Sir Willard White performs in recital in Geneva with Julius Drake
Sir Willard White gives a recital at Grand Théâtre de Genève on 16 December 2017 accompanied by Julius Drake. With a programme including songs by Schubert, Weill and Gershwin, the recital is the latest in a series of collaborations between White and Drake, who have previously performed together to great acclaim in London and Copenhagen.
Elsewhere in December, White performs in recital in Birmingham with pianist Eugene Asti and also joins the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall for Handel Messiah.
Other highlights for White this season include a return to the role of Gorjantchikov The House of the Dead at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in March 2018 and performances at Dutch National Opera and the Salzburg Festival. White began the season with a critically-acclaimed Tirésias in Enescu Oedipe with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski:
“As the prophet Tirésias, Sir Willard White was on sparkling form, all terrifying doom and gloom, yet beautifully sung.”
Bachtrack, September 2017
Sir Willard White stars in Janáček’s From the House of the Dead at Opéra National de Paris
Sir Willard White returns to Opéra National de Paris on 18 November 2017 to sing the role of Gorjantchikov in Janáček From the House of the Dead. Sung in Czech, Patrice Chéreau’s production is revived by Peter McClintock and Vincent Huguet and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
White reprises the role of Gorjantchikov at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in March 20178 as part of an exciting 2017-18 season which also includes performances at Dutch National Opera and the Salzburg Festival. A critically-acclaimed Tirésias in Enescu Oedipe with the London Philharmonic Orchestra launched this busy season for White:
“As the prophet Tirésias, Sir Willard White was on sparkling form, all terrifying doom and gloom, yet beautifully sung.”
Bachtrack, September 2017
Performances of From the House of the Dead at Opéra Bastille commence on 18 November 2017 and run until 2 December 2017.
Sir Willard White returns to the Berlin Philharmonic for The Cunning Little Vixen
Sir Willard White returns to the Berliner Philharmoniker on 12 October 2017 for three performances of Janáček The Cunning Little Vixen, singing the roles of Parson and Badger. He is joined by a cast including Gerald Finley and Lucy Crowe, and conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
Peter Sellars directs this performance – he and White have enjoyed many previous collaborations, most recently La clemenza di Tito at Salzburg Festival, where White sang a critically-acclaimed Publio, and Oedipus Rex at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2016. Opera magazine wrote of his contributions:
“Willard White, a long-time Sellars collaborator still showing spectacular breath control, was gruffly powerful in his three roles of Creon, Tiresias and the Messenger.”
The 17/18 season is an exciting one for White, with further highlights including Gorjantchikov From the House of the Dead at the Paris Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Publio La clemenza di Tito for Dutch National Opera, Cadmus The Bassarids at the Salzburg Festival and Commendatore Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Sir Willard White, Dame Felicity Palmer, Christopher Purves & Ruxandra Donose sing Oedipe with the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Willard White, Dame Felicity Palmer, Christopher Purves and Ruxandra Donose join the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucharest on 2 September 2017 for a performance of Enescu Oedipe at the Enescue Festival. Conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, the performance also features the Choir of the George Enescu Philharmonic and the Romanian Radio Children's Choir.
The four singers rejoin Jurowski and the LPO in London later in the month for a second performance of Oedipe at the Royal Festival Hall on 23 September.
Intermusica singers at the 2017 Salzburg Festival
The Salzburg Festival begins on 21 July 2017, and this summer four Intermusica singers perform throughout its duration. Sir Willard White returns to Salzburg to sing the role of Publio in Mozart La clemenza di Tito in Peter Sellars' new production from 27 July. Performing under the baton of Teodor Currentzis, White joins a cast that also features Russell Thomas, Golda Schultz, Christina Gansch, Marianne Crebassa and Jeanine De Bique. The opening night performance will be broadcast live by ORF and by BR.
Also performing at Salzburg this summer are three singers making their debuts at the festival: Michael Colvin, Huw Montague Rendall and Jamez McCorkle. Colvin's debut at the festival is as the Duke of Cornwall in a new production of Reimann's Lear, which opens on 20 August. Colvin returns to the role following performances last season at Opéra de Paris. Next season, he makes debuts at Vlaamse Opera singing Caius Falstaff and at Monte Carlo where he reprises the role of Bob Boles Peter Grimes. He also returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to sing Bardolfo Falstaff.
