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Press Release:


Press Release:

Monday, 22 August, 2016

Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato Featured on Opening Night Concert Gala Evening Honors Philanthropists William Gates Sr. and Mimi Gardner Gates Season Launch Highlighted by Post-concert Gala at the Sheraton Hotel

Seattle, WA–Music Director Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony open a new season on September 17 with a spectacular opening night program of old world elegance and new world vivacity. The evening’s program joins the soaring beauty of the world of opera and the familiar favorites from the great American songbook performed by mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, one of the most in-demand singers in the world today. Handel’s Overture to Music for the Royal Fireworks and Entrance of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon will open the evening’s program, followed by Giovanni Pacini’s “Ove t’aggiri o barbaro” from Stella di Napoli, Handel’s “Ombra mai fu” from Xerxes and Rossini’s “Tanti affetti” from La donna del lago featuring Joyce DiDonato. DiDonato returns throughout the second half of the program, which includes Irish folksong “Danny Boy,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel, Overture to West Side Story and “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story, “Embraceable You” from Girl Crazy, and William Bolcom’s Ragomania A Classic Festival-Overture. The Opening Night Concert will be broadcast live on Classical KING FM 98.1.

The 2016–2017 Opening Night Gala following the concert, co-chaired by Renée Brisbois, Nader Kabbani and Betty Tong, will honor William Gates Sr. and Mimi Gardner Gates for their significant contributions to the Symphony and the Seattle community, and highlight the Symphony’s Community Connections programs.

Ticket Information

Tickets start at $57 and can be purchased online at, by calling the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office at (206) 215-4747 or (866) 833-4747, or in person at the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office on the corner of Third Avenue and Union Street. Tickets may also be purchased through the Seattle Symphony’s iPhone and Android apps by searching “Seattle Symphony” or “Listen Boldly” at Apple’s App Store or Android’s App Store.

Concert & Program Details

Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 5 p.m.
Opening Night Concert

Ludovic Morlot, conductor
Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano
Seattle Symphony

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL              Overture to Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351                       


GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL              Entrance of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon, HWV 67                  

GIOVANNI PACINI                             “Ove t'aggiri, o barbaro” (“Where are you, O cruel man?”) from Stella di Napoli (“Star of Naples”)

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL              “Ombra mai fu” from Xerxes, HWV 40                                               

                                                                         JOYCE DIDONATO, MEZZO-SOPRANO

GIOACHINO ROSSINI                        “Tanti affetti” (“So many emotions”) from La donna del lago (“The Lady of the Lake”)         

                                                                         JOYCE DIDONATO, MEZZO-SOPRANO

 TRADITIONAL (IRISH)                      “Danny Boy”                                                                                        

/lyric Frederick Weatherly/ arr. Chris Hazell                                                                                

                                                                         JOYCE DIDONATO, MEZZO-SOPRANO

RICHARD RODGERS                           “You'll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel                                       

/lyric Oscar Hammerstein II/ arr. Frederick Müller                                                                     

                                                                         JOYCE DIDONATO, MEZZO-SOPRANO

LEONARD BERNSTEIN                       Overture to West Side Story                                                                

/adapted Maurice Peress                         

LEONARD BERNSTEIN                       “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story                                                  

/lyric Stephen Sondheim                            JOYCE DIDONATO, MEZZO-SOPRANO

GEORGE GERSHWIN                         “Embraceable You” from Girl Crazy                                                 

/lyric Ira Gershwin/ arr. Robert Russell Bennett                                                                         

                                                                         JOYCE DIDONATO, MEZZO-SOPRANO

WILLIAM BOLCOM     Ragomania A Classic Festival-Overture

Gala Sponsor: JP Morgan Chase & Co

Guest Artist Sponsor: Nordstrom

Event Sponsors: Aetna, Boeing, Delta, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Kan Orchids, Microsoft, Rosanna Inc, Wells Fargo Private Bank

Media Sponsors: Classical KING FM 98.1, Seattle MET

Photo credit: Simon Pauly

About Ludovic Morlot

The French conductor Ludovic Morlot has been Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 2011. Amongst the many highlights of his tenure, the orchestra has won two Grammy Awards and gave an exhilarating performance at Carnegie Hall in 2014. During the 2016–2017 season Morlot and the Seattle Symphony will continue to invite their audiences to “listen boldly,” presenting Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges, completing their cycle of Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos and several world premieres including compositions by Agata Zubel and Gabriel Prokofiev. All of this will be complemented by the Seattle Symphony’s highly innovative series, Sonic Evolution and [untitled]. This season will also see the release of several more recordings on the Orchestra’s label, Seattle Symphony Media. A box set of music by Dutilleux was recently released to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

This season, Morlot will return to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic and make his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra. He has regular relationships with the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has also conducted the symphony orchestras in Cleveland and Philadelphia. Morlot has a particularly strong connection with the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 2001, and has conducted the orchestra in subscription concerts in Boston, at Tanglewood and on a tour to the west coast of America.

In Europe, Morlot will this season make his debut with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, in the closing concert of the prestigious Wien Modern Festival. He will also make his debut with the Netherlands Radio and Helsinki Philharmonic orchestras as well as return to the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He has also conducted the Budapest Festival, Czech Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, DSO Berlin, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw, Tokyo Philharmonic and Tonhalle orchestras. Morlot served as conductor in residence with the Orchestre National de Lyon under David Robertson (2002–04) and was Chief Conductor of La Monnaie for three years (2012–14). In Brussels he conducted several new productions including La Clemenza di Tito, Jenufa and Pelléas et Mélisande.

Trained as a violinist, Morlot studied conducting in London at the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2014 in recognition of his significant contribution to music. He is Chair of Orchestral Conducting Studies at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle.

Photo credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

About the Seattle Symphony

The Seattle Symphony is one of America's leading symphony orchestras and is internationally acclaimed for its innovative programming and extensive recording history. Under the leadership of Music Director Ludovic Morlot since September 2011, the Symphony is heard from September through July by more than 500,000 people through live performances and radio broadcasts. It performs in one of the finest modern concert halls in the world — the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall — in downtown Seattle. Its extensive education and community engagement programs reach over 65,000 children and adults each year. The Seattle Symphony has a deep commitment to new music, commissioning many works by living composers each season. The orchestra has made nearly 150 recordings and has received two Grammy Awards, 21 Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades. In 2014 the Symphony launched its in-house recording label, Seattle Symphony Media.

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