Inaugural Season, February 8–17, 2013
The inaugural season of the Tucson Desert Song Festival was a spectacular success. Never in so short a time has Tucson been treated to so many world-class vocalists. The air seemed to be filled with astonishing singing! Tucson’s premier performing arts organizations demonstrated just how capable they are and matched the talent of the guest artists. Music was stunning, and the dance and costumes of Ballet Tucson were captivating.
For nine days in February 2013, Tucson was filled with great singers and great singing. Tucson basked in the sounds of glorious young talents, straight from the stages of the Metropolitan and Chicago Lyric Operas, and from the pages and covers of Opera News. George Hanson, Music Director and Conductor, Tucson Symphony Orchestra
Grammy-nominated conductor and keyboard artist Philip Brunelle of VocalEssence and a quartet of soloists including soprano Maria Jette joined conductor Eric Holtan and the Tucson Chamber Artists in a performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle.
Maestro George Hanson conducted the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in a mostly Wagner concert including the Siegfried Idyll and Wesendonck Lieder sung by Lyric Opera of Chicago’s newest soprano sensation, Amber Wagner.
Nathan Gunn, star of the Metropolitan, Chicago Lyric and San Francisco opera companies, performed a UApresents recital of Schubert Lieder and songs by other noted composers with accompanist Julie Gunn.
Passionately Piazzolla!, a world premiere theatrical portrait of the tango master Astor Piazzolla, was performed as a co-presentation among Ballet Tucson, Chamber Music PLUS, and the Tucson Guitar Society. The original script was written by Harry Clark, Chamber Music PLUS’s artistic director, and featured new choreography by Chieko Imada and John Dahlstrand of Ballet Tucson. Actor Robert Beltran narrated as Astor Piazzolla, and Buenos Aires, singer/ guitarist Brian Chambouleryon and UA School of Music guitarist Misael Barranza Diaz performed.
The Tucson Desert Song Festival concluded its inaugural season with Verdi’s Requiem performed by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and a quartet of acclaimed soloists including soprano Amber Wagner, mezzo-soprano Jill Grove, tenor James Valenti and bass Morris Robinson.