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  • WDCH
  • Feb. 25, 2005
  • Evening Features Works by Rameau and Handel


    The Baroque Variations series is supported by a generous grant from the Michael J. Connell Foundation

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association presents the fourth of five Baroque Variations concerts during its 2004/2005 season as Nicholas McGegan conducts his famed Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with soprano Lisa Saffer at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Friday, February 25, 2005, at 8 p.m. The program for this performance features an orchestral suite from Rameau's Les Paladins, and the Water Music Suite in F major and four arias by Handel.

    McGegan, one of the world's leading authorities on Baroque and classical repertoire, is a champion of such Baroque masters as Handel and Rameau. Equally at home with modern- and period-instrument orchestras, he has been a guest of major orchestras and opera companies around the globe. Soprano Lisa Saffer, renowned for her interpretation of 20th-century repertoire, is also highly regarded for her performances in the operas of Handel.

    The Baroque Variations series, which made its debut during the Philharmonic's 2003/2004 season, continues to offer presentations of Baroque music on both period and modern instruments, performed by some of the world's most admired ensembles and soloists in a four-concert series. This non-subscription concert has been added to allow a broader audience to hear this important repertoire. Il Giardino Armonico from Milan, led by Giovanni Antonini performs the last concert in the 2004/2005 Baroque Variations series on April 13.

    NICHOLAS McGEGAN is Music Director of the San Francisco-based Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Artistic Director of Germany's International Handel Festival, Göttinge. McGegan regularly appears with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, National (Washington D.C.), New World (Florida), Philadelphia, Saint Louis and Toronto. He has also conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Jerusalem, Göteborg, Sydney and Melbourne symphonies, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. In December 2003, he made his debut with the New York Philharmonic. McGegan made his debut with the Royal Opera House in 1997, conducting the acclaimed world premiere of the Mark Morris production of Rameau's Platée. He has been principal guest conductor of Scottish Opera and principal conductor at Sweden's Drottningholm Theatre. He has also conducted at the English National Opera, Santa Fe Opera and San Francisco Opera. In the summer of 2003, he conducted the first opera ever staged at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, Mozart's Il re pastore. McGegan's 70-plus recordings cover a range of opera, orchestral, and chamber music. He has made over 30 recordings with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, including the world-premiere recording of Handel's Susanna, Thomas Arne's Alfred, and suites from Rameau's Plateé and Dardanus.

    Named Musical America's 2004 Ensemble of the Year, San Francisco's PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA has been dedicated to historically informed performance of Baroque, Classical, and early Romantic music on original instruments since its inception in 1981. Under Music Director Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque performs a subscription season in four cities in the San Francisco Bay Area and is regularly heard on tour in the U.S. and internationally. Among the most-recorded period-instrument orchestras in the U.S. or in Europe, Philharmonia Baroque has made 24 recordings for Harmonia Mundi, Reference Recordings, and BMG. The orchestra's live recording of Handel's oratorio Susanna received a Grammy nomination and a Gramophone Award for best Baroque vocal recording in 1991.

    Soprano LISA SAFFER 's performance of Lulu at English National Opera was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for outstanding achievement in opera and received the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for best vocal performance. Her first exploration of the early operatic repertoire was in the Stephen Wadsworth productions of The Return of Ulysses (Minerva) and The Coronation of Poppea (Poppea) at the Skylight Opera in Milwaukee. Performances of Poppea in Agrippina, Teofane in Ottone, Polissena in Radamisto, Jenny and Polly Peachum in The Beggar's Opera, and Belinda in Dido and Aeneas (all conducted by Nicholas McGegan) followed. She made her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich as Almirena in Rinaldo and performed Dalinda in Handel's Ariodante at New York City Opera. In concert Saffer has appeared with the Atlanta Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic in works spanning four centuries. Saffer appears on award-winning recordings on Harmonia Mundi, Virgin Classics, and New World Records.


    FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2005, 8 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    NICHOLAS McGEGAN, conductor

    LISA SAFFER, soprano

    RAMEAU Orchestral Suite from Les Paladins

    HANDEL "Falsa imagine" from Ottone

       "Voglio Amare" from Partenope

       "Sweet Bird" from L'allegro, in penseroso, ed il moderato

       "se pieta" from Giulio Cesare

    HANDEL Water Music Suite in F major

    The Baroque Variations series is supported by a generous grant from the Michael J. Connell Foundation.

    Tickets ($31 - $78) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($15), will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, and Baroque Variations performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310; photos: 213.972.3034