Christine Brewer, Christine Goerke, Christian Franz, Alan Held and Kurt Rydl Headline Cast of Act III of Wagner's Epic Götterdämmerung
SUNDAY, JULY 10, AT 7:30 PM
Concert benefits Los Angeles Philharmonic Musician's Pension Fund; Media sponsor KPCC
This is the overwhelming final chapter of Wagner's epic retelling of the all-powerful Ring legends, from Siegfried's heroic horn call to the destruction of Valhalla and the purification of the earth. In the grand tradition of pageantry and spectacle at the Hollywood Bowl, theatrical lighting, fire effects and special effects heighten the musical experience of this climactic episode from the Ring Cycle.
Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) is the last of the four operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), by Richard Wagner. It received its premiere at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus in August 1876, as part of the first complete performance of the Ring cycle. The title is a translation into German of the Old Norse phrase Ragnarok, which in Norse mythology refers to a prophesied war of the Gods which brings about the end of the world.
Wagner is known for his operas based on medieval European legends and Norse epics. He was one of the most influential German composers of the 19th century, creating a system of using short motives (leitmotifs) to develop the drama in his operas. Wagner strove to create a "total art work" with each opera he composed, fusing music, poetry, art, theater and dance to impart an overwhelming effect.
American soprano CHRISTINE BREWER's appearances in opera, concert and recital are marked with her own unique timbre, at once warm and brilliant, combined with a vibrant personality and emotional honesty unique in her generation of vocalists. Concert highlights this season include Fidelio with the Orchestra of Saint Cecilia and Antonio Pappano, Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, and Strauss' Drei Hymnen with the BBC Orchestra under the baton of Donald Runnicles. Also, Brewer will perform and record Mozart's Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Later in the season, Brewer looks forward to reviving Britten's Gloriana in her hometown of St. Louis, returning to the Santa Fe Opera as Ellen Orford in a production of Peter Grimes, and to working with Seiji Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival, where she sings Gurrelieder. She recently appeared to great acclaim in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Tristan Project.
No young tenor has made such an impact in as short a timeframe as CHRISTIAN FRANZ. Young, fresh, with a big stage talent and a voice which never tires. Franz has become the first choice of the international opera houses for such roles as Siegfried, Parsifal and Otello. His first engagements brought him to Radebeul and Regensburg. His first role was Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Max in Freischütz. After one year of preparation, he sung his first Otello, and was engaged by the opera house in Wuppertal. He remained there for three years. In that time he debuted in the roles of Laca in Jenufa, as Parsifal, Lohengrin and Canio (I Pagliacci). His next important venue was the opera house in Kassel, where he sang for the first time Loge, Siegmund, and Siegfried, signaling the start of a world career. Daniel Barenboim engaged him as Otello, Tristan, Siegfried, Parsifal, Max, and Laca at the Berlin Staatsoper.
Soprano CHRISTINE GOERKE, recipient of the 2001 Richard Tucker Award, has established an outstanding reputation with many of the world's leading opera houses and orchestras. Goerke's many roles include the title roles in Norma, Alcina, Agrippina and Iphigenie en Tauride; Donna Elvira and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in così fan tutte, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Vitellia in Clemenza di Tito, Elletra in Idomeneo, Armida in Rinaldo, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Musetta in La bohème, Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmelites, the Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, and Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes. On the concert platform, Goerke has appeared with a number of the leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Goerke's recent recording of Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony with Robert Spano and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Classical Recording and Best Choral Performance.
Recognized internationally as one of the leading singing actors today, American bass-baritone ALAN HELD has appeared in major roles in the world's finest opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna State Opera and the Paris Opera among others. Equally at home on the concert stage, Held has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Kirov Opera Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, and the Houston Symphony. This season, Held returns to the Vienna State Opera as the Four Villains, the Washington Opera as the High Priest of Dagon in Samson and Dalila, and Lyric Opera of Chicago in their performances of the Ring Cycle and Fidelio. He also goes on tour to Tokyo in the Salzburg Festival's production of Fidelio. Held recently appeared in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Tristan Project.
KURT RYDL is one of the greatest bass singers of our time making between 90 and 100 performances each season since his career began. Born in Vienna, he studied in Vienna and Moscow, and has won First Prize at competitions in Barcelona and Paris. In 1972, Rydl began initial engagements in Linz and Stuttgart, and has been a permanent member of the Vienna State Opera since 1976. In 2001, Rydl was awarded the Austrian Medal of Honour, 1st Class for Art and Science. His opera repertoire comprises more than 80 roles in German, Italian, French, Russian and Czech works while his concert performances range from Mozart to Penderecki, from Beethoven to Mahler. A true Viennese, he endeavors to keep the traditional "Wiener Lied" alive and also enjoys singing songs from musicals (e.g. "If I were a rich man"). Over the years, Rydl has performed at numerous festivals including Bayreuth, Bregenz, Edinburgh, Munich, Salzburg, Verona and has performed in the world's most famous opera houses.
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 37th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2005, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue at the 16th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; it is no wonder that the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
SUNDAY, JULY 10, 2005 at 7:30 PM
HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood
WAGNER: Twilight of the Gods, Act III
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONC
JOHN MAUCERI, conductor
CHRISTINE BREWER, soprano (Brünnhilde)
CHRISTIAN FRANZ, tenor (Siegfried)
CHRISTINE GOERKE, soprano (Gutrune)
ALAN HELD, bass (Gunther)
KURT RYDL, bass (Hagen)
CAROLYN BETTY, soprano (Woglinde)
SHOGHIG KOUSHAKJIAN, mezzo-soprano (Flosshilde)
KATHLEEN ROLAND, mezzo-soprano (Wellgunde)
Men of the Pacific Chorale, John Alexander, director
Concert benefits Los Angeles Philharmonic Musician's Pension Fund
Media Sponsor KPCC
Tickets ($4 - $37) are on sale now at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, at all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons May, Tower Records, and Ritmo Latino locations), or online at HollywoodBowl.com. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details.
For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.
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Adam Crane, 213.972.3422; Sabrina Skacan, 213.972.3408; photos: 213.972.3034