Collegiate Chorale to Present MEFISTOFELE at Carnegie Hall, 11/6

Collegiate Chorale to Present MEFISTOFELE at Carnegie Hall, 11/6

The Collegiate Chorale announces its first concert of the season, Mefistofele, by Arrigo Boito on November 6, 2013 at 8pm at Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Avenue, NYC. Tickets will be available for sale on September 16 at www.carnegiehall.org or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800. Single tickets for this concert start at $15. The Collegiate Chorale will hold its Annual Fall Gala immediately following the concert. (For more information or tickets to the Gala, please contact Mariane Lemieux at mlemieux@collegiatechorale.org or 646-435-9052.)

Best known as the librettist for Verdi's Otello and Falstaff, Boito was also a composer and completed one opera, Mefistofele, based on the legend of Faust. He titled it after the character that truly drives the action: Mefistofele, the devil himself. Featuring bass-baritone Eric Owens in the title role, Arturo Chacón-Cruz as Faust, and soprano Julianna di Giacomo as both Margarita and Helen of Troy, and with The Combined forces of The Collegiate Chorale and Manhattan Girl's Chorus depicting sorcerers, witches, will-o-the-wisps, ancient Greek nymphs, penitents, and cherubim, this performance will provide heavenly music and devilish good fun. Mefistofele has not been heard in New York since 2000. James Bagwell will conduct.

James Bagwell was appointed Music Director of The Collegiate Chorale in 2009. In addition to conducting Chorale concerts at Carnegie Hall and throughout the city, he has also prepared The Collegiate Chorale for performances with the NY Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and at the Salzburg Festival and throughout Israel with the Israel Philharmonic. He also serves as Principal Guest Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra in New York. Since 2000, he has taught at Bard College, where he is Professor of Music and Chair of the Undergraduate Music Department, as well as Co-Director of the Graduate Program in Conducting, and has served as Director of Choruses for the Bard Music Festival since 2003. He is also chorus master for The Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. He has trained choruses for a number of major American and international orchestras and worked with such noted conductors as Charles Dutoit, Manfred Honeck, Gianandrea Nosea, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Lorin Maazel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Louis Langrée, Leon Botstein, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Raymond Leppard, James Conlon, Jesús López-Cobos, Erich Kunzel, Leon Fleischer, and Robert Shaw.

Acclaimed for his commanding stage presence and inventive artistry, Grammy Award-winning American bass-baritone Eric Owens has carved a unique place in the contemporary opera world as both an esteemed interpreter of classic works and a champion of new music. Equally at home in concert, recital and opera performances, Owens continues to bring his powerful poise, expansive voice and instinctive acting faculties to stages around the world. This past season, Owens appeared in recital with Robert Spano at Zankel Hall, the centerpiece of a coast-to-coast recital tour that also featured pianist Craig Rutenberg. He returned to Carnegie Hall twice more last spring: with the Boston Symphony in Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, and as Jochanaan in a concert version of Salome with the Cleveland Orchestra, under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst. At the Metropolitan Opera, Owens returns as the vengeful Alberich in the final installments of Robert Lepage's new Ring Cycle, Siegfried andGötterdämmerung, both of which will be broadcast live in high definition to cinemas around the world. He also joins Pinchas Zukerman and the National Arts Centre Orchestra for Verdi's Requiem, and reprises his role as The Storyteller in A Flowering Tree with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony. During the summer, Owens will serve as Artist-in-Residence at the Glimmerglass Festival, where he appears in Aïda, Kurt Weill's Lost in the Stars, and in a solo evening of cabaret and popular song.

Mexican-born lyric tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz has made many important international debuts in recent seasons, in theaters including La Scala, Bavarian State Opera Munich, Berlin State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Cologne Opera, L'Opera de Lyon, and the opera houses of Bologna, San Carlo, Venice, Turin, and Valencia. In North America he has appeared with the San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, and Florida Grand Opera. A protégé of Ramón Vargas and recipient of the Ramón Vargas Opera Development Scholarship, and of the Placido Domingo Scholarship, Arturo Chacon-Cruz was also a prize winner of Operalia 2005. He is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, where he appeared in productions of Madama Butterfly,Roméo et Juliette, Manon Lescaut, the world premiere of Lysistrata and Mozart's Idomeneo.

Julianna di Giacomo made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Clotilde in Norma and was subsequently re-engaged for Lina in Stiffelio and Leonora in Il trovatore. Other recent North American engagements have included the Verdi Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl and special performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in both Los Angeles and Caracas and broadcast live to movie theaters in North and South America; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Los Angeles Opera, excerpts from Don Giovanni with the New York Philharmonic, Il trovatore and Mathilde inGuillaume Tell at the Caramoor International Music Festival, Mme. Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmelites at the Pittsburgh Opera, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at the New York City Opera, Donna Anna at the New Orleans Opera and Donna Elvira at the Palm Beach Opera. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as Lucrezia in I due Foscari with Eve Queler and the Opera Orchestra of New York and returned for a performance of Rossini's Stabat Mater and as a featured recitalist in the Opera Orchestra of New York's Rising Stars Series. She also appeared at Lincoln Center as a featured soloist in its Puccini 150th Birthday Celebration gala concert, and most recently made her Cincinnati May Festival debut in a performance of Elijah conducted by James Conlon.

The mission of The Collegiate Chorale is to enrich its audiences through innovative programming and exceptional performances of a broad range of vocal music featuring a premier choral ensemble. Founded in 1941 by the legendary conductor Robert Shaw, The Chorale has established a preeminent reputation for its interpretations of the traditional choral repertoire, vocal works by American composers, and rarely heard operas-in-concert, as well as for commissions and premieres of new works by today's most exciting creative artists. The many guest artists with whom The Chorale has performed in recent years include: Stephanie Blythe, Victoria Clark, Nathan Gunn, Thomas Hampson, Angela Meade, Kelli O'Hara, Eric Owens, Rene Papé, Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt. Last season's highlights included the critically acclaimed concert presentation of Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda, NY premieres of works by Philip Glass and Osvaldo Golijov, and a performance of Dallapiccola's Il Prigioniero with the NY Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert. In addition to The Chorale's presentations, the chorus performed in three programs during the American Symphony Orchestra's 2012-13 season, and returned for a sixth time to sing at the Verbier (Switzerland) Festival in the summer of 2013.

For more information about this concert and The Collegiate Chorale, visitwww.collegiatechorale.org. For information on the Fall Gala, please visithttp://collegiatechorale.org/support/special-events.