Song of the Earth

ProMedica Masterworks

Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle

Season: 2020-2021

November 6 - 7, 2020

Concert Time: 8:00 pm

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Alain Trudel, conductor
Susan Platts, mezzo-soprano
Brandon Scott Russell, tenor

Mahler - Das Lied von der Erde

Mezzo-soprano Susan Platts and tenor Brandon Scott Russell join the TSO for a magical performance of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, a work combining vocal soloists, orchestra, and heartfelt poetry in a landmark reflection on the beauty of life and the inevitability of mortality. 

The health and safety of our audiences, musicians, staff, and volunteers are of the utmost importance to us. We're continuing to follow the social distancing guidelines recommended by the State of Ohio to ensure the safest environment for all. Limited tickets available for in-person attendance until further notice. More information about streaming options will be available soon. 

Please contact the Box Office at 419.246.8000 for information on child/student ticket pricing.

Music Director of the Toledo Symphony (USA), conductor Alain Trudel has been praised for his “immense talent as conductor, musician and performer” (La Presse). He is also Music Director of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, Principal Youth and Family Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Principal Guest conductor of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Trudel was also the CBC Radio Orchestra conductor, taking the orchestra to new heights of artistic quality, as well as public and critical acclaim.

Trudel has conducted every major orchestra in Canada as well as orchestras in the UK, USA, Sweden, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Japan, Hong-Kong, Malaysia and Latin America. Trudel made his Opera de Montréal debut in 2009 in Mozart’s Magic Flute and conducted the live recording of their 30th anniversary gala. He has been a regular guest since and in March 2017 he conducted to great acclaim (“The entire audience was on its feet for another standing ovation, with concertgoers shouting “wow” and “bravo.” Rolling Stone Magazine, “The Wall Triumphs in Montréal.”  Le Figaro, Paris) the world premiere operatic version of “The Wall”. Trudel will also lead the american premiere at the Cincinnati Opera in July 2018.

Always committed to upcoming generations of musicians, Trudel was Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2012 to 2014 and has regularly been invited to conduct the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. From 2011 to 2015 Trudel was Professor and conductor of the orchestra and opera orchestra at the University of Western and is now guess professor for orchestra and opera at the University of Ottawa.

First known to the public as “the Jascha Heifetz of the trombone” (Le monde de la musique), Alain Trudel has been a guest soloist with orchestras worldwide including Philharmonique de Radio-France, Hong-Kong Philharmonic, Austrian Radio Orchestra, Festival Musica Strasbourg (France), Klangbogen Festival (Vienna), Akiyoshidai and Hamamatsu festival (Japan). Alain is also a respected composer with performances across America and in Asia.

Alain Trudel was the first Canadian to be a Yamaha international artist, and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Virginia Parker, Charles Cros (France), Opus prize and Heinz Unger prizes. He has been named an Ambassador of Canadian Music by the Canadian Music Centre and received a Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2012.

British-born Canadian mezzo-soprano Susan Platts brings a uniquely rich and wide-ranging voice to concert and recital repertoire for alto and mezzo-soprano.  She is particularly esteemed for her performances of Gustav Mahler's works.

In May of 2004, as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, world-renowned soprano Jessye Norman chose Ms. Platts as her protégée from 26 international candidates and she has continued to mentor her ever since.

Ms. Platts has performed at Covent Garden, Royal Albert Hall, Teatro alla Scala, Teatro di San Carlo, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center as well as with the Philadelphia, Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Montreal, Toronto, American, Detroit, Milwaukee, Baltimore and Houston Symphonies, Les Violons du Roy, Boston's Handel and Haydn Society, as well as the Los Angeles and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras. 

She has collaborated with many of today’s leading conductors including Marin Alsop, Roberto Abbado, Sir Andrew Davis, Ludovic Morlot, Leon Botstein, Josep Caballé-Domenech, Andreas Delfs, John Adams, Christoph Eschenbach, Jane Glover, Jeffrey Kahane, Carlos Kalmar, Bernard Labadie, Keith Lockhart, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Roger Norrington, Peter Oundjian, Itzhak Perlman, Bramwell Tovey, Osmo Vänska and Pinchas Zuckerman.  Ms. Platts has appeared on many distinguished art song series including Vocal Arts Society at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Ladies Morning Musical Club in Montreal, Aldeburgh Connection in Toronto, and both the Frick Collection and Lincoln Center “Art of the Song” series in New York City.

