Lauded by the New York Times as “clarion-voiced and vibrant,” celebrated tenor Benjamin Butterfield comes to the Comox Valley for the fourth Mattina Musica concert on Feb. 3.
Italian for Morning Music, Mattina Musica is a five-concert series of classical music taking place on select Monday mornings. Co-presented by the Sid Williams Theatre Society and pianist Sarah Hagen, each event begins with a pre-concert reception in the Sid lobby.
Butterfield and Hagen have prepared a program of French love songs, Beethoven’s song cycle, An die ferne Geliebte (To the Distant Beloved) and a thought-provoking set by American songwriter Randy Newman.
Regarded by the Washington Post as a tenor who sings “…with taste, authority and agility…” and having “… a creamily sweet timbre…” (Opera News), Butterfield is equally at home in the opera and concert repertoire.
He has performed with companies from New York to San Francisco, Toronto to Vancouver; London, Paris and Rome to Israel and Taiwan.
Engagements in opera have encompassed roles in Eugene Onegin, Die Fledermaus, The Rake’s Progress, Cunning Little Vixen, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflote and Tamerlano with the Canadian Opera Company, L’Opera Nationale de Montpellier, Arizona Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Vancouver Opera, Edmonton Opera, Glimmerglass Opera Festival and Canterbury Opera in New Zealand.
In a diverse career with over 30 recordings to his credit, particular highlights have included performances at the San Carlo in Naples and at Epidaurus, Greece in Stravinsky’s Persephone with actress Isabella Rossellini, performances at the BBC Proms and at Carnegie Hall, debuting at New York City Opera as Tamino in The Magic Flute as well as touring with that company to Spain.
Butterfield teaches voice for the School of Music at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and he also teaches and performs at summer vocal training programs, including Opera Nuova (Edmonton), Opera on the Avalon (St. John’s), the Amalfi Coast Music Festival (Italy) and VISI (Vancouver).
From the Comox Valley, Hagen has been heard in concert halls and on the airwaves to critical acclaim throughout North America and Europe.
As well as hosting eight recital series in B.C., Hagen enjoys a busy and varied concert schedule as both a soloist and collaborator.
As First Prize Winner in the 2013 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, she was awarded the opportunity to perform solo at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in May 2013.
Highlights of Hagen’s coming season include Vetta Chamber Music recitals with violinist Joan Blackman and cellist Ariel Barnes, a Pro’ject Sound performance in Saint John featuring New Brunswick photographers and the recent launch of her second album, Devoted: Music of Robert & Clara Schumann.
Individual Mattina Musica tickets are available at the Sid Williams Theatre. Coffee and tea is served at 9:45 a.m. and music begins at 10:30.
For more information on the Mattina Musica series and other coming performances, visit www.sidwilliamstheatre.com or call 250-338-2430.
— Sarah Hagen