The Collegiate Chorale Presents A CHILD OF OUR TIME and TE DEUM 2/3
The Collegiate Chorale is set to present Tippett's A Child of Our Time and Bruckner's Te Deum on Friday, February 3, 2012 at 7pm at Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue, NYC. The performance features Nicole Cabell, Marietta Simpson, Russell Thomas, John Relyea and the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Bagwell.
Sir Michael Tippett's A Child of Our Time (1941) is a unique oratorio, structured in three parts to emulate Handel's Messiah and using traditional African-American spirituals in a form similar to Bach's use of the chorale in his Passions, all with a decidedly twentieth-century musical language. The text of this stirring work reflects Tippett's pacifism and belief that people contain both "shadow and light." Soprano Nicole Cabell has performed this work to great critical acclaim and has made it a signature piece. She will be joined by Marietta Simpson, mezzo-soprano, Russell Thomas, tenor, and John Relyea, bass-baritone. Paired with this riveting work will be the powerful Te Deum by Anton Bruckner. Conducted by James Bagwell.
The Collegiate Chorale's 70th season began with Moïse et Pharaon and continues with Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado on April 10, 2012 at 6:30pm at Carnegie Hall, featuringChuck Cooper, Jason Danieley, Christopher Fitzgerald, Kelli O'Hara, Brad Oscar, Lauren Worsham, and Amy Justman, directed and conducted by Ted Sperling. The season will conclude with a program entitled Contemporary Voices led by Maestro Bagwell on May 21, 2012 at St. Bartholomew's Church. Highlights of the program include Copland's In the Beginning - which The Chorale premiered under its founder Robert Shaw - the Poulenc Gloria, and the New York premiere of a setting of Psalm 67 by the young and celebrated Israeli composer, Avner Dorman.
Single tickets for all concerts can be purchased by contacting The Chorale office at (646) 435-9465 or online at collegiatechorale.org.
The mission of The Collegiate Chorale, led by Music Director James Bagwell, is to enrich its audiences through innovative programming and exceptional performances of a broad range of vocal music featuring a 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: Bryn Terfel, Stephanie Blythe, Nathan Gunn, Kelli O'Hara, Victoria Clark, Renée Fleming, Thomas Hampson, and Deborah Voigt. Last season's highlights included a Brahms program at Carnegie Hall featuring Stephanie Blythe, Eric Owens and Erin Morley, a critically acclaimed concert presentation of Kurt Weill's Knickerbocker Holiday featuring Victor Garber and Kelli O'Hara which was recorded and released commercially in the first complete cast album of that work, and a celebration of Broadway featuring Deborah Voigt and Paulo Szot under the baton of Ted Sperling. In addition to The Chorale's presentations, the chorus performed in five programs throughout the American Symphony Orchestra's 2010-11 season, returned to the Verbier Festival in the summer of 2011, and will perform with the Israel Philharmonic in Israel and Salzburg in July 2012.
Music Director James Bagwell maintains an active schedule throughout the United States as a conductor of choral, operatic, and orchestral music. He has recently been named Principal Guest Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra in New York and is Director of the Music Program at Bard College. At Bard SummerScape he has led numerous theatrical works, most notably Copland's The Tender Land, which received unanimous praise from The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Opera News. He frequently appears as guest conductor for orchestras around the country and abroad, including the Jerusalem Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. He has also prepared The Concert Chorale of New York for performances with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Mostly Mozart Festival (broadcast nationally in 2006 on Live from Lincoln Center), all in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. He has trained choruses for a number of major American and international orchestras and worked with noted conductors such as 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.
