November 11-13: DSO Music Director Jader Bignamini conducts Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony with soprano Janai Brugger, mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, and performers from Opera MODO and Audivi
November 16 Chamber Recital: Vivaldi's Four Seasons with DSO String Quintet at North Rosedale Park Community House
Tickets on sale now at dso.org
Detroit, (October 27, 2022) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will perform Gustav Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection” on the PVS Classical Series under the baton of Music Director Jader Bignamini. The three concerts will take place November 11-13 at Orchestra Hall and will feature soprano Janai Brugger, mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, and a choir comprised of performers from Opera Modo and Audivi. Mahler’s “Resurrection” explores themes of afterlife and the resurrection of the dead and includes deep bells, offstage brass and percussion, vocal soloists, and a large chorus.
"The Second Symphony is among the greatest successes of Mahler's lifetime," said Bignamini. "It is a monumental piece that requires the orchestra to show strong technical and musical abilities," he continued. "Our musicians can't wait to share the emotion of this incredible music with our audience."
The following week, a string quintet comprised of DSO musicians Hae Jeong Heidi Han (violin), Sujin Lim (violin), James VanValkenburg (viola), Jeremy Crosmer (cello), and Brandon Mason (bass) will perform a chamber recital on November 16 at 7 p.m. at North Rosedale Park Community House. The program will include Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, with DSO violinist Will Haapaniemi as featured soloist. The piece includes musical portrayals of birds awakening, sudden storms, a country harvest, and teeth-chattering cold. Also on the program are two additional violin concertos by Vivaldi: Violin Concerto in C major, RV 177, "Do Maggiore" and Violin Concerto in E major, RV 271, "L'Amoroso."
Jader Conducts Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony will take place Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m., Saturday, November 12 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, November 13 at 3 p.m. at Orchestra Hall.
Tickets for these performances start at $25 and can be purchased at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The November 16 chamber performance is free to all Neighborhood Series subscribers. Single tickets are also available and start at $15, with $10 tickets available for students.
2022-2023 SEASON DSO SAFETY POLICIES: The DSO no longer requires audiences to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances. Masks are optional although strongly recommended at DSO performances, particularly when Wayne County and surrounding communities are in the high or "red" category as defined by the CDC. The DSO asks audience members to do their part to create a safe environment for everyone and encourages those who are not feeling well to stay home.
The title sponsor of the DSO’s Classical Series is PVS Chemicals, Inc. DSO Live is presented by Ford Motor Company Fund and made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Digital programming is produced from the Al Glancy Control Room. The William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series is made possible by a generous grant from the William Davidson Foundation. WRCJ 90.9 FM also supports the series.
JADER CONDUCTS MAHLER’S “RESURRECTION” SYMPHONY
PVS Classical Series
Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 12 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 13 at 3 p.m.
Jader Bignamini, conductor
Janai Brugger, soprano
J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano
Opera Modo & Audivi, choir
With an enormous orchestra, deep bells, offstage brass and percussion, vocal soloists, and a large chorus, Mahler fashions a sound world all his own, exploring themes of afterlife and the resurrection of the dead. Soprano Janai Brugger and mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges join the tremendous musical forces required to perform this symphony — all under the baton of Jader Bignamini.
GUSTAV MAHLER Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”
VIVALDI’S FOUR SEASONS | STRING QUINTET
Wednesday, November 16 at 7 p.m. at North Rosedale Park Community House (18445 Scarsdale St, Detroit, MI 48223)
Will Haapaniemi, violin
Hae Jeong Heidi Han, violin
Sujin Lim, violin
James VanValkenburg, viola
Jeremy Crosmer, cello
Brandon Mason, bass
ANTONIO VIVALDI The Four Seasons
ANTONIO VIVALDI Violin Concerto in C major, RV 177, "Do Maggiore"
ANTONIO VIVALDI Violin Concerto in E major, RV 271, "L'Amoroso"
About Jader Bignamini
Jader Bignamini was introduced as the 18th music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in January 2020, commencing with the 2020-2021 season. He kicked off his tenure as DSO Music Director with the launch of DSO Digital Concerts in September 2020, conducting works by Copland, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, and Saint-Georges. His infectious passion and artistic excellence set the tone for the season ahead, creating extraordinary music and establishing a close relationship with the orchestra. A jazz aficionado, he has immersed himself in Detroit’s rich jazz culture and the influences of American music.
A native of Crema, Italy, Jader studied at the Piacenza Music Conservatory and began his career as a musician (clarinet) with Orchestra Sinfonica La Verdi in Milan, later serving as the group’s resident conductor. Captivated by the operatic arias of legends like Mahler and Tchaikovsky, Jader explored their complexity and power, puzzling out the role that each instrument played in creating a larger-than-life sound. When he conducted his first professional concert at the age of 28, it didn’t feel like a departure, but an arrival.
