Guest performers include the Milwaukee Children’s Choir, Sarah Richardson, soprano, Andrew Wilkowske, baritone, J. Raymond Meyers, tenor, Stefanie Jacob and Steven Ayers, piano, and percussionists from the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra. The UW-Milwaukee Percussion Ensemble will open the performance with Nathan Daughtrey’s “Sizzle.”
Carmina Burana was composed in 1936 by Carl Orff. The song's text was discovered in 1803 at a monastery near Munich as part of a collection of Latin poetry dating back to the 12th century, penned by clergy and divinity students in Italy and Western Europe for traveling scholars, universities and theologians. Carmina Burana confronts issues similar to those we face today: fortune, joy, drinking, lust, gluttony, and the fleeting nature of life.
“Works with Friends,” the 2013 – 14 Bel Canto Chorus concert season, is presented in part with support from the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF); the Bradley Foundation; the Herzfeld Foundation; CAMPAC, the Milwaukee County Arts Board; and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.
About Richard Hynson
This is Richard Hynson’s 26th season as Music Director of 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
Founded in 1931, Bel Canto Chorus enriches the lives of its audiences and members through the presentation of fine choral music. The group has been led for more than 25 years by Richard Hynson, considered one of the nation's finest choral and orchestral conductors (American Prize 2012). Bel Canto Chorus ranks in the top ten percent of choral organizations in the country in terms of budget, longevity, and repertoire. Educational outreach includes Bel Canto Senior Singers and Bel Canto Boy Choirs. Characterized by a heartfelt belief in the value of Bel Canto Chorus, and supported by its 100 devoted singers, audiences, talented artistic and administrative staff, and dedicated board members, the group's passion for sharing the thrill of live, choral music has remained steadfast throughout its long, proud history.
About Bel Canto Boy Choirs
Director Ellen Shuler holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Montana State University and a Master of Music Education with Choral Emphasis from Florida State University. The choirs, composed of more than 25 auditioned boys, perform choral repertoire from classical to modern. Their first four seasons included concerts with Bel Canto Chorus, the Chorknaben Utersen, Vocal Arts Academy, and Midwest Vocal Express. Currently in their fifth anniversary season, the choirs were praised by music critic Elaine Schmidt (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) as being “well-trained, nicely blended, [and] disciplined.”
About Milwaukee Children’s Choir
Milwaukee Children’s Choir, Marco Antonio Melendez, Artistic Director, provides exceptional choral music instruction and performance experiences that foster creativity, personal expression and social growth. A member of the United Performing Arts Fund, Milwaukee Children’s Choir provides once-in-a-lifetime performance opportunities for singers through its relationships with the area's finest performing arts organizations.
About Sarah Richardson
Sarah Richardson, soprano, holds a Master of Music degree from UW-Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Music degree from Viterbo University. Credits include the roles of Phyllis Iolanthe, Eurydice Orpheus in the Underworld, Laetitia The Old Maid and the Thief, Madame Goldentrill The Impresario and Queen of the Night The Magic Flute. She has achieved numerous awards including winner of the Bel Canto Chorus 2013 Regional Artists Competition, first place in the Wisconsin NATS auditions, second place in the Schubert Club Competition, and an Encouragement Award at the Wisconsin MET Auditions. Richardson has been featured with Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Ensemble Musical Offering, Milwaukee Choral Artists, Kalliope Vocal Arts, and the East Side Chamber Players.
About Andrew Wilkowske
Andrew Wilkowske, baritone, has been described as one of the most versatile performers on the stage today. His recent performance of La Rocca in Verdi's King For a Day at Glimmerglass Festival was praised by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Recent engagements include Guns N' Rosenkavalier, a rock recital with Milwaukee Opera Theatre and Glimmerglass Festival; Mr. Gedge in Albert Herring with Florentine Opera; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Intermountain Opera Bozeman; Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Minnesota Opera; Tonio in I Pagliacci with Mill City Summer Opera; Belcore in L'Elisir D'Amore with Utah Opera; Carmina Burana with the Minnesota Orchestra; and Emperor Overall in The Emperor of Atlantis with Boston Lyric Opera. Active on the musical theatre stage, Wilkowske’s performance in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris was called “chilling”
About J. Raymond Meyers
J. Raymond Meyers, tenor, has sung with the opera companies of San Francisco, Portland, Anchorage, Tampa, Grand Rapids, Utah Festival, Toledo and many others. In 2009, he sang Rodolfo in La Bohème with Oregon's Rogue Opera, and played the opera singer in the Oscar-winning movie Milk. In January 2010, he sang Andres in Wozzeck with Ensemble Parallèle and the Astoria Music Festival. In April of that same year, Meyers returned to Opera San Jose to sing Prunier in La Rondine. Other recent performances include West Side Story Suite with San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Carmina Burana with the Kalamazoo Symphony, Carmina Burana and Beethoven's Ninth with the Spokane Symphony, Lippo in Street Scene with Oakland East Bay Symphony, Four Saints in Three Acts with Ensemble Parallèle, Romeo in Romeo et Juliet and Hoffmann in The Tales of Hoffmann with San Francisco's Pocket Opera.