Press release: Baarn, The Netherlands, December 1st, 2016
PENTATONE is proud to announce that the first two titles of the American Opera Series, The Ghosts of Versailles and Cold Mountain, received multiple nominations for the 59th Grammys Award; and that Blanton Alspaugh and David Frost are running for Best Producer for the realization of several PENTATONE recordings. It is a great start for the American Opera Series, which was launched in April last year with the releases of these two world premiere recordings. American opera embodies the individualism of its homeland, and with each generation new musical language has found its voice in American opera – a voice that resonates with all who love the music, the drama and the brilliance that is opera.
NEW PROJECTS of the series for 2018 include Jake Heggie’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”, premiered just a few weeks ago, with the Grand Houston Opera; and Gordon Getty’s “Canterville Ghost”. Both operas will be released in Autumn next year.
JOHN CORIGLIANO – THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES
James Conlon, Patricia Racette, Christopher Maltman , Kristinn Sigmundsson, Joshua Guerrero , Los Angeles Opera
BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM
BEST OPERA RECORDING
Trapped in the spirit world, the ghost of Marie Antoinette bitterly reflects on her final suffering. Her favourite playwright tries to entertain the melancholy queen with the adventures of his beloved characters from The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. But sneaky Figaro refuses to play by the script, breaking free from the opera-within-the-opera in a surprise bid for a better life. Commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the opera received its premiere at the Met in 1991. The success of Ghosts resulted in many performances throughout the world in the 25 years to follow, one of which took place in February 2015 at the LA Opera. The production was recorded live and released for the very first time in this splendid double-album recording.
“Hearing the new live recording from LA Opera’s widely praised 2015 production confirms my memory that the piece is sprawling and flawed but also fascinating and brilliant, impressive in its stylistic breadth and quite moving. (…) There really hasn’t been anything quite like Ghosts of Versailles (…) This CD is an essential release.”
Opera News, August 2016
JENNIFER HIGDON & GENE SCHEER – COLD MOUNTAIN
Miguel Harth-Bedoya , Nathan Gunn, Isabel Leonard, Jay Hunter Morris, Emily Fons, Robert Pomakov , The Santa Fe Opera
BEST CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL COMPOSITION
BEST OPERA RECORDING
The Opera is based on the National Book Award-winning novel by Charles Frazier. It received its world premiere at The Santa Fe Opera on 1 August 2015 where it was performed by The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya and captured live for this double album. This performance was winner of the International Opera Award for Best World Premiere of 2016.
“Sound is terrific, and the performances superb, especially the difficult role of W.P. Inman played by Nathan Gunn, but this is to single out a superlative in a cast of superlatives. I really hope this becomes the American classic it deserves to be.”
AudAud, August 2016
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
PENTATONE is also honoured to announce that both Blanton Alspaugh and David Frost have been nominated as Producer of The Year. With both we enjoy a close and fruitful working relationship.
Blanton Alspaugh is nominated for the production of the following PENTATONE releases:
- The Aeolian Organ At Duke University Chapel (Christopher Jacobson)
- Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles (James Conlon, Guanqun Yu, Joshua Guerrero, Patricia Racette, Christopher Maltman, Lucy Schaufer, Lucas Meachem, LA Opera)
- Dvořák: Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8 (Andrés Orozco-Estrada & Houston Symphony)
- Dvořák: Symphony No. 6 & Slavonic Dances (Andrés Orozoco-Estrada & Houston Symphony)
David Frost is nominated for the production of the following PENTATONE releases:
- Bach: The Cello Suites According To Anna Magdalena (Matt Haimovitz)
- Overtures To Bach (Matt Haimovitz)