MasterVoices – 75th Anniversary Season
Event on 2016-12-05 20:00:00
75th Anniversary Season
New York Premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27
Featuring Stephanie Blythe, Heidi Stober,
Theo Lebow, Tobias Greenhalgh, and Daniel Brevik
With Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. John Passion
Featuring Michael Slattery, Jesse Blumberg, Latonia Moore,
Tamara Mumford, and Ben Bliss
With New York Baroque Incorporated
Victor Herbert’s Babes in Toyland
Featuring Kelli O’Hara, Bill Irwin, Lauren Worsham, and Christopher Fitzgerald
With Orchestra of St. Luke’s
New York, NY – New York City’s famed MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale) – founded in 1941 by legendary conductor Robert Shaw – will celebrate its 75th anniversary during the 2016-2017 season. The Anniversary Season begins in October with the New York premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27 – specially adapted for MasterVoices – followed by Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. John Passion in February, and concludes with Victor Herbert’s Babes in Toyland in April.
Following this past season’s successful partnership with New York City Center, MasterVoices is pleased to return there for the New York premiere of 27. A new English translation of the St. John Passion and the first major revival of Babes in Toyland in New York City in over 85 years will be performed at Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall.
MasterVoices is very pleased to announce that Ted Sperling has renewed his contract as Artistic Director of MasterVoices through 2019. He will conduct all three productions in MasterVoices’ Anniversary Season.
“MasterVoices will celebrate its 75th Anniversary by presenting New York audiences with a season that honors our history of exceptional music-making, continuing our tradition of presenting a broad range of repertoire, ranging from opera to choral classics to musical theatre” said Ted Sperling, Artistic Director of MasterVoices. “This season will showcase our commitment to innovative musical storytelling with fresh and captivating productions that bring our chorus together with world-renowned artists and up-and-coming talents at two of the city’s most prestigious venues, New York City Center and Carnegie Hall.”
MASTERVOICES’ 75TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
Music by Ricky Ian Gordon and libretto by Royce Vavrek
Featuring Stephanie Blythe, Heidi Stober, Theo Lebow, Tobias Greenhalgh, and Daniel Brevik
MasterVoices, with Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Directed by James Robinson
Conducted by Ted Sperling
October 20 & 21, 2016 at 8pm
New York City Center
27 explores the relationship between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, who hosted regular salon evenings at their Paris home at 27 Rue de Fleurus, with such guests as Pablo Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Man Ray, Henri Matisse and Ernest Hemingway. Commissioned by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, 27 received its world premiere in June 2014. For the New York Premiere, Ricky Ian Gordon has specially added new sections for the MasterVoices chorus.
“MasterVoices is delighted to provide New York audiences with the opportunity to hear the singular Stephanie Blythe recreate the role of Gertrude Stein and to be working with the radiant Heidi Stober (Alice B. Toklas) for the first time. 27 is not only a celebration of the influence that Gertrude Stein had on her contemporary artist friends; it’s also an expression of the love and devotion Alice B. Toklas felt towards Gertrude, and her desire to be recognized as her wife in an era where that was not possible. It could not be a better time to remind ourselves of the timelessness of this struggle and what it means for us today.” – Ted Sperling, Artistic Director
27 tickets (-0) are on sale at New York City Center (nycitycenter.org | CityTix® 212-581-1212 | Box Office at 131 W. 55th St.). MasterVoices Members are entitled to pre-sale access and discounts during the 2016-17 season. For tickets and more information, visit mastervoices.org.
MasterVoices’ Annual Fall Gala is on October 20, 2016. Tickets include pre-concert cocktails and dinner at the University Club, preferred seating for “27”, and a post-concert reception at City Center with artists. For more information, call 646-435-9052.
St. John Passion
By Johann Sebastian Bach
Featuring Michael Slattery, Jesse Blumberg, Latonia Moore, Tamara Mumford, and Ben Bliss
MasterVoices, with New York Baroque Incorporated
Conducted by Ted Sperling
February 9, 2017 at 7pm
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Bach's St. John Passion is considered by many to be more dramatic and expressive than his popular St. Matthew Passion. Based on text from the Gospel of St. John, Bach’s choral masterpiece reflects on the last days of Christ. To pay tribute to MasterVoices’ founder Robert Shaw, who held the belief that the Passions should speak directly to audiences in English, and that these concerts should be communal experiences, the performance will be given in a modern-day English translation, and MasterVoices will invite the audience to sing along with the chorales, filling Carnegie Hall with music from all directions.
“In looking for a major choral work for MasterVoices to perform as part of its 75th Anniversary Season, I was drawn to the St. John Passion not only because of its vivid storytelling, but also because it has been a personal favorite of mine from the time I was a teenager. I am drawn to the idea of performing the work in English, as its original audience would have understood every word, and I’d like ours to do the same. I look forward to inviting our audience to learn and join us in singing the chorales, just as they may have done in the original performances.” – Ted Sperling, Artistic Director
St. John Passion tickets (-0) will go on sale to the general public on November 14 at Carnegie Hall (carnegiehall.org | CarnegieCharge 212-247-7800 | Box Office at 57th and Seventh). MasterVoices Members are entitled to pre-sale access and discounts. For tickets and more information, visit mastervoices.org.
Babes in Toyland
Music by Victor Herbert and libretto by Glen MacDonough
Featuring Kelli O’Hara, Bill Irwin, Lauren Worsham, and Christopher Fitzgerald
MasterVoices, with Orchestra of St. Luke's
Conducted by Ted Sperling
April 27, 2017 at 7pm
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
A huge hit when it premiered in New York in 1903, Victor Herbert’s Babes in Toyland hasn’t seen a major revival in New York City in over 85 years. Full of glorious melodies, Babes in Toyland tells a story that is both amusing and scary: villainous Uncle Barnaby plots the deaths of his young niece and nephew, Alan and Jane, in order to gain their inheritance. After many twists and turns, the siblings, with the help of several Mother Goose characters, thwart his efforts and bring happiness back to Toyland. MasterVoices will present the original score in its full orchestration, giving the audience a rare chance to experience this musical extravaganza afresh.
“Victor Herbert was by far the most popular and successful composer in America at the turn of the 20th Century – not just ‘Andrew Lloyd Webber successful,’ but ‘Beatles popular!’ His music for Babes in Toyland is widely considered among his very best, with familiar titles like ‘Toyland’ and ‘The March of the Toys,’ and also stirring instrumental pieces to accompany shipwrecks, attacks by giant spiders, and the making of deadly potions. As James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim did many years later with Into the Woods, librettist Glen MacDonough and Victor Herbert invent two new characters, in this case the siblings Alan and Jane, as the protagonists who interact with familiar Mother Goose characters, including Contrary Mary, Tom-Tom the Piper’s Son, Jack and Jill, Little Bo-Peep and Mother Hubbard.” – Ted Sperling, Artistic Director
Babes in Toyland tickets (-0) will go on sale to the general public on November 14 at Carnegie Hall (carnegiehall.org | CarnegieCharge 212-247-7800 | Box Office at 57th and Seventh). MasterVoices Members are entitled to pre-sale access and discounts. For tickets and more information, visit mastervoices.org.
The MasterVoices’ 2016-17 season is made possible by The Geier Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
MASTERVOICES ABOUT TOWN
MasterVoices will collaborate with American Lyric Theater and Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post for additional appearances in the 2016-17 season.
The Halloween Tree
A concert of a new opera in development, with music by Theo Popov and libretto by Tony Asaro, based on the novel by Ray Bradbury
Presented by American Lyric Theater and Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center
October 30, 2016 at Merkin Concert Hall
For more information and tickets, visit altnyc.org
The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing
Concert of a new opera in development, with music by Justine F. Chen and libretto by David Simpatico
Presented by American Lyric Theater
January 12, 2017 at Merkin Concert Hall
For more information and tickets, visit altnyc.org
Babes in Toyland at Tilles Center
MasterVoices will reprise Babes in Toyland
April 29, 2017 at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post, Brookville, NY
For more information and tickets, visit tillescenter.org
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Ted Sperling has maintained an active and successful career in the theater and concert worlds for over thirty years. A multi-faceted artist, he is a director, music director, conductor, orchestrator, singer, pianist, violinist and violist. He is the Artistic Director of MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale) and Principal Conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic. Mr. Sperling won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza, for which he was also music director. Other Broadway credits as music director/conductor/pianist include the rapturously received revivals of Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I and South Pacific; Guys and Dolls, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Angels in America, My Favorite Year, Falsettos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Les Misérables, Roza, and Sunday in the Park with George. Mr. Sperling was also an original cast member of the Broadway musical Titanic. Mr. Sperling has an active concert career, working with many major symphony orchestras, and singers Audra McDonald, Victoria Clark, Patti LuPone, Kelli O’Hara, Nathan Gunn, Idina Menzel, Paulo Szot and Deborah Voigt. For more, visit tedsperling.net.
MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale) was founded in 1941 by the legendary American choral conductor Robert Shaw, and is currently under the artistic direction of Ted Sperling. For 75 years, the company has presented varied programming, with emphasis in three areas: choral masterpieces, operas in concert, and musical theater. Choral classics performed by MasterVoices have included Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion, Brahms’ Requiem, Britten’s War Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Verdi’s Requiem. The company has presented several important premieres, including the U.S. premieres of Dvorak’s Dmitri and Handel’s Jupiter in Argos, and the NY premieres of Respighi’s La Fiamma, Glass’s The Juniper Tree, and Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath. Other rarely heard operas presented in concert have included Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans, Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon, and Joplin’s Treemonisha. Throughout its history, MasterVoices has specialized in presenting rarely heard works of musical theater and standard works with a fresh approach, including Bernstein’s A White House Cantata, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Weill’s The Firebrand of Florence, Knickerbocker Holiday, and the world premiere of a concert version of The Road of Promise.
MasterVoices has performed in prominent NYC concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, New York City Center, and Geffen Hall, under the batons of many esteemed conductors, including Serge Koussevitzky, Arturo Toscanini, Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, and Alan Gilbert. The company has also attracted many world-class soloists, including Bryn Terfel, René Pape, Stephanie Blythe, Deborah Voigt, Eric Owens, Thomas Hampson, Kelli O’Hara, Paulo Szot and Victoria Clark. Because of its reputation of excellence, MasterVoices has been hired to perform with many top orchestras over the years, including the NBC Symphony, The New York Philharmonic and The Israel Philharmonic, and has been invited to appear abroad in Israel and at the Verbier and Salzburg festivals.
In August 2015, the company transitioned from The Collegiate Chorale to MasterVoices, a name that better represents the current mission of the company as a performing arts organization that celebrates storytelling through the masterful voices of its chorus and world-class soloists, and the creative voices of composers, librettists, designers and directors. For more information, visit mastervoices.org. Connect with MasterVoices on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@mastervoicesny).
Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) is one of America’s most versatile and distinguished orchestras, collaborating with the world’s greatest artists and performing approximately 80 concerts each year—including its Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series, Chamber Music Series at The Morgan Library & Museum and Brooklyn Museum, and summer residency at Caramoor Music Festival. In its 41-year history, OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works, has given more than 175 world, U.S., and New York City premieres; and has appeared on more than 100 recordings, including four Grammy Award winners and seven releases on its own label, St. Luke’s Collection. Pablo Heras-Casado is OSL’s principal conductor. OSL grew out of a chamber ensemble that began giving concerts at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village in 1974. Today, the 21 virtuoso artists of St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble make up OSL’s artistic core. OSL owns and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Midtown Manhattan, where it shares a building with the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The DiMenna Center is New York City’s premier venue for rehearsal, recording, and learning, having quickly gained a reputation for its superb acoustics, state-of-the-art facilities, and affordability. Since opening in 2011, The DiMenna Center has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors, including more than 400 ensembles and artists such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, James Taylor, and Sting. OSL hosts hundreds of neighbors, families, and school children at its home each year for free community events. Through its Education & Community programs, OSL has introduced audiences across New York City to live classical music. OSL brings free chamber concerts to the five boroughs; offers free interactive music programs at The DiMenna Center; provides chamber music coaching for adult amateurs; and engages 10,000 public school students each year through its Free School Concerts. In 2013, OSL launched Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL), an intensive in- and after-school instrumental coaching program emphasizing musical excellence and social development, in partnership with community organizations and public schools in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.
