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Livestream Concert: Andrea Silvestrelli, basso, Ola Rafalo, soprano, Andrew Anderson, bass, and Irina Feoktistova, piano
December 14, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Andrea Silvestrelli has quickly become one of the most sought-after ‘bassi profondi’ on the international opera scene. Garnering critical acclaim for his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Rigoletto, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, “There were wild cheers for Andrea Silvestrelli …who brought a terrifying, sepulchral tone to the assassin Sparafucile.” The Chicago Sun concurred, “Andrea Silvestrelli wielded a big, black, menacing bass in his debut as the assassin Sparafucile.”In the current season, Mr. Silvestrelli will perform as Fafner in Das Rheingold with National Taichung Theater in Taiwan, Oroveso in Norma with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Hagen in Götterdämmerung with Houston Grand Opera, the Commendatore in Don Giovanni and Sparafucile in Rigoletto with San Francisco Opera. Last season with San Francisco Opera, Mr. Silvestrelli sang Wurm in Luisa Miller, The Night Watchman in Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo. He also returned to Erl, Austria for performances of the Ring Cycle at the Tiroler Festspiele.The 2014-2015 season began with performances of the Commendatore in Don Giovanni and Ferrando in Il trovatore with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Mr. Silvestrelli saw additional performances as the Commendatore with the Canadian Opera Company. He closed the season as Fafner/Hagen in the Ring Cycle with the Tiroler Festspiele in Erl, Austria. He returned to San Francisco Opera in the 2013-2014 season for performances of Pistola in Falstaff and Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia. He sang Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Seattle Opera and Fafner in Das Rheingold with Houston Grand Opera. He also made a return to the Tiroler Festspiele for performances of the title role of Bluebeard’s Castle, as well as Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Mr. Silvestrelli opened the 2012- 2013 season as Sparafucile for San Francisco Opera under Music Director Nicola Luisotti. He returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he will be heard in three productions: Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Colline in La bohème, and The Nightwatchman in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. The previous season saw performances of Pimen in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Boris Godunov, and returns to New York for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Ernani as well as Houston Grand Opera, where he was heard as Philippe II in Don Carlos.
Andrea Silvestrelli began the 2010-2011 season with his debut at the Metropolitan opera as Sparafucile in the Otto Schenk production of Rigoletto and joined Los Angeles Opera and Maestro James Conlon for the same role. He was then heard in concert with the Milwaukee Symphony and Edo de Waart in performances of Act of Die Walküre. He finished the season as Fasolt in Das Rheingold and Hagen in Götterdämmerung with San Francisco Opera for their new Ring Cycle.
The roles of Talpa in Il tabarro and Simone in Gianni Schicci for San Francisco Opera’s production of Il Tritticoopened the 2009-2010 season for Mr. Silvestrelli. He was heard in the title role of Bluebeard’s Castle with the Milwaukee Symphony under Edo de Waart, and sang Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Los Angeles Opera. He joined Lyric Opera of Chicago as Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Deutsche Oper Berlin as Fafner in Das Rheingoldand appeared at the Santa Fe Opera in the summer of 2010 as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte. Mr. Silvestrelli opened the 2008–2009 season at the Los Angeles Opera as Simone in Woody Allen’s production of Gianni Schicchi, followed by performances of Osmin in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail for the Bavarian State Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as performances of Sparafucile in Rigoletto for the Houston Grand Opera. He concluded his season as Hunding and Fasolt in the Seattle Opera Ring Cycles, and as bass soloist in Verdi’s Requiem for the San Francisco Opera
The 2007–2008 season brought Mr. Silvestrelli to the Houston Grand Opera as Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, to Chicago as Colline in La bohème, to the Washington National Opera as Sparafucile, to the San Francisco Opera as Fasolt, and to the Milwaukee Symphony for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. He also sang performances of Osmin in Munich and Chicago, and returned to Houston for performances of Sparafucile and to Santa Fe as Sarastro. Mr. Silvestrelli opened the previous season as Ferrando in Il trovatore at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, followed by performances of Timur in Turandot at the same house. He went on to sing Hermann in Tannhäuser with Seiji Ozawa at the Nomori Opera Festival in Tokyo and made his debut in the title role of Bluebeard’s Castle for the Welsh National Opera.
