Saturday, March 5 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 6 at 3:00 pm
Hemmens Cultural Center, Elgin, IL
Matthew Halls, conductor
Amanda Forsythe, soprano
Amanda Crider, mezzo
James Reese, tenor
Jonathan Woody, bass
Tallis: Why fum’th in fight
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Mozart: Requiem, K.626
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NOTEworthy Concert Facts
The word “versatile” is often applied to musicians; in the case of the British conductor Matthew Halls, it is particularly well deserved. With his probing and vibrant interpretations of music of all periods, he is known for his dynamic and intelligent work with major symphony orchestras, choirs and opera companies.
Halls is welcomed to orchestras across Europe; this season he makes his debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, with whom he conducts the world premiere of Stuart Macrae’s Prometheus Symphony, and return visits to the Iceland Symphony, Residentie Orkest and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestras. Other highlights have included performances with the Berlin Konzerthausorchester, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Stavanger Symphony and Vienna Symphony Orchestras; he regularly works with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, with whom he made his Salzburg Festival debut as well as taking them on tours to North and South America, and was honoured to be invited to conduct Concentus Musicus Wien.
Increasingly in demand by North American orchestras, he made his debut last season with the Chicago Symphony and has made several appearances with the Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, with whom he performed the US premiere of MacMillan’s Symphony No. 4. His work in the field of contemporary music includes the world premiere of MacMillan’s European Requiem and performances of Mason Bates’ Cello Concerto with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
Further afield, Halls has appeared in Australia and New Zealand with the Adelaide, Auckland, Melbourne and West Australian Symphony Orchestras; in Russia with Musica Viva Moscow; and in Hong Kong where he returned last season.
In the opera house, Halls has worked with companies including the Bayerische Staatsoper, Central City Opera Colorado, Handelfestspiele Halle, Salzburg Landestheater and the Netherlands Opera in repertoire such as Britten’s Peter Grimes and Bellini’s Norma. At the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen, Halls has led performances of Handel’s Ariodante and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
Halls is represented on disc with Handel’s Parnasso in Festa, winner of the Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize, released on the Hyperion label. His recordings on Linn Records are highlighted by a set of four Bach Harpsichord Concertos directed from the keyboard, and award-winning discs of Purcell’s Sonatas in Three and Four Parts.
Halls was educated at Oxford University and subsequently taught there for five years. Noted for his commitment to education he led the launch of Oregon’s Berwick Academy in 2015 and regularly teaches at courses and summer schools.
For more information: https://schwalbeandpartners.com/matthew-halls-conductor
Amanda Forsythe, soprano
The American soprano Amanda Forsythe, highly praised for her performances on both sides of the Atlantic, sang Euridice on the recording of Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux enfers with the Boston Early Music Festival which won the 2015 GRAMMY AWARD for Best Opera Recording. Her highly acclaimed CDs have included her début solo album of Handel arias “The Power of Love” with Apollo’s Fire on the Avie label. She recently toured with the outstanding French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, performing works based on the Orfeo myth, and subsequently recorded the role of Euridice in a new edition of Gluck’s Orfeo for the ERATO label.
Equally at home on the concert platform and on the opera stage, in recent seasons Amanda Forsythe’s major engagements have included Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Boston Symphony under Andris Nelsons and the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Susanna Mälkki, Handel’s Sileti venti and Laudate pueri with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Nicholas Kraemer, Messiah with Seattle Symphony, Bach’s Magnificat and concert performances as Marzelline Fidelio with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Sir Antonio Pappano. Following performances as Amour in Gluck’s Orphée at London’s Royal Opera House, she participated in tours of this work, and of Mozart’s C Minor Mass and Requiem with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra under Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
She is a regular soloist with the highly acclaimed baroque ensembles Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO), Apollo’s Fire, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Pacific Musicworks, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra. She sang the title role of Teseo with PBO at the Tanglewood and Mostly Mozart Festivals under Nicholas McGegan, and made her début at the Oregon Bach Festival in Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Magnificat under Matthew Halls.
Amanda Forsythe made her USA stage début with the Boston Early Music Festival, where her many roles have included Poppea and Drusilla L’incoronazione di Poppea, Niobe and Manto (recording) in Steffani’s Niobe, regina di Tebe, Aglaure Psyché (Lully), Venus Venus and Adonis (John Blow), Pallas The Judgment of Paris (Eccles), Isabelle Le Carnaval de Venise (Campra), Serpina La serva padrona and Edilia Almira, Königin von Castilien, for which she received rave reviews. Having made her début at Seattle Opera as Iris Semele, Amanda Forsythe recently returned there to sing Pamina Die Zauberflöte. Her operatic repertoire also includes Poppea Agrippina, the title role in Partenope, Dorinda Orlando, Amenaide Tancredi, Bastienne Bastien und Bastienne, Ninfa/Proserpina Orfeo, Amore Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Oberto Alcina, Dafne Apollo e Dafne, Atalanta Xerxes, Vagaus Juditha Triumphans and roles in Les Indes Galantes and The Fairy Queen.
She made her European operatic début in the role of Corinna Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, subsequently returning to perform Rosalia L’equivoco stravagante, and Jemmy Guillaume Tell, described by one critic as “…the best singing of this crucial part I’ve ever encountered…”. At her invitation, Amanda Forsythe joined the distinguished American mezzo soprano Joyce di Donato in a performance of Bellini duets in the festival’s ‘Malibran’ recital.
Major European opera house engagements have included Dalinda Ariodante in Geneva and Munich and Barbarina Le nozze di Figaro, Manto in Steffani’s Niobe, regina di Tebe, Amour in Gluck’s Orphée and Nannetta Falstaff at London’s Royal Opera House. Her performance as Nannetta was described by Gramophone Magazine as “meltingly beautiful”.
Major engagements in 2018 include her return to the Chicago Symphony to sing Schubert’s Mass No 6 in E Flat under Riccardo Muti and Messiah under Matthew Halls, Alexander’s Feast with Tafelmusik, Iole Hercules with the Handel and Haydn Society and performances with Boston Early Music Festival, Boston Baroque, Apollo’s Fire, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Musicworks, the Kymi Sinfonietta, and Charlotte Symphony.
Forthcoming opera engagements include her début at the Rome Opera as Pamina, and Steffani’s Orlando Furioso (Angelica) at the 2019 Boston Early Music Festival.
Amanda Forsythe’s recordings include Venus Venus and Adonis, Aglaure in Lully’s Psyché, and La Grande Pretresse in Lully’s Thésée with the Boston Early Music Festival (all for CPO), Manto in Steffani’s Niobe with BEMF (Erato), the title role in Handel’s Teseo with Philharmonia Baroque (PBO’s own label), Bach’s St. John Passion and Messiah with Apollo’s Fire (Avie), Dorinda Handel’s Orlando with Early Music Vancouver (ATMA) and Haydn’s Creation with Boston Baroque (Linn). She also sings on the DVD recordings of the Pesaro productions of L’equivoco stravagante and Guillaume Tell as well as Manto in the Royal Opera production of Steffani’s Niobe (Opus Arte). Her latest CD of Steffani duets with the Boston Early Music Festival was awarded the Diapason d’Or in January 2018.
For more information: https://randallgoosby.com
Amanda Crider, mezzo
Mezzo-soprano Amanda Crider has been recognized for her “gleaming vocalism” (Boston Globe), “star acting” (Urban Milwaukee), and “superbly clear diction and warmly burnished timbre” (South Florida Classical Review). In demand for performances of classical and contemporary opera alike, Ms. Crider created the role of Alma in Keeril Makan and Jay Scheib’s Persona in its world premiere with the Beth Morrison Projects and later at LA Opera, about which the New York Times raved, “The Mezzo-Soprano, Amanda Crider, made a winsome, vulnerable, and when the story turns dark, wildly volatile Alma, who for long stretches carries the entire opera,” and San Francisco Classical Voice declared, “Crider’s performance was a tour-de-force for its sustained vocal luster, dramatic variation, and sheer amount of singing.”
