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Annual Meeting – June 25

June 3rd, 2018

If you’re a ticket-buying subscriber to the Brown County Civic Music series, you’re eligible to attend our annual membership meeting to voice your opinion and share suggestions. Please join us at 7 p.m. Monday, June 25, 2018 at the First United Presbyterian Church, 605 N. Webster Avenue, De Pere.

Two guest artists have Civic Music roots

June 3rd, 2018

The Five artists from Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera will be joined by two young performers with local ties, Emily (Brand) Oehrtman and Anna Parks. Both the Brand and Parks families are well-known in area music circles – and longtime Civic Music members, to boot.  The brief set by the Green Bay area singers highlights the local excellence of vocal music education, and this community’s track record of sending forth opera performers and educators.

Classic pop standards, too

June 3rd, 2018

In keeping with their typical summer format, the Florentine Opera pros will offer music lovers a split program with opera at the outset and Great American Songbook repertoire coming post-intermission. Early opera selections will include famous melodies from La Boheme, The Barber of Seville and Romeo and Juliet. The second half features standards including Come Fly with Me, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Til We Meet Again, and more. For a more complete performance outline, see the program.

On Opera Day, a reception for Civic Music members

June 3rd, 2018

Join us at the amphitheatre’s hillside pavilion next Sunday for a pre-concert reception for Civic Music members. Complimentary snacks, a cash bar and great conversation await. If you come early (members will be on pass list for early entry, at 2 p.m.) to claim a prime lawn-seating spot or enjoy your free stroll of the Botanical Garden, be sure to stop by headquarters at the pavilion, which is formally known as the Matthew Schmidt Garden and Wangerin Pavilion.

Civic Music Association presents ‘Opera in the Garden’ June 10

June 3rd, 2018

GREEN BAY — Professional opera performance comes to Northeastern Wisconsin with the outdoor vocal concert “Opera in the Garden” at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 10, 2018 at the Green Bay Botanical Garden, 2600 Larsen Road.

Featured performers will be summer-residency vocalists from the Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee. Also appearing, in a brief separate “set,” will be two young teaching and vocal professionals with Green Bay ties.

Music will include classic and light opera by Rossini, Donizetti, Leoncavallo and Gounod, as well as musical theatre and American standards from the 1920s, ’30s and ‘40s by George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler, and others. (See below for program and artist details.)

The June 10 event is believed to be the first summer program and first outdoor concert in the 90-year history of the Brown County Civic Music Association.  The free concert is a bonus to the Association’s customary five-concert, subscription series of visiting classical performances. Board president Christopher Sampson describes it as community outreach and a thank-you to membership, as well as a way to reconnect with the organization’s history.

“In the 1960s and ‘70s Civic Music was bringing in top Met stars on a regular basis when schedules and economics allowed, people like Roberta Peters, Robert Merrill, Birgit Nilsson,” Sampson says. “For a time, not too long ago, Green Bay had its own company doing fully staged opera. Even now as it has become a little harder to find, there’s still interest in live opera.”

The choice of venue highlights the new Billie Kress Amphitheatre, which opened last fall as part of the GBBG’s Schneider Family Grand Garden. Lawn seating is free, with gates open to the general public at 3 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets, folding chairs and, should they choose, their own picnic baskets and coolers. (No liquor carry-ins allowed.) Beverages and picnic/cookout fare also will be available at concession stands. A limited number of reserved seats on the Cowles Terrace near the stage, if available, will be $10 per chair.

The rain site is Cornerstone Foundation Hall located in the Schneider Education Center. If indoors, seating preference will be given to those who reserved Cowles Terrace tickets, with standing room only for those admitted free. To find out if the concert has been moved indoors, after 10 a.m. on the 10th please go to https://gbbg.org or call the garden at (920) 490-9457.

The June 10 concert presented by Brown County Civic Music is one of six in the Botanical Garden’s inaugural Schneider Family Grand Concert Series. The others are:  June 2, Vic Ferrari Symphony on the Rocks;  July 1, Civic Symphony of Green Bay Pops Concert;  Aug. 3, Sounds of Nashville;  Aug. 26, Grass Roots Festival;  Sept. 21, Brews, Bistros and Bonfires.