Both Huw Montague Rendall and Jamez McCorkle join Salzburg's prestigious Young Artists Programme and also make their debuts on the main stage. McCorkle sings Fante del Consiglio I due Foscari and covers Tito La clemenza di Tito, while Montague Rendall sings Second Apprentice Wozzeck. In addition to these roles, both artists will appear in the Young Artists Programme Final Concert on 26 August. Next season, both McCorkle and Montague Rendall will be members of the International Opera Studio at Opernhaus Zürich.
Sir Willard White joins Teatro dell'Opera di Roma as Schigolch in new production of Lulu
Sir Willard White travels to Rome this month to sing the role of Schigolch in William Kentridge’s new production of Berg Lulu at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma from 19 May 2017. The performances are conducted by Alejo Pérez.
Earlier this season, White performed in the same production for English National Opera under the baton of Mark Wigglesworth, to critical acclaim:
“Willard White and Sarah Connolly were in the “luxury casting” category as Lulu’s “father” Schigolch and the Countess.”
Bachtrack, November 2016
“Willard White dignified as the mysterious Schigolch”
Guardian, November 2016
“Also outstanding [is] Willard White as a dignified Schigolch”
Standard, five stars, November 2016
Lulu runs from 19 to 30 May.
Olivier Awards 2017: the Intermusica nominees
Nominees at this year’s Olivier Awards have been announced and several Intermusica names are featured, with Mark Wigglesworth’s work at ENO being recognised with a second consecutive nomination.
Mark Wigglesworth has been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, a year after ENO won the same award in 2016 for productions including The Force of Destiny and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk conducted by Wigglesworth. This year Wigglesworth is nominated for his conducting of Don Giovanni and Lulu at ENO after outstanding reviews:
"The ENO orchestra was on exhilarating form… under the confident guidance of the conductor, Mark Wigglesworth."
Guardian on Lulu, November 2016
“He has inspired the orchestra and singers to produce one of the most gripping ENO Mozart performances in living memory."
Sunday Times on Don Giovanni, October 2016
Susanna Hurrell was one of the six starring singers in 4.48 Psychosis by Philip Venables, nominated for Best New Opera Production. 4.48 Psychosis was a co-production between the Royal Opera House and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Also nominated for Best New Opera Production is Lulu at English National Opera, with Sir Willard White, Rebecca de Pont Davies and Michael Colvin, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth and directed by William Kentridge.
The Olivier Awards are the highest honour in British theatre, recognising excellence in professional theatre over the last year. Read the full list of nominees on the Olivier Awards website. The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall on 9 April.
Mark Wigglesworth conducts ENO's new Lulu with Sir Willard White, Michael Colvin & Rebecca de Pont Davies
Mark Wigglesworth returns to English National Opera on 9 November 2016 to conduct Berg Lulu in a staging by director William Kentridge. Wigglesworth is joined by fellow Intermusica artists Sir Willard White, Michael Colvin and Rebecca de Pont Davies, who perform alongside Brenda Rae, Sarah Connolly, James Morris and Nicky Spence.
Sir Willard White takes on the role of Schigolch, with Michael Colvin as the Painter and Second Client, and Rebecca de Pont Davis as Girl’s Mother.
Highlights this season for Sir Willard White include Doktor in Wozzeck with the Dutch National Opera and a return to the Salzburg Festival, and for De Pont Davis, highlights include Kabanova in Janáček Káťa Kabanová in Turin and Auntie in Britten Peter Grimes at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos. Later this season Michael Colvin returns to Canadian Opera Company to sing Monostatos Magic Flute and Thomas Scott Louis Riel. In summer 2017 he makes his debut at the Salzburg Festival.
There are further performances of Lulu at the Coliseum on 12, 14, 17 and 19 November.
Sir Willard White joins the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations at Hackney Empire
Sir Willard White appears on a special edition of BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night commemorating the Queen's 90th birthday on 10 June 2016, which will be broadcast live from the Hackney Empire at 8pm.
White joins Sarah Fox, Julian Ovenden and the BBC Concert Orchestra for the concert, in which he performs Some Enchanted Evening, Ol’ Man River, If I Were A Rich Man and My Way.
Future highlights for White this season include the role of Tirésias in Stravinsky Oedipus Rex at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence.
