Lise Davidsen and Norway's foremost pianist Leif Ove Andsens join forces to capture for Decca Classics the beautifully haunting music of their fellow Norwegian Edvard Grieg. The recording, released on 7 January 2022, is centred around Grieg's Haugtussa and also includes the composer's Five Songs, Op 69, and the Six Songs, Op 48, as well as a well-chosen selection of other songs.
The two musicians can also be heard live this January in four European cities:
8 January in Madrid at the Teatro Real
9 January in Munich at the Bayerische Staatsoper
11 January in Vienna at the Konzerthaus
13 January in London at the Barbican
Freddie De Tommaso took the Covent Garden stage by storm when he jumped in as Cavaradossi in Royal Opera’s production of Tosca on December 8, thus becoming the youngest ever tenor to perform the role on the iconic stage and the first Brit since 1963.
De Tommaso, who was due to perform the role on the 11th, took to the stage after the first interval when the tenor originally scheduled became unwell during the first of the three acts, prompting Neil Fisher to write in his review for The Times: "How did he fare? I’ll let Cavaradossi answer that: “Vittoria!”
The real excitement, however, was for Cavaradossi, Freddie De Tommaso (...) He had upstaged himself already, days earlier, attracting rave headlines by jumping in halfway through for Brian Hymel, taken unwell during the other cast’s opening night. Half Italian but raised in Tunbridge Wells, De Tommaso – remember the name – is hurtling to stardom.
Having trained at the Royal Academy of Music, first as a baritone, then switching up to tenor, he won the international Plácido Domingo Tenor prize in 2018 and was quickly signed up to Decca. Bright-toned in the Italianate style, but with heft to soar over the orchestra in mid-range, De Tommaso is not shy to show how loudly, how securely, how effortlessly he can sing. That prolonged, dazzling high A sharp on “Vittoria!” was, to tell it straight, milked. Why not… it was a rare thrill to hear a tenor voice of this ease and brilliance. The new Pavarotti? We’ve heard that before. This time it might just be true (The Guardian)
" A star is born as Freddie De Tommaso set the house alight" : Freddie De Tommaso is the real deal, a glorious Italianate throb animating a voice whose fate-sealing, defiant cries of “Vittoria!” in Act II set the house trembling.
Baritonal warmth at the lower end of the voice only adds to the sunburst-reveal of the top, and he’s just getting started (The Independent)
The superb Erin Morley took on the title role of Eurydice for its Metropolitan Opera premiere. Staged by Mary Zimmerman and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Matthew Aucoin's new opera tells the story the Greek myth of Orpheus from his wife's, Eurydice, perspective and her descent into the underworld. The librettist Sarah Ruhl adapted it from her own 2003 play.
A recipient of the Beverly Sills Award and a graduate of Lindemann Young Program, Morley has now sung more than 100 performances at the Met and has been featured in five “Live in HD” broadcasts, but this was her first star-vehicle production for the company: “She’s singing ‘what it means to love an artist.’ But we are learning what it means to love her, the incomparable Erin Morley.” Peter Gelb was quoted as saying by the NY Times , whilst the Washington Post published: Soprano Erin Morley was superb, masterfully handling some of Aucoin’s more gravity-defying requests, which here and there flutter and flip like a sheet of paper in the air. A stunning centerpiece aria (“This is what it is to love an artist”) brought her powers into focus — her voice is lithe, lean and luminous, and her tone stayed consistent and strong throughout the opera’s three acts.
With her crystalline voice and multi-faceted characterization, Erin Morley was a captivating Eurydice. Her final aria, in which she writes to Orpheus and prepares to dip herself in the river of forgetfulness, was exquisitely sung and extremely moving. (Seen and Heard)
MWA Management is proud to announce that Grammy Award-winning Canadian bass-baritone Gerald Finley, one of the most influential artists of our time, is joining the company for general management.
Celebrated for his performances and artistry worldwide, Finley’s long and distinguished career encompasses the complete spectrum of vocal art, ranging from Mozart to Verdi and Wagner, to Adams and Turnage. Revered by audiences and his peers alike, Finley has been constantly expanding his repertoire with new roles and collaborations with the greatest opera companies, orchestras and conductors.