For logistical info on “Opera in the Garden,” at 4 p.m. June 10, visit https://gbbg.org/opera/

Civic Music Association presents ‘Opera in the Garden’ June 10 (continued)…

Performance Details:

Performers from the Florentine Opera Company, along with their keyboard accompanist:

Nicole Heinen (Soprano)
Heinen, a Wisconsin native, holds a bachelor’s from the Eastman School of Music and a master’s in performance from UW-Madison. Recently, she played Mademoiselle Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. She has toured with Opera for the Young and participated with them in the Ravinia Festival.

Briana Moynihan (Mezzo-soprano)
Moynihan, holding a master’s from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, has portrayed the roles of Hermia in Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, the Chief Elder in The Giver and more. She has won numerous competitions, including a Metropolitan Opera National Council district competition.

Nicholas Huff (Tenor)
Huff has successfully taken on many roles, most recently as Joseph Treat in Victoria Bond’s opera Mrs. President, in his debut at the Rochester Lyric Opera. He has performed with the Toronto Summer Opera Workshop and the Eastman Opera Theater.  Recently, he was a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the New York State Ballet.

Stephen Hobe (Baritone)
Hobe, from Chicago, has performed recently as Silvio in Pagliacci at Main Street Opera. He has performed regionally with Music Theater Works, Main Street Opera, NewMoon Theatre, Towle Theatre, Chicago Summer Opera, North Park University, as well as internationally with La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy.

Accompanist Ruben Piirainen, keyboard
Piirainen holds degrees in piano performance from the Lawrence University Conservatory and Bowling Green State. His credits include the Florentine Opera’s @ The Center Series; numerous performances with Skylight Music Theatre; Present Music; Festival City Symphony and the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra.

Two young singers with Green Bay ties and professional opera experience will be returning to perform in the June 10 concert as a way to highlight the strength of vocal education locally:

Soprano Emily (Brand) Oehrtman is a faculty member at Muskingum (Ohio) University. She studied at Green Bay Preble High School, the Eastman School of Music, Penn State and the New England Conservatory before earning her doctorate at Ohio State. Chicago-based mezzo soprano Anna Parks, whose parents live in De Pere, studied at Viterbo University and the Chicago College of Performing Arts and was a participant last year in Madison Opera’s summer studio program. Their accompanist is pianist Elaine Moss, a faculty member with St. Norbert College.

Expected selections: Pieces performed as solos or duets by the two local performers will be announced from the stage. Florentine Opera shares the following as their part of the program.

  • Je veux vivre, Roméo et Juliette, Gounod
  • Da quell suon soavemente, La Bohème, Leoncavallo
  • Una furtiva lagrima, L’elisir d’amore (The Elixer of Love), Donizetti
  • Largo al factotum, Il barbieri di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), Rossini

— Intermission —

  • Come Fly with Me (1957), James Van Heusen & Sammy Cahn, arr: Mac Huff
  • Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (1940, words 1942), Duke Ellington & Bob Russell, arr: Mark Hayes
  • Moonglow (1933), words & music: Will Hudson, Eddie DeLange & Irving Mills, arr: Darmon Meader
  • The Girl I Love (1924), music: George Gershwin, lyrics: Ira Gershwin
  • Love Walked In (1930), music: George Gershwin, lyrics: Ira Gershwin, arr: Ed Lojeski
  • Blue Moon (1934), music: Richard Rodgers, lyrics: Lorenz Hart
  • I’ve Got the World on A String (1932), 21st Cotton Club series, Harold Arlen, lyrics: Ted Koehler
  • It’s only A Paper Moon (1933), The Great Magoo, music: Harold Arlen; lryics: Billy Rose, E. Y. Harburg
  • That Old Black Magic (1942), Star Spangled Rhythm, music: Harold Arlen, lyrics: Johnny Mercer
  • Over the Rainbow(1939). The Wizard of Oz, music: Harold Arlen, lyrics: Ted Koehler
  • Get Happy (1929), The Nine-Fifteen Revue, music: Harold Arlen, lyrics: Ted Koehler, arr: Philip Kern
  • Till We Meet Again (1918), music: Richard A. Whiting; words: Raymond B. Egan, arr: Stewart

Opera in the Garden – Program

June 3rd, 2018

Season Listing | Biography | Program

Expected selections: Pieces performed as solos or duets by the two local performers will be announced from the stage. Florentine Opera shares the following as their part of the program.

