Don Pasquale News Coverage – November 3, 2010
Great articles from The New York Times and Associated Press about ‘Don Pasquale’
StringFest 2011 Coverage – October 27, 2010
Jackson Hole News and Guide covers String Fest 2011.
The Canadian Press on Boris Godunov – October 14, 2010
Bass Rene Pape leads splendid cast in terrific new production of ‘Boris Godunov’ at Met Opera
By Mike Silverman (CP) – 2 days ago
NEW YORK, N.Y. — Less than three months ago, the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of “Boris Godunov” faced a crisis.
Peter Stein, the German director who had been working on it for over a year, abruptly quit because of difficulties with his visa, after the sets and costumes had already been designed but before rehearsals could start. To salvage the project, the Met called in American Stephen Wadsworth, who had never before directed Mussorgsky’s sombre masterpiece.
The production had its premiere Monday night, and to say “crisis averted” would be an understatement. In fact, it’s more like “Bravo Boris!” The result of this unusual amalgam of talents is a huge success on every count — from the superb cast led by bass Rene Pape in the title role to the inspired conducting of Valery Gergiev to the remarkably fluid and psychologically acute direction by Wadsworth.
“Boris,” adapted by the composer from a play by Alexander Pushkin, is a sprawling historical epic, recounting a troubled period in Russia’s history at the turn of the 17th century. As the opera begins, Boris — who has murdered the young heir to the throne, Dmitri — is proclaimed czar, but he is wracked with guilt and self-doubt. A young monk, Grigory, claims to be Dmitri and becomes a pretender to the throne, forming an alliance with a Polish princess, Marina, to lead an army against Boris.
As a backdrop to this tale of ruthless personal ambition and conflict, the chorus represents the Russian people, who suffer from hunger, deprivation and brutality. When the opera ends, Boris is dead, Grigory is ascending the throne and the people are no better off.
The music Mussorgsky composed for “Boris” is filled with mournful melodies and austere, even bleak, orchestration. Under Gergiev’s guiding hands, the score unfolded with a quiet inevitability, never rushed or showy, as it moved implacably toward its tragic conclusion.
Wadsworth’s direction, too, had an irresistible momentum, thanks in large part to his decision to lighten Ferdinand Woegerbauer’s already spare sets — mostly building facades and walls — so that the many scene changes could happen instantaneously, one literally flowing into the next.
The production, greatly enhanced by Moidele Bickel’s colorful period costumes, is imbued with a sense of history and geography. A huge manuscript lies open near the front of the stage for much of the evening. In it, an aged monk, Pimen, is writing Russia’s history, including Boris’ murder of Dmitri.
The staging is filled with insightful touches that, while not specified in the libretto, add to our understanding of the characters.
Before the first note sounds in the orchestra, a distracted-looking Boris rushes out of a monastery where he is deciding whether to accept the throne. He silently confronts a beggar called the Holy Fool — the same character who will sing the last lines of the opera, lamenting the endless suffering of the people. In the next scene — Boris’ coronation — he is so preoccupied that he drops his orb as he prepares to enter the Kremlin. In Poland, Prince Shuisky, who has joined the plot against Boris, is shown warmly greeting Marina.
Though Boris sings substantially in only three of the 10 scenes, he dominates the opera — especially as embodied by Pape. The German bass is noted for his impressive power and warm, velvety sound, but as Boris, his voice takes on a mournful, sometimes yearning, sometimes anguished quality. His torment is evident from the beginning in the haunted look on his face and his teetering posture, as if he has difficulty standing erect under the weight of his crime. His death, falling to the floor and gasping a final breath, comes almost as a relief.
The large supporting cast has not a weak link. Among the many who deserve praise, the Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko gives a fine display of heroic vocal power and youthful arrogance. Ekaterina Semenchuk, a mezzo-soprano from Belarus, fills out Marina’s insinuating phrases with lush vocalism. Russian bass Mikhail Petrenko does stalwart work as Pimen, and Vladimir Ognovenko, another Russian bass, has a memorable comic turn as the rascally monk Varlaam. As the Holy Fool, Russian tenor Andrey Popov lets his plangent tenor voice ring out with urgency.
And the chorus, such an integral part of this work, sings with astonishing beauty and control under the direction of Donald Palumbo.
Copyright © 2010 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
Telegraph, Bloomberg, Guardian rave about Das Rheingold – October 5, 2010
Check out what these publications have to say about The Metropolitan Opera’s performance of Das Rheingold. Be sure to catch this breathtaking performance broadcast live in Walk Festival Hall this Saturday at 11am. For tickets please call (307) 733-1128 or purchase right here on our website.