Renowned opera singer and recitalist, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is considered one of the most highly respected and critically acclaimed artists of her generation. Her repertoire ranges from Handel to Wagner, German lieder to contemporary and classic American song. She has sung in many of the renowned opera houses in the US and Europe including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the Opera National de Paris. Her many roles include the title roles in Carmen, Samson et Dalila , Orfeo ed Euridice, La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein, Tancredi, Mignon, and Giulio Cesare; Frugola, Principessa, and Zita in Il Trittico, Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera, Baba the Turk in The Rake's Progress, Ježibaba in Rusalka, Jocasta in Oedipus Rex, Mere Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites; Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, and Ino/Juno in Semele. She also created the role of Gertrude Stein in Ricky Ian Gordon's 27 at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Next season she returns to Opera Philadelphia for the title role in Tancredi, brings her acclaimed performance of Gertrude Stein in Ricky Ian Gordon's 27 to New York's City Center, and returns to Palm Beach as Ruth in performances of The Pirates of Penzance. Ms. Blythe was named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year for 2009. Her other awards include the 2007 Opera News Award and the 1999 Richard Tucker Award. Her recordings include her solo album, as long as there are songs (Innova), and works by Mahler, Brahms, Wagner, Handel and Bach (Virgin Classics). She is also the Artistic Director of the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar at the Crane School of Music. For more, visit http://www.stephanieblythemezzo.com.
Stunning audiences with her sterling lyric soprano voice and incisive stage personality, American soprano Heidi Stober has established herself as a house favorite with leading companies on both sides of the Atlantic. Since her critically acclaimed debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin in the fall of 2008, Ms. Stober has cultivated a long standing relationship with the company, going on to appear in a variety of leading roles including Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Micaëla in Carmen, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Adina in a new production of L’elisir d’amore, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Nannetta in Falstaff, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Princess Ninette in Robert Carsen’s new production of Prokofiev’s L’Amour des Trois Oranges. Heidi’s professional training took place at the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and she holds degrees from Lawrence University and the New England Conservatory. For more, visit: http://www.heidistober.com.
Tenor Theo Lebow began 2015 with a very successful return to Seattle Opera as Jupiter and Apollo in Handel’s Semele. The Seattle Times praised him for his “Tonal beauty, alacrity, and commendable passagework.” In the spring of 2015, Mr. Lebow sang a wide variety of concert and recital engagements, including a debut with The German Forum, and a return to The New York Festival of Song for concerts at both Merkin Hall, New York City, and Washington DC’s Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. He also sang Schubert’s Die Winterreise at the Gretna Music Festival with the Henschel String Quartet, a performance later broadcast on NPR. A notable success was Mr. Lebow’s debut in May 2014 with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the roles of Picasso and F. Scott Fitzgerald in the World Premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s opera 27. The opera has since been recorded on Albany Records. For more, visit http://www.kenbensonartists.com/roster/artist/theo-lebow.
Baritone Tobias Greenhalgh is a versatile singer on the rise, whom Opera News recently claimed was “so clearly headed for success.” Most recent credits include the title role in Eugene Onegin, Argante in Rinaldo, Cecco in Gli Uccelatori, Le Directeur/ Gendarme in Les Mamelles de Tiresias, and Ramiro in L’heure Espagnole at the Wiener Kammeroper in Vienna. Tobias also sang the role of Schaunard in La bohème with Palm Beach Opera and Argante in Rinaldo at the New Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. Upcoming engagements include Carmina Burana with the Noord Nederlands Orkest, a leading role in an upcoming production for the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus at the Franz Lehàr Festival at Bad Ischl, Ned Keene in Peter Grimes and Littore/Tribune in L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Theater an der Wien, Escamillo in Carmen, The Father in Hansel and Gretel at the Wiener Kammeroper, and Morales in Carmen with Palm Beach Opera. As a Gerdine Young Artist at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, he created the roles of Leo Stein and Man Ray in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27. He is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School, from which he earned both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees. For more, visit: http://tobiasgreenhalgh.com.
