Upcoming Tours

Prague

Winter Magic in Prague and Vienna (November 30 - December 9, 2021)

Enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of two of Europe's most beautiful cities at the most wonderful time of the year. The itinerary is still being finalized, but highlights will include Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and Lehár's The Merry Widow. The Christmas markets will be open and the cities ablaze with lights. Accommodations include the five-star Art Nouveau Palace Hotel in Prague, the four-star Royal Ricc Hotel in Brno, and TBD in Vienna. This exclusive tour is limited to eight travelers.

Reykjavik

Iceland - Northern Lights and Wagner's Die Walküre

At 65° N on the southern edge of the Arctic Circle, Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see the aurora borealis, or northern lights. Don't miss this unique opportunity to view the dynamic patterns of brilliant lights that appear as curtains, rays, spirals or dynamic flickers covering the entire sky, coupled with Wagner's Die Walküre in the Harpa. Chosen as one of the best concert houses of the new millenium by Gramophone in 2010, the Harpa is one of Reykjavík’s most striking landmarks and a centre of cultural and social life in the very heart of the city.  (February 2022)

Performance Reviews

Brooklyn

Simone Dinnerstein plays Danielpour’s An American Mosaic at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery

Whether surrounded by nature or in the confines of a subterranean vault, Simone Dinnerstein made an impact through her connection with the music and her expressive, eloquent interpretations.

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New York, NY

The Metropolitan Opera marks the anniversary of 9/11 with Verdi’s Requiem

This concert came almost eighteen months to the day after the Metropolitan Opera went dark at the beginning of the pandemic, and it was the first performance inside the house, let alone with a live audience.

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Prague

Don Giovanni at Prague’s Estates Theatre – check it off the bucket list

In the final scene, conductor Karsten Januschke ratcheted up the tension incrementally to the point where it was overpowering.

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Prague

Dvořák Prague International Music Festival opens with Andres Orozco-Estrada conducting Filarmonica della Scala

The festival opens with fresh fresh exciting performances of Dvořák's Concerto for Cello and New World Symphony.  

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Vienna

Viennese charm, wit and waltzes enchant in the Volksoper’s The Merry Widow

Sparks flew whenever the Ursula Pfitzer and Ben Connor were on stage. 

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Prague

Vincenzo Milletarì leads an action-packed Rigoletto in Prague’s newly renovated State Opera

Barbora Horáková Joly’s staging is a rare updating of a classic that was true to the spirit of Verdi in every way.

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Singapore

The Singapore Symphony Orchestra celebrates National Day online with music new and old

Whether old or new, the music bubbles with enthusiasm and optimism, and highlights the diversity of cultures that make up Singapore.

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Prague

The Bartered Bride at Prague’s National Theatre is a sheer delight

Magdalena Švecová’s 2008 production, which was the first directed by a woman, maintains its freshness and appeal.  

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Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia lights up the sky for Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres

Vocal fireworks from tenors Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres as they launch their Amici e Rivali tour in Philadelphia. 

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Great Barrington, MA

Sebastian Catana triumphs as Verdi’s Falstaff for Berkshire Opera Festival

For those who yearn for beautiful, traditional productions that stick to the script, this Falstaff ticked all of the boxes.

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All of my reviews for Seen and Heard International can be found here

Recordings Reviews

Berlin

Vince Mendoza's Freedom Over Everything

To the Edge of Longing for soprano and orchestra is one of the most stunning musical creations inspired by these troubled times. 

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Lawrence, Kansas

dwb (driving while black)

Of the three recorded versions of Susan Kander and Roberta Gumbel's dwb (driving while black), this recording is the purest one.

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Chicago

Archetypes

In their new release, Grammy Award-winning Third Coast Percussion joins with celebrated Brazilian guitarist Sérgio Assad and his daughter - vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Clarice Assad - to portray in music twelve of these universal characters that defy time and place.

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Paris

The Freischütz Project

Conductor Laurence Equilbey is the first to present Carl Maria von Weber’s opera using the principles and original instruments of historically informed performance with a stellar cast.

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New York

Brooklyn-based ensemble and songwriting collective Founders releases Songs for the End of Time

Ben Russell and Brandon Ridenour, members of the new music ensemble Founders, radical rework of Olivier Messiean’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps is faithful to both the spirit and the austere beauty of the original.

