Edward Elgar: Serenade for String Orchestra Op. 20
Benjamin Britten: Nocturne Op. 60
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major Op. 55 'Eroica'
Jeremy Ovenden, tenor
Rory Macdonald, conductor
Length of the concert 1h50, with interval
Donor’s ticket: CZK 3000
Ticket prices: CZK 900/760/580/SL+E390/ST150
British tenor Jeremy Ovenden has worked with greats such as Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Muti and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. A pupil of the legendary Nicolai Gedda and a tenor "of incredible virtuosity" (The Independent), on 25 February he will sing Benjamin Britten's last orchestral song cycle, conducted by the Brit, Rory Macdonald. The composer dedicated his Nocturnes to one of the most famous femmes fatales of the first half of the 20th century, Alma Mahler.
The amazing flexibility of Jeremy Ovenden’s voice, flourishing above all in the Baroque and Classical repertoire, has earned him the title ‘king of coloratura’. Jeremy Ovenden makes regular guest appearances at La Scala in Milan, Opéra national in Paris, Berlin State Opera, Theater an der Wien, and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London. He has collaborated with Sir Colin Davis (London Symphony Orchestra), Paul McCreesh (Gabrieli Consort), Sir Simon Rattle (Bavarian Radio Orchestra), Ivor Bolton (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), Richard Egarr (Orchestra dell´Accademia di Santa Cecilia), Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Muti, René Jacobs, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In 2015 he sang in Mozart’s Requiem at the Edinburgh Festival and a year later at the BBC Proms and San Sebastian Festival. This season has seen him performing with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. He will also take up three Mozart opera title roles: Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer, Lucio Silla at the Royal Opera La Monnaie in Brussels and Tito (La clemenza di Tito) in Théâtre Capitole de Toulouse and Teatro Real in Madrid. Benjamin Britten is a composer close to his heart. He is a sought-after soloist for Britten’s impressive War Requiem. Jeremy Ovenden studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Norman Bailey and Neil Mackie. He also took private lessons with the legendary Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda.
Rory Macdonald’s repertoire includes symphonic as well as operatic works, ranging from the Classical era to contemporary music. He has a special bond with Britten’s music – he has conducted his Owen Wingrave and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London. At the famous Glyndebourne Festival he directed the orchestra in Albert Herring and in the equally prominent Viennese Konzerthaus he conducted a concert performance of The Turn of the Screw with Mark Padmore and Miah Persson in title roles. For his American opera debut at the Lyric Opera Chicago he also chose Britten, this time A Midsummer Night’s Dream, followed by The Rape of Lucretia at the Houston Grand Opera. Leoš Janáček is his favourite Czech composer. At the Bergen National Opera Macdonald was in charge of a new production of The Cunning Little Vixen. He has collaborated with the Sydney Opera House, San Francisco Opera, ENO and Canadian Opera Company. Apart from opera, he is involved in symphonic music. He has guest conducted the BBC, the Royal Philharmonic in London, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London, Netherlands and Bergen Philharmonics, Filharmonie Oslo, BBC Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Hallé Orchestra, and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. As already mentioned, he is interested and experienced in performing contemporary music. The British premiere of the opera Orphée by Philip Glass was performed under his baton. He also premiered works by James Macmillan, Sally Beamish, Geoffrey Gordon and Carl Vine. He conducts recordings for Decca, Chandos and Hyperion labels. Rory Macdonald studied music at Cambridge University and also graduated from the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen led by David Zinman and Jorma Panula. After graduating he was for two years Assistant to Iván Fischer at Budapest Festival Orchestra (2001–2003) and Sir Mark Elder in the Hallé Orchestra (2006–2008). He was also part of the Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London (2004–2006), where he collaborated closely with Antonio Pappano, including the staging of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. The PKF – Prague Philharmonia concert is his Czech debut.