Former Metropolitan Opera tenor Kenneth Riegel, a 2008 recipient of an honorary degree from St. Bonaventure University, will be present for a screening of Gustav Mahler’s Eighth Symphony at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10.
The screening of the concert is free is and open to SBU students, faculty, staff and the general public.
Filmed at London’s Royal Festival Hall in 1991 by BBC Television, Klaus Tennstedt’s stirring performance with the London Philharmonic Orchestra of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in E flat major, the so-called “Symphony of a Thousand,” is a treasure.
Gramophone Magazine wrote, “This live recording documents one of the most exciting performances of this work, and the combination of artists for this occasion is felicitous. The octet of vocalists and the London Philharmonic Choir, the London Symphony Chorus, and the Eton College Boys’ Choir collaborate to make the symphony much more than a heroic read-through.”
PrestoClassical Magazine stated: “The soloist lineup includes some of the most celebrated operatic singers of the 20th century, including soprano Júlia Várady and American tenor Kenneth Riegel.”
Riegel was born in Pennsylvania and his long and distinguished career has taken him to all the major opera houses and festivals in North America and Europe. He has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Festival, the Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Hamburg State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, La Scala Milan, the Rome Opera, Teatro Communale in Florence and Bologna, the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) in London, Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro Real in Madrid, and the Brussels Opera.
Riegel enjoyed a special affinity with the Paris Opera, where he was the first American tenor to portray the title roles of Faust and Les Contes d’Hoffmann and where he participated in the world premieres of Berg’s complete three-act version of “Lulu”; in Messiaen’s only opera “St. Francois d’Assise”; and in Manoury’s “K.” In 2002-03 he celebrated the 25th anniversary of his debut at the Paris Opera appearing in the revival of “K” and made his last opera appearances in a new production of Messiaen’s “St. Francois d’Assise” at the Ruhr-Triennale Festival in Bochum.
In the cinema, Riegel has appeared as Don Ottavio in Joseph Losey’s film of Don Giovanni and as Prince Shuisky in the movie version of “Boris Godunov.” His last concert appearance was in 2008 at St. Bonaventure performing the world premiere of Cal Stewart Kellogg’s “Canticle of Creation.”
He received his musical education at the West Chester State Teachers College, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Metropolitan Opera Studio. He was a member of the United States Army Chorus from 1961-1964.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #3 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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