Bard College Conservatory of Music Presents Richard Strauss’s Salome, March 18 and 20ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY—The Bard College Conservatory of Music presents Salome, an opera by Richard Strauss with libretto by Oscar Wilde. The Bard Conservatory Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, joins an exciting principal cast of singers in a performance, directed by R. B. Schlather, of Richard Strauss’s once infamous, now famous opera, Salome—a biblical story with a twist. Performances will be held on Friday, March 18 at 8 pm and Sunday, March 20 at 2pm in the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater. Tickets start at $25, with free tickets for Bard students. Virtual livestream tickets are pay what you wish. To purchase or reserve tickets visit fishercenter.bard.edu, call 845-758-7900 (Mon-Fri 10am-5pm), or email [email protected].
Adapted from Oscar Wilde’s one-act play, Richard Strauss’s opera Salome depicts the biblical story of Salome, the Judean princess who demanded, and obtained, the head of St. John the Baptist. Bard Visiting Associate Professor of Music Peter Laki writes that the first performance of Salome, given in Dresden on December 9, 1905, caught even the most progressive critics off guard. “There was little doubt that the opera was a masterpiece, that its music was radically innovative, even ‘revolutionary,’ but many were profoundly disturbed by the image of Salome kissing the severed head of John the Baptist on the mouth,” writes Laki, stressing that, despite its early notoriety, Salome was Strauss’s first successful opera and went on to become part of the standard repertoire of every house that can meet the almost superhuman demands it places on the singers and the enormous orchestra alike. “The opera certainly stands with Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, which followed eight years later, at the threshold of a new era. It did away with many old taboos and presented human situations and emotions in a way they had never been presented before. Strauss made an old story breathtakingly new, boldly confronting the dark sides of the human psyche.”
About the Artists
In addition to serving as music director of the Bard Conservatory Orchestra, Leon Botstein is music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra (ASO), founder and music director of The Orchestra Now (TŌN), artistic codirector of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival, and conductor laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, where he served as music director from 2003 to 2011. He has been guest conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre, Russian National Orchestra in Moscow, Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Taipei Symphony, Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfónica Juvenil de Caracas in Venezuela, among others.
R. B. Schlather is an American artist. Known for his innovations as an opera director and impresario, and critically acclaimed for site-specific performances and process-art installations, he works internationally in museums, galleries, theaters, concert halls, warehouses, historic buildings, and public spaces. In addition to performance and installation, he paints and makes miniature theatrical dioramas with found materials. His home and studio are in Hudson, NY. In the 2021/22 season, Schlather returns to Oper Frankfurt to direct new productions of Madama Butterfly, and L’Italiana in Londra by Domenico Cimarosa. Schlather made his European directing debut at Oper Frankfurt in the 2019/20 season, staging George Frideric Händel’s darkest, boldest opera Tamerlano, in a site-specific installation for Frankfurt’s Bockenheimer Depot. The sold-out performance was called “staged with Händel’s courage” (FAZ), “radical, modern” (BNN), “not to be missed” (Frankfurter Neue Presse). Oper Frankfurt was named “House of the Year 2020” for this season by Opernwelt Magazine.
Hailed as “fearless” (Opera News) and “masterful” (Tulsa World) with a “powerful…and gorgeous voice” (MinnPost), Alexandra Loutsion continues to be recognized for her passionate performances and vocal versatility as a rising star on the operatic stage. In the 2021-2022 season, she makes her debut with Pittsburgh Festival Opera kicking off their solo recital series Legends in the Limelight: Pittsburgh Festival Opera Live at Carnegie Music Hall, returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago covering Sondra Radvanovsky as Lady Macbeth in their new production of Verdi’s Macbeth, and debuts with Austin Opera singing Leonore in Fidelio: A Celebratory Gala Production. She makes her Dallas Opera debut singing excerpts from Macbeth and Aida in their Opera’s Greatest Hits! concert, and debuts in the title role of Salome at the Fisher Center at Bard College. Alexandra returns to the University of Southern California (her alma mater) for a short coaching residency and joins the USC Symphony to sing Strauss’ Four Last Songs (Postponed due to COVID-19). She closes the season in her company and role debut with the Glimmerglass Festival singing Mother Abbess in Rogers & Hammerstein’s "The Sound of Music. Ms. Loutsion’s 2020-2021 season included a surprise debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago when she went on as Brünnhilde in Yuval Sharon’s Twilight: Gods, a reinterpretation of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung. She also made her debut with Chicago Opera Theater singing the leading role of Kayla in Kamala Sankaram’s Taking Up Serpents, and created an online recital series entitled Real Opera Wives of Chicago with mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen presented by New York’s Opera on Tap. https://www.alexandraloutsion.com/biography
Grammy winner and author Jay Hunter Morris first stepped into the national spotlight when he created the role of Tony in Terrence McNally’s Tony Award winning play Master Class on Broadway in 1995. And then, as documented in Susan Froemke’s Wagner’s Dream, he made shockwaves throughout the opera world in 2011 after stepping in at the eleventh hour to sing the title role in Siegfried at the Metropolitan Opera as part of their new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, directed by Robert Lepage. That production was broadcast live to cinemas worldwide and earned a Grammy award for Best Opera Recording. Firmly established as one of the world’s leading heldentenors, Jay went on to sing Siegfried in Budapest at the Wagner Days Festival, and again with Houston Grand Opera and San Francisco Opera (with Donald Runnicles conducting). Ensuing successes included his first Tristan in Valencia (under the baton of Zubin Mehta), and Schoenberg’s Guerre-Lieder at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Kent Nagano. His portrayal of Teague in Higdon’s Cold Mountain has also earned him an additional two Grammy nominations, and he has created roles in eight world premiere operas.
