A Rarely Performed Gem
Philharmonia has performed more of Handel’s oratorios than any period instrument orchestra, and Nic McGegan is internationally known for his interpretation of these monumental works. Joseph and his Brethren is new to our repertoire and tells the Biblical story of Joseph and his reconciliation with his Jewish family in Egypt. It gives Handel the opportunity to depict the grandeur of Pharaoh’s court and the faith of Joseph’s estranged brothers in a plot of intrigue and mistaken identity. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear this dramatic work , rarely performed since Handel’s lifetime, in a definitive performance led by Nic McGegan with our Orchestra, Chorale, and a superb cast of soloists.
HANDEL Joseph and his Brethren, HWV 59
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Sherezade Panthaki, soprano
Gabrielle Haigh, soprano
Diana Moore, mezzo-soprano
Abigail Levis, mezzo-soprano
Nicholas Phan, tenor
Philip Cutlip, baritone
Philharmonia Chorale, Bruce Lamott, director
Thursday December 14, 2017 @ 7:00 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Friday December 15, 2017 @ 7:30 pm | First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto
Saturday December 16, 2017 @ 7 pm |First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday December 17, 2017 @ 4 pm |First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Soprano Sherezade Panthaki’s international success has been fueled by superbly honed musicianship; “shimmering sensitivity” (Cleveland Plain Dealer); a “radiant” voice (The Washington Post); and vividly passionate interpretations, “mining deep emotion from the subtle shaping of the lines” (The New York Times). An acknowledged star in the early-music field, Ms. Panthaki has ongoing collaborations with leading early music interpreters including Nicholas McGegan, Simon Carrington, the late John Scott, Matthew Halls, and Masaaki Suzuki, with whom she made her New York Philharmonic debut.
Panthaki’s recent performance with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and conductor Nicholas McGegan was named one of the “Top 10 Classical Music Events of 2015” and described as “a breathtaking combination of expressive ardor, tonal clarity, technical mastery and dramatic vividness” by The San Francisco Chronicle.
Ms. Panthaki’s 2017/18 season features performances of Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and the St. Louis Symphony (Nicholas McGegan conducting), the Milwaukee Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, her return to Ars Lyrica, Pasadena Symphony Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic, and a United States Christmas Oratorio tour with Bach Collegium Japan.
Highlights of her past seasons include Messiah with Bach Collegium Japan, the National Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, and the Nashville and San Antonio Symphonies; Bach cantatas and oratorios and works by Handel and Purcell with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; Saul with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; Belinda in Dido and Aeneas and Galatea in Acis and Galatea with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Solomon with the Radio Kamer Filharmonie; Handel at Carnegie Hall with William Christie; Oregon Bach Festival; Berkeley Early Music Festival; Christmas Oratorio with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s; Mozart’s Exsultate jubilate and Requiem, with the Washington Bach Consort; and St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, and Brahms Requiem with St. Thomas Fifth Avenue.
Ms. Panthaki’s repertoire extends well beyond the music of the Renaissance and Baroque to Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Houston Symphony, John Tavener’s The Last Discourse with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with American Classical Orchestra, Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise and Strauss lieder at the Bari International Music Festival, Britten’s War Requiem with Louisville Choral Arts Society, as well as solos in Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Poulenc’s Stabat Mater and Gloria.
English mezzo-soprano Diana Moore is being lauded on both sides of the Atlantic for her “emotional depth” (The Guardian), “thrilling” technical bravura (Gramophone), and “rich, evocative sound” (San Francisco Chronicle). She enjoys a varied and international career of opera, oratorio, and concert performances, and is a popular soloist at many major music festivals.
Ms. Moore’s tall and graceful stature has made her the ideal trouser-role performer. With conductor Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Moore performed the role of “Medoro” in Handel’s Orlando in an acclaimed American tour at the Ravinia Festival, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and Tanglewood Festival. Recent concert engagements of note include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony along with selections from Mahler’s Des Knabun Wunderhorn with Royal Northern Sinfonia and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius at Royal Albert Hall and Winchester, Ely, Gloucester, and York Minster Cathedrals.
As a recording artist, Moore is a soloist on the premiere recording of Vivaldi’s La Gloria di Primavera released in 2016 with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra which was selected as an “Editor’s Choice” recording in Gramophone. Her recording of Handel’s Parnasso in Festa with King’s Consort and conductor Matthew Halls was the winner of the Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize.
