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Select the links below to download further details.

Program Song List [PDF]

Texts and Translations [PDF]

Additional notes on the program. [PDF]

Audio clip: Traume from Wesendonck Lieder



Vocal Arts DC
PO Box 42423
Washington DC 20015




Christine Brewer,
and pianist Craig Rutenberg

Thursday, April 25, 2013  at 7:30 pm
Terrace Theater

Grammy Award-winning American soprano Christine Brewer's appearances in opera, concert, and recital are marked by her own unique timbre, at once warm and brilliant, combined with a vibrant personality and emotional honesty reminiscent of the great sopranos of the past. Her range, golden tone, boundless power, and control make her a favorite of the stage as well as a sought-after recording artist.

Christine Brewer highlights her 2012-2013 season as Sister Aloysius in the world premier of Douglas J Cumo's Doubt at Minnesota Opera, based on the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play and popular film by John Patrick Shanley. An equally exciting concert season will see Ms. Brewer singing Strauss' Four Last Songs with the Kansas City Symphony, Eugene Symphony Orchestra, St Louis Symphony Orchestra, and The Deutsches Symphony Orchestra. Brewer will also perform Brünnhilde's Immolation scene from Götterdämmerung with the University of Kentucky as well as with the Orchestra Philharmonique du Luxembourg, rounding out her concert season with Britten's War Requiem with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Equally at home on the recital stage, Ms. Brewer can be seen at the Sheldon Arts Foundation 9/11 memorial, Concord Methodist Church in St. Louis, Wimbledon Music Festival in London, St. Alban's Church in East Sussex, Cleveland Institute of Music, and a special birthday gala for William Lyne at Wigmore Hall in London.

Highlights of Ms. Brewer's 2011-12 season included opening the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's 67th season with a program featuring Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and the Immolation scene from Wagner's Götterdämmerung. A "superlative Strauss singer" (New York Times), she also sang the German composer's Four Last Songs with the St. Louis Symphony under David Robertson, besides featuring his music alongside that of Marx, Thomson, Ives, and Smith in recital with pianist and frequent collaborator Craig Rutenberg, at New York's Alice Tully Hall.

An avid recitalist, Ms. Brewer has graced such prestigious venues as Carnegie's Zankel Hall, London's Wigmore Hall, Oberlin Conservatory, the Friends of Chamber Music, and many others. A particular favorite with Vocal Arts DC audiences, Ms. Brewer has previously performed in recitals under the series' auspices during both the 2010-2011 and 2006-2007 seasons. She has appeared in Lincoln Center's "Art of the Song" series at Alice Tully Hall, the Boston Celebrity Series, and at the Kennedy Center's Fortas Chamber Music Concert Series, Atlanta's Spivey Hall, California's Mondavi Center, and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. Her unique voice has also been featured at the Gilmore, Ravinia, and Cleveland Art Song festivals. Her concert work includes Beethoven's Missa solemnis with both the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles and the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas as well as Janácek's Glagolitic Mass with the Toronto and Chicago Symphonies led by James Conlon.

On the opera stage, Ms. Brewer is highly regarded for her striking portrayal of the title role in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, which she has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Lyon, Théatre du Chatelet, Santa Fe Opera, English National Opera, and Opera Theater of St. Louis. Attracting glowing reviews with each role, the soprano has performed Wagner's Tristan und Isolde at San Francisco Opera, Gluck's Alceste with Santa Fe Opera, the Dyer's Wife in Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Paris Opera, and Lady Billows in Britten's Albert Herring at Santa Fe Opera. She is also celebrated for her work on lesser-known operas such as the title roles in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride with the Edinburgh Festival, the Rio de Janeiro Opera, and Madrid Opera and Strauss's Die ägyptische Helena with the Santa Fe Opera.

