An Epic Finale
Finish the season in a blaze of Beethovenian glory featuring the ascendant contralto Avery Amereau and the celestial soprano from Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire, Chantal Santon-Jeffery. Often overshadowed by the later Missa Solemnis, Beethoven’s more pensive Mass in C major is a masterpiece that maintains an immediate emotional appeal throughout. Cherubini shares that sense of sincerity in his poignant tribute to Haydn, whom he ardently admired, upon receiving a premature report of the latter’s death. Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy,” originally the grand finale of an epic concert that premiered his Symphonies 5 and 6 alongside excerpts of the Mass in C major, caps a similarly splendiferous season as Nic and PBO send you off into the summer with a bang.
Avery Amereau is “a rarity in music” (New York Times) who sings “like velvet, caramel chocolate” (Joyce DiDonato).
BEETHOVEN Mass in C major, Op. 86
CHERUBINI Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn
BEETHOVEN Fantasia in C minor, Op. 80 “Choral Fantasy”
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Chantal Santon-Jeffery, soprano
Helene Zindarsian, soprano
Avery Amereau, contralto
Thomas Cooley, tenor
David Kurtenbach, tenor
Hadleigh Adams, baritone
Eric Zivian, fortepiano
Philharmonia Chorale, Bruce Lamott, director
Wednesday April 25, 2018 @ 7:30 pm | Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Friday April 27, 2018 @ 8 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Saturday April 28, 2018 @ 8 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday April 29, 2018 @ 4 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
About Avery Amereau
Avery Amereau has garnered much attention for the unique quality of her timbre and sensitive interpretation. The New York Times proclaims she is “a rarity in music” and “an extraordinary American alto on the rise.”
Highlights of the 2017-18 season include company and role debuts as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the Grand Théâtre de Genève and Ursule in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict with the Seattle Opera, a debut with the Salzburger Festspiele, and a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Kate Pinkerton in Anthony Minghella’s beloved production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. On the concert stage, Ms. Amereau debuts with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra under Nicholas McGegan in a concert of new music and returns later in the season for Beethoven’s Mass in C Major and Choral Fantasy. She will debut with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in a program of Vivaldi arias, and will rejoins the American Classical Orchestra for the Brahms Alto Rhapsody. She makes duo appearances with the Santa Fe Pro Musica for a series of Christmas and Easter concerts, and in December performs Handel’s Messiah with the Phoenix Symphony, Nashville Symphony and University Musical Society of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The 2016-17 season saw her professional operatic debut with the Metropolitan Opera, at the age of 25, as the Madrigal Singer in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. The New York Times praised her performance as “captivating…. [Amereau] stood out for the unusually rich, saturated auburn timbre of her voice.” She also made her debut with Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Dryad Ariadne auf Naxos, having previously covered the title role in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. She also performed the title role of Carmen with Opera Columbus. On the concert stage, she made debuts with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra conducted by Paul McCreesh and Concerts at St. Thomas Church in New York City singing Handel’s Messiah, joined the Rhode Island Philharmonic for Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of Bramwell Tovey, sang Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’eté with the American Classical Orchestra, performed Bach’s St. John Passion with Voices of Ascension, and appeared with Santa Fe Pro Musica in a program of early music arias.
Other recent highlights include the title role in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Olga in Eugene Onegin, the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, and Narciso in Handel’s Agrippina at The Juilliard School, and concert engagements include the Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Spoleto Festival, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Duruflé Requiem with Voices of Ascension, an evening of Bach Cantatas with the Toledo Symphony, and Martin’s Golgotha with the New Amsterdam Singers.
Ms. Amereau fosters a love for historical performance, having performed under the batons of renowned early music conductors Helmut Rilling, William Christie, and Maasaki Suzuki. She debuted at the Bachfest Leipzig and the Boston Early Music Festival in an all-Bach tour with Juilliard and the Royal Academy of Music under Maestro Suzuki, of which The Boston Musical Intelligencer wrote, “mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau drew the drama from someplace deep within herself, the lowest notes a rich, enveloping curtain of clarity and undulating vibrato. Her sotto voce da capo was a moment of easy musical magic.” An avid recitalist, Ms. Amereau has performed recitals in New York, Florida, and Germany. The latter was broadcast on Bavarian Radio.
