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