Metropolitan Opera Soloists

Live at Carnegie Music Hall, Monday, May 15, 2017 - 7:30pm

Jennifer Johnson Cano, Mezzo Soprano; Rafael Figueroa, Cello; Nathan Hughes, Oboe; Ken Noda, Piano

Felix Mendelssohn - “Meine Seele dürstet nach Gott” (Psalm 42)
Johannes Brahms - Zwei Gesänge, Op. 91
Henri Dutilleux - Sonata for Oboe and Piano
Claude Debussy - Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor
Ralph Vaughan Williams - Blake Songs
Franz Joseph Haydn - Arianna a Naxos
Hector Berlioz - “D’amour l’ardante flamme” (Damnation of Faust)

"Jennifer Johnson Cano was truly stellar. She, in fact, was the complete package, a voice agile and forceful, spacious and laden with emotion."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

About The Artist: 

Jennifer Johnson Cano is known for her velvety voice, meticulous preparation and research, and a joyful spirit that has accelerated a meteoric rise in international attention and acclaim. Beginning in 2008 with the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Cano’s career has seen successful recitals in major venues, engagements and re-engagements with the major US orchestras, no less than 11 roles and over 100 performances at the MET, invitations to Boston Lyric, Arizona, Des Moines Operas, and a break-out role as the Fox in the Cleveland Orchestra’s production of Cunning Little Vixen with Franz Welser-Möst. A recipient of the Richard Tucker Career Grant, she recorded Bernstein’s Jeremiah with the Baltimore Symphony and Marin Alsop, produced a live album of her recital at the Savannah VOICE Festival, and appeared in the MET’s Live in HD worldwide broadcast of Otello. She has participated in several summers at Marlboro Music Festival as well as other major chamber music festivals in the United State.

Rafael Figueroa has been the principal cellist with the Metropolitan opera since 1995. He has appeared as a soloist and as a chamber musician throughout the U.S., Europe, South and Central Americas, Korea and Japan. Rafael is the winner of many distinguished competitions and awards including the First Prize at the Gregor Piatigorsky Competition in Boston, The Bronze Medal at the International Pablo Casals Competition in Budapest and winner of the concerto competition at the Third American Cello Congress. He has been a frequent soloist with the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico as well as the Casals Festival in Tokyo, The Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Aspen Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, the Musique et Vin Festival in Burgundy and the Cape Cod Chamber music Festival. Rafael made his Carnegie Hall solo debut together with concertmaster David Chan and The Met Orchestra in the Brahms Double concerto led by James Levine to critical acclaim. He completed his studies at Indiana University under Janos Starker and Gary Hoffman.

Nathan Hughes is Principal Oboe of the Metropolitan Opera and a member of the faculty at The Juilliard School. He previously served as Principal Oboe of the Seattle Symphony and has made guest appearances as Principal Oboe with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and San Francisco Symphony. An avid chamber musician, Hughes has performed with the Philadelphia and Seattle Chamber Music Societies as well as at the festivals of Aspen, Bridgehampton, Lucerne, Marlboro, Salzburg, Santa Fe, Sarasota, Spoleto, and Tanglewood. Performances include collaborations with such renowned artists as Yefim Bronfman, Jeremy Denk, James Ehnes, Richard Goode, James Levine, Gil Shaham and Mitsuko Uchida. He has received critical acclaim for his performances as concerto soloist with the MET Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Seattle Symphony, and Verbier Festival Orchestra. Hughes is a dedicated teacher and has presented masterclasses at the Cleveland Institute, Eastman, Manhattan School, New World Symphony, National Orchestral Institute, Oberlin, Seoul National University in Korea, Toronto’s Royal Conservatory, Poznań Academy in Poland, and Verbier Festival in Switzerland, among others. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Hughes had early training in voice and piano and went on to earn degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and The Juilliard School.  

Ken Noda is Musical Assistant to James Levine on the Artistic Administration of the Metropolitan Opera, where he began working in l991.  Born to Japanese parents in October 1962, he studied with Daniel Barenboim and performed as soloist with such orchestras as the Berlin, Vienna, New York, Israel, and Los Angeles Philharmonics; the London, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal, Toronto, and National Symphonies; the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and Philharmonia Orchestra of London, under such conductors as Abbado, Barenboim, Chailly, Kubelik, Levine, Mehta, Ozawa, and Previn.  He has also collaborated as chamber musician with Maestro Levine (at two pianos), Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Nigel Kennedy, and the Emerson Quartet; and as accompanist to Kathleen Battle, Hildegard Behrens, Maria Ewing, Aprile Millo, Kurt Moll, Matthew Polenzani, Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, and Deborah Voigt.  He has been a regular participant at the Marlboro Music Festival since l999 and taught for four summers at the Renata Scotto Opera Academy at the invitation of Miss Scotto.  At the Met, he devotes much of his time to the training of young singers in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and also gives masterclasses at Juilliard.