Composed for a royal wedding celebration, Handel’s Atalanta is a tale full of hidden love and disguise, complete with vocal fireworks. Long dormant since its 1736 premiere, Atalanta’s lively overtures, festive melodies, and favored arioso, “Care selve,” were revived in 1970 and are now the perfect accompaniment to a summer evening at Caramoor. We are delighted to welcome back Nicholas McGegan, whose expertise in this repertoire covers a dozen Handel oratorios and close to twenty of his operas, along with America’s leading period-instrument ensemble, for its Caramoor debut.
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Sherezade Panthaki (Atalanta)
Amy Freston (Meleagro)
Cécile van de Sant (Irene)
Isaiah Bell (Aminta)
Philip Cutlip (Nicandro)
Davóne Tines (Mercurio)
Jolle Greenleaf, Artistic Director
3:00 pm Pre-concert lecture with Ellen T. Harris, MIT professor emeritus and Handel scholar
Complimentary Garden Listening Tickets for Members at the Family Level and above
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Nicholas McGegan is “one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation” (Independent) and “an expert in 18th-century style” (New Yorker). In his capacity as Music Director of San Francisco based Philharmonia Baroque he has established the group as the leading period band in America. In 2005 they marked their 20-year association with concerts at Carnegie Hall, their first European tour with appearances at the BBC Proms, Snape Maltings Aldeburgh, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and the International Handel Festival, Göttingen where McGegan was Artistic Director 1991–2011. He is also the Principal Guest Conductor of Pasadena Symphony.
Active in opera as well as the concert hall, he has been Principal Guest Conductor of Scottish Opera and Principal Conductor of Sweden’s 18th Century theatre in Drottingholm, running the annual festival there.
He has been a pioneer in the process of exporting historically informed performance practice beyond the world of period instruments to wider conventional symphonic forces, guest-conducting with orchestras such as the Chicago, St Louis, Toronto, Montreal, and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, the New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Houston, and Concertgebouw Orchestras as well as the Royal Scottish National, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Chamber, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and CBSO Baroque Ensemble, Capella Savaria at the Esterházy Festival, and the Hallé.
Opera companies he works with include Royal Opera House Covent Garden, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Washington. He has broken new ground in experimental dance-collaborations with Mark Morris, notably at festivals such as Edinburgh International, and Ravinia.
His discography of over 100 releases includes the world premiere recording of Handel’s Susanna, which attracted both a Gramophone Award and Grammy nomination. Recent issues of the same composer’s works include Solomon, Samson and Acis, and Galatea (a rarity in that it unearths the little-known version adapted by Felix Mendelssohn). Among his other rediscoveries is the first performance in modern times of Handel’s masterly but mislaid Gloria. Other important releases on Philharmonia Baroque’s own label include Brahms Serenades, Berlioz Nuits D’Ete, Haydn Symphonies, Vivaldi Four Seasons, and Handel Atalanta.
Recent highlights include conducting the Royal Northern Sinfonia at Stage@theDock, Hull in a water-themed programme for the BBC Proms, the festival’s first concert outside of London since the 1930s. Highlights of the 2017/18 season include returning to conduct the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in the world premiere of Sally Beamish’s The Judas Passion, co-commissioned by the OAE and the Philharmonia Baroque. He will also conduct the Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto at Casa da Musica, the Bergen Philharmonic, and the SWR Symphonieorchester.
Born in England, he was educated at Cambridge and Oxford universities. His awards include an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Göttingen, the Hallé Handel Prize, an order of merit of the state of Lower Saxony, a medal of Honour of the City of Goettingen and an official Nicholas McGegan Day, declared by the Mayor of San Francisco for two decades of distinguished work with the Philharmonia Baroque.
He was made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2010.
