Gary Thor Wedow
(Conductor)Conductor Gary Thor Wedow has established an enviable reputation for dramatically exciting and historically informed performances with opera companies, festivals and choral organizations throughout North America. He recently led the Seattle Symphony in a Baroque program of Rameau, Handel and Marcello to rave reviews and enthusiastic audience response and following his Rinaldo for the Berkshire Opera, the Boston Globe’s Richard Dyer wrote: “The opera was delightfully played by a first-rate chamber orchestra under the direction Gary Thor Wedow. Years in opera houses have taught him how to make this music theatrical – and how to accommodate singers while challenging them. His work was knowledgeable, vital and full of the smell of candlelight and greasepaint.”
Wedow’s 2010-2011 season includes productions of Die Zauberflöte for Seattle Opera, Handel’s Agrippina for Boston Lyric Opera and an ‘Opera Highlights Festival’ with the Seattle Symphony. As well, he continues his relationship with the Juilliard School.
Included among his engagements in the 2009-10 season were two New York City productions: A return to New York City Opera for the company’s first new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni since 2002, and the Juilliard Opera’s season opening production of Handel’s Ariodante. Additional engagements included Messiah with the Seattle Symphony, Il barbiere di Siviglia for Florida Grand Opera, and he conducted Le nozze di Figaro for Pittsburgh Opera and Zaide at Wolf Trap during the summer of 2010.
Appearances of the 2008-2009 season included conducting the premier of Paul Richards and Wendy Steiner’s The Loathly Lady in Philadelphia, leading the Berkshire Choral Society for Bach’s Matthäus Passion, guesting with Orchestra London Ontario and serving as a visiting faculty member at Indiana University, where he led performances of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solonnelle and Handel’s Giulio Cesare.
In 2007-2008, he was in Seattle for Iphigénie en Tauride, debuted at Florida Grand Opera leading Giulio Cesare and was in New York for a production of Die Zauberflöte at the Juilliard School and in San Francisco for the Merola program’s production of Don Giovanni. The 2006-2007 season was highlighted by Giulio Cesare for Seattle Opera and La finta giardiniera for the Juilliard School. He returned to Chautauqua for a production of L’elisir d’amore in July 2007, and at New York City Opera he conducted Carmen. Maestro Wedow’s long association with the NYCO has also included Le nozze di Figaro, Handel’s Xerxes and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience.
His 2005-2006 season called for Pirates of Penzance at Glimmerglass Opera, Messiah with the Edmonton Symphony and Xerxes for the Pittsburgh Opera. Other recent Handel performances include Xerxes for Wolf Trap Opera, Alcina and Ariodante for Toronto’s Opera in Concert and the Coronation Anthems for the Berkshire Choral Festival where he also has conducted Bach’s Mass in B Minor and an opera concert featuring selections from Aida, Iris and William Tell. Further recent assignments have included La bohème at Chautauqua Opera, La Calisto at the San Francisco Opera Center, concerts at the New National Theater in Tokyo, the North American premiere of Sartorio’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto and L’incoronazione di Poppea for the Pittsburgh Opera Center. As head of the Canadian Opera Company’s prestigious Ensemble Studio he conducted Cavalli’s La Calisto and Giasone and the world premiere of Gary Kulesha’s Red Emma.
He is a frequent collaborator of countertenor Lawrence Lipnik with whom he has prepared several performing editions of Baroque operas and he was for many years Associate Conductor of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society. As a pianist, Wedow studied with Jorge Bolet. He is currently a faculty member of The Juilliard School. January 2011