Antonín Leopold Dvořák's beautiful and dramatic Stabat Mater was first performed in Prague, Czechoslovakia in December 1880. Today, this major choral-orchestral work is so popular in Dvořák's home country that it is known as the "Czech Messiah." Soloists for this production are 2011 Bel Canto Regional Artist Competition winner Romelia Lupas (soprano), mezzo-soprano Stacey Rishoi, tenor Zach Borichevsky, and bass Christopher Burchett.
Sr. Bernadette Prochaska, FSPA, PhD, will present a free pre-concert lecture at 2:15pm in the Christ King Parish Dining Room about the tragic events leading to Dvořák's composition of Stabat Mater.
This concert is presented in part with support from the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF); the Herzfeld Foundation; the Milwaukee County Arts Board; and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts
To purchase tickets ($23-$28), call the box office at (414) 481-8801 or visit http://www.belcanto.org. Senior, student, and group discounts are available by phone.
About Richard Hynson
This season marks Richard Hynson’s 24th year as Music Director of the Bel Canto Chorus. Since 2006, Hynson has also served as Music Director of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra. In addition to his work as a conductor and educator, Hynson is a composer. He has written a substantial body of published choral, vocal, and ensemble works, many of which he has recorded with Bel Canto Chorus singers. The U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants have frequently performed Hynson’s In the Midst of Life, composed in response to the events of September 11.
About Bel Canto Chorus
Formed in 1931, Bel Canto Chorus is Southeastern Wisconsin’s longest continuously performing arts group. It is made up of mostly volunteer singers from southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois. Under the direction of Richard Hynson, the chorus opened its 81st season on Sunday afternoon, September 11, 2011 with “United We Stand” in Cathedral Square park. This free concert marking the tenth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks featured Mozart’s Requiem and Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra and the Bel Canto Chorus.
About Zach Borichevsky
This season has been busy for tenor Zach Borichevsky. He debuted Alfredo (La Traviata) with Knoxville Opera and Pelléas (Pelléas et Mélisande) at the Academy of Vocal Arts. He also created the role of Nicholas Astor in the world premiere of Kirke Mechem's latest opera The Rivals with Skylight Opera in Milwaukee. In concert, Borichevsky sang excerpts of La Bohème with The Philadelphia Orchestra, premiered two new works by David Cone with the Princeton Symphony, and sang the Mozart Requiem with the Symphony in C under Rossen Milanov. This summer, he will return to The Philadelphia Orchestra for performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and he will make his role and company debuts as Matteo (Arabella) at the Santa Fe Festival under Sir Andrew Davis.
About Christopher Burchett
Christopher Burchett has sung with companies such as Boston Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Kentucky Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Glimmerglass Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall. This season he sings Blazes in The Lighthouse with Boston Lyric Opera, Chou En’lai in Nixon in China with Eugene Opera, Carmina Burana with the York Symphony, sings concerts in Montreal, Quebec with L'Harmonie des Saisons, Fauré's Requiem with the Omaha Symphony, makes his Kennedy Center debut in the world premiere of Paola Prestini’s opera Oceanic Verses, sings the role of Bruno Mahler in Music in the Air with Music by the Lake, and makes his Virginia Opera debut as Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus. Future seasons include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the York Symphony and appearances with the BBC Orchestra in London and Fort Worth Opera.
About Romelia Lupas
Romelia Lupas began her vocal studies at the age of 14 at the “Sabin Dragoi” Fine Arts High School in Arad, Romania. Under a full scholarship, she studied voice performance with Sylvia Munteanu at the Western University of Timisioara. After residency in the United States, Lupas was accepted in the voice performance program at Wayne State University in Detroit (2008), where she currently studies with Dr. Emery Stephens. She frequently coaches her opera roles with Professor George Shirley, a Wayne alum, at the University of Michigan. Her operatic credits include Mariane in Mechem’s Tartuffe, Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and The Night Visitors, Euridice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Sister Angelica (Suor Angelica), and Peony (A Childhood Miracle). Other solo concert appearances include Mozart’s Missa Brevis and Coronation Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Rutter’s Gloria. Lupas is a winner of the Sabin Dragoi National Contest, Emil Montia National Contest, Szolnoc International Voice Competition, Romanian National Olympiad for Vocal Performance, Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee Regional Artists Competition, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Lupas was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Orpheus Vocal Competition, sponsored by the Middle Tennessee Choral Society. She is currently a semi-finalist for The American Prize Vocal Competition.
About Stacey Rishoi
This season Stacey Rishoi sings as Amneris in Aida (Opera Tampa), joins Lyric Opera of Chicago for Aida, returns to Jacksonville Symphony in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Symphony No. 9, to Cincinnati Opera as La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi and as Flora in La Traviata, and to Kentucky Symphony Orchestra as Dalila in Samson et Dalila. Recent highlights include Amneris (Calgary Opera), Maddalena in Rigoletto and Madama Larina in Eugene Onegin (Cincinnati Opera); Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos (Toledo and Calgary operas); Dalila in Samson et Dalila (Nashville Opera); Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Orlando Opera); and Waltraute in Die Walküre (Washington National Opera). On concert stages she has sung with Alexandria, Atlanta, Kalamazoo, Springfield, Toledo, Virginia and Pacific symphony orchestras; Bel Canto Chorus; Fresno and Buffalo philharmonics;
About Sr. Bernadette Prochaska
Bernadette Prochaska, FSPA, PhD, a Franciscan Sister from La Crosse, WI, has been teaching literature at Marquette University for 32 years. In the summers, since 1992, she teaches English language in Prague, presently sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. Until 1996, she was a Fellow for the Foundation for a Civil Society and taught English in Prague and Slovakia. Besides being an English teacher, Bernadette is a musician. Some years ago her students in Prague gave her Dvořák's Stabat Mater by the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and she began research, visiting Dvořák's home and the Church where he composed the glorious music in 1876-1877
About Christ King Parish
Christ King Parish was established in 1939. The school, convent, rectory and church buildings were constructed over the next 24 years. The present church was dedicated in 1956, and the final building project of the school gym was completed in 1963. An extensive project during 2004-2007 updated the facilities. The parish today includes 4467 individuals in 1448 family units.
For additional information, promotional photos, or interview requests, contact Marla Hahn, Executive Director, at (414) 481-8801.