AILYN PÉREZ, SOPRANO & STEPHEN COSTELLO, TENOR – WIFE & HUSBAND – LAUNCH THE 2011-2012 GEORGE LONDON FOUNDATION SEASON AT THE MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2011
Pérez To Sing the World Premiere of Thomas Pasatieri’s Bel Canto Songs
Two 2006 George London Award winners, soprano Ailyn Pérez and tenor Stephen Costello, launch the 2011-2012 George London Foundation season of events with a duo-recital, with Ken Noda at the piano, on Sunday, October 16, 2011, at 5:00 PM at The Morgan Library & Museum. The foundation’s recital series, which often pairs a recent winner with an established star, opens this year with this pair of singers, who since their award wins five years ago have not only married one another but made major strides in their careers: Costello sings the role of Percy in the Metropolitan Opera’s opening night performance of Anna Bolena opposite Anna Netrebko, and Pérez this season sings starring roles at Covent Garden, Santa Fe Opera, Deutsche Oper and Deutsche Staatsoper.
Highlighting the recital program is the world premiere of Thomas Pasatieri’s Bel Canto Songs, which Ms. Pérez will perform with Mr. Noda. This song cycle, settings of poems by William Blake, had been slated for performance on the George London series last season (by Julianna DiGiacomo, who was forced to cancel due to illness). In addition, Ms. Pérez will sing Spanish songs by Obradors (selections below) and “Salce, salce” and “Ave Maria” from Verdi’s Otello. Mr. Costello will perform selections by Liszt and Tosti, and the two will conclude the program with “Suzel, buon di...Tutto face” (“Cherry Duet”) from Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz. For tickets, priced at $45, and information, call (212) 212-956-2809, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.themorgan.org.
Bel Canto Songs
Of his Bel Canto Songs, Thomas Pasatieri says, “I have always been attracted to the music of the Italian Bel Canto composers. They expressed different emotions with the vocal ornamentation and poignant melodic shaping of this style. In my songs and operas, I always incorporated these principles along with the dramatic thrust of the verismo school. For some time I had been thinking of writing a group of songs which employed a pure bel canto aspect in the vocal line but which also featured a contemporary harmonic palette in the piano part. It was interesting to me to set texts in English in this way since all the bel canto composers wrote in Italian. Last year, reading the poetry of William Blake, the image of six songs became clear to me, his poetry perfect for this kind of vocal shading. I call the cycle Bel Canto Songs, separated by over a hundred and fifty years from their models but sharing the same muse.”
Upcoming events in 2011-2012
The George London Foundation for Singers season continues at the Morgan with the continuation of the recital series, the annual awards competition, and a U.S. premiere documentary screening: The U.S. premiere screening of George London: Between Gods and Demons, a 2011 documentary from Arthaus Musik, the world’s leading classical music DVD label, will be hosted by baritone Sherrill Milnes on Sunday, November 13, 2011, at 3:00 PM – the exact 60th anniversary of George London’s Metropolitan Opera debut in Aida. This video portrait of the career of the legendary bass-baritone features previously unreleased performance footage and interviews with colleagues and students, including many George London Award winners. The 41st annual George London Foundation Awards Competition begins with three days of preliminary auditions and culminates with the final round and award ceremony open to the public. The 2012 competition takes place February 13-17, and the public is invited to attend the competition finals and awards announcement
on Friday, February 17, 2012. Marcello Giordani, tenor, and Meagan Miller, soprano, perform in recital with Craig Rutenberg, piano, on Sunday, March 4, 2012, at 5:00 PM. This is the only New York recital of the season for Ms. Miller, a 2008 George London Award winner.
Lisette Oropesa, soprano, and Brian Mulligan, baritone, perform in recital with Ken Noda, piano, on Sunday, April 1, 2012, at 5:00 PM. Ms. Oropesa, a 2008 George London Award winner; and Mr. Mulligan, who won the award in 2003, perform their only New York recitals.
Ailyn Pérez (biography), also a 2006 George London Award winner, counts among her upcoming schedule highlights Marguerite in Faust with Santa Fe Opera, Amelia in Simon Boccanegra with Deutsche Staatsoper, Liu in Turandot at Convent Garden, and Violetta in La Traviata at Deutsch Oper. Among the events in a recent string of European successes: after her critically acclaimed portrayal of Amelia in Simon Boccanegra alongside Plácido Domingo at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin and Teatro alla Scala Milan, the young American soprano was invited to sing Violetta in La Traviata at the Wiener Staatsoper in May 2010. “The real sensation of the evening was Ailyn Pérez, who had already proven herself at the Salzburg Festival,” said Kronenzeitung. “Her sumptuous lyric soprano voice, with its remarkable coloratura powers, displays every nuance of expression and emotion. This singer is destined to portray the great, passionate Verdi and Puccini heroines.” Violetta was the role Ailyn sang for her debuts with the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin and Hamburg State Opera in 2009-2010; later that season she performed alongside Plácido Domingo in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Jose Carreras, in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Ailyn Pérez is a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts and Indiana University.
Stephen Costello (www.stephencostellotenor.com), a 2006 George London Award winner, this past summer made his Glyndebourne Festival debut as Nemorino in L’Elisir d’amore. Stephen will be starring at the opening of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2011-2012 season, singing the role of Lord Riccardo Percy opposite Anna Netrebko in the title role of Anna Bolena. “A first-class talent” (Opera News), the Philadelphia-born tenor has made headlines in recent seasons for a string of distinguished performances in America and Europe. He came to national attention in 2007 when, at age 26, he debuted at the Met’s season-opening night and was quickly invited to appear again that same season. In 2009, Costello won the prestigious Richard Tucker Award. He subsequently made his debuts at a number of the world’s most important opera houses and music festivals, including London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Salzburg Festival, and the Vienna State Opera. In 2010 he inaugurated the role of Greenhorn in the Dallas Opera’s acclaimed world-premiere production of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby Dick. In January 2012, Costello makes his company role debut as Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In May 2012, he portrays Rodolfo, and Costello’s wife, soprano Ailyn Pérez, plays Mimì in Los Angeles Opera’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème. Other engagements this season include Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore at the Vienna State Opera; Leicester in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda in concert performances to be recorded at the Gasteig in Munich; Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville; Fritz in Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz opposite Ailyn Pérez with the Moscow Philharmonic; and Alfredo in La Traviata, once again opposite Ailyn Pérez, with Cincinnati Opera.
Sunday, October 16, 2011, at 5:00 PM
Gilder Lehrman Hall at The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York City
The George London Foundation Recital Series presents
AILYN PÉREZ, Soprano
STEPHEN COSTELLO, Tenor
Ken Noda, Piano
PASATIERI Bel Canto Songs (World Premiere) (Ms. Pérez & Mr. Noda)
“The Garden of Love”
“To the Evening Star”
“To the Muses”
“Hear the Voice”
OBRADORS “La mi sola, Laureola” (Ms. Pérez & Mr. Noda)
“¿Corazón porque pasais?”
“Del cabello mas sutil”
VERDI “Salce, salce” and “Ave Maria” from Otello (Ms. Pérez & Mr. Noda)
Songs by LISZT and TOSTI (Mr. Costello & Mr. Noda)
MASCAGNI “Suzel, buon di...Tutto face” (“Cherry Duet”) from L’Amico Fritz (Ms. Pérez, Mr. Costello & Mr. Noda)
Call (212) 956-2809, e-mail email@example.com