Meet Soprano Juliana Gondek performing at 50th Anniversary SYMPHONY of BROTHERHOOD Concert
JULIANA GONDEK has performed with over 120 of the top symphony orchestras and opera companies throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, in collaboration with such legendary musicians as Aaron Copland, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Carlos Kleiber, James Levine, Nello Santi, Yehudi Menuhin, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, and Rudolf Serkin. Her operatic credits include starring roles at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Scottish Opera, Netherlands Opera, Zurich Opera, and the opera companies of Houston, Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Miami, Baltimore, San Diego, Hawaii, Utah, and the Kennedy Center, to name a few. She has sung in leading operatic roles, as oratorio and recital soloist, and as chamber soloist at the Göttingen and Halle Handel Festivals, the Edinburgh Festival, Japan’s Pacific Music Festival, Antibe’s Bel Canto Festival, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Avignon, Aldeburgh, Marlboro, Caramoor, Bard, Newport (Rhode Island), Bowdoin, Santa Fe, Winter Park Bach, Strawberry Creek, and Songfest Music Festivals, as well as the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival where Ms. Gondek also serves as Co-Artistic Director.
Hailed as a leading interpreter of baroque, Mozart, Bel Canto, and contemporary repertoire, her operatic repertoire includes many of Mozart’s heroines: Fiordiligi and Despina; Countess Almaviva; Donna Elvira; Pamina, 1st Lady, and 1st Spirit; Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito; and Aspasia in Mitridate. In the Italian Bel Canto repertoire, she has performed the title roles in Rossini’s Bianca e Falliero (U.S. premiere production); Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda; and Verdi’s Giovanna D’Arco; Gilda in Rigoletto; the Marchesa del Poggio in Un Giorno de Regno; and Gulnara in Il Corsaro. She has also performed the title role in Bizet’s Carmen as well as Micaela; Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus; Mimi in La Boheme; all four heroines in The Tales of Hoffmann (U.S. premiere, Oeser edition); Autonoe in Henze’s The Bassarids; Marianne Leitmetzerin in Der Rosenkavalier, and the title role in a new adaptation of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. She sang the ingénue lead in the Broadway show Kismet in a multiple-week run with Baltimore Opera. She has performances of more than twenty Handel roles to her credit, including Alcina, Rodelinda, Cleopatra, Theodora, Ginevra, Zenobia, Gulnara, Fortuna, Esther, Galatea, Iphis, Michal. Her list of world premiere roles in contemporary operas is extensive and includes starring roles in Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place (Dede), David Diamond’s The Noblest Game (Sabina), Hugo Weisgall’s Esther (Esther, with excerpts recorded with the Seattle Symphony on the Naxos label), John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles (Marie Antoinette), Bright Sheng’s The Song of Majnun (Leila), David Carlson’s Dreamkeepers (Ela), Jonathan Sheffer’s Blood on the Dining Room Floor (Gerturde Stein), Anthony Davis’ Under the Double Moon (Xola in premiere reading at the Schomberg Library, New York City) and Stewart Wallace’s Harvey Milk (Dianne Feinstein/Harvey’s Mama/Beard/Hooker, recorded on the Teldec label) and the title role in Hopper’s Wife, Ian Krouse’s Lorca, Child of the Moon (La Madre in “Blood Wedding”). The title role of American composer Roger Bourland’s new full-length opera Angela Peralta is being written for Ms. Gondek, for premiere in 2013-14.
Her discography of over 20 commercial recordings includes her latest CD, sixteen songs of Roger Bourland on the Parma Records label, “The Complete Songs of Karol Szymanowski” on Channel Classics (winner of Poland’s “Fryderyk” Prize for Best Recording of Polish Music), Bright Sheng’s “Songs from the Sung Dynasty” on the Naxos label with the Hong Kong Philharmonic (Gramophone Magazine’s “Top Ten CDs of 2003″), scenes from Hugo Weisgall’s Esther on the Naxos label with the Seattle Symphony and Gerard Schwarz, Handel’s Ottone, Radamisto, Giustino, and Ariodante (Gramophone’s Record of the Year) on Harmonia Mundi, the DGG “Live from the Met’ videodisc of Die Zauberflöte conducted by James Levine, and the legendary recording of West Side Story conducted by Leonard Bernstein with BBC documentary.
