ROBERT SPANO & ORCHESTRA OF ST. LUKE’S PERFORM OSVALDO GOLIJOV’S AINADAMAR AT CARNEGIE HALL

11.17.08
Osvaldo Golijov

CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS CONDUCTOR ROBERT SPANO
AND ORCHESTRA OF ST. LUKE’S IN CONCERT PERFORMANCE OF
OSVALDO GOLIJOV’S OPERA AINADAMAR ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7 AT 2:00 P.M.

Sopranos Dawn Upshaw and Emily Albrink and
Mezzo-Soprano Kelley O’Connor Are Featured

The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, led by conductor Robert Spano, performs Osvaldo Golijov’s one-act opera Ainadamar in concert on Sunday, December 7 at 2:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. Golijov's award-winning chamber opera tells the tale of the murder of Spanish poet Federico García Lorca by fascist Falangist forces, as seen through the eyes of Lorca’s longtime collaborator, actress Margarita Xirgu. Soprano Dawn Upshaw sings the role of Xirgu, mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor is Lorca, and soprano Emily Albrink performs the role of Nuria, Xirgu’s student, in this depiction of Spain's brutal fight for political and artistic freedom, featuring also the women of the New York Virtuoso Singers.

Ainadamar (“Fountain of Tears" in Arabic) is the first opera by Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov. With a libretto by American playwright David Henry Hwang, translated into Spanish by Mr. Golijov, Ainadamar premiered at the Tanglewood Music Festival in 2003. After major revisions, a new version premiered at the Santa Fe Opera in 2005, staged by Peter Sellars. The opera depicts the true story of playwright Federico García Lorca and his muse Margarita Xirgu. Subtitled "an Opera in Three Images," Ainadamar is told in reverse in a series of flashbacks. The Deutsche Grammophon recording of the work performed by the Atlanta Symphony won two Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Classical Composition and Best Opera Recording of 2006.

Conductor Robert Spano is among the most innovative and imaginative conductors of his generation. He conducted the world premiere of Ainadamar at Tanglewood in 2003 and subsequently recorded the work for Deutsche Grammophon. Now in his eighth season as Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), he has enriched the ASO’s repertoire and elevated the orchestra to greater prominence. In addition, Mr. Spano has conducted the major orchestras of North America, including those in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Equally accomplished as an operatic conductor, he has appeared with the opera companies of Chicago and Houston, as well as at the Santa Fe Opera, Royal Opera at Covent Garden, and Welsh National Opera. Mr. Spano leads the closing concert of this fall’s citywide Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds festival on Saturday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. Entitled Leonard Bernstein: Arias, Barcarolles, A Sonata and Riffs, Mr. Spano participates in the dual role of conductor and pianist, and will be joined by Jeremy Denk for the two piano repertoire as well as members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and soloists including mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, baritone Rod Gilfry, and clarinetist Ricardo Morales.

Soprano Dawn Upshaw (Margarita Xirgu) has achieved worldwide celebrity as a singer of opera and concert repertoire ranging from the sacred works of Bach to the freshest sounds of today. Ms. Upshaw created the role of Margarita Xirgu in Golijov’s Ainadamar. Her acclaimed performances on the opera stage also include the great Mozart roles (Pamina, Ilia, Susanna, Despina) as well as modern works by Stravinsky, Poulenc, and Messiaen. Ms. Upshaw began her career at the Metropolitan Opera in 1984 and has since made nearly 300 appearances there. She has championed numerous new works created for her including The Great Gatsby by John Harbison, L’Amour de Loin and La Passion de Simone by Kaija Saariaho, John Adams’s nativity oratorio El Niño, and Osvaldo Goljjov’s song cyle, Ayre. Ms. Upshaw collaborates with many leading musicians, including Richard Goode, the Kronos Quartet, James Levine, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Michael Tilson Thomas.

In 2007, Ms. Upshaw was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation, the first vocal artist to be awarded the five-year “genius” grant, and, in 2008, she was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a four-time Grammy Award winner featured on more than 50 recordings, including the Symphony No. 3 by Henryk Gorecki, performed by the London Sinfionetta, which has sold more than one million copies. In November 2008, she returns to Lincoln Center with violinist Geoff Nuttall in performances of Kurtág’s Kafka Fragments directed by Peter Sellars, which was originally staged in Zankel Hall as a Carnegie Hall commission. Beginning in October 2008, Ms. Upshaw and Mr. Golijov began leading a two-part Professional Training Workshop at Carnegie Hall with young composers and singers that will culminate with performances in Zankel Hall in May 2009. Ms. Upshaw is Artistic Director of the Bard College Conservatory Vocal Arts Program.

Mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor (Federico García Lorca) has received unanimous international critical acclaim for her numerous performances as Federico García Lorca in Golijov's Ainadamar. Ms. O'Connor created the role for the world premiere at Tanglewood under the baton of Robert Spano and subsequently has joined Miguel Harth-Bedoya for performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Hall. She reprised her portrayal of Federico García Lorca in the world premiere of the revised edition of Ainadamar at the Santa Fe Opera in a new staging by Peter Sellars during the 2005 season, which also was presented at Lincoln Center and will be revived this season at Cincinnati Opera. For her debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, she joined Robert Spano for performances and a Deutsche Grammophon recording of Ainadamar. She reunited with Spano and the ASO in summer 2006 for additional performances of the opera, making her debut at the Ojai and Ravinia festivals. In the past season, she bowed as Lorca in performances of Ainadamar at Opera Boston, the Adelaide Festival of Arts, the Barbican Centre, and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Also last season Ms. O’Connor made her Carnegie Hall recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in January and later sang with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Stern Auditiorium/Perelman Stage in May.

Other highlights of Ms. O’Connor’s 2008–2009 season include the world premiere of Steven Stucky’s August 4, 1964 with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; John Adams’s El Niño with David Robertson and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; Schubert’s Mass No. 6 in E-flat Major with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; and performances of L'Enfant et les sortilèges with Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic. Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs highlight Ms. O’Connor’s prominence as one of the world’s leading concert artists in two significant European debuts: performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Bernard Haitink and with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and David Zinman.

Soprano Emily Albrink (Nuria) makes her Carnegie Hall debut with this performance. She recently debuted the role of Nuria with the Colorado Music Festival under Michael Christie, a role that she repeated with Opera Boston, the Phoenix Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Ms. Albrink is currently a member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Washington National Opera. In addition, Ms. Albrink will present a recital this season on the Stotsenberg Recital Series in Los Angeles and will perform in the West Coast premiere of Jake Heggie’s song cycle Rise and Fall on a concert with Frederica von Stade in San Francisco.

Founded in 1988 by conductor Harold Rosenbaum, The New York Virtuoso Singers (NYVS) has become the country's leading exponent of contemporary choral music. NYVS is a professional choral ensemble dedicated to presenting both seldom-heard works by past and contemporary masters, as well as premieres by today's leading composers. Although the chorus performs music of all periods, its emphasis is on commissioning, performing, and recording the music of American composers. From its early days in 1988, as an offshoot of a chorus-in-residence created expressly for the Brooklyn Philharmonic, until the present day, with self-produced concerts, recordings, commissions, and tours, NYVS has carved a unique niche for itself in the musical world.

Osvaldo Golijov was born and raised in Argentina, surrounded by classical music, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the new tango of Astor Piazzolla. After studying in Israel, he moved to the US where he studied with George Crumb and Oliver Knussen. His impressive body of work includes La Pasión según San Marcos, Ainadamar, Ayre, and The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, among others. Recently completed projects include Azul, a cello concerto for Yo-Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the composition of the soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola's film Youth Without Youth. Mr. Golijov has been composer-in-residence at the Spoleto Festival USA, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Music Alive series, Marlboro Music, Ravinia, and several other festivals. He has recently been named co-Mead Composer in Residence, with Mark-Anthony Turnage, at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the next two seasons. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Mr. Golijov is an associate professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and is a member of the faculty at the Boston Conservatory and the Tanglewood Music Center.

Celebrating its 34th season, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s performs approximately 100 orchestral, chamber, and educational concerts throughout New York each year, all showcasing the hallmark collaborative spirit that has garnered consistent critical acclaim for its vibrant music-making. In addition to its series of concerts in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s continues a 20-year collaborative relationship with Carnegie Hall that currently includes participation in such Carnegie events as the Choral Workshop, Family Concerts, and concert presentations of musical theater, including the recent performance of Kern and Hammerstein’s Show Boat and the presentation, recording, and telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. The Orchestra has also been engaged throughout the year in a number of artistic collaborations, including the US premiere of Paul McCartney’s Ecce Cor Meum at Carnegie Hall, and serves each summer as orchestra-in-residence at the Caramoor Festival.


Program Information
Sunday, December 7 at 2:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
ORCHESTRA OF ST. LUKE’S
Robert Spano, Conductor
Dawn Upshaw, Soprano (Margaita Xirgu)
Kelley O'Connor, Mezzo-Soprano (Federico García Lorca)
Emily Albrink, Soprano (Nuria)
Jesus Montoya, Tenor (Ruiz Alonzo, the Arresting Officer)
Kyle Ferrill, Baritone (José Tripaldi, a guard)
Wade Thomas, Baritone (Maestro, a teacher)
Alex Richardson, Tenor (Torero, a bullfighter)
Adam del Monte, Flamenco Guitar
Scott Kuney, Classical Guitar
Gonzalo Grau, Percussion
Jeremy Flower, Sampler
The Women of the New York Virtuoso Singers
Harold Rosenbaum, Director

OSVALDO GOLIJOV Ainadamar (Concert Performance)

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

Ticket Information
Tickets, priced at $27, $32, $41, $56, $72, and $79, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street. Tickets may also be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or online by visiting www.carnegiehall.org.

In addition, for all Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of partial-view seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

A limited number of student/senior citizen discount tickets, priced at $10, may also be available for some Carnegie Hall events. They are on sale at the Box Office day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance. Student/senior discount tickets for some Weill Recital Hall events are available at the Box Office one hour before the performance. Please call CarnegieCharge for ticket availability.