The Dialogues of the Carmelites

The Dialogues of the Carmelites:
Miracle at the Scaffold

One World Symphony
Sung Jin Hong, Artistic Director and Conductor
One World Symphony Vocal Artists

Francis Poulenc: The Dialogues of the Carmelites (1957)

Witness the historical and suspenseful music drama The Dialogues of the Carmelites by Francis Poulenc. Based on an insightful psychological adaptation of Gertrud von Le Fort’s novella The Last on the Scaffold, Poulenc’s haunting work takes place in a Carmelite convent during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. The French authorities dissolve the convent and the nuns take a vow of martyrdom. In the unforgettable final scene, the nuns march to the scaffold. While the nuns ascend to the guillotine, will a true miracle take place?

Program length: 2 hours with intermission
Sung in French with English supertitles

Composer-Conductor Sung Jin Hong is the artistic director of One World Symphony. Mr. Hong’s upcoming composition commissions include a piano concerto for Lloyd Arriola, a chamber work for Project 60/40, world premiere orchestration of Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du tempSidewalk Sketches for September Concert Foundation, and the symphonic poem Eye of the Storm for audience and One World Symphony. Mr. Hong’s guest conducting engagements include Lyrique-en-mer in France, Stadt Wien Konservatorium in Vienna, Royal Northern Conservatory in Manchester, Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Ballet, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes, Redlands University, Bradley University, Western Illinois University, Great Music for a Great City. Mr. Hong had the honor of being chosen by Kurt Masur to conduct in masterclasses and concert with Manhattan School of Music Symphony. He made his international recording debut as a conductor with the record label Naxos. 

Photo by Jaka Vinšek

Claire Molloy, soprano, is a native of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. A versatile performer, her repertoire includes Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Concepcion in L’heure espagnole, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, Romilda in Xerxes, Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, Célie in Signor Deluso, Lucy in The Telephone, Juno in The Judgment of Paris (Eccles), and the soprano in Side by Side by Sondheim. She earned her MM in Voice Performance from Florida State University and her BM and BBA from the University of Michigan. Ms. Molloy has sung with the Berkshire Opera’s Resident Artist Program, Ann Baltz’s OperaWorks, Eastern Festival Opera, and the Lirica Nacional de Costa Rica. She made her debut with One World Symphony as the Vixen in last spring’s production of  The Cunning Little Vixen and performed Marguerite in scenes from Faust at this year’s Halloween concert. Upcoming engagement includes performing the New York premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Parfum de l’instant (2002) with One World Symphony in March 2011.

Versatile American soprano Samantha Pruyn Guevrekian, noted for her “pure, sweet-sounding soprano voice,” is the recipient of several prestigious awards, most recently receiving an Encouragement Prize from the Gerda Lissner International Voice Competition. Her roles have included Sister Gertrude in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Belinda in Dido & Aeneas, Despina in Così Fan Tutte, Filia in Carissimi’s Jephte, Drusilla in Purcell’s Dioclesian, Inez in Weber’s Die Drei Pintos, Norina in Don Pasquale, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, The Dew Fairy in Hansel & Gretel, and Nedda in Pagliacci. In review of this production, The Opera Insider stated, “The vocal star of the evening was, without a doubt, Samantha Pruyn Guevrekian...Her voice shimmered in the high range and showed color and expression throughout her range...” Making her debut with One World Symphony, Ms. Guevrekian holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance and Music Business from Northwestern University and a M.M. in Vocal Performance from Stony Brook University.

