• WDCH
  • VOCALISTS HAROLYN BLACKWELL, RODNEY GILFRY, AND STANFORD OLSEN JOIN ESA-PEKKA SALONEN TO LAUNCH THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC'S 2002/2003 SEASON
  • Oct. 3, 2002
  • October 3, 4, and 5 at 8 PM; October 6 at 2:30 PM

    Los Angeles Master Chorale and Los Angeles Children's Chorus Sing
    Carmina Burana; Casual Fridays Series Opens

    Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen opens the Los Angeles Philharmonic's final season at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on October 3, 4, 5 (8 PM), and 6 (2:30 PM) with a weekend of dynamic music. The program features vocal soloists Harolyn Blackwell, Stanford Olsen, and Rodney Gilfry, as well as the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Los Angeles Children's Chorus in Orff's Carmina Burana. Bartók's Miraculous Mandarin Suite opens the program. October 4ths Casual Fridays performance has an abbreviated program, designed to complement the more casual atmosphere of the dressed-down orchestra.

    Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place one hour prior to each concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the Grand Hall and are free to all ticket holders. Eric Bromberger hosts the October 3, 5, and 6 events; Sandra Tsing Loh hosts on October 4.

    Bela Bartók's Miraculous Mandarin and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana both premiered in Germany - the former in Cologne in 1924, the latter in Frankfurt in 1937. The two works are very different, yet both are deeply embedded in the contradictions of pre-World War II Europe.

    Bartók composed Miraculous Mandarin in between 1918 and 1919 while living under difficult conditions in a small village east of Budapest. His family had no electricity, no running water, very little food, and to make the situation worse, the composer contracted Spanish Influenza in 1918. In the fall of 1919, a right-wing government took power, leaving Bartók under suspicion with the press alleging him as a Romanian nationalist and traitor to Hungary. With no prospect of premiering Miraculous Mandarin in Budapest, Bartók set the work aside until a first performance was arranged for Cologne. The work was not performed in Budapest until after Bartók's death.

    Opposite to Bartók, Orff had more in common with conservative trends in Germany. He studied earlier musical forms and styles and used them to create his own compositions. During the first decades of the 20th century, Germans made pilgrimages to sites of the nation's imperial past and it was in this context that the composer found his inspiration for Carmina Burana - a work based on Carmina Burana: Latin and German poems of a 13th century manuscript from Benediktbeuern.

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, the tenth conductor to head the Los Angeles Philharmonic, began his tenure as Music Director in October 1992. Salonen made his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in November 1984, and he has conducted the orchestra every season since. Among the many highlights of Salonen's activities with the Philharmonic have been world premieres of new works by composers John Adams, Bernard Rands, Rodion Shchedrin, Steven Stucky and Salonen himself, well-received Ligeti and Stravinsky Festivals, appearances at the Ojai Festival, eight critically acclaimed international tours since 1992, and his extensive discography with the Orchestra for Sony Classical. Salonen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1958. He made his conducting debut in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra in September 1983. He served as principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia of London from 1985 to 1994 and as a principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1995.

    Soprano HAROLYN BLACKWELL is one of the brightest stars on stages in the United States and abroad. Recognized for her expressive and exuberant performances, as well as for her radiant voice, Blackwell is making a wide and varied career on opera, concert, and recital stages of the world. Following study at The Catholic University of America in her native Washington, D.C., Blackwell's performing career began on the Broadway stage in Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. The transition from musical theater to opera occurred shortly afterwards, when she was selected as a finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Since that time, the soprano has performed with many of the major national and international opera companies and festivals.

    Baritone RODNEY GILFRY has established himself as a most compelling musician on the world's operatic stages, as well as a distinguished recital and concert artist. Gilfry was brought to worldwide attention when he created the role of Stanley Kowalski in the 1998 premiere of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire with the San Francisco Opera. This production was televised nationwide on PBS with a live recording, DVD, and video versions subsequently issued. Gilfry's 2002/2003 season got underway in September with a recital at Clayton Stage College in Morrow, Georgia where Armen Guzelimian accompanied him. Soon, he travels to the Royal Opera, Covent Garden to create the role of Nathan in Nicholas Maw's operatic adaptation of William Styron's Sophie's Choice.

    Tenor STANFORD OLSEN, who made his Metropolitan Opera debut on an hour's notice as Arturo in I Puritani opposite the legendary soprano Dame Joan Sutherland, has fulfilled his initial promise of making it as one of the world's outstanding vocal artists. His operatic experience includes regular performances with the Metropolitan Opera as well as the other major opera houses of the world. Olsen has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Naumburg Award in 1989, and was winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1986.

    Now in its 39th season, the LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE, under Music Director Grant Gershon, maintains a unique and distinguished position as one of the largest independent choral organizations in the United States. Recognized not only as one of Los Angeles' premier choruses, the Grammy-nominated Chorale has played a leading role in the ongoing resurgence of interest in choral music.

    The LOS ANGELES CHILDREN'S CHORUS provides an opportunity for talented young singers of Los Angeles County to participate in a choral organization of the highest quality, and provides a comprehensive music education and performance program serving children from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. Now in its 17th season, the Chorus has 200 member choristers in five choirs. The Concert Choir has sung with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and has appeared at the Hollywood Bowl. Members of the Chorus have also sung in Los Angeles Opera productions.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    Thursday, October 3, 8 PM

    Friday, October 4, 8 PM (Casual Fridays)

    Saturday, October 5, 8 PM

    Sunday, October 6, 2:30 PM


    LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC

    DOROTHY CHANDLER PAVILION

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    HAROLYN BLACKWELL, soprano

    RODNEY GILFRY, baritone

    STANFORD OLSEN, tenor

    LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE, Grant Gershon, music director

    LOS ANGELES CHILDREN'S CHORUS, Anne Tomlinson, artistic director

    Bartók:  Miraculous Mandarin Suite (not on October 4)

    Orff:  Carmina Burana

    Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place one hour prior to each concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the Grand Hall and are free to all ticket holders. Eric Bromberger hosts the October 3, 5, and 6 events; Sandra Tsing Loh hosts on October 4.

    Tickets ($14 - $82) are available at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office and by credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. Tickets are also available on-line at www.laphil.com. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person. For further information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • contact:

    Elizabeth Hinckley, 323/850-2047; Melanie Gravdal, 323/850-2021