New Philharmonic Rings in the New Year with Three Concerts at the MAC
New Philharmonic, under the direction of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, performs three "New Year's Eve with an International Twist" concerts at the McAninch Arts Center (MAC), Saturday, Dec. 31 at 2, 5:30 and 9 p.m. The program features classical and pop works plus a celebratory champagne toast and special surprises. Continuing their tradition of featuring soloists from the Lyric Opera Ryan Center for Young Artists, tenor Jesse Donner joins New Philharmonic and Maestro Muspratt for this wonderful New Year's Eve tradition. For the fourth year in a row, 98.7 FM-WFMT will provide a live broadcast of the 5:30 p.m. performance.
"Our New Year's Eve concerts have always been crowd pleasers and this year's promises to be the best ever due to an exciting selection of works plus the incredible talents of guest tenor Jesse Donner," said Muspratt.Donner will join Muspratt and New Philharmonic for "Freunde, das Leben is Lebenswert" from Lehar's "Giuditta," "La Fleur que tu m'avais jete" from "Bizet's "Carmen," Rachmaninoff's "Spring Waters and Lara/Dragon's "Granada" . Other works featured on the program include Strauss' "Eljen a Magyar" (Polka Schnell) op. 332; Reznicek's "Donna Diana Overture;" J. Strauss Jr.'s "Emperor Waltz;" Strauss Sr.'s "Radetzky March;" Rodgers' "Carousel Waltz;" plus selections from popular scores from films including Williams' overture to "The Cowboys" and "Lincoln - With Malice Toward None" and North/Townend's "Unchained Melody" from "Ghost" and of course, the traditional "Auld Lang Syne."
Donner holds a bachelor of music degree from Iowa State University. The Des Moines, Iowa, native received the 2015 Men's Voice Fellowship from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation, the 2014 George Shirley Award for Opera Performance, a special encouragement award from the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Auditions, and first place in the 2012 Michigan Friends of Opera Competition. While pursuing graduate and post-graduate studies at the University of Michigan, he performed as Bacchus in Richard Strauss' "Ariadne auf Naxos," in the title role of Ullmann/Kein's "Der Kaiser von Atlantis" and as Lucano in Monteverdi/Busenello's "L'incoronazione di Poppea." Other performing credits include concert appearances with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, ToledoSymphony, Adrian Symphony, the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra and the Rockford Coronado Concert Association. He was featured in the Harris Theater's "Beyond the Aria" 2015/16 series. At the Lyric, Donner appeared in "Capriccio," "Tannhäuser," "Nabucco" and "Der Rosenkavalier" and was most recently heard in Lyric's recent production of "Das Rheingold." He is scheduled appear in the Lyric's upcoming productions of "Die Zauberflöte" (Dec. 10 - Jan. 27) and "Norma" (Jan. 28 - Feb. 24).
New Philharmonic, now celebrating its 40th anniversary, had its first concert in November 1977 under the baton of Harold Bauer when an orchestra of 24 carefully auditioned musicians performed for a capacity audience of 330 in the Building M "open space" on west campus. Maestro Kirk Muspratt took over the artistic reins when Bauer retired in 2004. Today, under Muspratt's direction New Philharmonic consists of more than 60 professional musicians and performs more than a dozen concerts a year, reaching more than 7,500 from the greater Chicago area annually. In addition, for each the past three years, WFMT has broadcast one of New Philharmonic New Year's Eve performances, allowing listeners around the world to have the opportunity to enjoy New Philharmonics music.New Philharmonic's 2016 New Year's Eve concerts are being sponsored by S|T|G - Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C. Media support is provided by 98.7-FM WFMT. Tickets New Philharmonic, under the direction of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, presents "New Year's Eve with an International Twist" at the McAninch Arts Center, located on the campus of College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Saturday, Dec. 31 at 2, 5:30 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $65 adult; $63 senior/youth. A limited number of $10 student tickets are available with valid student ID. To order concert tickets or more information, call 630.942.4000, or visit AtTheMAC.org. Additional support for New Philharmonic's 2016-2017 Season is provided by Brookdale-Glen Ellyn; The DuPage Foundation;The JCS Arts & Education Fund of the DuPage Foundation; the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Smith Financial Advisors, Inc; 90.9 FM WDCB and the College of DuPage Foundation. About the MAC McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at College of DuPage is located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355, and houses three performance spaces (the 780-seat proscenium Belushi Performance Hall; the 236-seat soft-thrust Playhouse Theatre; and the versatile black box Studio Theatre), plus the Cleve Carney Art Gallery, classrooms for the college's academic programming and the Lakeside Pavilion. The MAC, now celebrating its 30th Anniversary, has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and typically welcomes more than 75,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances each season. The mission of the MAC is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community. For more information about the MAC, visit AtTheMAC.org, facebook.com/AtTheMAC or twitter.com/AtTheMAC.