• WDCH
  • SALONEN CONDUCTS FIRST L.A. PERFORMANCES OF JOHN ADAMS' "EL NIÑO"
  • March 13, 2003
  • PETER SELLARS DIRECTS VOCALISTS DAWN UPSHAW, LORRAINE HUNT-LIEBERSON, WILLARD WHITE, THEATRE OF VOICES, LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE, AND LOS ANGELES CHILDREN'S CHORUS

    Thursday, March 13 at 8 PM; Saturday, March 15 at 8 PM;

    and Sunday, March 16 at 2:30 PM

    Additional events examine and explore Latin-American influences

    Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the Los Angeles premiere of John Adam's oratorio El Niño on March 13 at 8 p.m., March 15 at 8 p.m., and March 16 at 2:30 p.m. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. With Peter Sellars directing and Salonen conducting, this fully staged production features the same soloists - Dawn Upshaw, Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson, Willard White, and Theatre of Voices - who performed the work's world premiere in Paris and on the recently released recording. Also featured are dancers and members of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the Los Angeles Children's Chorus. In the tradition of the great oratorio, this work has been described as a Messiah for modern times.

    These performances mark the finale of the Philharmonic's Crossing Borders: Latin American Visions festival. In late March, the Philharmonic is set to give the New York premiere of El Niño at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, presented by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

    American composer John Adams' El Niño set Nativity texts ranging from the Bible to contemporary Latina poetry to create an extraordinary reflection on the miracle of birth and motherhood. Director Peter Sellars stages this pageant with singers, dancers, adult and children's choruses, and film, bringing to life a moving and magical stage event.

    Upbeat Live, a free pre-concert discussion with John Adams, Peter Sellars, and musicologist Robert Fink, takes place one hour before each performance in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's Grand Hall.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, in partnership with local organizations including Los Angeles Public Library, Self Help Graphics, Caltech, and UCLA, presents a series of special events that delve into the music and art of Latin-America that have been inspirations for El Niño.

    Properties of Silence

    (Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m.) Los Angeles Public Library's Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium

    A staged reading by About Productions of Properties of Silence, a theater piece in which a dream brings the iconic 17th-century Mexican poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz into the life of a contemporary Arizona couple.

    Festival de la Familia/Family Festival at Self-Help Graphics

    (Saturday, March 8 from 12-4 p.m.) 3802 César Chávez Avenue in East Los Angeles

    A family festival of arts and culture that celebrates the poets featured in El Niño through music, spoken word, and theater performances by Teatro Tatalejos and others. Workshops are available for creating traditional Mexican folk art as well as for listening to music.

    A Conversation: Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Adams, and Peter Sellars with host Jack Miles

    (Saturday, March 8 at 8 p.m.) Caltech's Beckman Auditorium

    Four extraordinary minds meet to talk about the John Adams/Peter Sellars oratorio El Niño in an engaging, free-wheeling conversation. Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Salonen, composer Adams and director Sellars meet their match in Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jack Miles.

    Latin-American Literature and El Niño: Nativity in the New World

    (Tuesday, March 11 from 7-9 p.m.) UCLA Northwest Campus Auditorium

    Join literary, history, theological, musicological, art history scholars, poet Gloria Alvarez, and artist Yreina D. Cervántez in a fascinating discussion about the lives and works of the Latin-American writers whose poems are featured in El Niño.

    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 Philharmonic for Sony Classical. Salonen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1958. He made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979, and he has been one of the world's most sought-after conductors since his debut in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra in September 1983. He served as principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia from 1985 to 1994 and as principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1995.

    PETER SELLARS has directed more than 100 productions, large and small, across America and abroad. A graduate of Harvard University, he studied in Japan, China, and India before becoming Artistic Director of the Boston Shakespeare Company. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize Fellowship and was awarded the Erasmus Prize at the Dutch Royal Palace for contributions to European culture. He has also appeared on Bill Moyers' A World of Ideas, Miami Vice, and The Equalizer, directed a rock video for Herbie Hancock, and produced a series of radio episodes for The Museum of Contemporary Art's The Territory of Art series. His first feature film, The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez, is silent in color starring Joan Cusack, Peter Gallagher, Ron Vawter, and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

    Soprano DAWN UPSHAW is deeply involved in the music of our time. Since 1993, she has given more than 35 world premieres including songs by Henri Dutilleux, Osvaldo Golijov, and Gabriela Ortiz, among many others. In 2001, Upshaw was awarded an honorary doctorate by Yale University, which followed similar honors from the Manhattan School of Music and Illinois Wesleyan University, where she earned her graduate and baccalaureate degrees, respectively.

