Dame Felicity Palmer & Roger Vignoles join panel for Grange Festival International Singing Competition
Dame Felicity Palmer and Roger Vignoles join a distinguished panel of judges this month at the Grange Festival Singing Competition, which culminates in a public final on 24 September 2017.
Palmer, the Patron of the competition, has recently sung Meropa in Oedipe with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra for the Enescu Festival, with a second performance at the Royal Festival Hall on 23 September. This season she also sings Clytemnestra in Elektra for Opéra National de Bordeaux and Genevieve in Pélleas et Mélisande with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Next month Vignoles revives his collaboration with Marie-Nicole Lemieux, with appearances at the Opéra National du Rhin, Grand Théâtre de Genève and De Singel in Antwerp. This season also brings performances at the Oxford Lieder Festival, Wigmore Hall, and masterclasses throughout the UK and abroad.
Sir Willard White, Dame Felicity Palmer, Christopher Purves & Ruxandra Donose sing Oedipe with the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Willard White, Dame Felicity Palmer, Christopher Purves and Ruxandra Donose join the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucharest on 2 September 2017 for a performance of Enescu Oedipe at the Enescue Festival. Conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, the performance also features the Choir of the George Enescu Philharmonic and the Romanian Radio Children's Choir.
The four singers rejoin Jurowski and the LPO in London later in the month for a second performance of Oedipe at the Royal Festival Hall on 23 September.
Intermusica artists nominated for Olivier & International Opera Awards
Intermusica artists have been nominated for awards at the Olivier Awards and the International Opera Awards, recognising exceptional achievement in opera over the last year. Dame Felicity Palmer has been nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, while Mark Wigglesworth and his work at English National Opera have been nominated at both the Oliviers and the International Opera Awards. Danielle de Niese, Gregory Kunde, Brett Dean and Simon Halsey have all been recognized at the International Opera Awards.
Mark Wigglesworth has been shortlisted for an International Opera Award in the Conductor category. This nomination comes during Mark Wigglesworth’s first season as Music Director at English National Opera, during which time his conducting has been hailed by the critics as “masterly" (Daily Telegraph) and “sublime” (Times). English National Opera has also been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Opera at the Olivier Awards for its productions of The Force of Destiny and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, which were conducted by Wigglesworth.
Palmer has been nominated for her performance as the Countess in Tchaikovsky The Queen of Spades at English National Opera, which was greeted with universal critical acclaim:
“The outstanding performance of the evening… comes from Felicity Palmer, whose portrayal of the older Countess is an extraordinary tour de force of compelling stage presence”
“Felicity Palmer is peerless as a Countess whose battleaxe demeanour crumbles to reveal the heartbreakingly lonely girl still inside.”
"[Palmer's] spellbinding Gréty aria in the bedroom scene is the best-sung I've heard, little short of miraculous..."
“The American director starred (only that word will do) Felicity Palmer as the countess… in remarkable vocal shape and proved spellbinding in her delivery of the Grétry aria – another time-stopping moment.”
Danielle de Niese, who premiered Bel Canto at Lyric Opera of Chicago which is on the shortlist for Best New Work, is nominated for the Readers’ Award at the International Opera Awards, the only vote open to the public – cast your vote here.
Gregory Kunde is nominated for Best Male Singer – after title roles this season in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, he will make his Royal Opera House debut in July this year as Manrico Il trovatore.
ABC’s recording of Brett Dean’s opera Bliss has been nominated for Complete Opera CD. Dean’s work was premiered at Sydney Opera House in 2010, and was well-received by the critics:
“The work holds the attention to the end, sustained by Dean's wonderful score. To his well-known skills as an orchestral composer, Dean has added an under-utilised empathy for the voice. The sung lines drive the musical and dramatic pace, underscored by beautifully detailed instrumental textures, wrought with an innate feeling for the expressive power of instrumental timbre, watched over by counterpoint and fine motivic workmanship.”
Sydney Morning Herald
The Barbican’s production of Jonathan Dove The Monster in the Maze, which featured a chorus directed by Simon Halsey, has also been nominated in the category of Accessibility.
Sir Willard White & Dame Felicity Palmer perform Pelléas et Mélisande with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Sir Willard White and Dame Felicity Palmer join the Los Angeles Philharmonic for two concert performances of Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen on 19 and 21 February 2016. Sir Willard and Dame Felicitiy perform their signature roles of Arkel and Genevieve and are joined by Stéphane Degout in the title role, Camilla Tilling as Mélisande, Laurent Naouri as Golaud.