Bass-baritone, Daniel Brevik, raised in the small town of Holliston, Massachusetts, grew up playing football, delivering newspapers and singing Sinatra tunes. During his studies at Plymouth State University, Brevik started singing with the Chamber Singers, and under the superb direction of Dr. Daniel Perkins, toured the U.S., Vietnam, and Italy. The New England Conservatory soon awarded him the Wendy Shattuck Presidential Scholarship for his studies in opera. Although his experience in opera was limited, his coaches and teachers, combined with hard work, helped him learn fast. After receiving his masters from NEC, Danny was hired as a member of the 2013 Gerdine Young Artist program at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. There he proved a stand-out during his first engagement with the company and was rehired as the “Android” for OTSL’s The Very Last Green Thing. OTSL later asked him to become a soloist in their artist-in-residence program where he showcased his skills in Opera, Musical Theater, Jazz, Country Music and R&B at schools around St. Louis. In 2014, he premiered the roles of Henri Matisse and Ernest Hemmingway in Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27. Brevik brought his special blend of music, travel and song to Moldavia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand in his quest to spread the joy of music to third world countries. For more, visit: http://dannybrevik.wix.com.
American stage director James Robinson is Artistic Director at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where he has mounted productions including Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (American premiere), Ash’s The Golden Ticket (world premiere), Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles (also presented at the Wexford Festival), and Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer and Nixon in China (a production seen throughout the United States and Canada). Elsewhere, Robinson has directed new productions for Houston Grand Opera (Lucia di Lammermoor, Giulio Cesare and Abduction from the Seraglio), San Francisco Opera (Norma, Il trittico and L’elisir d’amore) and the Canadian Opera Company (Norma, Elektra and Nixon in China). For the Santa Fe Opera, he has directed new productions of Capriccio, Così fan tutte and The Rake’s Progress, and numerous productions for the New York City Opera (La bohème, Hansel and Gretel and Il viaggio a Reims). His work has also been seen at the Australian Opera, Washington National Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, the Seattle Opera, the Royal Swedish Opera, the Dallas Opera, the Minnesota Opera and Chicago Opera Theater. Additionally, he has created productions for the London Symphony Orchestra (Bernstein’s Mass and Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher), the Hollywood Bowl (Amadeus), Carnegie Hall, and the Minnesota Orchestra. Future plans include a revival of Dr Sun Yat Sen and collaborations with Washington National Opera and Houston Grand Opera. For more, visit: http://www.rayfieldallied.com/artists/james-robinson/
Michael Slattery made his unforgettable New York Philharmonic debut in November 2013, stepping in at the last minute to sing the Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings for the Philharmonic’s celebrations of Benjamin Britten’s 100th birthday. “It could not have been more triumphant," wrote The Examiner, "Brilliantly acted, his performance was bursting with spirit as he trumpeted his arrival. He took his bows to an enthusiastic audience who welcomed him with thunderous applause.” Slattery rejoined the Philharmonic in their 2014-15 season as the tenor soloist in Handel's Messiah. Career highlights include the title role in Bernstein’s Candide at Royal Festival Hall in London; The Very Best of Lerner & Loewe with Kelli O'Hara, Paolo Szot, and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall; J.S. Bach’s B-minor Masswith Iván Fischer and the National Symphony Orchestra; Peter Sellars’Tristan Project with Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Philip Glass’s Akhnaten with John Adams- both with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; and the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 at the Berlin Staatsoper. Mr. Slattery has performed at the Edinburgh, Spoleto, Holland, Athens, Aspen Music, Mostly Mozart, and Williamstown Theater Festivals; and has been a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestras, the Houston, Charlotte, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Pacific, and Kansas City Symphonies, among many others. For more, visit http://michaelslattery.com.
Baritone Jesse Blumberg enjoys a busy schedule of opera, concerts, and recitals, performing repertoire from the Renaissance and Baroque to the 20th and 21st centuries. His performances have included the world premiere of The Grapes of Wrath at Minnesota Opera, Bernstein’s MASS at London’s Royal Festival Hall, various productions with Boston Early Music Festival, and featured roles with Atlanta Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Utah Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera. Recital highlights include appearances with the Marilyn Horne Foundation, New York Festival of Song, and Mirror Visions Ensemble. He has performed major concert works with American Bach Soloists, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Boston Baroque, Oratorio Society of New York, Apollo’s Fire, and on Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series. His current season includes debuts at Arion Baroque, Early Music Vancouver, and Opera Atelier, guest appearances with the baroque string band ACRONYM, and leading roles at the 2017 Boston Early Music Festival. Jesse has been featured on a dozen commercial recordings, including the 2015 Grammy-winning Charpentier Chamber Operas with Boston Early Music Festival. He has been recognized in several competitions, and was awarded Third Prize at the 2008 International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau, becoming its first American prizewinner in over thirty years. Jesse holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and is also the founder of Five Boroughs Music Festival, which brings chamber music of many genres to every corner of New York City. For more, visit www.jesseblumberg.com.
