Matthew Halls, conductor
Amanda Forsythe, soprano
Amanda Crider, mezzo-soprano
James Reese, tenor
Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone
The Adrian Dunn Singers
Adrian Dunn, music director
Tallis: “Why fum’th in fight”
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Mozart: Requiem, K.626
Join us for a Pre-Concert Chat 1-hour before the performance. (6:30 pm Saturday/2:00 pm Sunday)
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Prices: Gold $65 / Red $50 / Green $35
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Health and Safety
The ESO is thrilled to return to the stage for an exciting 2021-2022 season! We look forward to welcoming you back to enjoy live performances with your Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
The health and safety of our musicians, staff, and you are paramount as we resume live concert experiences. As such, we have established the following policies in accordance with CDC and State of Illinois guidelines to best protect everyone who enters the concert hall:
- All audience members must provide proof of complete vaccination for COVID-19 prior to entering the concert venue, regardless if these were previously shown or submitted.
- Please bring your COVID-19 vaccination record to the performance (photos of both sides of the record are also accepted), as well as photo Identification.
- As currently mandated by the State of Illinois, concert attendees will be required to wear masks at all times within concert venues.
- Tickets will be on sale at the Hemmens Cultural Center one-hour prior to each performance. However, to be mindful of the safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, we encourage that our patrons purchase tickets in advance to prevent crowding within the venue.
- Pre-purchased tickets may be collected at Will Call on the day of the concert. Tickets purchased online the day of the concert will require proof of purchase.
We look forward to welcoming you back for a wonderful season of great music. If you have any questions, please contact our Box Office at 847-888-4000.
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
Highly praised by Opera News for her “light and luster” and “wonderful agility and silvery top notes” Amanda Forsythe is recognized internationally as a leading interpreter of baroque and classical repertoire. She sang Eurydice on the 2015 GRAMMY-winning recording of Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux enfers. Alongside her other many recordings for Boston Early Music Festival and Boston Baroque, her début solo album of Handel arias “The Power of Love” with Apollo’s Fire on the Avie label earned widespread critical acclaim.
She performed and recorded Cabri and Carmi La betulia liberata with Les Talens Lyriques at the Salzburg Mozartwoche, and toured Europe and the USA with the French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky performing works based on the Orfeo myth and recording the role of Euridice with him in the 1774 version of Gluck’s Orfeo for ERATO.
Opera engagements have included Semele (Philadelphia), Pamina Die Zauberflöte (Rome, Seattle and Die Komische Oper, Berlin), Iris Semele (Seattle), Marzelline Fidelio, Nannetta Falstaff, Amour Orphée, Manto in Steffani’s Niobe (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Jemmy Guillaume Tell, Corinna Il viaggio a Reims and Rosalia L’equivoco stravagante (Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro), and Dalinda Ariodante (Geneva and Munich).
Amanda Forsythe’s collaborations with leading baroque ensembles have included performances with the Philharmonia Baroque at Tanglewood, Tafelmusik, Handel and Haydn Society, operas and concerts with Boston Baroque, and Boston Early Music Festival. She frequently performs with Vancouver Early Music, Apollo’s Fire and Pacific Musicworks.
Amanda Forsythe is also a regular soloist with Chicago Symphony Orchestra and recently made her débuts with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, Kymi Sinfonietta and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
Conductors she has worked with include Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Nicholas Kraemer, Nicholas McGegan, Andris Nelsons and Sir Antonio Pappano.
Amanda Forsythe’s recent engagements include Cleopatra Giulio Cesare in Moscow, and performances and recordings with Apollo’s Fire, and Les Talens Lyriques. Forthcoming engagements include Messiah with New York Philharmonic (début) and Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Galatea Acis and Galatea in Hannover, and performances and recordings with Boston Early Music Festival, the Handel and Haydn Society and Orchestra of St Luke’s, among others.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Miss Forsythe’s scheduled performances with the Orchestra of St Luke’s in New York City, her début with the Bayreuth Baroque Orchestra and Vivaldi’s Gloria with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, among others, were cancelled.
Cleopatra / Giulio Cesare – The Moscow State Academic Philharmonic Society
“ … Amanda Forsythe as Cleopatra enchanted more and more as she went, leaving Ceasar and the audience no choice…”
“ … Amanda Forsythe was born to sing Cleopatra: the charms of her phrasing seem to have no limits, and her light and sparkling coloratura with gleaming top notes and faultless staccato enabled her to meet all the vocal demands of the role with no visible effort…”
Rossiyskaya gazeta Russian Newspaper)
“ …Amanda Forsythe’s Cleopatra is an interpretation full of temper, richness of the color and expression, with delightful touch of coquettishness and knavery…”
Marzelline / Fidelio – The Royal Opera / Hugh Canning / The Sunday Times
“… Amanda Forsythe is a sheer delight in the role…”
Semele – Opera Philadelphia / David Shengold / Opera News
“… Brilliant Boston-based Baroque soprano Amanda Forsythe made a sensational local début as a sexy, wilfull and utterly enchanting Semele. Every aria confirmed her wondrous technique and fresh, lovely tone…”
Amanda Crider, mezzo-soprano
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’s singing has been praised for its “intensity and sensitivity…spirituality and eloquence.” He is a frequently sought tenor soloist with leading orchestras and ensembles throughout North America, including the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, TENET Vocal Artists, Bourbon Baroque Orchestra, Lyric Fest, and the Gamut Bach Ensemble. This season, James will collaborate with pianist Daniel Overly in a concert-length recital of art song at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. He also looks forward to making debuts with American Bach Soloists, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Bach Consort, the Brooklyn Art Song Society, and New York’s Musica Sacra.
James is a noted interpreter of baroque music, giving performances both “splendid” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “captivating” (Broad Street Review). Following his Carnegie Hall solo debut in Bach’s B Minor Mass with the New York Choral Society, the New York Classical Review noted “the high, easy tenor of James Reese…floated beautifully on its own over the long, gentle lines of the Benedictus.”
An advocate for new music, James was a founding member of Philadelphia vocal sextet Variant 6 (variantsix.com). He sings frequently with leading choruses and vocal ensembles, including The Crossing, Seraphic Fire, and Gallicantus.
James is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. He holds a masters degree from Yale University’s School of Music, where he studied with James Taylor at the Institute of Sacred Music. He is the 2019 winner of the Career Advancement Award, which recognizes promising young artists, from the Musical Fund Society. He lives in Philadelphia.
Jonathan Woody, Bass-baritone
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/
The Adrian Dunn Singers
The Adrian Dunn Singers is a group of 12 professional singers of diverse musical backgrounds based in Chicago. Members of group have trained at some of the top conservatories & Universities in America. They recently performed at the Thomas Dorsey National Convention of Gospel Choirs & Choruses in Dallas & were recently included in the Art Institute of Chicago’s “Prayer ” exhibit. In addition to recording the Revelations Album, they have performed for the Payne Theological Seminary presidential inauguration in 2017 & provided music for the 2018 commencement exercises. The group recently made their National Cathedral Debut and have toured to Orlando, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Indianapolis.
Adrian Dunn is an accomplished singer, songwriter, and producer. Mr. Dunn holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree in Voice from The Music Conservatory at Roosevelt University with additional musical studies in opera at The Sibelius Academy of Music in Finland.
Mr. Dunn has sung with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Grant Park Symphony Chorus, Blossom Festival Chorus, and as a soloist with the North Shore Choral Society. He has sung in the CCM Spoleto Opera Festival in Spoleto, Italy and is a frequent soloist in Handel’s Messiah. He sang the lead role in the 2017 Chicago premiere of the Paul Laurence Dunbar opera The Poet and in 2016 served as the opera chorus master for the midwest premiere of the opera Harriet Tubman – When I Crossed That Line to Freedom with the South Shore Opera Company of Chicago.
As an active professional singer, producer, and songwriter, Mr. Dunn has had the privilege of working with gospel greats such as Tremaine Hawkins, Myron Butler, Melonie Daniels, Troy Bright, Lamar Campbell, Damien Sneed, Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago, Smokie Norful, Jonathan Nelson, and many more. He was awarded Album Producer of the Year for AME Live featuring the AME International Mass Choir from the Rhythm of Gospel Awards. He has served on music staff for the AME General Conference in Philadelphia (2016) and in Nashville (2012). He opened the 2014 Thomas Dorsey National Convention of Choirs and Choruses for the AME Mass Choir. He is the album producer for the 2015 release AME 200: Celebrating 200 years of the AME church.
Mr. Dunn is a MacArthur grant recipient for his original work Hopera: A Hip Hop Opera. He was nominated for Best Music Director from the Black Theater Alliance Awards for his work Hopera: a Hip Hop Opera. He has opened for international Hip Hop Recording Artist The Roots at Indiana University. He served as principle vocal coach for Kanye West’s artist development program Donda’s House. He was a featured artist and vocal coach for the live DVD recording of the Higher Ground Gospel Choir in Helsinki, Finland. He has toured throughout the US, South Africa, Italy, Germany, the UK, and Scandinavia.
Mr. Dunn has been a guest artist and presented lectures at The University of Wisconsin Madison, The University of Florida, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, McCormick Theological Seminary, Clark Atlanta University, Illinois State University, Northern Illinois University, Columbia College Chicago, Bowling Green State University, University of California Irvine, California State University, West Virginia University, The University of Calgary, Governors State University and The University of Chicago. He is the former Artistic Director of the Legacy Black Music Project at Roosevelt University. He completed writing his first book in 2014 entitled Your Voice Unleashed: A Singers Guide to Healthier, Smarter, Sustainable Singing.
Currently, Mr. Dunn released his most recent album and second book entitled Redemption: A collection of spirituals & gospel songs in seeking justice for Black lives. He recently wrote the opening music for WWE’s Wrestle Mania 35 and completed a national album & book tour of Redemption. He is the founder of the Black Music Matters advocacy movement organization & the founder of Black Music Experience TV, a streaming service dedicated to the contributions of Black Musicians in America. He is a voice faculty member at Roosevelt University & is the Advisor for Racial Equity & Minority Student Success. Mr. Dunn’s private voice students can be seen in Broadway National tours of LION KING, GHOST, KINKY BOOTS, RENT, BET’s show Sunday Best, Drury Lane Theater, The Paramount Theater, Black Ensemble Theater, and as background vocalists for major record label artists on tour throughout the US and abroad.