Dame Felicity Palmer sings Genevieve in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande at Royal Festival Hall
On 27 November Dame Felicity Palmer will perform the role of Genevieve in a semi-staged performance of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande at London's Royal Festival Hall. Conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and accompanied by the Philharmonia Orchestra and Philharmonia Voices, the cast also includes Monica Bacelli, Stéphane Degout and Laurent Naouri. Palmer has previously sung Genevieve with the Metropolitan Opera conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
Later this season, Palmer will take the role of the Countess in Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades at English National Opera.
Dame Felicity Palmer sings Klytemnestra in Elektra at the BBC Proms
Dame Felicity Palmer returns to the BBC Proms on 31 August to perform the role of Klytemnestra in Strauss’s Elektra. It is one of her critically acclaimed signature roles and one she has sung, most recently, with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra, and with Fabio Luisi at the Metropolitan Opera, New York to great acclaim:
“The standout performer was the matchless Felicity Palmer, whose Clytemnestra — foul, but humane and frail with it — somehow managed to charm as much as horrify.”
Neil Fisher, Times, January 2010
“Palmer's handling of her dream-monologue, her guilty mind shredded 'like a gown eaten by moths', was a tour de force.”
Fiona Maddocks, Observer, January 2010
“It is difficult to find any faults in Felicity Palmer’s classic Klytämnestra. Under her dramatic management her long, constantly evolving scene is compelling. The voice in the lower reaches has the colour, strength and solidity of mahogany. There are no signs of a break between registers. Throughout the words are crystal-clear, permitting only a very occasional exaggeration. Indeed she is always scrupulously musical and no thoughts of caricature invade one’s attention.”
Richard Nicholson, Classical Source, July 2012
This BBC Proms performance at the Royal Albert Hall on 31 August will be conducted by Semyon Bychkov and Dame Felicity Palmer performs alongside an international cast including American soprano Christine Goerke and Danish baritone Johan Reuter, in a semi-staged performance directed by Justin Way.
Dame Felicity Palmer in Peter Grimes at Zurich Opera
Dame Felicity Palmer returns to one of her signatures roles, Mrs Sedley in Peter Grimes, in David Pountney’s production for Zurich Opera on 24 May. Conducted by Erik Nielsen, she performs alongside Christopher Ventris as Peter Grimes, Emily Magee as Ellen Orford, Donald Maxwell as Swallow and Jan-Hendrik Rootering as Captain Balstrode. After opening on 24 May, further performances take place on 27, 29 and 31 May.
Dame Felicity’s portrayal of Mrs Sedley earlier this year for English National Opera received great critical acclaim:
“Felicity Palmer brought brilliant incisiveness to the meddling Mrs Sedley.”
Hugo Shirley, January 2014
“Felicity Palmer surely offers a definitive Mrs Sedley.”
George Hall, The Stage, January 2014
“Mrs. Sedley – the glorious Felicity Palmer.”
Edward Seckerson, January 2014
Intermusica singers lead cast of David Alden's Peter Grimes at English National Opera
Following its five-star sell-out success in 2009 and at the BBC Proms in 2012, David Alden’s acclaimed production of Britten’s Peter Grimes returns to English National Opera on 29 January 2014. Conducted by Edward Gardner, Peter Grimes boasts much of its original cast including seven Intermusica singers, many of whom are seasoned interpreters of their respective roles. The staging will also be the first ENO production to be screened cinemas worldwide, beginning with a live stream on 23 February.
Iain Paterson’s debut as Captain Balstrode at the BBC Proms in 2012 was described as “sensationally sung” (Guardian) and he returns to this same role, and production, at the Coliseum this January. Captain Balstrode is a role Paterson has also sung to great success at the Wiener Staatsoper, where he made his house debut earlier this season under the baton of Graeme Jenkins. Later this season, Paterson returns to the role of Wotan in his first staged production of Wagner’s Die Walküre for Houston Grand Opera, following on from his highly acclaimed first Wotan in Das Rheingold at the Proms 2013 under Daniel Barenboim.
Rebecca De Pont Davies once again sings the role of Auntie in Alden’s production, a role she has previously sung at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opera Ovideo and Vlaamse Opera to great critical acclaim, with the Daily Telegraph’s Rupert Christianson commenting that she “almost steals the show with her electrifyingly sinister Auntie". De Pont Davies will go on to sing this role again for Grange Park Opera later this season, while also returning to the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, for Jack’s Mother in Sondheim’s Into the Woods.
