Music News

News - December 2002 - Choice and Rare Operas Highlight the 2003 Spoleto USA Season

December 31, 2002 - Hillsboroiugh, NC:

Just in time for the holidays, Spoleto USA posted its full 2003 season on the web ( and followed it up with its largest mailed prospectus yet. Most exciting are the two announced operas, Leo Delibes's Lakmé and Georg F. Handel's Tamerlano. The Delibes opera will be performed in the large Gaillard Municipal Auditorium and will feature direction by Charles Roubaud, costume design by Katia Duflot, and set design by Bernard Arnould. Spoleto USA Music Director Emmanuel Villaume will conduct. The title role will be sung by the exciting Russian soprano Lyubov Petrova, who was most impressive as Despina in last season's production of Così fan tutte. Opera lovers will look forward to hearing Lakmé's "Bell Song" as well as the Flower Duet. The 2 hour and 45 minute opera will be sung in French. Easily one of Handel's greatest operas, Tamerlano will be directed by Chas Rader-Shieber with sets and costumes designed by David Zinn. Renowned Baroque interpreter Harry Bicket, conductor of the successful Spoleto USA 1998 Giasone, will direct musical matters. Those familiar with one of the several available recordings will look forward to the famous death scene of the Turkish Sultan Bajazet. The 3-hour opera will be sung in Italian in the intimate Dock Street Theatre. As usual, English supertitles will be used for both productions.
The justly popular Bank of America Chamber Music Series, held in Dock Street Theatre, will feature the return of favorite musicians clarinetist Todd Palmer, flutist Tara O'Connor, violinists Chee Yun, Daniel Phillips and Elina Vähälä, cellist Andrés Díaz, and pianists Wendy Chen and Anne-Marie McDermott. Again the resident string quartet will be the St. Lawrence, and soprano Courtenay Budd will perform alongside cellist Alisa Weilerstein. Last season, avuncular host Charles Wadsworth promised a complete performance of Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time . No world premieres are scheduled this season. There will three performances of each of the eleven programs. Detailed programs are posted on a chalk board in the theater lobby on the day of the performance and are not announced in advance.
The Westminster Choir will give its usual sellout concerts at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul. Their Choral/Orchestral Concert will feature Haydn's Mass No. 10 (Theresienmesse) and Verdi's Stabat mater and Te Deum . Joseph Flummerfelt will conduct.
Based on last season's experience, the May 28 Memminger Auditorium concert that will feature the Festival Orchestra in Mahler's Symphony No. 6, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, ought to be exciting. The Festival Concert is much more interesting than usual. Canadian pianist Louis Lortie and American pianist Andrew von Oeyen will be featured in Mozart's Concerto No. 10 for Two Pianos. The full Daphnis et Chloé of Maurice Ravel will be a true rarity, featuring orchestra and chorus under Festival Director Emmanuel Villaume's baton. The full version is a rarity even in Paris.
Cutting-edge music can be heard in the four concerts of John Kennedy's Music in Time series. Other infrequently heard music can be found in five concerts of the Intermezzi series.
The famous Gate Theatre production of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice is this year's play. Most Gate performances have sold out quickly in the past. Check the website for details about dance and jazz offerings.