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Tucson Desert Song Festival: The American Voice

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Recurring daily

Admission: Tickets are available from the individual presenting organizations.


The Tucson Desert Song Festival announces its 8th Annual Festival, a celebration of the American voice with a gathering of world-renowned classical singers exploring the colors, rhythms, and melodies of America's rich and complex musical character. Ten of Tucson's leading performing arts organizations explore America in music with such leading vocal artists as superstar soprano Renée Fleming, renowned tenor Matthew Polenzani, Thomas Hampson, Ian Bostridge, Morris Robinson, and Reginald Mobley. Local performance groups include Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Opera, Grammy-winning True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Ballet Tucson, and Arizona Theatre Company, among others. Among the festival's highlights:● Richard Danielpour, one of America’s most important composers, is the first to be commissioned through the Wesley Green TDSF Composer Project. Danielpour has written a set of songs based on ancient Persian texts: Songs of Love and Loss (Five Songs on Poems of Rumi) for his friend, renowned Israeli soprano Hila Plitmann. This concert will be part of Danielpour’s Artist-in-Residence engagement, along with a composing seminar and outreach activities.● Superstar soprano Renée Fleming, whose accomplishments range from headlining the Metropolitan Opera Gala to winning a Tony for her performance in a Broadway revival of Carousel-and who has sung The Star-Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl and Danny Boy at John McCain’s memorial service-joins the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for a jubilant festival finale.● Arizona Opera presents American lyric tenor Matthew Polenzani, renowned for his romantic, honeyed tone, and widely recognized as one of the great tenors of our time. He joins pianist Christopher Cano, head of Arizona Opera's Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio, for a special recital.● For UA Presents, beloved baritone Thomas Hampson performs the American Songbook and explores the influential people and monumental events that helped create and define "the land of the free." Illuminating and questioning the role of core American values such as freedom and brotherhood, Song of America: Beyond Liberty takes the audience through centuries of songs and includes personal anecdotes and historical monologues along with readings of American poetry.● Aaron Copland's Old American Songs, timeless songs by Stephen Foster, and spirituals performed by African American bass Morris Robinson demonstrate how brilliant artists gave a sound to a nation, and explore how individuals have influenced this nation through song, in concert with True Concord Voices & Orchestra.● Renowned British tenor and 15-time Grammy nominee Ian Bostridge is joined by his guitar colleague from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Xuefei Yang, in a recital presented by the Tucson Guitar Society. Each will also teach a master class at the Fred Fox School of Music.● The Arizona Early Music Society embarks on a musical voyage to the Americas, featuring star countertenor Reginald Mobley with the San Francisco-based string ensemble Agave Baroque.● Soprano Federica Lombardi, who made her Metropolitan Opera debut this past January, joins conductor José Luis Gomez and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a program called Windows into Song, offering sacred music by Gioachino Rossini, Church Windows by Ottorino Respighi, and the world premiere of Vokas Animo by Tucsonan Robert Lopez-Hanshaw.● Four singers from the New York Festival of Song bring to the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music a concert called Killer "B"s-American Song from Amy Beach to the Beach Boys. The hopes, joys and struggles of 20th-century Americans, from the working class to the patrician blue bloods, are told entirely by composers whose last names begin with B, including Berlin, Bernstein, Blitzstein, Bolcom, Barber, Beach and, yes, the Beach Boys.