Lucy Crowe, soprano/William Berger, baritone
Duet singing reached its zenith in the Victorian age, and has since fallen out of fashion. This program, based on the highly-acclaimed CD release from Delphian, resoundingly demonstrates just how musically rich the genre can be. Published sets and individual songs by Mendelssohn, Schumann and the slightly younger Peter Cornelius span the middle decades of nineteenth-century Germany, and also represent the literary life of the country in that period.
***** “Lucy Crowe and William Berger are vocal soul mates…an ideal partnership for 19th century duets…In casting, revelatory programming and true vocal chamber music making, this CD is a small miracle to be cherished.”
– BBC Music Magazine 5-star review
- About William Berger
South African baritone William Berger studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and is a former member of the Young Singers Programme at English National Opera. He performs widely in opera and as a recitalist. Selected opera appearances include Marcello (La bohème) and Bill (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny) for Opera Vlaanderen, Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte) for the Liceu, Barcelona, Oreste (Iphigénie en Tauride) for the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Lisbon, Escamillo (Carmen) for Cape Town Opera and in Lucerne, the title role of Imeneo for the International Handel Festival, Göttingen, Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) for Opéra de Toulon, Minsk Man (Flight) for Opera Omaha, Marcello for Opéra de Rouen and Boris (Shostakovich’s Cheryomushki) for Nouvel Opéra Fribourg.
Berger’s concert appearances include a German recital tour with Julius Drake, Mozart’s Requiem with Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem at deSingel Antwerp, La Descente d’Orphée aux enfers under Christian Curnyn at Wigmore Hal and Messiah with the Ulster Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. His many recordings include two solo albums: Insomnia: A Nocturnal Voyage in Song (Delphian, included in the Guardian’s Top Ten Classical CDs of the Year) and Hommage à Trois (Linn Records), and Duet, a duo album of works by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Cornelius with soprano Lucy Crowe. Other selected recordings include Handel’s Samson (Carus) with the Festival Orchester Göttingen, Alexander’s Feast and The Triumph of Time and Truth with Ludus Baroque (Delphian), and Admeto (Unitel Classics DVD).
Highlights in the 2019/20 season include Berger’s return to Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for Handel’s Judas Maccabeus, Messiah with the Seattle Symphony and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the role of Garibaldo in Handel’s Rodelinda at Göttingen International Handel Festival.