The Collegiate Chorale concludes its 2014-2015 season with the US Premiere of Kurt Weill’s The Road of Promise on May 6, 2015 at 8pm and May 7, 2015 at 7pm at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10019. Tickets are $30-$135 and are available at www.carnegiehall.org, CarnegieCharge 212-247-7800, or the Box Office at 57th and Seventh. For more information, visit http://collegiatechorale.org/performances/the-road-of-promise.
The Road of Promise is a new concert adaptation of Kurt Weill and Franz Werfel’s epic 1937 stage spectacle, The Eternal Road, led by Tony Award-winning conductor/director Ted Sperling and featuring a cast of world-renowned singers and a 200-voice chorus and symphony orchestra. Like the original stage work, The Road of Promise combines a story about a synagogue under threat of persecution with defining stories from the Old Testament. As the congregation awaits their fate, a 13-year old boy appears who knows nothing of his Jewish heritage or faith. The Rabbi enlightens him and gives the community strength by recounting the stories of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Miriam, Moses, Ruth, Isaiah, and more, all of which come alive through Weill’s magnificent musical score. The young boy listens to the stories unfold and emerges as the new hope for his people.
The concert will feature Anthony Dean Griffey, Mark Delavan, Philip Cutlip, AJ Glueckert, and Lotte Lenya Competition Finalists/Winners Lauren Michelle, Megan Marino, and Justin Hopkins, with Conductor/Director Ted Sperling and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Video Projections by Wendall Harrington and Lighting Design by Frances Aronson.
The May 7 performance will feature a special pre-concert talk at 6pm, presented in partnership with the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Artistic Director Ted Sperling talks with Ed Harsh, adapter of Kurt Weill and Franz Werfel’s The Road of Promise, about the background, historical context, and glorious musical content of this piece.
Both performances of The Road of Promise will be recorded live at Carnegie Hall for release on the Navona Records label, distributed by Naxos Records.
The Road of Promise performances are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. The Road of Promise performances have also received endorsement from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, The Collegiate Chorale’s 2015 Spring Benefit
American tenor Anthony Dean Griffey has captured critical and popular acclaim on opera, concert and recital stages around the world. The combination of his beautiful and powerful lyric tenor voice, gift of dramatic interpretation and superb musicianship have earned him the highest praise from critics and audiences alike. This season, Mr. Griffey returns to the Houston Grand Opera for the world premiere of Iain Bell’s A Christmas Carol, a one-man show based on the Dickens’ classic and to Carnegie Hall for the U.S. premiere of Kurt Weill’s The Road of Promise with The Collegiate Chorale. He also appears in concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, and at the University of North Carolina and the Desert Song Festival in Tucson. Mr. Griffey has appeared in the world’s most prestigious opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Paris Opera, Teatro Comunale di Firenze, Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, and the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan. His many roles include the title roles in Peter Grimes, Idomeneo, Oedipus Rex, and Kurka’s The Good Soldier Schweik; Florestan in Fidelio, Erik in Die fliegende Holländer, Male Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, and Jim Mahoney in The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.
A singer of “incisive vocal power and fierce theatrical acuity”, baritone Mark Delavan is sought after throughout the United States and Europe for the most demanding roles in his repertoire. He regularly appears in the title roles of Der fliegende Holländer, Falstaff and Rigoletto, and as Iago in Otello, Scarpia in Tosca, Jochanaan in Salome, and Amonasro in Aida. In the summer of 2011, Mr. Delavan completed his first performances as Wotan/Wanderer in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen for San Francisco Opera’s new production by Francesca Zambello. The San Francisco Examiner said, “A great new Wotan has arrived. Mark Delavan is both majestic and heartbreakingly human. His acting, diction and warm, broad voice impress throughout…When he stumbles under the weight of his sorrow, when he spits out words of anger, Delavan joins the historic line of Wotans to remember.” In the 2014/15 season, Mark Delavan returns to San Francisco Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Scarpia. He will also create the role of Giovanni in the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women (La Ciociara) at San Francisco Opera. In concert, he will be heard in Kurt Weill’s The Road of Promise with The Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, with the New York Choral Society in Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, and with the Boston Philharmonic in Act 3 of Wagner’s Siegfried.
Baritone Philip Cutlip has garnered consistent critical acclaim for his performances across North America and Europe. Established on both concert and opera stages, he has performed with a distinguished list of conductors that includes Nicholas McGegan, Yves Abel, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Gerard Schwarz, and Donald Runnicles. His appearance as Joseph De Rocher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, with Joyce DiDonato and Frederica von Stade for Houston Grand Opera, has been released on Virgin Records. Philip Cutlip’s 2014-15 season engagements include the title role in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in a return to Sarasota Opera, several roles in Weill’s The Road of Promise with New York’s Collegiate Chorale, soloist in Messiah with the Winston-Salem Symphony, and in Vaughn Williams’ “A Sea Symphony” with the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. His 2013-14 engagements included Stanley in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire with Opera Grand Rapids, and baritone soloist in Handel’s Apollo e Dafne with Music of the Baroque Chorus and Orchestra. He returned to Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, under Nicholas McGegan, in Messiah; to North Carolina Symphony in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio; and to Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. He also debuted with the Eugene Symphony in Haydn’s The Creation.
