Philharmonia Announces First Ever Creative Partner
Tines will play a key role in unique organizational partnership that seeks to explore the underpinnings of a major historically-informed ensemble in the 21st century.
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) announces the appointment of bass-baritone Davóne Tines as the organization’s first-ever Creative Partner. Through 2022, Tines — who most recently starred in PBO’s critically acclaimed and sold-out run of Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo — will not only appear in PBO’s virtual and onstage productions, but he will also play an active role behind the scenes, working side-by-side with administrative staff, attending board, strategic planning, and governance meetings, curating new series, and engaging with PBO stakeholders at all levels of the organization to explore the role and meaning of an historically-informed ensemble in the 21st century that not only performs and presents music from the Baroque, but older and new repertoire, including opera.
“Our current times find institutions at a critical juncture to either choose survival by meeting the present moment or perish at the hand of their own reluctance to change,” states Davóne Tines. “PBO’s bravery and openness in inviting me to partner with them shows their desire to explore a cultural organization’s greater potential for transformation. By engaging with the totality of the organization—from performance and artistic output to board membership and strategic planning—I hope to unearth, invigorate, and make more legible the work in which PBO is already engaged, and help them to continue to evolve in the future. Together we will show that what might seem like an antiquated art form can resonate with the modern world.”
This new pilot residency fills an unusual gap in the sector. While many institutions offer similar opportunities for administrators, there are few chances for major artists to fully engage with the institutions that present them on their stages. This partnership creates an unusual space for an artist to lend his artistic perspective and experience as well as an opportunity to learn from those inside Philharmonia. In his role as Creative Partner, Tines will work closely with Music Director Richard Egarr, Executive Director Courtney Beck, and the artistic team, but equally important will be Tines’ connection to subscribers, ticket buyers, and those who’ve yet to encounter Philharmonia. And as the partnership evolves, new programs and ideas will be announced. The end goal is to disseminate the organization’s findings to the broader classical community and to help how organizations evaluate their approach to artistic planning and output.
Additionally, Tines recently served as host of PBO’s 2021 virtual gala and will host the 2022 live gala, programming to be announced later. Among the many projects Tines will present is his new online show, “The Ultimate Outcome,” a series of intersectional conversations with artists, administrators, and experts within and outside PBO to investigate the role of a 21st-century Baroque ensemble and how it fits and evolves into the landscape.
Philharmonia has developed a relationship with Tines over the past four years that began when the organization co-produced Aci, Galatea e Polifemo with National Sawdust, Anthony Roth Costanzo and Cath Brittan in 2017. Tines joined the organization on tour in summer of 2018 in his role as Mercurio in Handel’s Atalanta at the Caramoor Summer Festival in New York and in performance at Yale’s Norfolk Chamber Festival gala in Connecticut.
“Getting the chance to work with Davóne in a way that extends beyond one short run of performances is nothing short of a dream come true,” said Executive Director Courtney Beck. “Bay Area audiences fell in love with Davóne in his star turn as Polifemo in last year’s Aci, Galatea, e Polifemo, and I’m confident that his output as Creative Partner will be just as inspiring. It is no accident that we announce this newly created position so soon after we announced Tarik O’Regan as our first-ever Composer-in-Residence. PBO has been working increasingly toward a more artist-centric philosophy of programming and organizational involvement, and Davóne’s new role is the natural next step. He, alongside Music Director Richard Egarr, Tarik, and others, will help PBO chart a path forward in a dramatically shifting classical landscape.”
“With Davóne Tines joining the PBO team, I feel more energized than ever about our future,” said Music Director Richard Egarr. “Having a thoughtful, sensitive artist like Davóne on board will be a privilege for all who know and love PBO, and he will play a key role in helping us evaluate our place in the world as we emerge from the pandemic and into a new world, one that is perhaps more thoughtful and introspective.”
About Davóne Tines
Heralded as a “singer of immense power and fervor” by The Los Angeles Times and a “charismatic, full-voiced bass-baritone” by The New York Times, Davóne Tines has come to international attention as a path-breaking artist whose work not only encompasses a diverse repertoire but also explores the social issues of today. As a black, gay, classically trained performer at the intersection of many histories, cultures, and aesthetics, his work blends opera, art song, contemporary classical, spirituals, gospel, and songs of protest, as a means to tell a deeply personal story of perseverance that connects to all of humanity.
Mr. Tines came to international attention during the 2015-16 season in breakout performances at the Dutch National Opera premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains directed by Peter Sellars and at the Ojai Music Festival presenting works by Caroline Shaw and Kaija Saariaho with the Calder Quartet and the International Contemporary Ensemble.
Davóne Tines is co-creator with Zack Winokur and composer Michael Schachter, as well as co-librettist of The Black Clown, a music theater experience inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem of the same name that animates a black man’s resilience against America’s legacy of oppression by fusing vaudeville, opera, jazz, and spirituals to bring Hughes’ verse to life onstage. The world premiere was given by the American Repertory Theater in 2018 and presented by Lincoln Center in summer 2019. In his review of The Black Clown, Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote, “this rich, seamless production melds the past and present of African-American history into an electrifyingly ambivalent whole…An estimable opera singer, Mr. Tines has a depths-plumbing bass-baritone that can find a range of contradictions within a single note. And his body and face match that voice in their expressiveness.”
As a founding core member of the American Modern Opera Company, Davóne Tines has been featured in a wide array of productions including Henze’s El Cimarrón and John Adams’ Nativity Reconsidered, both presented by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in the original work Were You There with music by Matthew Aucoin and Michael Schachter.
Davóne Tines is a winner of the 2020 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, recognizing extraordinary classical musicians of color who, early in their career, demonstrate artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and an ongoing commitment to leadership and their communities. He also is the recipient of the 2018 Emerging Artists Award given by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and is a graduate of Harvard University and The Juilliard School.