houses, where he recently led the world premiere of Fabio Vacchi’s Lo stesso mare based on the novel by Amos Oz in April 2010.
This season at the Petruzzelli Theatre, he will conduct Tosca, Macbeth, Die Walküre and a contemporary opera.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. – Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
Music by Francesco Cilea
Italian libretto by Arturo Colautti, based on the play by Eugène Scribe and Ernest Legouvé
The Opera Orchestra of New York
Alberto Veronesi, conductor
Adriana Lecouvreur: Angela Gheorghiu * †
Maurizio: Jonas Kaufmann *
Princess de Bouillon: Anita Rachvelishvili * †
Michonnet: Ambrogio Maestri * †
Prince de Bouillon: Craig Hart * †
M.lle Jouvenot: Megan Hart * †
M.lle Dangeville: Jennifer Feinstein * †
Poisson: Alexander Lewis * †
Quinault: Zachary Nelson * †
L’Abate di Chazeuil: Nicola Pamio * †
* Opera Orchestra of New York debut
† Carnegie Hall debut
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