Conductor, composer, pianist, and narrator Bramwell Tovey makes his return to the Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast on WRTI 90.1 on Feb. 17 at 1 PM and WRTI HD-2 on Feb. 18 at 7 PM. He brings a first-ever Philadelphia Orchestra performance of the complete one-act opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, a work that Gian Carlo Menotti composed for a nationwide TV audience in 1951.
Singing the role of Amahl’s mother is mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum, who makes her Philadelphia Orchestra debut with this performance; boy soprano Dante di Maio, who sang the role of the Shepherd Boy in last season’s Philadelphia Orchestra performance of Tosca, is Amahl; and the three kings are tenor Andrew Stenson, bass-baritone Brandon Cedel, and bass David Leigh, as Kaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, respectively.
Rounding out the cast, bass Kirby Traylor, in the role of the Page, returns to The Philadelphia Orchestra as a member of the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir.
The concert opens with William Walton’s Crown Imperial, a coronation march composed for the crowning of George VI, the father of the present queen, Elizabeth II.
Then a marvelous work by Benjamin Britten, the Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell – better known as The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, presented with narration by Maestro Tovey. It still serves as an introduction for listeners, of all ages, to the instruments of the orchestra.
During intermission, WRTI’s Bliss Michelson interviews Renée Tatum, and Susan Lewis speaks backstage with Bramwell Tovey.
Don’t miss it, Sunday, Feb. 17 from 1 to 3 pm on WRTI 90.1 and streaming at wrti.org!
Walton: Crown Imperial
Britten: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra Bramwell Tovey, narrator
Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors
Dante DiMaio, boy Soprano (Amahl)
Renée Tatum, mezzo-soprano (his Mother)
Andrew Stenson, tenor (King Kaspar)
Brandon Cedel, bass-baritone (King Melchior)
David Leigh, bass (King Balthazar)
Kirby Traylor, bass (The Page)
The Philadelphia Symphonic Choir (Shepherds and Villagers)
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Bramwell Tovey, conductor
Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, every Sunday at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1, streaming online at WRTI.org, and on the WRTI mobile app! Listen again on Mondays at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.