Latonia Moore is an American soprano of African-American ancestry. She first studied gospel and jazz, until one of her teachers at the University of North Texas convinced her to study classical music. Moore made her debut in 1998 at the Palm Beach Opera in West Palm Beach, and was engaged as a student in the same year at the Houston Ebony Opera. In 2000 she won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Moore attracted critical praise for her 2008 performance with the Opera Orchestra of New York in Puccini’s Edgar. In March 2012, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as a late replacement for Violeta Urmana on short notice as Aïda in a live broadcast. Moore is featured on commercial recordings of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Deutsche Grammophon) and of Verdi’s Macbeth (sung in English, Chandos). In January 2016, Moore performed for the newly revived New York City Opera in Puccini’s Tosca at the Rose Theater in Lincoln Center. In April 2016, she sang the lead role of Cio-Cio San in San Diego Opera’s performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, garnering critical recognition for her acting, her “rich, supple and multi-octave soprano voice” and vocal interpretation.
This season, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford appears in the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Kajia Saariaho's L'amour de loin and appears in concert with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, and the Simón Bolívar Orchestra on tour in Europe. A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Ms. Mumford made her debut there as Laura in Luisa Miller, and has since appeared in more than 140 performances with the company. She has also appeared at the Dallas Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Glyndebourne Opera Festival and the BBC Proms. In concert, she has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, and Milwaukee symphony orchestras; the Hollywood Bowl, and the Ravinia, Tanglewood, Grand Teton, Vail, and La Jolla Summer Music festivals. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2005 as part of the Richard Goode and friends concert series in Zankel Hall, and has been presented in recital in New York by both the Marilyn Horne Foundation and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in Philadelphia by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
American tenor Ben Bliss is a 2016 recipient of the Martin E. Segal award at Lincoln Center, awarded by the Metropolitan Opera. He was also the recipient of the Mozart and Plácido Domingo awards at the 2015 Francisco Viñas International Competition in Barcelona, receiving 2nd place overall, first prize in the 2014 Gerda Lissner and Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation competitions, as well as a Sara Tucker and Sullivan Foundation grant. Mr. Bliss is also the 2013 Operalia Don Plácido Domingo Sr. Zarzuela prizewinner. Ben Bliss’ 2016-2017 season includes a US recital tour with pianist Lachlan Glen, with stops at Carnegie Hall, the Folly Theater in Kansas City as part of the Harriman-Jewell series, Theater of the Arts at the University of District of Columbia as part of the Vocal Arts DC Emerging Artists series, Hahn Hall at Music Academy of the West as part of the University of California, Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures series, and in Cincinnati with Matinée Musicale. Operatic appearances for Mr. Bliss include a return to the Metropolitan Opera, first as Tamino in The Magic Flute and then as Steuermann in Der Fliegende Höllander, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Other opera appearances include Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Atlanta Opera, Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress for a role and house debut with Boston Lyric Opera and Camille, Count de Rosillon in Die lustige Witwe in concert for his house and role debut with the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.
New York Baroque Incorporated (NYBI) is a conductorless orchestra on period instruments in New York City, bringing vital, informed, and fresh performances of a wide range of 17th and 18th-century repertoire, and creating a vibrant landscape for collaborations between historical performance and living composers. Since its creation, NYBI has received critical praise for its energy, virtuosity and entrepreneurship, and was lauded by The New York Times for its "do-it-yourself spirit.” For upcoming events and more information about NYBI, visit www.nybaroque.org.
Kelli O’Hara has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway’s great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of The King and I garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics nominations. Recently, Ms. O’Hara starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC’s live telecast of “Peter Pan” alongside Allison Williams and Christian Borle and made her Metropolitan Opera debut in The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming. Other Broadway credits include The Bridges of Madison County (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), Pajama Game (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Light in the Piazza (Tony & Drama Desk nominations), Sweet Smell of Success, Follies, Dracula, and Jekyll & Hyde. Regional/Off Broadway credits include Far From Heaven (Playwrights Horizons and WTF), King Lear (Public Theater), Bells Are Ringing (City Center Encores), Sunday in the Park with George (Reprise), and My Life With Albertine (Playwright’s Horizons). Concerts span from Carnegie Hall to Capitol Hill. Film and television credits include Masters of Sex, Sex & The City 2, Martin Scorsese’s The Key to Reserva, Blue Bloods, Alexander Hamilton, N3mbers, and the animated series Car Talk. She is a frequent performer on PBS’s live telecasts and the Kennedy Center Honors. Her solo albums, Always and Wonder in the World are available on Ghostlight Records.
