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Alan Gilbert – Returning to Metropolitan Opera for First Time Since His Hit Debut with Dr. Atomic – Leads Don Giovanni in Ten Performances, Feb 4-March 6

“The performance he draws from the Met orchestra and chorus is a revelation.”
— New York Times

Following the final performances in his celebrated Nielsen Project and his triumphant Verdi Requiem with the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert returns to the Metropolitan Opera for the first time in seven years to conduct ten performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, from February 4 to March 6, leading Mozart’s retelling of the Don Juan legend in Michael Grandage’s production. The cast is headed by Grammy Award-winning baritone Peter Mattei, who stars in a reprise of what the New York Times called his “superb” account of the title role. The rest of the cast includes sopranos Elza van den Heever (Donna Anna) and Emma Bell (Donna Elvira), mezzo Kate Lindsey (Zerlina), tenor Dmitry Korchak (Don Ottavio), and bass-baritones James Morris (the Commendatore), Adam Plachetka (Masetto), and Luca Pisaroni in his signature role as Leporello, Don Giovanni’s beleaguered servant.

As Gilbert says:

“It’s such a privilege to be working at the Metropolitan Opera again. The orchestra is amazing, as are the people who work behind the scenes and on the stage. The singers are, of course, incredible — we have a terrific cast. Maybe the most exciting thing for me, though, I have to say, is coming back to this masterpiece, Don Giovanni. It’s a perfect opera. There’s an absolute sophistication and perfection in the way Mozart tells the story through the music. There’s not one note, not one number that’s not perfect in this towering masterpiece, and that’s the most fun part.”

The conductor made his debut on the Met podium leading John Adams’ Dr. Atomic, which New York magazine declared one of “Top Ten Classical Events of 2008.” Its subsequent DVD/Blu-ray release earned the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.  Beyond the Met, Gilbert’s operatic endeavors have displayed the kind of range and diversity that he has brought to the concert hall.  At Santa Fe opera, where he was music director from 2003 – 2006, he led the North American premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Tempest to great acclaim – the Chicago Tribune noted that “Under the trusty guidance of … Alan Gilbert, the orchestra played spectacularly well” – and received similar praise in productions of Britten’s Peter Grimes (“An interpretation of volcanic, unexpected power,” according to Opera News), Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s Turandot and Verdi’s Falstaff.

Gilbert has also conducted productions at the Los Angeles Opera (Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel), Vienna State Opera (Carmen), Zurich Opera (Zemlinsky’s Der Kreidekreis), and Royal Swedish Opera (Wagner’s Lohengrin).  His trailblazing opera performances with the New York Philharmonic, where he is in his sixth season as music director, have included universally acclaimed multimedia productions of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (2012) – dubbed “an instant Philharmonic milestone” by the New York Times – and Janácek’s Cunning Little Vixen (2011), both selected by New York magazine as the top classical music event of their respective years.

Gilbert’s way with Mozart’s operas has also been praised. When he conducted Don Giovanni for Sante Fe Opera, the Dallas Morning News said: “In his first summer as Santa Fe Opera’s music director, Alan Gilbert conducts elegantly … The orchestra plays with a delicacy and suppleness one never used to hear in Santa Fe’s Mozart.” In 2012, Gilbert conducted Così fan tutte for the Juilliard Opera, and the New York Times declared the result “urgent and natural,” injecting “new vitality” into the work.

Photos of Alan Gilbert are available here.

Alan Gilbert: upcoming engagements

Feb 4, 7, 11 14, 17, 21, 24, 27; March 2, 6
Metropolitan Opera
Mozart: Don Giovanni

Feb 19, 20, 21
Silk Road Ensemble / New York Philharmonic
Lincoln Center: Avery Fisher Hall
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
15th anniversary celebration of the Silk Road Ensemble
Various: The Silk Road Suite
Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky: Sacred Signs Suite
Mozart: Masonic Funeral Music
R. Strauss: Death and Transfiguration
Osvaldo Golijov: Rose of the Winds

March 7
Musicians from the New York Philharmonic
Metropolitan Museum of Art
CONTACT!: New Music from Nordic Countries
Per Norgard: Momentum (New York Premiere)
Kalevi Aho: Chamber Symphony No. 2
Djuro Zivkovic: The White Angel (New York Premiere) (Courtney Lewis, conductor)
Kaija Saariaho: Terra Memoria for string orchestra (U.S. Premiere of string orchestra version) (Courtney Lewis, conductor)

March 19, 20, 24
New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall
Esa-Pekka Salonen: Nyx
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G (with Inon Barnatan, piano)
Debussy: Jeux
R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Suite

March 21
Brookville, New York
New York Philharmonic
Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, Long Island University
Esa-Pekka Salonen: Nyx
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G (with Inon Barnatan, piano)
Debussy: Jeux
R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Suite

March 26, 27, 28
New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall
Lyadov: The Enchanted Lake
Stravinsky: Petrushka (1911, original version)
John Adams: Scheherazade.2 – Dramatic symphony for violin and orchestra (with Leila Josefowicz, violin; world premiere of New York Philharmonic co-commission)

April 8, 9, 10, 11
New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall
J.S. Bach: Concerto for Violin and Oboe
Thierry Escaich: Concerto for Violin and Oboe (with Lisa Batiashvili, violin & Francois Leleux, oboe; U.S. premiere of New York Philharmonic co-commission)
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10

Late April–early May (specific dates not yet announced)
New York Philharmonic
Tour to include concerts in Dublin, London, Paris, and Cologne, among other cities. In London, the Philharmonic will present Giants Are Small’s theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka. The Philharmonic also returns to London for its second residency at the Barbican Centre under the auspices of its International Associates initiative. In Cologne the Philharmonic will present the World Premiere of Peter Eötvös’s Senza sangue, a co-commission, with the support of The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, with the Kölner Philharmonie. Additional details to be announced.

April 15
London, UK
Barbican Centre
Royal Philharmonic Society Annual Lecture
(The New York Philharmonic will be doing a residency at the Barbican during their Europe/Spring 2015 tour.)

May 6
New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall
Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales
R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Suite
Stravinsky: Petrushka (1911, original version)

May 8 & 9
New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall
Schubert: Symphony in B minor, “Unfinished”
Peter Eötvös: Senza sangue (with Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano & Russell Braun, baritone; U.S. premiere of New York Philharmonic co-commission, with the support of the Kravis Prize for New Music, with the Kölner Philharmonie)

May 23 (matinee)
New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall
Dvorák: String Quintet in E-flat (with Sheryl Staples, violin; Michelle Kim, violin; Alan Gilbert, viola; Cynthia Phelps, viola; Carter Brey, cello)
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Susanna Mälkki, conductor; Jonathan Biss, piano)

May 25
New York Philharmonic
The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine
Free Annual Memorial Day Concert: Program TBA

June 10–13
New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall
Honegger: Joan of Arc at the Stake (staged; U.S. Premiere of August 2012 Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto production under the artistic direction of Seiji Ozawa)
Côme de Bellescize, director
Marion Cotillard, actress (Joan); Éric Génovèse, actor (Brother Dominique); Christian Gonon, actor (Narrator); Erin Morley, soprano (Virgin); Simone Osborne, soprano (Marguerite); Faith Sherman, mezzo-soprano (Catherine); Thomas Blondelle, tenor; Steven Humes, bass; Chorus TBA

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© 21C Media Group, January 2015

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