Opening Chords from New Girls

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Much like Gloria Steinem and Eleanor Roosevelt changed the way the world saw women, Cécile Chaminade changed the way the world saw female composers. Rather than dedicate her life to keeping house and baking croissants, Cécile wanted to be a composer. And compose she did — several of her character pieces were commercially successful, and her talent gained praise from Georges Bizet and Benjamin Godard. Despite this renown, Cécile’s music was underappreciated in the male-dominated music world: her pieces were relegated to salon performances rather than concert halls. However, some of her pieces have endured — notably, her Concertino for Flute, Op. 107 – and, despite the sexism of the time, she became the first female composer to be induced to the Legion d’Honneur in 1913. I am honored to be playing the Concertino, which was commissioned for the Paris Conservatory’s Morceau de Concours and is nowadays a favorite in the flute repertoire. The work is delightful, melodic and charming – a pleasure to perform. This performance is a high-five to Cécile and her perseverance." Felipe Tristan on Chaminade's Concertino


If you’ve ever watched reality dating game shows, you will have no problem understanding and following a plot of Austrian Operetta The Merry Widow written in 1905. Yes, there is nothing new in the world. Where there is a rich woman available to be wed, there is a plenty of suitors to choose from. With its 5,000 performances in America in its first year, this silly plot made Franz Lehar a millionaire. It is amusing to see that the same plot idea is just as relevant and popular in America today as it was a century ago. And I love how One World Symphony concert programming brings this kind of past and present together. It is extremely thrilling for me to be back and make music with One World Symphony again. It has been a few seasons that I am enjoying working with Sung Jin Hong, and this time I am excited to sing Hanna’s Song in New Girls. This song tells a story of a Huntsman beings dazzled by the sight of a Fairy Forest Maiden. While she stands on the rock, the Huntsman pleads with her to hold him and to be his lover! The music of a main line in the chorus, when the Huntsman repeats the name of his affection — "Vilja, O Vilja is the most sensual plea I could ever imagine of a man wanting a woman. — Irina Mozyleva on Lehar's The Merry Widow

Irresistible charm, deep humility and a natural ability to love and care without condition, Mimi (La Bohème) is one of the most celebrated and well loved operatic heroines. The story of the opera centers around Mimi the young woman afflicted with a life threatening illness who decides to take charge of her life. She takes risks never before dared dream of, she moves into a new apartment, introduces herself to the "cute guy who lives upstairs," (why not?) tells him her deepest dreams and desires and in doing so she opens up and connects with a young man she has never met! I think Mimi is truly the "New Girl!" Her courage and charm win our hearts and we can't help but admire her and fall in love with her. As introductions are made in each of their lovely arias Mimi and Rodolfo get to know each other better, and we watch and listen as they give each other their hearts. At the end of Act I we hear Puccini's beautiful phrases ebb and flow and then soar with complete abandon in the famous love duet "o soave fanciulla," where two souls speak and as we listen, we feel and breathe every word. — Michelle DeCoste on Mimi from Puccini's La Bohème


Musetta came to me when I needed her most; when the very first love of my life broke my heart. I was 19, and in true bohemian fashion, believed there was nothing so powerful as love. Musetta's Waltz became my anthem and I sang it constantly. To this day it is the most requested aria in my repertoire. Its easy to see why this melody has become one of the greatest love themes ever written. The music is sweeping, romantic and sensual, and it is easy to see ones self in the relationship between Musetta and Marcello. Every time I sing it, I remember myself as that hopeless romantic 19 year old singing this aria in an audition class; watching my first love squirm in his seat in the back of the room. As much as I've matured and come to understand love in a much more profound way, there is a small part of me that still enjoys the satisfaction of victory in the final high note. — Katie Kat on Musetta from Puccini's La Bohème


Just as New Girl’s Jess has had her trials with love, Le nozze di Figaro’s Contessa has been through the ringer. Contessa is the picturesque example of what can go wrong in love — a lack of trust, a loneliness, and pure, unadulterated heartache. Her lamentations can be heard acutely in the melody and soaring lines of her first aria, “Porgi amor”, where she begs the god of love to give back her philandering husband. Contessa’s second aria, “Dove sono” sheds light into her personality. Although the beginning reminisces of the beautiful moments of happiness she once shared with her Count, the second half shows her persistence and strength in changing her husband’s ungrateful heart. Finally, we get to see Contessa’s playful and scheming side in her fun and beautiful duet with Susanna, “Sull’aria”. The Countess experiences a spectrum of emotional reactions in response to her suddenly loveless marriage, and we get the privilege of watching her deal with them with dignity and poise. — Kathryn Papa on Contessa from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro


There's a "New Girl" in town named Susanna, and she's causing a lot of trouble! Don't let her sweetness and charm deceive you; she'll find a way to lure you in, offer you a trick or treat, and then expose you to the town. She can be found in Little Italy sipping wine with the Wall Street tycoon, flirting with the "Brooklynite" coffee shop hipster or, dancing and winking throughout the village. But deep down inside, this gal loves the hard working, tender soul type that whistles in the park and makes steel cut oats for breakfast. Her steel cut oat man and fiancé is Figaro. On her wedding day, her boss, the Count, mischievously plans a rendezvous before the wedding festivities. With her wit, she connives a plan to lure her boss, the Count, and Figaro to Prospect Park for some fun and games. She schemes with her right hand woman, the Countess, with whom she sings the heart-melting duet "Sull'aria," (“On the breeze”). In this exchange, the Countess has Susanna write an email to the Count inviting him to Prospect Park later that evening. Ultimately, the Countess wants to expose her husband’s infidelity. Susanna loves the idea and adds to the juicy plot by singing "Deh vieni non tadar" (“Oh come don't be late”) to the "Count" in the Park. She knows Figaro is hiding behind the tree as she sings her love song to presumably the Count. With her giggle and charm, she surely knows how to tease these boys into believing that they are both special. What will happen later when all suitors come to light in the dark? — Marie Putko on Susanna in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro


The idea of singing Musetta is so thrilling because she represents everything I am not. She’s egotistical, edgy, daring, sexual and just completely dramatic. Of course, I’m a girl so drama is always somewhat exciting, but if I ever actually saw her walking down the street, I would think “What a B!” Despite that, when I sing Quando m’en vo’, she evokes confidence in me and makes me feel beautiful. It literally takes me to a whole other place which, as an artist, is so much fun to explore. She is the ultimate “Opera Diva” character!” — Brianne Keefe on Musetta from Puccini's La Bohème

Do you ever feel trapped by mundane responsibilities and fantasize about glamorous escapes? Ever done something a bit naughty . . . only to get caught with your hand in the cookie jar? Quite the adventurer, Adele has wandered into dangerous territory and been caught red-handed by her Master in a compromising situation. Hesitant at first, she uses her quick tongue and considerable charm to wiggle free and ultimately turn the tables. Like Adele, may we all push boundaries and live life to the fullest! — Laura Farmer on Adele from Strauss' Die Fledermaus


La Bohème. What is it about the opera that people love so much, and how in the world does it tie into a New Girl themed concert? One could focus on the core cast of characters and the hilarious and irreverent interactions between them. Or the interesting (and sometimes insane) situations the main characters find themselves in. In a lot of ways, the show brings us a 21st-Century example of the Bohemian lifestyle (perhaps without the starving-artist trope). A bunch of late-twenty somethings who, though not all artists, find themselves in a position in life, career, and relationships that reflect their unique and unorthodox way of life. One can see a lot of similarities between the modern Nick character (from the hit-TV show) and the classic Rodolfo: Both are young men living in a metropolitan city who often have too much time on their hands and are fiercely passionate and loyal to their friends while being slightly neurotic in their romantic relationships. We enjoy watching these characters bounce off each-other and readily laugh (or cry) as we follow their lives. Though one story takes place now and the other over a century ago, it seems that the human experience between people stays consistent and we easily identify with it. In the end, what endears these characters and stories to us is that they remind us a little bit of ourselves; the odd friend, frustrating landlord, or the longing for a close-knit group of people trying to make their way in the world. Inspiring art often times causes us to reflect on our own lives, whether it be through the lens of a bartender in L.A. or a poet living above the frozen streets of Paris. — Raymon Geis on Rodolfo in Puccini's La Bohème.



Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
Holy Apostles Church
296 Ninth Avenue at West 28th Street

Monday, October 27, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
Holy Apostles Church
296 Ninth Avenue at West 28th Street

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