A “tall, majestic bass” with “impeccable technique” and “a palpable presence on stage,” Canadian bass-baritone Nathan Berg has enjoyed a career spanning a vast range of repertoire on the concert and operatic stage. He has recently earned worldwide acclaim for his portrayals of the title role in Der fliegende Holländer in his Bolshoi Theatre debut, Alberich in Das Rheingold with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Minnesota Opera, Doktor in Wozzeck with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Houston Symphony, for which he won a Grammy Award, and his company debut at Teatro alla Scala in Robert Carsen’s world-premiere production of Battistelli’s CO2. In the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Berg made his Metropolitan Opera stage debut as The Father in the New York premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, returns to Theater Basel as Philippe in Don Carlos, and debuts the role of Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde with the Taiwan Philharmonic.
Katharine Goeldner’s unique gifts have taken her to stages and concert platforms throughout the U.S. and Europe in an astonishing range of repertory. Opera News calls her “a natural actress…[a] powerhouse mezzo with thrilling, laser-like focus” and “luminous tone.” Opera magazine has praised her voice as “stunningly rich.” Her performances in recent seasons include Fricka in Das Rheingold at Minnesota Opera; Herodias in Salome with the Minnesota Orchestra; Annina in Der Rosenkavalier and the Marquise de Berkenfeld in La fille du Regiment at The Metropolitan Opera; Amneris in Aida with the Utah Opera and Boston Youth Symphony; Thirza in The Wreckers for Bard SummerScape; Shostakovich’s From Jewish Folk Poetry with Leon Botstein and The Orchestra Now at Carnegie Hall; Berio’s Folk Songs with the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg; Verdi’s Requiem with the Jacksonville Symphony; Madam Larina in Eugene Onegin at the Santa Fe Opera; and Fricka in Die Walküre with the Augsburg Staatstheater.
American dramatic tenor Robert Stahley, known for “bringing vociferous ring to the tenor line,” (South Florida Classical Review), is currently in his final year of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein young artist program at LA Opera. There, he has performed Walther in Tannhäuser, Le Berger in Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex, Valcour in L’Amant Anonyme, First Armored Man in Barrie Kosky’s famed production of Die Zauberflöte, and Parpignol in the North American premiere of Barrie Kosky’s La bohème. In the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Stahley will perform Jupiter in Semele with Opera Santa Barbara, Narraboth in Salome with Bard Festival, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and a concert of opera favorites with Dayton Performing Arts.
The Bard College Conservatory Orchestra performs four concerts annually with Music Director Leon Botstein and noted guest conductors in the Sosnoff Theater of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College. The Orchestra has performed twice at Lincoln Center in New York City and at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre, and Brown University. In addition to annual performances at New York correctional facilities as part of the Bard Prison Initiative, the Orchestra completed two three-week international concert tours: one to Asia, with concerts in Taipei, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjing, Guangzhou, and Wuhan, and one to Europe with concerts in Warsaw, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, Prague, and Berlin. In December 2019, the Conservatory Orchestra spent a week in Hainan, China, and performed two concerts conducted by Tan Dun.
#About the Bard College Conservatory
The Bard College Conservatory of Music expands Bard’s spirit of innovation in arts and education. The Conservatory, which opened in 2005, offers a five-year, double-degree program at the undergraduate level and, at the graduate level, programs in vocal arts and conducting. At the graduate level the Conservatory also offers a nondegree-granting Advanced Performance Studies program and a two-year Postgraduate Collaborative Piano Fellowship. The US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, established in 2018, offers a unique degree program in Chinese instruments; and the Creative Center for Film Music, a 2021 initiative, supports the study of film scoring and composition for film. In fall 2022, two new graduate programs will be added, a Master of Music in Instrumental Performance and a Master of Arts in Chinese Music. bard.edu/conservatory
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year, residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 11 programs; nine early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 161-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
Bard Press Contact:Mark Primoff
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