Angels weep when soprano Dawn Upshaw’s voice soars skyward. She is a superstar in the classical world. Upshaw’s recording of Gorecki’s “Symphony No. 3” broke records with over a million in sales in a genre where ten thousand is respectable.
She worked directly with Gorecki during the sessions–“My mother-in-law had a t-shirt made that said ‘Gorecki rhymes with Jet Ski,’” she says, laughing–and continues to work with an array of composers including John Adams, Argentinian Osvaldo Golijov and William Bolcom, whose “Cabaret Songs” Upshaw will sing Saturday. The program also includes Ravel, Bartok, Shubert and American classic Charles Ives.
“Ives is a favorite of mine and of Gil Kalish, the pianist,” she says. “I feel like it’s a wonderful landscape of sound and musical history–American history–in his work.”
Although she’s earned four Grammys, Upshaw is refreshingly unpretentious. “It’s a natural kind of offering to the world based on what I think my strengths are,” she says.