A Cinematic “Cantata Criolla” and World Premieres in Montreal and San Diego

Mar 15, 2023

At the end of March, Rafael Payare travels to Montreal to conduct two evenings of Mahler and Strauss, featuring soloist Sonya Yoncheva. The Bulgarian soprano performs Mahler’s serene Rückert-Lieder, in  a program that also includes R. Strauss Ein Heldenleben and Johanna Müller-Hermann’s Heroische Ouvertüre, marking the work’s first performance by the OSM.

In April, Payare returns to San Diego, conducting the San Diego Symphony in Debussy’s Prélude à “L’après-midi d’un faune,” and Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra, as well Mahler’s Fourth Symphony (April 21 & 22). The concerts are joined by pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and soprano Hera Hyesang Park.

Payare then leads the OSM in the world premiere of Composer-in-Residence Anna Sokolovic’s Melita, an OSM commission (April 26 & 28). The program also includes R. Strauss’s Don Quixote and Venezuelan composer Antonio Estévez’s Cantata Criolla. The concerts feature cellist Alisa Weilerstein, tenor Aquiles Machado, and baritone Gustavo Castillo.

On May 20 & 21, Payare leads the SDS in Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony, as well as a world premiere by Iranian-American composer Gity Razaz (an SDS commission) and Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto with soloist Inon Barnatan. Later in May, Payare will return to Estevez’s Cantata Criolla, this time with the SDS at the Rady Shell (May 26 & 27). The cinematic presentation of the work is created by director Alberto Arvelo (grandson of Alberto Arvelo Torrealba, whose poem is set to Estevez’s music), artistic producer Gabriela Camejo, and costume designer Solange Arvelo. The evening also includes works by Gabriel Fauré, Paul Dukas, and Evenicio Castellanos, as well as soloists Aquiles Machado and Gustavo Castillo, and the San Diego Master Chorale.

Payare closes the 2022-23 season in Montreal, leading the OSM in Mahler’s Third Symphony, with soloist Michelle DeYoung (May 31, June 2 & 3).