Beethoven's Ninth: About The Artists
Tonight's program - with a full orchestra, thrilling chorus and stirring vocal quartet — is the crown jewel of our final Summer Festival season in the meadows. Beethoven's “Ode to Joy” shares the composer’s dreams for a better world and shines a hope of united brotherhood. Seeing is believing, and this masterpiece must be heard live to be fully experienced.
Pacific Symphony turns turquoise to raise awareness for the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE Walk and the fight against lung cancer and for lung health. Join us before the concert for an interactive festival including education areas, fun games, musical instruments, prizes and more!
Aaron Copland (1900-1990) Fanfare for the Common Man
Samuel Barber (1910-1981) Adagio for Strings
John Williams (b. 1932) Liberty Fanfare
Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan
I N T E R M I S S I O N
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, Choral
Allegro ma non troppo; un poco maestoso Molto vivace
Adagio molto e cantabile
Presto - Allegro assai - Allegro assai vivace
Tonight's performance is dedicated to the memory of James Emmi (June 1916 – May 2016).
CARL ST.CLAIR • CONDUCTOR
MARY WILSON • SOPRANO | MILENA KITIĆ • MEZZO SOPRANO
JOHN BELLEMER • TENOR | KEVIN DEAS • BASS
PACIFIC CHORALE — JOHN ALEXANDER • ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
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Soprano Mary Wilson is acknowledged as one of today’s most exciting artists.
In consistent high demand on the concert stage, she has most recently appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Detroit Symphony, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Eugene Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, and at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.
An exciting interpreter of Baroque repertoire, she has appeared with Philharmonia Baroque, Musica Angelica, American Bach Soloists, Boston Baroque, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Bach Society of St. Louis, Baltimore Handel Choir, Florida Bach Festival, Colorado Bach Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Casals Festival and the Carmel Bach Festival.
On the opera stage, she is especially noted for her portrayals of Zerbinetta in Ariadne on Naxos, Susannah in The Marriage of Figaro and Gilda in Rigoletto.
She has created leading roles in North American and world-premiere performances of Jonathan Dove’s Flight, Glass’ Galileo Galilei and Petitgirard’s Joseph Merrick dit Elephant Man.
Milena Kitić, a renowned mezzo-soprano, has performed numerous roles with opera companies around the world in the last three decades.
Best known for her performance as the title role in Carmen, Kitić has played Carmen in major performance venues across the United States and Europe including National Theatre in Belgrade (Serbia), Essen Opera in Germany, Washington National Opera, Baltimore Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Pacific and Metropolitan Opera.
She has received numerous accolades for her performances, including the German Music Critic’s Award for “Performer of the Season’’ in 1998 and the Opera Pacific Guild’s “Diva of the Year” in 2005. The International Jeunesses Musicales Competition in Belgrade has established a special prize for “the best young mezzo-soprano” in Kitić’s name.
Honors and Awards
Her talent earned her the inaugural artist-in-residence award given by Chapman University in Orange, where she has been an adjunct professor and master class instructor since 2007.
She also works closely with USC; California State University, Northridge; Saddleback College and Orange County School of the Arts and runs a private vocal studio.
Kitić currently serves as chair of artistic excellence for LA Opera with whom she most recently performed the role of Carmen, Albine in Thaïs (with Placido Domingo), Mrs. Noah in Noah’s Flood and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. With Pacific Symphony, she performed her signature role of Carmen in February 2015 and sang selections from Carmen during last year’s Summer Festival.
John Bellemer’s engagements in the 2015-16 season included Lysander in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hawaii Opera Theatre), Rodolfo in La Bohème (Bangor Symphony) and Carmina Burana in Turin, Italy.
His 2014-15 engagements included Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (Boston Lyric Opera), Gabriele in Foroni’s Cristina, regina di Svezia (Chelsea Opera Group, London), Don José in Carmen (Opera Grand Rapids), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Winnipeg Symphony), the world premiere of James Newton’s St. Matthew Passion (Torino Jazz Festival) and Peter Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (China).
Recent engagements include Britten’s Spring Symphony and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius (Berkshire Choral Festival), Toni in Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers (Teatro la Fenice), Sali in Delius’ A Village Romeo and Juliet (Wexford Festival), male chorus in The Rape of Lucretia (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), Messiah (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), Nebuchadnezzar in Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace and Herold in Grassl’s Tassilo (Festival Mattseer Diabelli Sommer), and Rodolfo in La Bohème and Ira Hayes in Doderer’s Der leuchtende Fluss (Theater Erfurt).
He is featured in the Academy Award nominated film Lincoln in the title role of Gounod’s Faust.
Kevin Deas has gained international renown as one of America’s leading bass-baritones.
He is perhaps most acclaimed for his signature portrayal of the title role in Porgy and Bess, having performed it with the New York Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the symphonies of Atlanta, Baltimore, Calgary, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, Hartford, Houston, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Montreal, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Utah and Vancouver, and at the Ravinia, Vail and Saratoga festivals.
He repeated the role during the 2015-16 season with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mineria, Dallas Symphony and Buffalo Philharmonic. Recent highlights of Deas’ orchestral concert performances include Boston Baroque, Buffalo Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony and Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico.
Deas can be heard on Decca/London, Vox Classics, Telarc, Linn Records and Naxos recording labels.
Pacific Chorale is widely regarded as one of the premier choruses in the United States. Chorus America, the national service organization for choirs in North America, has honored the Chorale with the prestigious “Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence.”
Under the leadership of Artistic Director John Alexander since 1972, Pacific Chorale has performed in 27 countries around the globe and collaborated with major international orchestras such as the London Symphony, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the China National Symphony and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Argentina.
In addition to many performances in collaboration with orchestras in Southern California, Pacific Chorale has also performed under the batons of major international conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Esa- Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel.
Alexander is recognized as one of America’s most respected choral conductors, with honors including the “Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art” from Chorus America, the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the American Choral Directors Association, the “Gershwin Award” from Los Angeles County and the “Outstanding Individual Artist Award” from Arts Orange County.
Further information about Pacific Chorale, including the availability of their recordings, may be found at www.pacificchorale.org.
JOHN ALEXANDER • ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
ROBERT M. ISTAD • ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR