MEET THE Conductor: Tania Miller: Romeo & Juliet, February 14 & 15, 2020

CL4 OR3 Tania Miller2 400 by 252

Amica Rush Hour Concert Series: February 14, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. at The VETS, Providence

TACO Classical Concert Series: February 15, 2020 at 8 p.m. at The VETS, Providence

Background:  Canadian Conductor Tania Miller has distinguished herself as a dynamic interpreter, musician and innovator on the podium and off. She was the driving force behind new growth, innovation and quality for the Victoria Symphony, and gained a national reputation as a highly effective advocate and communicator for the arts. As curator, she distinguished herself as a visionary leader and innovator. Acknowledged for the impact and success of her tenure, she was recently bestowed with the title Music Director Emerita of the Victoria Symphony.

Highlights:

  • Recipient of the 2017 Friends of Canadian Music award from the Canadian League of Composers
  • Received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Royal Roads University in recognition of her exemplary work as a leader and for her extraordinary artistic achievements in the community.
  • Recipient of the 2016 Paul Harris Award from the Rotary Foundation for distinguished musical excellence and leadership.
  • Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music bestowed her with an Honorary Diploma in 2015 for her impact on music in Canada.

Critical Praise:

Review of Tania Miller’s last appearance with the RI Philharmonic, November 16, 2019

Review: Tania Miller commands R.I. Philharmonic with Shostakovich

by: Channing Gray, Special to The Journal

PROVIDENCE — Bramwell Tovey, the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s new conductor, had to skip Saturday night’s concert at Veterans Memorial Auditorium to undergo cancer treatment. But the orchestra ended up getting the next best thing: Tania Miller, a young Canadian conductor whose recent visits here have proved her to be an exciting musician and a perfect fit for the Philharmonic.

Her take on Shostakovich’s brooding Tenth Symphony, which closed out an evening of lesser-known selections, never failed to keep the big picture in view. The loneliness, the darkness of the vast opening movement, and the searing portrait of Soviet strongman Josef Stalin in the second were an emotional tsunami.

Shostakovich, who faced constant Soviet censorship, had not written a symphony since the end of World War II. But in 1953, just months after the death of Stalin, he sat down to pen the Tenth.

Miller, who stepped in for Tovey on two weeks’ notice, seemed so petite on the podium, but she took hold of the epic score and led the audience on a journey they won’t soon forget.

But the breaking news of the night was the appearance of pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, an audience favorite at the Newport Music Festival years ago. She brought with her Tchaikovsky’s rambling, episodic Second Piano Concerto, which I’ve never heard live.

Tchaikovsky actually wrote three piano concertos, but the last two have been overshadowed by the popular, and overplayed, B-Flat Minor.

There were some tender moments in the lyrical middle movement, where McDermott teamed up with concertmaster Charles Dimmick, and she brought more than a bit of glitter to the concluding section.

But try as they might, McDermott and Miller just couldn’t pull the opening movement together. It’s music in fits and starts, where every few pages the orchestra would stop and McDermott would plow through unimpressive solos cobbled together from scales and a few alternating chords.

Not inventive, imaginative music, in other words. And McDermott was unable to do much to change that with what amounted to a dutiful interpretation.

As for the obligatory encore, she tore into the Prelude from Bach’s Second English Suite, sounding quite frantic at first, but eventually relaxing and making the intricate music sing.

Miller opened the evening with another unfamiliar offering, the African American composer William Grant Still’s “In Memoriam: The Colored Soldiers Who Died for Democracy.’” The score, chosen as a Veterans Day tribute, is laced with harmonies that sound like spirituals and made a nice change of pace from tired Italian opera overtures.

To purchase tickets visit tickets.riphil.org or call 401.248.7000

CSO161107_076_CAR3

MEET THE SOLOIST: Johannes Moser, cello: Romeo & Juliet, February 14 & 15, 2020

Johannes Moser Violoncello

Johannes Moser, cello

Performs Saint-Saens’s Concerto for Violincello, No.1

Amica Rush Hour Concert Series: February 14, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. at The VETS, Providence

TACO Classical Concert Series: February 15, 2020 at 8 p.m. at The VETS, Providence

Background: Johannes began studying the cello at the age of eight and became a student of Professor David Geringas in 1997. A voracious reader of everything from Kafka to Collins, and an avid outdoorsman, Johannes is a keen hiker and mountain biker in what little spare time he has.

Highlights:

  • He was the top prize winner at the 2002 Tchaikovsky Competition, in addition to being awarded the Special Prize for his interpretation of the Rococo Variations.
  • In 2014 he was awarded with the prestigious Brahms prize.
  • Plays on an Andrea Guarneri Cello from 1694 from a private collection.
  • In the 2019/20 season, performed two world premieres of Cello Concertos by Andrew Norman with the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel and Bernd Richard Deutsch’s with the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich conducted by Yutaka Sado

Critical Praise:

  • “One of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists” – Gramophone Magazine
  • “His tone was big and warm where needed, and he proved himself capable of some Rostropovich-like wild abandon…he was consistently eloquent.” – The Telegraph
  • “Johannes Moser gave a superb recital Friday night…It helps that he has a brilliant ­technique, a darkly rich tone, and a deeply felt musicianship. But Moser adds an expressive face and body language that adds flavor to his visual appeal. He’s fun to watch.” –  The Daily Gazette

To purchase tickets visit tickets.riphil.org or call 401.248.7000

Moser9-ElectricCello(c)UweArens

MEET THE SOLOIST: Karen Gomyo, violin: All Mozart, January 25, 2020

KG_010 high res

Karen Gomyo, violin

Performs Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.3

January 25, 2020 at 8 p.m. at The VETS, Providence

 

Background:  Born in Tokyo, Ms. Gomyo studied in Montreal and in New York at The Juilliard School with famed violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay. She currently resides in Berlin.

 

Highlights:

  • In May 2018, performed the world premiere of Samuel Adams’ new Chamber Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; a piece written specifically for Ms. Gomyo
  • Participated as violinist, host, and narrator in a documentary film produced by NHK Japan about Antonio Stradivarius called The Mysteries of the Supreme Violin, which was broadcast worldwide on NHK WORLD.
  • Deeply interested in the Nuevo Tango music of Astor Piazzolla, and collaborates with Piazzolla’s longtime pianist and tango legend Pablo Ziegler.
  • Collaborated with guitarist Ismo Eskelinen on the release of Carnival, a recording of works by Paganini, Corelli, Vivaldi, and Locatelli on BIS Records.
  • Karen plays on the “Aurora” Stradivarius violin of 1703 that was bought for her exclusive use by a private sponsor.

Critical Praise:

  • “A first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity”Chicago Tribune
  • “Her cadenza was especially stunning, with supernaturally clear high harmonics and passionate intensity” – 88.1 KDHX St Louis, MO
  • “Superhuman technical abilities and a dramatic flair that captivates audiences worldwide” – TheatreJones.com, North Texas.

To purchase tickets visit tickets.riphil.org or call 401.248.7000

KG_011 HR

MEET THE SOLOIST: Gregory Dahl, bass: Handel’s Messiah, This Saturday

Gregory Dahl, bass

Performs Handel’s Messiah

This Saturday! 7 p.m. at The VETS, Providence

Bass DAHL Hi Res

Background:  From Winnepeg, Manitoba. Taught choral music in Winnepeg before becoming a full-time performer.

Recent Highlights:

    • Debut in the title role of Der Fliegende Holländer in a new production for Opéra de Québec.
    • Appeared as Hermogines in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s second opera Hadrian with the Canadian Opera Company.
    • Reprised the title role in Rigoletto for Calgary Opera

Critical Praise:

  • “Dahl, who plays the malicious fool and protective father in the first act, is profoundly moving in the two following acts. With his compelling acting he renders Rigoletto into a touching and deeply human character” — Rigoletto, Opéra de Québec from Opera News Magazine
  • “Canadian Baritone Gregory Dahl was impeccable in the role of the underhand Scarpia. Manipulator at will, master of intrigues, he completely dominated the scene.”— Tosca, Opéra de Montréal from Le Journal de Montreal
  • “Dahl stormed the stage like a powder-keg ready to blow, barely containing his fury during Act II’s explosive E sogno? O realta.” — Falstaff, Manitoba Opera from Winnipegfreepress.com

MEET THE SOLOIST: Marion Newman, mezzo soprano: Handel’s Messiah, Dec. 14

Marion Newman, mezzo soprano

Performs Handel’s Messiah

7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at The VETS, Providence

Annotation 2019-11-12 103801

 

Background:  Kwagiulth and Stó:lo First Nations, English, Irish and Scottish mezzo-soprano Marion Newman holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Victoria and a Master of Music with Distinction in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Professional Accomplishments:

  • Lead role of Noodin-Kwe in the world premiere run of Giiwedin, a First Nations opera by Spy Dénommé-Welch and Catherine Magowan
  • Featured five times as a soloist on CBC’s television broadcast of the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards
  • Opened the 2002 Royal Golden Jubilee Gala at Roy Thomson Hall, where she performed the National Anthem with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Made her orchestral debut at the age of sixteen with the Victoria Symphony, not as a singer, but as a pianist, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 488 in A Major.

