The Collegiate Chorale presents George F. Handel's Israel in Egypt on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 8pm at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University, 566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South), NYC. The performance features Brian Asawa, Sari Gruber, Rufus Müller, Megan Taylor, Robert Osborne, Ron Loyd and the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Bagwell. Tickets are $25-$85 and are available online at www.skirballcenter.nyu.edu, by phone at 212-352-3101 or in person at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University.
Handel's Israel in Egypt is a rich musical setting of the biblical story of the Exodus. In this choral tour de force, vivid images of the Exodus story are recounted during the first segment, which is complemented by the beautiful and exultant second half, The Song of Moses. Both colossal and tender, this work of epic imagery and text painting is one of Handel's monumental achievements. The cast includes Sari Gruber, soprano; Brian Asawa, countertenor; Rufus Müller, tenor; Megan Taylor, soprano; Robert Osborne, baritone; and Ron Loyd, baritone. Director and projection designer is Aaron Rhyne. Lighting design is by Frances Aronson. Music Director, James Bagwell, will conduct The Chorale with the American Symphony Orchestra.
The Collegiate Chorale, among New York's foremost vocal ensembles, has added to the richness of the city's cultural fabric for more than 65 years. 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 commissions and premieres of new works by today's most exciting creative artists. In the summer of 2009, The Chorale performed for a fourth season at Switzerland's Verbier Music Festivaland in July 2008 toured with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem. This season, The Chorale presented the world premiere two-act concert version of Ricky Ian Gordon's opera The Grapes of Wrath at Carnegie Hall to great critical acclaim. 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 premier choral ensemble.
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.
About the Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU:
The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University, is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events at NYU and lower Manhattan. Located at 566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South), it provides a large-scale performance space for university events and live professional performances from around the world. The 860-seat theater opened in October 2003 and hosts the only major university-based professional multi-arts presenting program in Manhattan. As a result, one natural and continuing mission of the Skirball Center is to build young audiences for live performance through a broad range of compelling performance events at affordable ticket prices. For more information and a current schedule of events, visit www.skirballcenter.nyu.edu.
For more information, visit www.collegiatechorale.org or call 646-202-9623.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Hailed as "nothing short of sensational" by Opera magazine, soprano SARI GRUBER's operatic highlights include Alexandra in Regina for her debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Lisette in La Rondine and Miss Hedgehog in the world premiere of Tobias Picker's The Fantastic Mr. Fox with Los Angeles Opera; and Carolina in Il matrimonio segreto, Aricie in Hippolyte et Aricie, and Varvara in Kát'a Kabanová with Opera Theatre Of Saint Louis. She has performed with New York City Opera, Opera Theatre Of Saint Louis, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Pacific, Pittsburgh Opera, Berkshire Opera and the Juilliard Opera Center, as well as many other regional opera companies. Winner of the 2005 Naumburg Competition, Ms. Gruber has appeared in recital at New York's Alice Tully Hall, Weill RecitAl Hall at Carnegie, the 92nd Street Y, Miller Theater, and several appearances with the New York Festival of Song. She has given recitals across the country under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation. Other credits include a pre-concert recital of Copland's Poems of Emily Dickinson with the New York Philharmonic and a solo recital on San Francisco Opera's Schwalbacher Debut Recital Series.
BRIAN ASAWA's career was launched when he became the first countertenor to win the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1991. He was the first countertenor Adler Fellow for San Francisco Opera, became the first countertenor to win the Placido Domingo "Operalia" International Opera Competition and was awarded Seattle Opera's Artist of the Year Award for his portrayal of Arsamene in Handel's Xerxes. He has appeared in opera houses worldwide singing signature roles such as Tolomeo in Handel's Giulio Cesare for Seattle Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Opera Australia, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Paris Opera at Palais Garnier, Madrid's Teatro Real, Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu, New Israeli Opera, and Hamburg Staatsoper. Other roles include Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus (San Francisco and San Diego Operas); Arsamene in Handel's Serse (Los Angeles, Cologne, and Santa Fe Operas and Grand Théâtre de Genève); Belize in Peter Eotvos's Angels in America; Ottone in Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Hamburg and Glimmerglass Operas); Nero in Poppea (Opera Australia); Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice (Nederlandse Opera); Oberon in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream (San Francisco and Houston Grand Operas and Teatro di San Carlo in Napoli); and Baba the Turk in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress (Swedish Television One and San Francisco Opera). His discography includes solo CDs ranging from Elizabethan lute songs to song cycles by Ned Rorem. Opera recordings include Mozart's Mitridate for Decca, Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream for London, and Handel's Xerxes for Conifer. He also appears in Handel's Messiah for Deutsche Grammaphon.
