Expeditions: United States (Bernstein Festival)

Fabio Mechetti, conductor
Paulo Szot, baritone
Luisa Francesconi, mezzo-soprano
Rita Medeiros, soprano
Márcio Bocca, tenor
Vinícius Atique, baritone
André Heller-Lopes, stage director

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BERNSTEIN
BERNSTEIN
Arias and Barcarolles
Trouble in Tahiti

Fabio Mechetti, conductor

Born in São Paulo, Fabio Mechetti is the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Minas Gerais Philharmonic since its creation in 2008. Recently, he became the first Brazilian invited to lead an Asian orchestra, being appointed Principal Conductor of the Malaysian Philharmonic. In the United States, Mechetti was Resident Conductor of the San Diego Symphony, Principal Conductor of the Syracuse Symphony, and is now Conductor Emeritus of the Spokane Symphony and the Jacksonville Symphony, after leading them for many seasons with great success. In Washington, he served as Associate Conductor for Mstislav Rostropovich in the National Symphony. With a solid career both in the USA and Brazil, Mechetti has already performed in Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, New Zealand, Spain, Japan, Scotland, Finland, Canada, Sweden, and Italy. He is also a winner of the Malko Competition and holds Master’s degrees in conducting and composition from the Juilliard School of Music.

Born in São Paulo, Paulo Szot’s first opera performance was in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, in 1997, as Figaro. His international debut happened in 2003 as Escamillo in Carmen, at the New York City Opera. Since then, he has performed in many major theatres and concert halls all over the world. In 2010, Szot made his Metropolitan Opera premiere in a new production of The Nose by Shostakovich. He has also performed at the Opéra de Marseille, the Palais Garnier and at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. Thanks to his high standard and versatile performances, Szot has won numerous awards along his career. Among them are a Drama Desk, an Outer Critics and a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical in 2008, for his portrayal of Emile de Becque in South Pacific. This production was a great success and went on for three seasons (2008-2010).

Luisa Francesconi has an exceptional ability for coloratura and is an expert in Mozart and Rossini roles, as well as the French repertoire. She appeared in operas such as Il Barbieri di Siviglia, L’Italiana in Algeri, Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni. Francesconi performs regularly on major stages in Brazil, Italy and Portugal. Her concert repertoire includes remarkable performances of Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody; Bach’s Mass in B minor; Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass; Haendel’s Messiah; Beethoven’s Mass in C minor and Choral Fantasy; Mahler’s Second, Third and Eighth symphonies; Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle; and Villa-Lobos’ Forest of the Amazon. As soloist, the singer recorded Beethoven’s Ninth and Erick Zeisl’s Requiem Ebraico, both released by Biscoito Fino label.

Rita Medeiros was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where she joined the Ars Nova Choir, under the baton of Carlos Alberto Pinto Fonseca. With the group, she performed as soloist and appeared in many stages in Brazil, United States and Europe. Some of the highlights in her orchestral repertoire are the Litaniae de Beata Virgine, Vesperae solennes de confessore and the Mass in C minor by de Mozart; Magnificat by Bach; El amor brujo by Falla; the Messiah by Haendel. In the opera repertoire, Rita played Lola in Cavalleria rusticana by Mascagni; Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro de Mozart; the main character in Carmen by Bizet; Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini; among other roles. She has also performed pieces written especially for her by the composer and double bassist Fausto Borém, presenting them alongside him in many international conventions.

Márcio Bocca started his music studies in his hometown, São João del-Rei, Brazil. There, he was a student and, years later, a teacher at Padre José Maria Xavier State Conservatory. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music at UFMG, with Mônica Pedrosa and Mauro Chantal. Márcio also studied with Elenis Guimarães and Denise Tavares, and participated in masterclasses with Veruschka Mainhard, Ricardo Tuttmann, Eiko Senda, Denise de Freitas and Raminta Lampsatis. As soloist, he performed Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai and Mozart’s Requiem. As member of the choir, he sang in The Magic Flute, La bohème, Turandot and Rigoletto. Bocca has a Master’s degree in Neurolinguistic Programming and currently teaches Singing and Vocal Music. He is a member of Minas Gerais Lyric Choir.

Vinícius Atique is a name to look out for in Brazilian opera scene. He has appeared in recent productions with great critical acclaim, including Jenufa by Janáck, in which he played Stárek, at Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro. Other highlights are his portrays of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Silvio in Pagliacci, and Don Giovanni’s main character. In addition, he sang as soloist in Shubert’s Winterrreise; Haendel’s Messiah; Haydn’s Theresienmesse; J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio; Mozart’s Requiem, and Casals’ El Passebre. Improving his singing skills, Atique studied with mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick and with baritone Mark Pedrotti, in University of Montréal.

Artistic Director at Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, André Heller-Lopes has great experience in staging both opera and orchestral music. He has won the Carlos Gomes Award for Best Stage Director in an Opera for three consecutive times, and was nominated at the 2014 Opera Awards for his work in a Brazilian production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Professor at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Music School, André took courses at the Royal Opera House in London, the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco and in the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He directed operas and concertos all over Latin America, as well as Portugal, United States, Austria, England and Malaysia. In Brazil, Heller-Lopes is also recognized for his projects in support of new talents and involvement in democratization of lyric music.

Programa de Concerto

21 Jul 2018
Saturday, 6:00 pm

Minas Gerais Hall
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