Posted on 5 January 2015
December 21 dawned sunny and cold this year — a perfect winter solstice and lovely day to make music. Here’s a […]
Baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert presents an encore performance of his participatory version of Franz Schubert’s 1828 song cycle Winterreise at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The performance will migrate throughout the Garden, passing through locations that reflect the vivid imagery of Wilhelm Müller’s poetry and Schubert’s music.
Audience members will provide the accompaniment using hand-held radios, emitting the original piano music as performed by Timothy Long and reimagined by sound designer Jonathan Zalben. The production is directed by JJ Hudson, with German-to-English supertitles created by students from Parsons The New School for Design.
New York Times critic Zachary Woolfe called last year’s Winterize “brave and, in all senses, chilling… an elegantly lean performance that would have been impressive in any context but was remarkable under these conditions… You have not truly experienced ‘Winterreise’ until you have stood three or four feet from the singer, his breath visible in the cold.”
Winterize will begin at Magnolia Plaza, at 11:30am in front of the sundial. Note that admission to the garden is free before noon, and thus this event is free.
Hailed by Opera News for his “exceptional” singing, and praised by The New York Times for his “impressive,” “remarkable” and “elegantly lean” performances, Christopher Dylan Herbert has also received commendation for his “smooth baritone voice”, his “consistently warm sound” and his “versatile dramatic abilities.” This season Mr. Herbert reprises the role of Paul Watson in Jonathan Berger’s The War Reporter at the Prototype Festival, debuts at Alice Tully Hall as a soloist with the American Classical Orchestra, and tours with his critically acclaimed ensemble New York Polyphony, in addition to several other engagements throughout the United States and Europe. Performances in recent seasons included Henrik in A Little Night Music at Opera Theatre Saint Louis, Winterreise at the Austrian Cultural Forum of New York and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Kindertotenlieder with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, Sid in Albert Herring with Opera Vivente, Il prigioniero in Il piccolo Marat at Avery Fisher Hall, and various recitals with pianists Thomas Bagwell and Timothy Long. Mr. Herbert has also performed with the Boston Pops and at Tanglewood, Wolf Trap, Music Academy of the West, and Central City Opera, and has won awards from the Sullivan Foundation, Gérard Souzay Competition and Kurt Weill Foundation. He holds a B.A. in Music from Yale University and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. He is the baritone in the celebrated classical vocal male ensemble New York Polyphony.
JJ Hudson, stage director and bass-baritone, has directed numerous productions, and numerous opera-scenes programs in professional, academic, and community programs. As a bass-baritone, Hudson has performed more than twenty lyric theater roles ranging from Leporello (Don Giovanni) and Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) to Sweeney Todd and Lancelot (Camelot). He has recently served on the faculties of University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Nazareth College, Hobart and William Smith College, Concord University, and Oswego State University. This past summer, he served on the directing staff of the Aspen Opera Theater Center. Immediate upcoming directorial engagements include an Amahl and the Night Visitors and Sound of Music at Columbus State University (GA), and a Turn of the Screw at Stony Brook University.
As a pianist, Timothy Long's performances have been described as "dramatic, fiery" and "dazzlingly forceful" (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle). He has performed throughout the world at venues such as the Aspen Music Festival, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Kennedy Center, Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kyoto International Music Festival, and the Castell de Sant Marçal in Barcelona, Spain. His collaborations with singers include recitals with Jennifer Aylmer, William Sharp, Susanne Mentzer, Thomas Meglioranza, Christopheren Nomura and an appearance on NBC's Today Show with Salvatore Licitra. His chamber music partners have included the Pacifica, Euclid and Chester string quartets. Bridge Records released Mr. Long's recording as conductor and pianist, The Music Teacher, a play/opera featuring Parker Posey and Wallace Shawn in the leading roles. Mr. Long was formerly an Associate Conductor at New York City Opera and the Assistant Conductor for Robert Spano at the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He has held faculty positions at the Yale School of Music, The Juilliard School, the University of Maryland and the Aspen Music Festival and School. He is currently Associate Professor at Stony Brook University.
Jonathan Zalben received an MA in music composition and multimedia from New York University, a BA in music from Yale University, and studied violin and music composition at Juilliard Pre-College. He currently runs First Frame Music, a company for music supervision, licensing, and score. Zalben has written original music for Son of Morning, Gods of Circumstance, Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror, and Kissing Cousins. He orchestrated the music for Repo: The Genetic Opera. In addition, he has written music for the documentaries: There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold directed by Morgan Spurlock, Doubletime directed by Stephanie Jones, City of Borders directed by Yun Suh, Make Me Young: Youth Knows No Pain directed by Mitch McCabe, and The Perfect Life directed by Sam Lee. His multimedia work has been presented at the Boston Public Library during Boston Cyberarts, Art Without Walls in Central Park, Knitting Factory, PS122, HERE Art Center, Ontological Theater at St. Mark's Church, and Galapagos Art Space.