New York Choral Society and Orchestra to Present U.S. Debut of Joseph Vella's THE HYLAND MASS
Music Director David Hayes will lead the New York Choral Society and Orchestra (NYChoral) in the United States premiere of Maltese composer Joseph Vella's The Hyland Mass: A Prayer for Unity in Diversity.
The performance will take place at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Wednesday, November 9, 2016, at 7:00pm, and will be presented by the Order of Malta, American Association, (Jack Pohrer, President,) in collaboration with the St. Patrick's Cathedral Choir, Dr. Jennifer Pascual, Music Director.
The distinguished roster of vocal soloists include Kristina Bachrach, soprano; Madeline Healey, soprano, Heather Johnson, mezzo-soprano; Vale Rideout, tenor; Jarrett Ott, baritone; Matthew Anchel, bass, and Carlos Tapia, boy treble.
The full program follows:
Joseph Vella Call to Peace Reveille: A tribute to Irish peace as a way forward for the world (World Premiere)
b. 1942 The Hyland Mass: A Prayer for Unity in Diversity (United States Premiere)
Credo in The Hyland Mass (World Premiere)
Malta Hymn (World Premiere)
Peace Fanfare and Anthem (United States Premiere)
The concert is under the patronage of H.M.E.H the Prince and Grand Master Fra' Matthew Festing of the Order of Malta.
The Hyland Mass was commissioned by New Yorker Christopher Hyland, the internationally celebrated textile designer, as a call to peace and unity for people throughout the world.
The Hyland Mass combines traditional sections of the Latin Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei) with semi-religious texts as well as passages from the Old Testament to highlight the universal theme of the work. Mr. Hyland desired that several poetic texts in various languages be incorporated; thus excerpts by John Donne (English), the Old Testament (Maltese), Niemayer (German), Lamartine (French), and Dante (Italian) are skillfully interwoven.
A distinguished figure in the world-wide design community, Christopher Hyland organized 11 Presidential transition meetings in 1992, and over the years, has used his considerable expertise and influence to speak up on issues such as women's breast cancer, housing, food pantries, shelters, hospitals, schools, halfway houses, credit unions, the central role of design in the economy, libraries, peace in Ireland, the Middle East, the Balkans, and Pakistan/India, and other causes. In his autobiography "My Life," President Clinton writes that Christopher Hyland contributed significantly to his winning the 1992 general election. Mr. Hyland worked tirelessly to put in place the foundation for the Irish Peace Process.
In early 2016, Mr. Hyland stepped forward to unite numerous members of the New York community to quell what was turning into yet another crisis for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade: using his highly persuasive diplomatic skills, Mr. Hyland brought together the leadership of City Hall, the Archdiocese of New York, the St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Irish government, leaders of the Irish-American community, and the LGBT community. As a result, members of these groups attended the parade. Mr. Hyland also proposed that Former United States Senator George J. Mitchell be the 2016 St. Patrick's Day Grand Marshall; in the event, both Senator Mitchell and Mr. Hyland received St. Patrick's Awards in recognition of their efforts for peace in Ireland.
Ruth Dayan (the wife of Moshe Dayan) and Sura Arafat (widow of Yasser Arafat) are on the honorary committee of the Grand Master Peace Concert. Ruth Dayan and Sura Arafat's mother, Raymonda Tawil, have just written a book together: An Improbable Friendship: The Remarkable Lives of Israeli Ruth Dayan and Palestinian Raymonda Tawil and Their Forty-Year Peace Mission.
H.M.E.H the Prince and Grand Master Fra' Matthew Festing of the Order of Malta is the principal patron of the Grand Master Peace Concert. Fra' Festing, who heads arguably the smallest sovereign country in the world, namely The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta, dedicates his life and that of the Order's works to supporting numerous causes, among them the quest to end human trafficking, assist refugees and immigrants, the poor and the ill, and to eradicate H.I.V./AIDS.
The three honorary co-chairmen are: The Honorable Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of the Republic of Malta; The Honorable George J. Mitchell, retired senator from Maine, and His Beatitude Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syrians for the Syriac Catholic Church.
His Eminence, Timothy CardinAl Dolan, Archbishop of New York, is the principal chaplain of the Order of Malta, American Association.
During World War II the small nation of Malta, now led by Prime Minister Muscat, was subjected to round-the-clock bombings from the Axis forces; it has subsequently devoted itself to promoting peace internationally, most recently hosting a multi-nation ministerial conference on immigration and refugees. Prime Minister Muscat sits in the Councils of Europe with equal voting power to that of France, Germany, and Poland.
