Blackburn Music Academy

faculty & guest artists

Lisa Delan

Lisa Delan

American soprano Lisa Delan has won acclaim as an interpreter of a vast range of repertoire and is recognized for her versatility and breadth of accomplishment. 

Ms. Delan has performed on some of the world’s leading concert stages including Lincoln Center, Davies Symphony Hall, Madrid's Auditorio Nacional, the Moscow Conservatory, Tchaikovsky Hall; and in a special appearance at Windsor Castle. Her festival appearances include the Bad Kissingen Festival in Germany, the Colmar Festival in France, the Rachmaninoff Festival in Novgorod, Russia, Festival Napa Valley, the Tuscan Sun Festival, and the Domaine Forget Festival in Quebec.

Ms. Delan first won recognition singing the title role in the world premiere of Gordon Getty’s Joan and the Bells in 1998, a role she has since reprised in France, Germany, Spain, the U.S., and Russia, and on the 2002 recording for PentaTone Classics. Critics praised her depiction of Joan of Arc as “beautifully sung” (International Record Review), “refreshingly unpretentious” (Gramophone), and “a role she has made her own, with the kind of pure tone one expects of a saint-to-be and the passion one expects from a 19-year-old girl going to her death. Miss Delan is exceptional” (Nevada Events). She reprised this role for the Russian National Orchestra’s Grand Festival in Moscow in 2012, and most recently with the Berkeley Symphony in 2018.

Ms. Delan is privileged to collaborate with composers whose musical lives are still works in progress. Among others, she has performed and recorded the music of William Bolcom, John Corigliano, David Garner, Gordon Getty, Jake Heggie, Mikhail Pletnev, Michael Tilson Thomas and Luna Pearl Woolf. She was featured on three recordings released by PentaTone Classics in 2009: And If the Song Be Worth a Smile, her debut solo recording of songs by American composers (with pianist Kristin Pankonin) Getty’s song cycle The White Election (with pianist Fritz Steinegger); and as a guest artist on Phenomenon (works by composer David Garner). In reviewing all three recordings, Sequenza 21 concluded, “As a song interpreter she may well be unequaled.” 

The year 2013 saw the release of The Hours Begin to Sing and the new Getty opera Usher House, both on PentaTone Classics. An Audiophile Audition critic wrote of The Hours Begin to Sing, “I reviewed Lisa Delan’s first issue in this series in 2009… I said then ‘I am not sure I have heard a finer American song album since Songs of America made its debut [20] years ago.’ Well, guess what? I can say it again, with a lot of confidence.... Lisa Delan is still the master of this sort of recital.”

Also in 2013 Oxingale Records released Angel Heart, a music storybook, created by Ms. Delan and composer Luna Pearl Woolf, featuring the soprano together with Frederica von Stade, Zheng Cao, Sanford Sylvan and Dan Taylor with Matt Haimovitz and his all-cello ensemble Uccello. The recording also features Jeremy Irons narrating an original story by best-selling author Cornelia Funke. Angel Heart premiered in 2013 as a live multimedia performance presented by Cal Performances in Berkeley and Carnegie Hall in New York City and was presented in 2015 by Festival del Sole (now Festival Napa Valley). The family-oriented project has been lauded by The Wall Street JournalPublishers Weekly and The New York Times. 

2015 welcomed the release of PentaTone’s American holiday album, featuring Ms. Delan in works by Jake Heggie and David Garner with baritone Lester Lynch and members of the New Century Chamber Orchestra. She also returned to the studio in 2015 to record a new album.

Ms Delan reached a new level of artistry with Out of the Shadows: Rediscovered American Art Songs, collaborating with Kevin Korth (piano) and Matt Haimovitz (cello) which PentaTone released in spring 2016. Of her treatment of this collection of 31 songs by ten composers, Opera News said Ms. Delan “brings to these works an almost evangelical commitment and appreciation, which makes the texts and vocal lines sometimes feel rediscovered, even newly minted.”

April 2018 will bring the release of her latest CD, A Certain Slant of Light. The PentaTone recording will feature 22 Emily Dickinson poems set to music by composers Aaron Copland, Gordon Getty, Jake Heggie and Michael Tilson Thomas. 

Among other projects, Ms. Delan is currently developing a genre-defying recording with Christopher O’Riley and Matt Haimovitz featuring art songs written for the soprano by Mark Adamo, John Corigliano, Aaron J. Kernis, Philip Glass, David Sanford, Conrad Tao and Luna Pearl Woolf.

Performances

Sunday, July 22 | 2:00 PM
Sunday at the Symphony: Tribute to First Responders

Versatile San Francisco soprano Lisa Delan, who premiered Gordon Getty’s Four Dickinson Songs at the 2008 festival, sings Joseph Canteloube’s lovely Chants d’Auvergne – a group of folk songs from the French region of Auvergne, accompanied by conductor Martin West and the Festival Napa Valley Blackburn Music Academy Orchestra.  The program also features popular symphonic masterpieces deftly performed by the Festival's all-star Academy musicians.

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