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Beethoven’s Choral Masterwork “Missa Solemnis” Performed by New York’s Signature Chorus

May, 2005

Beethoven’s Choral Masterwork “Missa Solemnis” Performed by New York’s Signature Chorus with internationally acclaimed soloists:Eglise Gutierrez, Soprano; Maria Zifchak, Mezzo-Soprano; Yeghishe Manucharyan, Tenor; Burak Bilgili, Bass

New York, NY (PRWEB) May 17, 2005 -- On the manuscript of the last movement of the Missa Solemnis, Beethoven wrote that the conclusion of the Mass, “Dona Nobis Pacem,” should be sung as “a prayer for inner and outer peace.” But the movement, with its timpani and brass, the sforzando “Pacem! Pacem!” of the chorus, and the soprano’s high B-flat, is not so much a prayer as a demand for a better future.

On Friday, May 20, at Carnegie Hall, the New York Choral Society & Orchestra will present the piece that music scholars consider to be Beethoven’s supreme work for vocalists, the Missa Solemnis. Both exuberant and anguished, fearful and uplifting, this intepretation of the Mass transcends the particular beliefs of Catholicism as it calls on a higher power to show mercy to a war-torn world.

Beethoven began the work in 1819 for his student and patron Rudolph, Archduke of Austria, who was to be made Archbishop of Olumutz the following year. As the piece grew in size and complexity, the date for the ceremony passed and Beethoven settled in to work on the composition over a period of years. By the time the Mass was presented in the spring of 1823, it had become Beethoven’s most ambitious and arguably greatest work. Far from a sanguine expression of faith, it reflects the doubts of a troubled, yet hopeful, man.

About the Artists
John Daly Goodwin, Music Director, of the New York Choral Society & Orchestra has conducted more than 80 concerts around New York City including 28 in Carnegie Hall and six at Lincoln Center. He has led eight international concert tours in Europe and Asia. Mr. Goodwin has worked closely with many other leading conductors, having prepared choruses for Leonard Bernstein, Dennis Russell Davies, Yehudi Menuhin, Eve Queler, Julius Rudel, Gerard Schwarz, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, Yong-yan Hu and more.

Eglise Gutierrez, Soprano, made her professional debut in August of 2003 as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor in Bogota, Columbia, and has been collecting top prizes over the past few years. She is the recipient of the First Prize at the 2004 International Mirjam Helin Competition in Helsinki, the West Palm Beach Opera Competition, the New Jersey State Opera Competition, and the Connecticut Opera Competition. In the 2004-05 season Ms. Gutierrez debuted the role of Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto with the Connecticut Grand Opera and performed with the Opera Orchestra of New York as Philine in Thomas’s Mignon at Carnegie Hall, with the New York Choral Society.

Maria Zifchak, Mezzo-Soprano, has played many of opera’s liveliest female parts, including Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera, Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte with Arizona Opera, and the title role of La Cenerentola with Utah Festival Opera. Her concert credits include solo appearances with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Levine for the Tanglewood Music Festival. Ms. Zifchak was named a winner of the 1999 Opera Index Awards and has received a Richard G. Gold Career Grant.

Yeghishe Manucharyan, Tenor, is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after young tenors. His 2003 Carnegie Hall debut as Percy in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena was hailed by New York Newsday as “elegant,” “affecting,” and “gorgeous.” In the 2004-5 season Mr. Manucharyan played such demanding roles as Nadir in Les Pecheurs de Perles with New York City Opera, Lenski in Evgeni Onegin at the Tulsa Opera, and Count Almaviva in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Toledo Opera. A native of Armenia, Mr. Manucharyan did graduate studies at Boston University’s Opera Institute.

Burak Bilgili, Bass, made his professional operatic debut at Teatro alla Scala in the 2002-03 season and has been traveling around the globe to perform ever since. Mr. Bilgili has played leading roles with premiere opera companies in Rome, Barcelona, Vancouver, and Toronto, and has performed as a soloist with the Lyon Symphony Orchestra and the International Istanbul Music Festival. He has won First Place in the Neue Stimmen International Opera Competition, the Mario Lanza Opera Competition, and the J. Parkinson Italian Opera Competition.

Schedule and Tickets
“Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis” will be performed on Friday, May 20, at 8 p.m. in Carnegie Hall, 57th Street at Seventh Avenue. Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, Carnegie Charge, 212-247-7800 on online at http://www.carnegiehall.org . Prices range from $18 to $75.

About NYCS
The New York Choral Society is a highly selective avocational chorus founded in 1958. As one of New York’s premier choral ensembles, NYCS is frequently invited as guest musicians. Appearances include the annual Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, Christmas broadcasts for Good Morning America and the Today show, and concerts or recordings with Stephanie Blythe, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Renée Fleming, Aretha Franklin, Thomas Hampson, Jessye Norman, Bryn Terfel and many other noted artists.

The NYCS is a non-profit arts organization. For additional information, please visit www.nychoral.org or send an e-mail inquiry to e-mail protected from spam bots, attention Joanne Lawson.


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