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Monday, November 16, 2009

The Collegiate Chorale Presents Gala Concert A JUBILANT SONG - 12/1

The Collegiate Chorale, led by Maestro James Bagwell in his inaugural concert as The Chorale's newly appointed Music Director, presents A JUBILANT SONG, a celebration of the organization's remarkable history of exceptional conductors, noteworthy commissions and premieres, and multi-faceted choral programming on December 1, 2009 at 7pm at Carnegie Hall. Tickets are $25-$125 and are available through CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, or online at www.carnegiehall.org. For more information, visit www.collegiatechorale.org.

As the new Music Director, Mr. Bagwell will give tribute to his predecessors and usher in a new era of The Collegiate Chorale. Tony® Award winner Roger Rees will host the evening. A JUBILANT SONG will feature Salvatore Licitra, tenor (who debuted at Carnegie Hall with The Collegiate Chorale in 2003 in Verdi's La forza del destino); Daniel Mobbs, bass-baritone; Emily Pulley, soprano; Anita Johnson, soprano; Robert Mack, tenor; Erin Morley, soprano; Vale Rideout, tenor, Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano, Jenny Lin, piano; Kalif Omari Jones, boy soprano; and the American Symphony Orchestra. A benefit dinner with Mr. Bagwell and the artists at Carnegie Hall's Rohatyn Room will follow the concert.

"Before coming on board with The Chorale, one of the things which attracted me the most was its rich history of musical and programming diversity, going all the way back to the ideals of founder Robert Shaw and continuing steadily through the tenures of all subsequent Music Directors, particularly the late Robert Bass - and so I wanted this first concert under my baton to capture the essence of that diversity. We will perform works from Gabrieli to Dello Joio, and from Kopylov to Bernstein and Lerner. The programming will include Verdi and Meyerbeer arias, the beloved Beethoven Choral Fantasy, a couple of exquisite a cappella choral pieces, and musical theater excerpts from Bernstein and Lerner's A White House Cantata. Many of the works we will perform hearken back to earlier concerts, including the Kopylov Heavenly Light, which was on The Chorale's very first public program in 1942," said James Bagwell, music director of The Collegiate Chorale.

The evening's program follows:
Beethoven, Choral Fantasy; Gabrieli, In Ecclesiis; Kopylov, Heavenly Light (part of the first public program presented by The Collegiate Chorale on March 8, 1942); Dello Joio, A Jubilant Song; Shaw/Parker, Set Down Servant; Meyerbeer, O Beau Pays, from Les Huguenots; selected arias from Verdi's Un ballo in maschera; and La forza del destino; excerpts from Bernstein and Lerner's A White House Cantata (which received its New York Premiere in March 2008 by The Collegiate Chorale); and the Libiamo Chorus from La Traviata.

The Collegiate Chorale, among New York's foremost vocal ensembles, has added to the richness of the city's cultural fabric for more than 65 years. Founded in 1941 by the legendary conductor Robert Shaw, The Chorale achieved national and international prominence under the leadership of Robert Bass. The Chorale has established a preeminent reputation for its interpretations of the traditional choral repertoire, vocal works by American composers, and rarely heard operas-in-concert, as well as commissions and premieres of new works by today's most exciting creative artists. In the summer of 2009, The Chorale performed for the fourth season at Switzerland's Verbier Music Festival. In July 2008, The Chorale toured with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem.

The mission of The Collegiate Chorale is to enrich its audiences through innovative programming and exceptional performances of a broad range of vocal music featuring a premier choral ensemble. Inherent in its mission is The Chorale's belief that choral music is a compelling collaboration that creates a powerful, shared experience unifying listeners and musicians of all backgrounds, beliefs and ages.

James Bagwell maintains an active schedule throughout the United States as a conductor of choral, operatic, and orchestral music. He has recently been named Principal Guest Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra in New York. Since 2003 he has been Director of Choruses for the Bard Music Festival, conducting and preparing choral works during the summer festival at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College. He has also prepared The Concert Chorale of New York for performances with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Mostly Mozart Festival (broadcast nationally in 2006 on Live from Lincoln Center), all in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. In 2005 he was named Music Director of The Dessoff Choirs in New York, who under his leadership have made numerous appearances at Carnegie Hall in addition to their regular season. In 2009 the Dessoff Symphonic Choir appeared with the New York Philharmonic performing both Mahler's Eighth Symphony and Britten's War Requiem for Lorin Maazel's final concerts as Music Director.

