Wagner’s Choruses, Donald Palumbo and Andrew Whitfield in conversation

Posted on 28, Jan, 2021 in

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  • Wagner's Choruses, Donald Palumbo and Andrew Whitfield in conversation
    14 June 2021
    6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Wagner’s Choruses,

Donald Palumbo and Andrew Whitfield in conversation

ZOOM WEBINAR: 6.30pm, 14th June 2021





Donald Palumbo

Donald Palumbo was born in Rochester, N.Y., and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University. At the Dallas Opera in the 1980s, he served as the assistant to Roberto Benaglio, the renowned chorus master of La Scala, and also worked closely with conductor Nicola Rescigno.

Palumbo is the chorus master of the Metropolitan Opera, responsible for the chorus’s preparation and performance in upwards of 25 productions each season. This appointment followed a 16 year tenure as chorus master at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Palumbo was the music director of the Chorus Pro Musica of Boston and has also served as chorus master for the Canadian Opera Company, the Dallas Opera, the Banff School for the Arts Summer Opera Program, the Opera Company of Boston, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. In Europe, Palumbo has held the position of chorus master at the Opéra de Lyon, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. He has worked extensively at the Théatre du Châtelet in Paris and has conducted the Radio France Chorus in several a cappella choral concerts. From 1999 to 2001, Palumbo was the chorus director of the Salzburg Festival, the first American to hold that position. During his three year tenure in Salzburg, he prepared the chorus of the Wiener Konzertvereinigung in performances of Doktor Faust, Don Carlo, Les Troyens, Iphigénie en Tauride, Tristan und Isolde, Jenufa, Falstaff, and Die Zauberflöte, among others. In addition, he prepared the chorus for performances of the Schumann Requiem with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch. In 2003, he was the chorus master for the production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens in Paris under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Since 2014, Palumbo has been a vocal coach for the apprentices of the Santa Fe Opera and has worked with the young artists at the Glimmerglass Festival since 2016. In 2016, Palumbo joined the Vocal Arts faculty at Juilliard.


Andrew Whitfield

Andrew Whitfield is currently Associate Conductor and Chorus Master at Minnesota Opera, a post he has held since 2018. In 2019 he made his conducting debut with the company in performances of La Traviata and returned to the podium the following year to conduct Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Prior to that, Whitfield was Resident Conductor and Chorus Master at Opera San José. A champion of new works, Whitfield served as prompter for the World Premiere of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber at San Francisco Opera, and has subsequently collaborated with composers such as Kevin Puts, Paola Prestini, Alma Deutscher and Joel Puckett. Whitfield has also worked at the San Francisco Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra, assisting and covering conductors like Semyon Bychkov, Susanna Mälkki, Edward Gardner, Jane Glover, and Karina Canellakis.

Active in the time of COVID, this January Whitfield will make his Fort Worth Opera debut in the virtual world premiere of Joseph Illick’s Bernadette’s Cozy Book Nook . He has also collaborated with The Glimmerglass Festival, Chicago Opera Theatre and Opera America on other virtual opera projects.

In 2007 Whitfield founded Opera Depot, a company dedicated to restoring and promoting live broadcasts of opera recordings. In that time, Opera Depot has disseminated hundreds of thousands of hours of opera and amassed a collection nearing two thousand recordings.


This online event is £5 to all members, £10 for non-members (Refundable on joining) and free for students/under 30s.  Please register your interest below and you will be sent a Zoom link in good time for the lecture, probably during the previous day. (Please do not contact us for the link unless it has not been received immediately before the lecture is due to begin.) If you wish to make a donation, please do so via our website (see button to the right) or contact treasurer@wagnersociety.org.   (NOTE: Joint members intending to watch this lecture together only need to register once.)




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