On May 19th at 3:00 pm, San Jose Symphonic Choir, Bay Shore Lyric Opera, and Mission Chamber Orchestra will present a concert featuring two works: a special collaborative performance, and West Coast Premiere, of a locally-composed opera, and a rarely-heard choral symphonic work for chorus, orchestra, and soloists. Lady Bird: First Lady of the Land, a one-act opera by local composer Henry Mollicone and Pulitzer Prize-winning lyricist, Sheldon Harnick, is based upon events in the life of first lady Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of Lyndon Baines Johnson. The opera honors Lady Bird’s contribution to America, as the woman who stood witness to the historical magnitude of her husband’s term as President of the United States, and rode down bigotry as a daughter of the South. Guest Conductor: Ari Bocian; Principal soloists: Dan Morris, Bass Baritone: President Lyndon B. Johnson, Liliane Cromer, Mezzo Soprano: Lady Bird Johnson, Jenny Studley, Soprano: Young Lady Bird, Gregory Spear, Tenor: Young Lyndon Johnson.
The concert also features Felix Mendelssohn’s lush and beautiful Symphony #2, Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise), Op. 52, a symphony-cantata for soloists, chorus and orchestra. Commissioned to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Gutenberg’s invention of movable type, the work’s nine vocal movements employ texts that symbolize mankind’s progress from darkness to light – and enlightenment. By extension, it also celebrates the German Reformation, which was considerably advanced by the advent of printing and the spread of literacy. Mendelssohn’s deep respect for the sacred music of J. S. Bach and the oratorios of Handel are seen in emphasis on the cantata, and the presence of fugues and chorales, but the lyrical beauty and drama of the work are unmistakably Mendelssohn. Conductor: SJSC Music Director Leroy Kromm; Soloists: Heather Faulhabe, Soprano, Milena Georgieva, Soprano, Woojeong Lee, Tenor.
About the Performers
San Jose Symphonic Choir is a volunteer, non-profit choral society that has presented choral masterworks with orchestral accompaniment since 1924. Under the inspiring leadership of Maestro Leroy Kromm, the 110-voice choir strives to preserve and promote symphonic choral music, and to recruit and develop the musical talents of the community. Singers from throughout the area and of all ages are welcome. Repertoire includes the great works of the choral canon, as well as contemporary pieces by local composers. SJSC is supported, in part, by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose, and by a generous grant from the Peery Foundation.
Bay Shore Lyric Opera, founded in 1996, strives to carry on the tradition of grand opera by presenting fully staged professional opera productions of the highest artistic quality in intimate and accessible locations. BLSO has earned a reputation as one of the best regional opera companies in Northern California, exposing new opera patrons of all ages to opera, and making this rich and historic art form accessible to new audiences of all ages through education/outreach programs. The company provides opportunities for talented young performers to participate in professional productions that further their artistic careers. BSLO is supported, in part, by the City of Saratoga and funded in part by a grant from the Redwood City Civic Cultural Commission.
Mission Chamber Orchestra, founded by conductor and music director Emily Ray in 1996, is committed to the goal of presenting classical performances that are inclusive, accessible and affordable. Its mission is to encourage the growth of classical music audiences, attracting and appealing to both traditional and non-traditional concert-goers to expand the community’s continuing appreciation of classical music. Concerts include new and unfamiliar works alongside great classical masterpieces. MCOSJ champions living and local composers and has given many World and West Coast Premiere performances. Concerts often feature a professional soloist, some already known internationally, while others are emerging musicians at the outset of their careers, and fosters the development of the next generation of musicians by selecting high school string players to perform side-by-side with the orchestra each season. Concerts are supported, in part, by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose, and by a grant from SVCreates, in partnership with the County of Santa Clara and the National Endowment for the Arts.
TICKETS: on sale through the Heritage Theatre Box Office, 408 866 2700, or https://www.ci.campbell.ca.us/353/Heritage-Theatre. Tickets in advance are $30 general admission, $25 seniors, students and military. Prices at the door are $35 general admission, $30, seniors, students, and military.
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