September 23, 2014
Soon after the withdrawal of Marco Berti from San Francisco Opera's Norma for "personal reasons" (and allowing Russell Thomas to sing the role of Pollione), news comes now from SFO/PR of another switch:
"British conductor Christian Curnyn, who has withdrawn from the production for personal reasons" is being replaced by "Grammy-nominated American conductor Julian Wachner making his San Francisco Opera debut, conducting George Frideric Handel’s Partenope, presented Oct. 15–Nov. 2 at the War Memorial Opera House."
The cast: soprano Danielle de Niese in the title role, countertenor David Daniels (Arsace), mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack (Rosmira), countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo (Armindo), and tenor Alek Shrader (Emilio). Partenope is directed by Christopher Alden with sets designed by Andrew Lieberman.
Wachner was named in 2011 Director of Music and the Arts at New York City’s Trinity Wall Street, where he serves as principal conductor of NOVUS NY (Trinity’s resident contemporary music orchestra), the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street (nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award for Handel’s Israel in Egypt).
He is also Music Director of the Washington Chorus, with whom he won ASCAP’s Alice Parker Award for adventurous programming in 2011. A Baroque specialist, he was the founding music director of the Boston Bach Ensemble and the Bach Académie de Montréal, besides serving as artistic director of International Bach Festivals in Boston and Montreal. Wachner created several new programs at Trinity Wall Street, including the Twelfth Night Festival of Early Music, presented in collaboration with Gotham Early Music Society (GEMS) and featuring many of New York’s leading baroque and renaissance ensembles. In addition to many concerts at Trinity Wall Street, upcoming performances include Wachner leading Ives’ Symphony No. 4 and Alberto Ginastera’s Turbae ad Passionem Gregorianam at Carnegie Hall.