“‘Das Rheingold’ Glitters”
GTMF is a reason to visit the Tetons September 16, 2010Read the full article here.
Percussionist Colin Currie Raves about Teton Experience – August 24, 2010
Click here to read the full blog entry.
“Grand Teton Music Festival – Higdon
Okay – who thought of this one!!? Let’s place a major US orchestra at the centre of a high-end ski resort for seven weeks every summer in the most stunning and imposing surroundings imaginable!! Good on them, whoever they were for the Grand Teton Music Festival celebrates its 50th season next year – and I was mightily impressed with the entire experience this August. Wyoming is as spectacular a place as I ever saw – the Tetons themselves arranged in vast splendor before you even as you get off the plane(Jackson Hole is the only airport in the US situated in a National Park). This was a wonderful week of music making, and it was yet again such a thrill to play Jennifer’s piece, which got a standing ovation at the open dress rehearsal. The hall they have there is also extremely fine, and the opening marimba murmurs sounded better than ever. River trips, hikes and various wildlife encounters delighted our visit(I was joined by my girlfriend Kerenza on this trip!) and the McBean apartment, not long vacated by Stephen Hough, was an extremely comfy crash-pad in which to cook, sleep and sit in the rocking chair on the balcony looking at the stars.”
Brahms 1 is Greater – July 29, 2010
Vote For MUSIC! – March 15, 2010
This year you can help shape the concert program by voting for your patriotic favorite when you send in your contribution.
Since 1997 Music In The Hole has been a special celebration of patriotism and community that culminates in a free concert presented by the Grand Teton Music Festival orchestra. On the 4th of July, over 8,000 of your friends and neighbors will gather on Alpine Field to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day. YOUR support is what makes this day possible. For the past 14 years, it has been you, the members of our community, who have generously underwritten our patriotic celebration. Without your support, Alpine Field would empty on the 4th of July!
GTMF Celebrates National Music In Our Schools Month, 2010 – March 1, 2010
Jackson Hole, Wyoming – March 1, 2010 – This March, national Music In Our Schools Month®, the Grand Teton Music Festival makes it easy for you to share the excitement of live music with a young person you know with free student tickets for two special Festival performances! First, a FREE, all-ages Family concert on Saturday, March 20. At the end of the ski day, kids and families can enjoy a pre-concert treat before hearing a musical story time on stage at Walk Festival Hall. Festival Musicians will perform music set to Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, “The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” and are joined on stage by performers from the Jr. Repertory Company of Dancers’ Workshop.
On Friday, March 26, woodwind players from the Festival Orchestra perform an hour-long evening concert of lushly romantic music for woodwinds and piano as the final installment of the Festival’s 2010 Winter Concert Series. Tickets for the evening concert are free for students (ages 6-18) and just $10 for adults. Not only will Festival Musicians bring exhilarating performances to the stage of Walk Festival Hall, each visiting group will spend the week before their concerts in Jackson Hole classrooms working with local students. For tickets and information: 307-733-1128 or www.gtmf.org.
THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER
Saturday, March 20
4PM • Walk Festival Hall
3:30PM – Pre Concert Treats will be served
FREE – Tickets Required (available starting March 1)
Bring the entire family to an all-ages musical story time as Festival musicians perform original music to the story of “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” joined by Dancer’s Workshop Jr. Repertory Company. Come early to enjoy pre-concert treats backstage, and stay after the concert to learn about the musical instruments from the performance!
CHAMBER MUSIC FOR WOODWINDS & PIANO
Friday, March 26
7:30PM • Walk Festival Hall
Adults $10 / FREE for students (ages 6-18)
Festival Musicians from Chicago, Detroit, Houston and San Francisco come together for a woodwind sextet to perform a lushly romantic program of music for woodwinds and piano.
Winter Concerts are made possible by the generosity of Jackson Hole Resort Lodging, Grand Teton Music Festival guarantors and community support.
About National Music In Our Schools Month®
A national recognition of music in our schools, Music In Our Schools Month® was begun by the National Association for Music Education in 1973 to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music. Access to music and music education is a primary part of the Grand Teton Music Festival’s mission, and the Festival proudly supports our local school music programs.
