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Philippe Sly, bass-baritone, and John Charles Britton, guitar: Tucson Guitar Society
February 3 @ 7:00 pm$20 – $25
Presented in partnership with Tucson Guitar Society
John Charles Britton
John Charles Britton, a native of Fort Worth, TX, is a classical guitarist and vocal accompanist of the highest caliber. He studied with world-renowned guitarist Sérgio Assad at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he received a Professional Studies Diploma in the spring of 2013 as well as a master’s degree in the spring of 2012. John also holds an undergraduate degree from the Peabody Conservatory, where he was a student of Julian Gray. He has performed in master classes with Odair Assad, Adam Holtzman, Nigel North, Pepe Romero, Eduardo Fernandez, William Kanengiser, and Anna Vidovic, among others.
An accomplished solo performer, John gave the North American premiere of Jean Francaix’s “Concerto pour guitar”in collaboration with Maestro Alasdair Neale and the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra in November, 2013. John is also a gifted arranger: he is the winner of the first and second prize at the First Annual Seconda Prattica International Guitar Arranging Competition for piano works by Debussy and by Durey that he arranged of for solo guitar.
In addition to solo guitar settings, John’s work in voice and guitar arrangements have put him in high demand. He recently arranged a variety of repertoire for guitarist Milos Karadaglic and soprano Angela Gheorghiu, who performed John’s arrangements at an intimate concert at the Verbier Festival in the summer of 2015. A sensitive accompanist, John has recently been heard in recitals with tenor Aaron Short, baritone Efrain Solis, and bass-baritone Philippe Sly. In addition to his recital appearances, John has recently recorded two albums, accompanying well-loved spirituals with baritone Lester Lynch for a Pentatone release, On My Journey Now, and Schubert lieder with Philippe Sly on an album titled Schubert Sessions for Analekta. The arrangements featured on these albums will be available through John’s exclusive publisher, Productions d’Oz.
John Charles Britton plays a 2008 guitar made by Teodoro Perez, a luthier based in Madrid.
French-Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly is already gaining international acclaim for his “beautiful, blooming tone and magnetic stage presence” (San Francisco Chronicle). He is the first prize winner of the prestigious 2012 Concours Musical International de Montréal and a grand prize winner of the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, singing the varied repertoire of Mozart, Bach, Handel, Stravinsky and Wagner. Recently, he was awarded Concert of the Year in Romantic, Post-Romantic and Impressionist Music at the 16th annual ceremony of the Prix Opus in Québec.
Philippe Sly debuted at the Paris Opera in a new production of Così fan tutte as Guglielmo in the 2016 – 2017 season. He also sang in Berlioz’s Les Troyens, in Mozart’s Mass in C minor, and in Bach’s Matthäus -Passion before returning to Montreal with Fondation Arte Musica / Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal in a duo recital with guitarist John Charles Britton of Schubert Lieder. In the summer of 2017, he debuted at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as the title role in a new production of Don Giovanni.
In the 2012 – 2013 season, he became a member of the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program at the San Francisco Opera where he made his mainstage debut as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte under music director Nicola Luisotti to great critical acclaim. From this platform, he was engaged over the next years to sing many new roles in a variety of operatic and concert venues, under the baton of some of the most renowned conductors. From Berlioz to Faure, from Baden-Baden Festival to Kuala Lumpur, from Gustavo Dudamel to Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Philippe Sly has extended his range, experience, and his reputation.
Philippe holds a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal. He is also an alumnus of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program where he performed the role of Dr. Barolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia. A recording artist with Analekta Records, his first solo album entitled In Dreams was released in October 2012 to great critical praise, followed by an all-Rameau album entitled Les amants trahis and Love’s Minstrels: English Songs from the 19th and 20th Centuries. His most recent CD is Schubert Sessions with guitarist John Charles Britton.
Best Lieder Album of 2016: The Schubert Sessions
Britton’s transcriptions of the sixteen songs on this disc preserve the defining qualities of Schubert’s writing for piano whilst introducing unique nuances of their own. Impressive as Britton’s arrangements are, his playing of them is still more enjoyable. It is not merely that the guitarist’s nimble-fingered performance conquers every challenge of Schubert’s music and his adaptations of it: his playing is equally nimble-hearted, the emotions of each Lied heightened by his intuitive phrasing. The range of dynamics that Britton coaxes from his guitar is astounding. The guitar is his voice, and through its strings he sings with the strength and suavity of as noted an interpreter of Schubert as Hermann Schey.