In season 2005–2006, Mr. Silvestrelli sang the role of Hagen in Mexico City’s Götterdämmerung, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte in Tel Aviv, and Filippo II in Don Carlos for the Welsh National Opera, followed by a revival of Sparafucile for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Caronte in Orfeo at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and his debut at the Santa Fe Opera as Sarastro. Mr. Silvestrelli was heard in the 2004-2005 season as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni and Fasolt in Das Rheingold at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the High Priest in Samson et Dalila in Tel Aviv, Zaccaria in Nabucco in Macerata, and in Verdi’s Requiem with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev.
Additional career highlights include performances as Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Horatio in Hamlet for Trieste, Hunding in Die Walküre for Mexico City, and Oroveso in Norma for Finnish National Opera. He has also sung Assassino nella cattedrale and Il gatto con gli stivali with Rome Opera, Filippo II in Graz, Banco in Macbeth in Amsterdam, the French King in Reimann’s Lear and Oroveso in Torino, Pistola in Falstaff at the Teatro Comunale, Commendatore in Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, Gofreddo in Il pirata at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Sparafucile in the Canary Islands, Commendatore in Don Giovanni at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Oroveso in Norma at the São Carlos in Lisbon, Hermann in Tannhäuser at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Titurel in Parsifal at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under Semyon Bychkov, Pistola at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome under Daniele Gatti and at the Berlin Staatsoper under Claudio Abbado, his debut at Covent Garden as Lodovico in Otello, Timur in the Zhang Zimou production of Turandot led by Zubin Mehta and performed by the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in the Forbidden City in Beijing, Norma at the San Francisco Opera, Escamillo in Carmen in Tokyo, Penderecki’s The Devils of Loudoun and Pizzetti’s Murder in the Cathedral in Turin, Pistola in Falstaff with the Minnesota Orchestra under Jeffrey Tate, and Aida in Florence and in Amsterdam under Riccardo Chailly.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Silvestrelli performed Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Trieste, La bohème at the Teatro San Carlo of Naples and in Philadelphia, La sonnambula in Macerata, and Rigoletto in Bologna, with Riccardo Chailly. He opened the 1992-93 season at La Scala in Don Carlo under Riccardo Muti, and sang La favorita and Die Zauberflöte in Philadelphia, as well as Don Giovanni in Parma, Amsterdam and London with John Eliot Gardiner. He has also sung with Scottish Opera, in Florence with Myung-Whun Chung, Nabucco in Ravenna with Riccardo Muti, and the King in Aida with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta, as well as Ramfis with the same conductor in Florence. Additional highlights include Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Rai of Torino with Giuseppe Sinopoli, Il prigioniero at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino with Zubin Mehta, and I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the Opéra de Paris Bastille.
Mr. Silvestrelli is a regular guest of symphony orchestras worldwide and has been heard with Sir Andrew Davis and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Verdi’s Requiem, in Puccini’s Messa di gloria in Hamburg, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Rossini’s Stabat Mater in Berlin, and Verdi’s Requiem in Siena, with the ABC Symphony in Sydney, and at the Gasteig in Munich. Mr. Silvestrelli has recorded Don Giovanni (Commendatore) conducted by John Eliot Gardiner for DGG, a production awarded with a Grammy in 1995, and Haydn’s L’anima del filosofo for Decca (1996).
Ola Rafało, dramatic mezzosoprano, has been called a “Vocal Powerhouse” , and “the next Cossotto”. She has earned critical acclaim in a variety of roles and venues with her “voluptuous” , “contralto like sound” and mesmerizing acting. “Ola Rafało proved to be a mezzo to watch, with a strong Stride la Vampa” said Anne Midgette, for the Washington Post. In the Verdi repertory, Ola has performed Azucena in Il Trovatore, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Fenena in Nabucco, and scenes as Amneris in Aida, and Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera. Her most celebrated role thus far is Carmen, which she has sung with Syracuse Opera, the Lyric Orchestra, Gulfshore Opera, New Jersey Verismo Opera, and highlights with the Pacific Symphony. Other roles performed include Charlotte in Werther, The Mother- Amahl and the Night Visitors, Fricka in Die Walkure, and Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana. She has also been featured at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Opera Tampa, Springfield Symphony, Orlando Opera, Baltimore Lyric, Opera Carolina, Teatro Curci di Barletta, Paderewski Symphony, and Chicago Opera Theater. Ola received an award from UNESCO for her performance as Alkmene in the Olympic Torch, (a modern Greek opera by P. Karousos). She was the Alto soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria at Carnegie hall, as well as De Falla’s El Amor Brujo with the Pacific Symphony. She was honored to perform the alto role in the American premier of Poniatowski’s Mass, with the Paderewski Symphony, an important work of Polish history. Last year she performed a recital for the Wagner Society of America.Postponed appearances from 2020 include her debut with the Israel Philharmonic as Emilia in Verdi’s Otello under Maestro Gianandrea Noseda, followed by the role of Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana at teatro Voghera, and concerts in Sirmione Italy for the Maria Callas Festival, as the Maria Callas prize winner of the Giulio Fregosi competition as well as concerts in Belgium at Mythos Opera festival. Next year she will sing her first Brangaene in Tristan und Isolde with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra, debut at the Teatro di Bibiena in Mantova, and sing Beethoven 9th Symphony with the Evanston Symphony. Also upcoming, Ola will sing the role of Santuzza in Japan, performing the world premiere of a newly discovered unabridged version of Mascagni’s masterpiece: Cavalleria Rusticana. Please see Ola’s website for more career information including prizes and awards, critiques and young artist programs: www.olarafalo.com Ola speaks fluent Polish, and Italian, and teaches voice and flute in cedar lake Indiana.