Lauren Michelle, soprano, originally from Los Angeles, received her Bachelor’s Degree from The Juilliard School in New York. Her performances there included roles, scenes, and song recitals primarily in the Baroque, Classical, and Bel Canto repertoire, generating praise for her shimmering voice quality and her dramatic stage presence. Outside of the conservatory, she has performed for young audiences in a number of venues in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Italy, England, and South Africa. Lauren Michelle has won First Prize in both the Leontyne Price Competition and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Competition, and has been presented in concert at Zipper Concert Hall by the Los Angeles Opera Buffs. She spent a year and a half in Florence, Italy as an apprentice at the Teatro Communale di Firenze, becoming fluent in Italian and performing the role of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and the title role in Reynaldo Hahn’s Mozart. She has sung recitals of Lieder and French/American art songs at festivals throughout France and the USA.
Mezzo-Soprano Megan Marino, hailed by the Washington Times for her “considerable range and confidence, navigating lower notes with impressive clarity yet also managing considerable leaps into the higher range as well, exhibiting a warm, plummy tone throughout,” Megan Marino sings Miriam and Ruth in the American premiere of Weill’s The Road of Promise with The Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, which will later be released as a commercial recording, and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Saint Petersburg Opera in the 2014-15 season. She joins the rosters of the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Anna Bolena and San Francisco Opera for Partenope and also returns to the Metropolitan Opera for its production of Don Carlo. In the summer, she will return to Santa Fe Opera for the Page in Salome and Olivia in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain as a member of the company’s prestigious Resident Artist program. Her future engagements include a role debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as her first performances with Fort Worth Opera. Last season she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as a Voice of an Unborn Child in Die Frau ohne Schatten and joined the company for its productions of Rusalka, Werther, and Rigoletto. She sang Angelina in La Cenerentola with Green Mountain Opera and two role debuts: Varvara in Káťa Kabanová at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A and the Third Schauspieler in Weill’s Der Protagonist at the Fire Island Opera Festival. On the concert stage, she joined the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra of Handel’s Messiah and sang Haydn’s Mass No. 6 at Carnegie Hall.
Tenor AJ Glueckert has been praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for his “superb,” “soaring” voice with “polished high notes.” Mr. Glueckert is currently an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera where he recently appeared as the Steersman in Der fliegende Holländer to great acclaim. In the 2014 – 2015 season, Mr. Glueckert makes his European debut at Oper Frankfurt as the Prince in Rusalka, a role he will first sing at New Orleans Opera. He will also be seen as Don José in Carmen at Pittsburgh Opera. In his final year as an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera, he will take part in productions of Norma as Flavio, Susannah and Un ballo in maschera. AJ Glueckert made his San Francisco Opera debut in the world premiere production of Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene in the summer of 2013 and recently created the role of the Crown Prince in the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ Silent Night at Minnesota Opera and Opera Philadelphia. He also recently was featured singing Walther’s Prize Song from Die Meistersinger on Nürnberg where he “evidenced his potential as a Wagnerian lyric tenor” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and an excerpt of Pylade from Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride at the War Memorial Opera House in the Adler Fellow’s Gala Concert.
A standout among his peers on the operatic stage and a performer of increasingly high demand, bass-baritone Justin Hopkins continues to move audiences around the world with his performances. The 2014-2015 season includes his return to Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels for Strauss’s Daphne, as well as his return to Carnegie Hall to perform the role of the Dark Angel in Kurt Weill’s The Road of Promise with The Collegiate Chorale and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Mr. Hopkins will also make his debut with the Dayton Philharmonic in Britten’s War Requiem under the baton of Maestro Keith Lockhart. The 2014-15 season also includes two world premieres: Repast an oratorio based on the life of Booker Wright in collaboration with composer Nolan Gasser, as well as The Long Walk with Opera Saratoga. Mr. Hopkins will also perform the role of Publio La Clemenza di Tito with Opera in the Heights, Elijah with The Choristers of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and will appear as featured soloist with the Metropolitan Chorale of Brookline.