Bill Irwin is an original member of Kraken and San Francisco's Pickle Family Circus, and his original works include Fool Moon, Largely New York, The Harlequin Studies, Mr. Fox: A Rumination, The Happiness Lecture, and The Regard of Flight. He was the Playwright in Residence for Signature Theatre in 2003-2004. His theatre credits include: Old Hats, Show Boat (SF Opera), Endgame, Bye Bye Birdie, Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Waiting for Godot (2009 Drama Desk Nomination), the Broadway/West End revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (2005 Tony Award, Helen Hayes Award), The Goat or Who is Sylvia, King Lear, Accidental Death of An Anarchist, 5-6-7-8 Dance!, Waiting For Godot at Lincoln Center, Scapin, The Tempest, Garden of Earthly Delights, Texts for Nothing, A Flea In Her Ear, The Seagull, A Man's A Man, 3 Cuckolds. His television credits include: PBS Great Performances: Bill Irwin, Clown Prince, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Northern Exposure, Sesame Street, Elmo's World, The Regard of Flight, Closing Ceremony of the 1996 Olympic Games, The Cosby Show, The Laramie Project, Subway Stories, Bette Midler: Mondo Beyondo, Law and Order, Life on Mars, A Gifted Man, CSI, The Good Wife, Lights Out, Monday Mornings, Law & Order: SVU, Elementary, Quarry, Sleepy Hollow and the upcoming series Legion on FX. His film credits include: HBO’s Confirmation, Bastards, Interstellar, Identity Theft, Rachel Getting Married, Higher Ground, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Definitely, Maybe; Igby Goes Down, Lady in the Water, Dark Matter, Raving, Across The Universe, Popeye, Eight Men Out, Silent Tongue, Illuminata, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, My Blue Heaven, A New Life, Scenes from a Mall, and Stepping Out. Irwin’s awards include National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer's Fellowship, a Guggenheim, a Fulbright, and a MacArthur Fellowship.
Lauren Worsham is a Drama Desk Award-winning and Tony-nominated actress and singer. She was nominated for a Tony for originating the role of Phoebe in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical). Other favorite roles include Lisa in Dog Days at Montclair Peak Performances, Fort Worth Opera and LA Opera for director Robert Woodruff; Flora in Turn of the Screw at New York City Opera for Sam Buntrock; Amy in Where's Charley for Encores! at New York City Center for John Doyle; Cunegonde in New York City Opera’s Candide, and Olive in the first national tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. In addition to her work in theater and opera, Lauren performs frequently in concerts at such venues as Carnegie Hall, 54 Below, Caramoor, Merkin Hall, Oregon Bach Festival, Joe's Pub, Galapagos Art Space and New York City Opera's VOX Program. Lauren placed second in the Kurt Weill Foundation's Lotte Lenya competition. She is co-founder and executive director of the downtown opera company The Coterie, and is a founding member of the band Sky-Pony. For more, visit http://laurenworsham.com/.
Christopher Fitzgerald’s Broadway credits include: Waitress (Tony nomination; Outer Critics’ Circle Award and Drama Desk Award winner for best featured actor in a musical), An Act of God, The Merchant of Venice, Finian’s Rainbow (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), Young Frankenstein (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), Wicked original cast, Amour (Drama Desk nomination), and Chicago. His Off-Broadway credits include: The Winter’s Tale (Public), Gutenberg! The Musical! (Actors’ Playhouse), Observe the Sons of Ulster… (Lincoln Center), and Die Fledermaus (Metropolitan Opera). Fitzgerald starred opposite Steven Pasquale in DirecTV’s series Almost There. He starred in the film Girl Most Likely opposite Kristen Wiig, and in Max Mutchnick/David Cohan series Twins. He also guest starred on The Good Wife and NBC’s pilot Next Caller with Dane Cook. He makes recurring appearances on Godless for Netflix.
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