Verdi & Piave

2011–2012 Season Opener:
Legendary Collaborations: Verdi & Piave

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Featured Artists

Composer-Conductor Sung Jin Hong is the artistic director of One World Symphony. The New York Times described Hong’s From The Alchemist as transforming “a novel to a lush Mahlerian sound.” Mr. Hong’s upcoming composition commissions include a piano concerto for Lloyd Arriola and a symphonic poem for Ramakrishna-Vivekananda. His recent commissioned and performed symphonic works include Eye of the Storm (2010/2011) and Sidewalk Sketches (2010). His compositions have been performed at the New York International Fringe Festival, the central New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, Bard College, and Palai Corbelli in Vienna, Austria. 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 participate in a series of masterclasses and conduct in a concert with Manhattan School of Music Symphony. He made his international recording debut as a conductor with classical music’s largest record label Naxos.

Making her debut with One World Symphony, soprano Daniele Lorio has performed Clorinda (La Cenerentola), Ida (Die Fledermaus), Susan (A Dinner Engagement), Saffi (Zigeuner Baron), Gianetta (LʼElisir dʼAmore), Nora (Riders to the Sea), Celie (Signor Deluso), Venus (Orpheus in the Underworld), Melpomene (Magnum Opus – world premiere), and Gismonda (Padrevia). Ms. Lorio has performed at the Kennedy Center and with Washington Concert Opera, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, InSeries, Washington Savoyards, and Opera Alterna. She won the Edvard Grieg Competition and performed at Bergen, Norwayʼs Grieg Hall and Rekstensamlingene. Ms. Lorio has also given recitals at the Strathmore Mansion and the Brownsville Museum of Art. She will return in One World Symphony’s fourth annual Halloween program Mad Women as Elettra.

Returning to One World Symphony this season singing Lady Macbeth, soprano Mechelle Tippets has been hailed as a “powerful voice” and “possessing a top range that gleams like white gold” in One World Symphony’s critically acclaimed “Nordic Lights” program, where she performed world premiere orchestration of Jean Sibelius songs by Sung Jin Hong. Ms. Tippets’ operatic highlights with One World Symphony include the roles of Chrysothemis (Elektra), Echo (Ariadne Auf Naxos), and Ellen Orford cover (Peter Grimes). She has also performed the roles of Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Miss Havisham (Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night), Gertrude (Hansel and Gretel), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Gertrude Stein (Mother of Us All), and Aunt Julia (Claudia Legare).As a concert soloist, Ms. Tippets’s performances include Handel’s Messiah, Barber’s Andromache’s Farewell, and Haydn’s Creation Mass. She is a recipient of an Encouragement Award from Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms. Tippets holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal music from Brigham Young University, and a master’s degree in Opera Performance from Longy School of Music.

Montreal born soprano Sharon Azrieli Perez continues her felicitous association with wonderful One World Symphony with Leonora in La Forza del Destino. Ms. Perez sang Madame Lidoine in Dialogues of the Carmelites in January of 2011 as well as world premiere orchestration of Fauré songs by Sung Jin Hong in the fun-filled Paris concert this summer with One World Symphony. In April, Ms. Perez sang her first Aïda with the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera. She continues to concertize extensively around the world, including with the McGill Chamber Orchestra and Festival Sepharade in Montreal and the Israel Chamber Orchestra and Haifa Symphony in Israel, where she will sing Mimi in La Bohème in July 2012.

Making her debut with One World Symphony, soprano Noelle R. Nordstrom is fast becoming one of opera’s bright, young talents, known for her exceptional acting and commitment to music. A graduate of Manhattan School of Music, this summer Ms. Nordstrom participated in Baldwin-Wallace College’s Wagner Intensive headed by Jane Eaglen and Timothy Mussard, where she performed scenes from Lohengrin and Tristan und Isolde. Earlier in the season Ms. Nordstrom was pleased to accept an Artist position on the Washington National Wagner Society Roster. In the 2009–2010 season Ms. Nordstrom covered the title role in Fauré’s Pénélope and performed the title role in Tosca with Kenneth Merrill. In the 2008–2009 season Ms. Nordstrom participated in Lauren Flanigan’s “Creating the Dramatic Character” seminar and was featured in Ms. Flanigan’s annual Comfort Ye concert. Later that season Rotary International selected Ms. Nordstrom for the highly selective Group Study Exchange Program to explore opera throughout Germany. Ms. Nordstrom studies with Neil Semer.

