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Columbus Symphony And Opera Columbus Collaborate To Present AIDA IN CONCERT

Columbus Symphony And Opera Columbus Collaborate To Present AIDA IN CONCERT In a uniquely Columbus artistic collaboration, the Columbus Symphony and Opera Columbus have joined forces to present a concert version of one of the most famous grand operas of all time in Aida in Concert. Conducted by Columbus Symphony Music Director Rossen Milanov, the performances will feature a host of internationally renowned guest vocalists, the 140-member Columbus Symphony Chorus, and the full orchestra of the Columbus Symphony.

The Columbus Symphony presents Aida in Concert at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) on Friday, February 2, at 8pm, and Saturday, February 4, at 3pm. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. The CAPA Ticket Center will also be open two hours prior to each performance.

Prelude - Patrons are invited to join Christopher Purdy in the theatre at 7pm for a 30-minute, pre-concert discussion about the work to be performed.

Respected and admired by audiences and musicians alike, Rossen Milanov is currently the Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Spain.

Milanov has established himself as a conductor with considerable national and international presence. He has appeared with the symphonies of Colorado, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Seattle, and Fort Worth, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall "Link Up" education projects with Chicago's Orchestra of St. Luke's and Civic Orchestra.

Internationally, Milanov has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra de la Suisse Romand, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Aalborg, Latvian, and Hungarian National Symphony Orchestras. He has also conducted orchestras in Toronto, Vancouver, Mexico, Colombia, Sao Paolo, Belo Horizonte, New Zealand, and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic in South Africa. In the Far East, he has appeared with the symphonies of NHK, Sapporo, Tokyo, and Singapore, the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Noted for his versatility, Milanov is also a welcome presence in the worlds of opera and ballet. Most recently, he collaborated with Komische Oper Berlin (Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk), Opera Oviedo (Spanish premiere of Tchaikovsky's Mazzepa and Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle that was awarded best Spanish production for 2015), and Opera Columbus (Verdi's La Traviata).

About guest soprano Michelle Johnson: Johnson has been praised for her "extraordinary breath control and flawless articulation. Her voice is velvety and pliant - a dulcet dream." Her recent performances include Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmélites, the title role in Aida, and Élisabeth de Valois in Don Carlos with the Sarasota Opera; her Hawaii Opera debut as Leonora in Il trovatore; Minnie in La Fanciulla del West with the Kentucky Opera; the title role in Manon Lescaut and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera Philadelphia; Mimi in La bohème with Annapolis Opera and PORTopera; and Aida for both Glimmerglass and Opera Santa Barbara.

About guest mezzo-soprano Laura Tucker: Having performed operatic roles across North America, Tucker's numerous engagements include performances at the New York City Opera, the Canadian Opera, Boston Lyric and Philadelphia Operas, and Seattle Opera to name a few. Equally at home in recital and in concert, she has appeared at the Barbicon Center in London, the Wexford Festival, the New Music Festival of Huddersfield, Avery Fisher Hall, and numerous concerts venues across Canada. Tucker earned a BA from Seattle Pacific University, an MM from the Manhattan School of Music, and continued her operatic training as a young artist at the Juilliard Opera Center. She devotes much of her present career to teaching and coaching voice both with the University of Toronto and the young artists of the Canadian Opera Company.

About guest tenor Marc Heller: Heller has performed the role of Radames in Aida internationally at such locales as London's Royal Albert Hall and at the Pyramids of Giza in a production broadcast by R.A.I. Television. He has also performed Radames with the Utah Opera and Opera Tampa. Heller made his Metropolitan Opera debut opposite Placido Domingo as the antagonist Gao Jian Li in Tan Dun's The First Emperor, and returned the following season as Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette, appearing in the Met's HD movie series and internationally re-broadcast regularly.

About guest baritone Brian Major: Major was most recently seen as Escamillo in Martina Arroyo Foundation's production of Carmen, and was described as "imposing and seductive." Prior to that, he performed with Opera Saratoga as Giorgio in Il Postino, and with Opera in the Heights in the title role of Don Giovanni in which he was called "sexy and despicable, full-bodied and broad." Major also performed Germont in La traviata with Opera Company of Middlebury, and an all-French opera concert with Maestro Michel Plasson in Montpellier, France. An accomplished recitalist and concert artist, he has been baritone soloist in Carmina Burana, Messiah, Five Mystical Songs, and the requiems of Duruflé, Fauré, and Mozart to name a few.

Now in its 57th season, the Columbus Symphony Chorus is comprised of 140 volunteer singers from central Ohio and performs major works from Bach through the 21st century. Under the leadership of conductor Ronald J. Jenkins for the past 33 years, the Chorus has grown both in the quality of its performances and in the diversity of its classical repertoire.

Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene just following the era of Bellini, Donizetti, and Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. One of the pre-eminent opera composers in history, Verdi's four-act opera, Aida, met with great acclaim when it finally opened in Cairo on December 24, 1871. Although Verdi did not attend the premiere in Cairo, he was most dissatisfied with the fact that the audience consisted of invited dignitaries, politicians, and critics, but no members of the general public. He therefore considered the Italian (and European) premiere, held at La Scala, Milan, on February 8, 1872, and a performance in which he was heavily involved at every stage, to be its real premiere. Aida was received with great enthusiasm at the Milan premiere, and the opera was soon mounted at major opera houses throughout Italy.

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