Cincinnati Symphony to Present Verdi's REQUIEM, 2/28-3/1

Cincinnati Symphony to Present Verdi's REQUIEM, 2/28-3/1Cincinnati, OH -- The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra welcomes back revered conductor, and former CSO Creative Director, Rafael Fru?hbeck de Burgos for his second engagement of the 2013- 14 season. On February 28 and March 1 at historic Music Hall, Maestro Fru?hbeck de Burgos will conduct one of the most epic works in orchestral and choral repertoire-Verdi's Requiem. The piece pulls together massive forces of orchestra, chorus and soloists for an impassioned and dramatic blockbuster of human emotion. Perhaps best known for the famous "Dies irae" movement, prevalent in pop culture in movies, advertisements and television, Verdi's masterpiece depicts a journey from terror and darkness to joy and light.

The mighty May Festival Chorus brings both power and tranquility to these performances, while an international cast of renowned vocal soloists bring their talents to the CSO for the first time: soprano Angel Blue, mezzo-soprano Julia Gertseva, tenor Aquiles Machado, and bass Riccardo Zanellato.

Tickets for this concert start at just $12 and are available by calling the CSO Box Office at (513) 381-3300 or visiting

Angel Blue, soprano

Californian soprano Angel Blue's voice has been recognized for its shining and agile upper register, "smoky" middle register, and beautiful timbre. She has performed internationally and won numerous awards.

In the 2008/2009 season, Angel made her debut with the San Francisco Opera Company as Clara in Porgy and Bess, she was the featured soloist with the Valdosta Symphony in Valdosta, Georgia where she sang the soprano role in Arthur Honegger's King David and also performed scenes from La Traviata (Violetta) with the combined Korean & German Symphony Orchestra in Seoul and Busan, Korea. In the 2009/2010 season she was a featured soloist with the Riverside Philharmonic, the Adrian Symphony in Adrian, Michigan, Giro Italia tour with Rossini specialist Alberto Zedda throughout Italy, Madrilenos por Haiti concert with La Orquesta

Clasica de Espana in Madrid, Spain, A Gala Evening with Thomas Hampson in Budapest, Hungary and made her debut at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia as Micaela in Carmen opposite Marcelo Alvarez and Elina Garanca conducted by Zubin Mehta. In the 2010/2011 season she sang with the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Spain, the American Youth Symphony, the Redlands Symphony, and Theatre an der Wien in Wien, Austria.

Miss Blue was a finalist in Operalia 2009, receiving 1st place in the Zarzuela competition, and 2nd place in the Opera competition. Angel was honored to be a part of the 17th Annual Verbier Festival in Verbier, Switzerland where she sang in an "Operalia Tribute" Concert sponsored by Rolex in July 2010. She has also received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Auditions, A.E.I.O.U Italian Educators Vocal Competition, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's Emerging Young Entertainers Award, and the Redlands Bowl Competition. In 2011 she was on tour with Placido Domingo opening the Kaufmann Center in Kansas City, Missouri, the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman, and concerts in Beijing, China as well as Zagreb, Croatia. In 2012 Angel sang die Dritte Norn in Oper Frankfurt's production of Go?tterda?mmerung with Sebastian Weigle conducting, Giulietta in Hoffmann Erza?hlungen in Wien, Austria, Clara in Porgy and Bess in Concert with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

Upcoming engagements for Angel in 2013/14 include; Musetta in La Boheme with the English National Opera, American Lulu (Lulu) at the Bregenz and Edinburgh Festivals and the Young Vic, London with the Opera Group and Scottish Opera, a recital with the Rosenblatt Series at Wigmore Hall, 100Years of Verdi Concert Santa Barbara Symphony, the Verdi Requiem with the Cincinnati Symphony, AIDS-Gala Du?sseldorf, and a debut at the Chicago Lyric Opera.

Blue received a Masters of Music degree in Opera Performance from UCLA, a Bachelors of Music from the University of Redlands in Redlands, California, and is alumni to the Los Angeles County High school for the Arts where she studied opera, gospel singing, theatrical acting, and classical piano. Blue is a former member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera and the Artistas de la Academia "Placido Domingo" del Palau de les Arts, which is an opera training program led by Rossini specialist Maestro Alberto Zedda.