Making her debut with One World Symphony, soprano Rebecca Hicks recently enjoyed praise for her passionate portrayal of Santuzza in a new production of Cavalleria Rusticana mounted for the Figment Festival on Governor’s Island, NY. She also received acclaim for her performance in the title role of Tosca with Myriad Opera. Other notable performances have included such roles as Gertrude (Hansel and Gretel), Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Marguerite, the Countess Almaviva, and Mimi. Internationally, Miss Hicks garnered praise for concerts in Ischia, Italy, singing excerpts from operatic repertoire including Aïda and Porgy and Bess. Before moving into more dramatic repertoire, Miss Hicks enjoyed success in such roles as Violetta, Konstanza, Gilda, Madame Silberklang, Olympia/Antonia, Elvira (Puritani) and Rosalinda. Hailed for her innate musicality and well-versed in a wide range of repertoire, Miss Hicks also enjoyed international success for performances of Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in both Dresden, Germany and New York City.

Making his debut with One World Symphony, Toffer Mihalka made his national debut in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino as Don Alvaro with Houston’s Opera in the Heights receiving overwhelming response from both audiences and reviewers. Rounding off his repertoire are his successes in such major roles as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Romeo in Romeo et Juliette, and Tamino from Die Zauberflöte just to name a few. Mr. Mihalka has also been showcased with the Opera Company of Philadelphia in their productions of La Traviata and Ariadne auf Naxos. Earlier in his career, Mr. Mihalka enjoyed receiving national notice as he covered Richard Leech in the role of Don José (Carmen) with Cincinnati Opera and performing as a Young Artist with both Sante Fe Opera and Sarasota Opera in the roles of Spoletta in Tosca, L’Imperatore Altoum in Turandot, and the Eunich in Il Corsaro. He hails from Southern California.

American baritone Martin Fisher can be heard on the album Barrelhouse to Broadway, which won a 2008 Grammy Award for Best Producer. Fisher returns to One World Symphony after previously performing the role of Grand Prêtre (Samson et Dalila) in 2006. Other highlights include a 2010 debut at The Kennedy Center as Jissa (Amanjaku and Urikohime), a Carnegie Hall debut in 2009 as a Finalist in the Accadia Competition for Operatic Voice, a New York City Opera appearance in 2007 (Margaret Garner), and 2006 Alice Tully Hall debut in the American premiere of Kurofune. Mr. Fisher’s repertoire includes Escamillo (Carmen), Valentin (Faust), Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Marcello (La Bohème), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Tonio (i Pagliacci), Scarpia (Tosca), Germont (La Traviata), Amonasro (Aïda), Miller (Luisa Miller), Count di Luna (il Trovatore), and the title role in Rigoletto. He was a 2009 Finalist in The International Violetta DuPont Competition.

Baritone Kian Freitas returns to One World Symphony after performing Schaunard in La Bohème. Recent roles include Schaunard in La Bohème and Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and Papageno in The Magic Flute with New York Metro Vocal Arts Ensemble, Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief at the Delphi Theater, and Guglielmo in Così Fan Tutte, Ben in The Telephone, and Dr. Gregg in Gallantry with Cantiamo Opera Theater in New York City. Mr. Freitas was invited to create the role of Stephano in the world premiere of La Tempesta, an operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest presented in Città della Pieve, Italy. He holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and currently studies with Franco Bertacci.

Mezzo-soprano Lauren Porsch is pleased to be returning to One World Symphony this season as the Dama (Macbeth) in the Verdi program. She appeared with the company last season as Soeur Mathilde in the Dialogues of the Carmelites, and performed in its productions of Elektra in 2009 and Peter Grimes in 2008. Ms. Porsch 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.

Melissa C. Kelly, contralto and native of Chattanooga, TN, recently earned her M.M. In Classical Vocal Performance and Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy from New York University. With NYU Steinhardt’s Chamber Opera, Ms. Kelly appeared as The Leader in Kurt Weill’s Down in the Valley. She also appeared as Bambina/Nightingale in the 2009 NYU VOX/City Opera presentation of Car Crash Opera/A Bird in Your Ear. Ms. Kelly received her B.M. in Vocal Performance from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. With UT Opera Theater, she appeared as Bertha in Il barbiere di Siviglia (a joint production with Knoxville Opera), Florence Pike in Albert Herring, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Mrs. McLean in Susannah, and La Maestra delle Novizie in Suor Angelica. In 2012, Ms. Kelly will appear as Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana and the Third Lady in The Magic Flute, both with Regina Opera. She is a current Resident Artist with Dicapo Opera.

Sunday, September 18, 2011
Holy Apostles Church

Monday, September 19, 2011
Holy Apostles Church