Sherezade Panthaki, soprano
Soprano Sherezade Panthaki’s international success has been fueled by superbly honed musicianship; “shimmering sensitivity” (Cleveland Plain Dealer); “radiant” voice (The Washington Post); and vividly passionate interpretations, “mining deep emotion from the subtle shaping of the lines” (The New York Times). An acknowledged star in the early-music field, Ms. Panthaki has ongoing collaborations with leading early music interpreters including Nicholas McGegan, Simon Carrington, Matthew Halls, and Masaaki Suzuki, with whom she made her New York Philharmonic debut.
Panthaki’s recent performance with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and conductor Nicholas McGegan was named one of the “Top 10 Classical Music Events of 2015” and described as “a breathtaking combination of expressive ardor, tonal clarity, technical mastery and dramatic vividness” by The San Francisco Chronicle.
Ms. Panthaki’s 2017/18 season features performances of Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and the St. Louis Symphony (Nicholas McGegan conducting), the Milwaukee Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, her return to Ars Lyrica, Pasadena Symphony Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic, and a United States Christmas Oratorio tour with Bach Collegium Japan.
Ms. Panthaki’s repertoire extends well beyond the music of the Renaissance and Baroque to works such as Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Houston Symphony, John Tavener’s The Last Discourse with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with American Classical Orchestra, and Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise and Strauss lieder at the Bari International Music Festival.
Ms. Panthaki holds an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music and a Masters degree from the University of Illinois.
Amy Freston, soprano
Amy Freston was born in London and trained as a classical dancer before studying singing at the Royal Northern College of Music with Sandra Dugdale. She went on to the National Opera Studio where she was sponsored by Glyndebourne and became one of the most compelling performers of the younger generation of British singers‚ in constant demand on the operatic stage and concert platform.
Recent engagements included Ilia Idomeneo (Grange Park Opera)‚ Agilea Teseo for the Gottingen International Handel Festival‚ Belinda Dido and Aeneas and Rose Maybud Ruddigore (Opera North) The Owl and the Pussycat for ROH2 as part of the London 2012 Festival‚ Teseo for the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with Nicholas McGegan in San Francisco‚ and Raymond Gubbay’s Strauss Gala tour (Soprano Soloist).
A frequent guest at Opera North and Glyndebourne‚ roles include Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro‚ Miss Wordsworth Albert Herring‚ Valencienne Merry Widow‚ Amore L’incoronazione di Poppea‚ Sandman Hänsel und Gretel‚ Despina Così fan Tutte‚ First Niece Peter Grimes, Elsa in the world première of David Sawer’s Skin Deep‚ Belinda Dido and Aeneas‚ and La Musica Orfeo.
In concert she has performed Bach with the Orchestra of Age Enlightenment and Vladimir Jurowski‚ Carmina Burana with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra‚ Handel L’Allegro‚ il penseroso ed il moderato with Nicholas McGegan and Northern Sinfonia‚ St. Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Mark Padmore‚ Mozart C Minor Mass with Manchester Camerata. Other conductors she has worked with include Richard Farnes‚ Douglas Boyd‚ Martyn Brabbins‚ Dennis Comte‚ Gary Cooper‚ Edward Gardner‚ Simon Halsey‚ Nicholas Kok‚ Nicholas Kraemer‚ William Lacey‚ Louis Langrée, and Thomas Roesner. She made her debut at the BBC Proms with the Nash Ensemble and other concert performances include Mozart C Minor Mass with Northern Sinfonia and Thomas Zehetmair‚ Lucio Silla with the Classical Opera Company and Ian Page in Italy and a programme of Bach and Handel on tour with Le Concert d’Astrée and Emmanuelle Haim. Amy has worked with many notable directors‚ including: Phyllida Lloyd‚ Robert Carsen‚ Sir Peter Hall‚ Laurent Pelly‚ Richard Jones‚ Christopher Alden‚ Giles Havergal, and Tim Albery.
Amy recently made a recording of Birtwistle’s Nine Settings of Lorine Niedecker with Adrian Brendel.
