Classical Beat: David Daniels, Michael Kaiser, Arnold Salzman ...

Daniels to headline in Handel's Rinaldo; Kaiser announces departure from Royal Opera.

Countertenor David Daniels, who

recently released the CD Serenade, will be featured in the title

role in the New York City Opera's

production of Handel's Rinaldo during the 2000-2001 season. That production will be recorded with Christopher Hogwood and Cecilia Bartoli. Also in the upcoming season, Daniels will sing the title role in Los Angeles Opera's staging of Handel's Giulio Cesare. ...

Michael Kaiser, the chief executive

of the Royal Opera and Ballet at

London's Covent Garden, announced on Monday (June 19) that he will leave the company after one more season. No details were given about his departure, although there is speculation that he is seeking a new

creative challenge. ...

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

color="#003163">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

color="#003163">Mark Adamo's Little Women, a work

based on the Louisa May Alcott novel and premiered by the

color="#003163">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,

color="#003163">Jessye Norman, Ella

Fitzgerald, Yo-Yo Ma,

Isaac Stern and

color="#003163">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 catalog including recordings by

color="#003163">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 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 Lorraine

Hunt Lieberson. They will work with conductor

COLOR="#003163">Craig Smith and the Emmanuel musicians on a

triptych of staged Bach cantatas. Also featured in the 2000-01 season will be Sunday-morning cantatas with guest conductors including Seiji

Ozawa, Christopher

Hogwood, David Hoose and

Michael Beattie. ...

Kansas City Symphony conductor

Anne Mason will lead the

COLOR="#003163">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

COLOR="#003163">Gordon Gietz and soprano

COLOR="#003163">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 Zarin

Mehta will step into the shoes of executive director of the

New York Philharmonic. Zarin is the brother of famed conductor

COLOR="#003163">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 Verdi's Requiem

— will run from September through December. ...

Director Pinchas Zukerman of

Canada's 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 Alicia de Laroccha. There will be a

COLOR="#003163">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 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 James MacMillan. ...

Tenor Andrea Bocelli and the

Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with

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

COLOR="#003163">Louis Armstrong. Jazz singer

COLOR="#003163">Diane Reeves and trumpeter

COLOR="#003163">Clark Terry will contribute to the tribute.

— sonicnet.com staff report