A native of Jupiter, Florida, Ms. Amereau received her Bachelor of Music degree at Mannes College, and her Master of Music and Artist Diploma at The Juilliard School studying under Edith Wiens, where she was a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. She has studied at the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie in Bavaria, Germany, and was chosen by the Shoshana Foundation as a 2017 Richard. F. Gold Career Grant recipient.
About Chantal Santon-Jeffery
Often acclaimed as one of the most accomplished French sopranos of the moment, praised for her “gloriously smooth, rich textured soprano” (The international Record Review), Chantal Santon-Jeffery has embodied numerous roles in the opera, from Mozart (Donna Anna, Fiordiligi, the Countess, Sandrina) to the contemporary repertoire (an unanimous press praised her Lolo Ferrari in the opera of the same name) including Wagner, (Senta in der Fliegende Holländer), Britten (Governess in The turn of the screw), Campra ( Tancrède), Gassman (Opera Seria) or Purcell (King Arthur, Dido and Aeneas). She has been invited to sing along prestigious orchestras as Le Concert Spirituel, Les Talens Lyriques, Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, Les Siècles, Opera Fuoco, the Brussels Philarmonic, the Hong Kong Philarmonic… She has recently performed in Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Salle Pleyel in Paris, in the Royal Opera in Versailles, Avignon Opera, Liège Opera, Bozar in Brussels, Konzerthaus in Vienna etc…. Fascinated by the revival of the classic and romantic French repertoire, she has participated in numerous concerts and recordings supported by the Fondation Bru Zane.
She has recently sung two significant roles: Armida in the eponymous Haydn opera conducted by Julien Chauvin and directed by Mariame Clément; Altisidore in Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse of Boismortier, conducted by Hervé Niquet and directed by Gilles and Corinne Benizio. Further projects include productions at the Festival de Saint-Denis, Montpellier Opera, the Palace of Arts in Budapest, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Teatro la Fenice, Versailles Opera, Bordeaux Opera, Rennes Opera, Nantes Opera, Ambronay Festival, Arsenal de Metz.
Among her many recordings: King Arthur by Purcell (le Concert Spirituel, DVD), Frédégonde by d’Ollone and la Messe pontificale by Dubois (with the Brussel Philarmonic), Renaud by Sacchini (les Talens Lyriques), Velléda by Dukas (les Siècles, François Xavier Roth) les Bayadères by Catel (Musica Florea) Les Mystères d’Isis by Mozart Lachnitz and Les fêtes de l’Hymen de Rameau (le Concert Spirituel), La Vénitienne de Dauvergne and Le Temple de la Gloire by Rameau (les Agrémens),Tancrède by Campra… Her first recital recording comprised of arias by Purcell and Charpentier was recently published by label AgOgique
About Thomas Cooley
Minnesota-born tenor Thomas Cooley has established a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic — and beyond — as a singer of great versatility, expressiveness, and virtuosity.
Recent and upcoming appearances of note include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony; Britten’s War Requiem with the Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Oregon Symphonies; Handel’s Messiah with the Oregon, Houston, and Charlotte Symphonies as well as the Calgary Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra; “ Peter Quint” in Britten’s Turn of the Screw with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Bob Boles in Britten’s Peter Grimes with the St. Louis Symphony in Carnegie Hall; the title role in Handel’s Samson with the American Classical Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall (Nicholas McGegan conducting); the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Creation Oratorio with Atlanta Symphony; Tristan in Frank Martin’s Le vin herbé with Bergen National Opera;“Crown Prince” in Kevin Puts ’Silent Night with Cincinnati Opera;“ Acis” in a new production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea and L’Allegro with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Seattle Symphony and the St. John Passion with Pacific Musicworks and the Pittsburgh Symphony; and performances at the Oregon and Carmel Bach Festivals.
As Artist in Residence with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Cooley performs Monteverdi’s Vespers, Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus, and a program of Bach Cantatas this season.