XIAN ZHANG conductor
MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS soprano
ELIZABETH BISHOP mezzo-soprano
LORENZO DECARO tenor
REGINALD D. SMITH JR. baritone
MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY SINGERS
MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY CHORALE
NEWARK VOICES Heather J. Buchanan, conductor
NEW JERSEY YOUTH CHORUSES Trish Joyce, artistic director
NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Beethoven’s glorious Ninth, led by Xian Zhang, is a fitting start to a spectacular season. The NJSO is joined by singers from Montclair State University and a community choir based in Newark. Newark Voices performs Oct 5 & 7 only.
KATE WHITLEY Speak Out (US Premiere)
Stirring and poignant; rising British composer Kate Whitley’s work is based on Malala Yousafzai’s legendary speech to the United Nations advocating the right of every girl to have an education.
WALKER Lyric for Strings
We perform this celebrated work in memory of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Walker—a Montclair resident and friend of the NJSO.
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9, “Choral”
An unmistakable masterpiece; the hymn’s text extolling the human bond is sung by a joyful assembly, a massed choir including singers from MSU and our surrounding communities.
NJSO Accent Event
#ChoraleYou – Sun, Oct 7, after the concert
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Join with other concertgoers and members of the massed choirs to sing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” conducted by Heather J. Buchanan. Don’t miss it!
Groups save up to 30%
Groups of 9 or more receive significant discounts on single ticket prices!
Opening Night Celebration Gala
Join us for our Opening Night Celebration on October 5! An exquisite evening starts with a pre-concert cocktail party with lavish hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. After the performance event, guests delight in a scrumptious dinner, with opportunities to meet and mingle with Music Director Xian Zhang, musicians of the Orchestra and special guests.
Individual Event Tickets
VIP PRE-PARTY PACKAGE:
Pre-concert cocktail party, concert seating and valet parking.
Regular Price: $280 per person | Subscriber Price: $200 per person*
VIP FULL CELEBRATION PACKAGE:
Pre-concert cocktail party, concert seating, post-concert dinner and valet parking.
Regular Price: $780 per person | Subscriber Price: $700 per person*
To order, contact Laura Bessey at email@example.com or 973.735.1729.
* This concert is included in NJPAC Series 1 and Series 4. Subscribers who already have tickets for this concert or will exchange another concert for this one can purchase an event package at the discounted prices listed. All event packages include a contribution to the NJSO.
Sample on Spotify
Preview selected works on this program using Spotify.
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About the Artists
Learn more about Music Director Xian Zhang.
MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS
Based permanently in Europe, American soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams opens her 2018–19 season with these performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. She then travels to Opera Dijon to sing the role of Abigaille in Nabucco before returning to Welsh National Opera for the role of Amelia in Un Ballo in maschera.
Last season, she made her debut as Desdemona in Otello with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and sang the role of Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda at Deutsche Oper am Rhein. She joined Welsh National Opera to appear as Leonora in La Forza del Destino and in the title role of Tosca with performances across the UK. She returned to Seattle Opera to revive the role of Serena in Porgy and Bess, which she previously sang at La Scala in Milan.
Originally from Philadelphia, Williams is a graduate of Iowa’s Luther College, where she sang her first operatic role, the title role in Suor Angelica. Beginning a long and successful career at Seattle Opera, she appeared on Seattle’s stage in the role of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni.
American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop’s 2018–19 season includes the role of Madame de la Haltiere in Cendrillon with Lyric Opera Chicago and performances as Second Norn in Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Metropolitan Opera, where she also covers the roles of Fricka and Waltrault.
Last season’s highlights included performances of Verdi’s Requiem at the Metropolitan Opera, the role of Herodias in Salome with Florida Grand Opera and the role of Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro with Palm Beach Opera. She also performed Mahler’s Second Symphony with Portland Symphony Orchestra and Winston-Salem Symphony and the role of Mary in The Flying Dutchman with Cincinnati Opera.
The artist’s concert repertoire is extensive, including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; Mahler’s Second, Third and Eighth symphonies and Das Lied von der Erde; Wagner’s “Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde and Magdalene in Der Meistersinger; Bach’s Magnificat; Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Lobgesang; Handel’s Messiah; Tippett’s A Child of Our Time; and requiems by Durufle, Ligeti and Verdi.
One of the most promising tenors of his generation, Lorenzo Decaro has sung the leading roles in operas by Verdi and Puccini in some of the most important Italian and European theaters.
His operatic repertoire includes roles such as Alfredo (La Traviata), Duca di Mantova (Rigoletto), Riccardo (Un Ballo in maschera), Ismaele (Nabucco), Radames (Aida) and Arrigo (I Vespri Siciliani) as well as Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Rodolfo (La Bohème), Cavaradossi (Tosca) and Des Grieux (Manon Lescaut).
He has worked with such conductors as Roberto Abbado, Riccardo Frizza, Nicola Luisotti, Gianandrea Noseda and Stefano Ranzani, and with stage directors Daniele Abbado, Gianfranco de Bosio, Jean Louis Grinda, Maurizio Scaparro, Graham Vick and Robert Wilson.
