New Jersey Symphony to Present Mendelssohn's 'Italian' Symphony, 3/8-10

Related: New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn, Italian Symphony

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony on a program that also features gems from the Italian opera repertoire, including arias by Verdi, Bellini and Donizetti, along with Puccini's Chrysanthemums and Rossini's The Italian Girl in Algiers Overture. Soprano Joanna Mongiardo returns to the NJSO stage to perform the aria selections; Marcelo Lehninger conducts.

"Mendelssohn had this quality to be able to describe the essence of things," says NJSO Music Director Jacques Lacombe. "The 'Italian' Symphony is so fresh and so joyful with these typical Italian rhythms [that are] almost like dances. [It seemed natural] to pair the symphony with some of the greatest arias written for coloratura soprano-Italy is a country that sings."

Of the bel canto style featured in the arias on the program, Lacombe says: "Those composers knew how to write a phrase for the voice and to choose which vowel fit best with which note-[the music] is so perfect. Mendelssohn- despite the fact that he was a Romantic-era composer-had something of a classical aspect to his music: light, pure rhythms and very defined structure. You find all of those qualities in these arias, too."

Performances take place on Friday, March 8, (7:30 pm) at the War Memorial in Trenton, Saturday, March 9, (8 pm) at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank and Sunday, March 10, (3 pm) at bergenPAC in Englewood. A Classical Conversation begins one hour before the performances on March 9 in Red Bank and March 10 in Englewood.

Tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase online at www.njsymphony.org or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).

THE PROGRAM

MENDELSSOHN'S "ITALIAN"

Friday, March 8 at 7:30 pm | War Memorial in Trenton Saturday, March 9 at 8 pm | Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank + Sunday, March 10 at 3 pm | bergenPAC in Englewood +

Marcelo Lehninger, conductor Joanna Mongiardo, soprano New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

ROSSINI The Italian Girl in Algiers Overture
VERDI "Caro nome" from Rigoletto
VERDI "E strano" and "Ah, fors'è lui" from La traviata PUCCINI Chrysanthemums
BELLINI "Ah! non credea mirarti" from La Sonnambula DONIZETTI "O luce di quest'anima" from Linda di Chamounix MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 4, "Italian"

+ Classical Conversation begins one hour prior to the performance (free to ticketholders).

The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey is concert sponsor of the March 9 performance.

THE ARTISTS

Marcelo Lehninger, conductor

Marcelo Lehninger, Music Director of the New West Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles, is increasingly recognized as one of the most gifted conductors of his generation. Selected by James Levine to be Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), the Brazil native's tenure was extended through 2013.

Lehninger made his BSO debut in 2010; highlights have included the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle's Violin Concerto and his Tanglewood debut. The New York Times praised his "impressive technique, musical insight and youthful energy" in his Carnegie Hall debut with the BSO.

He has conducted the Houston, National, Hartford, Fairfax and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestras. Upcoming appearances include return engagements with the Brazilian and São Paulo Symphony Orchestras, Minas Gerais and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as debuts with the Florida and Seattle Symphonies and Deutsches Symphonie Orchester at the Philharmonie in Berlin.




More On: Count Basie, James Levine, Harrison Birtwistle, Carnegie Hall, Kurt Masur, Felix Mendelssohn, New York Philharmonic,

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