“Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra musical director Maximiano Valdés conducts a dazzling collection of works by contemporary classical Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra showcasing the composer’s entrancing aesthetic range in a new recording released on Naxos American Classics.
Soprano Martha Guth sings Sierra’s 2002 lyrical song cycle Beyond the Silence of Sorrow. Sierra scored six poems by N. Scott Mornady who wrote poetry inspired by his traditions of Native American storytelling and his Kiowa-Cherokee heritage of living with one within the environment. The golden-centered soprano is earthy and ethereal during Prayer for the Land featuring harp and woodwind description, emulating a pouring of lush orchestral waves . Inside About Me Like a Robe Guth’s silvery vocalization rides atop a frenzied orchestra. In contrast, Guth uses soulful operatic chanteuse for To Tell You of My Love. The traditional song quality of The Woman Who Walked Here essays a soaring vocal tribute to the strength of generations of Native American women.”
Concert Review: FSO gives 'landmark' perfomance of Mahler's Fourth:
"The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra returned to its more customary format of presenting the classics this past Friday evening with a triumphant performance showcasing Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony…
At the heart of Friday’s program, the monumental Fourth Symphony by one of the 19th century’s musical giants, Gustav Mahler, was without reservation a landmark performance in the six-decade history of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra…In the final movement, in which Mahler adds the element of a human voice, guest soprano Martha Guth beautifully delineated the essence of the poetry describing a child’s images of death and the journey to a heavenly existence. The sense of quiet repose at the conclusion of this extraordinary work was reflected in the audience’s equally subdued response to a truly moving musical experience.”
-The Arizona Daily Sun
Alabama Symphony debut:
"With the rousing strains of Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” Overture, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra launched its Lyric Theatre debut Friday night.
Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s satire, “The Seven Deadly Sins,” was an appropriate choice for ASO’s Lyric Theatre initiation. It was composed in European theatrical style in 1933, and although the Lyric had become primarily a movie venue by then, the spirit of the theater’s vaudeville roots was still fresh.
Out front for this performance was soprano Martha Guth, who portrayed the lead character, Anna, with bawdiness and humor, toting a briefcase, twirling a scarf and writhing on the floor as the drama progressed from Louisiana through Memphis and beyond. As the “sins” advanced through sloth, pride, anger, gluttony, lust, covetousness and envy, Anna’s alter ego and family, portrayed by five male singers from the Birmingham choral ensemble, Sursum Corda, commented and retorted from inside the orchestra.
From a musical standpoint, the semi-staged production was well performed.”
Carmina Burana with the West Michigan Symphony:
"Soprano Martha Guth had a voice which floated to the rafters and descended lightly onto each perfectly formed note. When performing together, her mature tones were a delicious contrast to the sweetness of the children's chior. Dare it be said that vocal perfection was achieved when she sang In Trutina."
-The Muskegon Chronicle
Poulenc Stabat Mater with the Spokane Symphony:
"The chorale rose magnificently to every challenge, leaving the audience with an experience of great beauty and spiritual depth. Guth's soaring solo passages complemented this perfectly. Her spinto soprano has a distinctive warmth of character that was employed masterfully to express the longing and the sorrow at the heart of Poulenc's masterpiece."
Mozart's C Minor Mass, Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, St. Ignatius Loyola Cathedral:
"Chorus and four soloists joined the orchestra for the Mozart's Great Mass...the opening of the Kyrie was indeed powerful, with singers sounding robust and enthusiastic in this first movement. Soprano Martha Guth took the first solo (Christe elesion), soaring above the driving orchestra and injecting a genuine note of pleading into her performance...high drama was present in the lengthy Domine deus duet for two sopranos: Ms. Guth and Marguerite Krull."
Washington DC's Cathedral Choral Society Brahms Requiem:
"...soprano Martha Guth brought a sweet timbre and gleaming high notes to her fifth movement aria."
