I’m looking forward to Friday, January 11, in Heliconian Hall in Toronto’s Yorkville district…. that evening at the piano, I’ll partner Theo Lebow, a young tenor with the Frankfurt Opera in Germany. We will perform Beethoven’s pioneering song cycle, An die ferne Geliebte (To the Distant Beloved) for tenor and piano….a work I’ve always loved — not just because it is both moving and exciting, but also because it’s somewhat under-appreciated. (Who thinks of Beethoven as a song-composer?) This is a rare opportunity to hear it sung by a magnificent colleague. As a pendant, Theo will also sing Beethoven’s beautiful love- song, Adelaide.
The young, L.A.-born tenor scored a triumph last July singing the Count in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville with Boston Midsummer Opera. I was there for the production, and concur with the Boston Globe, which hailed his performance as “a triumphant tour de force…” Yehudi Wyner, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, opined that Theo may be the latest in a distinguished line of Rossini tenors that includes Juan Diego Flórez and Lawrence Brownlee…
The January 11 program will also include a delightful Haydn Trio in G for piano, violin and cello; and Beethoven’s Twelve Variations on a Theme from Handel’s Judas Maccabeus, for cello and piano. The cellist will be Theo’s dad, Roger Lebow, a first-class musician from Los Angeles. Roger happens to be one of my oldest and dearest friends… we met in graduate school at the University of Southern California School of Music way back. So I’ve known Theo since he was born, and am thrilled at the prospect of performing with him for the first time.
Our violinist will be Clara Lee, a prize-winning young musician who lives in Toronto. Clara and I performed one year ago at the Arts & Letters Club, and I’m truly happy to be working again with her in the Haydn Trio.
Check this space for more details, which I’ll post just before Xmas.