In concerts on November 16 and 17, Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare makes his Minnesota Orchestra debut with performances featuring mezzo soloist Virginie Verrez, who also debuts with the ensemble in these concerts. The program begins with Dukas’ beloved scherzo, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, followed by Verrez’s performance of Ravel’s evocative Shéhérazade. After intermission, Payare leads the Orchestra in Brahms’ rich and emotional Fourth Symphony.
The Minnesota Orchestra concerts are performed at the ensemble’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Thursday, November 16, at 11 a.m. and Friday, November 17, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $96. Tickets are available online at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the section at the conclusion of this press release.
Rafael Payare, conductor
Rafael Payare works regularly with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and London Symphony, as well as the Munich Philharmonic, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and NHK Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, he was appointed chief conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland. Highlights of his tenure with that ensemble have included his debut at the BBC Proms in 2016 and a successful Beethoven and Tchaikovsky cycle, with many concerts broadcast on BBC Radio 3. He has conducted all of the major orchestras in Venezuela, including the Simón Bolívar Orchestra. In 2012, he was awarded first prize at the Malko International Conducting Competition; that same year he was personally invited by his mentor, the late Lorin Maazel, to conduct at his Castleton Festival in Virginia, which led to Payare’s 2015 appointment as the festival’s principal conductor. More: askonaskholt.co.uk.
Virginie Verrez, mezzo
French mezzo Virginie Verrez was a winner of the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the 2016 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. Her opera roles have included Stéphano in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet and Enrichetta in Bellini’s I Puritani with the Metropolitan Opera, and Mercédès in Bizet’s Carmen at the Festival d’Aix-en Provence. Highlights of her concert appearances include singing Berlioz’ Romeo and Juliet and Schumann’s Paradise and the Peri with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Barber’s Vanessa with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and Duruflé’s Requiem with the Netherlands Radio Choir. Her 2017-18 season includes debuts with the Opéra national de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival, Dallas Opera and Opéra de Lille, and a concert appearance with the Orchestre National de Lyon in Haydn’s Nelson Mass. She is a recent graduate of New York's Juilliard School. More: askonasholt.co.uk.
Dukas, Ravel and Brahms
Dukas’ Sorcerer’s Apprentice chronicles the misadventures of a young man and his enchanted broom. A gradual accumulation of orchestral power leads to an outburst of chromatic scales, after which musical order is restored.
Ravel’s mastery of creating evocative musical pictures is showcased in his Shéhérazade, a vocal-orchestral setting of three poems written by his friend Tristan Klingsor. Ravel found his inspiration in the fantastical tales of the Orient, Klingsor’s colorful text and the composer’s own deep appreciation for Debussy’s vivid musical imagery.
Brahms’ Fourth Symphony is a passionate work filled with high drama. From a first movement both warm and tragic, the symphony proceeds through a moody intermezzo and a rambunctious scherzo to a most unusual conclusion: a beautifully abstract set of variations on a Bach cantata.
Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts
BRAHMS’ FOURTH SYMPHONY
Thursday, November 16, 2017, 11 a.m. (Coffee Concert) / Orchestra Hall
Friday, November 17, 2017, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Rafael Payare, conductor
Virginie Verrez, mezzo
DUKAS The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4
Tickets: $25 to $96
Free Concert Preview with Phillip Gainsley in the Auditorium on Thursday, November 16, at 10:15 a.m., and in the Target Atrium on Friday, November 17, at 7:15 p.m.
TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION
Individual tickets can be purchased online at minnesotaorchestra.org or by calling 612-371-5656 or 800-292-4141. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Stage Door, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.); at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.); and at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, two hours before all ticketed performances. For more information, call 612-371-5656 or visit minnesotaorchestra.org. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.