This month Finley joins forces with The Theatre of Sound in an innovative production of Bartok’s monumental work Bluebeard’s Castle in a new chamber version at Stone Nest, London, to raise awareness about dementia. Usually presented as a Gothic horror story centred around an abusive relationship, this new, fully staged presentation reimagines the piece as a love story between a long-married couple coming to terms with living with the illness. Click here for more information: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/theatreofsound/545916#.
Bluebeard is a role that features heavily in Finley’s diary this season, as he also performs it with l’Orchestre de Paris and Esa-Pekka Salonen, and with the Vienna Symphony and Marin Alsop. Other engagements include the title role in Le nozze di Figaroat the Berlin State Opera with Daniel Barenboim and the Count at Bayerische Staatsoper and the Metropolitan Opera; the opening gala concert at the Paris Opera with Gustavo Dudamel; the title role in Falstaff at the Vienna State Opera; the world premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage’s song cycle Without Ceremony at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, followed by performances across Europe, Canada and the US.
Gerald Finley: “I am thrilled to be joining Maria Mot and the dynamic team at MWA Management, following the retirement of my previous manager Stefania Almansi, and am looking forward immensely to the future of projects and collaboration with them. I want to thank IMG for all their support throughout the years and very much look forward to this new chapter in my professional life.”
Maria Mot, founder of MWA Management: “I am absolutely thrilled to welcome one of my favourite artists to the MWA family. I have always been a huge fan of Gerald Finley’s astonishing artistry and commitment to the art form. It is hard to imagine a more complete artist today and it is a true honour to work with him and to continue to support his extraordinary legacy”.
We are thrilled to announced the signing of 25-year-old baritone Blake Denson, winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2020 and one of the most exciting vocal talents to have emerged in recent seasons. Currently on his second and final year at the prestigious Houston Grand Opera Studio, Denson is already booked for debuts with Bayerische Staatsoper, English National Opera and Santa Fe Opera next season.
Originally from Paducah, Kentucky he obtained his Bachelor of Music in voice degree from the University of Kentucky School of Music and completed his Master of Music degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Denson was also a studio artist at Wolf Trap Opera in 2018 and before joining the Houston Grand Opera Studio, he was offered a place on every major young artist programme in the US.
The National Norwegian Television, NRK, are airing on 21 September a documentary about Lise Davidsen, filmed over the course of 18 months. The documentary which is an intimate portrayal from her childhood until now, had the camera crew follow her during her debuts in Bayreuth and Metropolitan as well as the Covid pandemic. Davidsen made history in May 2021 when she reopened Teatro Alla Scala in Milan with a solo concert with Riccardo Chailly on the same night she was named "Female Singer of the Year" by the Opera Awards. Two days later she inaugurated the reopening of Bayerische Staatsoper. Earlier this month, she received the Anders Jahre Culture Prize and has been nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize. The documentary will be available in Norway only.
Komische Oper Berlin inaugurated their new season with the premiere of George Enescu's Oedipe starring Leigh Melrose in the title role. A real "tour de force" musically and dramatically which garnered him huge public and critical acclaim:
" The outstanding Leigh Melrose carries the evening with a singing that is close to speaking - and in fact Enescu has repeatedly noted transitions into the spoken song. At the same time, Melrose still has reserves for magically soft tones until the conciliatory final vocal" (Berliner Zeitung)
"Leigh Melrose, in the fraught title role, gives a remarkable performance, gripping and powerful, consummately emotional yet always in control." (Financial Times)
"Leigh Melrose’s mesmerising performance in the title role. One felt, rather than merely observed, every twist and turn of the fatal screw, words, music, and gesture conceived and delivered in post-Wagnerian whole." (Seen and Heard International)
We are delighted to welcome Hungarian/Romanian bass Alexander Köpeczi for worldwide management. Winner of the best performance of a Verdi aria and Internationale OpernWerkstatt prizes at the 2020 Francisco Viñas Singing Competition in Barcelona, Köpeczi will join the hugely prestigious Salzburg Festival Young Artist Project this summer. He will also make his Royal Opera House, Covent Garden debut next season as Sacristano Tosca in a cast which includes fellow Romanian superstar soprano Angela Gheorghiu and Stefan Pop in December 2021 and as Lodovico in Otello in July 2022.
