|Symphony season opens Saturday with Beethoven's 9th|
Metropolitan opera soprano Korliss Uecker and mezzo-soprano Tammy Hensrud, both UND graduates, will be soloists in the “Ode to Joy,” along with tenor William Saetre and baritone Michael Schmidt at the Greater Grand Forks Symphony's Season Premiere at the Chester Fritz Auditorium at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27.
The “Ode to Joy,” the triumphant final movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, will open the Symphony's one hundredth anniversary season under the baton of music director and conductor James Hannon. Tickets are available by calling 777-4090 or online at www.ggfso.org.
From the time of its founding in 1908, the Symphony, a community-run organization, has had a close and productive relationship with the University of North Dakota. Both the programming and the guest artists of the Symphony’s first concert this season reflect the vitality of the Symphony’s work with current and former UND musicians.
The Grand Forks Master Chorale and University of North Dakota choirs, under the direction of Joshua Bronfman, will join the Symphony.
A frequent presence onstage at the Metropolitan Opera, Korliss Uecker has performed as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro (broadcast on national radio), Marzelline in Fidelio, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Clorinda in La Cenerentola, Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, Karolka in Jenufa, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte and Giannetta in a telecast of L'Elisir d'amore. She sang Frasquita in Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera in a performance to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Placido Domingo's debut.
Tammy Hensrud has appeared in opera houses throughout Europe and the United States including the Vienna State Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Theatre de Chatelet in Paris, Klagenfurt Stadttheater, the Salzburg Summer and Easter Festivals, the Metropolitan Opera, Cleveland Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, and Liederkranz Opera.
Both Uecker and Hensrud earned degrees from UND's music separtment before pursuing very successful operatic careers.
Mr. Saetre, a native of Thief River Falls, currently is a professional opera singer living in Germany. Mr. Schmidt is a lyric baritone based in Minneapolis. Most recently, he was featured in the role of Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte with the Lyric Opera Cleveland, and as Danilo in The Merry Widow with The Western Plains Opera.
In celebration of its centennial season, the program also includes the Intermezzo from Mendelssohn’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," a work that was on the program of the Symphony’s first public concert. Two well-known operatic duets will also be performed by the Symphony’s guest artists: the acclaimed duet from Bizet’s "Pearl Fishers" and the famously beautiful and romantic Flower Duet from Delibe’s opera "Lakmé."
The Symphony’s 2008-2009 Centennial Season includes performance on Nov. 15 and 16, Jan. 31, Feb. 1, March 7-8, and May 2-3, and this year features two North Dakota premieres of new works by Peter Schickele and Joseph Schwantner, a Baroque concert, Brahms’ Double Concerto, and Grieg’s Pier Gynt Suite. The final concert includes Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, “Titan” and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. Subscriptions are available online at www.ggfso.org.
-- Jennifer Tarlin, Executive Director, Greater Grand Forks Symphony, email@example.com, 7-3359