Sopris Sun Staff Report
The Roaring Fork Cultural Council presents noted opera singer Sue Patchell at Thunder River Theatre on Nov. 6. She will be accompanied by pianist Franz Vote. The performance starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 at thunderrivertheatre.com (click on RFCC).
Patchell will begin the evening by speaking about the state of opera in the United States. The program will include several arias, which she will introduce with information about the composers and specific operas.
Patchell has been interpreting the dramatic heroines of Wagner and Strauss on the stages of major opera houses for many years, according to a press release.
After her spectacular debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Isolde, with James Levine conducting, she has become a regular guest there, singing Senta “The Flying Dutchman,” Kaiserin in “Frau ohne Schatten,” and Kassandra in “Les Troyens.
The press has praised her “warm voice, elegant appearance, and the perfect clarity of her voice” and also noted her “extraordinary passion and dedication in the portrayal of her roles.”
Isolde is one of her most-sung roles, which she performed at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie Brussels, at the Danish Royal Opera Copenhagen, at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, and in 2004 with Varley Gergiev at the Rotterdam-Festival. As Chrysosthemis she roused enthusiasm at the Vienna State Opera, at the Festival in Tel Aviv and in various Gala concerts. Other highlights of her career to date include the role of Eva in Paris, Budapest and Germany.
A resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Vote has been called one of the finest conductors of his generation. He began his professional career in 1980 at The Eastman School of Music and the Aspen Music Festival. From 1982-1989 he worked at German opera houses in Gelsenkirchen, Aachen, Munich and Berlin. From 1989-1991 he was assistant to Daniel Barenboim and James Levine at the Bayreuth Wagner Festival. Levine invited Vote to join the Metropolitan Opera conducting staff in 1990. He subsequently led performances of “Elektra,” “Madama Butterfly,” and other productions.
The Los Angeles native has collaborated with many of the world’s most prominent operatic artists, including Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Hildegard Behrens, Stephanie Blythe, Jane Eaglen, Renée Fleming, Galina Gorchakova, Ben Heppner, Jerry Hadley, James King, Susanne Mentzer, Richard Leach, Samuel Ramey and Deborah Voigt.
Vote achieved international prominence as music director of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” with soprano Jane Eaglen at Seattle Opera in 2001. Called the “musical Wotan of the production … a real master of Wagnerian style … a conductor who brings out the best in his players,’’ the New York Times noted that his performance was “beautiful, conceptually unified and musically strong … Mr. Vote brought vigor and textural clarity to the score.”
Vote is music director and conductor of the New Mexico Bach Society.
Published in The Sopris Sun on October 29, 2015.