GRAND TETON MUSIC FESTIVAL EDUCATION & OUTREACH PROGRAMS
The Grand Teton Music Festival believes music is fundamental to the human experience, and achieves this vision not only through great performances, but also through a commitment to educational programming. The Festival reaches out to people of all levels of interest and ability through its education and outreach initiatives. From a child’s first experience attending a live performance, to advanced instruction for music students, to continuing education for adult learners these programs reach more than 12,000 young students, musicians, and adults each year.
The majority of the Grand Teton Music Festival’s education and outreach initiatives provide music and education experiences to the youth of Jackson Hole and the surrounding regions. School year programming includes: StringFest (three-day clinic for eighth grade string students), Tune-UP! (private instrument lessons for middle school band and orchestra students), Music In The Schools (Festival musicians visit local classrooms), and Open the House: GTMF Presents (Jackson Hole High School Band and Orchestra perform their spring concerts in Walk Festival Hall). Annual summer programming features the popular 6:15 Music Machine (a free orchestra concert for children and families at Walk Festival Hall), and an Orchestra Mentorship Program (career shadowing for advanced high school instrumental music students).
For more information about the Festival’s education and outreach programming, contact Shelly Fuerte at 307-732-9959 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2010 Grand Teton Music Festival Season Announced – March 1, 2010
Located in Jackson Hole, at the gateway to the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, the Grand Teton Music Festival was voted one of the nation’s top ten music festivals in February 2010*. For its 49th season, Donald Runnicles – also General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra – returns for his fifth as the festival’s Music Director, to conduct the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra. Comprising first-rate musicians from orchestras all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe, the orchestra is in residence throughout the festival. Against a backdrop of matchless scenery, Maestro Runnicles leads the GTMF Orchestra in four of the festival’s seven weekend programs, all of which receive both Friday and Saturday night performances in the intimacy and superior acoustics of the recently-renovated Walk Festival Hall. This year’s impressive guest-star roster includes mezzo-soprano Susan Graham; composer Jennifer Higdon; soloists Paolo Bordignon (harpsichord), Sarah Chang (violin), Colin Currie (percussion), Stephen Hough (piano), Michael Rusinek (clarinet), and Akiko Suwanai (violin); and conductors Mei-Ann Chen, Reinhard Goebel, and Mark Wigglesworth. Besides the weekend programs, the seven-week festival (June 30 – Aug 14) also boasts week-night chamber concerts, lighter fare on Wednesdays, and “Music in the Hole”, the 14th annual free outdoor Independence Day concert, which rounds off the opening weekend.
Many of the musicians who make up the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra return year after year. “So many of them tell me they spend the other ten months of the year looking forward to returning to the Tetons,” explains Music Director Donald Runnicles. “The Grand Teton Music Festival is Jackson’s best-kept secret.” Not least because of the region’s stunning beauty, the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra attracts musicians from leading orchestras, where many hold principal positions. The ensembles represented include the National, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras; the Bergen (Norway), Los Angeles, and New York Philharmonics; the Metropolitan, New York City, and San Francisco Opera Orchestras; the Los Angeles and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras; the Minnesota and Philadelphia Orchestras; the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra; Lyric Opera of Chicago; the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra; and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
In the first of his five weekend programs, Maestro Runnicles presents Beethoven’s incomparable Fifth Symphony, coupled with the Tragic Overture by Brahms and Berg’s Violin Concerto, for which Akiko Suwanai – the youngest person ever to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition – joins the Festival Orchestra (July 2 & 3). The following weekend, Susan Graham, “America’s favorite mezzo” (Gramophone), favors audiences with a taste of her signature repertoire, performing Berlioz’s Nuits d’été under Runnicles in a program of French orchestral classics (July 9 & 10). For his third consecutive weekend program, the Music Director leads the orchestra in Mozart’s Symphonies Nos. 40 and 41 (“Jupiter”) and in the Bruch Violin Concerto, for which internationally-acclaimed virtuoso Sarah Chang returns to the festival (July 16 & 17).
Early music specialist Reinhard Goebel, the first of the season’s guest conductors, presents a selection of works by the Bach family, supported by harpsichord soloist Paolo Bordignon (July 23 & 24). The next weekend features Alan Fletcher’s Clarinet Concerto, which premiered in 2008 with soloist Michael Rusinek, who performs it again for the festival. Also on the program are Dvorák’s Carnival Overture and Rimsky-Korsakov’s beloved Scheherazade, all led by guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen, the first woman to win the Malko International Conductors’ Competition (July 30 & 31). The penultimate weekend of the festival is guest-conducted by Mark Wigglesworth, best known for his work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He leads the Festival Orchestra in Rachmaninoff’s Third Symphony and Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1, whose soloist is Wigglesworth’s compatriot Stephen Hough, “a virtuoso who begins where others leave off” (Washington Post) (Aug 6 & 7).