James Bagwell has trained choruses for a number of major American and International orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NHK Symphony (Japan), St. Petersburg Symphony, The American Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with noted conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Louis Langrée, Leon Botstein, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Raymond Leppard, James Conlon, Jesús López-Cobos, Erich Kunzel, Leon Fleischer, and Robert Shaw.

For eleven seasons, he has been Music Director for the May Festival Youth Choir in Cincinnati, which was recently featured on the radio program From the Top. He has conducted some 25 productions as Music Director of Light Opera Oklahoma, including Candide, Sweeney Todd, and The Merry Widow, among others. At Bard SummerScape he has led numerous theatrical works, most notably Copland's The Tender Land, which received unanimous praise from The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Opera News. He frequently appears as guest conductor for orchestras around the country and abroad, including the Jerusalem Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. For three seasons he was Artistic Director of The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. He holds degrees from Birmingham-Southern College, Florida State University, and Indiana University. He has taught since 2000 at Bard College, where he is Director of the Music Program.

For more information, visit www.collegiatechorale.org.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Anita Johnson Career highlights include: Marie in The Daughter of the Regiment and Oscar in Un Ballo In Maschera with Michigan Opera Theatre; Konstanze in Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail with Italy's Spoleto Festival; the Princess in L'Enfant Et Les Sorileges and Clara in Porgy And Bess with New York City Opera; Giannetta in L'Elisir D'Amore, Javotte in Manon, and Barbarina in Le Nozze De Figaro with the Metropolitan Opera; Sophie in Der Rosnekavalier, Gretel in Hansel Und Gretel, Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Musetta in La Boheme, Sophie in Werther, Servillia in La Clemenza Di Tito, and Olympia in Les Contes D'Hoffmann, as the resident lyric coloratura soprano with Germany's Nationaltheater Mannheim; Musetta in La Boheme with Opera Pacific; Clara in Porgy And Bess with Atlanta Opera; Zerbinetta in Ariadne Auf Naxos with New Orleans Opera and Opera North; Gilda in Rigoletto with Knoxville Opera and Milwaukee's Florentine Opera; Susanna in Le Nozze Di Figaro and Norina in Don Pasquale with Florentine Opera; Pamina in The Magic Flute with Opera Memphis; Adele in Die Fledermaus with Opera Grand Rapids; and Lucia in The Rape Of Lucretia with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Concert highlights have included the Mermaid in Weber's Oberon with The Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall; Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Baltimore Symphony; Carmina Burana with the Louisville Orchestra; Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the New Haven Symphony; and Messiah with the New Choral Society of Central Westchester.

The Italian Salvatore Licitra is one of the leading tenors in the beautiful and highly sought-after dramatic Italian repertoire where he shows his 'worthiness of the great Italian tradition' (The New York Times). A frequent guest at major opera and concert stages in Europe, the United States and the Far East, his repertory includes Verdi's Aida, Un Ballo in Maschera, La Forza del destino, Ernani, Macbeth, Don Carlos and Il Trovatore as well as Puccini's Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Il Tabarro, Bellini's Norma, Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur, Giordano's Andrea Chenier, Leoncavallo's Pagliacci and Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana. Engagements of the 2009-2010 season include opera and concert performances in Europe, the United States and Japan. Season highlights will be a new Ernani production at the Lyric Opera Chicago and his role debuts as Calaf in Turandot at the New York Metropolitan Opera and as Dick Johnson in a new production of La fanciulla del West at the San Francisco Opera.

Jenny Lin is one of the most respected young pianists today, admired for her adventurous programming and charismatic stage presence. Her ability to combine classical and contemporary literature has brought her to the attention of international critics and audiences. She has been acclaimed for her "remarkable technical command" and "a gift for melodic flow" by The New York Times. The Washington Post praises "Lin's confident fingers... spectacular technique..." and Gramophone Magazine has hailed her as "an exceptionally sensitive pianist." Martha Argerich wrote: "Miss Jenny Lin is a very gifted young musician and a brilliant pianist." Jenny's recent orchestral engagements have included Manuel de Falla's Nights in the Garden of Spain with the La Orquesta Sinfónica de Gijón; Ernest Bloch's Concerto Grosso No. 1 with the SWR Rundfunkorchester; the world premiere of Stefano Gervasoni's Piano Concerto with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nationale della RAI; Messiaen's Oiseaux Exotiques with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra; Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan; and tour of Asia in Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Philharmonia Taiwan. She has also appeared with the Flemish Radio Orchestra, the Nürnberger Symphoniker, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Erato Philharmonia, Rumanian Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta de Valencia, and performed with conductors such as Lothar Zagrosek, Jiri Starek, Urs Schneider, Peter Bay, Jac van Steen, Ovidiu Balan, Wen-Pin Chien, Kek-Tjiang Lim, John Kennedy, and Oliver Diaz.

