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Lyric’s Sir Andrew Davis signs on with Melbourne Symphony

Sir Andrew Davis, music director and principal conductor of the world-renowned Lyric Opera of Chicago, will add the post of chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to his considerable credits, beginning in January 2013. The appointment was formally announced on Monday in Australia, and his initial contract in Melbourne is for four years.
Davis’s contract with Lyric Opera of Chicago was recently extended through the 2020-21 season. He will conduct Strauss’s Elektra, Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, Massenet’s Werther, and Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg during Lyric’s 2012-13 season.
Since Lyric’s 57th season closed in late March, the globetrotting maestro has not taken any time off.  He is currently in Australia for concerts with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in Melbourne and Sydney through the end of June. The first program comprises music by Brahms, Poulenc, and Bach/Davis; the second features works of Wagner and Strauss, with soprano Angela Denoke as soloist.
Davis led overlapping productions at Lyric this season of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, and Mozart’s The Magic Flute. He left immediately in late January for Britten-Elgar concerts in Bamberg, Germany, followed by performances with the London Philharmonic (Delius, Elgar, and Vaughan Williams) and recording sessions and concerts with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and violinist Tasmin Little.
Then the intrepid conductor flew back to the States to commence Don Giovanni rehearsals at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in early February. After his Met engagement concluded mid-March (and after he led the concert for the finals of the Met’s National Council Auditions), Davis headed back to London for rehearsals and performances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (including Tippett’s A Child of Our Time and the premiere of Hugh Wood’s violin concerto). He spent a week conducting in Rotterdam (Vaughan Williams, Ravel, Strauss), then re-crossed the Atlantic in early April for rehearsals and performances through late May of A Florentine Tragedy/Gianni Schicchi at Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. Between the Canadian Opera performances in early May, Davis shuttled between Toronto and Chicago to rehearse with Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for the ensembles’ first-ever collaborative concert at Symphony Center on May 7. He also led the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in works by Nielsen, Grieg, and Strauss between opera performances.
From Toronto, Davis flew to Edinburgh for recording sessions with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for Chandos Records – between rehearsals for The Damnation of Faust at Norway’s Bergen Music Festival. He briefly returned to Illinois to receive an honorary degree from Knox College in Galesburg on June 2 (and to attend his son Edward’s graduation from Knox) before jetting back to Bergen for performances from June 6-7, followed by recordings of Berlioz overtures with the Bergen Philharmonic.
After the current tour “Down Under” with the Melbourne Symphony, Davis can be found at Santa Fe Opera from early July through the end of August. He will lead rehearsals and performances of Strauss’s Arabella, starring soprano Erin Wall (one of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center alumna) in the title role – with a couple of trips to Glasgow between Arabella performances for rehearsals and the August 10 opening of the Edinburgh Festival, where he’ll conduct Delius’s A Mass of Life with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Davis will return to Melbourne after Santa Fe Opera’s Arabella closes the third week of August. By mid-September, he’ll be back at Lyric, conducting four operas in the company’s 58th season. At Lyric’s 2012-13 season announcement Davis noted, “It will be my first time conducting three of the four – Boccanegra, Werther, and Die Meistersinger – and I am eager to delve into all of them, as well as to return to the glorious score of Elektra.” 
About Sir Andrew Davis:
Sir Andrew Davis, music director of Lyric Opera of Chicago since 2000, is conductor laureate of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (having previously served as principal conductor), conductor laureate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (having previously had the longest tenure as chief conductor since BBCSO founder Sir Adrian Boult), and former music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera. During the 2011-12 season Davis led performances of Boris Godunov, Ariadne auf Naxos, and The Magic Flute at Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as a subscriber appreciation concert featuring soprano Renée Fleming (Lyric’s creative consultant) and baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky. His season also included engagements in New York (with the Metropolitan Opera), Melbourne, London, Bamberg, Edinburgh, and Toronto.
In previous seasons the British conductor has been welcomed by the leading orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Montreal, Toronto, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, and virtually every other major orchestra worldwide. He has also won great acclaim at the Met, La Scala, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, the Bayreuth Festival, Santa Fe Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company. New releases in his massive discography include works of Elgar, Delius, Holst, and York Bowen. In 2008, Davis released Elgar’s Violin Concertos, featuring violinist James Ehnes and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra (Onyx Classics), which won Gramophone’s coveted “Best Concerto Recording” Award.
In 1992 Davis was made a Commander of the British Empire for his services to British music, and in 1999 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours List. In 1991, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society/Charles Heidsieck Music Award. A native of Hertfordshire, Davis studied at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar before taking up the baton. He lives in Chicago with his wife Gianna Rolandi, director of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Sir Andrew Davis on the road:
June 22, 25 
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Melbourne, Australia
Works by Bach/Davis, Poulenc and Brahms
Cameron Carpenter, organ
June 27 
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Melbourne, Australia
Works by Wagner and Strauss
Angela Denoke, soprano
June 29, 30 
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Sydney, Australia
Works by Wagner and Strauss
Angela Denoke, soprano
July 28, Aug 1, 6
Santa Fe Opera
Santa Fe, NM
R. Strauss: Arabella
Aug 10
Edinburgh Festival opening concert
Edinburgh, Scotland
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Delius: A Mass of Life
Aug 17, 23
Santa Fe Opera
Santa Fe, NM
R. Strauss: Arabella
Sir Andrew Davis at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2012-13:
Oct 6 – 30
Richard Strauss: Elektra (new production)
Christine Goerke, Jill Grove, Emily Magee, Alan Held; Sir Andrew Davis, conductor; David McVicar, director; John Macfarlane, sets & costumes; Jennifer Tipton, lighting
[Seven performances: Oct. 6, 10, 13, 19, 22, 26 (mat), 30]
Oct 15 – Nov 9
Verdi: Simon Boccanegra
Thomas Hampson, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Krassimira Stoyanova, Frank Lopardo, Quinn Kelsey; Sir Andrew Davis, conductor; Elijah Moshinsky, director; Covent Garden production; Michael Yeargan, sets; Peter J. Hall, costumes; Duane Schuler, lighting
[Eight performances: Oct. 15, 20, 24, 28 (mat), 31 (mat), Nov. 3, 6, 9]
Nov 11 – 26
Massenet: Werther (new production)
Matthew Polenzani, Sophie Koch, Kiri Deonarine, Craig Verm; Sir Andrew Davis, conductor; Francisco Negrin, director; Louis Désiré, sets & costumes; Duane Schuler, lighting
[Six performances: Nov. 11 (mat), 14, 17, 20, 23, 26]
Feb 8 – Mar 3
Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (new production)
James Morris, Johan Botha, Amanda Majeski, Bo Skovhus; Sir Andrew Davis, conductor; Marie Lambert, director; David McVicar original production; Vicki Mortimer, sets & costumes; Paule Constable, lighting
[Seven performances: Feb. 8, 12, 16, 20, 23, 27 (mat), Mar. 3 (mat)]
LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO press contacts:
Susan Mathieson Mayer
Alexandra Day: [email protected]; (312) 827-5939
Magda Krance: [email protected]; (312) 827-5924; (312) 206-5342




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