In the years since, Jader has conducted some of the world’s most acclaimed orchestras and opera companies in venues across the globe including working with Riccardo Chailly on concerts of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony in 2013 and his concert debut at La Scala in 2015 for the opening season of La Verdi Orchestra. Recent highlights include debuts with the Houston, Dallas, and Minnesota symphonies; Osaka Philharmonic and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo; with the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Dutch National Opera (Madama Butterfly); Bayerische Staatsoper (La Traviata); I Puritani in Montpellier for the Festival of Radio France; Traviata in Tokyo directed by Sofia Coppola; return engagements with Oper Frankfurt (La forza del destino) and Santa Fe Opera (La Bohème); Manon Lescaut at the Bolshoi; Traviata, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot at Arena of Verona; Il Trovatoreand Aida at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera; Madama Butterfly, I Puritani, and Manon Lescaut at Teatro Massimo in Palermo; Simon Boccanegra and La Forza del Destino at the Verdi Festival in Parma; Ciro in Babilonia at Rossini Opera Festival and La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, and Elisir d’amore at La Fenice in Venice.
When Jader leads an orchestra in symphonic repertoire, he conducts without a score, preferring to make direct eye contact with the musicians. He conducts from the heart, forging a profound connection with his musicians that shines through both onstage and off. He both embodies and exudes the excellence and enthusiasm that has long distinguished the DSO’s artistry.
About Janai Brugger
American soprano Janai Brugger’s recent engagements include Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflote for performances at Palm Beach Opera’s first Outdoor Opera Festival. She made her US television debut with a Laura Karpman composition for the soundtrack of HBO’s renowned Lovecraft Country, and more recently appeared as Michaëla in Carmen at Cincinnati Opera. In the Netherlands, she appeared at Dutch National Opera in their acclaimed Missa in tempore Belli (Haydn) conducted by Lorenzo Viotti and directed by Barbora Horáková, and returned to the Metropolitan Opera of New York for further performances as Clara in Porgy and Bess.
2022 engagements include Mahler’s Second Symphony with CBSO under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla; as Zerlina in Don Giovanni in concert with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood Festival under Andris Nelsons; as Servillia in La Clemenza di Tito at Ravinia Festival under the baton of James Conlon, Kaddish (also at Ravinia Festival) with Marin Alsop, and rounding out the 2021-22 season, Hayden’s The Creation at Grant Park Music Festival with Carlos Kalmar.
In addition to her portrayal of Clara in Porgy and Bess with the Metropolitan Opera, she previously appeared in the role with the Dutch National Opera. At Lyric Opera of Chicago, she sang the role of Ilia in Idomeneo, and at Cincinnati Opera she appeared as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. In her artistic home at Los Angeles Opera, she sang the role of Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito, a role she previously sang at Dutch National Opera. Brugger travelled to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden for her Covent Garden debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and she revived the role of Liù in Turandot at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
In 2012, Brugger won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, which led to her Metropolitan Opera debut as Liu in Turandot; other Met appearances include Jemmy in a new production of Guillaume Tell, Michaëla in Carmen, Helena in The Enchanted Island, and Pamina and Marzelline in Fidelio. In 2012, she won all three First Prizes at Operalia—the Opera Prize, the Song Prize, and the Audience Prize.
Brugger’s symphonic engagements this season include Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Elgar’s The Kingdom with American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Mass in C with Louis Langree at Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Haydn’s Theresienmesse at Grant Park Music Festival, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
In her native Chicago, she starred in Emmy Award-winning composer Laura Karpman’s multimedia setting of Langston Hughes’s epic 1961 poem, Ask your Mama, with Chicago Sinfonietta. She made her Salzburg Festival debut in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with musicAeterna conducted by Teodor Currentzis, and journeyed to St. Petersburg to record the work. Early in her career, she sang as High Priestess in Aida with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel.
Other roles in Brugger’s repertoire include Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, Norina in Don Pasquale, Nanetta in Falstaff, Musetta in La boheme, and Glauce in Medea. She appeared as Pamina in Barrie Kosky’s celebrated cinematic production of Die Zauberflote at Los Angeles Opera. Brugger obtained a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied with the late Shirley Verrett. She earned her bachelor’s degree from DePaul University, participated in The Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and went onto become a young artist at Los Angeles Opera for two seasons.
About J’Nai Bridges
American mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, known for her “plush-voiced mezzo-soprano” (The New York Times), and “calmly commanding stage presence” (The New Yorker) has been heralded as “a rising star” (Los Angeles Times), gracing the world’s top opera and concert stages.
The 2022-23 season will spotlight Bridges in one of her signature roles as Carmen with debut engagements at the Arena di Verona, Canadian Opera Company, and a return to Dutch National Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. As a native of Tacoma, Washington, Bridges eagerly anticipates her Seattle Opera debut in a concert performance of Samson et Delilah as Delilah in January 2023. Additional concert engagements include Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in November, and a world premiere by Carlos Simon in April 2023 with the National Symphony Orchestra. Bridges’s recital engagements for the season begin with the performance of a world premiere by Jimmy Lopez at 92NY in December, and continue through 2023 at Washington University, Thomasville Center for the Arts, The Cliburn, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, San Francisco Performances, and the Mondavi Center in Davis, California.
