Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Theatre of the Arts at the University of DC
The Gerald and Ann K. Perman Memorial Recital
Piotr Beczała is one of the most sought-after tenors of our time and a constant guest in the world's leading opera houses. The Polish-born artist is acclaimed by audiences and critics alike not only for the beauty of his voice, but also for his ardent commitment to each character he portrays.
Piotr Beczała's 2016-17 season will feature returns to Chicago, New York, Berlin, Barcelona, Vienna, Zürich, and beyond. Following a recital with San Diego Opera, Piotr encores his signature portrayal of Edgardo in a new-to-Chicago production of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. From there, he heads to New York for a revival of La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera. He also joins a star-studded lineup of colleagues on the Met stage to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary at Lincoln Center. Rodolfo in Puccini's bohemian masterwork is also the vehicle for Piotr's return to the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Furthermore Piotr Beczała can be heard in Barcelona with a revival of Massenet's Werther at the Gran Teatre del Liceu paired with a recital at the city's Palau de la Música. The recitals continue with stops in Frankfurt, Graz, Berlin, and Hamburg. Returning to the Wiener Staatsoper stage, Piotr headlines a revival of Un ballo in maschera before joining Opernhaus Zürich for a new production of Léhar's Das Land des Lächelns in the role of Prince Sou-Chong.
Since his debut as Duca in Rigoletto in 2006, Piotr Beczała is a regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera New York, where he performed in productions of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin opposite Anna Netrebko, Prince in Dvořák's Rusalka, Edgardo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Rodolfo (La Bohème), as well as in the title roles of Gounod's Roméo et Juliette and Faust. 2012 saw Piotr Beczała make his role debut as Chevalier des Grieux in Laurent Pelly's new production of Manon, alongside Anna Netrebko as the eponymous heroine, conducted by Fabio Luisi, part of the "HD live" series by the MET. It was released on DVD, as was his interpretation of the Duke in a new production of Rigoletto, alongside Diana Damrau in January 2013, for which he received the ECHO Klassik Award "Singer of the Year" in 2014.
Piotr Beczała made his debut at Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 2006. He also regularly sings at the State Operas in Munich and in Vienna. He sang guest performances at the Nederlandse Opera, Théâtre de la Monnaie/de Munt, Staatsoper Hamburg, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatr Wielki (Warsaw), and the Mariinsky Theatre, the Salzburg Festival, amongst many others, including his highly acclaimed debut in the title role of Wagner's Lohengrin opposite Anna Netrebko at the Semperoper Dresden in 2015-16.
In addition to his operatic work, he has sung many of the great choral and orchestral vocal works with the world's most distinguished orchestras and maestri. Piotr Beczała was born in Czechowice-Dziedzice in Southern Poland and received his initial vocal training at the Katowice Academy of Music, where he was given instruction by such illustrious singers as Pavel Lisitsian and Sena Jurinac. His first engagement was at the Landestheater Linz and in 1997 he became a company member of the Zürich Opera.
Piotr Beczała is represented on dozens of CDs in a vast array of works. Three solo aria CDs have been released on the Orfeo label. Since 2012 Piotr Beczała is an exclusive artist of Deutsche Grammophon and released his second album "The French Collection" in February, 2015. His DVD releases include a series of performances from the Zürich Opera, Der Rosenkavalier (TDK) from Salzburg, Don Giovanni (Decca), Rusalka alongside Renée Fleming (Decca) and Lucia di Lammermoor from the MET (DG). Other recent DVD releases include the Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with Christian Thielemann leading the Wiener Philharmoniker (Unitel/C Major) and the Farewell Concert for the Wiener Staatsoper's long standing Intendant, Ioan Holender (DG), among many others.
Martin Katz must surely be considered the dean of collaborative pianists," said the Los Angeles Times. One of the world's busiest collaborators, he has been in constant demand by the world's most celebrated vocal soloists for four decades. In addition to Mr. Beczała, he has appeared and recorded regularly with Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, Karita Mattila, Samuel Ramey, José Carreras, Cecilia Bartoli, Kiri Te Kanawa, Kathleen Battle, David Daniels and Soile Isokoski, just to name a few. Season after season, the world's musical capitals figure prominently in his schedule.
Mr. Katz is a native of Los Angeles, where he began piano studies at the age of five. He attended the University of Southern California and studied the field of accompanying with its pioneer teacher, Gwendolyn Koldofsky. While yet a student, he was given the unique opportunity of accompanying the master classes and lessons of such luminaries as Lotte Lehmann, Jascha Heifetz, Pierre Bernac, and Gregor Piatigorsky. Following his formal education, he held the position of pianist for the US Army Chorus for three years, before moving to New York where his busy international career began in earnest in 1969.
In more recent years, conducting has played a more significant role in Mr. Katz's career. He has partnered several of his soloists on the podium for orchestras of the BBC, Houston, Washington, D.C., Tokyo, New Haven and Miami. His editions of Handel and Rossini operas have been presented by the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. He has also been pleased to conduct several staged productions for Michigan Opera Theatre, the Music Academy of the West, and most recently, San Francisco Opera's prestigious Merola program.
Finally, the professional profile of Martin Katz is completed with his commitment to teaching. Since 1984, Michigan has been his home, where he has been chair for the School of Music's program in collaborative piano, and has played an active part in operatic productions. He has been a pivotal figure in the training of countless young artists, both singers and pianists, who are working all over the world. The University has recognized this work, naming him the first Artur Schnabel Professor of Music. In addition to his work at Michigan, he is a regular guest at Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Conservatory, Songfest, San Francisco Opera, the Sibelius Academy, The Guildhall School in London, Chicago College of Performing Arts, and the New National Theatre of Tokyo. Mr. Katz is the author of a comprehensive guide to accompanying, The Complete Collaborator, published by Oxford University Press.
"The most musically astute collaborator working today." Wiener Zeitung
"The gold standard of accompanying." The New York Times
Program to include selections by Schumann, Karłowicz, Dvořák and Rachmaninov.
"Piotr Beczała is arguably the hottest tenor on the international circuit today."
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times (London)
This event is part of the European Month of Culture (EUMC). Now in its fifth year, EUMC is a month-long festival of innovative and creative events for the American public highlighting the diverse cultures of all 28 European Union Member countries. Enjoy film, dance, music, theatre, exhibits, language classes, workshops and more in great venues throughout Washington DC. Most events are free! To see all EUMC events, click here.