Dame Felicity Palmer returns to one of her signatures roles as Mrs Sedley, and one she has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, with Donald Runnicles and most recently at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome, under the baton of Antonio Pappano. She was also part of the cast at ENO in 2009 and at the BBC Proms 2012, where her performance was described by the Guardian as, “the most terrifying Mrs Sedley imaginable.”
Matthew Best sings the role of Swallow, a role he has sung to in recent years at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Opera Oviedo, ENO, at the BBC Proms and at Santa Cecilia. This revival at ENO follows his house debut at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi’s Don Carlos.
Michael Colvin sings the role Bob Boles, of which he another regular performer, including most recently for the critically acclaimed concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Colvin continues the 2013/14 season as Joaquino Fidelio with Le Cercle de l’Harmonie under Intermusica conductor Jérémie Rhorer.
Leigh Melrose returns to the role of apothecary Ned Keene, his interpretation of which was described as “fittingly dark and sinister” by Opera Today following his performance at the BBC Proms 2012. An authority on the performance of twentieth-century vocal repertoire, as well as several acclaimed performances of contemporary repertoire this season Melrose also sang the title role in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in November 2013 as part of the Britten centenary celebrations.
Current ENO Harewood artist Mary Bevan sings the role of Second Niece. This follows her ENO performances of Papagena The Magic Flute in November, and as Despina Così fan tutte opening in May.
Stuart Skelton takes the title role of Peter Grimes while Elza van den Heever sings the role of Ellen Orford. After opening on 29 January, further performances take place on 1, 6, 8, 14, 21 23 and 27 February.
Intermusica singers lead Peter Grimes cast at Santa Cecilia with Sir Antonio Pappano
Gregory Kunde makes his debut in the title role of Britten’s Peter Grimes for three concert performances with the Orchestra and Choir of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. The performances are at Rome’s Sala Santa Cecilia in the Auditorium Parco della Musica, the city’s state-of-the-art music complex, on 26, 28 and 30 October.
In a departure from the Italian repertoire in which he is particularly renowned, Kunde leads a cast that includes five Intermusica singers, as part of the celebrations for the Britten centenary. Kunde’s debut as Grimes is one of several major Italian engagements this season, which include Enee Les Troyens at La Scala, Milan, and Vasco da Gama L'Africaine at La Fenice, Venice.
Dame Felicity Palmer returns to one of her signatures roles as Mrs Sedley; a role she has performed at the Metropolitan Opera New York with Donald Runnicles, at English National Opera in the acclaimed production by David Alden and most recently at the BBC Proms in August 2012, conducted by Edward Gardner. Dame Felicity’s superb characterisation of this role led the Guardian to describe her performance as, “the most terrifying Mrs Sedley imaginable.” Following this performance, Dame Felicity sings Mrs Sedley in the revival of Alden’s production that returns to the Coliseum in January 2014.
Matthew Best once again performs the role of Swallow, a role he has sung to great acclaim in recent years at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Opera Oviedo and ENO, He joins Dame Felicity in ENO’s revival of Alden’s production of Grimes in January. Prior to that, December sees his house debut at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi’s Don Carlos.
Michael Colvin sings the role of Bob Boles, following on from recent performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and Symphony Hall, Birmingham.
The concert will be Susan Bickley's debut with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia as well as a role debut, as she sings the part of Auntie for the first time. Her other highlights this season have included: a universally acclaimed Virgie, in the US premiere of Turnage’s Anna Nicole; the role of Storge for a recording of Handel’s Jephtha with The Sixteen under Harry Christophers, which will also be performed in concert at the Barbican; Eduige Rodelinda in a new production by Richard Jones for ENO; and the world premiere of a new piece by Julian Anderson, also for ENO.
Dame Felicity Palmer sings in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites at the Met
Dame Felicity Palmer returns to the Metropolitan Opera to perform the role of First Prioress in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites. Conducted by Louis Langrée and directed by John Dexter, the cast also includes Isabel Leonard, Particia Racette, Erin Morley, Elizabeth Bishop and Paul Appleby.
Palmer has previously performed the role of Madame de Croissy in a production by the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her performance was described as “mesmerising” by the Chicago Tribune.
Dialogues des Carmélites will open on 4 May with subsequent performances on 9 and 11 May.