Tenor Robert Mack's career highlights include Remus, Treemonisha with The Collegiate Chorale; Snake/Vain Man, The Little Prince with NYCO; Alfredo, La Traviata with The Martina Arroyo Foundation. Performances with the New York City Opera include Goro, Madame Butterfly; Goopy, Haroun and the Sea of Stories; Remendado, Carmen; the Ballad Singer, Of Mice and Men; Pong, Turandot; Don Curzio, The Marriage of Figaro; Spoletta, Tosca; Second Shepherd, Daphne; Arturo, Lucia Di Lammermoor, and Rinuccio, Gianni Schicchi. Mack debuted the role of Sportin' Life, Porgy and Bess with New York City Opera and Opera Carolina. He recorded the role of Sportin' Life with The Nasvhville Symphony on Decca Records. Mack has toured with the nationally acclaimed "Three Mo' Tenors" and in addition has made outstanding appearances with Houston Grand Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia and Indianapolis Opera. He sang the role of John/William Still in She Never Lost A Passenger with Syracuse Opera. He was also a featured tenor soloist for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre's signature work, Revelations. In past seasons he made debuts with Houston Grand Opera, Bastille in Paris and the Teatro Real in Spain. He has also performed in Italy, Germany, Japan and Luxembourg. Mack toured with Broadway's National and European tour of Smokey Joe's Café directed by Jerry Zaks and in 2002 he was directed by Stewart Lane in the production of Ain't MisBehavin.

American bass-baritone Daniel Mobbs has won praise on both sides of the Atlantic for his "solid, resonant voice and boundless energy...his stage presence virtually ensured that he was the focal point of nearly every scene in which he appeared," as written in The New York Times. In the summer of 2009, Mr. Mobbs bows as Assur in Semiramide at Caramoor International Music Festival. At the Bard SummerScape Festival, he will participate in a concert of Wagner arias with the American Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Leon Botstein. In the fall of 2009, Mr. Mobbs will join Boston Lyric Opera, adding the role of Escamillo in Carmen to his vast repertoire, Leporello in Don Giovanni with Virginia Opera, and Ormonte in Partenope at New York City Opera. He later collaborates with the New York Choral Society for Mozart's Requiem and James DeMars' Tito's Say.

Soprano Erin Morley, a member of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program since the 2007-08 season, is one of today's most promising coloratura sopranos. Most recently, her Marguerite de Valois in Les Huguenots at the Bard Festival was described by The New York Times as a "formidable performance." Erin Morley's roles at the Metropolitan Opera have included the 2nd Niece in Peter Grimes, Masha in The Queen of Spades, and Frasquita in Carmen in the company's 125th Anniversary Gala. In their 2009-2010 season she sings Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel, and the Daughter in The Nose. Other notable engagements this season include the soprano solos in Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Bernard Haitink and a Gala Concert with The Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Morley has sung with the New York City Opera; as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, in a 2006 Gala Benefit, and as Giannetta in L'Elisir d'Amore. Also an alumna of Wolf Trap Opera Company, Ms. Morley debuted the role of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos n 2008. She sang Laoula in Chabrier's L'Étoile, and Frasquita with Wolf Trap as well.

Soprano Emily Pulley's radiant voice and electrifying acting have won her both national and international acclaim. Opera News writes, "Pulley's bright, perceptively shaded tone and sensitive, responsive acting make her a refreshing heroine, always playing the role rather than the star turn." The New York Times described her portrayal of the title role of Floyd's Susannah as being, "sung with unfailing warmth, radiance, and spirit," and elsewhere has lauded her singing as "faultless and exquisite." A frequent presence at the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Pulley's roles in the legendary house include Marguerite in Faust, Nedda in I pagliacci, Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Anne Trulove in The Rake's Progress, Musetta in La bohème, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Thérèse in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, and First Lady in a new production of Die Zauberflöte directed by Julie Taymor. She made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Mimi in La bohème.