The British/German tenor RUFUS MÜLLER has established a distinguished reputation for opera and oratorio throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Japan and in North America. He has worked with many leading conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Roger Norrington, Ivor Bolton, Richard Hickox, Nicholas McGegan, Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Philippe Herreweghe, Joshua Rifkin, Andrew Parrott, Nicholas Kraemer and Ivan Fischer. He has given recitals in the Wigmore Hall and the Barbican Concert Hall in London as well as on BBC Radio, and in Munich, Tokyo, Barcelona, Madrid, Utrecht, Paris, Salzburg and New York. Operatic roles include Tamino in Magic Flute (Garsington Opera), Lucano in L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Houston Grand Opera), the title roles in Rameau's Pygmalion and Lully's Persée (Opera Atelier in Toronto) and Monteverdi's Orfeo (Opera Zuid in The Netherlands), Aminta in Peri's Euridice (Opéra de Normandie), Alessandro in Handel's Poro (Halle) and Lurcanio in Handel's Ariodante in Göttingen, released on a prize-winning disc by Harmonia Mundi USA. Other recordings include Bach's St. John Passion and Bach's Cantatas with John Eliot Gardiner for DG Archiv, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Beethoven's Choral Fantasia with Roger Norrington for EMI, Dowland's First Book of Airs with lutenist Christopher Wilson for ASV, Haydn's O tuneful voice and songs by Benda with soprano Emma Kirkby and three recordings of 19th-century songs with Invocation, all for Hyperion.
Displaying a wide ranging repertoire, baritone RON LOYD has appeared as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with El Paso Opera; Ping in Turandot with Mobile Opera and Pensacola Opera, Marcello in La bohème and Papageno in Die Zauberflote with Opera Southwest, and Germont in La Traviata with Bronx Opera and the New Operafestival di Roma Symphony. In 2009, Mr. Loyd returned to Light Opera Oklahoma as Fredrik in A Little Night Music, where The Sondheim Review praised his "opulent baritone and nuanced phrasing." That same year Mr. Loyd made successful debuts with Connecticut's Salt March Opera as Falke in Die Fledermaus. In 2010, Mr. Loyd will solo in Brahm's Ein destches Requiem with The Choral Society in New York City; returns to Light Opera Oklahoma as Fred in Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate and as Bunthorne in Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience; and makes his role debut of Dulcamara in Donizetti's L'elisir d'Amore as part of Salt Marsh Opera's 10th anniversary season.
Bass-baritone Robert Osborne has sung over forty roles in operas from Bernstein to Weill with companies in Paris, Berlin, New York, Houston, Santa Fe and Los Angeles. His concert career has taken him to Royal Albert Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Victoria Hall in Singapore, the Gran Teatro in Havana, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, and Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow where he has sung under such distinguished conductors as Bernstein, Ozawa, Spivakov, Tilson Thomas, John Williams and Russell Davies. He has appeared with the Tanglewood, Schleswig-Holstein, Nakamichi, USArts/Berlin, Aspen and Marlboro Festivals as well as on several celebrated telecasts for the BBC, PBS, Russian and European television. He has appeared in four City Center Encores! musicals, in the Bernstein at 70! Gala from Tanglewood, and in the BAM Salutes Sondheim Gala.
The AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA was founded in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski. Under the music direction of Leon Botstein since 1992, the American Symphony has pioneered the performance of thematically organized concerts, linking music to the visual arts, literature, politics, and history. In addition, the American Symphony Orchestra performs in a lecture/concert series with audience interaction called Classics Declassified at Peter Norton Symphony Space. It is also the resident orchestra of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where it performs an annual concert series as well as in Bard's annual SummerScape Festival and the Bard Music Festival. ASO maintains an award-winning music education program. Among the American Symphony's recent recordings are music by Copland, Sessions, Perle, and Rands for New World Records, and music of Ernst von Dohnányi for Bridge Records. Its recording of Richard Strauss's opera Die ägyptische Helena with Deborah Voigt and of Strauss's Die Liebe der Danae were made for Telarc. Other recordings with Leon Botstein include Franz Schubert: Orchestrated on the Koch International label, with works by Joachim, Mottl, and Webern, and, on the Vanguard Classics label, Johannes Brahms's Serenade No. 1 in D major, Op. 11 (1860). The American Symphony inaugurated São Paolo's new concert hall and has made several tours of Asia and Europe. It has performed with the Peer Gynt Theater Company of Norway in Central Park, and has a long history of appearing in charitable and public benefits for such organizations as Sha'are Zedek Hospital, the Jerusalem Foundation, and PBS. The American Symphony Orchestra has had an illustrious history of music directors and guest conductors. Succeeding Leopold Stokowski, who directed the Orchestra from 1962 to 1972, were Kazuyoshi Akiyama (1973-1978), Sergiu Comissiona (1978-1982), Moshe Atzmon and Guiseppe Patane (co-directors 1982-1984), John Mauceri (1985-1987), and Catherine Comet (1990-1992). Notable guest conductors have included Leonard Bernstein, Karl Böhm, Aaron Copland, Morton Gould, Aram Khachaturian, James Levine, André Previn, Yehudi Menuhin, James de Priest, Gunther Schuller, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Sir William Walton.
Frances Aronson has lit concerts for The Collegiate Chorale since 2004, including Alceste, An Evening of Kurt Weill, An Evening of American Operetta, Amici and Amore, Treemonisha, The Juniper Tree, and A White House Cantata. She counts among her credits Falsettos, Here Lies Jenny, Bad Dates, Fully Committed, and The Old Settler, each of which was produced in several venues.Her work includes shows for New York theatres and for regional theatres across the country. She is the recipient of a San Diego Critics Circle Award for the original production of Tommy, a Boston Theatre Award for The Cherry Orchard, an AUDELCO award for the NY production of The Old Settler and an OBIE award for Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design.
Aaron Rhyne is a video artist and director specializing in theatrical video and projection design. His designs include Jerry Springer: The Opera (Carnegie Hall, The Sydney Opera House). REGIONAL: Frank Wildhorn's Bonnie and Clyde (La Jolla Playhouse, Asolo Rep), Duncan Sheik's Whisper House (The Old Globe), the current revival of Stephen Schwartz' Working (The Old Globe, Asolo Rep, Broadway in Chicago), The Civil War (Ford's Theatre), The Last Five Years (Asolo Rep) OFF BROADWAY: Graceland (Lincoln Center), Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge (HERE, St. Anne's Warehouse), Amiri Baraka's Dutchman (Cherry Lane), The JAP Show (Actors Temple), Topsy Turvy Mouse (Cherry Lane), Flags (59E59), and Monica Bill Barnes' Suddenly Summer Somewhere (St. Marks Church). He has worked with Caden Manson's Big Art Group and has toured with them in Europe and the U.S. with The House of No More and Flicker. Directing credits include The Living Person act of The Lily's Revenge (HERE, St. Ann's Warehouse), Once There Was a Boy and InsideOut (Live Project), and Playing House and Glued to Grammy for HERE. He founded the multimedia based performance company Live Project with writer Jason Pizzarello in 2002. Additionally, Mr. Rhyne directs music videos, commercials, and projects for television. www.aaronrhyne.com