MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale), celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, will hold its annual Spring Benefit in support of its artistic programming and education and outreach initiatives at the Metropolitan Club, 1 E. 60th Street (at Fifth Avenue), on Thursday, March 30, 2017. The evening will begin at 6pm with cocktails, followed by dinner at 7pm and performances, and a live auction of a few special items. Tickets are available at $500, $1,000 and $1,500/ tables at $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000. To learn more or to request an invitation, visit mastervoices.org/events/spring-benefit-2017/ or call 646-202-9623.
The incomparable Kelli O’Hara will join MasterVoices Artistic Director, Ted Sperling and the Tevye with whom he worked with in Fiddler on the Roof — the terrific Danny Burstein — to present lively entertainment as the centerpiece of the Spring Benefit.
The gala will celebrate some of the many donors and artists who have made significant contributions to build MasterVoices into the organization that it is today. The event will honor foundational donors Karen and Kevin Kennedy, Elaine Petschek, and Daisy Soros, as well as some of the artists who starred in early productions who were instrumental in cementing the company’s reputation as a distinguished performing arts organization: Martina Arroyo, Harolyn Blackwell and Lauren Flanigan.
The event is led by Benefit Co-Chairs Susan Baker & Michael Lynch, Lois Conway, Donald R. Crawshaw & Matthew D. Hoffman, Ellen F. Marcus, Ellen B. Nenner, Bruce Patrick, Deborah F. Stiles, Adèle K. & John Talty, and Elizabeth Tunick.
Auction items will include:
* A viewing (and cocktails) for up to 8 people of a private collection of Mark Rothko works, some of which have never been displayed publicly. No Dealers Please
* Three nights in Albany, “London’s best and most secretive address”, located on Piccadilly. It has been home to royals (Lord Snowden), intellectuals (Lord Byron, Aldous Huxley), decorators and tastemakers (David Hicks and Fleur Cowles), and luminaries (the Baroness Pauline de Rothschild). Also included: two tickets for a performance at Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, or a West End show.
* A Berkshire escape for four. Includes three nights in a 1837 Federal-style guest house on 30 private acres of rolling hills, mature gardens, and specimen trees. Also included: the option to attend performances at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Tanglewood or Jacob’s Pillow, and/or guided tours at The Clark Art Institute, The Williams College Art Museum and the Mass MOCA Museum.
* Broadway in Your Living Room: MasterVoices’ Artistic Director Ted Sperling will perform in your home or club with guest artists Bryce Pinkham (Broadway: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, with MasterVoices: Knickerbocker Holiday) and Lauren Worsham (Broadway: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, with MasterVoices: The Mikado and Not the Messiah).
*As a special bonus – the top auction donor of the night will be rewarded with a private dinner with Ted Sperling and Kelli O’Hara.
Kelli O’Hara has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway’s great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of The King and I recently garnered her a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics nominations. Her 2014 performance as Francesca in the musical adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County earned her Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Additionally, she starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC’s live telecast of Peter Pan alongside Allison Williams and Christian Borle, and made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the production of The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming. She has performed numerous times with MasterVoices, including Dido in Dido and Aeneas with Victoria Clark in 2016, and she will return to star in the upcoming Babes in Toyland directed by Ted Sperling in April.
Ted Sperling has maintained an active and successful career in the theater and concert worlds for over thirty years. A multi-faceted artist, he is a director, music director, conductor, orchestrator, singer, pianist, violinist and violist. He is the Artistic Director of MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale) and Principal Conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic. Mr. Sperling won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza, for which he was also music director. Other Broadway credits as music director/conductor/pianist include the rapturously received revivals of Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I and South Pacific; Guys and Dolls, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Angels in America, My Favorite Year, Falsettos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Les Misérables, Roza, and Sunday in the Park with George. Mr. Sperling was also an original cast member of the Broadway musical Titanic. Mr. Sperling has an active concert career, working with many major symphony orchestras, and singers Audra McDonald, Victoria Clark, Patti LuPone, Kelli O’Hara, Nathan Gunn, Idina Menzel, Paulo Szot and Deborah Voigt. For more, visit tedsperling.net.