Most recently, Ms. Crider was seen as the title character in L’incoronazione di Poppea at Florentine Opera, a role that she “wielded with beauty and charisma” (Voix des arts). Boston University News Service declared her “the true star” for her leading role in Boston Lyric Opera’s production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek, and Opera News lauded her “beautiful work” and “agility” playing the English Teacher in Gregory Spears and Kathryn Walat’s 2019 recording of Paul’s Case, a role which Crider premiered with the Prototype Festival and Urban Arias in 2013.
Ms. Crider’s 2019-20 season includes a debut with the Calgary Symphony, performances with the GRAMMY®-nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire, soloist in Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Penelope with Nu Deco Ensemble, a duo recital with countertenor Reggie Mobley, and two separate appearances with Jacksonville Symphony in Beethoven’s Mass in C and Manuel de Falla’s Three Cornered Hat.
A sought-after soloist and recitalist on the concert stage, Ms. Crider has appeared regularly with Seraphic Fire and Apollo’s Fire, as well as performed with the Bach Festival Society of Florida, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival, the Symphony Orchestras of Eugene, Savannah, Charlotte, Syracuse, Charleston, Amarillo, Southwest Michigan and Jacksonville, and Philharmonic Orchestras of Louisiana, Carnegie Mellon and Greeley. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in the fall of 2007 singing as mezzo soloist in Messiah with the New England Symphonic Ensemble, and returned the following season as soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. She has performed as a soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Bach’s B minor Mass, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C minor, Britten’s Phaedra, Bach’s St. John Passion, Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony and Ravel’s Chansons Madйcasses, and has been a featured recitalist on the Trinity Church Concerts at One Series and with Five Boroughs Music Festival. Of her New World Symphony performance of de Falla’s El Amor Brujo in 2014, South Florida Classical Review boasted, “Amanda Crider’s smoky mezzo-soprano assayed the flamenco vocal solos with gutsy abandon,” as well as celebrating “Her rhythmic acuity and incisive declamation.”
Ms. Crider’s first foray into the operatic world as L’Enfant in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2001 was hailed by Opera News as “delightful,” the Boston Globe stating she sang with “ineffable tenderness.” Since then, she has delighted audiences in the roles of Angelina (La Cenerentola), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Sesto (Handel Giulio Cesare), the title role in Carmen, Nellie Forbush (South Pacific), Diana (Orpheus in the Underworld), Speranza/Pastore #3 (Monteverdi L’Orfeo), Siйbel (Faust), Olga (Eugene Onegin), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Laurey (Oklahoma) and Mallika (Lakmé) at companies including the Dallas Opera, Orlando Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Knoxville Opera, Opera Omaha, Nevada Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Eugene Opera, Anchorage Opera and Opera Boston, New York City Opera, Castleton Festival and Glimmerglass Opera.
Ms. Crider was a 2012 grant recipient from the Pittsburgh Concert Society, and a 2011 finalist in both the Joy in Singing Debut Artist Competition and the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition. In addition she was a 2009 finalist in the Josй Iturbi International Voice Competition, the 2nd Place Winner in the 2008 Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year Competition, 2007 Recipient of the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition David and Ingrid Kosowsky Award, Finalist in the 2006 Oratorio Society of New York Vocal Competition and 2005 Center for Contemporary Opera Competition, and a 2003 Recipient of a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation. Ms. Crider is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Miami’s Art Song concert series, IlluminArts (www.illuminarts.org).
For more information: https://www.amandacrider.com
James Reese, Tenor
James Reese is a frequently sought soloist and collaborative musician. His 2019-20 season saw solo debuts with American Bach Soloists, the Gamut Bach Ensemble, Tempesta di Mare, the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Piffaro, and the Master Chorale of South Florida. He also makes return appearances with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, TENET Vocal Artists, Lyric Fest, Philadelphia’s Bach @ 7 series, and Bach Vespers @ Holy Trinity Lutheran NYC.
