Oratorio Society Of New York Announces 2019-20 Season
The 2019-20 season of the Oratorio Society of New York, the city's standard for grand choral performance led by its acclaimed music director, Kent Tritle, is highlighted by two world premieres that encompass its 146-year history: a new critical edition of a Brahms masterwork that the Society performed in 1877; and A Nation of Others, an OSNY-commissioned oratorio for soloists, chorus, and orchestra by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell on the subject of immigrants' arrival at Ellis Island.
A Nation of Others, which will be paired on the program with a 2016 work by Robert Paterson, Walt Whitman's America, is the second work commissioned by the OSNY of Moravec and Campbell - the first was Sanctuary Road, an oratorio about the Underground Railroad, that the Society premiered to acclaim in 2018. Naxos Records will release a recording of that performance in early 2020.
The Oratorio Society of New York was founded in 1873; in 1877 it gave the U.S. premiere of Brahms's A German Requiem, eight years after the first performance of this deeply humanist interpretation of a mass for the dead. The work, for soprano and baritone soloists, chorus, and orchestra, is acknowledged as one of Brahms's masterpieces, and was in 2017 described in The New York Times as "something of an anthem for our time, with grand social and political reverberations."
In 2020 the OSNY will perform the world premiere of a new critical edition of A German Requiem that has been produced by an international team of scholars led by noted Brahms authority Michael Musgrave.
The OSNY's four-concert season also includes a program at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, of repertoire that shines in the cathedral's resonant acoustic: Rachmaninoff's Vespers (excerpts) and Duruflé's Requiem; and the Society's 146th annual performance of Handel's Messiah, a holiday tradition that this year launches the OSNY's annual three-concert Carnegie Hall series.
The season's vocal soloists include Susanna Phillips, Jennifer Zetlan, Leslie Fagan, and Maeve Höglund, sopranos; Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo-soprano; Kirsten Sollek and Heather Petrie, contraltos; John Riesen, Brian Giebler, and Isaiah Bell, tenors; Takaoki Onishi, Steven Eddy, and David Pike, baritones; Joseph Beutel, bass-baritone; and Adam Lau, bass.
The Oratorio Society's annual Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition, the only major competition to focus exclusively on oratorio singing, will again present its final round at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Three-concert subscriptions for the Carnegie Hall concerts are $252-$70, and will be available at www.oratoriosocietyofny.org starting August 1. Single tickets for December 19 are priced at $100-$25; single tickets for the March 2 or May 6 concerts are $90-$25; they will be on sale starting August 1 through Carnegie Hall. Tickets for the Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition Final Concert on April 18 are $40; they will go on sale in February. All these tickets may be purchased at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, through CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800, or at www.carnegiehall.org. Tickets for the November 5 concert at St. John the Divine, priced at $25-$65 (student tickets free with I.D.), are available starting August 1 at www.oratoriosocietyofny.org.
Since its founding in 1873, the Oratorio Society of New York has become the city's standard for grand choral performance. It has given world, U.S., and New York premieres of works as diverse as Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem (1877), Berlioz' Roméo et Juliette (1882), a full-concert production of Wagner's Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera House (1886), Britten's The World of the Spirit (1998), Filas's Requiem (2015), Moravec's Blizzard Voices (2013) and Sanctuary Road (2018), and Ranjbaran's We Are One (2018). On its 100th anniversary the Oratorio Society received the Handel Medallion, New York City's highest cultural award, in recognition of these contributions. www.oratoriosocietyofny.org.