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Warsaw

The songs of René de Boisdeffre - A nineteenth-century master of melody

Acte Préalable’s recording of reveals that at his best, René de Boisdeffre could fashion a song to rival those of his greatest contemporaries, including Fauré.

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France

Contralto - Nathalie Stutzmann / Orfeo 55

Stutzmann’s last recording with Orfeo 55, the chamber orchestra which she founded and performed with as soloist and conductor simultaneously, celebrates the legacy of the great Baroque contraltos and the music that they inspired. 

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New York

Once and Again

Once and Again, the most recent recording of Edward Smaldone's music, features a sampling of his smaller-scaled works, including two for voice and instruments.

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Erato

Rossini - Amici e Rivali

Amici e Rivali finds Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres in excellent form as they face off as friends and rivals in the music of Rossini.

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Acte Préalable

Józef Wieniawski - Complete Vocal Works

Born in a Poland that had ceased to exist as a political entity,Józef Wieniawski was the very personification of late-nineteenth-century, pan-European culture. His thirteen songs and six vocal duets comprise only a small portion of his compositional output, which is unsurprisingly weighted towards piano pieces and chamber music.

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Rick's Picks

Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn Art Song Society Season Opens with Wolf's Mörike Lieder

The Brooklyn Art Song Society returns for the 2021/22 season with an outstanding lineup of artists performing a remarkable array of songs. Admission to all in-person concerts is free and digital subscritions are available at $99.99/year or $9.99/month. For more information, click here.

New York, NY

Metropolitan Opera - Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Opening Night of the 2021–22 season will be a historic occasion—the Met's first performance of an opera by a Black composer - starring baritone Will Liverman alongside sopranos Angel Blue as Destiny/Loneliness/Greta and Latonia Moore as Billie with Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting.

New York, NY

Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin launches Carnegie Hall's 2021/22 season with a performance that includes Shostakovich’s rousing Piano Concerto No. 2—featuring superstar pianist Yuja Wang—and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. For more information, click here.

About

I got the travel bug from my parents. As a boy I had crisscrossed the US with them and my younger brother on the classic American Road Trip to California. At 16, I went to Europe for the first time. The destination was Germany, a country that I have returned to many times. In addition to business and personal travel, I have lived in Switzerland, Singapore and China. So far, it’s been a wonderful life of travelling the world and experiencing its wonders..

A musician for most of my life, first a trumpet player and then a singer, I have a degree in music from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2013, I began reviewing for Seen and Heard International and have posted reviews from the US, Europe and Asia. In addition, I regularly contribute program notes to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and have had music and travel articles published in the Global Times, Shanghai Daily, MusicWeb InternationalBroad Street Review and other publications.

Although I am thrilled to have press privileges in many of the world’s great concert halls and opera houses, it is the offerings in the more out-of-the way places that excite me the most. There one still finds great music, often at its national, indigenous best, in theaters, whether ancient or modern, that are as grand and beautiful as any in the world. More importantly, these venues not only preserve the past, they embrace the new, keeping classical music current and vital. That is the world that I invite you to explore with me on my tours.

Articles

Soprano Juliet Petrus in Conversation with Rick Perdian

Juliet Petrus and Katherine Chu's 'Singing in Mandarin: A Guide to Chinese Lyric Diction and Vocal Repertoire' is a portal to a country and its music.

Soprano Fatma Said in Conversation with Rick Perdian

'El Nour', Egyptian soprano Fatma Said's debut recording on Warner Classics, explores her native country’s culture in music that is as colorful and exotic as the places that inspired it.

Sarah Kirkland Snider in 2020: Navigating lockdown, releasing a recording and composing an opera

Gallicantus brings virtuosity and purity to Sarah Kirkland Snider's remarkably beautiful 'Mass for the Endangered'.

Rick Perdian in conversation with Julian Gargiulo and María Dueñas

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no live performance in Carnegie Hall this year, but Getting to Carnegie was viewed by more than 25,000 people.

Rick Perdian in conversation with Brandon Ridenour and Ben Russell of Brooklyn-based ensemble, Founders

Founders’ latest recording, 'Songs for the End of Time, Vol. 1', features Ben Russell and Brandon Ridenour’s arrangement of Olivier Messiaen’s 'Quartet for the End of Time'.

Christopher Hahn, Pittsburgh Opera’s General Director, in conversation with Rick Perdian

Pittsburgh Opera beat the odds with COVID fan tutte! Christopher Hahn looks back on a challenging year, but sees opportunities going forward.

Contact

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