Sir Willard White & Diana Montague join Martyn Brabbins for Iolanta at Opéra de Lyon
Sir Willard White and Diana Montague return to Opéra de Lyon on 11 May to perform in Peter Sellars’ production of Iolanta, conducted by Martyn Brabbins. White and Montague sing the roles of Ibn-Hakia and Marthe alongside Ekaterina Scherbachenko, Dmitry Ulianov and Maxim Aniskin.
White's performance as Ibn-Hakia at the 2015 Festival d'Aix-en-Provence Festival was widely praised:
“Willard White caught the mesmerizing strangeness of the Moorish doctor Ibn-Hakia’s music.”
Opera, September 2015
“Willard White, always appreciated in Aix where he has been a regular for years, stands with a lot of presence and nobility in the somewhat ephemeral role of Arab physician”
Forum Opera, July 2015
"The mesmerising Ibn-Hakia [of] Willard White"
Res Musica, July 2015
Sir Willard White & Dame Felicity Palmer perform Pelléas et Mélisande with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Sir Willard White and Dame Felicity Palmer join the Los Angeles Philharmonic for two concert performances of Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen on 19 and 21 February 2016. Sir Willard and Dame Felicitiy perform their signature roles of Arkel and Genevieve and are joined by Stéphane Degout in the title role, Camilla Tilling as Mélisande, Laurent Naouri as Golaud.
Willard White and Diana Montague perform in Iolanta at the Aix-en-Provence festival
Sir Willard White and Diana Montague travel to the Aix-en-Provence Festival on 5 July 2015, where they perform in Peter Sellars’ production of Iolanta. White takes the role of Ibn-Hakia while Diana Montague returns to the festival in the role of Marta. They are joined by Ekaterina Scherbachenko as Iolanta, Dmitry Ulianov as René and Maxim Aniskin as Robert.
Following this, White sings the role of Trinty Moses Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny for Rome Opera with next seasons highlights also including Arkel Pelléas et Mélisande with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
This has been another busy season for Montague including Gertrude Hansel und Gretel and Gertrude Romeo et Juliette at Teatro Real, Marcellina Le nozze di Figaro for Dallas Opera and Larina in a new production of Eugene Onegin at Angers Nantes Opéra.
Future plans for Montague include Mrs Grose Turn of the Screw at Zürich Opera, Larina at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Marta at Opera de Lyon and a much anticipated return to the Metropolitan Opera.
Sir Willard White & Ruxandra Donose in La Damnation de Faust in Cleveland & Chicago
Sir Willard White returns to the role of Méphistophélès for concert performances of Berlioz La damnation de Faust on 7, 9 and 10 May 2015 with the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Charles Dutoit. White has previously sung this same role with Dutoit in Verbier, Amsterdam and at the Royal Festival Hall to great acclaim:
“What a joy it was to welcome the massively experienced Sir Willard White as Mephistopheles. His acting was a joy, and his voice as its best was miraculous”
Seen and Heard International, May 2013
The cast for these performances also includes Ruxandra Donose in her signature role as Marguerite and Paul Groves as Faust.
Further highlights for Donose this season include Doreblla Cosi fan tutte at Festival dei Due Mondi and a return to the Royal Opera House to revive Komponist Ariadne auf Naxos.
Immediately following the Cleveland performances, White will sing the role of Arkel Pelléas et Mélisande with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen for two concert performances on 16 and 19 May. The cast also includes Christine Rice as Mélisande, Stéphane Degout as Pelléas, Eric Owens as Golaud and Elodie Méchain as Geneviève.
White then ends the season singing the role of Ibn-Hakia Iolanta at the the Festival d’Aix en Provence.
Sir Willard White stars in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Royal Opera House
Sir Willard White returns to the role of Trinity Moses in Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, on 10 March. White, whose last appearance at the Royal Opera House was as Klingsor Parsifal, returns for a new production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's furiously impassioned operatic satire on consumerism, directed by John Fulljames.
Conducted by Mark Wigglesworth, the cast also includes Anne Sofie von Otter, Peter Hoare and Christine Rice. After opening on 10 March, performances run until 4 April.
Sir Willard White sings Duke Bluebeard's Castle with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Willard White performs Bartók's Duke Bluebeard's Castle with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Charles Dutoit at the Royal Festival Hall on 27 January. He will be joined by mezzo-soprano Ildikó Komlósi, and the programme for this concert will also include Berlioz Rakoczi March from The Damnation of Faust and Liszt Piano Concerto No.2 in A.
