Jessye Norman's 'Ask Your Mama' production at Baltimore Symphony canceled
One of the most enticing events on the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 2009-2010 lineup has been canceled: Ask Your Mama, a multi-genre, multi-media presentation featuring stellar soprano Jessye Norman that was a big hit at Carnegie Hall last season. The BSO was to have presented it as a "premium concert" in February, conducted by Marin Alsop.
"Scheduling conflicts" are blamed. BSO VP Eileen Andrews Jackson says that three of the instrumental musicians involved in the production have been engaged in the house band of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon since the BSO signed the deal and are no longer available for the tightly constructed Ask Your Mama program. (You'd think three good players could be found somewhere who could step in smoothly well before February.)
To replace Jessye and company, the BSO will ...
offer a program that includes a suite from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess (vocal soloists to be announced). This adds even more Gershwin to a season that already lists Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto in F, 'I Got Rhythm' Variations and the rarely performed Blue Monday.
In other season updates, the soprano soloist for Mahler's Fourth in November has been announced: Susanna Phillips. She'll also sing three concert arias by Mozart on that program. The cello soloist in Beethoven's Triple Concerto in May will now be Amit Peled, replacing former BSO principal cellist Ilya Finkelshteyn, who is heading to the Cincinnati Symphony next season. And the performance of Brahms' German Requiem in June will feature the Washington Chorus, replacing the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and Morgan State University Choir.
BALTIMORE SUN FILE PHOTO