    Mezzo-soprano LORRAINE HUNT-LIEBERSON began her musical career as a violist and is now a consummate recitalist, concert singer, and operatic performer. Recognized by Musical America as the 2001 Vocalist of the Year, Hunt-Lieberson's repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the contemporary. On the opera stage she has excelled in roles as diverse as Médée (Charpentier), Xerxes (Handel), Sesto (Mozart), Carmen (Bizet), and Myrtle Wilson (Harbison).

    Bass WILLARD WHITE began his musical training at the Jamaican School of Music and then went on to the Juilliard School in New York. He has appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, La Scala Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Orchestra. White performed as Porgy in the television film of Porgy & Bess and as Shakespeare's Othello in the acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company production which was filmed for television. His recordings include oratorios, operas, and recitals.

    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 U.S. Recognized not only as one of Los Angeles' cultural treasures but also as one of the world's premier choruses, the Grammy-nominated Chorale has played a leading role in the ongoing resurgence of interest in choral music. Now in its 39th season, the Los Angeles Master Chorale will be a founding resident company of Walt Disney Concert Hall in fall 2003.

    Under the leadership of artistic director Anne Tomlinson, the LOS ANGELES CHILDREN'S CHORUS (LACC) provides an opportunity for talented young singers of Southern California to participate in a choral organization of the highest quality. LACC encourages a deeper appreciation of choral art and the shared experience of creating fine choral music, while providing a comprehensive music education and performance program serving children from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. Now in its seventeenth season, LACC has grown to include 220 voices in five choirs: Preparatory, Apprentice, Intermediate, Concert, and the Chamber Singers for older girls.

    THEATRE OF VOICES (TOV) was created by Paul Hillier to explore the notion of a "theatre" where the scenery is the sound of voices and the action consists of words. Some of TOV's repertoire is experimental and obscure, while other music explores more familiar territory, especially the cross-roads between early and contemporary music. Theatre of Voices is flexible in design and seeks to utilize the talents of artists who are equally at home in the old and the new. Theatre of Voices has recorded extensively for Harmonia Mundi USA and members include Music Director Paul Hillier, countertenors Steven Rickards, Brian Cummings, and Daniel Bubeck.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m.

    Properties of Silence


    A staged reading by About Productions of Properties of Silence, a theater piece in which a dream brings the iconic 17th-century Mexican poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz into the life of a contemporary Arizona couple.

    Los Angeles Public Library's Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, (630 W. Fifth Street)

    Free, reservations required, 213.972.3195 for reservations and information

    Saturday, March 8 from 12-4 p.m.

    Festival de la Familia/Family Festival at Self-Help Graphics


    A family festival of arts and culture that celebrates the poets featured in El Niño through music, spoken word, and theater performances by Teatro Tatalejos and others. Workshops are available for creating traditional Mexican folk art as well as for listening to music.

    Self Help Graphics (3802 César Chávez Avenue in East Los Angeles)

    Free, no reservations necessary, 323.881.6444

    Saturday, March 8, 8 p.m.

    A Conversation: Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Adams, and Peter Sellars with host Jack Miles


    Four extraordinary minds meet to talk about the John Adams/Peter Sellars oratorio El Niño in an engaging, free-wheeling conversation. Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Salonen, composer Adams and director Sellars meet their match in Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jack Miles.
    Caltech's Beckman Auditorium (332 S. Michigan Avenue)

    Free, no reservations or tickets required, 626.395.4652 for more information

    Tuesday, March 11 from 7-9 p.m.

    Latin-American Literature and El Niño: Nativity in the New World


    Join literary, history, theological, musicological, art history scholars, poet Gloria Alvarez and artist Yreina D. Cervántez in a fascinating discussion about the lives and works of the Latin-American writers whose poems are featured in El Niño.

    UCLA Northwest Campus Auditorium

    Free, reservations recommended, 213.972.3195 for information

    THURSDAY, MARCH 13 at 8 PM

    SATURDAY, MARCH 15 at 8 PM

    SUNDAY, MARCH 16 at 2:30 PM

    Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Los Angeles


    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    PETER SELLARS, director

    DAWN UPSHAW, soprano

    LORRAINE HUNT-LIEBERSON, mezzo-soprano

    WILLARD WHITE, bass

    THEATRE OF VOICES

    LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC

    LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE

    LOS ANGELES CHILDREN'S CHORUS

    Adams: El Niño (Los Angeles Premiere)

    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 two hours prior to the performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts. For further information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • contact:

    Elizabeth Hinckley, 323.850.2047; Melanie Gravdal, 323.850.2021; for photos: Scalla Sheen, 323.850.2015