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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 Summa
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

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

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.

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Anne Sofie von Otter “has honed the art of singing to such a point that she is purely expressive, no matter what she’s singing. She can be brassy … or she can be purely, limpidly beautiful.”

— The Washington Post

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