Acis and Galatea
George Frideric Handel, arr. by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Staged and choreographed by Mark Morris
Thomas Cooley, Tenor (Acis) - Berkeley, Boston, New York, Kansas City, Urbana-Champaign, New Haven
American tenor THOMAS COOLEY is quickly establishing an international reputation as a singer of great versatility, expressiveness, and virtuosity. This season’s highlights include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Copenhagen Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, and the Bremen Philharmonic; Britten’s War Requiem with the Grand Philharmonic Choir, Oregon and Indianapolis symphonies; Bob Boles in Britten’s Peter Grimes with the St. Louis Symphony in Carnegie Hall; the title role in Handel’s Judas Maccabeus with the Pacific Symphony; Evangelist in Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Seattle Symphony; the title role in Handel’s Samson with the American Classical Orchestra at Lincoln Center; Crown Prince in Puts’ Silent Night with Cincinnati Opera; and Tristan in Frank Martin’s Le vin herbé with Bergen National Opera. Recent seasons also included Bach’s Lutheran Masses with Les Violons du Roy; the Berlioz Requiem at Carnegie Hall; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Atlanta Symphony; Handel’s Tamerlano "Bajazet" at the International Handel Festival Göttingen, and Mozart's Kronungsmesse, Honneger's Le Roi David and the Mozart Requiem in Amsterdam.
Yulia Van Doren, Soprano (Galatea) - New York, Kansas City, Urbana-Champaign, New Haven
Recently recognized by Opera Magazine as “a star-to-be” following her Lincoln Center debut, Russian-American soprano Yulia Van Doren maintains an extensive international performance schedule. Recent and upcoming performance highlights include debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra; LA Philharmonic; Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra; Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Opera Royal de Versailles; Opera de Nice; Macau and Cartagena International Music Festivals; the Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Ojai, and Oregon Bach Festivals; and the symphonies of San Francisco, Toronto, Cincinnati, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, Columbus, Colorado, and Phoenix. The only singer awarded a top prize in all four US Bach vocal competitions, she has been presented as a soloist by almost all of the North American early music festivals and orchestras. Her recordings include two Grammy-nominated opera recordings with the Boston Early Music Festival, and the world-premiere recording of Shostakovich’s Orango, recorded with the LA Philharmonic and released by Deutsche Grammophon. Ms. Van Doren is an Astral Artist, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, and a Beebe Grant recipient. yuliavandoren.com
Sherezade Panthaki, Soprano (Galatea) - Berkeley, Boston
SHEREZADE PANTHAKI’s (soprano) international success has been fueled by superbly honed musicianship; “shimmering sensitivity” (Cleveland Plain Dealer); a “radiant” voice (Washington Post); and passionately informed interpretations, “mining deep emotion from the subtle shaping of the lines” (New York Times). An acknowledged star in the early-music field, Ms. Panthaki has developed ongoing collaborations with many of the world’s leading interpreters including Nicholas McGegan, Simon Carrington, John Scott, Matthew Halls, Nicholas Kraemer, and Masaaki Suzuki, with whom she made her 2013 New York Philharmonic debut in a program of Bach and Mendelssohn. Highlights of her past and current season include Handel’s Messiah with Bach Collegium Japan (Tokyo); Handel’s Saul with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Toronto); Handel and Bach oratorios with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (San Francisco); Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Houston Symphony; Handel’s Solomon with the Radio Kamer Filharmonie (Holland); and Bach’s St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, and Brahms Requiem with the Choir and Orchestra of St. Thomas Fifth Avenue, New York City. Born and raised in India, Ms. Panthaki holds an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where she won multiple awards, including the prestigious Phyllis Curtin Career Entry Prize. She earned a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College. www.sherezadepanthaki.com
Isaiah Bell, Tenor (Damon) - New York, Kansas City, New Haven
The New York Times described tenor ISAIAH BELL in the role of the Madwoman in Britten’s Curlew River as “a performance of haunting beauty, ideally depicting emotional distraction with ultimate economy and glowing vocal skill.” The Canadian-American is “a singer to watch, not just for his attractive stage presence, but for his elegant tenor” (La Scena Musicale). Highlights of his upcoming season include the role of Lechmere in Britten’s Owen Wingrave (under Mark Wigglesworth at the Edinburgh Festival), George Benjamin’s Written on Skin conducted by the composer with the Toronto Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem with the Colorado Symphony under Pinchas Zukerman, and Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette and the Honegger/Ibert opera L’Aiglon, both with Kent Nagano and l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. He will also sing with the New Jersey Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony and San Francisco’s Opera Parallèle, among others. Recent appearances include Bach’s Matthew Passion with Yannick Nézét-Séguin and l’Orchestre Métropolitain, a recital of German and English song broadcast on CBC Radio’s “In Concert,” Ferrando in Così fan tutte with Jeunesses Musicales, a staged Messiah with Against the Grain Theatre, and William Walton’s Façade with l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.