Amy Freston was a winner of the prestigious Joaninha Trust Award‚ and was generously supported in her studies by the Countess of Munster Musical trust and the Peter Moores Foundation. She was also winner of the Glyndebourne on Tour Promis Award 2005.
Cécile van de Sant, mezzo-soprano
Cécile van de Sant studied with Cora Canne Meijer at the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam where she graduated Cum Laude and continued her studies in New York with Marlena Kleinmann Malas.
Recent engagements include among others the title role in Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan; Civil Wars by Glass at the Holland Festival; Matthäus Passion with the Residentie Orchestra under Jaap van Zweden; Gluck/Berlioz Orphée with Orchestre des Pays de Savoie on tour in France; Verdi Requiem in Vredenburg Utrecht; Le Marteau sans Maître with Nieuw Ensemble for the 90th Birthday of Pierre Boulez; Alt-Rhapsodie with the Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in the Concertgebouw; Berg Sieben frühe Lieder and Der Wein with Göttingen Symphonie Orchester; Wozzeck in the Matinee Series of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam; baroque arias with the Kölner Akademie in Istanbul and the title role in Falco’s oratorio “Santo Antonio” with Europa Galante under Fabio Biondi; Dutch premiere of Rihm Deus Passus and Mahler Symphony No. 3 with Göttingen Symphony Orchestra.
Her operatic roles include the Messagiera and Proserpina in L’Orfeo (Monteverdi) with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and Speranza at the Teatro Liceu, Barcelona; Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck) with the Scottish Opera; Iphigénie en Tauride at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Liceu, Barcelona, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte for Opéra National de Paris, Rossweisse in Die Walküre at the Dutch National Opera. Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito (Mozart) with the Orquestra Sinfónica de Balears in Palma, the title role of La Cenerentola in Kaiserslautern and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini) Opera Holland Park in London; Die Zauberflöte and Dido and Aeneas at Opéra de Lausanne. Scipio in Glanert’s Caligula in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdink) in Vredenburg Utrecht and with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Concertgebouw, Olga in Eugen Onegin at the Nationale Reisopera and with Opera North; Kate in Owen Wingrave (Britten) at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. She sang numerous roles in Händel operas including Cyrus in Belshazzar and Irene in Atalanta with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco; Tauride in Arianna in Creta, Unulfo in Rodelinda, and Goffredo in Rinaldo with the Göttingen Händel Festival; Second harlot and the Queen of Sheba in Solomon with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Cornelia in Giulio Cesare with Opera Ireland; the title role in Tamerlano in Utrecht and Amsterdam and Medea in Teseo at the Britten Theatre in London.
Cécile also performs extensively in concerts and oratorio such as Bach’s St. Matthew Passion under the baton of John Nelson and Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder under the baton of Neeme Järvi with the Residentie Orchestra, Bach’s Hohe Messe under Jordi Savall in Cuenca, Händel’s Messiah with the Residentie Orchestra under Paul McCreesh, Frank Martin’s Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke with Göttinger Symphonie Orchester, Mahler’s Rückertlieder with Holland Symfonia, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under Antonello Manacorda, Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium with the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam under Jan Willem de Vriend, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with RTE in Dublin and the Dutch premiere of Deus Passus by Rihm with the Rotterdams Philharmonic Orchestra under Marcus Stenz.
She has worked with conductors including Ivor Bolton, Michael Schønwandt, Laurence Cummings, Richard Farnes, Claus Peter Flor, Marek Janowski, Armin Jordan, Raymond Leppard, Nicholas McGegan, Kenneth Montgommery, Arnold Östman, Edo de Waart and Jaap van Zweden.
Highlights in season 2017–18 are Mahler Das Lied von der Erde with Göttingen Symphony Orchestra; Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Reinhard Goebel; Frank Martin Die Weise von Liebe und Tod, Residentie Orkest The Hague led by Reinbert de Leeuw; Concertgebouw Matinee 1e Magd in Strauss’ Elektra (led by Markus Stenz) and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (led by Pablo Heras-Casado).
