LSM Newswire

Friday, November 13, 2009

Orchestrations of grace and dramatic flair in evening of Mahler and Schubert - Nov. 14

Classic Landmarks Masters

Magical vocal landscape and stream of lovely melodies in evening of
Mahler and Schubert

Saturday, November 14th – 8:00 pm

Edmonton, AB … Graceful melodies and dramatic flair lie within your Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s (ESO) next Classic Landmarks Masters series performance. Award-winning and infectiously exuberant conductor Giancarlo Guerrero returns to the Francis Winspear Centre for Music to lead the orchestra and elegant Canadian soprano Laura Whalen through orchestrations of contrast and influence.

Themes from Mahler’s song “The Heavenly Life” are the basis of his Fourth Symphony. The poetic and musical summit will be brought to life with a soaring soprano solo in the passionate final movement. Making her ESO debut, Laura Whalen sings a deliberately naïve impression of heaven, inviting us into a fairytale realm and innocent vision of paradise.

The effervescent charm of Rossini and the muscular feel of Beethoven infuse Schubert’s youthful Sixth Symphony. In this ESO premiere, streams of lively and innocent melodies are distinguished by brusque contrasts that deftly maintain the work’s overall buoyancy.

Guests are invited to join ESO Resident Conductor Lucas Waldin at Symphony Prelude - 7:15 pm in the Upper Circle (Third Level) Lobby – to learn more about the influential works that will be presented.

Ticket prices for this performance range from $20 – $69 (agency fees apply). Student and senior $20 rush tickets are on sale, subject to availability, two hours prior to performance time. Tickets are available through the Winspear Centre Box Office at (780) 428-1414, toll-free 1-800-563-5081, or online at edmontonsymphony.com.

The next performance of the Classic Landmarks Masters series takes place on November 27th & 28th, as Katherine Chi plays Beethoven. The ESO premieres a titan of the opera repertoire, Wagner’s glorious Die Meistersinger, in a new orchestral “tribute,” and welcomes Calgary native Katherine Chi as guest soloist in Beethoven’s “Emperor” Piano Concerto.

The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, marking its 58th season in 2009-2010, has taken its place as one of Canada's foremost orchestral ensembles. Its current roster includes 56 musicians from Canada and around the world, performing a wide-ranging repertoire from the great classical masterworks to pops and children's concerts. The presence of the orchestra and its enrichment of the community's quality of life are key elements in the stature and profile of Edmonton on the national and international scene.

Winspear Centre Box Office:
#4 Sir Winston Churchill Square
(780) 428-1414 or 1-800-563-5081
www.edmontonsymphony.com

Biographies

Giancarlo Guerrero's 09/10 season marks his first as Music Director of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. A champion of new music, a new CD on Naxos of music by Michael Daugherty, with the Nashville Symphony, was released in September 2009. Mr. Guerrero's guest conducting engagements in the 09/10 season include in Milwaukee, New Jersey, and Fort Worth, the Pacific Symphony, in Costa Mesa, as well as the Curtis Institute of Music. He recently made two important debuts abroad: his European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, where he was immediately invited to return, and his UK Debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He has also recently made successful debuts with several major American orchestras, including the Baltimore Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Also in demand in Central and South America, Giancarlo Guerrero conducts regularly in Venezuela with the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar, with which he has had a special relationship for many years. His debut at the Casals Festival with Yo-Yo Ma and the Puerto Rico Symphony in 2005 was followed by return engagements in 2006 and 2007. He also made his debut at the Teatro Colón in Argentina in 2005. In June 2004, Guerrero was awarded the Helen M. Thompson Award by the American Symphony Orchestra League, which recognizes outstanding achievement among young conductors nationwide. Guerrero holds degrees from Baylor and Northwestern universities. He was most recently the Music Director of the Eugene Symphony. From 1999 to 2004, Mr. Guerrero served as Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra. Prior to his tenure with the Minnesota Orchestra, he served as music director of the Táchira Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela.

Mr. Guerrero last conducted the ESO in November, 2007.

Laura Whalen has made her mark as a lyric soprano whose performances are notable for beauty of tone and musical finesse. Ms. Whalen’s 2009-2010 season is a mix of concert and opera appearances beginning with Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus for Opera Hamilton. Beethoven’s Missa solemnis marks her return to Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, and Calgary Opera audiences hear her as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. Ms. Whalen has been called on for some of the most important leading roles in the repertoire, including the tragic heroine in Roméo et Juliette and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. Ms. Whalen’s concert schedule has been equally demanding with performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Poulenc’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, Krönungmesse, and Vesperae solennes de confessore.

Laura Whalen toured Spain and Portugal singing Die Schöpfung in the summer of 2004. She debuted with the Canadian Opera Company as Der Waldvogel in Siegfried, and for Chicago Opera Theatre as Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She won acclaim in Carmina Burana with the Washington (D.C.) Choral Arts Society conducted by Leonard Slatkin. Career highlights have included the creation of the title role in Filumena by Estacio and Murrell for Calgary Opera (later for an Edmonton performance filmed by CBC), Mimi in La Bohème for Pacific Opera Victoria, and the Governor General’s Award telecast from the National Arts Centre conducted by Mario Bernardi. She toured Europe with the Caritatis Choir singing Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, and has been featured with orchestras in Quebec, Toronto, Calgary, Florida, Hamilton, and Winnipeg. Ms. Whalen holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music from the University of Victoria and an Opera Diploma from the University of Toronto. She studied at the Britten-Pears School in England and has received awards from the Vancouver Opera Guild, Canadian National Music Festival and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Ms. Whalen has sung in Filumena with Edmonton Opera in 2005 with the ESO accompanying, but this performance is her debut with the ESO.

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