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  • WDCH
  • Dec. 20, 2002
  • December 20 at 1 PM, December 21 at 8 PM and
    December 22 at 2:30 PM

    at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

    Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic and guest vocalists Susanne Mentzer, Vinson Cole, Gilles Cachemaille, and Nmon Ford, along with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, in a seasonally-themed program of Berlioz' L'enfance du Christ (The Childhood of Christ) on December 20, 21 & 22 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

    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. Conductor Charles Barber hosts.

    Berlioz' early success in the realm of opera allowed his exploration into a genre of large scale dramatic choral works such as The Damnation of Faust and L'enfance du Christ, both of which were written to include stage directions, and are scored for forces of large orchestra, chorus, and vocal soloists. Composed in the mid-1850s, L'enfance du Christ is in three parts and the story is told from various viewpoints, including those of the characters in the story, as well as that of a narrator. The Los Angeles Philharmonic last performed the rarely heard work in 1977, under the direction of Andrew Davis.

    American mezzo-soprano SUSANNE MENTZER has become a familiar face at the world's most prestigious opera houses, festivals and concert halls. Known especially for her portrayals of Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro and Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos, she is not only a specialist in "trouser" parts, but she is also known for her portrayals of classic femme fatale and ingénue roles. She also enjoys a significant concert and recital career, with a particular interest in chamber music and has become known as an interpreter of the vocal works of Gustav Mahler. Mentzer is a professor of voice at the Depaul University School of Music, on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and frequently gives master classes throughout the country. Since 1991, Mentzer has organized the annual Autumn Jubilate Benefit concert featuring stars of the opera world to support Chicago's Bonaventure House, a residence for people living with AIDS. This endeavor has raised over a million dollars, to date. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Maryland and New Mexico, Mentzer studied at The Juilliard School, the Houston Opera Studio, and privately with Norma Newton.

    American tenor VINSON COLE is internationally recognized as one of the leading artists of his generation. His career has taken him to all of the major opera houses across the globe including the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Teatro alla Scala, Berlin State Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bavarian State Opera, San Francisco Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Opera Australia, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Cole has been closely associated with the Seattle Opera where he has appeared in many productions over the last seasons since his 1988 debut there in Orphée et Euridice. Equally celebrated for his concert appearances, Cole performs regularly with the most prestigious orchestras throughout the world, under the batons of such eminent conductors as Sir Georg Solti, Christoph Eschenbach, Claudio Abbado, Carlo Maria Giulini, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, and Gerard Schwarz.

    Swiss-French Bass-Baritone GILLES CACHEMAILLE has, over the years, developed into one of the few top interpreters of French music. After starting his career at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 1982, he was chosen by the late Herbert von Karajan to appear in Carmen with the Berlin Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival. Ever since, he has been performing at the leading opera houses, festivals, and with orchestras in Europe and United States under the most prestigious conductors and stage directors of the present time. The artist's voice has been widely recorded with more than 30 discs to his credit.

    Baritone NMON FORD has been a frequent guest artist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, most recently in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy under Esa-Pekka Salonen. He has soloed with the Eugene Symphony under Miguel Harth-Bedoya (Mahler's 8th Symphony), the Cabrillo Music Festival under Marin Alsop, the Santa Barbara Symphony under Gisele Ben-Dor, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under William Eddins. He has appeared with San Francisco Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Utah Opera, Portland Opera, Opera Memphis, Syracuse Opera and Virginia Opera in roles including Iago, Amonasro, Escamillo, the High Priest (Samson et Dalila), Scarpia, Don Giovanni, Belcore, Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Valentin (Faust), and Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas). As a recitalist, he has presented his critically acclaimed, uniquely staged concept programs at venues throughout the U.S. including the El Camino College Center for the Arts in Los Angeles, the ArtSpree Festival of University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the Marilyn Horne Foundation of New York, and the New Jersey Symphony Association, as well as traditional recitals for the Carmel Music Society and Villa Saratoga (northern California) and the Rockport Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts. Ford has recorded for Koch International Classics (Villa Lobos' Symphony #10, "Amerindia") and Three Things Records (The Sweetest Brilliance).

    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.

    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.


    Friday, December 20, 1 PM

    Saturday, December 21, 8 PM

    Sunday, December 22, 2:30 PM



    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    SUSANNE MENTZER, mezzo-soprano

    VINSON COLE, tenor


    LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE, Grant Gershon, music director

    Berlioz:  L'enfance du Christ

    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. Conductor Charles Barber hosts.

    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 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. 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; Rachelle Roe, 323/850-2032