American soprano Michelle DeCoste recently shone as Mimí in Puccini’s La Bohème with One World Symphony in New York City, following a successful debut with the company as Suor Angelica in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Michelle has been praised as possessing a "lovely, lyric soprano radiating a vulnerable and deeply emotional aura." Ms. DeCoste has also performed leading roles with Shaker Mountain Opera in the New York Berkshires, New York Summer Opera in New York City, and in Europe with the Amalfi Coast Music Festival and the Ravello Concert Society, both based in southern Italy. Other opera credits include Cio Cio San (Madama Butterfly) and Nedda (Pagliacci) with New York Summer Opera; Norina (Don Pasquale), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Marguerite (Faust), and Mimí (La Bohème) with Shaker Mountain Opera; Micäela (Carmen) with New York Vocal Artists; Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with the Martina Arroyo Foundation; Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Laetitia (Old Maid and the Thief) and Carolina (Il Matrimonio Segreto) with the Amalfi Coast Music Festival; and Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) and Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with the Ravello Concert Society

Sharon Azrieli, soprano and native of Montreal, is making her debut with One World Symphony. A passionate and exciting performer, her repertoire includes such roles as Tosca, Leonora in La Forza del Destino, Amelia in Ballo in Maschera, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Vermont Opera), Adriana Lecouvreur (L’Opera de Paris a la Bastille,) Mimí in La Bohème (Canadian Opera Company), and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro (Sarasota Opera.) Ms. Azrieli has concertized extensively with such orchestras as the Jerusalem and Haifa Symphonies, the McGill Chamber and Israel Chamber Orchestras, the New West and Tokyo Symphony Orchestras, and L’Orchestre de L’Ile, performing a wide range of Oratorio and Concert arias, including the Verdi Requiem, the Mahler 2nd and 8th Symphonies and the Stabat Mater by Dvorak. She earned her performance diploma in Voice from the Juilliard School of music in New York, and her MM from L’Universite de Montreal, where she is currently completing her Doctorate.

Soprano Lauren-Rose King graduated in 2008 from the New England Conservatory, where she was the recipient of the William David Brohn Musical Theatre Scholarship. Awards include first place in Boston NATS Competition, first place in New England Conservatory Concerto Competition, and third place in 5 Towns Young Artists Competition. During the summers of 2008 and 2009, Ms. King sang with the College Light Opera Company. There she performed the roles Gianetta in The Gondoliers, Magnolia in Show Boat, Phyllis in Iolanthe, Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music, and Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore. Regional roles include Johanna in Sweeney Todd,and Yum-Yum in The Mikado with C&R Productions in upstate New York. Most recent repertoire includes Le Feu in L’enfant et les sortileges with Pocket Opera of New York and Margot in The Desert Song with Light Opera of New York. Ms. King is excited to make her debut with One World Symphony as Soeur Contance.

Making her debut with One World Symphony, soprano Emily Parrott has performed the soprano solos in Handel’s Messiah in Atlanta and Adina in a special New Year’s Eve performance of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore with the St. Petersburg Opera, where she was a member of the Emerging Artist Program. Over the past few years, Ms. Parrott has performed regularly with such respected companies as The Atlanta Opera, Capitol City Opera, The Atlanta Lyric Theatre, and Black Bear Dinner Theater. With Capitol City Opera, she toured regularly as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel. Her other roles include Maria in The Sound of Music, Louisa in The Fantasticks, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, and Della in The Gifts of the Magi. In the summer of 2005 she toured Italy as La Virtu in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea with La Musica Lirica. Ms. Parrott gained intense performance experience singing in many roles and scenes at Valdosta State University and Georgia State University where she received her degrees.

Adrienne Metzinger is a founding member, graphic designer, managing director, and stage director of One World Symphony. Ms. Metzinger had the honor of singing our National Anthem to begin New York City’s televised 2003 Veteran’s Day Parade as well as at a ceremony honoring Senator Hillary Clinton held by the United Spinal Association. She made her Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall debut singing the music of Kurt Weill in a benefit concert for the American Red Cross. Ms. Metzinger has made numerous appearances in One World Symphony’s opera productions: Barber’s  Vanessa (The Baroness), Richard Strauss’s  Ariadne auf Naxos (Dryade) and  Elektra (Clytemnestra’s Trainbearer), Verdi’s  Otello (Emilia), Janácek’s  The Cunning Little Vixen (Forester’s Wife, Dog), Tchaikovsky’s  Eugene Onegin (Larina), and Handel’s  Giulio Cesare (Cornelia). Her solo concert repertoire with One World Symphony include Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’Été, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Bach’s Magnificat, and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Metzinger has also performed world premiere works by Kyle Gann, Joan Dawidziak and Stan Grill.

