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MasterVoices presents its 2016 Fall Gala featuring 27

October 20, 2016 @ 5:45 pm - 11:00 pm

presents its
2016 Fall Gala
New York Premiere
By Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek
Featuring Stephanie Blythe, Heidi Stober, Theo Lebow,
Tobias Greenhalgh, and Daniel Brevik
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
James Robinson, Director
Ted Sperling, Conductor
October 20, 2016

MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale), celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2016-17, will hold its annual Fall Gala in support of its artistic programming and education initiatives at a private club and New York City Center on October 20, 2016. The event will begin at 5:45pm with cocktails and a 6:30pm dinner at a private club. Following dinner, the gala will continue at New York City Center (131 W. 55th Street) with the New York premiere performance of Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s 27 at 8pm, and a post-performance dessert reception on City Center’s Grand Tier at 9:30pm. To learn more about the gala evening or request an invitation, please call 646-202-9623.

The gala will recognize the 30-year music directorship of the late Robert Bass and will celebrate Susan L. Baker and George J. Grumbach, Jr., MasterVoices’ long term Board Members and recently retired Board Co-Chairs.

The event is led by Co-Chairs Jill K. Malila, Ellen F. Marcus, Ricki Nenner, Judith and Morton Sloan, and Adèle K. and John Talty. The Corporate Co-Chairs are Morton Williams and AON.

Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s scintillating new opera 27 explores Gertrude Stein’s relationship with her lifelong partner Alice B. Toklas and the artists who visited their Paris salon at 27 Rue de Fleurus. The production will star Metropolitan Opera mezzo Stephanie Blythe as Stein, and Heidi Stober, an up-and-coming soprano, as Toklas. The cast also features Theo Lebow, Tobias Greenhalgh, and Daniel Brevik. James Robinson will direct and MasterVoices’ Artistic Director Ted Sperling will conduct 150 singers of MasterVoices and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. The production will include scenic design by Allen Moyer, costume design by James Schuette, and lighting design by James F. Ingalls.

“MasterVoices is delighted to provide New York audiences with the opportunity to hear the singular Stephanie Blythe recreate the role of Gertrude Stein and to be working with the radiant Heidi Stober (Alice B. Toklas) for the first time. 27 is not only a celebration of the influence that Gertrude Stein had on her contemporary artist friends; it’s also an expression of the love and devotion Alice B. Toklas felt towards Gertrude, and her desire to be recognized as her wife in an era where that was not possible. It could not be a better time to remind ourselves of the timelessness of this struggle and what it means for us today,” said Ted Sperling, Artistic Director.

27 will run for a limited engagement at New York City Center on October 20 and 21, 2016. Concert-only tickets are $30-$150 and are available online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling CityTix® at 212-581-1212, or at the box office at 131 W. 55th Street (btwn 6th and 7th).


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.

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:

St. John Passion
By Johann Sebastian Bach
Featuring Michael Slattery, Jesse Blumberg, Latonia Moore, Tamara Mumford, and Adam Lau
MasterVoices, with New York Baroque Incorporated
Conducted by Ted Sperling
February 9, 2017 at 7pm
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
St. John Passion tickets ($20-$130) will go on sale to the general public on November 14 at Carnegie Hall (carnegiehall.org | CarnegieCharge 212-247-7800 | Box Office at 57th and Seventh). MasterVoices Members are entitled to pre-sale access and discounts. For tickets and more information, visit mastervoices.org.

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) will go on sale to the general public on November 14 at Carnegie Hall (carnegiehall.org | CarnegieCharge 212-247-7800 | Box Office at 57th and Seventh). MasterVoices Members are entitled to pre-sale access and discounts. For tickets and more information, visit mastervoices.org.


MasterVoices will collaborate with American Lyric Theater and Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post for additional appearances in the 2016-17 season.

The Halloween Tree
A concert of a new opera in development, with music by Theo Popov and libretto by Tony Asaro, based on the novel by Ray Bradbury
Presented by American Lyric Theater and Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center
October 30, 2016 at Merkin Concert Hall
For more information and tickets, visit altnyc.org.

The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing
Concert of a new opera in development, with music by Justine F. Chen and libretto by David Simpatico
Presented by American Lyric Theater 
January 12, 2017 at Merkin Concert Hall
For more information and tickets, visit altnyc.org.

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.

The MasterVoices’ 2016-17 season is made possible by The Geier Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and The Shen Family Foundation.


October 20, 2016
5:45 pm - 11:00 pm
Event Category:


New York City Center
131 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
New York, New York 10019

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