Handel, Purcell, Pärt, Shaw & More
Megastar mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter plies her singular burnished-silver style to an eclectic program of old and new, sacred and secular. Handel duets with rising countertenor Daniel Moody harken back to von Otter’s early breakthrough Baroque performances, while Arvo Pärt’s otherworldly devotionals and Caroline Shaw’s soulful PBO commissions channel her crossover versatility. Nic McGegan steers this voyage through far-ranging soundscapes.
HANDEL Overture to Partenope
HANDEL arias and duets from Partenope, Semele, and Solomon
HANDEL Concerto Grosso Op. 3, No. 2 in B flat major
PÄRT Vater Unser
PÄRT Es sang vor langen Jahren
SHAW Red, Red Rose
SHAW The Rose i
PURCELL Suite from The Fairy Queen
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano
Daniel Moody, countertenor
Wednesday March 6, 2019 @ 7:30 pm | Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Friday March 8, 2019 @ 8 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Saturday March 9, 2019 @ 8 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday March 10, 2019 @ 4 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
ANNE SOFIE von OTTER – mezzo-soprano
Internationally acclaimed Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter has long been considered one of the finest singers of her generation. A lengthy and exclusive relationship with Deutsche Grammophon produced a wealth of recordings and numerous awards including an International Record Critics’ Award (recording artist of the year), a Grammy Award (best classical vocal performance) for Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn, and a Diapason d’Or for a recording of Swedish songs with her long-time accompanist, Bengt Forsberg. She collaborated with pop legend Elvis Costello on the disc For the Stars and in October 2010 released her first recording on the Naïve label, Love Songs, a collaboration with renowned jazz pianist Brad Mehldau. Subsequent recordings for Naïve include So Many Things – a collaboration with trailblazing string quartet Brooklyn Rider – and a double CD of mélodies and chansons entitled Douce France which received a Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.
Anne Sofie von Otter earned an international reputation as an outstanding Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) with performances at the Royal Opera House, Bayerische Staatsoper and Opéra national de Paris. She performed the role as part of a series of engagements with James Levine at The Metropolitan Opera, and also with Carlos Kleiber in New York, Tokyo and at the Wiener Staatsoper (available on DVD). Other seminal opera recordings include Idomeneo, La clemenza di Tito, Alceste and Orfeo ed Euridice under John Eliot Gardiner, Handel’s Ariodante and Hercules under Marc Minkowski, Pelléas et Mélisande under Bernard Haitink and Ariadne auf Naxos under Giuseppe Sinopoli.
Recent roles have included Cornelia (Giulio Cesare) at the Salzburger Festspiele with Cecilia Bartoli (available on DVD); Geneviève (Pelléas et Mélisande) under Philippe Jordan for Opéra National de Paris (available on DVD); Leocadia Begbick (Mahagonny) at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Countess Geschwitz in Christoph Marthaler’s production of Lulu at Staatsoper Hamburg. She appeared as Jenny (Die Dreigroschenoper) at Theater an der Wien and as Waltraute (Die Götterdämmerung) at Festival d’Aix en Provence, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Wiener Staatsoper under Sir Simon Rattle, and she created the role of Leonore in the world premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel at the Salzburger Festspiele and at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, conducted by the composer. In Helsinki in September 2017 she created the role of Charlotte Andergast in Höstsonaten/Autumn Sonata – story by cinema legend Ingmar Bergman and music of Sebastian Fagerlund, directed by Stéphane Braunschweig.
A busy concert schedule takes Anne Sofie von Otter to all corners of the world where recent appearances have included the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and l’orchestre Les Siècles with François-Xavier Roth. She performed Kindertotenlieder at Carnegie Hall with the orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera and Esa-Pekka Salonen and she appeared with Jonas Kaufmann and the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by the late Claudio Abbado, for a televised performance of Das Lied von der Erde on the 100th anniversary of Mahler’s death.
DANIEL MOODY – Countertenor
Countertenor Daniel Moody has garnered widespread acclaim for his commanding yet expressive vocal timbre and his breathtaking musicianship. Praised as having a “vocal resonance, [which] makes a profoundly startling impression” (The New York Times) and for his “vivid and powerful” voice (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), Mr. Moody is equally known for his “sweet and melancholy sound” (The Washington Post) and ability to “pierce hearts” and “utterly silence a room” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer) with his expressivity and connection with audiences.
Opera appearances include the title roles in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Rinaldo, Arsamene in Handel’s Xerxes, Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, L’Enfant in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges and most recently, Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Cincinnati Opera alongside Anthony Roth Costanzo where American Record Guide remarked on Moody’s performance “numerous moments of utter beauty… voice blossom[ing] out into something big and round and smooth. [F]loats easily into soprano range…”
Mr. Moody drew attention in the role of Rinaldo from the San Diego Story for his unusually powerful tone: “[Mr. Moody] may help to create a new operatic vocal category: Helden Countertenor.” Daniel has also performed roles in Mark Morris’ productions of Britten’s Curlew River and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at BAM (Howard Gilman Opera House) and at the Tanglewood Music Festival where the Financial Times noted his “inspired and absorbing performances”.
A lover of early music, Mr. Moody has performed with acclaimed groups Les Violons du Roy (Bernard Labadie conducting) in Québec City, Apollo’s Fire, The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra and Portland Baroque Orchestra (David Hill conducting). He has performed at the Boston, Indianapolis and Washington Early Music Festivals and with early music groups Mountainside Baroque (Maryland), Antico Moderno (Boston) and La Fiocco (Pennsylvania). A graduate of the prestigious Yale Voxtet – resident at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music – he has performed as a soloist at such venues as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, London’s St. John’s Smith Square and, Cambridge’s Trinity College, with conductors David Hill, Simon Carrington, Masaaki Suzuki, and Matthew Halls. His performances have been broadcast live in concert on BBC Radio 3 in the United Kingdom, on Boston’s WGBH, Indiana’s WFIU, and WSHU’s Sunday Baroque.
Recent highlights include the American premiere of George Benjamin’s Dream of the Song (Stefan Asbury conducting) at the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood Festival; engagements with Charleston Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Handel’s Hercules with Staunton Festival singing Lichas, Great Music in a Great Space series (Kent Tritle conducting) and Boston Symphony, standing in for Bejun Mehta. In 2016, Daniel was one of four vocalists in Joyce DiDonato’s Carnegie Hall Masterclasses, broadcast live on Medici TV.
Mr. Moody will be making his Carnegie Hall debut with Oratorio Society of New York and with Musica Sacra in December 2018 and in 2019, he premieres with the Atlanta Symphony as soloist in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in a duet concert with famed mezzo-soprano Anne Sophie von Otter.
Mr. Moody is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory (BM ’14), Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music (MM ‘16) and has won awards from the George London Competition ($5,000 prize), Handel Aria Competition (2nd place), Rochester Oratorio Society Classical Idol (3rd place), New York Oratorio Society Competition (Finalist), and the Russell Wonderlic Competition (1st place).