One of the Minnesota Orchestra’s former Music Directors returns to conduct the Orchestra in a rare performance of Elgar’s oratorio The Dream of Gerontius
Joining the Orchestra onstage are soloists Michelle Breedt, Peter Auty and Andrew Foster-Williams, and the Minnesota Chorale
On April 21 and 22, Edo de Waart, music director of the Minnesota Orchestra from 1986 to 1995, returns to the podium to lead the Orchestra in two performances of Elgar’s glorious oratorio, The Dream of Gerontius, the dramatic tale of a man’s journey into the afterlife. The 95-minute work hasn’t been performed by the Orchestra since 1907, then with the Orchestra’s first music director, Emil Oberhoffer. The Minnesota Chorale joins the Orchestra in these concerts, along with three vocal soloists: mezzo Michelle Breedt, tenor Peter Auty and bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams.
The concerts are performed at the Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Friday, April 21, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 22, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $29 to $96. Tickets are available online at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the section at the conclusion of this press release.
Edo de Waart, conductor
Edo de Waart, who was the Minnesota Orchestra’s music director of from 1986 to 1995, is currently music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he serves as the conductor laureate of both the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic. This season he also makes appearances with the Cincinnati, San Diego and National Symphony Orchestras. He is a regular guest conductor for the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and at the Metropolitan Opera. He has received a number of awards for his musical achievements, is a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion and an Honorary Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia. More: harrisonparrott.com.
Michelle Breedt, mezzo
Mezzo Michelle Breedt has been a regular guest at the Vienna Opera, Zurich Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, Hamburg State Opera, Opéra de Paris, Theater an der Wien and Amsterdam Opera, and has performed at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, the Salzburg Festival, London’s Wigmore Hall, Berlin’s Konzerthaus and the Musikverein in Vienna, among other venues. Her recording of Korngold’s A Midsummer Nights Dream under Gerd Albrecht won the German Critics Award. More: hilbert.de, michellebreedt.com.
Peter Auty, tenor
British tenor Peter Auty made his professional debut at Opera North in 1998 and was a company principal of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, from 1999 to 2002. During the 2016-17 season, he performed the title role in Stiffelio in Berlin, Don José with Essen Opera, and concerts with the BBC Philharmonic, among many additional performances. His other recent opera engagements have included roles in Aida with Opera Holland Park, and The Girl of the Golden West and Norma with the English National Opera. More: rayfieldallied.com, peterauty.com.
Andrew Foster-Williams, baritone
Andrew Foster-Williams performs a wide-ranging repertoire from the classics of Bach, Gluck, Handel and Mozart to more recent masters such as Britten, Debussy, Stravinsky and Wagner. He has recently performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Salzburg Mozarteum, San Francisco Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of his 2016-17 season include performances of Bach’s St. John Passion with the Cleveland Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the San Francisco Symphony, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah at the National Forum of Music in Wrocław, Poland. More: etudearts.com, andrewfosterwilliams.com.
The Dream of Gerontius
A large-scale oratorio in the great Romantic tradition, The Dream of Gerontius is based on an epic poem by Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890). Elgar introduces his principal motives in a spacious orchestral Prelude. From there, his rich and dramatic score unfolds in a connected series of arias, recitative-like arioso passages, and choruses. We may think of Gerontius as an English Death and Transfiguration (and Richard Strauss was a big fan of this work). In Part I, Gerontius is on his deathbed, attended by a Priest and Assistants. In Part II, the Soul of Gerontius encounters a guardian Angel, who guides him past demons and angelicals to his climactic moment of judgment. At the conclusion, he is consigned to Purgatory, and the chorus sings a final benediction.
Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts
EDO DE WAART RETURNS
Edo de Waart, conductor
Michelle Breedt, mezzo
Peter Auty, tenor
Andrew Foster-Williams, bass-baritone
Minnesota Chorale, chorus
ELGAR The Dream of Gerontius
Tickets: $29 to $96
Free Concert Preview hosted by Phillip Gainsley, with mezzo Michelle Breedt and tenor Peter Auty, in the Target Atrium on Friday, April 21, and Saturday, April 22, at 7:15 p.m.
For more information on this and other OH+ Events: minnesotaorchestra.org/ohplus.
TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION
Subscription packages and individual tickets can be purchased online at minnesotaorchestra.org, or by calling 612-371-5656 (612-371-5642 for subscriptions) or 800-292-4141. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and beginning two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Center, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). For more information, call 612-371-5656, or visit minnesotaorchestra.org. For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit minnesotaorchestra.org/subscribe. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.
All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.
The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2016-17 season.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
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Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations
Emma Plehal, Public Relations Writer and Coordinator