Her vast talent has allowed her to not only perform in opera, but also in the pop world. She has shared the stage with artists such as Brian McKnight, the late Donna Summer, Ruben Studdard, Charice, Chaka Khan, Jewel, and Grammy Award winning "Hit-man" David Foster.

Rafael Fru?hbeck de Burgos, conductor

A regular guest with North America's top orchestras, Rafael Fru?hbeck de Burgos will conduct the New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, National, Detroit, St. Louis, Houston, New World, and Seattle Symphony Orchestras in the 2013-14 season. In addition he appears annually at the Tanglewood Music Festival.

Born in Burgos, Spain in 1933, Rafael Fru?hbeck de Burgos studied violin, piano, music theory and composition at the conservatories in Bilbao and Madrid, and conducting at Munich's Hochschule fu?r Musik, where he graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the Richard Strauss Prize. From 2004-2011, he was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Dresden Philharmonic, and in the 2012-13 season began his post as Chief Conductor of the Danish National Orchestra.

Maestro Fru?hbeck has made extensive tours with such ensembles as the Philharmonia of London, the London Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Madrid, and the Swedish Radio Orchestra. He has toured North America with the Vienna Symphony, the Spanish National Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, and Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

Named Conductor of the Year by Musical America in 2011, other numerous honours and distinctions he has been awarded include the Gold Medal of the City of Vienna, the Bundesverdienstkreutz of the Republic of Austria and Germany, the Gold Medal from the Gustav Mahler International Society, and the Jacinto Guerrero Prize, Spain's most important musical award, conferred in 1997 by the Queen of Spain. In 1998 Rafael Fru?hbeck de Burgos received the appointment of "Emeritus Conductor" by the Spanish National Orchestra. He has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Navarra in Spain. Since 1975 he has been a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.

Rafael Fru?hbeck de Burgos has recorded extensively for EMI, Decca, Deutsche Gramophone, Spanish Columbia, and Orfeo. Several of his recordings are considered to be classics, including his interpretations of Mendelssohn's Elijah and St. Paul, Mozart's Requiem, Orff's Carmina Burana, Bizet's Carmen, and the complete works of Manual de Falla.

Julia Gertseva, mezzo-soprano

Born in Leningrad, mezzo soprano Julia Gertseva studied singing, piano and choral conducting at the Conservatory in her hometown. She was engaged by the Mussorgsky Theatre in St.Petersburg, a Company she left in 2003 to follow an international career.

In 2002 she made her Italian debut at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice as Vavara in Katja Kabanova. She sang Ulrica at Deutsche Oper

Berlin, Santuzza in Cape Town and Joan in Tchaikovsky's Maid of Orleans in Palermo. She took part in the Berlin AIDS Gala conducted by Christian Thielemann.

The following seasons she had her Paris debut with the Orchestre National de France with the role of Cecri in Alaleona ?s Mirra conducted by Juraj Valcuha.

She sang in Prokofiev's Alexander Newsky in Catania, Charlotte in Werther at the Teatro Comunale Bologna, Carmen at La Scala, Milan and at the Hamburg Staatsoper, Berlioz' Romeo et Juliette at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam conducted by Sir Colin Davis, Beethoven ?s 9th symphony conducted by Myung Whun Chung in Rome and on tour, Fenena in Nabucco at the Vienna Staatsoper, as well as Polina in Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame at La Scala, Milan.

In 2006 she sang the title role in Carmen conducted by Georges Pre?tre at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and at the Semperoper in Dresden, Laura in La Gioconda in Catania, Carmen at the Teatro Regio in Turin, Fenena at the Teatro Comunale Bologna.

