Stuart Skelton releases his first solo album Shining Knight on 13 July 2018 on ABC Classics
Debuts at The Royal Opera, London as Siegmund in Wagner’s Die Walküre
Returns to The Metropolitan Opera, New York to perform the title role in Verdi’s Otello and Siegmund in Die Walküre
In Australia Skelton gives a recital with pianist Richard Peirson at Melbourne Recital Centre, performs and records the title role in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde with the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra and makes a welcome return to Britten’s Peter Grimes at Brisbane Festival
Skelton is reunited with Sir Simon Rattle and the Bayerischen Rundfunks for Die Walküre and returns to Baden Baden for Verdi’s Otello under the baton of Daniele Gatti
Concert performances in the UK of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra and reuniting with close friend and frequent collaborator, Edward Gardner for Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass in his debut with the Hallé Orchestra
Stuart Skelton is one of the finest heldentenors on the stage today, critically acclaimed for his outstanding musicianship, tonal beauty and intensely dramatic portrayals. Skelton is continuously in demand on stages around the world to perform some of opera’s most challenging roles including, Wagner’s Parsifal, Tristan, Lonhengrin, Erik and Siegmund; Strauss’s Kaiser; Beethoven’s Florestan; Saint-Saën’s Samson et Dalila; and Britten’s Peter Grimes. Skelton’s 2018-19 season features numerous performances of Siegmund in Wagner’s Die Walküre including his long-awaited debut at The Royal Opera, London and a return to The Metropolitan Opera, New York; Verdi’s Otello also at The Met and in Baden Baden under the baton of Daniel Gatti; a return to his homeland, Australia, to perform and record the title role in Tristan und Isolde with the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra and his first solo album release on ABC Classics.
Skelton releases his first solo album, Shining Knight, on 13 July on Australian label ABC Classics and will be available globally. The album focuses primarily on works by Wagner but also includes songs by American composers Griffes and Barber and showcases both Skelton’s heroic vocalism and musical sensitivity. It was recorded with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Principal Conductor Asher Fisch. Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder is a collection of five songs set to poems by Mathilde Wesendonck and was written whilst he was working on Tristan und Isolde. Other Wagner works featured include Wintersturme from Die Walküre; Nur eine Waffe taugt and Amfortas! Die Wunde from Parsifal; Allmacht'ger Vater from Rienzi and In fernem Land from Lohengrin. Griffes was born the year after Wagner died (1884) and was heavily influenced by the German Romantic tradition before becoming fascinated by the exotic sound of the French Impressionists. His Three Poems of Fiona MacLeod were written in 1918 in two versions: one for voice and piano and one for voice and orchestra and the latter is performed on the album. Barber was a prolific song composer and Sure on this Shining Night is the third song in the collection entitled Four Songs and is considered to be one of the finest in his collection.
Stuart Skelton commented on his first solo album, ‘I have had a longstanding relationship, for such a large part of my career, with Wagner and late romanticism, both German and otherwise. I just really, genuinely love it, both as performer and listener. It brings me such joy. I wanted to show a bit of a time line from one of Wagner’s earliest works, Rienzi, which is very much still in the Grand Opera mode of 19th century France and Italy, through the heights of The Ring to his incipient thought processes in developing his new, increasingly tonally ambiguous ideas for Tristan und Isolde with the Wesendonck Lieder and on to his, in my opinion, zenith, Parsifal. The three settings of Griffes are truly wonderful songs, rarely performed or recorded, and to those for whom these are a new discovery, I fervently hope that you are moved by, and drawn to them in the way that I have been since I first was introduced to them over 20 years ago. Samuel Barber needs no introduction to most, and although his output is unapologetically American in flavour, I ask you to consider and compare his famous Adagio to the Metamorphosen (1949) of Richard Strauss or the Adagietto of Mahler’s 5th Symphony. It’s been an incredible journey for music and the souls that music has carried with it along the way, mine included. I hope beyond hope that you are as moved and subsumed - by the familiar and the new - as we have been.’
