Kathleen Battle, The Official Website Of her Carnegie Hall recital debut... “In an age when the vocal recital has practically gone...this was a thrilling case for its return.” Bio Soprano Kathleen Battle’s luminous voice has been called “…without qualification, one of the very few most beautiful in the world” (The Washington Post). Yet beyond the glory of her singing, in a career filled with countless accolades, honors and major milestones, what has perhaps distinguished her most is her almost magical ability to create an unwavering emotional bond between herself, her music and her audience. In her youth, this native of Portsmouth, Ohio, the youngest of seven children, sang in church and school, and envisioned a future as a music teacher. Fortunately for audiences around the world, she found other ways to share her love of music—and through her natural gifts, innate intelligence, and hard work, her soaring voice has carried her to the heights of the classical music world. Indeed, throughout a remarkable career that has brought her to the stages of the world’s leading opera houses and major concert halls, critics have never tired of rhapsodizing over her limpid, unmistakable sound. In quite poetic terms, they have compared it to “the ethereal beauty of winter moonlight” (The Washington Post), “a paradoxical meeting of earth and sky” (Philadelphia Inquirer), and “cream from a miraculous, bottomless pitcher” (The New York Times). The range of Miss Battle’s repertoire spans three centuries from the Baroque era to contemporary works. She has enjoyed some of her greatest successes in the opera house in repertoire ranging from Handel (Cleopatra in the Metropolitan Opera’s premiere staging of Giulio Cesare) to Richard Strauss (Sophie, Zdenka, Zerbinetta). For her Covent Garden debut as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Miss Battle became the first American to be honored with a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a New Opera Production. She has similarly distinguished herself as one of our generation’s finest interpreters of Mozart (Susanna, Despina, Pamina, and Zerlina), as well as the bel canto operas of Rossini (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and Donizetti (L’Elisir d'Amore, Don Pasquale, La Fille du Regiment). In the words of critic Tim Page, “Miss Battle’s natural territory is music of sweetness, serenity, and girlish ecstasy. Within this repertoire she is all but unequaled.” In recital, Kathleen Battle has mesmerized audiences around the globe with her unique artistry and vocal beauty. Of her Carnegie Hall recital debut, New York Newsday declared, “In an age when the vocal recital has practically gone the way of the dinosaur, this was a thrilling case for its return.” For the CD of this recital, released on DG, Miss Battle received one of three Grammy Awards for Best Classical Vocal Soloist. The Australian echoed the sentiment of critics around the world, saying, “The Sydney Opera House has played host to any number of great singers…but it’s unlikely there has ever been (or perhaps ever will be) a performance to match the recital American soprano Kathleen Battle gave.” Kathleen Battle’s gifts as a singer extend beyond the realm of classical music. Her work as a great interpreter of spirituals is documented on a joint recital with Jessye Norman, Spirituals in Concert (DG). Her pure emotional power in this music of joy and sorrow cuts through all cultural boundaries. As the Vienna Kurier put it, “Kathleen Battle sang so beautifully in the spiritual ‘Heaven is one beautiful place,’ she came pretty close to heaven.” Miss Battle drew considerable attention with the world premiere of Honey and Rue, a song cycle with music by Oscar and Grammy-winner composer André Previn and lyrics by Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, commissioned for Miss Battle by Carnegie Hall on the event of their 100th anniversary. Since then, she has performed the work with leading orchestras and in recital throughout the world. The Los Angeles Times called her performance of this work “spellbinding,” while the Cincinnati Herald remarked that “her voice was like the ebb and flow of the seas as an almost sacred silence enclosed the auditorium.” The recording of this cycle was released by DG, on a disc which also includes Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and arias from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Always seeking to expand her artistic horizons, Miss Battle was joined by leading jazz musicians for her first crossover album, So Many Stars (Sony Classical), a collection of lullabies, spirituals, and folksongs. Commenting on her extraordinary gifts as a jazz artist, The Detroit News noted, “When Battle and her core jazz trio held the stage, the musical splendor was almost more than the ear could take in.”
Special Recollections from Kathleen
PERFORMING RECENTLY WITH ALICIA KEYS FOR BONO AND A HOST OF INDUSTRY LEADERS “I was flattered and intrigued when the wonderful and soulful artist Alicia Keys called October 2007 about my singing a duet with her for U2’s Bono and a large audience of industry leaders and insiders at her annual AIDS Prevention charity event "Keep A Child Alive." In addition, the song had been written by Bono as a duet for himself and one of my most beloved and esteemed colleagues, the late Luciano Pavarotti. Miss Keys brilliantly held forth as she hosted the evening, as well as performed with Sheryl Crow, Gwen Stefani, and Bono, who was also being honored that evening. Our surprise rendition of “Miss Sarajevo,” which closed the evening’s gala festivities, was accorded a standing ovation—including from Bono himself!”
Contact
Management Columbia Artists Management 1790 Broadway New York, NY 10019 212-841-9571
Recordings
SOLO RECORDINGS Classic KB KB at Carnegie – LIVE in Recital, Carnegie Hall GRAMMY WINNER Grace So Many Stars ALL-STAR COLLABORATION KB Sings Mozart GRAMMY WINNER Pleasures of Their Company GRAMMY NOMINEE Salzburg Recital GRAMMY WINNER Kathleen Battle in Concert GRAMMY WINNER (IS THIS SAME AS SALZBURG RECITAL, RE-ISSUED?) Honey and Rue CARNEGIE CENTENNIAL COMMISSION First Love Bel Canto Arias Mozart Opera Arias French Opera Arias Schubert Lieder Handel Arias ALL-STAR CLASSICAL COLLABORATIONS Spirituals in Concert Kb/Marsalis: Baroque Duet Bach Album Live in Tokyo KB & Rampal ( SEASONAL/CHRISTMAS Christmas Celebration Angel's Glory Carnegie Christmas New Years in Vienna NEW YEARS Strauss: New Year’s Eve 1992 NEW YEARS Orff Carmina NEW YEAR’S (Video) OPERAS Handel Semele GRAMMY WINNER Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos GRAMMY WINNER Donizetti: D’Amore Karajan Don Giovanni Don Giovanni - same as above Rossini: Barber Mozart Figaro GRAMMY NOMINEE Mozart Serail GRAMMY NOMINEE Rossini: Il Signor Bruschino Verdi – Un Ballo in Maschera Rossini: Algeri Wagner: Siegfried Verdi: Don Carlo CONCERTS/ORATORIOS: Mahler: Symphony 4 Mozart High Mass Brahms REQUIEM Haydn: The Creation Mozart Mass in C Minor Messiah by Handel Music from Ravinia Requiem by Faure Requiem by Mozart Gielen Conducts: Lulu Suite Mahler: Resurrection Poulenc: Gloria ( Midsummer Night’s Dream ALL-STAR CROSSOVER COLLABORATIONS So Many Stars House of Flying Daggers Mythodea Tenderness Janet Gershwin’s World
DVDs
Carnegie Christmas Karajan New Years Battle Met KB/Marsalis Spirituals Donizetti Mythodea Rossini Barber Add Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Karajan, Battle, Van Dam http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp;jsessionid=AB41FA622B014D48F8ECCF107DA837BF?album_id=74692&album_group=2 Met Silver Anniv. – Met Opera KATHLEEN BATTLE: EMMY AWARD WINNER Mozart Flute Mozart High Mass LIVE FROM THE VATICAN Orff Carmina NEW YEAR’S BERLIN Strauss Gala “Carmina Burana” NEW YEAR’S BERLIN Strauss – Ariadne auf Naxos – [ CD COMPILATIONS ] Classic Wynton Divas