Her engagements throughout the 2007/8 season included Suzuki at the Chore?gies Festival in Orange, Carmen in Valencia conducted by Lorin Maazel, Preziosilla in La Forza del destino and Carmen at the Teatro Communale in Florence, as well as Eboli in Don Carlo in Tel-Aviv, three productions under the direction of Zubin Mehta, Dalila at the Teatro Comunale Bologna and Santander with the Comunale conducted by Eliahu Inbal, Tigrana in Puccini's Edgar at the Teatro Regio in Turin and Verdi's Requiem with the Oslo Philharmonic conducted by Fruhbeck de Burgos.

In 2009/10/11 she sang Marina in Boris Godunov in Venice ?s La Fenice and at Teatro Comunale Firenze, cond. Semyon Bychkov, Carmen in Tokyo as well as in Modena, Piacenza, Ferrara and Ravenna, Polina in Pique Dame at the Teatro Regio Turin, and took part in Opera galas with the Teatro la Fenice conducted by John Fiore in the first two seasons of Abu Dhabi Classics.

She also sang Dalila in Samson et Dalila in Lie?ge, Carmen at Bayerische Staatsoper, Venus in Tannha?user at Teatro La Scala, conducted by Zubin Mehta.

2011/12 : Herodiade in Massenet ?s opera in Antwerpen as well as Verdi Requiem with Fru?hbeck de Burgos in Copenhague, Amneris, Carmen and Santuzza in St Petersburg as well as Carmen at the Royal Opera in Oman (prod Gianni Quaranta).

2012/2013 : Marina in Boris Godunov at Teatro Real Madrid and Ulrica (Ballo in Maschera) at Teatro Regio Parma; Verdi Requiem with Oslo Philharmonic, Amneris in Aida in St-Petersburg.

Her concert repertoire includes oratorios and cycles by Beethoven, Berg, Dvorak, Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, Mahler, Mozart, Verdi.

Aquiles Machado, tenor

Born in Barquisimeto (Venezuela), Aquiles Machado studied at the Simo?n Bolivar Music Conservatory with William Alvarado. He was awarded with a scholarship by the Banco de Espan?a and the Istituto Mozarteum de Venezuela, which allowed him to move to Madrid to study at the Escuela Superior de Musica "Reina Sofia" under the guidance of Alfredo Kraus, Suso Marja?tegui and Eldemiro Arnaltes. He was chosen to perform at the final concert at the Royal Palace at the presence of Queen Sofia.

Winner of many international competitions (Vin?as, Barcelona, Alonso, Madrid, Operalia, Tokio, Cardiff), he made his debut with L'Elisir d'Amore in Caracas and Macbeth in Las Palmas. Important debuts followed on numerous important stages: Teatro Teresa Carren?o in Caracas; Teatro Nacional de Sa?o Carlos in Lisbon; Teatro San Carlo in Naples; Washington National Opera; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; Teatro Real de Madrid; Staatsoper Berlin; Wiener Staatsoper; and Metropolitan Opera in New York.

He works with prestigious conductors, such as: Daniel Baremboim, Maurizio Benini, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Jesu?s Lopez Cobos, Placido Domingo, Rafael Frubeck de Burgos, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Leopold Hagger, Friedrich Hayder, Daniel Oren, Mistlav Rostropovich.

Highlights of his successful career include: La Gioconda at the Metropolitan Opera in New York; La Traviata in Bilbao, Cagliari and Valladolid; Rigoletto in Madrid, Nice, Klagenfurt and at the Arena in Verona; Macbeh in Strasbourg and Valencia; La Bohe?me in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Washington,

Madrid, Strasbourg, Nice, Naples and Florence; Gianni Schicchi with Riccardo Chailly in Amsterdam; Madama Butterfly in Barcelona and Florence; Lucia di Lammermoor in Las Palmas, Bilbao and Parma; Faust in Nice; Der Rosenkavalier (at the Wiener Staastoper; Les Contes d'Hoffmann in Seville, Cordoba, Nice, Rome and Giancarlo del Monaco in Bilbao; Luisa Miller in Naples, Barcelona and Berlin; Les Troyens with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis in London; Ernani and Un Ballo in Maschera (Riccardo Conte di Warwick) in Lie?ge and Bilbao; Rome?o et Juliette in Strasbourg and Nice; L'Elisir d'Amore in Parma; and Simon Boccanegra (Gabriele Adorno) in Barcelona and Berlin. His concert activity includes several performances of Verdi's Requiem in Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, Caracas, San Sebastia?n, Bad Kissingen, Parma and Oslo.

