Ben Lowe, one of the hottest new Baritone voices in the world of classical music is set to appear at the upcoming “Love Songs” event Feb. 12 at Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach, according to Chad Berlinghieri, Artist Director of the Seal Beach Symphony.
He said Lowe, an Artist in Residence with the SBS, is a highly sought-after operatic performer and concert soloist. Lowe made his European concert debut this season in Siena and Florence, Italy as the Bass soloist in a performance of Verdi’s Requiem with Unione Corale Senese Ettore Bastianini, said Berlinghieri.
Lowe, who has been heralded for his “stentorian voice” by Singerpreneur Magazine, is quickly becoming a household name in the opera world in Southern California and abroad, said Berlinghieri. During his most recent season, Lowe participated in a workshop of a new, one-act opera for the Los Angeles Opera.
According to Berlinghieri, Lowe made his New York debut in 2017 performing in the east coast premiere of Matt Aucoin’s opera Crossing.
“We are excited about the upcoming ‘Love Songs’ event,” said Berlinghieri, which will also feature artists like Lowe and GRAMMY® nominated Sangeeta Kaur, an Artist in Residence with the Seal Beach Symphony.
Lowe will perform selections from his new album, Winterreise or a “Winter’s Journey” written by Franz Schubert (published as Op. 89 in 1828). In fact, Berlinghieri said the “Love Songs” event will be the official launch party for Lowe’s new album.
Berlinghieri said the entire Schubert Winterreise piece consists of twenty-four German Art Songs and was made famous by a Berlin baritone named Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.
“I first heard Ben sing the cycle two years ago at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion,” said Berlinghieri, “as a part of Le Salon de Musiques concert series under the direction of pianist Francois Chouchan.”
“My first thought after hearing Ben’s performance was ‘we must record this.’”
So, they did.
To record the work, Lowe and Berlinghieri flew to Austin where Kaur, her husband Hai and legendary recording engineer Gerhard Joost II have collaboratively opened Studio Hill recording studio.
Because of Kaur’s classical and operatic work, Berlinghieri said the Austin studio is “sensitive” to the recording and production of classical works.
Berlinghieri said they brought in a classic piano for the sessions. “Having one of the world’s most respected piano’s, The Steinway-B, made in the 1940’s, which was kept in pristine condition is a comforting starting point,” he said.
World class pianist Robert Cassidy accompanied Lowe on the album, he added.
The studio, one of the American recording facilities designed and built by Nashville studio expert Steven Durr, has 19-foot ceilings, said Joost in an interview from Studio Hill in Austin.
“I dug into the [early] recordings [of the piece], investigating the year it was recorded (that tells me the gear available at that time) the vocal sound, the piano sound, the dynamics of the recording, the spatial placement of the instruments in relation to the stereo spectrum, the overall frequency content, the ambient sound of the room used to record the piece,” said Joost.
Joost, currently nominated for a GRAMMY®, is known throughout the industry as a maverick studio craftsman whose attention to detail produces amazing sound quality. Over the years, Joost has worked in top American studios and recorded hits for a long list of A-list artists, including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Silk, Gladys Knight and many more.
“After calculating all of the technical aspects of our work to be done, I gave final consideration of how to make the recording experience for our performing artists unobstructed by all of our technical concerns,” said Joost.
“I wanted to be able to be prepared to enjoy and record his incredible Baritone voice,” he said. Joost said that as a producer, Berlinghieri was a major contributor to “our process of preparation.”
Joost said the actual recording of the entire album was completed in three days once the equipment was finely tuned and the studio was ready for Lowe. Berlinghieri said the album is now in final production and will be ready for the Feb. 12 launch.
Berlinghieri said that in 2019, Mr. Lowe joined Opera Delaware as a Young Artist for their Festival Season, performing leading roles in Dead Man Walking and Trial by Jury. His past achievements include being a finalist in both the Palm Springs Opera Guild and The Loren L. Zachary Society competitions, as well as the winner of the 2016 Marilyn Horne Song Competition.
Mr. Lowe studies under Maestro Vladimir Chernov and is a graduate of UCLA. Mr. Lowe is represented by Pinnacle Arts Management.
Berlinghieri said tickets for the Seal Beach Symphony “Love Songs” event are still available at sealbeachsymphony.com, or by calling (562) 509-8640.