Old American Songs
Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 3 at 3:00 pm
Hemmens Cultural Center, Elgin, IL
José Luis Gomez, conductor
Ryan Speedo Green, bass baritone
Barber: The School for Scandal: Overture
Copland: Old American Songs
Dvorák: Symphony No.9, op.95, B.178, E minor from the New World
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NOTEworthy Concert Facts
Jose Luis Gomez
The Venezuelan-born, Spanish conductor José Luis Gomez began his musical career as a violinist butwas catapulted to international attention when he won First Prize at the International Sir Georg Solti Conductor’s Competition in Frankfurt in September 2010, securing a sensational and rare unanimous decision from the jury.
Gomez’s electrifying energy, talent and creativity earned him immediate acclaim from the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra where he was appointed to the position of Assistant Conductor, a post created especially for him by Paavo Jarvi and the orchestra directly upon the conclusion of the competition.
In 2016, Gomez was named Music Director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Since taking the helm, the orchestra has seen a marked increase in subscribers and donors to the orchestra and Gomez has worked tirelessly to introduce innovative and exciting new outreach activities whilst continuing to nurture and support existing education projects. For example the unique Young Composers’ Project which sees students new to composing working closely with orchestra representatives to create new compositions, culminating in a public performance and recording. Maestro Gomez is also a champion of many lesser-known composers from South America, programming their works sensitively with more recognised classical names, creating hugely interesting and unique concerts. He has also been responsible for commissioning new works, for example he and the orchestra were co-commissioners of a new concerto for orchestra and trumpet by Arturo Marquez which was given its US premier under Gomez’s baton in 2019.
The 19/20 and 20/21 seasons in Tucson will see Gomez conduct the complete Beethoven’s Symphonies and selected Concertos in a celebration of the composers works in his anniversary year, and additionally in the 19/20 season he will conduct Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, a selection of works by Rossini with rising star Federica Lombardi, the world premiere of Lopez-Hanshaw’s vokas animo for Orchestra and Chorus, and a gala evening with Renée Fleming. In past seasons Gomez has invited and enjoyed working with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Midori, Barry Douglas, Vadym Kholodenko and Gil Shaham. In The Americas he enjoys a close relationship with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and has also worked with such orchestras as the Houston Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, Vancouver, Colorado, Grand Rapids, Winnipeg, and Alabama Symphonies, the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio, Rochester & Louisiana Philharmonics, Pasadena, Elgin, and he made his debut at Carnegie Hall with YPhil Youth International Philharmonic. Further south, he has worked with Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira, Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra and Orquesta Nacional de Peru.
He has worked extensively at home in Europe with such orchestras as RTVE National Symphony Orchestra of Madrid, Weimar Staatskapelle Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Hamburg Symphony, Karlsruhe Staatstheatre Orchestra, Basel Sinfonietta, Orquesta Sinfonica do Porto, Castilla y Leon, Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano, Sinfonia Varsovia, SWR Radio Sinfonie-orchester Stuttgart, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, and in 2019 he made a very successful debut with Komische Oper Berlin with Gabriela Montero as soloist.
In Australasia he has worked with the Macau Orchestra and Nemanja Radulovic, New Zealand Symphony, Australian National Academy of Music in a Celebration of Bernstein, the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, the Daegu Symphony Orchestra, as well as conducting and curating the programme for the inaugural year of the Solasian Youth Orchestra at the Daegu Festival.
At the end of the 19/20 season he will make his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic. He will also embark on an extensive tour of the UK with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra with Milos Karadaglic as soloist. Another debut will take him to California to work with the Pacific Symphony and Joyce Yang, and he will also work with both the Malaga Filharmonica and the Phoenix Symphony for the first time.
Other memorable performances included debuts with the Moscow State Conservatory, the widely televised New Year’s Eve concert in Sofia, and with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra in their New Year concerts.
Opera highlights have included La Bohème at Frankfurt Opera and a new production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola at Stuttgart Opera, of which he also conducted the revival in the following season, La Forza del Destino in Tokyo with the New National Theatre, Don Carlo and Norma at The State Opera in Tbilisi, Georgia, La Traviata in concert with Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni with Teatro Sociale di Como, with whom he also closed their season with a spectacular production of Cavalleria Rusticana.
He has also featured with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, recording Bela Fleck’s Second Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra “Juno Concerto“, and conducted the MGD CD release of the Nielson, Francaix and Debussy Clarinet Concertos with talented young clarinettist Vladimir Soltan and the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra.
Maestro Gomez was the principal conductor of the Orchestra 1813 Teatro Sociale di Como between 2012 and 2015 where he curated a new symphonic season, which resulted in a new and enthusiastic audience, conducting concerts to full houses. He is Musical Director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra where his contract has been extended to the end of the 23/24 season.
For more information: https://imgartists.com/roster/jose-luis-gomez
Ryan Speedo Green, bass baritone
Praised by Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times for his “robust voice” and Anne Midgette of The Washington Post as an artist “fully ready for a big career,” bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green is quickly establishing himself as an artist of international demand at the world’s leading opera houses. In the 2020 – 2021 season Mr. Green makes his house debut as Jake in Porgy and Bess with Theatre an der Wien, as well as his house debut with Palm Beach Opera singing Colline in La bohème and Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, both directed by James Robinson and conducted by music director David Stern. Mr. Green also makes his debut with Columbus Opera for a digital broadcast of the stage version of his best-selling book: Sing for Your Life. Concert engagements include an All Star Concert with Isabel Leonard conducted by music director Timothy Myers, which will be broadcast on Austin PBS.