Mezzo-soprano Monica Hershenson Thuris is quickly becoming known for a voice of surprising power and clarity and for her magnetic stage presence. In Los Angeles she performed La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), Mother (Hansel and Gretel), Voice of Antonia’s Mother (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Alisa (Lucia di Lammermoor) and Madame Bancelin (Manon Lescaut by Auber).  Since moving to New York in 2007, she has performed the roles of Carmen (Carmen), Waltraute (Die Walküre), revisited Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte) and enjoyed an entertaining departure as Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus). Upcoming engagements include Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) with One World Symphony. A native of Santa Monica, California, she has been a musician since childhood. Soon after discovering her operatic voice at Santa Monica College, she decided on a career in singing. She currently lives in New York with her husband, tenor Shawn Thuris.

Allison Waggener, mezzo soprano, has performed in opera, dance, theater, and musicals, and has also worked on the offstage creative team as director, choreographer, and writer. She attended Yale College, where she graduated Cum Laude with majors in American Studies and Theater Studies, and spent a semester abroad at the Moscow Art Theater School studying acting, movement, acrobatics, and voice. She has performed three recitals in the Boston area, several scenes concerts, and concerts with Longwood Opera and New England Light Opera. Recent performances include Opera Providence’s TreemonishaCherubino with LeNozzeNY, and Dorabella (cover) in Cosí Fan Tutte for Osh Opera. From 2005 to 2006 she lived for a year in the woods of northern Wisconsin through the Wilderness Guide Program of Teaching Drum Outdoor School. Ms. Waggener recently sang the role of the the 3rd Maid in Elektra with One World Symphony.

Emily Geller, mezzo-soprano, proudly hails from Manhasset, NY. Recent roles include: Katisha in The Mikado, Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Mrs. Anderson in A Little Night Music, La maestra delle novizie in Suor Angelica, Miss. Todd in Old Maid and the Thief, and Mrs. Herring in Albert Herring. She has performed with Amore Opera, New York Lyric Opera Theater, Village Light Opera Group, College Light Opera Company, Intermezzo Opera, Rising Star Opera, Harvard-Radcliffe G&S Players, and BU’s Tanglewood Vocal Program. Ms. Geller graduated with a B.M. in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory where she earned the Emmitt Quinton and Ruth S. Morse Scholarship. She has been a semi-finalist in the Amato Opera Scholarship Competition, NATS Song and Aria Competition, Orpheus National Vocal Competition, Classical Singer AudComps. and awarded The NYSTEA Award of Excellence for Exceptional Work in Theater. She will be making her One World Symphony debut as Mère Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites.

A native of northern Canada, mezzo-soprano Kirsten Kane sings in the choruses of the NY Philharmonic, Little Orchestra Society and National Chorale. She has sung as chorister under the batons of Leon Botstein, Will Crutchfield, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Alan Gilbert, Mariss Jansons, Bernard Labadie, Louis Langrée, Lorin Maazel, and appeared with Mostly Mozart Festival, Royal Concertgebouw and Caramoor Opera. Solo repertoire includes Cherubino (Eastern Festival Opera), Romeo (Northport Opera), Madame Haltiere (NY Lyric Opera Theatre), Mercedes (NY LOT), La Badessa (Opera Co of Brooklyn), Charlotte, Rosina, Dorabella, Siebel, Meg, Hansel, Idamante, Haydn’s Schöpfungsmesse (NY Cantata Singers), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Choral Symphony Society), and Handel’s Messiah (Ensemble Sepia Orchestra). In 2005, she presented a recital for the Jewish Museum’s exhibit of Sarah Bernhardt. This month she will sing Giovanna (Rigoletto) with NY LOT and will join Hudson Valley Singers’ A Cappella concerts, as a featured soloist in Debussy’s Quant j’ai ou y le tabourin. Ms. Kane is making her debut with One World Symphony.