Danny Burstein is a 6-time Tony Award & 2-time Grammy Award nominee whose 16 Broadway credits include: Fiddler on the Roof; Cabaret; The Snow Geese; Golden Boy; Follies; Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown; South Pacific; The Drowsy Chaperone; Saint Joan; The Seagull; Three Men on a Horse; A Little Hotel on the Side; Titanic and Company. Off-Broadway credits include: Talley’s Folly; Mrs. Farnsworth; Psych; All in the Timing; Merrily We Roll Along; Weird Romance and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Film/TV includes: Indignation (directed by James Schamus); The Family Fang (directed by Jason Bateman); Blackhat (directed by Michael Mann); Transamerica; Deception; Affluenza; American Milkshake; Nor’easter; Construction; The Sounding; “Boardwalk Empire” (directed by Martin Scorsese); “Louie”; “Absolutely Fabulous”; “Ed”; “Law & Order”; “The Good Wife”, etc. In 2014 he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Frosch in the Jeremy Sams/Douglas Carter Beane production of Die Fledermaus.
MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale) was founded in 1941 by the legendary American choral conductor Robert Shaw, and is currently under the artistic direction of Ted Sperling. For 75 years, the company has presented varied programming, with emphasis in three areas: choral masterpieces, operas in concert, and musical theater. Choral classics performed by MasterVoices have included Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion, Brahms’ Requiem, Britten’s War Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Verdi’s Requiem. The company has presented several important premieres, including the U.S. premieres of Dvorak’s Dmitri and Handel’s Jupiter in Argos, and the NY premieres of Respighi’s La Fiamma, Glass’s The Juniper Tree, and Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath. Other rarely heard operas presented in concert have included Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans, Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon, and Joplin’s Treemonisha. Throughout its history, MasterVoices has specialized in presenting rarely heard works of musical theater and standard works with a fresh approach, including Bernstein’s A White House Cantata, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Weill’s The Firebrand of Florence, Knickerbocker Holiday, and the world premiere of a concert version of The Road of Promise.
MasterVoices has performed in prominent NYC concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, New York City Center, and Geffen Hall, under the batons of many esteemed conductors, including Serge Koussevitzky, Arturo Toscanini, Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, and Alan Gilbert. The company has also attracted many world-class soloists, including Bryn Terfel, René Pape, Stephanie Blythe, Deborah Voigt, Eric Owens, Thomas Hampson, Kelli O’Hara, Paulo Szot and Victoria Clark. Because of its reputation of excellence, MasterVoices has been hired to perform with many top orchestras over the years, including the NBC Symphony, The New York Philharmonic and The Israel Philharmonic, and has been invited to appear abroad in Israel and at the Verbier and Salzburg festivals.
MasterVoices considers education and outreach to be important aspects of its work. Its Side-by-Side program offers gifted high school students the opportunity to rehearse and perform with guidance from singing members and professional artists in New York and abroad. Additionally, MasterVoices gives complimentary tickets to hundreds of high school students and seniors from New York each season, and invites young soloists to perform at top venues as a part of the Faith Geier Artist Initiative. In June 2016, MasterVoices launched “Bridges: Connecting Communities Through Music”, a new outreach program that provides people in a New York community with the opportunity to come together to make music with MasterVoices, regardless of their abilities or backgrounds.
In August 2015, the company transitioned from The Collegiate Chorale to MasterVoices, a name that better represents the current mission of the company as a performing arts organization that celebrates storytelling through the masterful voices of its chorus and world-class soloists, and the creative voices of composers, librettists, designers and directors. For more information, visit mastervoices.org. Connect with MasterVoices on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@mastervoicesny).
The 75th Anniversary Season continues with:
Babes in Toyland
Music by Victor Herbert and libretto by Glen MacDonough
Featuring Kelli O’Hara, Bill Irwin, Lauren Worsham, and Christopher Fitzgerald
MasterVoices, with Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Conducted by Ted Sperling
April 27, 2017 at 7pm
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Babes in Toyland tickets ($20-$150) are available at Carnegie Hall (carnegiehall.org | CarnegieCharge 212-247-7800 | Box Office at 57th and Seventh). MasterVoices Members are entitled to ticket discounts. For tickets and more information, visit mastervoices.org.
ADDITIONAL UPCOMING MASTERVOICES PERFORMANCES
Babes in Toyland at Tilles Center
MasterVoices will reprise Babes in Toyland
April 29, 2017 at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post, Brookville, NY
For more information and tickets, visit tillescenter.org.
Major funding for MasterVoices’ 2016-17 season has been generously provided by The Geier Foundation; the Howard Gilman Foundation; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.