In New York, Roger Rees played the title role in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Tony Award for Best Actor, the British Olivier Award, and Emmy nomination); Indiscretions (Tony and Drama Desk nominations); Jon Robin Baitz' The End of the Day (Obie Award); Uncle Vanya; The Rehearsal (Roundabout Theater); The Uneasy Chair (Playwrights Horizon); The Misanthrope (Classic Stage Company), and the musical A Man of No Importance (Lincoln Center Theatre). Movies: Bob Fosse's Star 80; Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights; If Looks Could Kill; The Substance of Fire; Trouble on the Corner; Sudden Manhattan; Next Stop Wonderland; A Midsummer Night's Dream; The Emperor's Club; Scorpion King; Julie Taymor's Frida; Peter Greenaway's The Tulse Luper Suitcases; Going Under; Crazy Like A Fox; The Treatment; The Pink Panther; Garfield 2; Prestige; The Invasion; The Narrows; Happy Tears. Television: "Cheers" (as Robin Colcord); "MANTIS;" "Boston Common;" "My So-Called Life;" "Titanic, Liberty;" "Double Platinum;" "The Crossing;" "West Wing" (as Lord John Marbury); "OZ;" "Max Bickford;" "Law and Order;" "Related;" "Grey's Anatomy"(as Dr. Colin Marlowe). Mr. Rees is an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company; some favorite RSC productions include - Hamlet (title role), Love's Labour's Lost, Julius Caesar, Cymbeline, Othello, Pericles, Revenger's Tragedy, Henry VIII, Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, Indians, The Winter's Tale, Twelfth Night, The Plebieans Rehearse the Uprising, The Way of the World, London Assurance, The Suicide, Three Sisters and Nicholas Nickleby. Mr. Rees originated the role of Henry in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing in London's West End, and the role of Kerner in Stoppard's Hapgood; he played for a year in the West End in his own thriller, Double Double, co-authored with Eric Elice, author of the hit musical Jersey Boys. In 1984/6 Mr. Rees was Associate Artistic Director for the Bristol Old Vic Theatre in Britain, directing, among other plays, Julius Caesar; Turkey Time; John Bull. Mr. Rees just completed three years as Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. Where, among much else, he directed The Film Society; The Rivals; The Taming of the Shrew - (directing and playing Petruchio opposite Bebe Neuwirth); Simon Grey's The Late Middle Classes; Anything Goes; Double Double and Herringbone starring B.D. Wong. Other directing credits in the USA includes: TV - "OZ" (HBO): Red Memories (New York Stage and Film); Mud, River, Stone (Playwrights Horizons); The Merry Wives Of Windsor; Loves Labour's Lost (Old Globe Theatre, San Diego); Arms and the Man (Roundabout Theatre); and he conceived and directed: Here Lies Jenny which starred Bebe Neuwirth at the Zipper Theatre in New York and the Post Street Theater, San Francisco; Peter and the Starcatchers, La Jolla Playhouse, co-directed with Alex Timbers.

American tenor Vale Rideout has garnered critical acclaim for his musical artistry and superb stagecraft throughout the United States and Europe. Possessed of both a beautiful instrument and an ability to consistently deliver passionate, energetic performances, he is equally in demand for leading tenor roles from the standard repertory to contemporary premiere works. Vale Rideout's engagements in the 2009-10 season include Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw with Boston Lyric Opera, Shallard in Elmer Gantry with Florentine Opera, Roderick in Glass' The Fall of the House of Usher with Nashville Opera Association, Alfredo in La traviata with Pacific Opera Victoria, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Palm Beach Opera, Egeo in Cavalli's Giasone with Chicago Opera Theatre, as soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in "A Christmas Celebration," and in Vaughan Williams' "Hodie" with Highland Park United Methodist Church. His engagements in 2008-09 included his debut with the New York Philharmonic and the continuation of his ongoing collaboration with Lorin Maazel in Britten's War Requiem; the roles of Nadir in Les Pêcheurs des perles with Opera Columbus; the title role in Faust with Opera Tampa; Sam in Susannah with Mobile Opera; Gernando in Haydn's L'isola disabitata with Gotham Chamber Opera; Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Central City Opera; and Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance at the Chautauqua Institution. On the concert stage he performed Carmina Burana with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; the world premiere of Steven Stucky's August 4, 1964 with Dallas Symphony; and Messiah with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.