Former U.S. Senator Mitchell, who famously said, "conflicts are created, conducted, and sustained by human beings; they can be ended by human beings," was named United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland (1995 - 2001) by President Clinton and United States Special Envoy for Middle East Peace (2009 - 2011) by President Obama.
Archbishop Younan has been a tireless champion in support of his own community's heart-wrenching experiences in the Middle East. Yet he is always mindful of the suffering of all parties, of all religions, to the ongoing conflict, and has stated: "Powerful international leaders must apply their principles for democracy through religious liberties on the ground-not (just) in speeches and press conferences and articles".
Joseph Vella, composer and conductor, has seen his considerable body of work performed throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States. Noted for a diversity of styles, his music can loosely be described as belonging to the 20th century neo-classical movement. Some of his compositions show elements of atonality, most notably his String Quartet Op. 33, which was written for and premiered by the Kronos String Quartet.
Mr. Vella was the first to use the Maltese language as a medium in his song cycle Seher, Op. 39, scored for soprano and orchestra. As first resident conductor of the National Orchestra in Malta, Maestro Vella was a pioneer in the exploration of early Maltese music and is credited with being the father of the Maltese revival movement. His research and performances have led to a greater awareness of significant 17th and 18th century Maltese compositions.
Since 1970, Maestro Vella has served as Music Director of the Astra Opera Theatre in Gozo, Malta; he was appointed Associate Professor of Music at the University of Malta in 1994. To date he has written five symphonies, ten concertos, eight song cycles, two cantatas, a very popular work, the Mass in D, Op. 20, as well as numerous smaller compositions. As director of the Malta Choral Society from 1970 to 1982, he introduced to Malta such choral works as Mozart's Requiem, Beethoven's Choral Symphony, Orff's Carmina Burana, Britten's Ballad of Heros, Bruckner's Te Deum, and Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. Maestro Vella has been Artistic Director of the Victoria International Arts Festival for a quarter of a century. The festival is held for a five-week period each summer in the Basilica of St George's and its environs. Mr. Vella received early musical training from his father, became a Fellow of the London College of Music, and was graduated in music from the University of Durham, UK. He did post-graduate studies with Franco Donadoni in Composition and Franco Ferrara in Conducting in Siena, Italy.
Soprano Kristina Bachrach has been gaining wider attention for her stellar performances throughout the United States. Most recently she won the grand prize in the inaugural Zierling Conlon Young Artists Competition and made her role debut as the Princess in Bare Opera NYC's production of Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges. She has appeared in recital in the Masterworks Series at Bargemusic, Brooklyn, at Notre Dame University and with the Cantata Profana Ensemble performing Schoenberg's Second String Quartet in New Haven Ct. She has appeared with
Gotham Chamber Opera and the Lyric Opera of Virginia and has sung Brahms lieder in recitals in New York and Philadelphia. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in Bruckner's Te Deum with the Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra of New York. Having completed residencies with the Nashville Opera and the Tanglewood Music Center, Ms. Bachrach was a featured soloist in Mark Morris' Dance Group's production of Dido and Aeneas. She is a graduate of the Mannes School of Music, New School University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Madeline Apple Healey, soprano, made her Kennedy Center debut in 2014 in a performance of Bernstein's Mass with the Choral Arts Society of Washington. Recent and upcoming engagements include the Russian premiere of Steinberg's Passsion Week with The Clarion Choir and an appearance at Lincoln Center's "White Light Festival" in the U.S. premiere of Here All Night and a performance of Schütz's Musikalische Exequien with the Amherst Early Music Festival. Specializing in early and contemporary repertoire, Ms. Healey has performed with Apollo's Fire in a national tour of Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Virgine, Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri, Bach's Magnificat and St. John Passion, Tarik O'Regan's The Ecstasies Above, Crumb's Apparition and Lang's Little Match Girl Passion. Operatic performances include the role of Olympia in Les Contes d'Hoffman, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, and Minerva in Orpheus in the Underworld. Having recording for the Naxos, Koch, Pro Organo, and Avie labels, Ms. Healey founder "Ampersand," a vocally-based, project-centric ensemble. She is a graduate of Westminster Choir College and Baldwin Wallace University.
Mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson has received critical acclaim for her work on both the opera and concert stage. She has appeared with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall in performances of Berlioz' L'Enfance du Christ, Vivaldi's Gloria, Haydn's Harmoniemesse, and Mozart's Mass in C Minor. Ms. Johnson made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2013 in a new production of Parsifal and later appeared in The Enchanted Island. Other performances include the title role in Lizzie Borden for Boston Lyric Opera, appearances with the Dallas Opera in Salome, the title character in La Cenerentola, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible with Sarasota Opera and her role debut in Carmen with the Volkstheater in Germany. She has appeared with Opera Orchestra of New York in Lakmé and Guillaume Tell. Her concert performances include Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the St. Olaf Choir and Orchestra, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and Mozart's Requiem at the Kennedy Center with The Washington Chorus. She has appeared at the Stillwater Festival in a world premiere arrangement of Grieg's song cycle Haugtussa with the renowned string quartet Brooklyn Rider, a performance featured on NPR's "Performance Today". Ms. Johnson is a 2002 Metropolitan Opera National Council Semi-Finalist and a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and St. Olaf College.
Vale Rideout, tenor, has received critical praise for his performances of both standard and contemporary repertoire throughout the United States and Europe. Last season, Mr. Rideout made his debut in Opera America's New Opera Showcase in the title role in Stewart Copeland's The Invention of Morel and the main antagonist in Lash's Beowulf and appeared in Stravinsky's Les Noces under Julian Wachner at New York's Trinity Wall Street. Mr. Rideout's operatic performances include roles in Die Zauberflöte, Die Fledermaus, Lucia Lammermoor, La Traviata, Roméo et Juliette, IL Barbiere di Siviglia, Turandot, Les Pêcheurs de perles, Rigoletto, and the title role in Faust. Concert appearances include Mendelssohn's St. Paul with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Symphony No. 9, Britten's War Requiem and Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, Orff's Carmina Burana, Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C Minor, Haydn's Creation, and Verdi's Requiem.
Mr. Rideout's most recent recording, released by Acis, features solo works by Britten and Gerald Finzi. His recorded performance as Frank Shallard in Aldridge's Elmer Gantry won two Grammy Awards. He also performed on the premiere recording of Floyd's Wuthering Heights. A graduate of the University of North Carolina , Mr. Ridout was a 2003 regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Baritone Jarrett Ott made his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Choral Society in 2013 in a performance of Finzi's In Terra Pax and performed with the same forces this past spring in Handel's Israel in Egypt. Last season Mr. Ott sang the lead role of W.P. Inman in the East Coast premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain with Opera Philadelphia. This season, Mr. Ott will make his European debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin in the world premiere of Scartazzini's Edward II and will tour Europe with Perm Opera and MusicAeterna in a concert version of Purcell's Indian Queen. In the United States Mr. Ott will make his role debut as Curley in Oklahoma! at the Glimmerglass Festival and Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de perles with North Carolina Opera. Past performances have included appearances in Verdi's La Traviata, Strauss's Capriccio and Mozart's Don Giovanni with the Santa Fe Opera and a performance of Kenneth Fuchs' Falling Man with the Center of Contemporary Opera at New York City's Symphony Space. In 2014 Mr. Ott was part of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice program and spent two seasons as a young artist at the Marlboro Music Festival. He is a frequent soloist with Philadelphia's Lyric Fest. Mr. Ott received his Master's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and was recently granted a Career Development Award from the Sullivan Foundation.
Bass Matthew Anchel joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera during the 2013-14 season for its productions of Shostakovich's The Nose and Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and later returned for appearances in Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, and Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. This season he will appear in Idomeneo and Die Zauberflöte as well as in Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. He has appeared with Opera San Antonio in Strauss's Salome, LoftOpera in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia, Opera San Jose in Puccini's Madama Butterfly and Opera Theater of Saint Louis in a production of Die Zauberflöte directed and designed by Isaac Mizrahi. He was a member of the ensemble of Oper Leipzig. In concert, Mr. Anchel has performed Beethoven's Mass in C with the Spoleto Festival, U.S.A., Bach's St. John Passion with the Annapolis Chorale, Mozart's Requiem with the Allentown Symphony and performances of the Verdi Requiem and Handel's Messiah. He joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Dr. Chausable in the world premiere of Barry's The Importance of Being Ernest and has performed at the Caramoor Festival. Mr. Anchel was a member of San Francisco Opera's Merola Program and the Los Angeles Opera's Domingo-Thorton Young Artist Program. He was a Grand Finalist in the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and graduated from the La Guardia Performing Arts High School and the Manhattan School of Music.
