OP0047. ORFEO ED EURIDICE (Gluck), w.Runnicles Cond. San Francisco Opera Ensemble; Jennifer Larmore, Dawn Upshaw & Alison Hagley. 2-Teldec 98418, Slipcase Edition w.Elaborate Libretto-brochure. Final Sealed Copy! - 745099841829
“Jennifer Larmore is an outstanding American mezzo soprano who parlayed operatic success in Europe into international stardom during the 1990s. Known for excelling in the coloratura roles of Rossini and Handel, she has also moved into the early nineteenth century bel canto repertory, as well as the operas of Mozart and Richard Strauss. Especially since 2000, Larmore has been a very active recitalist, and she has recorded widely for the Harmonia Mundi, Teldec, and Deutsche Grammophon labels.
Larmore studied at the Westminster Choir College, and then privately with John Bullock and Regina Resnik. She made her professional début at Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West as Rosina in Rossini's THE BARBER OF SEVILLE -- appropriate, considering that Rosina has since become her signature role, one that she has performed more than 500 times. Three years later, a last-minute audition led to a contract at the Nice Opéra. There, her vocal talents, energetic acting, and natural beauty quickly established her as an emerging star, and during the next decade she performed dozens of leading roles with major European houses. In the mid-'90s Larmore returned to the United States, making her Chicago Lyric Opera début in 1993, winning the prestigious Richard Tucker award in 1994, and débuting as Rosina at the Metropolitan Opera in 1995. Since then she has been a regular attraction at the Met, singing everything from Handel's GIULIO CESARE to Humperdinck's HÄNSEL UND GRETEL. With her frequent collaborator Antoine Palloc, she has made several international recital tours, including appearances in Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, and London, as well as most major American cities.
Larmore's GIULIO CESARE on Harmonia Mundi (with René Jacobs),’L'étoile’, a collection of French arias, and’Call Me Mister’, a celebration of mezzo soprano ‘pants’ roles, are notable among her recordings. A particularly unique venture has been her satellite radio program ‘Backstage with Jennifer Larmore’, on which she proves herself a witty and insightful interviewer and commentator.”
- Allen Schrott, allmusic.com
“Dawn Upshaw's is a voice of many modes. Often, in her timbre, there is an edge-of-the seat tension that pulls the audience along inexorably, breathlessly and yet, miraculously, without ever making us tense ourselves. Elsewhere, she can produce a tone and a line so effortless, so restful, so serene that it conjures an effect of pure peace in sonic form. But there is more than voice to Upshaw's art. It is the way she places her ravishing sound at the service of her extraordinary communicative powers that captures our hearts and minds. A catch phrase with great currency among performers is the goal of ‘taking ownership of the music’. With Upshaw, the alchemy goes a step further: the music seems to take possession of her, so that she is no longer merely playing a character or shaping a melodic line but giving breath to the living spirit of the piece.”
Louise T. Guinther, OPERA NEWS, April, 2013
“Dawn Upshaw is a leading American soprano, known for her exceptional interest in contemporary music, and is highly active as a recitalist. She went to New York to study voice with Ellen Faull at Manhattan School of Music, earning her Masters Degree there in 1984. Success came very quickly. She won 1984's Young Concert Artists Auditions, after which James Levine, Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, invited her to join the Metropolitan Opera Studio. In 1985 she was co-winner of the Naumburg Competition in New York. Her initial operatic appearances there were as minor characters. Her first professional recital was in Alice Tully Hall in New York in 1986. The recital drew acclaim not only for the quality and intelligence of her singing, but for the uniquely informed and adventurous choice of repertoire.
Soon she was receiving leading roles in opera, and has appeared in many of the world's major operatic venues. Her leading roles include all leading roles in all the major Mozart operas, Sophie in Massenet's WERTHER, both Constance and Blanche in Poulenc's DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES, Mélisande in Debussy's PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, the Angel in Messiaen's ST. FRANÇOISE D'ASSISE, and Ann Trulove in Stravinsky's THE RAKE'S PROGRESS. She created the role of Daisy Buchanan in John Harbison's THE GREAT GATSBY in its world premiere at the Met, and the title role in Kaija Saariaho's CLEMENCE at the Salzburg Festival. Her portrayal of Handel's Theodora in 1996 at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, a production directed by Peter Sellars, was a triumph.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com