  • Je veux vivre, Roméo et Juliette, Gounod
  • Da quell suon soavemente, La Bohème, Leoncavallo
  • Una furtiva lagrima, L’elisir d’amore (The Elixer of Love), Donizetti
  • Largo al factotum, Il barbieri di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), Rossini

— Intermission —

  • Come Fly with Me (1957), James Van Heusen & Sammy Cahn, arr: Mac Huff
  • Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (1940, words 1942), Duke Ellington & Bob Russell, arr: Mark Hayes
  • Moonglow (1933), words & music: Will Hudson, Eddie DeLange & Irving Mills, arr: Darmon Meader
  • The Girl I Love (1924), music: George Gershwin, lyrics: Ira Gershwin
  • Love Walked In (1930), music: George Gershwin, lyrics: Ira Gershwin, arr: Ed Lojeski
  • Blue Moon (1934), music: Richard Rodgers, lyrics: Lorenz Hart
  • I’ve Got the World on A String (1932), 21st Cotton Club series, Harold Arlen, lyrics: Ted Koehler
  • It’s only A Paper Moon (1933), The Great Magoo, music: Harold Arlen; lryics: Billy Rose, E. Y. Harburg
  • That Old Black Magic (1942), Star Spangled Rhythm, music: Harold Arlen, lyrics: Johnny Mercer
  • Over the Rainbow(1939). The Wizard of Oz, music: Harold Arlen, lyrics: Ted Koehler
  • Get Happy (1929), The Nine-Fifteen Revue, music: Harold Arlen, lyrics: Ted Koehler, arr: Philip Kern
  • Till We Meet Again (1918), music: Richard A. Whiting; words: Raymond B. Egan, arr: Stewart

Florentine Opera Company – Biography

June 3rd, 2018

Season Listing | Biography | Program

Performers from the Florentine Opera Company, along with their keyboard accompanist:

Nicole Heinen (Soprano)
Heinen, a Wisconsin native, holds a bachelor’s from the Eastman School of Music and a master’s in performance from UW-Madison. Recently, she played Mademoiselle Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. She has toured with Opera for the Young and participated with them in the Ravinia Festival.

Briana Moynihan (Mezzo-soprano)
Moynihan, holding a master’s from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, has portrayed the roles of Hermia in Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, the Chief Elder in The Giver and more. She has won numerous competitions, including a Metropolitan Opera National Council district competition.

Nicholas Huff (Tenor)
Huff has successfully taken on many roles, most recently as Joseph Treat in Victoria Bond’s opera Mrs. President, in his debut at the Rochester Lyric Opera. He has performed with the Toronto Summer Opera Workshop and the Eastman Opera Theater.  Recently, he was a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the New York State Ballet.

Stephen Hobe (Baritone)
Hobe, from Chicago, has performed recently as Silvio in Pagliacci at Main Street Opera. He has performed regionally with Music Theater Works, Main Street Opera, NewMoon Theatre, Towle Theatre, Chicago Summer Opera, North Park University, as well as internationally with La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy.

Accompanist Ruben Piirainen, keyboard
Piirainen holds degrees in piano performance from the Lawrence University Conservatory and Bowling Green State. His credits include the Florentine Opera’s @ The Center Series; numerous performances with Skylight Music Theatre; Present Music; Festival City Symphony and the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra.

Two young singers with Green Bay ties and professional opera experience will be returning to perform in the June 10 concert as a way to highlight the strength of vocal education locally:

Soprano Emily (Brand) Oehrtman is a faculty member at Muskingum (Ohio) University. She studied at Green Bay Preble High School, the Eastman School of Music, Penn State and the New England Conservatory before earning her doctorate at Ohio State. Chicago-based mezzo soprano Anna Parks, whose parents live in De Pere, studied at Viterbo University and the Chicago College of Performing Arts and was a participant last year in Madison Opera’s summer studio program. Their accompanist is pianist Elaine Moss, a faculty member with St. Norbert College.

