Classical Beat: Arnold Salzman, Central City Opera, Luciano Pavarotti …

Salzman work premieres; Denver company announces 2000-01 season.

Rescue in Denmark, a new symphony composed as a tribute to the Danish heroes who helped ferry thousands of Jews to safety during World War II, premiered Wednesday (June 14). The work was performed at the 131-year-old Adas Israel synagogue in Washington, D.C., and was
composed by cantor Arnold Salzman. In attendance was one of those heroes, Preben Munch Nielsen, with whom the congregation has maintained a relationship and to whom Salzman dedicated the piece. The symphony is the first of a three-part project that will include a CD recording, a set of lessons based on the symphony and supplementary readings. …

Denver’s Central City Opera, the fifth-oldest opera company in the United States, announced plans for its 2000-2001 season, including the first staging of Benjamin Britten’s Elizabethan opera, Gloriana, written for the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953. The company also will present the first regional staging of Mark Adamo’s Little Women, a work based on
the Louisa May Alcott novel and premiered by the Houston Grand Opera in 1998. Completing the season next summer will be a revival of Puccini’s La Bohème.

Tenor sensation Luciano Pavarotti will give a concert June 30 in Seoul, South Korea, marking the historic Korean summit and the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. Pavarotti will present Peace Forever, United as One on June 30 in Seoul’s Chamsil Stadium, home of the 1988 Summer Olympics. …

Pop-rock singer Elvis Costello ventured onto new artistic ground at the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival when he starred in an opera by former Attractions keyboardist Steve Nieve. The premiere Friday (June 9) of Welcolme to the
Voice,
at New York’s Town Hall, is the only scheduled performance. The one-act opera tells the story of a former steelworker who quits his job because he is consumed by opera and makes his home outside the doors of the local opera house. …

Seiji Ozawa received an honorary doctorate in music at Harvard University’s 349th commencement Thursday (June 8). Past recipients of the honorary degree have included COLOR="#003163">Itzhak Perlman, Jessye Norman, Ella Fitzgerald, Yo-Yo Ma, color="#003163">Isaac Stern and Quincy Jones. Ozawa will leave the BSO for the Vienna State Opera in 2002. …

San Francisco classical label New Albion Records has formed an alliance with PlayJ.com to distribute titles from its catalog over the Internet. New Albion, considered one of the leading independent publishers of contemporary classical works, will offer excerpts of more than a dozen
CDs from its 100-plus album catalogue including recordings by Henry Cowell, John Cage and Terry Riley. Those excerpts can be downloaded direct from PlayJ’s Web site. …

Internet billionaire James V. Kimsey has donated $10 million to the Kennedy Center. The co-founder of America Online is a trustee of the Kennedy Center, chairman of the National Opera and a member of the board of the COLOR="#003163">National Symphony Orchestra. Part of the Washington-raised billionaire’s gift will go toward endowing the principal tuba chair in the orchestra and giving every fifth-grade student in the District of Columbia the opportunity to attend a
performance at the center. …

Congress passed a resolution Tuesday (June 6) to re-christen the Washington Opera as the National Opera. The resolution was primarily a symbolic act to give the fifth largest opera company in the country a more prominent stature. The company requested the official name change even though it didn’t need such legislation to take on the “national” moniker. Rep. William Goodling, R-Pa., said he introduced the resolution with the goal of improving both ticket sales and fund-raising prospects for the privately held company. Artistic director Plácido Domingo will continue his role overseeing the renamed National Opera and the company will continue to perform at the Kennedy
Center in Washington, D.C. …

As part of Emmanuel
Music
’s 30th anniversary season, the company
will collaborate with two of its illustrious alumni: stage
director Peter
Sellars
and mezzo-soprano COLOR="#003163">Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
They will work with conductor COLOR="#003163">Craig Smith and the
Emmanuel musicians on a triptych of staged COLOR="#003163">Bach cantatas. Also
featured in the 2000–01 season will be Sunday-
morning cantatas with guest conductors including
Seiji Ozawa,
Christopher
Hogwood
, COLOR="#003163">David Hoose and
Michael Beattie.

Kansas City
Symphony
conductor COLOR="#003163">Anne Mason will lead the
Geneva Opera of
Switzerland
in a staging of American composer
Carlisle Floyd’s
groundbreaking opera Susanna. Mason will lead the
production despite chronic pain of the sciatic nerve,
diagnosed at the end of the symphonic season in Kansas
City, Mo. Noted bass COLOR="#003163">Samuel Ramey joins tenor
Gordon Gietz
and soprano Nancy
Gustafson
, who is playing the title role of this
distinctly American tale. Performances of the opera will run
June 16–28 in Switzerland; rehearsals began June 5.
Because of the chronic pain, Mason has canceled all other
appointments this summer to take a three-month rest, as
prescribed by her doctor. …

The New York Times reported that COLOR="#003163">Zarin Mehta will step into
the shoes of executive director of the New York
Philharmonic. Zarin is the brother of famed conductor
Zubin Mehta,
who served as musical director of the orchestra for 13
years until 1991. Mehta will succeed COLOR="#003163">Deborah Borda, who left
her position to join the Los Angeles Philharmonic. …

The English National
Opera
will perform 10 consecutive new
productions as part of London’s String of Pearls Millennium
Festival. The operas — which open with COLOR="#003163">Monteverdi’s The
Coronation of Poppea
and end with COLOR="#003163">Verdi’s Requiem
— will run from September through December. …

Director Pinchas
Zukerman
of Canada’s COLOR="#003163">National Arts Centre
Orchestra
announced Thursday (May 25) that
the NAC will present its second annual Great Composers
Festival in July in Ottawa. Performers include tenor
Ben Heppner
and pianists Angela
Hewitt
and COLOR="#003163">Alicia de Laroccha. There
will be a Bach
around-the-clock marathon, a jazz concert along with
various chamber music recitals. The festival unfolds July
4–28. …

The Peking
Opera
will perform at the Atlantic City Sands
Hotel & Casino from June 27 to Sept. 10. … California’s
Orange County is known for its conservative political
climate. But this week, the Orange County High School of
the Arts will step out onto the avant-garde edge with a
series of performances that include Three Mob
Pieces
by Austrian composer COLOR="#003163">H.K. Gruber; Le
Tombeau de Liberace
by American COLOR="#003163">Michael Daugherty (of
Jackie O opera fame); and the West Coast premiere
of I: A Meditation on Iona for percussion and strings
by modern Scottish composer COLOR="#003163">James MacMillan. …

Tenor Andrea
Bocelli
and the COLOR="#003163">Lincoln Center Jazz
Orchestra
with COLOR="#003163">Wynton Marsalis will
headline the first Liberty State Park Music and Heritage
Festival beginning July 1. The twice-Grammy-nominated
Bocelli will be joined by the COLOR="#003163">New Jersey Symphony
Orchestra
for his only New York-area
performance of the year. Marsalis and the Lincoln Center
Orchestra will headline a Fourth of July tribute to
Louis
Armstrong
. Jazz singer COLOR="#003163">Diane Reeves and
trumpeter Clark
Terry
will contribute to the tribute.

— sonicnet.com staff report