Tony-nominated stage and screen actress Kate Burton has been confirmed to narrate the Los Angeles Philharmonic production of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, Friday, February 19, at 8 pm, as well as Sunday, February 21, at 2 pm. The presentation is part of the LA Phil's City of Light festival, which explores the music of French composers, and is curated by LA Phil Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen. Salonen conducts both performances.
The semi-staged production, created by director David Edwards, contextualizes the story and illustrates the fantasy-like themes and the isolation of the characters.
The role of the narrator was introduced by Salonen to help transition the concert hall audience from the hushed silence at the beginning of several of the acts of the opera into the performance itself. Noted composer, writer and broadcaster Gerard McBurney created the narration from texts by poet Maurice Maeterlinck.
In addition to Burton, the LA Phil production of Pelléas et Mélisande features baritone Stéphane Degout and soprano Camilla Tilling as the title characters, and Colin Grenfell as the lighting designer. Additional cast members include bass-baritone Laurent Naouri as Golaud, bass Willard White as Arkel, soprano Felicity Palmer as Genevieve and soprano Chloé Briot as Yniold.
Kate Burton is thrilled to be returning to the LA Phil. She served as the hostess for the Disney Hall live broadcast of an evening of Shakespeare and Tchaikovsky conducted by Gustavo Dudamel in 2011, featuring Mathew Rhys, Orlando Bloom, Anika Noni Rose and Malcolm MacDowell. In 2014, she returned to direct another version of the Tchaikovsky evening with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, again conducted by Dudamel and again featuring Orlando Bloom along with Robert Sean Leonard, Condola Rashad and Joe Morton. She has also directed the the USC MFA candidates in 2011, 2012 and 2015 in Three Sisters, Cherry Orchard and The Seagull. As an actress, Burton has been nominated for three Tony Awards for her work on Broadway in Hedda Gabler directed by Nicholas Martin, The Elephant Man starring Billy Crudup and directed by Sean Mathias, and The Constant Wife with Lynn Redgrave and directed by Mark Brokaw. On television, she can be currently seen in her Emmy-nominated performance as Sally Langston in "Scandal," as well as guest roles on "Madame Secretary" and "Elementary." Other TV performances include her Emmy nominated work as Ellis Grey in "Grey's Anatomy," "Extant," "Veep," "Grimm," "Rescue Me," "Law and Order"(s), "The Good Wife," "The West Wing," and HBO's "Empire Falls." On film, she debuted as an 11-year old Boleyn maid in Anne of a Thousand Days starring her father, Richard Burton. Her other films include Big Trouble in Little China, Ice Storm, Unfaithful, Swimfan, Remember Me, Shiva and May, Max Payne, Sherry Baby, Liberal Arts, 2 Days in NY and 127 Hours. A graduate of Brown University and The Yale School of Drama, she received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from Brown in 2007. She is also a fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Swansea University.
Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place in Walt Disney Concert Hall's BP Hall one hour before the performances, and are free to all ticket holders. Composer, conductor, performer and lecturer Russell Steinberg hosts.
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor
DAVID EDWARDS, director
COLIN GRENFELL, lighting designer
STÉPHANE DEGOUT, Pelléas
CAMILLA TILLING, Mélisande
LAURENT NAOURI, Golaud
WILLARD WHITE, Arkel
FELICITY PALMER, Genevieve
CHLOÉ BRIOT, Yniold
KATE BURTON, narrator
Friday, February 19, 2016, at 8 PM
Sunday, February 21, 2016, at 2 PM
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
HOW TO PURCHASE:
Tickets for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's 2015/16 season at Walt Disney Concert Hall are currently available. To purchase, please visit LAPhil.com, the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet. To order by phone with credit card, please call the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office at 323.850.2000, or Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000. For more information, please call 323.850.2000.