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Cantata Singers Open 53rd Season with U.S. Premiere of Jan Dismas Zelenka's LAETATUS SUM

Cantata Singers' 53rd season opens on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 8pm in New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall with J.S. Bach's intricate Cantata 109, radiant Cantata 147, and the U.S. premiere of Jan Dismas Zelenka's virtuosic "Laetatus sum" featuring soprano Karyl Ryczek and mezzo-soprano Emily Marvosh.

J.S. Zelenka, a Czech composer of the Baroque period, wrote "Laetatus sum" (I was glad) in 1730 in Dresden, Germany, likely for two foreign castrati soloists. The Latin text is taken from Psalm 122, and is a prayer for the peace of Jerusalem. "Laetatus sum" features soaring soprano lines, quick, virtuosic runs, and his trademark tonal quirkiness. Music Director David Hoose has been a long-time advocate for Zelenka's music, introducing Boston audiences to many of his works. In 2015, Mr. Hoose was honored by the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative at their Midnight Sun Ball for his work with Zelenka's music in the Greater Boston area.

Local favorites, soprano Karyl Ryczek and mezzo-soprano Emily Marvosh, will perform the solos and duets in "Laetatus sum." Karyl Ryczek, soprano, has enjoyed a varied and rich performance career on the operatic, oratorio, and concert stages. A long-time member of Cantata Singers, she has frequently appeared as a soloist with the ensemble in old and new music. Ms. Ryczek has also appeared with Boston Baroque, Collage New Music, Monadnock Music Festival, Boston Musica Viva, at the Warebrook Festival, and in opera productions with Opera on The Edge, Boston University Symphony Orchestra, Atlantic Symphony, and the Longy Chamber Orchestra. She teaches voice and is Assistant Dean of Faculty and Program Development at the Longy School of Bard College, where she also serves as Chair of Instrumental Studies.

American contralto Emily Marvosh has been gaining recognition on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, Disney Hall, Lincoln Center, Prague's Smetana Hall, and Vienna's Stefansdom. Following her solo debut at Boston's Symphony Hall in 2011, she has been a frequent soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society under the direction of Harry Christophers. Other recent solo appearances include the Charlotte Symphony, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Chorus Pro Musica, Music Worcester, Back Bay Chorale, the Brookline Symphony, the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe, and she is often featured on the Music at Marsh Chapel Bach Cantata Series. She is a founding member of the Lorelei Ensemble, which promotes innovative new music for women, and she holds degrees from Central Michigan University and Boston University.

Paired with "Laetatus sum" are a motet by Zelenka, and two cantatas by Zelenka's contemporary, Johann Sebastian Bach. BWV 109, "Ich glaube, liber herr, hilf meinem Unglauben" features a fiery final chorale set to one of the most famous Lutheran hymns, "Durch Adams Fall." BWV 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," features some of Bach's most famous music, including the familiar excerpt, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," that is often performed out of its original context as a favorite wedding processional. These two familiar cantatas, along with Zelenka's "Tenebrae factae sunt" from Responsoria pro hebdomada Sancta, ZWV 55, round out Cantata Singers' season opener.

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