Columbus Symphony Opens 2012-13 Season with Beethoven’s Ninth tonight, 10/5

Columbus Symphony Opens 2012-13 Season with Beethoven’s Ninth tonight, 10/5

Guest vocalists Dominique Labelle (soprano), Susanne Mentzer (mezzo-soprano), Adam Diegel (tenor), and David Pittsinger (bass-baritone) join the Columbus Symphony, Columbus Symphony Chorus, and Music Director Jean-Marie Zeitouni for a one-night-only season opening performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, the world renowned Ode to Joy. The evening's program will also include Handel's grand ode for the coronation of England's King George II and a gentle motet by Mozart.

The Columbus Symphony presents Beethoven's Ninth in a special season opening event at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) tonight, October 5, at 8pm. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and To purchase tickets by phone, call (614) 228-8600 or (800) 745-3000. The Ohio Theatre Ticket Office will also be open two hours prior to each performance. Students between the ages of 13-19 may purchase $5 High Five tickets while available.

The 2012-13 Masterworks Series is made possible through the generous support of season sponsor Battelle.

About CSO Music Director Jean-Marie Zeitouni
Jean-Marie Zeitouni, music director of the Columbus Symphony since 2010 and principal conductor and artistic director of I Musici de Montréal since 2011, has emerged as one of Canada's brightest young conductors with an eloquent yet fiery style that results in regular re-engagements across North America. Also principle guest conductor with Les Violons du Roy, he has led the ensemble in more than 200 performances in the province of Québec, across Canada, and in Mexico. In 2006, he recorded his first CD with Les Violons du Roy entitled Piazzolla which received a 20007 JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year in the category of Solo or Chamber Ensemble. They also recorded two subsequent CDs-Bartok (2008) and Britten (2010). Jean-Marie graduated from the Montreal Conservatory in conducting, percussion, and theory. He studied with Maestro Raffi Armenian.

About guest soprano Dominique Labelle
Dominique Labelle has fearlessly plumbed the technical and emotional depths of music, turning in performances possessed of "conviction without exhibitionism" (De Telegraf) that have "the audience hanging on every note" (Boston Globe). Recent engagements include Stravinsky's Les Noces with the St. Louis Symphony and David Robertson, Handel's Messiah with Kent Nagano and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal; Yehudi Wyner's Fragments from Antiquity with the Lexington Symphony; and performances with conductor Nicholas McGegan with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Gottingen Handel Festival, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Her most recent recording is Monsigny's Le Déserteur (Naxos).

About guest mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer
Introduced to opera as a teenage usher at the Santa Fe Opera, Susanne Mentzer is one of today's foremost mezzo-sopranos, recognized for her generous vocal and interpretive gifts and widely admired for her versatility from the recital and concert stage to the operatic arena. Mentzer has appeared with nearly all the major opera companies, orchestras, and festivals of North and South America, Europe, and Japan. For more than 20 years, she has sung leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera and collaborated with many of the world's great conductors and singers. Mentzer received the Thelen Award from the Alexian Brothers for her efforts to raise in excess of one million dollars for Bonaventure House in Chicago, a residence for homeless people with AIDS.

About guest tenor Adam Diegel
Adam Diegel is rapidly establishing international notoriety for an impassioned dramatic sense, powerful voice, and classic leading looks in the lyric tenor repertoire. His 2011-12 engagements at the Metropolitan Opera include Das Rheingold under the baton of James Levine, Madama Butterfly, and Nabucco. Other operatic performances include Madama Butterfly at Arizona Opera and Carmen with Opera Theater of St. Louis. A native of Memphis, Diegel was a national finalist in the 2003 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and won the Ostrander Theatre Award for his performance of the role of Prince Charming in Sondheim's Into the Woods. He received his formal musical training at Yale University and is a graduate of the University of Memphis.

About guest bass-baritone David Pittsinger
American bass-baritone David Pittsinger is renowned as a stage performer of the greatest distinction for his portrayals in the world's major opera houses. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Trulove in a new production of The Rake's Progress conducted by James Levine. His performances in Britten's Death in Venice and Handel's Orlando soon won him further acclaim. Of his Helen Hayes Award-nominated performance as Emile de Becque in Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific at the Kennedy Center, the Washington Times wrote, "His brilliant, knife-clean bass-baritone voice, impeccable enunciation-even with a French accent-and his authoritative, passionate delivery provide the perfect mix of romance, passion, and traditional masculine bravado."

About composer George Frideric Handel (1685–1759)
Handel, a German-British Baroque composer, is famous for his operas, oratorios, and concertos. Born in Germany, he received critical musical training in Italy before settling in London and becoming a naturalized British subject. Zadok the Priest is a coronation anthem Handel composed using texts from the King James Bible. It is one of four coronation anthems he composed for the coronation of George II of Great Britain in 1727. It has since been sung at every subsequent British coronation, traditionally during the sovereign's anointing.

About composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
Mozart was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed more than 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Ave verum corpus is a motet in D major written for Anton Stoll, musical coordinator in the parish of Baden bei Wien and a friend of Mozart and Haydn. The setting of the text was composed to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi and the autograph is dated June 17, 1791. It was completed less than six months before his death and foreshadows aspects of his Requiem.

About composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. The Symphony No. 9 in D minor is his final complete symphony. Completed in 1824, it is one of the best-known works of the Western classical repertoire. Among critics, it is universally considered to be among Beethoven's greatest works, and is considered by some to be the greatest piece of music ever written. The symphony was the first example of a major composer using voices (thus making it a choral symphony), taking words from "Ode to Joy," a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803, with additions made by the composer.