Isaiah Bell, tenor
Hailed in The New York Times for “a performance of haunting beauty, ideally depicting emotional distraction with ultimate economy and glowing vocal skill,” Canadian-American tenor Isaiah Bell looks forward to a season highlighted by the works of Handel, Britten, and Kurt Weill.
His current season includes Messiah with the Toronto Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic (both conducted by Nicholas McGegan), Bernstein’s Mass with Bethlehem Bach, Britten’s Curlew River at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and Weill’s intriguing Sieben Todsünden for the Toronto Symphony’s Decades series, conducted by Peter Oundjian. Isaiah looks forward to Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with the Nashville Symphony, Messiah with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Vancouver Bach Choir and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Seattle Symphony.
In 2018, he will appear as Urimeco/Sailor in Opera Atelier’s production of Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses as well as a return to Opéra Théâtre de Metz Métropole singing the male lead in the premiere of Pierre Bartholomée’s Nous Sommes Eternels.
His 2015-2016 season began with Almaviva in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Opera Lyra Ottawa with further stage outings in Metz (Lysander in Brittens’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Opéra de Montréal (Junger Dienerin Elektra). He debuted with San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque in Handel’s Ode to Ste Cecilia followed by Messiah, under Nicholas McGegan. Messiah also took him to New York’s St. Thomas Church. Patrons of the Bethlehem Bach Festival heard him in Bach’s Weihnactsoratorium and Johannes Passion, while Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang and Elijah took him to Regina and Ottawa respectively.
In 2014 -2015, he was in New York at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, playing Damon in Mark Morris’s new production of Acis and Galetea. Other season highlights included Britten’s Owen Wingrave at the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals under Mark Wigglesworth, George Benjamin’s Written on Skin conducted by the composer with the Toronto Symphony, Berlioz Roméo et Juliette with Kent Nagano and l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Bach’s Matthäus Passion for the Grand Philharmonic Choir of Kitchener Waterloo, Die Schöpfung for the Okanagan Symphony, and performances and a recording of the Honegger/Ibert opera L’aiglon, also with Nagano and the OSM.
He also appeared in the role of Marlowin Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness with Opera Parallèle San Francisco, and as tenor soloist in concert performances with Vancouver Symphony (Bramwell Tovey), Bethlehem Bach Festival (Greg Funfgeld), Colorado Symphony (Pinchas Zukerman), and New Jersey Symphony (Jacques Lacombe), among others. Recent recordings include a song recital for CBC Radio’s “In Concert” and a new disc of German Baroque cantatas with the Theatre of Early Music.
On the opera and concert stage Isaiah continues to be recognized for his “beautiful tenor, command of the style, and natural stage presence,” his “willingness to invest himself wholly into the character,” the “fervency and clarity” and “overwhelming emotional force” of his performances and his “uncommonly warm light tenor, smooth musical line and sound artistic choices.”
The British Columbian is also an active performer of song literature. His upcoming solo recital at Wigmore Hall follows recent performances of Schubert’s Winterreise with Stephen Ralls, Walton’s Façade and Satie’s Trois Mélodies de 1916 as part of l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s chamber series, Vaughan Williams’ Wenlock Edge and a group of Shropshire Lad settings orchestrated by Kevin Mallon for the Thirteen Strings, and the Canadian premiere of Alec Roth’s and Vikram Seth’s Seven Elements cycle at Music and Beyond, Ottawa. Previously he premiered a song cycle of his own poetry and music, On This Day, as part of Montreal’s Journées d’Arts Sacrés du Plateau, and gave a recital of Satie songs in St. John’s, Newfoundland, for broadcast on CBC Radio II.
Isaiah Bell received his formal training at the University of Victoria, from which he holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance. Subsequently he was an ensemble member in the Young Artist Program of Pacific Opera Victoria, Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Program, and l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, with supplementary training gained at the Tanglewood Music Centre, Salzburg’s Universität Mozarteum, Edmonton’s Opera NUOVA, and the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Baroque Oratorio Academy. He is also the composer of four operas and a number of song cycles.
