Nicholas PhanTenor
Robert MolliconePiano

Nicholas Phan


Salon at the Hotel Rex

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 | 6:30pm

Hotel Rex



Gods & Monsters
FRANZ SCHUBERT: An die Leier, Ganymed, Der Musenshohn, Der Sänger, Der Zwerg
JOHANNES BRAHMS: Es war ein Markgraf überm Rhein
GUSTAV MAHLER: from Des Knaben Wunderhorn: Rheinlegendchen and Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen
ROBERT SCHUMANN: Waldesgespräch, from Liederkreis, Op. 39; Der Sandman
HUGO WOLF: Der Feuerreiter, Elfenlied, Storchenbotschaft

About This Performance

SFP’s vocal resident artist Nicholas Phan performs selections from his recently-released fourth solo album. Gods & Monsters is an expression of the acclaimed lyric tenor's life-long fascination with myths and legends, and a testament to this singer’s great gift for storytelling through the medium of song. Phan joins forces with pianist Robert Mollicone to explore this thematic program of Lieder by the great Romantic composers of the Germanic tradition: songs recounting tall tales of the godly, the gallant and the grotesque—the fantastical and the fearsome. 

Performer Biographies

Named one of NPR’s “Favorite New Artists of 2011,” American tenor Nicholas Phan is increasingly recognized as an artist of distinction. Praised for his keen intelligence, captivating stage presence and natural musicianship, he performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies. Also an avid recitalist, in 2010 he co-founded the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) to promote art song and vocal chamber music.

In the 2016–2017 season, Mr. Phan returns to the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. He also appears twice with Bach Collegium Japan, and makes both his role debut as the title role in Oedipus Rex with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London at Cal Performances and his recital debut at the Wigmore Hall in London. As Artistic Director of Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, he will also curate and perform in the organization's fifth annual Collaborative Works Festival, a vocal chamber music festival held in venues throughout Chicago.

Mr. Phan has appeared with many of the leading orchestras in the North America and Europe, including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Philharmonia Baroque, Boston Baroque, Les Violons du Roy, BBC Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Strasbourg Philharmonic, and the Lucerne Symphony. He has also toured extensively throughout the major concert halls of Europe with Il Complesso Barocco, and appeared with the Oregon Bach, Ravinia, Marlboro, Edinburgh, Rheingau, Saint-Denis, and Tanglewood festivals, as well as the BBC Proms. Among the conductors he has worked with are Marin Alsop, Harry Bicket, Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Alan Curtis, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Charles Dutoit, Jane Glover, Manfred Honeck, Bernard Labadie, Louis Langrée, Nicholas McGegan, Zubin Mehta, John Nelson, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Helmuth Rilling, David Robertson, Masaaki Suzuki, Michael Tilson Thomas and Franz Welser-Möst.

An avid proponent of vocal chamber music, he has collaborated with many chamber musicians, including pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Jeremy Denk, Graham Johnson, Myra Huang, Roger Vignoles and Alessio Bax; violinist James Ehnes; guitarist Eliot Fisk; and horn players Jennifer Montone, Radovan Vlatkovic and Gail Williams. In both recital and chamber concerts, he has been presented by Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Atlanta's Spivey Hall, Boston's Celebrity Series, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the University of Chicago and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

Mr. Phan’s many opera credits include appearances with the Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Chicago Opera Theater, Seattle Opera, Portland Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Maggio Musicale in Florence, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and Frankfurt Opera. His growing repertoire includes the title roles in Acis and Galatea and Candide, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, Fenton in Falstaff, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Lurcanio in Ariodante.

Phan’s most recent solo album, A Painted Tale, was named one of the Best Classical Albums of 2015 by the Chicago Tribune. His first two solo albums, Still Fall the Rain and Winter Words, both featuring the music of Benjamin Britten, made many “best of” lists, including those of the New York Times, New Yorker, and Boston Globe. Phan’s growing discography also includes a Grammy-nominated recording of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony, Scarlatti's La gloria di Primavera with Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque, the opera L’Olimpiade with the Venice Baroque Orchestra, and the world premiere recording of Elliott Carter’s orchestral song cycle, A Sunbeam’s Architecture.

Pianist and conductor Robert Mollicone is a member of the San Francisco Opera music staff, where he serves as coach, prompter, and assistant conductor; he is also a frequent guest at such companies as Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, Utah Opera, The Dallas Opera, and Opera San Jose. He has prepared productions with and assisted many of today’s leading conductors, including Jesús López-Cobos, Stephen Lord, Donald Runnicles, Patrick Summers and Nicola Luisotti. These nearly 40 productions since 2010 span the breadth of the operatic repertoire, including Ariadne auf Naxos, Turandot, La Cenerentola, Les Troyens, Der Ring des Nibelungen, La Finta Giardiniera, and Show Boat.

A commitment to the propagation of American opera led Mollicone to work on the 25th anniversary production of Nixon in China as well as Moby-Dick, Dolores Claiborne and The Secret Garden. He also conducted performances of Weiser's Where Angels Fear to Tread at Opera San Jose, where he will return to conduct selected performances of Silent Night, and participated in the workshop for Marco Tutino’s Two Women. Mollicone served as head coach/accompanist for the premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally's Great Scott at The Dallas Opera.

Equally at home on the concert stage, Mr. Mollicone collaborates frequently with both rising stars and veteran singers including Denyce Graves, Andrew Stenson, Andrea Carroll, Brian Jagde, Simon Estes, Ailyn Pérez, Nicholas Phan, and Jamie Barton. He made his Carnegie Hall debut alongside soprano Melody Moore in May 2016.

He is a graduate of San Francisco Opera's Adler Fellowship, as well as of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera. He holds a M. Mus. from Boston University, where he studied with Shiela Kibbe.