February 19, 2024

MSM presents Opera in Concert with the MSM Symphony Orchestra and MSM Opera Theatre on February 21 and 22

MSM Symphony Orchestra and MSM Opera Theatre are presenting two special performances of Opera in Concert on February 21 and 22. The concert will showcase talented instrumental musicians and vocal performers studying at MSM.

The program on both nights will feature several opera overtures and Act 1 of Massenet’s Cendrillion.

We spoke with Dean of Vocal Arts Carleen Graham and Dean of Instrumental Studies and Orchestral Performance JT Kane about the upcoming performances.

  • Carleen Graham

    Dean of Vocal Arts

  • JT Kane

    Dean of Instrumental Studies and Orchestral Performance

FEB 21 & 22 | WED & THURS
7:30 PM

MSM Symphony Orchestra &
MSM Opera Theatre

Opera in Concert 

Danielle Jagelski (MM ’22), Conductor
George Manahan (BM ’73, MM ’76), Conductor

W.A. MOZART Overture to Le nozze di Figaro (italicized)
MISSY MAZZOLI River Rouge Transfiguration
KAIJA SAARIAHO Traversée from L’Amour de loin
ETHEL SMYTH Overture to The Wreckers
JULES MASSENET Act I of Cendrillon

Free, tickets required

Neidorff-Karpati Hall
130 Claremont Avenue
New York, New York 10027

What makes this concert special?

Carleen Graham: Last year —the first time we presented this event — we performed Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges. This year, the program will feature opera overtures and we are excited to perform Act 1 from Massenet’s Cendrillion. The concert overtures are from Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Missy Mazzoli’s River Rouge Transfiguration, and transitional music from Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de loin. It’s a great program.

Opera In Concert began last year as a result of a discussion during an Artistic Planning Committee meeting. George Manahan indicated that it would be a good idea, and I jumped on it because it provides voice students more opportunities to perform with orchestra.

There are two conductors taking part in this concert; can you tell us about that?

JT Kane: George Manahan will be conducting Massenet’s Cendrillion, which is on the second half of the concert; the first half of the program are four overtures conducted by MSM alumna Danielle Jagelski [MM ’22]. Danielle is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Renegade Opera, an organization dedicated to making opera more accessible and inclusive for modern audiences. We thought she would be perfect to come back to MSM to work with the students on these four overtures that many of them have never played.

What will the music be like? Why these selections?

JT Kane: The first half of the program are overtures of operas that the orchestra can play that don’t include singers. Danielle and I emailed back and forth to come up with a variety of pieces that would be beneficial for the orchestra to learn. L’Amour de loin: Premier acte (Traversée) by Kaija Saariaho is a wonderful piece and a tribute to her after her passing last year, and is something more modern, where Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro is more of a standard overture. Ethyl Smith’s Overture from The Wreckers was written a couple years after the Cendrillon premiere, and Missy Mazzoli’s River Rouge Transfiguration helps round out the first half of the concert.

Carleen Graham: Cendrillion is a standard work that gives opportunities for high-voiced singers. This is important for us to provide opportunities for all our student singers. The music is challenging vocally and linguistically, as there are many rapid passages. It’s great for our students to work on this piece because it is produced often by companies as a fun and family-friendly work.

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