For the 49th season’s grand finale, Maestro Runnicles returns to conduct Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto with soloist Colin Currie, for whom the work was written. It was Currie who not only premiered but recorded the concerto, winning Higdon a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. The composer herself will be in residence all week to oversee the performances, in anticipation of next year’s festival, for which she has been commissioned to create a new work. Also on the final weekend program is another contemporary work – Slonimsky’s Earbox by John Adams – plus two orchestral favorites: Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for Strings and Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, with which the festival closes (Aug 13 & 14). The combination of Slonimsky’s Earbox with the music of Strauss has already proved a winning one for Runnicles, prompting this from the UK’s Guardian:
“Runnicles’s powerful beat helped give real shape to the manic energy of John Adams’s Slonimsky’s Earbox. … Where others tend to allow Adams’s firecracker to go where it may, Runnicles rode the whirlwind and actually made sense of it. … Runnicles knows his Strauss and understands that his most truthful effects are made with lightness rather than the trowel. There was no false portentousness in his interpretation, and his new orchestra played the one-movement symphony brilliantly… . It is rare to hear a more persuasive account of this problematic but important Strauss score.”
On weekday evenings, members of the Festival Orchestra form smaller groups for innovative and traditional Chamber Concerts, and Wednesday-night Spotlight Concerts offer a wide variety of lighter fare, from husband-and-wife piano duo Pam and Keith Phillips, who open the festival on June 30, to the DePue Brothers, Marvin Hamlisch, Sharon Isbin, Project Trio, Tiempo Libre, and returning GTMF favorites The Gypsies.
Tickets are available for purchase through the Grand Teton Music Festival Ticket Office by phone at (307) 733-1128 or online at www.gtmf.org.
The latest news on Maestro Runnicles – February 12, 2010
CLICK HERE to read a review in the HerladScotland about the BBC Scottish Symphony
CLICK HERE to preview the BBC Scottish Symphony’s 2011 season on film
CLICK HERE to read a review from the Scotsman
CLICK HERE to read a review from the Guardian
CLICK HERE to read a review from Where’s Runnicles Blog
CLICK HERE to read a review from the Bruckner Journal
CLICK HERE to read a review from the Dig Yorkshire website
CLICK HERE to read a review from the BBC Radio
CLICK HERE to read a review from the Times Online
CLICK HERE to read a review from the Arts Desk
CLICK HERE to view an interview with Conductor Donald Runnicles
Winter Concert Series Announced – January 6, 2010
Grand Teton Music Festival Receives Housing Grant – October 23, 2009MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES $3.5 MILLION
Anonymous gift establishes fund;
Festival seeks immediate acquisition of housing ownership interests
Jackson Hole, WY – October 23, 2009 – The Grand Teton Music Festival announced today that it is the beneficiary of pledges totaling $3.5 million for a Housing Fund. In making the announcement, Executive Director Tracy Jacobson said the new Housing Fund will enable the Festival to acquire ownership interests in housing for its participating artists and to stabilize once and for all the availability and cost of the single largest line item in the Festival’s budget.
The pledges from anonymous donors make $3 million in cash available immediately as appropriate acquisitions become available. The Festival has made a good-faith commitment to raise another $1.5 million for the Housing Fund in gifts or pledges payable over five years. Gifts of real estate, condos, or fractional interests certainly are expected and will be welcomed. Festival artists qualify for employee housing in Teton Village, Wyoming. When the $1.5 million goal is reached, another cash gift of $500,000 from the original donors will top off the campaign.
“The ever-rising cost of housing a few years ago almost threatened to suffocate the Music Festival, and that experience created tremendous motivation to stabilize our housing permanently. We are very grateful for the generosity of these donors and their faith in our mission,” said Ms. Jacobson. “With the Festival celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2011, the Housing Fund is a fitting way to pay tribute to the musicians and other staff who come to our community every year to give us the Festival music experience, and will help to sustain its vitality for the next fifty years and more.”
She added that the Festival is announcing the gift so that people with ideas for possible housing acquisitions by the fund or gifts for the Housing Fund will contact her at the Music Festival office at 307-732-9960 or email@example.com.
The Grand Teton Music Festival is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose annual programs include a nationally recognized Orchestra and summer concert season, free community offerings, a winter-chamber music series, year-round education and outreach initiatives, and the Jackson Hole Wine Auction.