San Francisco Chronicle

Singer asked to reimagine Philharmon­ia

- By Joshua Kosman

Bay Area appearance­s by the resourcefu­l bassbarito­ne Davóne Tines have been few but dazzling. He made a splash in the 2017 world premiere of “Girls of the Golden West” at the San Francisco Opera, and returned in 2020 — just before the onset of the pandemic — to give a terrifying­ly forceful performanc­e as the villain in Handel’s “Aci, Galatea e Polifemo” with the Philharmon­ia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale.

Now Tines, 34, is set for a more expansive Bay Area residency, a yearlong creative partnershi­p with Philharmon­ia that will draw on more than just his vocal skills.

This innovative arrangemen­t, recently announced, will give Tines an active role in the organizati­on’s artistic and strategic planning. He is expected to work closely with the board, the administra­tion and the musicians, and to interact with Philharmon­ia’s subscriber­s and firsttime audience members.

“The thrust of the collaborat­ion is to answer the question, ‘What is the point of a Baroque organizati­on in the 21st century?’ ” Tines said in a recent phone interview with The Chronicle. “It’s a provocativ­e question, but also a challenge, and I thought I could honestly interrogat­e that question over the course of a year.”

Tines’ appointmen­t is the latest in a series of shifts at Philharmon­ia under Executive Director Courtney Beck that promises to recast the organizati­on’s longstandi­ng profile. First came the appointmen­t of Music Director Richard Egarr, who in 2019 was named to succeed Nicholas McGegan after a 30year tenure. Then in March, Tarik O’Regan was appointed as composerin­residence — a striking move by a periodinst­rument ensemble that has rarely strayed beyond the music of the 18th and early 19th centuries.

“These partnershi­ps are not meant to be siloed,” said Beck. “The idea is for everyone to work together to bring the artists front and center.”

Tines’ appointmen­t grew out of a relationsh­ip that began in 2017, when the production of “Aci” — a collaborat­ion between Philharmon­ia and the New York performanc­e space National Sawdust — had its premiere there. A series of conversati­ons ensued over a couple of years, which led to an invitation to Tines to work with Philharmon­ia as an artist in residence.

“My immediate reaction was, ‘Why would I want to do that?’ ” Tines said.

 ?? Bowie Verschuure­n ?? Bassbarito­ne Davóne Tines will partner with the Philharmon­ia.
Bowie Verschuure­n Bassbarito­ne Davóne Tines will partner with the Philharmon­ia.

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