His 2017–18 season included Pollione in Norma at Opera de Rouen and at Royal Opera Muscat in Oman, Cavaradossi in Tosca at Teatro Regio di Parma and a gala concert at New Jersey State Opera.
REGINALD SMITH JR.
Baritone Reginald Smith Jr. has been lauded as a “passionate performer” (New York Times) and “one of the most exciting baritone sounds to come along in years” (Opera News).
During the 2017–18 season, Smith made company debuts with Opera Hong Kong as Amonasro in Aida, Lyric Opera of Chicago as Senator Charles Potter/General Airlie/Bartender in Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers and Portland Opera as Monterone in Rigoletto. He returned to Opera Memphis to make his role debut as Taddeo in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri.
Additionally, he made concert debuts with Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as well as with Dallas Symphony Orchestra as the guest soloist and narrator for the Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops. He also made his Lincoln Center debut in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Chorale. Upcoming engagements include a recital and residency with Kennesaw State University.
Smith is a graduate of DeKalb School of the Arts and the University of Kentucky, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance and choral music education (K-12).
MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY SINGERS and CHORALE
Over the last 15 years, the Montclair State University (MSU) choral program has been recognized for its successful collaborations with world-renowned artists and celebrated professional musicians in national and international venues. The Montclair State University Singers is a mixed-voice elective choir comprising undergraduate and graduate students who are experienced musicians. Pianist Steven W. Ryan accompanies the choir.
MSU choirs regularly appear with the NJSO. Previous highlights include performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, Mozart’s Requiem, Howard Shore’s Academy Award-winning The Lord of the Rings Symphony, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Verdi’s epic Requiem—twice, under the batons of Neeme Jarvi and Jacques Lacombe. The highly acclaimed performances of Carmina Burana and Verdi’s Requiem by the MSU Chorale (symphonic choir) with Lacombe were celebrated with CD releases in 2011 and 2014.
Founded in 1908, MSU is proud to be a leading institution of higher education in NJ. More information is available at montclair.edu.
HEATHER J. BUCHANAN
Australian-born conductor Heather J. Buchanan, PhD, is professor of music and director of choral activities at Montclair State University, where she conducts the Chorale, University Singers, Vocal Accord and Prima Voce. Choirs under her direction have won critical acclaim and have collaborated with world-renowned artists including Meredith Monk, Richard Alston Dance Company, Micheal O OSuilleabhain, Tarik O’Regan and Chen Yi. Buchanan is founding co-editor and compiler of the landmark GIA Publications choral series Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, vols. 1–3, and has released a DVD, Evoking Sound: Body Mapping & Gesture Fundamentals.
A licensed Andover educator, Buchanan specializes in the teaching of body mapping for musicians and holds degrees from the University of New England in Australia, Westminster Choir College of Rider University and the Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University in Australia. She is in demand as a guest conductor, somatic educator and choral clinician in the US and abroad.
Under the leadership of Heather J. Buchanan, Newark Voices is a project-based community choir formed to engage talented singers and experienced choral musicians from the Greater Newark community.
Among the group are recent alumni of local choral programs, music teachers, retirees, arts administrators and engineers, all united by their shared love of the unique community that choral singing inspires. These opening-weekend concerts mark the inaugural performances of this new addition to the NJSO community.
NEW JERSEY YOUTH CHORUS
Founded in 1992 by Trish Joyce, the New Jersey Youth Chorus is an auditioned choral program made up of more than 200 choristers in grades four through 12. NJYC’s mission is to provide exceptional choral music education and performance experiences, fostering expression, artistry and growth. The choir is divided into five performing ensembles. Coriste, performing at these NJSO concerts, is its high-school girls ensemble.
In addition to two annual concerts, Coriste’s 2017–18 season included a solo performance at Carnegie Hall, a performance with Barry Manilow at the Prudential Center, a Kids for Kids concert to benefit the Team Campbell Foundation, an NJYC-sponsored high-school choral festival with clinicians Sun Min Lee (Lehigh University) and Nick McBride (TCNJ), concerts with the choirs of Drew University and the Monmouth Civic Chorus, a music educator workshop with internationally known clinician Zimfira Poloz (Hamilton Children’s Choir, Canada) and a United Kingdom tour. The 2018–19 season will include Lessons and Carols with Westminster Choir College, a concert with the Trinity Wall Street Girls Choir, a tour to Canada and a number of other special events. More information is available at njyouthchorus.org.
Trish Joyce, founder and artistic director of the New Jersey Youth Chorus, received her Bachelor of Music degree magna cum laude in music education from Marywood College in Scranton and her Master of Music degree with Distinction in music education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton. She completed certification in Kodaly Methodology from the Kodaly Musical Training Institute in Hartford. She has taught Level II and III Conducting, as well as choir class, at Westminster Choir College’s Kodaly Certification Courses for the past two summers.
Joyce began her teaching career in the Pennsylvania schools and taught in the Bernardsville schools in New Jersey. She has served as an adjunct teacher in the Music Education department of Westminster Choir College and at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has presented workshops and reading sessions and adjudicated festivals for the New Jersey American Choral Directors Association and the New Jersey Music Educators Association.