February 8, 2016
By attracting vocal stars from around the world to the stunning Sonoran Desert each winter, the Tucson Desert Song Festival is earning a reputation as a destination arts festival.
The 2016 Festival featured 23 performances over 18 days, including those by Grammy winner Sasha Cooke and BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and Richard Tucker Award winner Jamie Barton, pictured here.
Barton and soprano Amber Wagner, as well as husband-and-wife team of mezzo Daniela Mack and tenor Alek Shrader, were presented in duo recitals by Arizona Opera, which also produced Carmen. Barton, Wagner, and Shrader were all winners of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, which were captured in the 2009 documentary "The Audition".
Cooke joined tenor Richard Cox for "Mahler and Martial Arts" with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, while guitarist Adam del Monte and baritone Bernardo Bermudez collaborated with Ballet Tucson and the Tucson Guitar Society on "Rhythms of the Americas".
Other guest artists for the fourth annual TDSF included the Grammy-winning a capella group Cantus, The Broken Consort, Marie-Josée Lord, and a quartet of young artists from the Ravinia Festival's Steans Institute.
See what the press are saying:
“Whether you’re an opera fan, a devotee of early music, or you enjoy everything symphonic, the Tucson Desert Song Festival will give you plenty of reasons to stand and applaud.”
Tucson Lifestyle Magazine
“Living in Southern Arizona, we don’t often experience some of the world’s best classical vocal talents live, and in person. This dilemma was addressed in 2010 with the founding of Tucson Desert Song Festival.”
“The Tucson Desert Song Festival is a bonanza of gorgeous music. Arts groups and the fest folk have teamed up to bring us internationally known talent, as well as rising stars in the art song field."
Arizona Daily Star