Fleur Barron and Axelle Fanyo Debut with San Francisco Symphony in Saariaho’s ‘Adriana Mater’

7 Jun 2023

The week following the announcement of the passing of iconic Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, the San Francisco Symphony presents staged performances of her 2005 opera Adriana Mater, conducted by their Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, and directed by Peter Sellars, with rising IMG Artists stars Fleur Barron and Axelle Fanyo in the roles of sisters Adriana and Refka. More information and tickets are available here.

Hailed as “a knockout performer” by The Times, Singaporean-British mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron has been chosen by Het Concertgebouw as a “Hemelsbestormer” (Skystormer) for the 22/23 season and has been designated an Artistic Partner of the Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Oviedo. A passionate interpreter of opera, chamber music, and concert works ranging from the baroque to the contemporary, Fleur’s recent and upcoming highlights include Debussy’s La Damoiselle Elue with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Orchestre de Paris, Berio’s Folksongs with Sir Mark Elder on tour with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Brucker’s Te Deum with Vasily Petrenko and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Barbara Hannigan and the Göteborgs Symfoniker on tour in Sweden and to Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Thomas Hengelbrock at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Berlioz Les Nuits d’Ete with the Slovenian Philharmonic. On the operatic stage, Fleur sings the title role in Hasse’s Marc Antonio e Cleopatra with the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hannover; the title role in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with La Nuova Musica for a recording on the Pentatone label, and Bersi in Andrea Chénier and Mallika in Lakme for Opéra de Monte-Carlo. On the recital platform, Fleur joins her regular collaborator Julius Drake for concerts at Het Concertgebouw, MiTO Festival in Milan and Turin, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, and Winterreise in Germany and at the Théâtre de l’Athénée in Paris. She also joins duo partner Kunal Lahiry for recitals at Wigmore Hall and Oxford Lieder Festival, and teams up with Malcolm Martineau for an all-Britten recital at Snape Maltings.

French soprano Axelle Fanyo is making her mark on both the opera world and in concert halls. With multiple accolades including the 2021 Nadia and Lili Boulanger Competition grand prize, the prestigious Kaleidoscope prize and the Young Artist prize at the International French Song competition, recent and forthcoming highlights include role debuts as Tosca and Luisa Miller; Debussy’s La Damoiselle élue with Orchestre de Paris; We are Eternal at Opéra de Massy; roles at Opéra de Dijon and Opéra de Caen; the French tour of Le Baron de Münchhausen with Le Concert Spirituel; Juno in Legrenzi’s La Divisione del Mondo with Les Talents Lyriques and Christophe Rousset at the Cologne Philharmonie, as well as Leïla in I was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky by John Adams at the Lyon Opera, and recitals at the Orangerie du Parc Bagatelle, Festival des Nuits Romantiques, Philharmonie de Paris, Opéra Comique, Paris Music Factory, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and London’s Barbican Centre.

Performances of Adriana Mater take place on 8, 10 and 11 June.

Photo credit: Victoria Cadisch, Capucine de Chocqueusesm