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THE SCENE This month sees some exciting operatic activity, including a Serbian all-female opera in Edmonton and Peter Eötvös’s Angels in America in Los Angeles, where the composer has a mini-residency

MINNEAPOLIS-SAINT PAUL Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Mozart, Adams and Beethoven (January 4-6) In three concerts given in the Twin Cities, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra places John Adams in the context of two heavy-hitting musical forefathers. Conductor Edo de Waart starts the programme with Mozart’s Serenade No 12 in C minor for wind octet before launching into Adams’s The Wound-Dresser, based on Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name about being a nurse in the American Civil War. The singer is bass Eric Owens, notable for his performance as Alberich in the Met’s Ring cycle and a noted interpreter of Adams’s work. De Waart closes the evening with Beethoven’s Symphony No 4.

DALLAS Dallas Symphony Orchestra Benedetti Plays Tchaikovsky (January 10-13) In 2010, Scottish virtuoso Nicola Benedetti recorded Tchaikovsky’s ubiquitous Violin Concerto, a work that’s become one of her signature performance pieces, suiting the violinist’s fiery-yet-feminine personality. She plays it here in Texas under the baton of Barcelona-based conductor Pablo González, who also leads the orchestra in two other works from the Romantic repertoire: Dvořák’s Carnival and Brahms’s towering Symphony No 1.

EDMONTON Edmonton Opera Sokolović: Svadba-Wedding (January 12, 13, 16, 18 & 19) While many opera companies are scaling back, Edmonton Opera’s 2012-13 season boasts five productions, up from its usual three. And amid the popular choices of Aida, Les contes d’Hoffmann and Eugene Onegin are two new works. Shelter has already had its run, and this month is the turn of Ana Sokolović’s SvadbaWedding. Michael Cavanagh directs this Serbian-language opera detailing a bride’s Balkan rite of passage on the night before her wedding. Singing the six roles are Andrea Ludwig, Carla Huhtanen, Elizabeth Turnbull, Jacqueline Woodley, Laura Albino and Shannon Mercer, conducted by Dairine Ni Mheadhra.


Wartime monodrama: David T Little’s Soldier Songs

NEW YORK Beth Morrison Projects / HERE Prototype: Opera, Theatre, Now (January 9-18) Independent opera producer Beth Morrison teams up with multidisciplinary art house HERE to create a festival dedicated to exploring chamber-scale operas by living composers. Included in the inaugural line-up is Mohammed Fairouz’s Sumeida’s Song, the first Arab–American opera to receive a full staging in the US, and David T Little’s Soldier Songs, a monodrama based on recorded interviews with veterans of five wars.

LOS ANGELES Los Angeles Philharmonic Focus on Peter Eötvös (January 15, 18, 19 & 20) Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös offers a mini-residency with the Los Angeles Philharmonic this month. On January 15, Pablo Heras-Casado leads the LA Phil New Music Group in Angels in America, Eötvös’s opera based on Tony Kushner’s landmark work about the AIDS crisis in 1980s New York. In a staging by David Gately, baritone David Adam Moore stars as Prior Walter, with Julia Migenes as Harper Pitt, Kelly Anderson as Roy Cohn, and Measha Brueggergosman as the Angel. On the 18th, Eötvös’s violin concerto DoReMi (an LA Phil commission) is premiered by Midori in an all-Hungarian programme (also January 19 and 20) alongside Kodály’s Háry János Suite and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra.

VARIOUS LOCATIONS Renée Fleming and Susan Graham Duo Recital (January 16, 19, 22, 24 & 27; February 3) The all-American duo of soprano Renée Fleming and mezzo Susan Graham tour the country for two weeks in January, performing in California (Davies Symphony Hall in

San Francisco, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert), Illinois (Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Civic Opera House), New York (Carnegie Hall), and Massachusetts (Boston’s Symphony Hall). Accompanied by pianist Bradley Moore, they focus on French art song by the likes of Chausson, Debussy, Fauré and others.

KANSAS CITY Kansas City Symphony Zukerman Performs Elgar (January 18-20) Violinist Pinchas Zukerman returns to Kansas City to perform for the first time in Helzberg Hall. He plays Elgar’s Violin Concerto, regarded by many to be the finest English work for violin and discussed among cognoscenti for its enigmatic dedication. Music director Michael Stern also leads the orchestra in Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler symphony, a suite based on the composer’s opera of the same name about the painter Matthias Grünewald. This comes as part of the orchestra’s season-long Symphonic Pictures theme, capturing the crossroads of sight and sound.

Previews by Olivia Giovetti


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