Mezzo-soprano Lauren Porsch completed a double major in Music and Women’s and Gender Studies at Barnard College, presenting a senior thesis and recital program entitled “Wearing the Pants: Gender subversion and erotic possibility in the operatic trouser roles.” She has performed with several companies throughout New York City, including the Bronx Opera and the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble. She counts among her favorite roles Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos, Hansel in Hansel und Gretel, and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly.  She is pleased to be returning to One World Symphony as Soeur Mathilde in Dialogues of the Carmelites, having performed in the company’s productions of Elektra in 2009 and Peter Grimes in 2008.

Puerto-Rican born José Pietri-Coimbre has distinguished himself as an orchestral, chamber music, and solo violinist, and as a vocal soloist. He made is operatic debut as Forester in One World Symphony’s production of Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. As a violinist and violist, he has held principal positions at One World Symphony, Puerto Rico Sinfonietta, the National Orchestral Institute Orchestra, Bronx Opera, and the Queens Philharmonia. A founding member of Cuarteto Ensueño, he is dedicated to the performance of Spanish and Latin American art music of instrumental and vocal genres. Mr. Pietri-Coimbre performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician at the Con Vivo Chamber Players concert series in Jersey City, NJ, and as violinist and tenor for the Luci Toscane Music and Cultural Arts Festival, in Italy and in Wisconsin. He has performed at the Chamber Music Live Series at Flushing Town Hall and the Lefrak Concert Hall, and at in several notable music festival. He served as concertmaster as part of the Siena Summer Session for the Music and the Arts in Italy and Switzerland.

Baritone Gene Howard, a native New Yorker, returns to One World Symphony in the roles of 2nd Commissaire, 1st Officier and Le Geolier. His previous roles with One World Symphony are Bartley in Riders to the Sea, Nicholas in Vanessa, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin and Der Pfleger in Elektra. Other roles in his repertoire are Amantio in Gianni Schicchi, Il Chirurgo in La Forsa del Destino, The Imperial Commissioner in Madam Butterfly, Fleville in Andrea Chenier, The Postman in The Scarf, Silvano in Un Ballo in Maschera, The Undertaker & Lawyer Frazier in Porgy and Bess and The Usher in Trial by Jury.

Erik Bagger is making his debut with One World Symphony. Roles with Brooklyn College Opera Theatre include the Schoolmaster in Comedy on the Bridge, Mr. Pàsek in The Cunning Little Vixen, and Chester A. Arthur in The Ballad of Baby Doe.  Outside engagements include Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus, and 2nd Priest/1st Armoured Man in Die Zauberflöte. Mr. Bagger has performed with the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance program, LiedAustria, the Intermezzo Young Artist Program, Opera Ischia, the International Lyric Academy of Rome, Eastman School of Music’s Horizons Program, Electronic Music New York, Remarkable Theatre Brigade, Bronx Opera, and WMNR Fine Arts Radio. Future engagements include Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Tinca in Il Tabarro, and Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi.

Jameson James has sung for Boston Lyric Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Bronx Opera, Atlantic Coast Opera Festival, DiCapo Opera, Amato Opera, Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, Aspen Opera Theater Center, Philadelphia Independent Opera and Theater, New Texas Festival, and Rome Opera Festival. He received his Bachelor of Music from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory in Boston. In 2007, Mr. James was a regional finalist at the Metropolitan National Council Regional Auditions and was featured in the pilot for the Susan Fromke film “The Audition.” Also, he is a versatile singer and has created roles for new operas. He is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and is looking forward to his first experience with the One World Symphony.

Friday, January 21, 2011
St. Ann and the Holy Trinity
Brooklyn Heights

Sunday, January 23, 2011
Church of the Holy Apostles