Ms. Gondek has presented song recitals in collaboration with pianists Roger Vignoles, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Peter Grunberg, Jean-Louis Steuerman, Donald St. Pierre, and others in such famed venues as Venice’s Teatro La Fenice, Carnegie Recital Hall, Berlin’s Staatsbibliothek, Lucerne’s Festival Hall, Geneva’s Grand Theatre, Japan’s Kitara Concert Hall, and Los Angeles’ Ambassador Auditorium. She has performed in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Radio Symphony and Chorus, and performed music of Bright Sheng at Carnegie Hall, at the Bowdoin Festival, and with the Hong Kong, San Francisico, and Seattle Symphonies. She has sung as soprano soloist in Stravinsky’s Les Noces at Los Angeles’s Music Center, Britten’s Les Illuminations on tour with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Kurt Weill’s The Eternal Road (excerpts) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Concert Hall, and she made her motion picture debut as “The Opera Diva” in the Masterpiece Theatre adaptation of Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark. She has collaborated as a chamber musician with such notable artists as Nicholas McGegan, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Mischa Maisky, David Leisner, Paul Coletti, Myron Bloom, David Jolley, Yehuda Gilad, Milan Turkovic, Ofra Harnoy, Boris Pergamenschikow, Stephen Stubbs, and famed electric bass guitarist Abraham Laboriel, Sr.
Recent performances include the title role in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen in a new version created for the Astoria [Oregon] Music Festival by Baroque dance expert Catherine Turocy, the world premiere of Paul Chihara’s Magnificat and Prayer of Hannah, Bach’s B Minor Mass in Cleveland, and “Danción” (Central and South American dance songs in original jazz arrangements). Upcoming projects include commercial recordings of Chihara’s Magnificat and ”Danción” (including DVD) with Abraham Laboriel, Sr., Mari Falcone, and Bill Cantos.
Ms. Gondek enjoys an international reputation as pedagogue, master teacher, and adjudicator. She has taught on the Voice faculty at UCLA since 1997 (Chair of Voice and Director of the Division of Music Performance for seven years) and on the Voice faculty of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival (Co-Artistic Director) since 2006. She taught with conductor Nicholas McGegan at the Baroque Academy of Leonard Bernstein’s Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and she has performed and taught as Visiting Artist at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, at the Shanghai Opera Center, at the Cherubini Conservatory in Florence, Italy, at Summer Songfest at Pepperdine University, and as part of the Astoria Music Festival in Oregon and the Icicle Creek Festival in Leavenworth, WA. She has taught master classes at top conservatories, universities, and festivals throughout the world, including the Manhattan School of Music, Rice University, Baldwin-Wallace University, and the Geneva Conservatory (Switzerland). She has judged the Jose Iturbi, Geneva, and Spoleto International Singing Competitions, and numerous American contests, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the MacAllister Awards, YoungArts (National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts), the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, the Denver Opera Guild Competition, the Los Angeles “Spotlight” Awards Grand Finals, the Classical Singer High School and College Voice Competitions, the National Opera Association Competition, and the NATS Professional Division. On the recommendation of the Metropolitan Opera’s Gayletha Nichols, Italy’s top language institute, l’Accademia Europea di Firenze engaged Ms. Gondek to create an opera training program in Florence: “Baroque Opera Boot Camp.” Her students are winning positions in the foremost American and European young artist training programs, top prizes in international competition, and performing leading roles with prominent opera companies, orchestras, on Broadway, and in festivals worldwide.
Ms. Gondek is a native of Pasadena, CA and trained for six years as a pianist under Milan Zirovich and eleven years as a violinist and chamber musician under famed pedagogue Alice Schoenfeld. After working professionally as a violinist throughout her college years, Ms. Gondek made her professional singing debut with San Diego Opera as a member of its Young Artist program. She gained the international spotlight by winning the “Prix Patek Philippe” as well as back-to-back Gold Medals in the Geneva International Singing Competition (unanimous judges’ decision), and the Barcelona “Francisco Viñas” International Opera Competition.
For more information about Juliana, please visit her website at: http://www.julianagondek.com/