Bridges’s 2021-22 season highlights included numerous world premiere engagements as a guest artist in The Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary Season. Bridges’s time in Washington D.C. also included performances with The National Philharmonic in the world premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s A Knee on the Neck, and Mozart’s Requiem, and her first performance of the Verdi Requiem with the Cathedral Choral Society. She also appeared with the Amarillo Symphony as a guest artist in a world premiere piece by Chris Rogerson entitled Sacred Earth, and she gave a solo recital at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton. In June 2022, she performed Lieberson’s Neruda Songs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel as part of the Power to the People! festival, followed by her debut with the San Francisco Symphony singing Jocasta in Peter Sellars’s production of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. She concluded her summer season singing a solo recital at Caramoor.
During the worldwide pandemic, she emerged as a leading figure in classical music’s shift toward conversations of inclusion and racial justice in the performing arts. In 2022, she was announced as one of the Kennedy Center’s NEXT50 cultural leaders. Bridges led a highly successful panel on race and inequality in opera with the Los Angeles Opera that drew international acclaim for being a “conversation of striking scope and candor” (The New York Times). In early 2021, Bridges was featured in the Converse shoe brand’s All Stars Campaign for its Breaking Down Barriers collection. Bridges also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel for two episodes of the digital SOUND/STAGE series, and as part of the Global Citizen movement’s Global Goal campaign, a program which also included Coldplay, Shakira, and Usher. The pandemic also forced the cancellation of Bridges’s numerous debuts during the 2020-2021 season including the title role of Carmen at The Metropolitan Opera. Bridges’s 2019-2020 season included her highly acclaimed debut at The Metropolitan Opera as Nefertiti in a sold-out run of Philip Glass’s opera Akhnaten, as well as a house and role debut with Washington National Opera as Dalila in Samson et Dalila.
Other recent highlights include the 2022 Grammy Award-winning Metropolitan Opera production of Akhnaten and 2021 Grammy Award-winning recording of Richard Danielpour’s oratorio The Passion of Yeshua with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, performing at the National Library of Congress to honor legendary fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg as she received the 2022 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award, her sold-out Carnegie Hall Recital debut, her role debut of Kasturbai in Satyagraha at LA Opera, and her debuts at Dutch National Opera and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. Bridges also created the role of Josefa Segovia in the world premiere of John Adams’s Girls of the Golden West at San Francisco Opera, and performed in the world premiere of Bel Canto at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, an opera by Jimmy Lopez based on the novel by Ann Patchett.
Bridges is a recipient of the prestigious 2018 Sphinx Medal of Excellence Award, a 2016 Richard Tucker Career Grant, first prize winner at the 2016 Francisco Viñas International Competition, first prize winner at the 2015 Gerda Lissner Competition, a recipient of the 2013 Sullivan Foundation Award, a 2012 Marian Anderson award winner, the recipient of the 2011 Sara Tucker Study Grant, the recipient of the 2009 Richard F. Gold Grant from The Shoshana Foundation, and the winner of the 2008 Leontyne Price Foundation Competition. Bridges completed a three-year residency with the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, represented the United States at the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and was a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York.
Bridges earned her Master of Music degree from Curtis Institute of Music and her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music.
About Opera Modo & Audivi
Opera MODO is a new and exciting opera company in Detroit, Michigan, dedicated to creating opportunities for young and emerging artists. Founded in 2011 in Princeton, New Jersey, Opera MODO brings opera to the people through intriguing and modern productions of classical and contemporary operas.
Collaborating with local performers and businesses in Detroit, Opera MODO offers an intimate experience to engage audiences through storytelling, musical integrity, and innovative process. They support the future of opera by giving young, non-managed, professional singers an opportunity to gain experience. They present opera in an intimate setting, allowing the audience to engage with the performers, and specialize in setting standard repertoire in new and imaginative settings, bringing new life to favorite stories. Opera MODO strives to balance inspiration from the composer with collaborative storytelling to enhance the experience for the audience and performers. Opera MODO is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Audivi is a professional vocal ensemble based in Detroit, Michigan. Founded in 2013, Audivi sings music of all eras, with a special emphasis on new and early music, and has premiered works by many composers. Its members have sung and recorded with a panoply of Grammy-winning vocal ensembles, and Audivi has performed around the country.
Audivi has given the Detroit metro area premieres of Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers and a historically informed version of Bach's Mass in B minor. Audivi has performed at regional ACDA and AGO conventions and serves as a professional chorus for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, including recent performances of Puccini's Turandot, Vivaldi's Gloria, and Handel’s Messiah.
About the DSO
The most accessible orchestra on the planet, the acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while Oscar-nominated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair.
Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings.
A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a live radio broadcast of a concert and continues today with the groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series of free webcasts, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.