The Alexander String Quartet celebrates our 30th anniversary year with a newly commissioned (commission from San Francisco Performances) collaborative vocal quintet, Camille Claudel: Into the Fire by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer featuring mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. This work is based on the life of French sculptor Camille Claudel, Rodin’s lover, a confidante of Debussy and a genius in her own right.

Concert Information:

Alexander String Quartet 30th Anniversary with:
Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano
Jake Heggie, composer/pianist

Saturday, February 4, 8pm
Herbst Theatre


DEBUSSY: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10 (1893)
HAHN: Venezia (1901)
JAKE HEGGIE: Camille Claudel: Into the Fire (2012) — World Premiere

Ticket information on the San Francisco Performances Website

About Joyce DiDonato:

Photo: Virgin Classics
Joyce DiDonato consistently earns ecstatic reviews wherever she sings. Among the world’s most charismatic performers, she is winner of the Metropolitan Opera’s Beverly Sills Award, among many other honors. “The buoyant progress of DiDonato’s career has been one of the happiest opera events of the past decade,” states Opera News magazine. Critics have called her technique “fearless” and described the range of her performing ability from “playful eroticism to imploding self-delusion to near-catatonic depression.”

Ms. DiDonato has soared to international prominence in operas by Rossini, Handel, and Mozart, as well as in high-profile world premieres. Her growing discography has earn accolades far and wide. Her Wigmore Hall recital disc was a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”. The Deepest Desire, her first solo disc, was awarded France’s Diapason d’or de l’année, an extraordinary honor for a recording of American songs. Her CD of Spanish songs, ¡Pasión!, was a London Sunday Times “Classical CD of the week”, praised for its “authentic-sounding Iberian fire” and dubbed the disc “that admirers of the young American mezzo have been waiting for.”

About Jake Heggie:

Photo © Art & Clarity
Jake Heggie is the American composer of the operas Moby-Dick (libretto: Gene Scheer), Dead Man Walking (libretto: Terrence McNally), Three Decembers (libretto: Scheer), The End of the Affair (libretto: Heather McDonald), To Hell and Back (libretto: Scheer), and the stage works For a Look or a Touch (libretto: Scheer) and At the Statue of Venus (libretto: McNally). He has also composed more than 200 art songs, as well as orchestral, choral and chamber music. His recent recording of songs and duets, Passing By: Songs by Jake Heggie, (AVIE), features performances by Isabel Bayrakdarian, Zheng Cao, Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Paul Groves, Keith Phares, and Frederica von Stade.

Heggie is the 2010-11 guest artist-in-residence at the University of North Texas at Denton, where he will compose his first symphony, based on several Ahab monologues from the novel Moby-Dick. The “Ahab” Symphony will receive its premiere in 2012 with tenor Richard Croft as soloist. Other current projects include song commissions from Carnegie Hall (for Joyce DiDonato), San Francisco Performances (for DiDonato and the Alexander String Quartet), The Dallas Opera (for baritone Nathan Gunn), and Houston Grand Opera (to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks); as well as a one-act opera for chorus for the John Alexander Singers and the Pacific Chorale, and a new version of For a Look or a Touch that features the 200-voice Seattle Men’s Chorus.

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