Ms. Platts’ recent opera highlights include her Royal Opera House debut in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte,  John Adams' Nixon in China (BBC Symphony), Britten's Albert Herring (Pacific Opera, Vancouver Opera), Erda in Wagner’s Das Rheingold (Pacific Opera), and Bernstein’s A Quiet Place (Montreal Symphony Orchestra). On the concert stage, she recently performed Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde and premiered a new work by Howard Shore with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Handel's Messiah with the National Arts Centre Orchestra,  Elgar's Dream of Gerontius with the Vancouver Symphony, and Mahler’s Eighth Symphony  and Third Symphony with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Ms. Platts was on a recent Naxos release of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde (chamber version) with JoAnn Falletta conducting. She has also recorded the full version of Das Lied von der Erde for Fontec Records with Gary Bertini, conducting the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, as awell as a CD of art songs with pianist Dalton Baldwin, Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Smithsonian Chamber Players and Santa Fe Pro Musica for Dorian Records, Brahms Zwei Gesänge with Steven Dann and Lambert Orkis, and a solo disc of Lieder by Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms on the ATMA label.

Tenor Brandon Scott Russell is a 2018 National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has been noted to have a “free-flowing tenor of considerable beauty and accomplishment” (Opera Today).

Russell was a participant in the 2019 Merola Opera Program where he created the role of David in Jake Heggie’s World Premiere Opera If I were you, where he “made his presence felt with his booming voice” (Parterre Box).  During the Merola Opera Grand Finale he received critical acclaim for his Act 1 aria from Rusalka where his “lyric beauty of voice combined with outstanding diction” as he “filled the auditorium with ringing clarity” (San Francisco Classical Voice & Bay Area Reporter).  This Fall he will be making his company and role debut as Canio in Pagliacci with Greensboro Opera.

In his 2018-2019 season, Russell made his Carnegie Hall debut with MidAmerica International singing as the Tenor Soloist in Haydn’s Mass in C Major.  He was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, covering Alfredo in La traviata, Mr. Marshall in Regina, and performing in the Stars of Tomorrow Concert.  He returned to Cincinnati Opera where he performed as The Teacher in Julien Bilodeau's U.S. Premiere of Another Brick in the Wall where he was “one of the evening’s standouts who wielded a big voice and stick to match” (Cincinnati Biz Journal).  He made his company and role debut with Winter Opera Saint Louis as Alfred in Die Fledermaus and was a Resident Artist with Knoxville Opera performing as Edgardo in a touring production of Lucia di Lammermoor.

His 2017-2018 season consisted of multiple company and role debuts. At the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) Russell performed as the title role in Candide and as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi where he “displayed an exciting Italianate tenor in his aria praising Florence, with the power to soar over Puccini’s voluptuous orchestra” (Cincinnati Business Courier).  During Cincinnati Opera's Summer Festival, he sang the roles of 1st armored man in Die Zauberflöte and Parpignol in La bohème (while covering the leading tenor roles of Tamino and Rodolfo).  Russell debuted with Springfield Regional Opera performing the role of Cassio in their performance of Verdi's Otello.    

Other notable credits include Idomeneo (Idomeneo), Alfredo (La traviata), Narraboth (Salome), and Don José (Carmen). He has had success with the MONCA where he has received three encouragement awards at the district level, three district wins moving on to the regionals, and one 1st place regional win making him a 2018 National Semi-Finalist. He received 2nd place in the 2018 National Partners For the Arts Competition and received 3rd place in the 2017 Shreveport Opera Competition. 

Russell has participated across the United States in prestigious young artist programs, such as the Merola Opera Program, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The Wolf Trap Opera Company, Cincinnati Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy.

Russell completed his undergraduate studies at The University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, where he performed in the Main Stage productions of Dialogues des Carmelites (Le Chevalier), La tragédie de Carmen (Don José), and in Die lustige Witwe (Camille de Rosillon). He was a UMKC Trustees’ Scholar receiving a double degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education, graduating with summa cum laude Latin Honors.

He holds Masters and Artist Diploma degrees at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, where he studied under the tutelage of William McGraw.

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