An Evening of Russian Music with the Choral Arts Society of Washington
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The last date listed for An Evening of Russian Music with the Choral Arts Society of Washington was Sunday October 28, 2007 / 7:30pm.
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Maestro Christopher Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra pay tribute to composer Richard Strauss with a performance of his 1888 tone poem Don Juan, as well as excerpts from the modernist operas, 1908's Elektra and 1905's hit Salome, based on Oscar Wilde's play. Making her NSO debut is Swedish soprano Iréne Theorin, who impressed critics and audiences alike with her roles in Wagner at the Met. Bass-baritone John Relyea's also appeared at the Met, along with the San Francisco, Seattle, Paris and Munich State Operas, among others. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Bob Maybury
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The music and the singers - soloists and choir - - were magnificent. A great tribute to "Slava" Rastroprovich
This concert will feature Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, conducted by Artistic Director Norman Scribner. Guest conductor Antony Walker (Artistic Director of Washington Concert Opera) will conduct the second half of the program, featuring masterpieces from the Golden Age of Russian Opera. Highlights will include the Coronation Scene from Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, the Ballroom Scene from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and the final scene from Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky. Soprano Alessandra Marc, tenor Paul Austin Kelly and bass Robert Pomakov will perform with the 190-member chorus and full orchestra.
Rachmaninoff completed his choral symphony The Bells in 1903 and considered it his favorite of all his works. The traditional four-movement symphony uses the text of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Bells” to explore the themes of happiness, love, fear and death. The second half of the program will showcase the contributions of Russian composers to the world of opera in such masterpieces as Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, The Enchantress, and The Queen of Spades; Borodin’s Prince Igor; Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night; Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky.
Guest conductor Antony Walker is beginning his sixth year as Artistic Director and Conductor of Washington Concert Opera with the 2007-2008 season. Maestro Walker is well-respected for his operatic conducting, and in addition to his work with WCO, also serves as Music Director for the Pittsburgh Opera and Co-Artistic Director of Sydney’s Pinchgut Opera. Since his conducting debut, he has led 54 operas, 47 large-scale choral/orchestral works and numerous symphonic works with companies in Europe, his native Australia, and the United States.
Dramatic soprano Alessandra Marc last appeared with Choral Arts as the featured soloist for the 2002 Christmas Music concerts. Ms. Marc is well known for her operatic performances, and has performed major roles both nationally and internationally with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden (London), Teatro dell-Opera (Rome) and Teatro alla Scala (Milan). Reviewers have praised her voice for its unique color, range and quality, and a Washington Post review declared that “Alessandra Marc has the most beautiful voice in the world.”
Tenor Paul Austin Kelly returns to Choral Arts after last fall’s performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. Mr. Kelly’s recent engagements included his first performance of the title role in La clemenza di Tito with Opera Boston and as Mozart in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart e Salieri. Mr. Kelly’s opera highlights have included performances with the Metropolitan Opera, Canadian Opera Company, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera and Washington Concert Opera. Mr. Kelly’s double debut with the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro prompted Arioso International to say, “He possesses a free and easy voice with remarkable flexibility, secure production, a stage presence beyond reproach, a pleasing tone.”
At only 25 years of age, Canadian bass Robert Pomakov has already garnered incredible praise for his opera, concert, and recital appearances. Mr. Pomakov will make his debut with Choral Arts on this program. A recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Mr. Pomakov’s busy 2006-2007 season included appearances with the Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bordeaux Opera, Florida Orchestra, Toledo Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic. Critics have raved “his voice soars magnificently” and acknowledged that his “sense of drama is so acute, without losing one bit of musicality."