Skelton gives a recital with pianist Richard Peirson on 3 August at the Melbourne Recital Centre as part of its Great Performers 2018 series. The concert includes Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder which features on the album alongside a selection of less familiar works such as a selection of Icelandic songs; Bold William Taylor, Willow, Willow and Hard-Hearted Barb’ra (h)Ellen by Grainger; Korngold’s Abschiedslieder; Four Poems of Victor Hugo of Franz Liszt and Turina’s Poema en forma de Canciones.
Skelton returns to the title role in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde in two concert performances with the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) conducted by Asher Fisch on 16 & 19 August at Perth Concert Hall. These concerts form the centrepiece of the WASO & Wagner series and the Orchestra’s 90th anniversary celebrations in 2018 and will be recorded live for release on ABC Classics. Visit www.roh.org.uk for complete cinema listings.
Skelton headlines at Brisbane Festival in the title role of Britten’s Peter Grimes in two semi-staged performances on 20 & 22 September, presented in partnership with Opera Queensland, Philip Bacon AM, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Peter Grimes is Skelton’s signature role and he has been hailed as ‘the Grimes of our times’. He first performed the work in 2004 at Oper Frankfurt and has since sung the role nearly 50 times. The performances will be the first to take place in Queensland for 60 years and Skelton is joined by soloists including Sally Matthews (Ellen Orford), Mark Stone (Captain Balstrode), Michael Honeyman (Ned Keene), Jacqueline Dark (Mrs Sedley), the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Opera Queensland Chorus under the baton of Rory Macdonald with staging by director Daniel Slater.
Skelton makes a welcome return to the stage in London with his debut at The Royal Opera performing the role of Siegmund in Wagner’s Die Walküre, opening on 26 September. A revival of Keith Warner’s production, it was created for The Royal Opera in 2005 and is conducted by Antonio Pappano. The cast also includes Nina Stemme (Brünnhilde), Emily Magee (Sieglinde), Sarah Connolly (Fricka) and John Lundgren (Wotan). Die Walküre will be broadcast live in cinemas on 28 October as part of The Royal Opera’s Live Cinema Season.
Skelton performs twice with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) and its Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski at the Royal Festival Hall in the 2018/19 season. On 29 September he revisits one of his most loved works: Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and is joined by mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly. On 27 January 2019 Skelton returns to lead a stellar cast in a concert performance of Wagner’s Die Walküre, part of the LPO’s Opera in Concert series. Skelton also performs Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo at the Barbican Hall on 22 February. On 11 October Skelton joins the Hallé Orchestra and Choir conducted by Edward Gardner for a performance of Janácek’s Glagolitic Mass at Bridgewater Hall. He is joined by soprano Sara Jakubiak, mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley and bass Brindley Sherratt.
In the 2018/19 season Skelton returns to The Metropolitan Opera, New York to perform the title role in the second revival of Bartlett Sher’s production of Otello. Verdi’s Shakespearian tragedy is conducted by Gustavo Dudamel making his Met debut as well as working with Skelton for the first time. The production opens on 14 January 2019 for seven performances and the cast also includes Sonya Yoncheva (Desdemona) and Željko Lučić (Iago). Also at The Met, Skelton gives four performances of Wagner’s Die Walküre conducted by Philippe Jordan opening on 30 March. Skelton and soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek play the incestuous twins Siegmund and Sieglinde.
Germany and Hungary
On 8 & 10 February Skelton performs the role of Siegmund in Die Walküre with Symphonieorchester der Bayerischen Rundfunks, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Skelton also returns to Baden Baden to sing the title role in Otello alongside the Berliner Philharmoniker and conductor Daniele Gatti. They present four performances of the production on 13, 16 19 and 22 April 2019.
Skelton concludes the season in Hungary at the Budapest Wagner Days festival in the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall on Friday 14 June 2019 for a semi-staged performance of Die Walküre. Ádám Fischer conducts the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the cast also includes Catherine Foster (Brünnhilde).