Showcase Sep-Nov 2014 - page 26

26
MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA SHOWCASE
Artists / Program Notes
sept
5
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor
Profile appears on page 12.
Renée Fleming
, soprano
Renée Fleming, one of the world’s
most beloved singers, has performed
at momentous occasions around the
world. Her last Minnesota Orchestra
performance was one such event—a
concert commemorating the first
anniversary of the September 11
terrorist attacks.
Recent, upcoming:
Last February she
became the first classical singer ever
to perform
The Star-Spangled Banner
at the Super Bowl; in 2012 she sang at
the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen
Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
Her upcoming opera roles include the
Countess in Strauss’
Capriccio
with both
Lyric Opera of Chicago and Semperoper
Dresden, and the title role in a new
production of Lehar’s
The Merry Widow
at the Metropolitan Opera. Her recent
concert schedule has brought her to four
continents, from Rio de Janeiro to Paris
to Beijing.
Honors:
In 2013 President Obama
awarded her America’s highest honor
for an individual artist, the National
Medal of Arts, in a ceremony at the
White House. The most recent of her
four Grammy Awards came last year,
for Best Classical Vocal Solo. Among her
other honors are the Fulbright Lifetime
Achievement Medal, the Chevalier de la
Légion d’Honneur and multiple honorary
doctorates.
Recordings:
Her newest album is
Guilty
Pleasures
, released last fall. Later this
month, she will release her first holiday
album,
Renée Fleming: Christmas in
New York
.
Curator, consultant:
In 2010 Fleming
was named the first-ever creative
consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Last
November she curated and hosted an
unprecedented festival of singing of all
styles, American Voices, at the Kennedy
Center in Washington, D.C.
More:
reneefleming.com.
Renée Fleming appears by arrangement with
IMG Artists, 152 West 57th Street, New York, NY
10019.
Fleming is an exclusive recording artist for Decca
and Mercury Records (UK). Fleming’s gowns are
by Angel Sanchez; her jewelry is by Ann Ziff for
Tamsen Z.
Carl Nielsen
Born:
June 9, 1865, Nørre-Lyndelse (near Odense),
Denmark
Died:
October 3, 1931, Copenhagen
Overture to Maskerade
hat a way to open a gala concert—with a
great burst of sound in an overture brimming
over with energy, bursting with brilliance and
unquestionably heralding an evening of excitement
and festivity!
These words sound like a description of the Overture
to Johann Strauss’ operetta
Die Fledermaus
, or perhaps
to Bernstein’s
Candide
. But no…tonight’s overture
is by Carl Nielsen, the most famous composer of his
Danish homeland—as much as Grieg is to Norway and
Sibelius to Finland. While the music of all three reveals a
preoccupation with landscape and the beauties of nature,
Nielsen’s output tends to be particularly sunny, warm and
joyous, as is immediately apparent in this overture.
In the fun-filled comic opera
Maskerade
, premiered in
Copenhagen in 1906, a young couple meet for the first
time at a masked ball, not knowing that their parents have
already chosen them as mates for each other. Mistaken
identity, misunderstanding, displays of temper and a good
deal of confusion help the plot along until matters are
happily sorted out. The overture perfectly sets the mood
for the opera to follow. The audience will have no trouble
in identifying the one associated with rambunctious
confusion!
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