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra – Roster

May 2nd, 2018

ORCHESTRA ROSTER 2017 – 18

(Jan 2018)

 

FIRST VIOLINS

Frank Almond, Concertmaster

Ilana Setapen, Associate Concertmaster

Jeanyi Kim, Associate Concertmaster

    Third Chair

More…

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra – Program Notes

May 2nd, 2018

GREEN BAY
Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 7:30pm

Leonard Bernstein

Born 25 August 1918, Lawrence, Massachusetts

Died 14 October 1990, New York, New York

 

Candide Overture

Composed: 1955-56

First performance: 1 December 1956; New York (Broadway opening)

26 January 1957 (concert version)

Last MSO performance: May 2016; Asher Fisch, conductor

Instrumentation: 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (bass drum, cymbals, glockenspiel, snare drum, tenor drum, triangle, xylophone), harp, strings

Approximate duration: 5 minutes

 

Leonard Bernstein’s best-loved concert piece began its life in the theatre. Following a three-week trial run in Boston, his operetta Candide opened at Broadway’s Martin Beck Theatre on 1 December 1956, with Samuel Krachmalnick as music director. The composer led the New York Philharmonic in a concert-hall performance of its sparking overture less than two months later. Within a couple of years, nearly a hundred orchestras had performed the work.

 

Candide ran for 73 performances, a staggering number in the opera world, but disappointing by Broadway standards. Lillian Hellman’s adaptation of Voltaire’s novella received much of the blame for the show’s failure, but adapting its many locations and quick-paced adventures to the stage was no easy task. Across the following decades, Bernstein’s “valentine to European music” continued to be tweaked, growing ever more convincing; a 1989 Deutsche Grammophone recording under his direction was one of the maestro’s final projects.

 

The overture features some of the show’s great tunes, including a duet for Candide and Cunegonde, “Oh, Happy We,” and Cunegonde’s coloratura aria “Glitter and Be Gay.” At times wistfully lyrical, at others whimsically effervescent, it’s an appropriate curtain-raiser both for Voltaire’s story and the MSO’s new season.

 

Recommended recording: Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic (Sony Classical)


 

Aaron Copland

Born 14 November 1900; Brooklyn, New York

Died 2 December 1990; New York, New York

 

Quiet City

Composed: 1939; revised 1940

First performance: 28 January 1941; New York, New York

Last MSO performance: MSO premiere

Instrumentation: English horn, trumpet, strings

Approximate duration: 10 minutes

 

In 1939, Aaron Copland was called upon to provide incidental music to Irwin Shaw’s Quiet City—for his cash-strapped friends in the Group Theatre. The play’s leftist political leanings—and the opportunity to work with talented, cutting-edge artists on socially relevant issues—drew Copland to the project. Though the production failed, the following year the composer fashioned portions of the score into a ten-minute orchestral piece. Decades later, in conversation with oral historian Vivian Perlis, the composer recalled:

Quiet City was billed as a “realistic fantasy,” a contradiction in terms that only meant the stylistic difference made for difficulties in production. The script was about a young trumpet player who imagined the night thoughts of many different people in a great city and played trumpet to express his emotions and to arouse the consciences of the other characters and of the audience. After reading the play, I composed music that I hoped would evoke the inner distress of the central charcter. [Group Theatre co-founder Harold] Clurman and Elia Kazan, the director, agreed that Quiet City needed a free and imaginative treatment. They and the cast… struggled valiantly to make the play convincing, but after two try-out performances in April [1939], Quiet City was dropped.

From its 1941 premiere, Copland’s nighttime urban pastorale has needed no programmatic context, except perhaps its title, to make it one of his most popular scores. “Since it is mostly quiet, it fills a niche in concert programs,” the composer modestly remarked. But we know better: Along with Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Ives’s The Unanswered Question, it ranks as one of America’s most contemplative musical meditations.

