Opera

FROM L’ORFEO (1607) TO THE NEW PRINCE (2017)

“A performance as exceptional as Opera North’s last Friday at the Grand Theatre gives something more than just pleasure. … I can remember few [Falstaffs] as brilliantly conducted as this one and there was an honesty, a lack of fuss about the whole show that sent me out into a wet and windy Leeds night thinking that maybe life was worth living after all. So much warmth, so much wisdom, so much sheer humanity…” Rodney Milnes, The Times (London)

It was singing and playing the viola as a child that first drew Steven Sloane into music. He was active in choruses, musical theater, folk singing and at one time he studied to be a cantor. His love of and sympathy for vocal music continues to the present day.

As Principal Resident Conductor at Frankfurt Opera (1988-1992), he conducted Le nozze di Figaro, La clemenza di Tito, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, The Tales of Hoffmann, Lohengrin, Tosca, La traviata, Iphigenie en Tauride, Macbeth, Rigoletto, Il barbiere di Siviglia and Carmen. During this period he was also a regular guest conductor at the New York City Opera. where his productions of Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci at New York City Opera were broadcast nationally by PBS television on “Live from Lincoln Center”.

Today, Steven Sloane is an internationally sought-after opera conductor of wide-ranging repertoire, from popular staples by Mozart, Puccini, Verdi and Wagner to rarely performed works by Shostakovich (Cheryomushki), and Schumann (Genoveva) to important world premieres. He is particularly highly regarded for his interpretations of all the major operas of Leoš Janáček and has conducted Jenůfa in three languages. He works regularly with such stage directors as David Pountney, Barry Kosky, Katharina Thalbach, Robert Carsen, Keith Warner, Tim Albery, Christopher Alden and Richard Jones.

Steven Sloane has served as Music Director of Long Beach Opera in California (1992-1995), Opera North (1999-2003), the Spoleto Festival USA (1996-2000) and Operafront in Amsterdam, as of 2015. During his tenure at Opera North, the company received three nominations for National Theatre awards.

“Musically the distinction stems from the pit, where Steven Sloane conducts a performance rich in finely realised detail.” The Guardian on an Opera North performance of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Steven Sloane has guest conducted at many of the world’s great opera houses, including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Los Angeles Opera, Welsh National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Stuttgart Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Dutch National Opera, New York City Opera, Copenhagen Opera, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Seattle Opera and New Israeli Opera. He performs with leading international festivals in Hong Kong, Santa Fe, Edinburgh, Lincoln Center (NYC), Flanders and Salzburg.

In 2003, Steven Sloane led the American Composer’s Orchestra in a rare concert performance of Samuel Barber’s Anthony and Cleopatra, the opera that had opened the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in 1966 and been unfairly dismissed at the time. The performance by the ACO helped to redeem the work’s reputation.

“Thanks go to the adventurous conductor Steven Sloane, the music director of the American Composers Orchestra, for giving a large audience at Carnegie Hall on Sunday afternoon a chance to hear the work in a concert performance. Mr. Sloane's vibrant, deftly paced account made much of the music's captivating qualities.” Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

In 2006, 2007 and 2008, Steven Sloane led performances of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s monumental opera Die Soldaten with the Bochum Symphony Orchestra in Germany as the centerpiece of the Ruhrtriennale and in New York City to open the Lincoln Center Festival.

Alex Ross, writing in The New Yorker, singled out the New York event as “one of the 10 best performances of 2008”.

“[Die Soldaten] has returned to life as the capstone of this year's Lincoln Center Festival. On Monday night, some 1,000 listeners packed the vast drill hall of the Park Avenue Armory and encountered a musical and theatrical alloy of extreme potency. … … The superb-sounding Bochum Symphony Orchestra [was] masterfully directed by Steven Sloane.” The Boston Globe

Steven Sloane has championed many contemporary operas and conducted the world premieres of Elliott Goldenthal’s Grendel, Robin de Raaf’s Waiting for Miss Monroe, Hans Werner Henze’s Gisela! and Stewart Wallace’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter as well as the North American premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole.

“The conductor, Steven Sloane, drew pulsing, feisty and textured playing from the orchestra.” The New York Times on Anna Nicole

Upcoming productions include the world premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s The New Prince and Moritz Eggert’s Caliban for Dutch National Opera and a new production of Aribert Reimann’s Medea for the Komische Oper.

 

OPERA REPERTOIRE (partial listing)

 
BÉLA BARTÓK
Bluebeard’s Castle

ALBAN BERG
Wozzeck

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Fidelio

GEORGES BIZET
Carmen

BENJAMIN BRITTEN
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Rape of Lucretia
Albert Herring

ROBIN DE RAAF
Waiting for Miss Monroe

CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK
Iphigénie en Tauride

ELLIOT GOLDENTHAL
Grendel

ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK
Hänsel und Gretel

LEOŠ JANÁČEK
Katja Kabanova
Jenůfa
Osud
The Cunning Little Vixen
The Makropulos Case

RUGGERO LEONCAVALLO
I Pagliacci

PIETRO MASCAGNI
Cavalleria rusticana

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI
L’Orfeo

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Così fan tutte
La finta giardineira
La clemenza di Tito
The Magic Flute
Le nozze di Figaro

MODEST MUSSORGSKY
Boris Godunov

JACQUES OFFENBACH
The Tales of Hoffmann

GIOVANNI BATTISTA PERGOLESI
La serva padrona

SERGEI PROKOFIEV
The Love for Three Oranges

GIACOMO PUCCINI
Il trittico
Tosca
Turandot
La bohème
Madama Butterfly

HENRY PURCELL
Dido and Aeneas

GIOACHINO ROSSINI
Il barbiere di Siviglia

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
Moscow, Cheryomushki

RICHARD STRAUSS
Salome
Der Rosenkavalier

ROBERT SCHUMANN
Genoveva

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Eugene Onegin

MARK-ANTHONY TURNAGE
Anna Nicole

GIUSEPPE VERDI
La Traviata
Un ballo in maschera
Falstaff
Rigoletto
Macbeth
Simon Boccanegra

RICHARD WAGNER
Tristan und Isolde
Lohengrin
The Flying Dutchman
Parsifal

STEWART WALLACE
The Bonesetter’s Daughter

KURT WEILL
The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
The Threepenny Opera
The Eternal Road
The Seven Deadly Sins