Sunday, November 20, 2016 - 3:00pm
5625 Holy Trinity Drive Melbourne, FL 32940
ARNOLD Tam O’ Shanter
STRAUSS Four Last Songs
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Symphony No. 7 ‘Sinfonia Antartica’
Mary Ann Kruger, soprano
Aaron Collins and your SCSO open the program with Malcolm Arnold’s rollicking piece based on the Robert Burns poem, Tam o’ Shanter,which tells the legend of the hard drinker who ignores his wife’s warnings that he will one day be “catch’d wi’ warlocks” for his misdeeds. Superstar soprano, Mary Anne Kruger joins your SCSO to perform Richard Strauss’ powerful Four Last Songs. Composed in the final year of his life, Strauss’ introspective, meditative farewell to the worldly realm is some of the most moving music ever written, and the culmination of his lifelong love affair with the soprano voice. The concert closes with Vaughan Williams’ magnificent Seventh Symphony,Sinfonia Antartica. It’s one of the great adventure stories of all time. How, in a bid to be the first to reach the South Pole, a band of English explorers led by Captain Robert Scott perished, leaving Scott’s diaries beside his frozen body. This epic tale of heroic failure was immortalized in a great cinematic triumph, Scott of the Antarctic. Sinfonia Antartica, Vaughan Williams’ seventh symphony, doesn’t tell that story so much as paint musical pictures of glaciers and giant ice mountains. The five movements of the symphony capture the explorers’ awe at the polar landscape as well as the intimacy of Scott’s thoughts. The result is a gigantic and epic reflection on man’s isolation and ultimate vulnerability within the extreme untamed wilderness. Don’t miss this monumental concert.
American soprano Mary Anne Kruger studied voice with Margaret Harshaw and first went to Germany in 1992 when she completed a Master of Music degree at Indiana University. Since then she has lived in Europe building a repertoire of over 40 major roles and concerts. From 1994-2005 she was a member of the opera ensemble at the Hessische Staatstheater Darmstadt, and she has also guested in over 20 European theaters including the Bayerische Staatsoper- Nationaltheater in Munich, Staatstheater Stuttgart, the Latvian National Opera and Theater Basel.
Her prizes include a nomination in the category “Best Singer” in the 1997 Opernwelt Jahrbuch for her portrayal of Alcina. She was awarded the role of Donna Elvira in the 1996 Don Giovanni production at the Athens Concert Hall directed by Ruggiero Raimondi and conducted by Gustav Kühn. The “Sonderpreis der Wiener Staats-und Volksoper” at the 1993 Belvedere Competition secured for her a performance as Hanna Glawari (Die Lustige Witwe) at the the Wiener Volksoper. She was also awarded a DAAD scholarship (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdient) to study at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich 1992-93.
In addition to her debut as Salome, Ms. Kruger’s 2008 engagements also included the role of Tatyana in Eugene Onegin with the Stadttheater Pforzheim to great audience and critical acclaim. That same month she also sang Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Stadttheater Geissen. In April and May of 2008 she sang the role of Cio-Cio-San with Theater Freiburg and Theater der Stadt Trier. In August she joined the Berliner Symphoniker orchestra in a concert aptly entitled “Solo Verdi”, and in October she joined the orchestra again in the opening concert of the Musica Mallorca festival which was billed as a tribute to Maria Callas and featured bel canto repertoire.
The soprano is often praised for her warmth of timbre, the brilliance of her high register, and her great versatility, both musically and theatrically. Of her Tatyana, Orpheus International wrote: “Among the singers one first must name Mary Anne Kruger... who was a Tatjana of the very highest calibre. The singer is not only good-looking, but she has at her disposal a darkly colored, distinctive and precisely focused soprano voice, which in the last act was also capable of beautiful pianissimi. It was right that she received the most applause.”
Of her Madama Butterfly, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: “Mary Anne Kruger in the title role established herself once again as a category sui generis. With an expressive repertory that extends from bright soprano purity to the shadowy depths of the low registers, Kruger commanded (the scene) as an extraordinary actor with great musical and technical substance.”