The Cathedral Choral Society will present the final concert of its 2014/15 season, Great Opera Choruses, on Sunday, May 17 at 4:00 p.m. The program of well-loved opera arias and choruses includes works by Wagner, Bellini, Gounod, Verdi, Puccini, Mascagni, and Boito. The Cathedral Choral Society, conducted by Music Director J. Reilly Lewis, will be joined by Jessica Julin, soprano; Ben Wager, bass; and the Washington National Opera Children’s Chorus.
“This concert will feature magnificent opera music, sacred and profane, perfect for the Cathedral,” said J. Reilly Lewis. “This is my first time programming opera for this chorus, and these gorgeous works capture all the emotions of great opera.”
Selections will be performed from Wagner, Die Meistersinger; Bellini, Norma; Gounod, Faust; Verdi, Nabucco; Puccini, Tosca; Mascagni, Cavalleria Rusticana; Puccini, Manon Lescaut; and Boito, Mefistofele.
“We are thrilled to be performing opera in the Cathedral for the first time,” said Genevieve Twomey, Executive Director of the Cathedral Choral Society. “This music is rich, exciting, dramatic, and engaging – and to experience this in such a grand space will be a unique and memorable experience.”
The Cathedral Choral Society is pleased to feature soloists Jessica Julin, soprano and Ben Wager, bass, and to welcome the Washington National Opera Children’s Chorus as guest choir on Boito’s Mefistofele. Jessica Julin, soprano has been praised for her “commanding voice,” and is a 2009 Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Auditions. She received her masters from Indiana University, studied at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, and currently resides in Maryland. She won first prize awards in the J.P. Parkinson Competition, Lois Alba Aria Competition, and the Giagiari Bel Canto Competition.
Ben Wager, bass is a 2009 graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. This season, he debuted in Oslo with Den Norske Opera as Escamillo in Carmen and performed two roles with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Previous engagements include with the Nashville Opera, Deutsche Opera Berlin, Minnesota Opera, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 2012, The Washington Times praised him for his “perfect balance of graciousness [and] forthrightness” in a concert opera performance.
The Washington National Opera Children’s Chorus is comprised of many of the finest young singers, ages 8-14, from Washington, DC; Virginia; and Maryland. They appear frequently in WNO productions at the Kennedy Center. Recent performances include the world premiere of Jeanine Tesori’s The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me (2013) and the WNO premier of Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince (2014). They are directed by Will Breytspraak, Children’s Chorus Master, who is the Chair of Performing Arts at Maret School in Washington, DC.
A pre-concert talk by Peter Russell will be presented at 3:00 p.m. in Perry Auditorium (in the Cathedral tower). Peter Russell is a leading figure in the DC opera scene, having served as General Director of the Wolf Trap Opera Company and founding Washington Concert Opera before later taking on his current role as General Director of Vocal Arts DC.
About the Cathedral Choral Society: The Cathedral Choral Society is the resident symphonic chorus of Washington National Cathedral. Now in its 73rd season, the 140-voice chorus presents an inspiring concert season at the Cathedral and shares the joy of choral singing throughout the Greater Washington, DC Area through its community engagement programs. Its 2015/16 season will be announced the week of May 17.
For Tickets: Regularly priced tickets begin at $25. Tickets for children and students with valid ID under the age of 25 are $15. Seniors, veteran, and military may receive 10% off (excludes Premium Nave). Complimentary parking is included with ticket purchase in the Cathedral’s underground parking garage courtesy of the Cathedral Choral Society. To purchase tickets, or for additional information, please call (202) 537-2228 | (877) 537-2228 or visit the website, www.cathedralchoralsociety.org