Andrew Anderson is a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic, and performs regularly with Music of the Baroque. He has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Columbus Symphony, American Ballet Theater, and the Joffrey Ballet. Andrew is the founder of the Lakeside Artists Guild and Academy. Andrew enjoys teaching positions at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and The Wheaton College Conservatory in addition to his private studio in Northwest Indiana. Andrew was recognized as 2018 Illinois Studio Teacher of the Year by the Illinois Chapter of the American String Teachers Association. Andrew was the featured guest soloist at the Midwest Clinic in 2015. In 2018 Andrew became the orchestra director at Illiana Christian High School. Andrew has a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Michigan, a Master of Music Degree from Indiana University, and served as a doctoral teaching fellow at the University of North Texas. Andrew’s teachers include Stuart Sankey, Lawrence Hurst, Jeff Bradetich, Larry Zgonc, Bill Clay, Steve Molina, and his father Dave Anderson. Andrew studied string pedagogy with Robert Culver at the University of Michigan, and low string pedagogy at Indiana University with Helga Winolt.
Irina Feoktistova (pianist), graduated from St. Petersburg Conservatoire, Russia. A classically trained pianist, she has toured Russia, Europe, and the United States as a soloist, duo pianist, accompanist, her collaborations include the world’s foremost performer of Baroque trumpet, Crispian Steele-Perkins, and most recently internationally acclaimed Italian singer Andrea Silvestrelli.As a duo pianist, she won third prize at the First International Competition of Contemporary Music Interpretation in Weimar, Germany (1996) and was chosen to perform at Purcell Room in London for the Park Lane Group Young Artists Concert Series. As a piano soloist, she won the Kawai CD Recording Competition in 2004.Ms. Feoktistova relocated to the United States in 1998, and since then she has performed extensively in the Chicagoland area. She has been involved in numerous musical theater productions as an accompanist and music director. She is also active in various projects performing Russian and American contemporary music. She was affiliated with CUBE, VOX 3 and MAVerick Ensembles in Chicago and the Union of Composers in St. Petersburg, where she performed a program of American contemporary music at the international festival St. Petersburg Musical Spring in May of 2005. She was the Principal Keyboardist with Millennium Chamber Players (Chicago based ensemble).
Irina made her Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist and an accompanist with Russian singer Vladimir Galouzine for The Russia Day concert on June 12th, 2008. Mrs. Feoktistova was an assistant conductor for the Lyric Opera production of Musorgsky “Boris Godunov” in 2011-2012 season. In 2018/19 season she worked on the production of Iolanta by Tchaykovsky at the Chicago Opera Theater. In 2019/20 season took part in COT production of Rahmaninov’s Aleko and Lyric Opera production of Tchaykovsky’s Queen of Spades. She is on faculty of Northwestern University and Ryan Center of Lyric Opera of Chicago, and also is affiliated with Chicago Children Choir In Summer 2020 she started new project “Colors in Music” with visual artist Evgenia Pirshina.
Her recordings include:
piano solo “Poems and Fairy Tales” Medtner and Scriabin,
Samuel Barber’s Hermit Songs (with Russian singer Elena Antonenko),
Russian and American contemporary music on the CD entitled Musical Bridge√Chicago√St.Petersburg.