“Four years after “Saul,” Handel and the same librettist, Charles Jennens, would go on to produce that first true, most famous and still most lasting of all oratorios, meant for Easter (even if appropriated by Christmas). Instead Nicholas McGegan, the longtime music director of the Berkeley-based period instrument ensemble and as fine a “Messiah” master […]
“Saturday’s performance, which repeats Friday in San Francisco and Saturday in Palo Alto to close Philharmonia’s 38th season, found McGegan and ensemble in top form, powering through the two hour, 50-minute score with brisk, unflagging energy…Robust bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch thundered appropriately, relishing every moments of Saul’s badness, and sopranos Sherezade Panthaki (Michal) and Yulia Van […]
“McGegan’s leadership brought out the score’s color and vibrancy. Not even the peevish Saul himself could have begrudged the performers their success…Soprano Sherezade Panthaki brought her trademark clarity and tonal sensuality to the role of Michal…Yulia Van Doren (Merab) and tenor Aaron Sheehan (Jonathan) acquitted themselves handsomel” -Read more at SF Datebook.
“Nicholas McGegan was a joy to work with and the SCO performed with such brio. When I listen to the disc now, it reminds me vividly of the warmth and dynamism of the sessions. Promoters still seem reluctant to programme Mysliveček, but I hope that as he becomes better known this will change. I, at […]
“The Pärt portion of the evening began with the orchestral Summa, an ideal invitation to this soulful artist’s universe of meditative calm. The gradual ebb and flow of a single oscillating string figure took on the gravitational pull of an ocean tide in McGegan’s sensitive, demurely lush reading.” -Read more at sfvc.org.
“Most of the program, though, was devoted to music of the Baroque, including an all-Handel first half that came as the latest reminder of how eloquent and theatrically savvy McGegan and the orchestra are in this music. (It also served as a persuasive teaser for the season-ending performances of Handel’s oratorio “Saul” on April 6-13.) […]
“Under McGegan’s baton, the orchestra achieved full parity with the soloist, a challenge given baroque period performance priorities…The Schubert symphony sparkled with post-Beethovenian ingenuity of the first rank.” – Read more at The Santa Barbara Independent .
“Our performance is led by Nicholas McGegan. And how does he describe the symphony we’re about to hear, written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when he was all of nine years old? “Of course it’s in the Italian style,” says McGegan, “but you can really hear Mozart in it, the young Mozart. It couldn’t have been […]
“… Luca Francesconi’s opera…featured bravura performances by Heather Buck and Hadleigh Adams and was the thrilling highlight of the company’s summer season… German-Canadian tenor Schade… gave a lustrous performance featuring Romantic works made famous in the 1920s by Irish tenor John McCormack and violinist Fritz Kreisler… …an outstanding team of vocal soloists – soprano Camille […]
“The ebullient British conductor’s decision to step down in 2020 after 35 years as music director of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra marks the end of a chapter that encompasses nearly the entire history of the organization. The vitality and stylistic savvy of McGegan’s leadership – a constellation of interpretive qualities that have imprinted themselves on […]