Morris Choral Society To Feature Distinguished Soloist's Baritone Jonathan Scott, Mezzo Soprano Maya Hoover And Organist Michael Shane Wittenburg
Morris Choral Society to feature distinguished soloist's Baritone Jonathan Scott, Mezzo Soprano Maya Hoover and organist Michael Shane Wittenburg in Gabriel Faure's Requiem in d minor May 12th.
Baritone Jonathan Scott, mezzo soprano Maya Hoover and organist Michael Shane Wittenburg will perform as featured soloists in Gabriel Faure's Requiem in d minor, Op. 48 the work which opens the concert celebrating the Morris Choral Society's 45th Anniversary Season Finale.
"Rebirth and Renewal: A Celebration of Spring" will take place on Saturday May 12th at 8PM at the historic Methodist Church on the Green, 50 South Park Place, Morristown, New Jersey. The concert will also include the music of renown contemporary composers Dan Forrest, Ola Gjeilo, Morten Lauridsen and Gwyneth Walker as well as works by 20th century American masters Samuel Barber and Randall Thompson with special appearances by the Clarum Sonum Choir, conducted by Rider Foster, and the beloved Morris County ensemble, the Express Male sextet.
Noted American conductor and MCS Music Director Jason Tramm will lead Faure's ethereal masterwork written expressly for chorus, orchestra, baritone and soprano soloists. The Requiem reflects Faure's affinity and mastery of each component of the composition's musical elements. After graduation from the Niedermeyer School in Paris, where he studied organ, piano, and choral music, Faure worked as organist and choirmaster in a series of churches. In 1877 Faure was appointed to the prestigious position as choirmaster at the Madeleine in Paris, succeeding his former teacher, the great composer and organist Camille Saint-Saëns.
Featured soloist baritone Jonathan Scott has sung in many of New York City's most celebrated concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and The Riverside Church in Manhattan. A graduate of Westminster College of the Arts, Jonathan has sung with the Metropolitan Opera Extra Men's Chorus since 2011 with whom he shared a 2013 Grammy for Best Opera Recording of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Scott will perform in the Met's 2018-19 Season productions of Verdi's Aida, Wagner's Götterdämmerung, Boito's Mefistofele and the Met's exciting new production of Camille Saint-Saëns Samson et Dalila.
In principal roles as, leading baritone Jonathan Scott has appeared as Ezio in Verdi's Attila, Don Giovanni in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Figaro in Rossini's Barber of Seville and Marcello in Puccini's La bohème. Scott has received praise by opera's foremost monthly publication OPERA NEWS for his comic role in a recent NYC production of Von Winter's Das Labyrinth (an operatic sequel to Mozart's Die Zauberflöte). OPERA NEWS wrote "Jonathan Scott was an ideal Papageno, with excellent diction, an easy stage presence and flawless legato that poured forth through a well-projected tone." Parterre Box, NYC's preeminent online opera publication wrote "The star, in Schikaneder's feathers, was Jonathan Scott, a baritone of lithe and masculine tone and a master of the dim double-take, suavely dressed in tatterdemalion."
In 2017 Scott made his Italian operatic debut in the title role of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi at the Narnia Festival under the baton of Jason Tramm. While at the Narnia Festival Scott also appeared on Rai - Radiotelevisione's broadcast - Italy's major TV network - of Mozart's Spatzenmesse performed at the Cathedral at Narni; and in concert during the Narnia Festival singing Verdi's moving aria "Di provenza il mar il suol" from La Traviata. In September of 2017 Scott sang the principal role of Giorgio Germont, in a bold new interpretation of Verdi's La Traviata, a joint venture of the MidAtlantic Opera and New York Opera Collaborative, conceived and directed by Andrea DelGiudice and conducted by Jason Tramm. Scott performed to critical acclaim in both La Traviata's concert presentation at Opera America's National Opera Center in New York City and in the fully staged production at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in New Jersey.