Ms. Brewer has worked with many of today's most notable conductors, including Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Alan Gilbert, Lorin Maazel, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Antonio Pappano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Shaw, and Jaap van Zweden. Frequently sought after to sing the great symphonic works of Mozart, Brahms, Verdi, Mahler, Beethoven, Strauss, Wagner, Janácek, and Britten, she has sung with the philharmonics of New York and Los Angeles, and the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., St. Louis, San Francisco, Boston, and Dallas. In Europe, the soprano counts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Orchestre de Paris, and Toulouse Orchestra as regular partners. In addition, she has made appearances with the Malaysia Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and Toronto Symphony. The versatile artist has also been invited to perform for such special engagements as the re-opening of Covent Garden with Plácido Domingo for TRH the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, a concert of Handel with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and a gala performance of Górecki's Third Symphony with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and long-time collaborator Runnicles.

Ms. Brewer's recordings include a contribution to Hyperion's prestigious Schubert series with pianist Graham Johnson; the Janácek Glagolitic Mass and Dvorák Te Deum with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Telarc); Dvorák's Stabat Mater (Naxos); and two recital recordings entitled "Saint Louis Woman" and "Music for a While," produced and released by Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Recent releases include a live recital disc from Wigmore Hall (Koch); Strauss's Four Last Songs with the "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde, Strauss's Opera Scenes, and Mozart's Requiem with Runnicles and the Atlanta Symphony (Telarc); Fidelio in German with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO Live); Barber's Vanessa with the BBC Symphony (Chandos) and the Grammy Award-winning Bolcom Songs of Innocence and Experience (Naxos), both conducted by Leonard Slatkin; Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (EMI); a disc of lieder for Hyperion's new Richard Strauss series with pianist Roger Vignoles; Fidelio in English and "Great Operatic Arias" with the London Philharmonic (Chandos); and Britten's War Requiem with the London Philharmonic and Kurt Masur (LPO Live).

Rutenberg.Pianist Craig Rutenberg, "whose playing ranged from sterling directness to expansive beauty," (San Francisco Chronicle) has collaborated with many of the world's greatest vocalists and is recognized as one of the most distinguished accompanists on the stage today.

Having studied piano and interpretation with John Wustman, Geoffrey Parsons, Pierre Bernac and Miriam Solovieff, Mr. Rutenberg has appeared in recital with Denyce Graves, Sumi Jo, Harolyn Blackwell, Susanne Mentzer, Frederica von Stade, Angelika Kirchschlager, Dawn Upshaw, Thomas Hampson, Ben Heppner, Marcello Giordani, and Jerry Hadley as well as Olaf Baer, Simon Keenlyside, Eric Owens and José van Dam. He has performed with Mr.Hampson at the White House under the Clinton administration.

Mr. Rutenberg, whose recording with Susanne Mentzer prompted Opera News to praise him for "(making) the piano sing with clean articulation and a palette of colors to coordinate with...every mood," records for Deutsche Grammophon, EMI/Angel, BMG/RCA and Koch International. He has appeared repeatedly in concert on national and international television and radio, including numerous PBS specials.

Currently Head of Music Administration at the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Rutenberg is also guest coach at The Royal Opera in Stockholm, the Gothenburg Opera and The Norwegian Opera in Oslo. He has coached and given master classes at the Ryan Opera Center for American Artists at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theatre, the Santa Fe Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Craig Rutenberg has also worked for the Opera Studio de Paris, the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Vancouver Opera. In addition to his duties at the Metropolitan Opera and his teaching activities in the 2012-2013 season, Mr. Rutenberg appears in recital with Christine Brewer, mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux, and Thomas Hampson. As a solo pianist, he is nearing completion of his recording the complete Piano Portraits of Virgil Thomson for the Virgil Thomson Foundation's label, Everbest.

(Photo credit: Christian Steiner)


Thomas Jerry Floyd, a long-time audience member and supporter of Vocal Arts DC, died on April 12, 2012, leaving his entire estate to this organization. This significant contribution, for which we are deeply grateful, will help ensure the long-term future of high quality voice recitals in the Washington DC area. Jerry Floyd was a passionate and erudite devotee of the performing arts. He wrote articles for print and online organizations in the areas of opera, ballet and theater for more than three decades and was a past editor of the Washington National Opera Magazine and a vital member of the Wagner Society of Washington DC. His presence in the local performing arts community will be sorely missed.


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