-The Washington Post
"Simplicity and serenity were the themes of the evening, but the talent onstage reflected complexity and enthusiasm as West Michigan Symphony brought Simple Songs, the fourth concert in their masterworks series, to the Frauenthal Theater on Friday, April 18... The first half of the program ended with Simple Songs, written by American composer Aaron Jay Kernis in 1991 and performed by soprano Martha Guth. This compilation of five songs was based on poetry from various faith traditions...Guest soloist Martha Guth brought a touch of operatic class to the evening. Raised in Vancouver, Guth holds an undergraduate degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a Master's degree from the Cincinnati College/Conservatory of Music and a post-graduate degree from the Hochschule fur Musik in Augsburg/Nurnberg. She has performed extensively as a concert soloist and in operatic productions. The first song, or movement, was based on a poem written by Benedictine abbess and mystic Hildegard von Bingen (1078-1179). Guth's strong, pure vocals soared over the contrasting, eclectic symphonic music. During the second movement, inspired by Psalm 1, Guth's liquid voice magnificently clung to dissenting tones until resolution with the smooth sensual music was found. The third movement, based on poetry written by Ryokan (1758-1831), a Zen Buddhist monk, had the woodwinds imitating sounds of spring. Guth's vocals also danced through the song, as she easily mastered the nearly impossible intervals in the melody. Although the music was unsettling, "Guths" breath control, rich tones, and perfect vibrato were the highlights of the fourth movement, inspired by a poem by Rumi (1207-1273), a Persian mystic. The composition ended with a serene song based on Psalm 131. Simple Songs was a unique artistic choice. With 45 musicians onstage, mostly strings, the symphony blended well with Guth's unamplified vocals."
-The Muskegon Chronicle
"On Saturday evening, Music Director Alfred Savia led the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, with the Evansville Philharmonic Chorus, the University of Southern Indiana Chamber Choir and Women's Choir, and soloists Martha Guth and Susan Platts in an overwhelming performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2, the "Resurrection" Symphony. There are no perfect concerts, I suppose, but this would do until perfect comes along. Bravo. Bravo, indeed, all around."
-The Courier and Press
Mozart C Minor Mass with Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra:
"In the opening Kyrie, and later in the Et incarnatus est, Martha Guth's clarion soprano rang out in well-phrased lines."
-The Columbus Dispatch
Britten Spring Symphony with the Choral Society of Durham:
"The soloists included Martha Guth, soprano who has sung widely in oratorio and operatic roles...It was a rich performance...the soloists were magnificent."
-Classical Voice North Carolina.org
Carmina Burana with the Lima Symphony Orchestra:
"Without question, baritone Leon Williams and soprano Martha Guth were the saviors of the performance. The rich tone of Williams' chest voice coupled with the dramatic smoothness of his falsetto made him the perfect choice for this demanding role. Williams brought dramatic reality to the music and the text through his memorized performance and appropriately staged demeanor, particularly his interactions with the equally impressive Martha Guth. Guth wowed the audience with her coloratura lyricism. Her seeming ability to sustain pitch without breath or blemish was astonishing, while the four bars of Dulcissime preceding the final movement were worth the price of admission." -LimaOhio.com
"Martha Guth as Pompey's widow created a fiercely proud and dignified Roman Matron, and in her trumpet aria hurled out her thrilling top range."
-The Toronto Globe & Mail
Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival:
"Ms. Guth seemed to be empowered by this music, taking us on a smooth ride to the tops of her remarkable range, leaving us no doubt of her control and just hinting at the awesome power she keeps in reserve."
"From the first notes, the atmosphere in the hall changed. It was one of those magical moment..."
("Martha Guth's) artistic maturity became truly amazing in her interpretation of Schumann's Frauenliebe und -leben. The young lady's rendition was immensely moving."
-The Montreal Gazette
"Soprano Martha Guth showed rare breath control and an awesome legato."
-The Toronto Globe & Mail
"Martha Guth is going to be a star or there ain't no justice in the world. She absolutely stands out. Once in a generation, maybe twice we get a singer that just holds the attention, captures the popular attention and becomes a cultural icon."
MSO, choruses, soloists deliver a stunning 'Carmina Burana'
"Soprano Martha Guth has a wonderfully clear, supple voice that pours from her like fine wine, and her lament over the absence of a lover is heartfelt and sad. And yet, as she sings (“She keeps the dark night hidden in the depth of her heart”) we hear the poetry of a maiden who will not suffer loneliness for long."
-al.com (Everything Alabama)
Listen to 2016 Latin Grammy-nominated Naxos recording of Roberto Sierra's Beyond the Silence of Sorrow; scroll down for additional audio/video of soprano Martha Guth.
