Mezzo-soprano El?na Garan?a makes her New York recital debut in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with pianist Kevin Murphy on Saturday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m. The program features lieder by Robert Schumann, Alban Berg, and Richard Strauss, including Schumann's Frauenliebe und -leben and Berg's "Sieben frühe Lieder." Complete program details are below.
About the Artists
Mezzo-soprano El?na Garan?a was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1976 into a musical family. In 1996, she studied at the Latvian Academy of Music in Riga. One of her most formative experiences came in 1998 while she was still a student: with only ten days' notice, she performed the role of GiovAnna Seymour in Donizetti's Anna Bolena, discovering a deep affinity with the bel canto repertoire. After graduation, she joined the Meiningen Staatstheater in Germany, where she appeared in roles including Octavian in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. In 1999, she sang the role of Maddalena in Verdi's Rigoletto at the Savonlinna Opera Festival and also won the Mirjam Helin Singing Competition in Finland. Ms. Garan?a has appeared at the world's major opera houses and concert venues to critical acclaim. It is through her beautiful voice, musicianship, and compelling stage portrayals that she has established herself as one of the music world's finest singers.
Ms. Garan?a is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2006 European Culture Prize, Musical America's "Vocalist of the Year" in 2010, and "Singer of the Year" at the 2010 MIDEM Classical Awards. She has been an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon recording artist since September 2005. Her first solo recording, Aria Cantilena, was released in March 2007 to great popular and critical acclaim, and she was awarded the prestigious ECHO Klassik award for "Singer of the Year" later that year. Ms. Garan?a's second solo album, Bel Canto, led to a second ECHO Klassik award for "Singer of the Year" in 2009. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008, singing Rosina in Rossini's IL Barbiere di Siviglia, returning in 2010 to sing the title role in Bizet's Carmen, and earlier this season as Sesto in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, to much acclaim.
Pianist Kevin Murphy has collaborated in concert and recital with many of today's leading artists, including his wife, Heidi Grant Murphy, as well as Michelle DeYoung, Bejun Mehta, Gary Lakes, Nathan Gunn, Olaf Bär, Bryn Terfel, Marcelo Alvarez, Plácido Domingo, Frederica von Stade, Renée Fleming, Paul Groves, and Cecilia Bartoli. Mr. Murphy is also respected for his work in master classes and as a private coach, and he has performed in chamber music collaborations with the Zukerman Chamber Players as well as members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.
Mr. Murphy currently serves as head opera coach at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. Previously, he was director of music administration at New York City Opera. Prior to joining the New York City Opera staff, he was appointed by Gerard Mortier as the directeur des etudes musicales at the Opéra National de Paris. In 1992, he was the first pianist invited by James Levine to participate in The Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and continued as an assistant conductor from 1993 through June 2006. He has played continuo harpsichord with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in productions of Così fan tutte, La Cenerentola, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, La Clemenza di Tito, and Idomeneo and traveled with the company on tour in Japan. In August 2011, he assumed the position of director of the vocal program at Ravinia's Steans Music Institute. He has also been musical assistant and played continuo harpsichord for the Seiji Ozawa Opera Project in Japan, at the Tanglewood Music Festival and Verbier for James Levine, and has worked with Esa-Pekka Salonen at La Jolla's SummerFest.