Jonathan Scott is a second-generation graduate of Westminster College of the Arts - Jon's parents Dave and mother, Sparta resident Karen Scott attended, and were also members of the prestigious Westminster Choir, frequently performing in the chorus with Leonard Bernstein's New York Philharmonic productions.
Featured soloist mezzo soprano Maya Hoover will appear with Scott as the soprano soloist in Gabriel Faure's Requiem in d minor, Op. 48. Praised for her outstanding artistry, "vocal beauty of high technical caliber," and "vocal flare and flamenco abandon," mezzo-soprano Maya Hoover is widely recognized for her passion, profundity, and depth on stage. She has recently been featured in concerts with renowned soprano Sumi Jo and the Hawai'i Symphony Orchestra (HSO); Brahms' Alto Rhapsody and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra (Colorado); The Magic Flute (Second Lady) and Il Trovatore (Inez) with Hawai'i Opera Theatre (HOT); gala concerts with Opera NEO (San Diego); recitals in Vernon, France and throughout China; and concerts with Artists for Social Justice Hawai'i. In 2018 she appears as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly (Opera Ft. Collins) and Mercédès in Carmen (Axelrod Performing Arts Center, NJ). In June, she will be a featured artist with the Art Song Preservation Society of New York in a program of all Latin American art song with her musical partner of more than twenty years, pianist José Meléndez.
Appearing in the role of organ soloist for the Faure Requiem, Michael Shane Wittenberg has merited the praise of a "real virtuoso" by the late Ruth Laredo and is active with many companies in the greater NYC area. He has made solo appearances as pianist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, and the Ocala Symphony. As an orchestral player, he has served in key roles as either Violinist or Keyboardist with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera as well as the Brevard (FL) Symphony Orchestra. He has been a faculty member of the Heifetz International Music Institute as a collaborative pianist and sonata coach and has appeared in collaborative recital with such artists as Metropolitan Opera soprano Stella Zambalis, concert violinist Livia Sohn, and oboist Gerard Reuter, a founding member of the Orpheus Ensemble.
Michael serves as Accompanist to the Morris Choral Society and is the Director of Music at Christ Lutheran Church of Paramus, NJ. He has previously served as assistant conductor and vocal coach at opera companies in Nashville, Orlando, Sarasota, and New York, as well as Artistic Director of the Hudson Valley Chorale. Michael made his professional opera conducting debut with Amore Opera where he serves as Chorus Master and resident conductor and is a performing member of Ensemble Tremblay at the Mozart at Monteux festival in Hancock, ME as both pianist and violinist in orchestral, chamber, duo, and soloist roles. While an Assistant Professor of Music at Lee University where he was Music Director for both the Chamber Orchestra and Opera Theatre, he led performances ranging from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte , to Virgil Thomson's The Mother of Us All. He was the interim Conductor of the Chattanooga Symphony Youth Orchestra, and has guest conducted the Ocala (FL) Symphony and the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra (NJ).
A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, Mr. Wittenburg's training includes Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he studied with Fernando Laires and Alan Feinberg, and held a Fellowship in opera coaching, as well as a Master's degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His teachers include Henry Charles Smith, David Effron, Dr. Steven Bird, and, most recently, Michael Jinbo at the renowned Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians, where he was awarded the Osher Scholar prize. He was the Mary Ragland Young Artist Pianist at Nashville Opera, where he directed 66 performances of the world premiere children's opera, The Ugly Duckling.
The Morris Choral Society and "Rebirth and Renewal: A Celebration of Spring" is funded in part by the Arts Council of the Morris Area through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding has also been provided by the Arts Council of the Morris Area/Dodge Foundation Partnership. To learn more about the Morris Choral Society, its history and programming visit www.morrischoralsociety.org.
Morris Choral Society's "Rebirth and Renewal: A Celebration of Spring"
May 12 8PM
Methodist Church on the Green in Morristown
Tickets: $25 Adult; $20 Seniors; $15 Children 18 & Under (or students with ID?)
Purchase Online; at the door or call 973-459-5223