Mr. Green was scheduled to return to the Metropolitan Opera in the 2020 – 2021 season for four roles, including Ferrando in Il trovatore, Commendatore in a new production of Don Giovanni and Geisterbote in Die Frau Ohne Schatten both of which were scheduled to be conducted by music director Yannick Nézet- Seguin and which were to be broadcast as part of the Met’s Live in HD series. Mr. Green was also scheduled to sing his house and role debut as Rocco in Francesca Zambello’s production of Fidellio with Washington National Opera. Orchestral engagements included a scheduled return to the Mostly Mozart Festival for a staged performance of Mozart’s Requiem, conducted by Louis Langrée, and Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 with Marin Alsop at Carnegie Hall as part of a global “Ode to Joy” celebration of the anniversary of the composer’s birth.
The 2019 – 2020 season saw Mr. Green’s fourth consecutive season as a soloist at the Metropolitan Opera, making his role debut as Jake in James Robinson’s new production of the Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and a return to the Wiener Staatsoper for roles including Ferrando in Trovatore, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Banquo in Macbeth. Orchestral engagements included the bass soloist in a gala performance of Verdi’s Requiem with the Tanglewood Music Festival conducted by Andris Nelsons, and a return to the Ravinia Festival for Mahler’s Symphony No 8 conducted by Marin Alsop. Mr. Green was also presented in recital with soprano Latonia Moore by the George London Foundation at the Morgan Library in New York, accompanied by Ken Noda.
In the fall of 2016, Little, Brown published Sing for Your Life, by New York Times journalist Daniel Bergner. The book tells the story of Mr. Green’s personal and artistic journey: from a trailer park in southeastern Virginia and from time spent in Virginia’s juvenile facility of last resort to the Met stage. The New York Times Book Review called the book “one of the most inspiring stories I’ve come across in a long time,” and the Washington Post called it a “vital, compelling, and highly recommended book.” Sing for your Life has been honored with a number of recognitions including the New York Times bestseller and editor’s choice, a Washington Post Notable Book, and a Publishers Weekly Book of the Year.
Highlights of Mr. Green’s performances at the Metropolitan Opera include Colline in the iconic Zeffirelli production of La bohème, which the New York Times labeled Mr. Green “the real showstopper,” and the New York Observer marked this performance as his “breakthrough as a star.” Additional highlights include the King in Aida, Oroe in Semiramide, Rambo in the premier of The Death of Klinghoffer conducted by David Robertson, the Second Knight in a new production of Parsifal which was broadcast as part of the Met’s Live in HD program, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, and the Jailer in Tosca. Additional operatic engagements include Ferrando in Il trovatore with Opera de Lille’s traveling production, Third King in Die Liebe der Danae with the Salzburg Festival, his house and role debut as Osmin in the James Robinson production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Houston Grand Opera, as well as his house and role debut as Escamillo in Carmen with Opera San Antonio.
At the Wiener Staatsoper, Mr. Green has been seen as Sparafucile in a new production of Rigoletto, Fasolt in Das Rheingold, Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Varlaam in Boris Godunov, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Der Einarmige in Die Frau ohne Schatten, Lodovico in Otello, Angelotti in Tosca, Timur in a new production of Turandot, Peneios in Daphne, Fouquier-Tinville in Andrea Chénier, the Monk in Don Carlo, the Pope in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and the King in Aida.
Orchestral appearances include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, the Florida Symphony and Norwalk Symphony Orchestras.
Additional appearances include his debut with the Mostly Mozart Festival singing Mozart’s Requiem with Louis Langrée, a return to Tanglewood for Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with Bramwell Tovey conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra, his debut with the Brevard Music Festival singing Verdi’s Requiem, Strauss’s Daphne with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by music director Franz Welser-Möst, his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as the Second Soldier in Salome under the baton of Andris Nelsons, the bass solo in Verdi’s Requiem with Hartford Chorale, an appearance with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for Bach’s Ich habe genug with the Orion String Quartet, and Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Virginia Symphony.
Recital engagements include his debut at the Ravinia Festival with pianist Adam Nielsen, at the Terrace Theatre at the Kennedy Center as winner of the Marian Anderson Vocal Award from Washington National Opera, with Dayton Opera at the Schuster Performing Arts Center, and a recital and residency at the Torggler Summer Vocal Institute at Christopher Newport University in his native Virginia.
Honors and awards include National Grand Finals winner of the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a 2014 George London Foundation Award, a 2014 Annenberg grant recipient, a 2014 Gerda Lissner Foundation First Prize winner, both the Richard and Sara Tucker Grants from the Richard Tucker Foundation, and a finalist in the Palm Beach Opera Competition.
A native of Suffolk, Virginia, Mr. Green received a Master of Music degree from Florida State University, a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt School of Music, and was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
For more information: https://www.ryanspeedogreen.com