Zach Finkelstein, Tenor (Damon) - Berkeley, Boston
In the five years since leaving his political consulting career, ZACH FINKELSTEIN has performed across North America and the UK as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Sadler's Wells, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Benaroya Hall and New York City Center. Recently hailed by Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times as a “compelling tenor,” the American-Canadian made his New York City Opera debut in April 2013 as Mambre in Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto, a production the New York Times dubbed one of the Top 10 classical events of 2013. In addition to Acis and Galatea, another 2014-15 season highlight includes his debut with the Seattle Symphony as tenor soloist in the Mozart Requiem with Ludovic Morlot conducting. In November 2014, Mr. Finkelstein records Threshold, an album of new music with the internationally renowned Scharoun Ensemble in Berlin. This Innova label album will feature compositions by Prix-de-Rome winner and fellow Tanglewood alum Jesse Jones. Acis and Galatea marks Mr. Finkelstein’s sixth project with MMDG. Previous collaborations have included: Stravinsky's Renard at Lincoln Center and Seiji Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood Music Center; Satie's Socrate, (“impeccably sung”, Seattle Times); Irish and Scottish folk songs arranged by Ludwig van Beethoven (The Muir); and Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts and Beethoven's A Choral Fantasy at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Douglas Williams, Baritone (Polyphemus) - Berkeley, Boston, New York, Kansas City, Urbana-Champaign
“The gifted young bass-baritone DOUGLAS WILLIAMS” (New York Times) combines a “formidable stage presence” (Seattle Times) with “a bass voice of splendid solidity” (Music Web International), making him one of the most appealing singing actors of his generation. He has collaborated with leading conductors including Nicholas McGegan, Helmut Rilling, Sir Neville Marriner, John Nelson, and Christoph Rousset, in such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Stuttgart’s Mozart-Saal, and the Frankfurt Alte Oper. Recent appearances include Laurence in Gretry’s Le Magnifique with Opera Lafayette; Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, and Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea, both with the Boston Early Music Festival; and Purcell’s King Arthur, with Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques at Paris’s Salle Pleyel. Williams’ “superb sense of drama” (New York Times) is as apparent on the concert stage as it is in opera. Highlights include Handel’s Messiah with the Houston Symphony Orchestra; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Cathedral Choral Society; Bach’s St. John Passion with Les Talens Lyriques; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion for the Chicago Bach Project with John Nelson and Soli Deo Gloria; Brahms’ German Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius; Christus in St. Matthew Passion with the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys; and the Ojai Music Festival in songs of Cowell and Ives.
Internationally renowned as one of the world’s leading dance companies, the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) has inspired critics and audiences alike throughout its 32-year history. Founded in New York in 1980 by artistic director/choreographer Mark Morris, MMDG has been called “the preeminent modern dance organization of our time” (Yo-Yo Ma), receiving “highest praise for their technical aplomb, their musicality, and their sheer human authenticity” (Bloomberg News). MMDG spent three years in residence at Brussels’ Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie as Belgium’s national dance company, returning to the United States in 1991. The Dance Group tours domestically and internationally to great acclaim. In 1996, Mr. Morris founded the MMDG Music Ensemble to perform with the Dance Group on tour. MMDG has since presented more than 1200 performances with live music and is recognized at the only modern dance company with a commitment to live music at every performance. MMDG regularly collaborates with eminent musicians across genres, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, jazz trio The Bad Plus, the London Symphony Orchestra, baroque orchestras Tafelmusik, Handel and Haydn, and Philharmonia Baroque, as well as opera companies such as The Metropolitan Opera and the English National Opera. View dancer headshots and bios.