The vocal forces of the Fairfield County Chorale and Hartford Chorale will combine with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) for a blockbuster performance of Verdi’s Requiem Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 7:30pm in Woolsey Hall. Led by NHSO music director William Boughton, the concert also will feature special guest vocal soloists Amanda Hall, Kirstin Chávez, Alex Richardson, and Nathan Stark.
Giuseppe Verdi, considered to be one of the greatest operatic composers of all time, used his gift for the dramatic to create one of the most engaging and theatrical settings for the Catholic “Requiem” Mass. In each of the Mass’s seven sections, the full forces of the NHSO and collective voices of two of Connecticut’s largest choirs will combine to express the earthly and divine messages contained in Verdi’s masterpiece.
The young American soprano Amanda Hall has earned recognition for her performances of demanding repertoire on both the operatic and concert stages. Her recent engagements include Messiah with the New Choral Society, singing Der Rosenkavalier with Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Adès’ Powder Her Face with Boston’s Odyssey Opera, Die Fledermaus with Opera Theater of Connecticut, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Highland Park Presbyterian Church, and his Symphony No. 9 with Sioux City Symphony and Eugene Symphony. Ms. Hall most recently performed with the NHSO in Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne in February 2015. She is a graduate of the Opera Program at the Yale School of Music and has earned a Master of Music degree from the University of Southern California and Bachelor of Arts in Music from La Sierra University.
Kirstin Chávez is considered one of the most riveting and significant performing mezzo-sopranos today. Ms. Chávez captures attention and acclaim in her signature roles and is recognized as one of the definitive interpreters of Carmen of our generation. She performs Bizet’s iconic heroine with great success throughout the world with leading opera companies and symphonies including New National Theatre Foundation in Tokyo, Staatsoper Hannover, Opera Australia, China National Center for the Performing Arts, Central City Opera, Arizona Opera, Columbus Symphony, Opera Queensland, Welsh National Opera, Orlando Philharmonic, and Oper Graz. This season, Ms. Chávez will reprise her signature role in Carmen with Opera San Antonio and Meg Page in Falstaff with San Diego Opera, and will return to The Metropolitan Opera in their production of Der Rosenkavalier.
Tenor Alex Richardson made his Metropolitan Opera and HD broadcast debut this season as the Shepherd in Tristan und Isolde and returned for Salome later in the season. He has appeared as a featured soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Oratorio Society of New York. Mr. Richardson was recently the tenor soloist with the Cecilia Chorus at Carnegie Hall, “Close Encounters with Music of The Berkshires,” and was presented in recital at the University of Colorado. He holds degrees from the University of Colorado and The Manhattan School of Music and has been honored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation.
Praised by the Washington Post as having a voice of “unearthly power,” American bass Nathan Stark has performed on operatic, concert and recital stages throughout the United States, Europe and China. Mr. Stark has recently made his Metropolitan Opera debut as the One-Armed Man in Die Frau ohne Schatten, and his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut as First Nazarene in Salome. Mr. Stark’s engagements in the 2016-17 season include Hawaii Opera Theatre, Cincinnati Opera, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Opera, Madison Opera, and Opera San José. His concert engagements include Defiant Requiem for his Chicago Philharmonic and Detroit Symphony Orchestra debuts, Missa solemnis with Pacific Chorale, and Verdi’s Requiem with Canton Symphony Orchestra.
The Fairfield County Chorale began informally in 1963, and was incorporated as a non-profit musical organization in 1965. The critically-acclaimed group is now in its 54th season of presenting great choral works in southwestern Connecticut. Throughout its history, the Chorale has presented more than 250 choral works, with more than 1,700 singers participating over the years. It has performed a number of local, U.S., and world premieres, and has appeared in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center. The Chorale enjoys a long and active history of international performances, including music festivals and concerts in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Yugoslavia.
Established in 1972 and under the musical direction of Maestro Richard Coffey since 2005, the Hartford Chorale reaches out to, and inspires, the widest possible audience with exceptional performances of a broad range of choral literature, including renowned choral masterpieces. While the Chorale performs most often in the Greater Hartford area, the ensemble has also been heard at Carnegie Hall as well as in several performance halls in the Northeast United States. The Chorale has toured internationally throughout Europe and Asia and in 2017 will perform in Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.
Tickets: Adult tickets are $15 – $74. College student tickets are $10 and KidTix (children ages 7-17) are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. Blue Star tickets for active military personnel and their immediate family are free. For tickets and information call 203.865.0831 x20 or visit www.NewHavenSymphony.org.
Prelude: Join the NHSO for an intriguing free pre-concert discussion led by Sacha Peiser, Professor and PhD Candidate at University of Connecticut, from 6:30-7:00pm the night of the concert. The discussion will be held in Sudler Hall, which is located just a few doors down from Woolsey Hall on College Street. There will be directional signs posted on the sidewalk.
The New Haven Symphony Orchestra will repeat this performance with the Fairfield County Chorale on Saturday, March 4 at 7:30pm at Norwalk Concert Hall. For tickets and information about this performance, visit www.Artful.ly/Fairfield-County-Chorale.
Verdi’s Requiem is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. The Classics Series media sponsor is the New Haven Register. KidTix and Blue Star Tix are sponsored by Frontier Communications.