Music Director Candidate Constantine Kitsopoulos to Guest Conduct HSO
HARTFORD, October 15, 2009 – The 180 voices of the Hartford Chorale will join the vibrant sounds of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra for Brahms’ German Requiem on Thursday, November 12 – Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. in the Belding Theater at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. Led by guest conductor and Music Director Candidate Constantine Kitsopoulos, the program also will feature Schumann’s Manfred Overture and solo performances by Soprano Amanda Forsythe and Bass Kevin Deas.
The program will begin with Robert Schumann’s poignant Manfred Overture, which follows the tumultuous tale of Lord Byron’s infamous character, Manfred. Brahms looked to Schumann as a personal and professional mentor; Schumann hailed Brahms as “the savior of German music.” When Schumann died in 1856, it inspired Brahms to begin work on his Requiem. However, Brahms chose to make his Requiem a celebration of the living, using German text instead of the traditional Latin from the Catholic Mass for the dead. (Hence the name, “German Requiem.”) Brahms’ Requiem utters words of consolation, designed to reconcile mankind with the idea of suffering and death.
Guest conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos says, “Brahms’ “Ein Deutsches Requiem” is a requiem for the living. The sublime beauty and exquisite symmetry of this work seem to reflect the cycle of life itself. It is a requiem that gives comfort to the bereaved and reassures them of a peaceful afterlife.”
Mo. Kitsopoulos’ appearance with the HSO will kick off the Symphony’s two-year search for a new Music Director. Says HSO Executive Director Kristen Phillips, “The search for a new Music Director is always an exciting time for the future of an orchestra. We are in a very fortunate position of having extended Edward Cumming’s tenure with the orchestra through the 2011 season, while at the same time searching for his successor.”
Constantine Kitsopoulos’ versatility spans the worlds of symphony, opera and musical theater. Mr. Kitsopoulos is the Music Director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra and General Director of the Chatham Opera, which he founded in 2005. He has conducted with the Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Francisco and Detroit Symphonies, amongst others. In addition, Mr. Kitsopoulos has conducted Tony-nominated musicals A Catered Affair and Coram Boy, and served as Music Director and Principal Conductor of Baz Luhrmann’s acclaimed production of Puccini’s La Bohème. Mr. Kitsopoulos conducted the HSO’s performance of music from The Wizard of Oz in 2008.
The Hartford Chorale, under the direction of Richard Coffey, is the primary symphonic chorus of the Greater Hartford community, particularly in its critically acclaimed collaborations with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Through such collaborations and with other organizations, the Chorale seeks to reach and inspire the widest possible audience with exceptional performances of a broad range of choral literature, including renowned choral masterpieces.
Soprano Amanda Forsythe has been praised by Opera News for her “light and luster,” and “wonderful agility and silvery top notes.” She is one of the most popular sopranos at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, Italy, where lead roles have included Corinna in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims and Rosalia in L’Equivoco Stravagante. Ms. Forsythe can be heard as Minerve and La Grande Pretresse on Boston Early Music Festival’s premiere recording of Lully’s Psyché and premiere recording of Lully’s Thésée, a “Best Opera Recording” nominee for the 2008 Grammy™ Awards.
Internationally acclaimed as one of America’s leading basses, Kevin Deas has been lauded for his “burnished sound, clarity of diction and sincerity of expression” and “fervent intensity”, with “exemplary” and “especially fine” performances and possessing “a resourceful range of expression.” Recent highlights include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Filarmonica della Scala, Colorado Symphony and Tokyo Symphony; Copland’s Old American Songs with the Chicago Symphony; Handel’s Messiah with the Cleveland Orchestra; and performances of Dave Brubeck’s To Hope! in Salzburg and Vienna.
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HSO: Brahms’ Requiem
Hartford Symphony Orchestra with Constantine Kitsopoulos, guest conductor; The Hartford Chorale; Amanda Forsythe, soprano; Kevin Deas, baritone
Thursday, November 12, 2009, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, November 13, 2009, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 14, 2009, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 15, 2009, 3:00 p.m.
The Belding Theater at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem;
Schumann: Overture to Manfred
Ticket Prices: $32.50 – $72.50; $12.50 with a student I.D.
Tickets are available in person Monday through Friday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Hartford Symphony Orchestra Ticket Services, 99 Pratt Street, Suite 500 in Hartford, by calling (860) 244-2999, or online 24/7 at www.hartfordsymphony.org.
The Hartford Symphony Orchestra participates in the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Let*s GO Arts! program that offers 2-for-1 tickets to arts and entertainment events, and discounts at restaurants and clubs. Let*s GO Arts! members can receive 2-for-1 full price tickets to HSO Masterworks and POPS! concerts.
The Masterworks Series is presented by MetLife Foundation with additional support from The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra receives major support from the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.