An ensemble member of the Hungarian State Opera in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and a frequent collaborator of the Hungarian National Opera in Budapest his roles include: Sparafucile Rigoletto, Old Hebrew Samson et Dalila, Fafner Das Rheingold, Commendatore Don Giovanni; Ferrando Il Trovatore; Brander La damnation de Faust; Zuniga Carmen; Il Re Aida; Sarastro The Magic Flute; Jose Castro La fanciulla del West and Colline La Boheme.
Köpeczi can be heard as Jose Castro and Billy Jackrabbit on the PENTATONE recording of La fanciulla del West. Following this performance he was immediately invited to sing Doctor Grenville in a recording of La Traviata for the same label, which stars Lisette Oropesa and is due for release later this year.
We are thrilled to announce the signing of hugely exciting Tongan-New Zealander tenor Filipe Manu, who joins shortly before graduating from the prestigious Jette Parker Young Artist Programme. Upon his graduation, Manu will make his debut with the Edinburgh International Festival in their production of Ariadne auf Naxos conducted by Sir Andrew Davis and will be joining the ensemble of Stadttheater Bern, where his roles will include Tamino Die Zauberflöte, Arbace Idomeneo and Tebaldo I Capuleti ed i Montecchi, and in 2022 he will return to Covent Garden in a leading Mozart role.
An alumnus of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and of University of Waikato, Manu made his Royal Opera debut in the 2018/19 Season as Hippolyt Phaedra in the Linbury Theatre he joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme a season later. During his time in the programme he sang Gastone de Letorières La traviata and First Prisoner Fidelio for The Royal Opera and has appeared extensively in concert and recital with the company, including: the Royal Opera House Stars Gala with Lisette Oropesa and Gerald Finely conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano; Christmas Gala Concert conducted by Mark Wigglesworth; and an intimate recital of song and aria’s with Sir Antonio Pappano.
His next appearance is on the stage of the Royal Opera House as Genaro Lucrezia Borgia and Fenton Falstaff on 17 July .
Lise Davidsen will make her Teatro alla Scala debut on 10 May, in the reopening concert of the opera house, marking 75 years since La Scala was rebuilt. She will perform a solo concert conducted by Maestro Riccardo Chailly, with a programme featuring works by Verdi, Wagner, Purcell, Tchaikovsky and Richard Strauss.
On 16 April Decca Classics release Freddie De Tommaso's debut album Passione , recorded in London with the Philharmonic Orchestra and Renato Balsadonna. The album explores De Tommaso's Italian heritage and pays tribute to his two heroes: tenor Franco Corelli, whose centenary we celebrate this year, and to his late father, Franco De Tommaso.
On 26 March Decca Classics will release Lise Davidsen's much anticipated second solo album, which features music by Beethoven, Wagner and Verdi, including some arias from operas Davidsen has performed on stage in recent years, including Fidelio (Leonore’s aria ‘Abscheulicher!’), Cherubini’s Medea and Santuzza' in Cavalleria rusticana. Other operatic heroines explored include Verdi’s Leonora from La forza del destino and Desdemona from Otello plus the first of Wagner’s five Wesendonck Lieder. To honour the launch, Lise will make several TV and Radio appearances as well as gracing the cover of Gramophone Magazine. To keep up to date with her latest appearances and interviews follow us on social media.
We are thrilled to announce the signing of one of the most exciting and in demand artists today, French tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac, whose performances have garnered him acclaim on the world’s most important opera stages such as Opéra National de Paris, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Dutch National Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Grand Théâtre de Genève, San Francisco Opera, and at the Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg Festivals
Hailed by many as the Tamino of his generation, recent important debuts include the title role of Pelleas Pelleas et Melisande at Opéra National de Bordeaux and a much celebrated Max Der Freischütz at Theatre de Champs-Elysées in Paris.
Engagements this season include a new Magic Flute at Opera de Paris and two very exciting role debuts: Don José in Carmen at the Opéra de Bordeaux and the title role La Clemenza di Tito at Opera de Paris.
De Barberyac appears regularly in recital and concert in such works as Berlioz’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. He made his Salzburg Festival debut in Mozart’s Davidde Penitente and later returned to Salzburg for Haydn’s Die Schöpfung. Passionate about song and chamber music, he will next appear in recital in Paris at Salle Gaveau on 1 March, together with mezzosoprano Ambroisine Bré.