John Adams Oratorio to Receive World Premiere in LA Phil 2011-12 Season; Adams to Remain Creative Chair Till 2014
John Adams, whose 1987 opera Nixon in China continues to delight audiences and critics in the Metropolitan Opera premiere production, going on now—with the New Yorker exclaiming of this "modern classic" that "Not since Porgy and Bess has an American opera won such universal acclaim as Nixon in China"—will unveil a new vocal work with the world premiere of his oratorio The Gospel According to the Other Mary by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in May and June 2012. The LA Phil announced the news today, along with its complete 2011-12 season, which will also include performances of additional works by Adams. The composer, who is currently the Philharmonic's Creative Chair, will continue on in that role through the 2013-14 season.
Gustavo Dudamel, the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, who conduct the orchestra in the performances of The Gospel According to the Other Mary, says: "In our third season together, working with my extended family on the music of Adams, Mahler and Mozart, music that is so personal to me, makes the next part of our journey together so much more thrilling. Commissioning and creating music from today’s composers and to share this with our wonderful audience means that we all become part of the creative process.”
"My experiences with the Los Angeles Philharmonic are never anything short of astonishing,” says Adams. "The audiences are among the most sophisticated and curious anywhere, and the orchestra itself is one of the most supple and flexible of any in the world. The chance to continue participating in the artistic evolution of this extraordinary musical institution is something that I hold very special."
Dudamel created the Creative Chair role for John Adams at the start of his directorship with the LA Phil. The organization describes Adams as an integral part of it creative team, both with his involvement in the Green Umbrella new-music series and by designing key projects and festivals in conjunction with Dudamel.
The Gospel According to the Other Mary is a 90-minute oratorio for orchestra, chorus and soloists. Based on the New Testament stories of Lazarus and Jesus’ Passion, plus contemporary Latin American poetry, as with Adams's first oratorio, El Niño. The libretto, created by Peter Sellars, draws from the works of the Mexican poet Rosario Castellanos, Dorothy Day, Louise Erdich, and June Jordan. Three countertenors serve as narrator for the story. The concert version will be done in 2012 and the staged version in 2013, directed by Peter Sellars. His vision for the staging uses the traditional Mexican funeral rites as a basis. The project will be taken on an international tour in later seasons.
In addition, the LA Phil 2011-12 season will include performances of Adams's Violin Concerto with violinist Leila Josefowicz and the composer conducting, April 5-7, 2012; Short Ride in a Fast Machine led by Dudamel, September 30-October 2; and Tromba Lontana October 20 and 21. The Violin Concerto performances are part of a week of subscription concerts in which the composer will lead the LA Phil in April 2012, which also includes the West Coast premiere of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 9.
The season also includes the West Coast premiere of Steve Reich's 2x5 in an all-Reich program featuring Clapping Music, Piano Phase / Video Phase, and Music for 18 Musicians, on January 17, 2012; and the US premieres of two works by Louis Andriessen: La Girò for violin and ensemble and Anaïs Nin for singer, ensemble and film, on February 28.
For more information on these and other concerts in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's 2012-13 concert season, visit laphil.org.
Concurrent with Nixon in China's Metropolitan Opera premiere in New York, the Canadian Opera Company has just launched its own production of the 1987 opera in Toronto on Saturday, directed by James Robinson, with Pablo Heras-Casado conducting. The Toronto Star describes the work as "smart, engaging, and viscerally satisfying," with reviewer John Terauds saying, "this substantial, three-act opera feels even more compelling and actual in 2011 ... This is contemporary opera music at its most viscerally engaging." Read the complete review at thestar.com.
The Met production continues for four more performances this month, including a matinee performance this Saturday that will be simulcast to movie theaters across North America starting at 1 PM ET. For more information, visit metopera.org.
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