Ms. Moore’s charismatic vocal quality and training place her firmly within the fine heritage of English mezzo-sopranos. She is committed to celebrating the music and musicians of her homeland and has built a reputation as a leading exponent of English song. In 2007, she devised Kathleen Ferrier — Her Life, Letters & Music, to honor that legendary English singer, a program that has been endorsed by the Kathleen Ferrier Society
Praised by National Public Radio as ‘an artist who must be heard’, American tenor Nicholas Phan continues to distinguish himself as one of the most compelling tenors appearing on the prestigious concert and opera stages of the world today. An artist with an incredibly diverse repertoire that ranges from Claudio Monteverdi to Nico Muhly and beyond, Phan performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies. He is also an avid recitalist and a passionate advocate for art song and vocal chamber music: in 2010, Phan co-founded Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, an organization devoted to promoting this underserved corner of the classical music repertoire, where he serves as Artistic Director.
Highlights of Mr. Phan’s 2017/2018 season include his debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and the Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paulo for Britten’s War Requiem with Marin Alsop; and returns to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Philharmonia Baroque, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony for Schubert’s Mass in E-flat with Riccardo Muti, and the Toronto Symphony for performances as the title role in Bernstein’s Candide. He also will appear in recital at the Herbst Theater with San Francisco Performances, and serves as artistic director of two festivals this season: Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago’s sixth annual Collaborative Works Festival, and as the first singer to be guest Artistic Director of the Laguna Beach Music Festival.
Mr. Phan is a regular guest soloist with many of the leading orchestras in the North America and Europe, including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque, Boston Baroque, BBC Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, and the Lucerne Symphony. He has also toured extensively throughout the major concert halls of Europe, and appeared with the Oregon Bach, Ravinia, Marlboro, Edinburgh, Rheingau, Saint-Denis, and Tanglewood festivals, as well as the BBC Proms.
An avid proponent of vocal chamber music, he has collaborated with many chamber musicians, including pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Jeremy Denk, Graham Johnson, Roger Vignoles, Myra Huang and Alessio Bax; violinist James Ehnes; guitarist Eliot Fisk; harpist Sivan Magen; and horn players Jennifer Montone, Radovan Vlatkovic and Gail Williams. In recital, he has been presented by Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Boston’s Celebrity Series, and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. He is also currently an artist-in-residence with San Francisco Performances.
Mr. Phan’s many opera credits include appearances with the Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Seattle Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Maggio Musicale in Florence, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and Frankfurt Opera. His growing repertoire includes the title roles in Bernstein’s Candide, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Fenton in Falstaff, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Lurcanio in Ariodante.
Phan’s most recent solo album, Gods and Monsters, was released in January 2017. His first three solo albums, A Painted Tale, Still Fall the Rain and Winter Words, made many “best of” lists, including those of the New York Times, New Yorker, Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe. Phan’s growing discography also includes a Grammy-nominated recording of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony, Scarlatti’s La gloria di Primavera with Philharmonia Baroque, Bach’s St. John Passion with Apollo’s Fire, and the world premiere recordings of two orchestral song cycles: The Old Burying Ground by Evan Chambers and Elliott Carter’s A Sunbeam’s Architecture.
Philip Cutlip has garnered consistent critical acclaim for his performances across North America and Europe. His stylistic palette ranges from early Baroque through Romantic to contemporary musical genres, on both concert and opera stages. He has performed with a distinguished list of conductors during his career that includes Patrick Summers, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Gerard Schwarz, and Donald Runnicles, among many others. His appearance as Joseph De Rocher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, with Joyce DiDonato and Frederica von Stade for Houston Grand Opera, has been released on Virgin Records.
During the 2016-17 season, Philip sang Messiah with Minnesota Orchestra, then went on to sing his first Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Cosí Fan Tutte, to great acclaim. This was followed by another role debut in Eugene, Oregon, singing Méphistophélé in Berlioz’s La Damnation du Faust, under the baton of Danail Rachev. The Eugene Weekly described him “As Mephisto, Cutlip was quick, engaging and theatrical, a perfect foil to Plenk’s straight-man Faust.”
Philip has appeared with many of the leading orchestras of North America, including the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and many others. His 2014-15 season engagements included the title role in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in a return to Sarasota Opera, several roles in Weill’s The Road of Promise with New York’s Collegiate Chorale, and soloist in Messiah with the Winston-Salem Symphony.