Mezzo-soprano Krysty Swann is the recipient of the New York City Opera 2009 Richard F. Gold Career Grant and the 2008 Intermezzo Foundation Award, given by the prestigious Elardo International Opera Competition. Other recent awards include the Silver Prize with Opera Index and a Licia Albanese- Puccini Foundation grant for 2006-07 and 2008-09. Krysty Swann recently covered the title role of Margaret Garner in the New York premiere of Richard Danielpour's opera with New York City Opera and made her Avery Fisher Hall debut in Verdi's Requiem. In addition, she joined the roster of Opera Orchestra of New York for performances of Puccini's Edgar under Eve Queler. Ms. Swann has also appeared with Michigan Opera Theatre and the International Vocal Arts Institute, Israel. This past season, Ms. Swann appeared as Emilia in Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin's The Firebrand of Florence with The Collegiate Chorale conducted by Ted Sperling and an opera gala concert with Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Swan also participated in various outreach programs with New York City Opera. In the 2009-10 season, she will return to the New York City Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly.

The American Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski. Under the music direction of Leon Botstein since 1992, the American Symphony has pioneered the performance of thematically organized concerts, linking music to the visual arts, literature, politics, and history. In addition, the American Symphony Orchestra performs in a lecture/concert series with audience interaction called Classics Declassified at Peter Norton Symphony Space. It is also the resident orchestra of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where it performs an annual concert series as well as in Bard's annual SummerScape Festival and the Bard Music Festival. ASO maintains an award-winning music education program which is presented at numerous high schools through New York, New Jersey, and Long Island. Among the American Symphony's recent recordings are music by Copland, Sessions, Perle, and Rands for New World Records, and music of Ernst von Dohnányi for Bridge Records. Its recording of Richard Strauss's opera Die ägyptische Helena with Deborah Voigt and of Strauss's Die Liebe der Danae were made for Telarc. Other recordings with Leon Botstein include Franz Schubert: Orchestrated on the Koch International label, with works by Joachim, Mottl, and Webern, and, on the Vanguard Classics label, Johannes Brahms's Serenade No. 1 in D major, Op. 11 (1860). The American Symphony inaugurated São Paolo's new concert hall and has made several tours of Asia and Europe. It has performed with the Peer Gynt Theater Company of Norway in Central Park, and has a long history of appearing in charitable and public benefits for such organizations as Sha'are Zedek Hospital, the Jerusalem Foundation, and PBS. The American Symphony Orchestra has had an illustrious history of music directors and guest conductors. Succeeding Leopold Stokowski, who directed the Orchestra from 1962 to 1972, were Kazuyoshi Akiyama (1973-1978), Sergiu Comissiona (1978-1982), Moshe Atzmon and Guiseppe Patane (co-directors 1982-1984), John Mauceri (1985-1987), and Catherine Comet (1990-1992). Notable guest conductors have included Leonard Bernstein, Karl Böhm, Aaron Copland, Morton Gould, Aram Khachaturian, James Levine, André Previn, Yehudi Menuhin, James de Priest, Gunther Schuller, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Sir William Walton.

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS FOR THE CHORALE'S 2009-10 SEASON
For season subscriptions please contact The Chorale office at 646.202.9623 or visit www.collegiatechorale.org.

OPERA-IN-CONCERT / AMERICAN MASTERS
The Grapes of Wrath at Carnegie Hall
Monday, March 22, 2010 at 8pm
Music by Ricky Ian Gordon
Libretto by Michael Korie

featuring
Jane Fonda - Narrator
Nathan Gunn - Tom Joad
Victoria Clark - Ma Joad
Elizabeth Futral - Rosasharn
Anthony Dean Griffey - Jim Casy
Peter Halverson - Pa Joad
Stephen Powell - Uncle John
Andrew Wilkowske - Noah
Steven Pasquale - Al
Christine Ebersole - Mae/Waitress
Matthew Worth - Ragged Man/Connie Rivers/Truck Driver
Madelyn Gunn - Ruthie

American Symphony Orchestra
Ted Sperling, Conductor
Eric Simonson, Director
Frances Aronson, Lighting Designer
Wendall Harrington, Projection Designer


CHORAL CLASSIC
Israel in Egypt at Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 8pm
Music by George F. Handel

featuring
Sari Gruber, soprano
Brian Asawa, alto
Rufus Muller, tenor

The American Symphony Orchestra
James Bagwell, Conductor

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