Jon Garrison (b 1944) is a successful American operatic tenor who has been performing around the world since 1965. He first appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in 1974, in a secondary role in the company premiere of Death in Venice, which featured Sir Peter Pears. At that theatre, he has since been seen in Gianni Schicchi (as Rinuccio, 1975), Don Pasquale (as Ernesto, directed by John Dexter, 1979), Fidelio (as Jaquino, with Jon Vickers as Florestan, 1980), Wozzeck (as Andres, opposite Anja Silja, 1980), Don Giovanni (as Don Ottavio, 1994), Die Fledermaus (as Alfred, 1995), etc.
Garrison has also appeared at the New York City Opera, debuting as Admète in Alceste, in 1982. It was from that theatre that his performances in La rondine (1985) and Die Zauberföte (1987) were televised via PBS. He has sung with companies throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, including Robert Wilson's Stuttgart production of Alceste, with Dunja Vejzovic in the name part. The tenor was also heard in the world premieres of Weisgall's The Gardens of Adonis and Reise's Rasputin. In 1996, at the English National Opera, the tenor sang the difficult part of Descartes in Zimmermann's Die Soldaten.
He has made several recordings, most notably of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress (with Jayne West, conducted by Robert Craft, 1993) and Haydn's La cantarina (on Newport Classic, with D'Anna Fortunato, 1994).
Garrison lives in Teaneck, New Jersey, and teaches voice and diction classes at Rowan University.
A regular guest at the Glyndebourne Festival, Jean Rigby has also sung with English National Opera, the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Netherlands Opera, Flanders Opera, Seattle Opera and San Diego Opera. In concert she sings with the major orchestras and festivals. Her extensive discography ranges from Bach, Vivaldi and Handel to Britten, Janacek and Birtwistle, and includes her acclaimed recording of the title role in the Rape of Lucretia, conducted by Richard Hickox.
Alan Opie is a Cornish baritone, primarily known as an opera singer.
He attended Truro School and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the London Opera Centre before joining the Sadler's Wells Opera (now the English National Opera, ENO). He became a Principal Baritone there while still a student.
Opie has also sung with the other major UK opera companies Scottish Opera, Opera North, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Internationally, he has performed in the opera houses of Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Brussels, Berlin, Chicago and Santa Fe and regularly appears at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. He has also sung at the Bayreuth Festival. In 1996, Opie switched his status at the ENO from company member to regular guest, enabling him to make his début at La Scala, Milan. There he created the role of Outis in the opera of the same name by Luciano Berio.
He has recorded for CBS, EMI, Hyperion, Chandos and Decca, winning Grammy Awards in 1996 and 1998 for his involvement in, respectively, recordings of Britten's Peter Grimes and Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. In 1997, his performance in the title role of Verdi's Falstaff earned Opie a nomination for the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera.
Omar Ebrahim became a chorister at the newly built Coventry Cathedral in 1964 and his subsequent exposure to the vibrant cultural life led him to study singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He served his performing apprenticeship at the Royal Shakespeare Company and in the Glyndebourne chorus, performing the role of Schaunard in La Bohème for Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 1980.
He has been involved with many contemporary opera and concert performances including Nigel Osborne's The Electrification of the Soviet Union and Terrible Mouth, Tippett’s New Year and Birtwistle’s The Second Mrs. Kong for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Berio’s Un re in ascolto and Birtwistle’s Gawain for the Royal Opera House, Jonathan Dove's Siren Song for Almeida Opera, and Punch and Judy (Choregos) for Basel Opera. For Opera Factory he has appeared in roles ranging from Punch through to Don Giovanni. He sang in the highly acclaimed performance of Birtwistle’s Mask of Orpheus at London's South Bank Centre's Birtwistle Festival in April 1996. He has also appeared in John Casken’s God’s Liar for Almeida Opera and La Monnaie Brussels and the premiere of Peter Eotvos’s Angels at the Chatelet Theatre Paris. Other roles have included the lead role in Marschner's The Vampyr for BBC Television.
Omar Ebrahim makes regular appearances with the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble InterContemporain and London Sinfonietta. Other recent concerts include performances with Northern Sinfonia, Musik Fabrik Cologne, Bochum Symphoniker, Netherlands Vara Radio Orchestra, Ensemble Umze at the Huddersfield Festival and Composers Ensemble. In 2005 he premiered James Wood’s oratorio Hildegard 2000 throughout the UK with future performances planned in the Netherlands. He is closely associated with the work Aventures, nouvelles aventures by Gyorgy Ligeti and has performed the piece to critical acclaim with ensembles worldwide as well as recording it for Sony.
As an actor he has performed Schoenberg's Ode to Napoleon, most recently with the Salzburg Camerata during the Salzburg Festival, and Strauss's melodrama on Tennyson's Enoch Arden for IRCAM in Paris and A Survivor from Warsaw (Schoenberg) and The Raft of the Medusa (Henze) with BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Recent successes include premiere’s of The Navigator by Liza Lim with Elision Ensemble in Brisbane and Melbourne, Skellig by Todd Machover at The Sage Gateshead, and Enno Poppe’s Arbeit Nahrung Wohnung at the Munich Biennale which had further performances in Vienna, Stuttgart, Venice, Madrid and Berlin.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since its inception in 1930, and as the flagship orchestra of the BBC provides the backbone of the BBC Proms with at least a dozen concerts each year, including the First and Last Nights. Strongly committed to twentieth-century and contemporary music, it has given the premiere of more than 1,000 works by composers such as Bartók, Britten, Hindemith, Holst, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and more recently has premiered BBC commissions by Simon Bainbridge, Jonathan Dove, Michael Nyman and Sir John Tavener among others. Its annual season of concerts as Associate Orchestra of the Barbican includes a weekend each January focusing upon a single composer from the twentieth or twenty-first century, most recently James MacMillan, Elliott Carter and Sofia Gubaidulina.
Jiří Bĕlohlávek took up the post of Chief Conductor in July 2006 and David Robertson was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in 2005. The BBC SO works frequently with Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis and Artist-in-Association John Adams. All concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and a number are televised, giving the BBC Symphony Orchestra the highest broadcast profile of any orchestra in the UK. The BBC SO is committed to innovative education work, with ongoing projects including the BBC SO Family Orchestra and Music Intro, introducing families to concert-going.
The BBC SO has appeared on 34 of NMC’s CDs, including the best-selling recording of Elgar’s Third Symphony.
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Birtwistle's awe-inspiring masterpiece is a key work in the development of post-war opera, groundbreaking in its fusion of music, song, drama, myth and electronics.
GRAMOPHONE AWARD - BEST CONTEMPORARY RECORDING 1998
'Music of utterly compelling beauty and sheer elemental force'
'This has to be one of the most important recording events of the decade' The Sunday Times
'A landmark recording of a contemporary operatic masterpiece' Classic CD
Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall , London on 11-12 April 1996
Remixed and edited at the BBC Studios, Maida Vale, London by Neil Pemberton, Ian Dearden, and Colin Matthews
Balance engineer: Neil Pemberton
Sound supervisor: Ian Dearden
Producer: Ann McKay
Cover image: Sofka Zinovieff
(P) 1997 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 1997 NMC Recordings Ltd