One of today’s leading musical artists, Ted Sperling, Artistic Director of The Collegiate Chorale, is a director, music director, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, singer, pianist and violinist. Mr. Sperling won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Awards (with Adam Guettel and Bruce Coughlin) 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 Tony Award-winning revival of South Pacific and recent revival of 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 singers Audra McDonald, Victoria Clark, Patti LuPone, Kelli O’Hara, Nathan Gunn, Paulo Szot, and Deborah Voigt. Appointed the Artistic Director of The Collegiate Chorale in 2013, Mr. Sperling’s projects with the ensemble have included concert performances of The Firebrand of Florence (Conductor, 2009), The Grapes of Wrath (Conductor, 2010), Knickerbocker Holiday (Director, 2011), “Something Wonderful” (A Broadway Evening with Deborah Voigt Conductor/Director, 2011), The Mikado (Conductor/Director, 2012) and Song of Norway (Conductor/Director, 2013).
Ed Harsh is the President and CEO of New Music USA. He began his career as the Managing Editor of the Kurt Weill Edition, overseeing the reconstruction and publication of many of Weill’s masterpieces, including The Eternal Road, which he then adapted as The Road of Promise. A composer himself, he has been commissioned by many prominent ensembles, including the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and New Millennium Ensemble. He holds degrees in composition and musicology from Yale University, Columbia University, and the Peabody Conservatory.
About Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Or¬chestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) is one of America’s foremost and most versatile orchestras, collaborating with the world’s greatest artists and performing approximately 70 concerts each year—including its Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series, Chamber Music Series at The Morgan Library & Museum and Brooklyn Museum, and summer residency at Caramoor Music Festival. OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works, including four this season; has given more than 170 world, U.S., and New York City premieres; and appears on more than 100 recordings, including four Grammy Award winners and seven releases on its own label, St. Luke’s Collection. Pablo Heras-Casado, named 2014 Conductor of the Year by Musical America, is OSL’s principal conductor.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this season, OSL began as a chamber ensemble based at The Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village. Today, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble consists of 21 virtuoso artists who perform a diverse repertoire and make up OSL’s artistic core.
OSL owns and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Midtown Manhattan, where it shares a building with the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The DiMenna Center is New York City’s premier venue for rehearsal, recording, and learning, having quickly gained a reputation for its superb acoustics, state-of-the-art facilities, and affordability. Since opening in 2011, The DiMenna Center has welcomed more than 50,000 visitors, including more than 300 ensembles and artists such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, James Taylor, and Sting. OSL hosts hundreds of neighbors, families, and school children at its home each year for free community events.
Through its Community & Education programs, OSL has introduced audiences across New York City to live classical music. OSL brings free chamber concerts to the five boroughs; offers free, interactive events at The DiMenna Center; provides chamber music coaching for adults; and engages 10,000 public school students each year through its Free School Concerts. In 2013, OSL launched Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL), an intensive in- and after-school instrumental coaching program emphasizing musical excellence and social development, in partnership with Police Athletic League (PAL) and public schools in the Clinton / Hudson Yards neighborhood. For more information, visit OSLmusic.org.
The mission of The Collegiate Chorale is to enrich its audiences through innovative programming and exceptional performances of a broad range of vocal music featuring a premier choral ensemble. Founded in 1941 by the legendary conductor Robert Shaw, The Chorale has established a preeminent reputation for its interpretations of the traditional choral repertoire, vocal works by American composers, and rarely heard operas-in-concert, as well as for commissions and premieres of new works by today’s most exciting creative artists. The many guest artists with whom The Chorale has performed in recent years include: Stephanie Blythe, Victoria Clark, Nathan Gunn, Thomas Hampson, Angela Meade, Kelli O’Hara, Eric Owens, Rene Papé, Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt. Last season’s highlights included Eric Owens, Arturo Chacón-Cruz, and Julianna Di Giacomo in Arrigo Boito’s Mefistofele with the Manhattan Girls Chorus and the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and the New York premiere of David Lang’s battle hymns with members of the Veteran Artist Program and the Manhattan Girls Chorus at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
For more information about The Collegiate Chorale, visit www.collegiatechorale.org.
The Collegiate Chorale’s 2014/2015 season opened with the NYC Premiere of Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) in December at Carnegie Hall, featuring Eric Idle, Victoria Clark, Marc Kudisch, Lauren Worsham, and William Ferguson with Conductor/Director Ted Sperling and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. In November, the company performed in a workshop performance of JFK, a new opera commissioned by Fort Worth Opera and American Lyric Theater. The Chorale participated in a special performance of The Defiant Requiem on March 9 at Avery Fisher Hall, created and conducted by Maestro Murry Sidlin, and featuring Bebe Neuwirth, John Rubinstein, Jennifer Check, Ann McMahon Quintero, Steven Tharp, and Wilhelm Schwinghammer, and will perform in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for the Caramoor Festival’s Opening Night Gala on June 20.