Recommended recording: Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic (Deutsche Grammophon)

 


 

Antonín Dvořák

Born 8 September 1841; Nelahozeves, Czech Republic

Died 1 May 1904; Prague, Czech Republic

 

Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Opus 95, [old No. 5] “From the New World”

Composed: 1892-93

First performance: 16 December 1893; New York, New York

Last MSO performance: March 2013; Edo de Waart, conductor

Instrumentation: 2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes (2nd doubling English horn), 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (cymbals, triangle), strings

Approximate duration: 40 minutes

 

At the behest of Mrs. Jeanette Thurber, Antonin Dvořák came to this country from his native Bohemia in the autumn of 1892. Mrs. Thurber, the wife of a New York millionaire wholesale grocer—and self-appointed cultural maven—had invited the composer to become the director of New York City’s National Conservatory of Music. His arrival was planned to coincide with celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of America. Mrs. Thurber’s conservatory operated on philanthropic principles, and she held the purse strings. For a yearly salary of $15,000, Dvořák was expected to give lessons in composition and instrumentation to the most talented students three days a week, and on the other three days to rehearse the choir and orchestra. Since Thurber wanted a figurehead rather than an administrator, Dvořák was expected to be available for business consultations with her, if called upon. (By 1895, a homesick Dvořák was back home for good, contentedly surrounded by his family and again teaching composition at the Prague Conservatory.)

Dvořák spent his 1893 summer holiday with his family in Spillville, Iowa—in a Czech community where he could relax with his own countrymen and be free of the constant need to speak English, a language he never really mastered. Just prior, he had put the finishing touches on his E minor symphony—better known as “From the New World.” Publication was expedited when the composer’s good friend Johannes Brahms offered to correct the proofs. Its Carnegie Hall premiere, conducted by Anton Seidl, was a huge success. When the Symphony No. 9 was first presented in Vienna (1895), Brahms sat with Dvořák in the director’s box. “I have never had such a success in Vienna,” the composer later stated.

The “New World” Symphony also generated lengthy discussions as to whether the composer had appropriated Bohemian, Native American, or African-American themes as the basis for his new work. Dvořák eventually felt compelled to settle the matter by flatly denying that any folk music was used verbatim in the symphony. “I tried to write only in the spirit of these national American melodies,” he explained.

For many concertgoers, this Symphony is so beloved and so well-known that little explanation is needed. Here, however, are a few highlights to listen for:

  1. The melancholy introduction—some claim this depicts Dvořák’s homesickness, others think it evokes the wide, open spaces of the American West—is soon shattered by the vigorous horn theme that outlines an E minor chord. This motif will reappear in the other three movements. Later comes a melody that suggests to some listeners “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”
  2. The Allegro molto ended decidedly in E minor. The well-known Largo is in D-flat major. Dvořák employs seven sonorous chords that take us there seamlessly. William Arms Fisher wrote the words “Goin’ Home” to the famous English horn melody. It is said that Dvořák chose that instrument over the clarinet because its timbre reminded him of the vocal color of Harry T. Burleigh—the great African-American collector and arranger of spirituals, and a student of Dvořák. Near the movement’s end, the motto theme loudly reasserts itself, but the English horn restores calm and the Largo ends very softly, with double basses alone.

III. According to Dvořák, the music of the scherzo was inspired by the feast and dance of Pau-Puk Keewis in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Song of Hiawatha.” A motif from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony introduces the dance.

  1. A powerful brass theme opens the Allegro con fuoco; a gentler clarinet melody soon follows. By re-introducing the principal themes of the previous three movements early in the development section, Dvořák is later able to seamlessly combine them into a brilliant climax. Listen: You’ll even hear the stately chord progression that opened the Largo.

Recommended recording: George Szell, Cleveland Orchestra (Sony Classical)

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra – Program

May 2nd, 2018

GREEN BAY
Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 7:30pm

Yaniv Dinur, conductor
Margaret Butler, English horn
Matthew Ernst, trumpet

5′ LEONARD BERNSTEIN
Overture to Candide

10′ AARON COPLAND
Quiet City
Margaret Butler
Matthew Ernst

18′ AARON COPLAND
Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo
I. Buckaroo Holiday
II. Corral Nocturne
III. Saturday Night Waltz
IV. Hoe Down

20′ Intermission

40′ ANTONIN DVORÁK
Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Opus 95, [old No. 5] “From the New World”
I. Adagio – Allegro molto
II. Largo
III. Molto vivace
IV. Allegro con fuoco