Oratorio Society of New York to Open 141st Season at Carnegie Hall, 11/4
Soprano Jennifer Zetlan performs the role of Rebecca in the U.S. premiere engagement of Nico Muhly's Two Boys at the Metropolitan Opera this fall. She has also performed with the New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Florida Grand Opera, and performed the role of Zina in the world premiere of Nico Muhly's Dark Sisters with Gotham Chamber Opera and Opera Company of Philadelphia. Of a recent recital, the New York Times said, "Ms. Zetlan's finely structured, fresh and luminous voice would be enough to ensure her growing popularity on the concert stage. . . . But on Thursday she presented herself above all as a singing actress who combines a lively curiosity and playful disposition with serious attention to text." www.jenniferzetlan.com
Rising young mezzo-soprano Jennifer Feinstein has been likened by the Los Angeles Times to "a young Horne, so rich is her mezzo and so full of spark was she on stage." This season she performs with Symphoria (under Jose-Luis Novo) in Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky; in 2012-13 she was soloist in John Cage's "Solo for Voice No. 30" from Songbooks with the American Symphony Orchestra. www.jenniferfeinsteinmezzo.com
Tenor Aaron Blake, touted as "a vocal powerhouse" by the Los Angeles Times, recently made his Washington National Opera debut in their production of Anna Bolena, as well as debuts as Tamino with Opera Birmingham and as Don Ottavio with Cincinnati Opera. www.aaronblaketenor.com
Baritone Sidney Outlaw recently made his first operatic recording for Naxos Records: Milhaud's Oresteia of Aeschylus in its entirety, singing the role of Apollo. Mr. Outlaw was seen last seen with the New York Philharmonic in Dallapiccola's Il prigioniero. He was a featured recitalist with Warren Jones at Carnegie Hall and sang the title role in Mendelssohn's Elijah with the New York Choral Society. http://sidneyoutlaw.com
Bass Soloman Howard performed the title role in the premiere production of Approaching Ali this past summer with the Washington National Opera, about which the Washington Post said, "At the center of the opera was a juicy role for the accomplished young bass Soloman Howard, a Washington native who gave powerful voice to Muhammad Ali with equal parts humor and proud bluster." Howard is in his third year of WNO's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. This season with WNO he appears as Alcade of Hornachuelos in The Force of Destiny and Sarastro in The Magic Flute, and he will also sing the role of Colline in La Bohème at Opera North Carolina. Last season at WNO he also appeared as Joe in Show Boat and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni.
"The Oratorio Society has held the line for choral grandeur," said The New York Times of the Society's performance of Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall in 2008. Since its founding in 1873, the OSNY, New York's own 200-voice avocational chorus, has become the city's standard for grand, joyous choral performance. Since 2005 the chorus has been led by Music Director Kent Tritle, called "New York City's foremost choral conductor" by Time Out New York. "The sheer energy of the Society's sound had an enveloping fervor," wrote Allan Kozinn in the New York Times of a 2008 presentation of Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem; and of a 2005 performance of Messiah, Jeremy Eichler said in the Times, "this was . . . a vibrant and deeply human performance, made exciting by the sheer heft and depth of the chorus's sound."
The Oratorio Society has performed the world, U.S., or New York premieres of works as diverse as Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem (1877), Berlioz' Roméo et Juliette (1882), a full-concert production of Wagner's Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera House (1886), Tchaikovsky's a cappellaLegend and Pater noster (1891) and Eugene Onegin (1908), the now-standard version of The Star Spangled Banner (1917; it became the national anthem in 1931), Bach's B-minor Mass (1927), Dvoràk's St. Ludmila (1993), Britten's The World of the Spirit (1998), Juraj Filas' Song of Solomon(2012), and Paul Moravec's Blizzard Voices (2013), as well as works by Handel, Liszt, Schütz, Schubert, Debussy, Elgar, and Saint Saëns, among others. On its 100th anniversary the Oratorio Society received the Handel Medallion, New York City's highest cultural award, in recognition of these contributions. www.oratoriosocietyofny.org