Previously, James has appeared in concerts with Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra; Bourbon Baroque Orchestra; Masaaki Suzuki and Juilliard415; the American Classical Orchestra; and at the Ad Astra Music Festival. In May 2018, he made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in Bach’s B Minor Mass with the New York Choral Society, directed by David Hayes. Of that performance, the New York Classical Review wrote, “the high, easy tenor of James Reese…floated beautifully on its own over the long, gentle lines of the Benedictus.” In June 2018, he made his European debut with ensemble Seconda Prat!ca.
An advocate for new music, James is a founding member of Philadelphia vocal sextet Variant 6 (variantsix.com). He has premiered works by Caroline Shaw, Ted Hearne, John Luther Adams, Joanne Metcalf, Judd Greenstein, Joel Puckett, and others. James sings frequently with leading American choruses, including The Crossing, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Seraphic Fire, True Concord, and The Thirteen. He has recorded on the ECM, Innova, and Albany labels; including The Crossing’s release of Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century, which won a Grammy award for Best Choral Performance in 2018. He also sang on 2016 Grammy-Nominated Bonhoeffer, released by the Crossing.
James is the 2018 winner of the Margot Fassler Award for the Performance of Music at Yale University, and the 2019 winner of the Career Advancement Grant from the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where he studied with Kurt R. Hansen, Alan Darling, and Donald Nally. He completed his masters degree at Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music, where he studied with James Taylor as part of the Yale Voxtet.
For more information: https://www.jimmymakes.com/music
Jonathan Woody, Bass
Bass-baritone Jonathan Woody is a sought-after performer of early and new music in New York and across North America. In increasing demand as a soloist, Jonathan has made appearances in recent seasons with historically-informed orchestras such as Boston Early Music Festival, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Bach Collegium San Diego, Portland Baroque Orchestra and New York Baroque Incorporated. In the 2017/18 season, Jonathan appeared with Apollo’s Fire on a national tour of Monteverdi’sL’Orfeoin the role of Caronte and participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme in Aldeburgh, UK.
Jonathan is also committed to ensemble singing at the highest level and is regularly featured as a member of the Grammy®-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street, where he has earned praise as “charismatic” and “riveting” from the New York Times for his solo work. In 2019, Jonathan will join the Clarion Music Society and the English Concert on a four-nation tour of Handel’s Semele, covering the roles of Somnus and Cadmus. An avid performer of new music, Jonathan has premiered several works in recent years, including Ted Hearne’s The Source (2014), a seminal work on the subject of Pvt. Chelsea Manning’s actions regarding the leak of classified U.S. documents. He is also featured on the cast recording of that work (New Amsterdam) and has reprised it in 2016 at LA Opera’s REDCAT and SF Opera Lab in 2017. Other recent premieres include works by Ellen Reid (p r i s m), NYC premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves, Du Yun (2017 Pulitzer-Prize winner Angel’s Bone), Zachary Wadsworth and Laura Schwendiger. Festival appearances include Staunton Music Festival, Portland Bach Festival, Carmel Bach Festival (as 2013 Virginia Best Adams Fellow), Oregon Bach Festival (as 2014 Vocal Fellow), American Bach Soloists Academy, and Amherst Early Music (appearing with New York Polyphony).
On the operatic stage, Jonathan has joined Opera Lafayette, Gotham Chamber Opera, New Amsterdam Presents and Beth Morrison Projects for recent productions, and he was a 2015-2016 Vocal Fellow for American Opera Projects’ Composers and the Voice forum. Jonathan has recorded with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street under the Musica Omnia label and is featured on their Grammy® recording of Israel in Egypt. Other recording credits include Boston Early Music Festival’s St. Matthew Passionof J. Sebastiani (RadioBremen), New York Polyphony’s Roma Æterna(BIS Records), and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street’s Missa Gentis Humanae (Musica Omnia). Jonathan’s musical pursuits extend beyond his voice, and in recent seasons he has been commissioned as a composer for groups including the Handel & Haydn Society and the Uncommon Music Festival. Jonathan enjoys a richly varied life in the arts based in Brooklyn, NY, and holds degrees from McGill University and the University of Maryland, College Park.
For more information: https://www.athloneartists.com/artists/jonathan-woody/