Boy Treble Carlos Tapia joined the Choir of Men and Boys at the Church of the Transfiguration when he was six years also. Also known as "The Little Church Around the Corner," the church hosts the oldest remaining U.S. choir of men and boys ages 8 - 14, from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds in the New York area. Last year Mr. Tapia performed the role of Amahl in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors. He has also performed in H.M.S. Pinafore with the New YorK Gilbert & Sullivan Society and the Lucy Moses Summer Theater program and was part of a performance art piece at the Gladstone Gallery in Chelsea. He is currently in seventh grade at Mount Carmel Holy Rosary School. In addition to his love for singing he enjoys sports and dance.
An essential force in the New York choral scene since its founding in 1959, The New York Choral Society (NYChoral) is widely known for the outstanding artistic quality of its performances of choral masterworks as well as rarely performed and new compositions. In addition to its regular season appearances at Carnegie Hall, the 175-voice strong New York Choral Society has appeared at every major venue in the New York City area, including David Geffen Hall, formerly Avery Fisher Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House, Madison Square Garden, NJPAC, and St.
Patrick's Cathedral. In the 2016-2017 season, NYChoral will perform in Alice Tully Hall for their annual Christmas concert, at Carnegie Hall, and will give the New York City Premiere to James MacMillan's St. Luke Passion at the St. Bartholomew's Church. They will also perform at the Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala, with Andrea Bocelli at Madison Square Garden.
In February of 2016, NYChoral sang Arvo Pärt's Te Deum and Beethoven's Mass in C, Op. 86 at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium. George Grella praised the performance in the New York Classical Review: "Depending on the demands of the music, they were grand or intimate, warm or dark. [The Mass is C] was fine and impressive in every way. Hayes' pace in the Beethoven felt ideal; relaxed but flowing forward easily. The phrases had the opportunity to rise and fall as if the music were breathing."
Under the visionary artistic leadership of Music Director David Hayes since the 2012-2013 season, NYChoral has expanded its artistic mission to present a wide variety of choral repertory. Alongside masterworks of the 20th and 21st century, NYChoral has performed John Adams's On The Transmigration of Souls, Hindemith's When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd, and the New York premiere of Jennifer Higdon's The Singing Rooms, featuring violinist Jennifer Koh.
Dedicated to carrying its tradition of musical excellence and community engagement beyond the Manhattan cultural centers, NYChoral launched Christmas Around New York in December 2014, bringing family-friendly Christmas concerts to new audiences in all the boroughs of New York City.
Highlights of previous seasons include performances of Mendelssohn's St. Paul, Berlioz' L'Enfance du Christ, Vaughan Williams' A Sea Symphony, Holst's rarely performed Hymn of Jesus, and Beethoven's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, all at Carnegie Hall conducted by Music Director David Hayes. The 2011-2012 season marked the 25th and final season of Music Director John Daly Goodwin and included two compositions commissioned by the New York Choral Society, Robert De Cormier's Legacy and Morton Gould's Quotations, as part of an all-American program at Carnegie Hall.
A sought-after guest artist in New York City for many decades, NYChoral has collaborated with the Lincoln Center Festival, Cirque de Soleil, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, New York Youth Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Juilliard Symphony, and the Opera Orchestra of New York and has performed with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Placido Domingo, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Yehudi Menuhin, Julius Rudel, Robert Shaw, Leonard Slatkin, Patrick Summers, Robert Spano, and Michael Tilson Thomas.
NYChoral has also regularly appeared as guest artist at the Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala and with Andrea Bocelli. Recently members of NYChoral sang at the 80WSE and CHEAP's production of The Magic Flute, a re-imagining of the narrative of Mozart's celebrated music drama.
International tours have included the Chinese premiere of Mahler's Eighth Symphony in Beijing in 2002; performances of Mahler's Symphonies No. 2 and 8 in Mexico City with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto in 2010 and 2011; a return to Beijing for performances at the Olympic Cultural Festival in 2008; and several European tours with performances in France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Greece, the Czech Republic, and Israel.
Each summer since 1960 the New York Choral Society has produced a popular series of Summer Sings, open readings of the choral literature led by prominent conductors in the New York area. NYChoral Sings continue to provide a wonderful musical opportunity to the community and to attract new singers to the chorus.