He recorded Rigoletto with Inva Mula and Leo Nucci at the Arena di Verona; L'Elisir d ?Amore in Macerata; Gianni Schicchi with Riccardo Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam; Norma opposite Edita Gruberova under the baton of Friedrich Hayder; Le Villi with Marco Guidarini live recorded in Paris.

He has recently interpreted Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples and Don Alvaro in La Forza del Destino at the Teatro Regio in Parma under the baton of Gianluigi Gelmetti with great success of both public and critics; La Gioconda in Palermo and Rome; I Due Foscari (Jacopo Foscari) and Carmen in Las Palmas; Lucia di Lammermoor in Trieste; La Bohe?me in Torre del Lago and in Florence; Norma in Taormina and at the Teatro regio in Turin; Verdi's Requiem in Copenaghen and Moscow; Madama Butterfly in Torre del Lago; Verdi's Requiem in Caracas; I Masnadieri in Naples; La Traviata in Florence; La Tabernera del Puerto in La Coruna; Un Ballo in Maschera a Las Palmas; Norma at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna; Verdi's Requiem in Moscow at the Rostropovich Festival and in Bologna; and Tosca in Beijing and Vienna.Mr. Machado has recently performed Il Trovatore at the Macerata Opera Festival and La Traviata at the Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo and in Valencia, Zubin Mehta conducting, production by Willy Decker.

His future plans include: Rome?o et Juliette in Lie?ge; La Traviata in Pamplona; Madama Butterfly in Vienna; La Bohe?me in Valencia; I Due Foscari in Toulouse; Norma in Palermo and Verdi's Requiem in Cincinnati; Cantata Criolla in Berkley and New York, Dudamel conducting.

Riccardo Zanellato, bass

Riccardo Zanellato studied Voice with Arrigo Pola and specialised with Bonaldo Giaiotti. He also obtained a diploma in Guitar at the Music Conservatory in Adria (Italy). He won the "Iris Adami Corradetti" and the "A. Belli" competitions, followed by his debut in Gounod's Faust. In 1996, he was awarded the first prize at the "Operalia" competition in Tokyo.

He has since appeared on numerous prestigious international stages: Macbeth (Banquo) at the Berlin Staatsoper; Otello (Ludovico) at the Ope?ra Bastille in Paris; and Rigoletto (Sparafucile) at the Teatro alla Scala; a Verdi Gala with Domingo, Carreras, Raimondi and Nucci under the baton of Zubin Mehta in Parma in 2001; Donizetti's Don Se?bastien at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna; Maria Stuarda and Anna Bolena (Enrico VIII) at the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo; Anna Bolena at the Helsinki Opera; Attila, La Battaglia di Legnano and Pizzetti's Assassinio nella Cattedrale conducted by Bruno Bartoletti at the Teatro Regio in Parma; Simon Boccanegra (Fiesco) and Norma at the Teatro Bellini in Catania; Rigoletto and Norma at the Teatro Regio in Turin and at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo; Aida at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa; Il Trovatore and Aida (Ramphis) at the Arena in Verona and the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari; Tancredi at the Teatro Verdi in Trieste; Lucia di Lammermoor (Raimondo) in Wiesbaden and Macerata; Massenet's Le Roi de Lahore, La Juive and Wolf-Ferrari's The Cunning Widow at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice; Nabucco (Zaccaria) in Wiesbaden, Copenaghen, Bologna, Parma and Modena; Verdi's Requiem in Washington; Guglielmo Tell (Walter Furst) conducted by Alberto Zedda in La Corun?a; Ifigenia in Tauride (Thoas) and Le Nozze di Figaro at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia.

