Baritone James Maddalena
I worked with Maestro Gerard Schwartz as a soloist singing with the Eliot Feld Ballet and subsequently collaborated on other projects with Maestro Schwartz. I assume that he recommended me to the Milken Archive.
I sang at a Temple in Boston for the High Holidays and sang excerpts from the Bloch sacred service. I also enjoyed klezmer music a lot.
Making several recordings with the Milken Archive was very beneficial to my career.
James Maddalena with maestro Gerard Schwarz and members of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Milken Archive recording session, 1999. Berlin, Germany.
I’m taking a break from performing in order to get my knees replaced. They’ve taken a beating over the years. As far as the accomplishments I’m most proud of, I would have to say singing the complete cycle of Bach Cantatas at Emmanuel Church in Boston with Craig Smith, The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte with Smith and Peter Sellars, and Nixon in China by John Adams also with Peter Sellars.
What stands out the most is the experience of performing this music in Berlin with a German chorus and orchestra, and how music has the power to transcend bigotry and politics and all of the things that separate us. My favorite memories would have to be the wonderful dinners that we had after a day of hard work, and getting to know the people involved outside of work.
Listen on Spotify:
I don’t really think of classical music in those terms. To me, the music of great composers is transcendent and universal.
I would say the wonderful music of Judith Lang Zaimont is my favorite, simply because she came to Berlin and I got to meet her and get to know her a bit, again at those wonderful dinners. I also enjoyed very much the music of Lukas Foss.
James Maddalena is a featured artist in Lukas Foss's Song of Anguish.
Do you have a story or opinion on the world of Jewish music or the work of the Milken Archive?
Don't miss our latest releases, podcasts, announcements and giveaways throughout the year! Stay up to date with our newsletter.