Soprano Martha Guth brings consummate musicianship and a distinctive tonal palette to a wide range of musical periods and styles. A much-sought-after concert soloist, her repertoire includes soprano 1 in Mozart’s C Minor Mass (New York’s Sacred Music in a Sacred Space in St. Ignatius Loyola Cathedral and Columbus, Ohio’s ProMusic Chamber Orchestra), Orff’s Carmina Burana (West Michigan, Mobile, Lima Symphonies, Florida Orchestra), the Brahms Requiem (Washington, D.C.’s Cathedral Choral Society, New York’s Voices of Ascension, Grand Rapids’ Calvin College), Britten’s Spring Symphony (Choral Society of Durham), Händel’s Messiah (Santa Fe Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, Kentucky), Mendelssohn’s Elijah (Columbia Pro Cantare and Gloriae Dei Cantores), Mahler’s Second Symphony (Evansville Philharmonic) and Fourth Symphony (Flagstaff Symphony) , Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Fort Wayne Philharmonic) and Missa solemnis (Bachakademie Stuttgart), Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate (Hamilton Philharmonic) and Concert Arias (Germany’s Bad Reichenhaller Philharmonie), Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été (Canadian Opera Company orchestra), Haydn’s Die Schöpfung (New Mexico Symphony) and Poulenc’s Stabat Mater (Spokane Symphony). Just issued on the Naxos label is her recording of Roberto Sierra’s Beyond the Silence of Sorrow with Maximiano Valdés conducting the Puerto Rico Symphony, nominated for 2016 Latin Grammy Award. In addition, she has collaborated with John Nelson, Helmuth Rilling, Richard Bradshaw, both Seiji Ozwa and Robert Spano at Tanglewood and been guest soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic and Toronto Symphony, among many other orchestras.
A persuasive actress, Ms. Guth has performed Frau Fluth in the Boston Midsummer Opera’s production of Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (Countess) and Don Giovanni (Donna Anna) at Opera Lyra Ottawa; the same composer’s Die Zauberflöte (Pamina) and Die Entführungaus dem Serail (Konstanze) in Göggingen, Germany; the title role of Händel’s Alcina in Lucca, Italy; Lauretta in Bizet’s Dr. Miracle and Norina in Don Pasquale with the Santa Fe Opera (the latter on tour as a past apprentice of the company), and Alyce in Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied at New York’s Chelsea Opera, which she reprised in the 2015-16 season. She has also performed with the opera companies of Graz (Austria) and Palma de Mallorca (Spain).
A model collaborator, Ms. Guth has earned special distinction for her passionate devotion to recital and chamber repertoire, earning First Prize at the 2007 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in London. She has given recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall and Leeds Lieder Festival with pianist Graham Johnson; in New York with Dalton Baldwin and Malcolm Martineau, and at both the Vancouver International Song Institute and Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival with Erika Switzer (with whom she co-hosts an online magazine Sparks and Wiry Cries [http://www.sparksandwirycries.com], featuring live and recorded performances and discussions with singers, pianists and composers.) She also curates the Casement Fund Song Series in New York City. Her recitals have been broadcast on the CBC Radio/Radio Canada, BBC Radio (U.K.) and WDR (Germany). Recordings include a solo disc of Schubert songs with fortepianist Penelope Crawford, John Fritz-Roger’s Magna Mysteria on the Innova label, Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes and The Five Borough Song Book.
Martha Guth was raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. She holds an undergraduate degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a Master’s from the Cincinnati College/Conservatory of Music, and a post-graduate degree from the Hochschule für Musik in Augsburg/Nürnberg where she studied with Edith Wiens.
|Dr: Miracle: Lauretta||Bizet|
|Don Pasquale: Norina||Donizetti|
|Romeo et Juliette: Juliette||Gounod|
|Agrippina: Agrippina ||Händel|
|Giulio Cesare: Cleopatra||Händel|
|Venus and Adonis: Madrigalist||Henze|
|Don Giovanni: Donna Anna||Mozart|
|Le Nozze di Figaro: Countess||Mozart|
|Lucio Silla: Giunia||Mozart|
|Die Zauberflöte: Pamina, First Lady||Mozart|
|Die Entfuhrüng aus dem Serail: Konstanze||Mozart|
|Boris Godunov: Xenia||Mussorgsky|
|Oratorio and Orchhestral works:|
|B Minor Mass||Bach|
|St. Matthew, John Passions||Bach|
|Mein herze Schwimmt im Blut, Cantata 199||Bach|
|Jauchzett Gottin allen Landen, Canatata51||Bach|
|Knoxville: Summer of 1915||Barber|
|Les nuits d’été||Berlioz|
|Ein deutsches Requiem||Brahms|
|Emily Dickinson songs||Copland|
Please visit here (Artist's website) to listen to additional opera, song and concert sounds of Martha Guth.
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