Upcoming Tours

Glimmerglass

The Glimmerglass Festival (August 2020) - CANCELLED

Cooperstown is more than just baseball. The village at the southern tip of New York's Otsego Lake is also home to the Glimmerglass Festival, known for exciting opera productions that feature singers, directors and designers from around the world. At Glimmerglass, we will see two highlights of the 2020 festival, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved The Sound of Music and Wagner’s rarely staged Die Feen. We will be staying at the historic Otesaga Resort Hotel, a Cooperstown landmark noted for its impeccable hospitality, first-class accommodations and fine dining. Other highlights of this tour include visits to sites linked to the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers, two of the most celebrated families of the Gilded Age. CANCELLED

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh & Falling Water (October 2020) - CANCELLED

Pittsburgh’s steel mills closed long ago and today it regularly tops the lists of 'best cities to live' and 'coolest neighborhoods' in America. This tour’s musical highlights will be performances by its symphony, opera and ballet in the restored, grand movies palaces which they call home. In addition to Pittsburgh’s great museums bearing the names of Carnegie, Frick, Heinz and Warhol, we will visit Falling Water, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Edgar Kaufmann, scion of a Pittsburgh department store magnate, and the 9/11 Flight 93 National Memorial. (October 16-19, 2020)

Philadelphia

Philadelphia - Art, Music & Film (January 2021) - CANCELLED

Brace yourself for an eclectic Philadelphia experience. For classical music lovers, there will be Opera Philadelphia’s performances of Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Oedipus Rex (described by Leonard Bernstein as the Russian composer’s ‘most awesome’ work) at the ornate Academy of Music, the oldest opera house in the United States. Film buffs will delight in Jurassic Park projected in HD with the Philadelphia Orchestra performing John’s Williams’ score. There will be also be private guided tours of the Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well visits to Fonthill Castle and the Mercer Museum, where one enters the world of an American original — archeologist, artifact collector, tile-maker and designer Henry Mercer. (January 29-31, 2020)

Performance Reviews

New York

Hymn to the City celebrates New York’s resilience and renewal after a year of trauma, loss and mourning

‘Goin’ Home’ was the benediction on this tapestry of words, music and sights that was indeed a hymn to this fabulous city.

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New York

LOTNY presents Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and other gems from the Seicento

Admidst all of the beautiful singing, the highlight of the evening was Domenico Gabrieli’s Sonata prima à basso solo with Doug Balliett on the baroque bass and theorbist Paul Holmes Morton.

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Cyberspace

Death by Life – White Snake Projects’ masterful and powerful digital operatic exploration of systemic injustice and mass incarceration

Gamers' create visual environment for real-time virtual performance possible with performers and techies spread out across the US.

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Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Opera scores musically and visually with its Art Deco Semele

Antony Walker led a young exciting cast and the Chatham Baroque in a buoyant performance notable for its transparency and brilliance.

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Worcester, MA

In a sentimental mood – guitarist Jason Vieaux in recital for Chamber Music Northwest

Jason Vieaux: Eloquent & Eclectic was the final concert of Chamber Music Northwest’s 2020-21 virtual season.

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New York

For the love of bagels and pizza – New Camerata Opera presents The Brooklyn Job

Written and directed by comedian Sarah Morgan Ashey  New Camerata Opera’s latest video opera, The Brooklyn Job, is a virtual, interactive whodunit museum art heist.

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Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia takes the leap into live opera with The Drama of Tosca

Opera Philadelphia is one of the few American companies that have managed to pay its artists, create innovative and exciting videos that are available on the Opera Philadelphia Channel, and stage a live opera with an audience.

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Takoma Park, MD

Karen Slack stars in dwb (driving while black) for UrbanArias

Soprano Karen Slack has decided to focus on stories that matter now and few are more relevant than dwb (driving while black) by Susan Kander and Roberta Gumbel.

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Prague

A new production of Don Giovanni at Prague’s Estates Theatre offers surprises, charms and thrills

For the first time National Theatre entrusted Don Giovanni to a foreign creative team, but the stellar cast was drawn from its own company.

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Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh Opera again beats the odds with live performances of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird

Martin Bakari captured the genius, lost soul and lover in his protrayal of jazz great Charlie Parker.

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

Recordings Reviews

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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Philharmonia Records

Verdi - Overtures and Preludes

Under the baton of Fabio Luisi, the Philharmonia Zurich's  sound is glorious. Luisi masterfully contrasts the violence and delicacy in Verdi’s music, where the pauses are as integral to the drama as is the fiercest fortissimo. 

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Rick's Picks

Dallas

Historic Performance of Mahler’s First Symphony by Dallas Symphony & Members of Met Orchestra Led by Fabio Luisi Will Stream Free

This once-in-a-lifetime event benefitted the MET Orchestra Musicians Fund and the DFW Musicians COVID-19 Relief Fund and marked the first time many of the non-DSO musicians had the opportunity to perform for a live audience since the COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020. To view, click here

New York

Naumburg Orchestral Concert Summer Series - Celebrating 116 years of free classical musical for New Yorkers

The Knights and violinist Gil Shaham open the 2021 series of free concerts in Central Park on June 15, 2021 in the newly restored Naumburg Bandshell. It is Central Park's only Neo-Classical building and an excellent example of the 'City Beautiful Movement' in architecture, widely popular across America when it was designed in the early 1920s. For more information, click here

New York

The Harlem Chamber Players will present Pity These Ashes: Tulsa 1921-2021, an online concert program on Juneteenth with mezzo-soprano J'Nai Bridges and violinist Lady Jess

The digital event will feature the world premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s Tulsa 1921 (Pity These Ashes, Pity This Dust), as well as compositions by Jessie Montgomery, Alice Coltrane, and Trevor Weston. 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.

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