He has also appeared as part of Luisa Miller at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; La Sonnambula (Il Conte Rodolfo) at the Ope?ra de Montre?al and in Cagliari; Iphige?nie en Aulide at Teatro dell'Opera in Rome; I Puritani (Sir Giorgio) at the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam and in Cagliari; Il Trovatore (Ferrando) at the The?a?tre Municipal de Lausanne; and Rigoletto at the Ope?ra Royale de Wallonie in Lie?ge, on tour in France and at the Terme di Caracalla in Rome.

He recently performed Moise et Pharaon (Osiride), Nabucco, Macbeth and Simon Boccanegra under the baton of Riccardo Muti in Rome; La Forza del Destino (Padre Guardiano) in Vilnius and under Gianluigi Gelmetti in Parma; Luisa Miller in Lyon and in Bilbao; and Mose? in Egitto (Mose?) at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro; Lucia di Lammermoor at the Settimane Musicali in Stresa; Rossini's Stabat Mater in San Remo; Verdi's Requiem in Naples conducted by Riccardo Muti; Verdi's Requiem at the Verdi Festival in Parma under Yuri Temirkanov and in Vilnius with Violeta Urmana, Poliuto and La Bohe?me at the Opernhaus Zurich; Norma at the Terme in Caracalla; Anna Bolena in Munich. Mr Zanellato has just made his debut at the Teatro alla Scala singing Aida, and he has just performed at the Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia in Rome, Antonio Pappano conducting. Riccardo Zanellato recently returns to Rome singing Nabucco at the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome. Mr. Zanellato sang Banco in Macbeth at the opening night season at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Roberto Abbado conducting and Bob Wilson directing; Nabucco in Rovigo and Verdi's Requiem in Portorico, in Bologna then on tour in Moscow at the Rostropovich Festival and in Barcelona. His future plans include: Nabucco in Stuttgart; Verdi's Requiem in Cincinnati, in St. Louis and in Vilnius; Simon Boccanegra in Lyon; Norma at the Ope?ra in Paris, Il Trovatore at the Salzburg Festival.

May Festival Chorus, Robert Porco, director

The May Festival Chorus has earned acclaim locally, nationally and internationally for its musicality, vast range of repertoire and sheer power of sound. The Chorus of 145 professionally trained singers is the core artistic element of the Cincinnati May Festival as well as the official chorus of the

Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra. Throughout each season the chorus members collectively devote more than 40,000 hours in rehearsals and performances.

Founded in 1873, the annual May Festival is the oldest, and one of the most prestigious, choral festivals in the Western Hemisphere. The annual Festival boasts the May Festival Chorus and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as anchors, hosts an international array of guest artists and presents two spectacular weekends of dynamic programming under the musical leadership of James Conlon and choral preparation of Robert Porco.

James Conlon has provided the artistic leadership for more May Festivals than any other Music Director in the Festival's 141-year history. Many important choral works have received their World and American premieres at the May Festival, including Johann Sebastian Bach's Magnificat, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 3, Benjamin Britten's Gloriana, Gian Carlo Menotti's The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi and Robert Nathaniel Dett's The Ordering of Moses.

Beyond Cincinnati, the May Festival Chorus has performed with great success at numerous venues across the country, including three celebrated appearances at Carnegie Hall. They will return to New York City in May of 2014 for the Spring for Music Festival at Carnegie Hall, with James Conlon and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

The May Festival Chorus has further strengthened its national presence through numerous PBS broadcasts of live concerts and several award-winning recordings, many in collaboration with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra. In 2001 the Chorus recorded Christmas with the May Festival Chorus, a popular a cappella holiday compact disc. Their 2004 Telarc release, the world premiere recording of Franz Liszt's St. Stanislaus featuring James Conlon and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, was awarded the 30th International F. Liszt Record Grand Prix by the Liszt Society of Budapest. The Chorus is also featured on the 2012 Cincinnati Pops release, Home for the Holidays.

The May Festival Chorus has garnered two awards in recognition of its continuing artistic excellence and performances throughout the state. In 2011 the Chorus received the Spirit of Cincinnati USA Erich Kunzel Queen City Advocate Award from Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau. In 1998 the Chorus earned the Irma Lazarus Award from the Ohio Arts Council's annual Governor's Awards for the Arts.