Scott Speck, conductor
Martha Guth, soprano
Susan Platts, mezzo
Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids
Muskegon Chamber Choir
Friday June 05 at 7:30 pm
The choral forces for this great work are so large that the Orchestra will literally spill out into the audience! Mahler’s “Resurrection” is one of the greatest symphonic works of all time.
Mahler: Symphony no.2 “Resurrection”
Join us for a FREE Lunch n’ Learn event about Voices of Resurrection on Wed, June 3, Noon @ The Block. Click for more info >
Acclaimed for her 'intuitive sensitivity' (Montreal Gazette), 'thrilling top range, rare breath control and an awesome legato' (Globe and Mail), soprano Martha Guth has emerged onto the international classical music scene as a persuasive and passionate artist. The young soprano has sung under the batons of world-renowned conductors such as maestros Seiji Ozawa, Helmut Rilling, Robert Spano, Richard Bradshaw. On the concert stage, Martha has sung with the Bach Akademie Orchestra, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Symphony, the Hamilton Symphony, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic. She has been recorded live by the BBC in London, CBC radio /radio Canada and CBC Television.
Martha is passionately devoted to recital repertoire, and it is in song and chamber music that her polished craft and collaborative spirit shines. She won the coveted first prize at the 2007 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in London, U.K., and in doing so, she was praised by Opera Now magazine as ‘magical’ for her performances. Recital engagements for 2009 began at the legendary Hall with a recital of Schubert with Graham Johnson at the piano. Other recent recitals included Festival Vancouver, the New Orleans Art Gallery, and Trinity Church on Wall Street in NYC. She has sung at Lincoln Center, and for Claveçin en Concert with Radio Canada in Montreal, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, the Florestan Recital Project, the Santa Fe Symphony and the Vancouver International Song Institute (where she is also on faculty). She has worked with pianist Graham Johnson for performances in London and Vancouver, as well as with Pianist Dalton Baldwin at the Liederkranz Hall in NYC. She has created strong partnerships and collaborates frequently with Pianists Erika Switzer, Spencer Myer and Alison d'Amato. Martha’s most recent operatic credits include the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni for Opera Lyra; First Lady in The Magic Flute at the Grazer Oper in Austria; Pamina in The Magic Flute; Konstanze inThe Abduction from the Seraglio in Göggingen, Germany (all Mozart). Martha's roles at the Santa Fe Opera include singing Lauretta in Bizet’s Dr. Miracle for their 50th anniversary season, Norina in their touring production of Don Pasquale, and covering the roles of Agrippina in Handel’s Agrippina and Giunia in Mozart’s Lucio Silla.
Up coming for Martha are some exciting world premiers that include pieces by composers Thomas Pasatieri, Tom Cipullo and Clint Borzoni. As a lover and frequent performer of contemporary music she will be devoting much of her spring and summer to this important repertoire. More information on Martha’s concert schedule can be found at www.marthaguth.com
Probably the most forward thinking project Martha has created, is a new podcast that she co-hosts with Pianist Erika Switzer, on classical song entitled ‘Sparks and Wiry Cries’. It is available for free download on itunes or directly from her website. This podcast features mostly live performances by the phenomenal colleagues that are active in this important art form. We discuss repertoire, collaboration, performance practice, historical context, and poetry and often include conversations and interviews with composers and performers as well.
Martha grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. As a child and adolescent she studied piano and voice with her beloved teacher Ella Levykh, who is still teaching in the Vancouver area, and sang in the Vancouver Bach Childrens Choir under Bruce Pullan. She credits her love of classical music to these two things. She holds an undergraduate degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music degree from the Cincinnati College/Conservatory of Music (CCM). Martha has been the recipient of several grants and awards, a degree of Meisterklasse from the Hochschule für Musik in Augsburg/Nürnberg, Germany, after receiving a generous grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to study with Edith Wiens.
Martha is managed by Matthew Sprizzo, and more information can be found here: www.matthewsprizzo.com
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.