Career Highlights:

  • Starred in I Call Myself Princess: The Story of Tsianina Redfeather, a new musical play by Jani Lauzon.
  • Debuted with Edmonton Opera as the Mother in Hansel and Gretel
  • Appeared in world premiere of Bramwell Tovey’s cong cycle Ancestral Voices with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
  • Starred as Da Ji in Dora Award-winning Alice Ping-Yee Ho and Marjorie Chan’s The Lesson of Da Ji with Toronto Masque Theatre

Critical Praise:

  • “In the title role, Marion Newman sings with rich, opulent tone, and her delivery pulses with the multiple meanings of her duplicitous existence.” – Opera News​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • “Newman continues to impress with both acting and vocal skills. Her beautiful voice has heft and power, but at the same time an innate sweetness. She modulates it extremely well.” – Opera Canada
  • “Newman possesses an extremely sensual quality to her portions, and showed masterful restraint where a lesser performer would have warped the vocal melody beyond recognition with pointless melismatic pomposity. She seemed to wrench the piece out of time altogether at some points, in some instances (as in the opening of the Passion) driving the words home so that they don’t even seem to be the rather ignorable prose that they really are.” – Northumberland View review of Handel’s Messiah

MEET THE SOLOIST: Isaiah Bell, tenor: Handel’s Messiah, Dec. 14

Isaiah Bell, tenor

Performs Handel’s Messiah

7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at The VETS, Providence

BELL-PHOTO

 

Background: Born in the northern town of Fort St. John, British Columbia.  Studied voice at the University of Victoria .

Professional Accomplishments:

  • A writer and composer of 4 operas and other original pieces, most notably for his critically acclaimed original solo show, The Book of My Shames.
  • Played the central role of Marlow in the American premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness at Opera Parallèle, a performance described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “sung with exquisite lyricism and an air of heroism”
  • Created the role of Antinous, lover of the Roman emperor Hadrian, in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian at the Canadian Opera Company

2019-2020 Season Highlights:

  • Directed Handel’s Acis and Galatea the opening production this season for the University of Toronto’s Early Music program.
  • Debuted at Vancouver Opera as Almaviva in The Barber of Seville,
  • Performed at Carnegie Hall for Paul Moravec’s new Ellis Island oratorio, A Nation of Others.
  • Appears with Opera Atelier (Handel’s The Resurrection), the Toronto Symphony (Messiah), and the Bethlehem Bach Festival.

Critical Praise:

  • “As Hadrian’s lover, Antinous, the impressive Canadian tenor Isaiah Bell sang with a high, well-rounded, English-style tenor that suited a haughty young male on the brink of manhood.” – Opera News​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • “Isaiah Bell’s clear tenor and youthful physique made him a believable Antinous. His aria also brought spontaneous applause from the audience, one of only two singers so rewarded.” – ludvig van TORONTO
  • “Bell boasts a strong, glorious voice with heroic, oratorio-style ring. Soaring easily into light sweetness at the start of the duet, he subsequently demonstrated that he can produce multiple colors lower in the range and darken his instrument to proclaim with authority when necessary…Bell’s sound is so classic English, and so fresh, that one can simply hope that he will sing as wonderfully as he did on Friday for decades to come.”- San Francisco Classical Voice

MEET THE SOLOIST: Andriana Chuchman, soprano: Handel’s Messiah, Dec. 14

Andriana Chuchman, soprano

Performs Handel’s Messiah

7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at The VETS, Providence

ADRIANA CHUCHMAN Chia Messina

Background: Born in Winnipeg, Ms. Chuchman received her Bachelor’s Degree in Voice Performance from the School of Music at the University of Manitoba.

Professional Accomplishments:

  • San Francisco Opera’s 2019 Emerging Star of the Year
  • Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ 2017 Mabel Dorn Reeder Award
  • Prizewinner at the Finals of the 2009 Neue Stimmen Competition in Germany

2019-2020 Season Highlights:

  • Michal in Handel’s Saul at the Houston Grand Opera,
  • Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi at Opera Omaha
  • Gilda in Rigoletto at Opera San Antonio
  • Eurydice in Orphée et Eurydice at 2020 Salzburg Whitsun Festival

Critical Praise:

  • “Stealing scene after scene, the buoyant soprano combined vocal brilliance, physical agility and vintage calendar-girl looks.” – ​The New York Times​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • “Ms. Chuchman radiates enough vocal allure, physical beauty and charm to light up the stage.” – Chicago Tribune
  • “Chuchman had a full, sure, glorious sound you wanted to sink into.” – The Washington Post