Two of the world’s greatest classical music talents – renowned harpist Emmanuel Ceysson and acclaimed soprano Nina Stemme – came together to share their talents in an intimate TriBeCa loft on October 19 as part of Classical Action’s celebrated Michael Palm Series.
Ceysson, who earned the coveted title of principal harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2015, opened the program with a spellbinding rendition of Albert Zabel’s “A Fantasy on Gounod’s Faust,” followed by a dazzling performance of one of his own compositions, “Paraphrase on Bizet’s Carmen.” Audiences were entranced by his swift, effortless fingers and sultry style.
After a brief intermission he was joined by Stemme, considered one of the finest Wagnerian sopranos in history. To the delight of the audience, she performed one of Wagner’s most iconic works, his 22-minute “Wesendonck Lieder,” arranged for harp and voice by Ceysson. The audience was enthralled and gave the duo a prolonged standing ovation.
To support Classical Action, the artists took time out from their performance schedule for the Metropolitan Opera’s Tristan und Isolde, where Stemme performed the lead role of Isolde and Ceysson was in the orchestra.
Simon Yates and Kevin Roon once again graciously opened their remarkable home for the concert. The sole underwriter of the series is the Michael Palm Foundation, with additional sponsorship from United Airlines.
Photo by Steve J. Sherman