Following this, White will return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for Trinity Moses in a new production of Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in March 2015.
Sir Willard White & Vitalij Kowaljow: Wotan with the Mariinsky Theatre in Birmingham
Sir Willard White and Vitalij Kowaljow join Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre for their tour of the Ring Cycle to Birmingham Hippodrome this November; Sir Willard White will sing Wotan in Das Rheingold on 5 November, while Vitalij Kowaljow takes the role in Die Walküre on 6 November.
White recently sung Wotan in Gergiev's Das Rheingold for Astana Opera in Kazakhstan. He will continue his season with a role debut as Commendatore Don Giovanni at La Monnaie, before returning to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for Trinity Moses in a new production of Weil's Aufsteig und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny.
Praised for the depth and richness of his voice, Vitalij Kowaljow has performed the role of Wotan at houses across the world including Los Angeles Opera, Biel, Switzerland and most recently when he stepped in at very short notice to make his debut at the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg as Wotan Die Walküre under the baton of Valery Gergiev.
"Kowaljow, a basso cantante, leaves little doubt that he is the first great Wotan of the post-Hotter Wagnerian world. His magnificent voice, which he employs with total ease, is rich in colours and shadings and capable of every nuance."
Further engagements for Kowaljow include singing Banquo in a new production of Macbeth at Nederlandse Opera, Zaccaria Nabucco and Il Marchese di Calatrava and Padre Guardiano La forza del destino at Bayerische Staatsoper, Walter Lusia Miller in Zurich, and Gremin Eugene Onegin in São Paulo.
Sir Willard White & Ruxandra Donose perform Le Damnation de Faust at Verbier Festival
Sir Willard White and Ruxandra Donose head the cast in a concert performance of Berlioz’s Le Damnation de Faust at the Verbier Festival on 21 July, under the baton of Charles Dutoit. As Méphistophélès and Marguerite respectively, they perform alongside Ramón Vargas in the title role and Charles Dekeyser as Brander, with the Collegiate Chorale of New York.
Ruxandra Donose last worked with Dutoit as Marguerite in a concert performance of Le Damnation de Faust with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London. She has also performed the role with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich, Tokyo, San Francisco, London, and Amsterdam, with the Berlin Sinfonie-Orchester, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich, Orchestre National du Capitôle in both Toulouse and Valencia, Orchestre de Paris, and Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Berlioz’s works have featured heavily in Ruxandra Donose’s 2013/14 season: she recently performed Les nuits d'été on tour with the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège in Belgium and Austria and at the Al Bustan Festival Lebanon, and La mort de Cléopâtre with the Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Edward Gardner.
Sir Willard White also performed as Méphistophélès under Dutoit with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in addition to performances with the Dutoit in Lisbon and Toronto. Sir Willard White arrives at the Verbier Festival having just completed a run of performances at the English National Opera, playing the role of Pope Clement VII in Terry Gilliam’s new production of Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini.
Sir Willard White and Corinne Winters in Benvenuto Cellini at English National Opera
Sir Willard White and Corinne Winters sing Pope Clement VII and Teresa, respectively, in Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini at English National Opera, opening on 5 June. In a co-production with De Nederlandse Opera, the opera is directed by renowned writer, director and animator Terry Gilliam and conducted by ENO musical director Edward Gardner. The cast for this production also includes tenor Michael Spyres and baritones Pablo Hunka and Nicholas Pallesen. Further performances are on 7, 12, 14, 17, 20, 25 and 27 June.
Following this, Sir Willard White appears in another of Berlioz’s works, performing the role of Méphistophélès La damnation du Faust at the Verbier Festival with conductor Charles Dutoit, before, early next season, returning to La Monnaie for Commendatore Don Giovanni.
Meanwhile, Corinne Winters travels to Santa Fe Opera for the American premiere of Huang Ruo’s Dr Sun Yat-sen, singing the role Song Ching-Ling. Forthcoming highlights next season include her house debuts at Washington National Opera for Mimi La bohème and Vlaamse Opera for Donna Anna Don Giovanni.
Click here to listen to an interview with Corinne Winters on The Arts Desk about her return to English National Opera.