Nicole Cabell, the 2005 Winner of the BBC Singer of the World Competition in Cardiff and Decca recording artist, is fast becoming one of the most sought-after lyric sopranos of today. Her solo debut album, "Soprano" was named "Editor's Choice" by Gramophone and has received an incredible amount of critical acclaim and several prestigious awards: the 2007 Georg Solti Orphée d'Or from the French Académie du Disque Lyrique and an Echo Klassik Award in Germany. Ms. Cabell's current season showcases her command of Mozart's music, as she sings the Countess in Mozart's Nozze di Figaro in Montreal, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni in Tokyo. She will also be heard in some of her favorite roles in the French repertoire: Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with the Palm Beach Opera and Leïla in Les Pêcheurs de Perles at the Santa Fe Opera. She returned last season to the Metropolitan Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Micaela in Carmen, to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for Leila in Les Pêcheurs de Perles, and made an exciting role debut: Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Oper Köln and the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. In concert, she will be heard this season in New York, London, Chicago, Cincinnati, Toronto, Atlanta, San Diego and St. Petersburg.
Marietta Simpson, whose deeply expressive, richly beautiful voice has made her one of the most sought-after mezzo-sopranos today, has sung with major orchestras throughout the United States, under many of the world's greatest conductors, including the late Robert Shaw in her Carnegie Hall debut in 1988 as soloist in Brahms' Alto Rhapsody with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Recent successes include a performance of Mahler's Rückert Lieder with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra; Verdi's Requiem with the Louisville Orchestra; Messiah with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Detroit Symphony; Mendelssohn's Die Erste Walpurgisnacht and Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Alabama Symphony; an appearance in recital at the Kennedy Center; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood under Kurt Masur; and in "Summertime Songs with the Philadelphia Orchestra" at Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Marietta Simpson made her New York Philharmonic debut under Kurt Masur in Mendelssohn's Elijah, followed by performances of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Symphony No. 9, and Bach's St. John Passion. She sang in Carnegie Hall's commemoration of the 250th anniversary of Messiah, and performed Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, under Zdenek Macal, for the inauguration of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Both events were nationally televised. She toured in Poland, Germany and Russia with Helmuth Rilling and the Stuttgart Bachakadamie Orchestra and Chorus, and has sung at the Prague and Brno Festivals, as well as many festivals in the United States.
A native of Miami, tenor Russell Thomas is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting vocal and dramatic talents on the international opera and concert scene, most recently as the First-Prize winner of the prestigious Viñas Competition in Barcelona (First Prize, Audience Favorite and Best Tenor) and at the Competizione dell'Opera in Dresden. His current season begins with performances of Das Lied von der Erde with the Houston Ballet, followed by Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto with the Orlando Philharmonic, and a debut with the Canadian Opera Company in the title role of Les Contes d'Hoffmann. In the spring of 2012, Russell Thomas will participate in the world premiere of John Adams' The Other Gospel According to Mary with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Future plans include debuts with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, and the Seattle Opera, all in leading roles. An alumnus of the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program of the Metropolitan Opera, Russell Thomas was also a member of Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, a Roger R. Hinkley artist at the Florida Grand Opera, a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St Louis, an apprentice at the Sarasota Opera and was proud to take part in the 2005 and 2006 Marlboro Music Festivals.
John Relyea continues to distinguish himself as one of today's finest bass-baritones, appearing in many of the world's most celebrated opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera (where he is an alumnus of the Merola Opera Program and a former Adler Fellow), Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Vienna State Opera, and the Mariinksy Theater. He has appeared numerous times with prestigious orchestras throughout the world. This season, Mr. Relyea returns to the both the Seattle Opera and the Washington Concert Opera in the title role of Attila, the Metropolitan Opera as Leporello in Don Giovanni, and the Bayerische Staatsopera as the Four Villains. He also makes his debut at the Canadian Opera Company as the Four Villains and appears in concert with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Bergen Festspiele. Mr. Relyea is the winner of the 2009 Beverly Sills Award and the 2003 Richard Tucker Award.
When Leopold Stokowski established the American Symphony Orchestra 46 years ago, he broke new ground with a mission to showcase the talents of American musicians through "concerts of great music within the means of everyone." Since then the company has expanded its mandate again to serve as innovators in their field by rebuilding audiences for orchestral music and ensuring the survival of classical music art forms. In the context of the ASO's thematic concerts, rare and under-performed works have attracted deserved attention, earning audience approval as well as fresh performances by orchestras and opera companies around the world. ASO performances reintroduce masterworks into the symphonic canon and allow them to become available to other orchestras for future presentations.