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Gerard Schwarz, conductor

Christine Goerke, soprano

Holli Harrison, soprano

Vinson Cole, tenor

Seattle Symphony Chorale


RICHARD WAGNER Excerpts from Parsifal

Prelude to Act I

Prelude to Act III—

Good Friday Spell


FELIX MENDELSSOHN Lobgesang (“Hymn of Praise”), Op. 52

No. 1:Sinfonia

Maestoso con moto – Allegro

Allegretto un poco agitato

Adagio religioso

No. 2:Chorus and Soprano

No. 3: Tenor

No. 4: Chorus

No. 5: Sopranos I/II and Chorus

No. 6: Tenor

No. 7: Chorus

No. 8: Chorale

No. 9: Tenor and Soprano

No. 10: Chorus

Christine Goerke, soprano

Holli Harrison, soprano

Vinson Cole, tenor

Seattle Symphony Chorale

Pre-Concert Lecture “Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise” with Jill Becker, Seattle Symphony Publications and Marketing Coordinator_. _Takes place one hour prior to performance.

Program Information

A mystical regard for Christian symbolism lies at the heart of Wagner’s last opera, Parsifal. The three orchestral excerpts from this work convey the tone of suffering and redemption, essential to the story of Parsifal, through the use of musical themes imbued with dramatic significance.

Mendelssohn’s “Lobgesang” is also a non-ecclesiastical work freighted with Christian ideas, written to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the invention of printing and the mass dissemination of Christianity through the written word. Part symphony and part choral cantata, it manifests its author’s deep ties to both Beethoven and Bach while remaining unique and original. Themes of praise and gratitude to God are central to the text, along with the message that humanity has come out of the long dark ages and has, ultimately, found redemption.

Christine Goerke, soprano

Soprano Christine Goerke, recipient of the 2001 Richard Tucker Award, has established an outstanding reputation with many of the world’s leading opera houses and orchestras. Notable performances include her recent debut with San Francisco Opera, performing Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus; Armida in Rinaldo and the title role in Alcina at New York City Opera; the title role in Agrippina at Santa Fe; Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni for the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera and the Paris Opera, and Donna Anna at Covent Garden; and Elettra in Idomeneo and Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito for the Paris Opera. She has been praised as a first-rate comic actress and also earned acclaim for her performances of Wagner. On the concert stage, Goerke has appeared with orchestras including the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Boston, Chicago, Houston, National New World and Sydney symphony orchestras. Among her recordings are the 2003 Grammy-winning album of Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes; Dvorák’s Stabat Mater; and Britten’s War Requiem.

Holli Harrison, soprano

A Grand Prize Winner of the 2006 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, soprano Holli Harrison has been heard most recently in the American stage premiere of Wagner’s Das Liebesverbot at Glimmerglass Opera. She has covered the roles of Ortlinde in Die Walküre and Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte with the Metropolitan Opera. She has also appeared as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Opera Company of North Carolina, and in Madama Butterfly, Elektra, La Tragédie de Carmen and La Clemenza di Tito as a member of Pittsburgh Opera’s Opera Center. Other notable credits include performances with the Seagle Music Colony, Aspen Opera Theatre, Music Academy of the West, St. Luke’s Chamber Choir and the Chautauqua Institute of Music. A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Harrison is an alumna of Glimmerglass Opera’s acclaimed Young American Artists Program, where she covered the role of Boule de Suif in the company’s 2006 world premiere production of Stephen Hartke’s The Greater Good.

Vinson Cole, tenor

Vinson Cole’s career has taken him to the major opera houses across the globe, including the Metropolitan, Munich State, San Francisco, Hamburg State and Seattle operas; Opera National de Paris Bastille, Teatro alla Scala and Theatre Royale de la Monnaie; and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opera Australia and Royal Opera House at Covent Garden. Equally celebrated for his concert appearances, Cole has performed with the greatest orchestras and conductors, including Christoph Eschenbach, Claudio Abbado, Carlo Maria Giulini, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, James Conlon, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Gerard Schwarz, Sir Georg Solti and Giussepe Sinopoli. Cole had an especially close working relationship with the late Herbert von Karajan, who brought him to the Salzburg Festival to sing the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier — the first of many performances there together. He was most recently seen at Benaroya Hall in Seattle Symphony’s performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in September 2008.

Gerard Schwarz

One of the leading conductors of his generation, Gerard Schwarz is internationally recognized for his engaging performances, innovative programming and renowned recording history. This season, Maestro Schwarz’s exciting work with Seattle Symphony continues in its 25th year as he leads the Orchestra in his Silver Anniversary Season. Maestro Schwarz has received 2 Emmy awards, 13 Grammy nominations, six ASCAP awards, and numerous Stereo Review and Ovation awards. His extensive discography of some 260 releases showcases his collaborations with some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including The Philadelphia Orchestra; the Tokyo, Czech and Royal Liverpool philharmonics; the London Symphony Orchestra; Orchestra National de France and Berlin Radio Symphony; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; and the New York Chamber and Seattle symphonies.

Schwarz has also served on the National Council on the Arts. In 2002, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers honored Schwarz with its Concert Music Award, and, in 2003, the Pacific Northwest Branch of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences gave Schwarz its first “IMPACT” lifetime achievement award. In 2009, Schwarz received Seattle’s First Citizen Award.

Maestro Schwarz is also Music Director of the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, where he was honored in 2009 by the mayor of Greensboro with the Key to the City. He also has served as Music Director of New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and New York Chamber Symphony, as well as Artistic Advisor to the Tokyo Philharmonic and Orchard Hall.

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