Philip Cutlip, baritone
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone
“In a just world, one in which fame was proportionate to talent, Davóne Tines would be as big a name as Kanye West” proclaimed KQED following recent concerts given with the San Francisco Symphony. Breakout performances were given on both sides of the Atlantic in 2015–16 when Davóne Tines made a Dutch National Opera debut starring opposite French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky in the premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains directed by Peter Sellars; the bass-baritone was exalted by The Los Angeles Times as “the find of the season,” for performances of works by Caroline Shaw and Kaija Saariaho with the Calder Quartet and with members of ICE at the Ojai Music Festival.
Performances of 2017–18 include a San Francisco Opera debut in the world premiere of Girls of the Golden West by John Adams and Peter Sellars, a debut at the Opéra national de Paris in Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains directed by Peter Sellars, and a debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in the role he originated in a production of Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing directed by multi Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus. Davóne Tines appears in Handel’s rarely staged serenata, Aci, Galatea, e Polifemo at National Sawdust in a new production by Christopher Alden that examines parallels between an 18th century telling of Ovid’s mythological tale and our own contemporary aesthetic driven by power, class, race, and the cruelty of thwarted desire. Other appearances of the season include a debut at the Baltic Sea Festival in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a fully-staged production by Peter Sellars, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Gustavo Dudamel with the Los Angeles Philharmonic with performances in Los Angeles and on tour in New York, Washington, D.C., Paris, and London.
Highlights of the past season include John Adams’ El Niño under the composer’s baton with the London Symphony Orchestra in London and in Paris as well as with Grant Gershon conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bruckner’s Te Deum with Christopher Warren-Green and the Charlotte Symphony, Kaija Saariaho’s True Fire with the Orchestre national de France, and a program exposing the Music of Resistance by George Crumb, Julius Eastman, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Caroline Shaw with conductor Christian Reif leading members of the San Francisco Symphony at SoundBox. On the opera stage, Davóne Tines made debuts at Lisbon’s Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in a new production of Oedipus Rex led by Leo Hussain and at the Finnish National Opera in Only the Sound Remains directed by Peter Sellars. National Sawdust brought to the stage Requiem for: A Tuesday, a ceremony of music and dance created and administered by Davóne Tines with his collaborator, Helga Davis, during which the audience was invited to witness and face collective and individual engagements of mortality and fear in the context of racialized police brutality.
Mr. Tines performed with the Boston Pops in Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood where he was a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow. He has given performances of La bohème at the Royal Opera House Oman as well as La fanciulla del West and Otello all under the baton of Lorin Maazel. He was graduated from Harvard University and received a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School.
Preeminent New York City-based early music ensemble TENET celebrates its ninth season in 2017-18. Under Artistic Director Jolle Greenleaf, TENET has won acclaim for its innovative programming, virtuosic singing and command of repertoire that spans the Middle Ages to the present day. Highlights of recent seasons include performances of J.S. Bach’s motets, a three-year cycle of Carlo Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories, a medieval survey series called The Sounds of Time led by Robert Mealy, and original theatrical performances highlighting works composed by, for, and about women in 17th century Italy. Renowned for their interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, TENET’s distinguished soloists have been praised for their pristine one-voice-to-a-part singing “to an uncanny degree of precision” (The Boston Globe). TENET sponsors the highly praised Green Mountain Project, giving annual performances of Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, as well as other Vespers that have been newly reconstructed by the project’s musical director, Scott Metcalfe, including music by Monteverdi, Giovanni Gabrieli, Antoine Charpentier, and their contemporaries.
Sunday April 22 3:00pm
Thursday June 28 7:00pm
Friday July 13 7:00pm
Thursday July 26 7:00pm
Sunday July 29 4:00pm