Los Angeles Philharmonic Opens 2006-07 Season With Puppetry by Basil Twist

Classic Arts News   Los Angeles Philharmonic Opens 2006-07 Season With Puppetry by Basil Twist
 
The Los Angeles Philharmonic is adding a dash of whimsy to its season-opening gala this year. The orchestra has invited puppetmaster Basil Twist — famous for his staging of Respighi's opera La bella dormiente nel bosco ("Sleeping Beauty") and his Berlioz Symphonie fantastique with puppets in a giant water tank — to stage Manuel de Falla's complete Master Peter's Puppet Show. Awet Andemicael, Agustin Prunell-Friend and Kyle Ketelsen are the vocal soloists, and LA Philharmonic music director Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the program, which also includes Ravel's Mother Goose Suite and Bolero.

Following tonight's gala is a weekend of three performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 3, featuring mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung.

Among the highlights of the LA Philharmonic's 2006-07 season are a new oratorio by Kaija Saariaho featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw, a revival of The Tristan Project and a series exploring Soviet music during the Stalin era.

Saariaho's La Passion de Simone, based on the life of French philosopher Simone Weil, was commissioned with Peter Sellars's New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna, the Barbican Centre in London, and Lincoln Center. It will get its world premiere in Vienna in November before coming to Los Angeles in January 2007. The libretto is by Amin Maalouf, who has written two operas with Saariaho; Salonen, another frequent collaborator, will conduct.

Other new music on this season's schedule includes Brett Dean's Viola Concerto, Gerald Barry's The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit and Salonen's own Helix, all getting their American premieres. John Harbison's Concerto for Double Bass, which was commissioned by the International Society of Bassists and a consortium of orchestras, will get its West Coast premiere in Los Angeles.

The Tristan Project, the multimedia version of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde by Salonen, video artist Bill Viola and director Peter Sellars that premiered in Los Angeles in December 2004, will return in April 2007 before its New York premiere at Lincoln Center. It will be presented once as a stand-alone performance and once divided into three installments. In the three-evening version, each act of the opera will be paired with a work by Debussy.

The "Shadow of Stalin" festival, to close the season in May and June 2007, will include excerpts from Shostakovich's operas The Nose and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Prokofiev's score for the film Alexander Nevsky (accompanied by a screening), and works by other Soviet-era composers, including Khachaturian, Schnittke and Gubaidulina.

The Philharmonic's On Location program, which brings artists to Los Angeles for extended residencies, will include pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Joshua Bell, and Upshaw, as well as composer and pianist Thomas Ads, who will complete a two-year collaboration that began in 2005-06.

Another highlight of the season will be a two-week cycle of the four Brahms symphonies conducted by Christoph von Dohnšnyi in February 2007.

Other guest conductors include Leonard Slatkin, Alan Gilbert, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Hans Graf, and Neville Marriner; Jir‹ Belohlšvek and Carlos Kalmar will make their Philharmonic debuts. Among the visiting soloists are pianists Lang Lang and Andr_ Watts and violinists Sarah Chang and Viktoria Mullova.

Detailed information on the Los Angeles Philharmonic's 2006-07 season is available at www.laphil.com.


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