The Bounty of the Earth
Saturday, October 6, 2018 • 7:30 p.m.
First Free Methodist Church (3200 3rd Ave W)
advance tickets: or 1-800-838-3006
Seattle Chamber Singers
William White, conductor
Catherine Haight, soprano
Brendan Tuohy, tenor
Ryan Bede, baritone
William C. White (*1983)
Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)
Psaume XXIV (“La terre appartient à l’Eternel”)
Aaron Copland (1900–1990)
Suite from Appalachian Spring
— intermission —
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 –1809)
“Autumn” from The Seasons, Hob. XXI:3
About the Concert
Our opening program celebrates the Earth itself as we begin a season-long focus on the work of Lili Boulanger with her taut, vigorous setting of the 24th psalm (“The Earth Belongs to the Eternal One”), featuring the Seattle Chamber Singers and Orchestra Seattle’s brass section. We then turn to one of the great American classics, Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland (who was a student of Lili Boulanger’s sister, Nadia.)
The second half of the concert features a staple of the OSSCS repertoire: Franz Joseph Haydn’s The Seasons, a celebration of country living and harvest festivities. Audience favorites Catherine Haight and José Rubio join tenor Brendan Tuohy, making his OSSCS debut, for the autumnal portion of Haydn’s final masterpiece.
This concert begins a new chapter in OSSCS’s history, the inaugural program featuring recently appointed music director William White. Maestro White offers a musical introduction by way of his own Acadia Fanfare, an orchestral showpiece written to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Acadia National Park.
Join OSSCS music director William White one hour prior to the concert (at 6:30 p.m.) for a behind-the-scenes look at the music on this program.
About the Soloists
Soprano Catherine Haight appears frequently with the region’s most prestigious musical organizations, regularly performing in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Carmina Burana and The Nutcracker. Reviewing PNB’s world premiere of Christopher Stowell’s Zaïs, The Seattle Times called her singing “flawless.” She appears as soprano soloist on the OSSCS recording of Handel’s Messiah, the Seattle Choral Company recording of Carmina Burana, and on many movie and video game soundtracks, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Ghost Rider and World of Warcraft. Recent concert performances include Dvořák’s Te Deum, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, and Bach’s Mass in B Minor and St. John Passion with OSSCS, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Seattle Collaborative Orchestra and Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs at Seattle Pacific University, where she has served on the voice faculty since 1992. Learn more: spu.edu
Tenor Brendan Tuohy has been praised by The Cincinnati Post for his “big, bold tenor edged with silver.” This summer he returns to the Grant Park Music Festival to sing Haydn’s Theresienmesse, following a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in 2017. Recent operatic engagements include Tony in Bernstein’s West Side Story, Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Bénédict in Berlioz’ Béatrice et Bénédict, all with Eugene Opera, Ferrando in Così fan tutte with City Opera Bellevue, the Chevalier in Dialogues des Carmélites with Vashon Opera, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with the Berlin Opera Academy. Mr. Tuohy completed his academic training at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a master’s degree in vocal performance. In 2008, he competed in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Semi-Finals in New York City. Learn more: brendan-tuohy.com
Baritone Ryan Bede made his Seattle Opera solo debut in May 2017 as the Second Priest in The Magic Flute, followed by Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Jim Crowley in An American Dream and Fiorello in The Barber Of Seville during the 2017–2018 season. He returns as Moralés in Carmen in May 2019. Other recent performances include engagements with Opera Idaho, Coeur d’Alene Opera and Tacoma Opera, as well as Spectrum Dance Theater’s acclaimed production of Carmina Burana and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Early Music Vancouver/Pacific Musicworks. He has been a frequent soloist with OSSCS in such masterpieces as Fauré’s Requiem, Duruflé’s Requiem and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols. Learn more: ryanbede.com/
William C. White
White was born August 16, 1983, in Bethesda, Maryland. He composed this work from February through April of 2016 on a commission from the Pierre Monteux School with support from the Maine Arts Commission to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Acadia National Park. The composer conducted the first performance in Hancock, Maine, on July 17, 2016. with The score calls for pairs of woodwinds (plus piccolo), 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion and strings.
“Acadia Fanfare” writes its composer, “was inspired by the natural beauty of and rugged landscape of Acadia National Park, and also by the musical tradition of the Pierre Monteux School, which sits in close proximity to the park itself. The work opens with a depiction of waves beating against the rocky shores of Mount Desert Island, musically, an homage to Debussy’s La Mer. The squalls of seabirds sound in the distance as the day comes alive. The waves grow larger and larger as the musical texture builds to a breaking point, and finally the fanfare theme itself bursts forth in a blinding array of light and mist. The central section captures the magic and majesty of the park’s interior, and gives the forest birds a turn to speak. The work concludes by once again evoking the rocky coastal shores of Acadia, as an accretion of birdsong and crashing waves usher in a recapitulation of the fanfare theme leading the work to its triumphant finale.”
Franz Joseph Haydn
“Herbst” from Die Jahreszeiten, Hob. XXI:3
Haydn was born in Rohrau, Lower Austria, on March 31, 1732, and died in Vienna on May 31, 1809. He began work on his oratorio The Seasons in 1799, completing it in 1801 and conducting the first performance on April 24 of that year.
History does not remember Dutch-born Gottfried van Swieten for his work as an Austrian diplomat nor for his amateur compositions but rather for his profound influence on two of music’s great geniuses: Mozart and Haydn. Baron van Swieten introduced many important works of Handel and Bach to Mozart and Haydn, and pestered Haydn to write a grand oratorio in the style of Handel. When Haydn finally gave in, he produced one of his greatest masterpieces, The Creation, with van Swieten editing the English libretto and translating it into German.
After the success of The Creation, van Swieten pressured Haydn to tackle another oratorio, this one loosely based on The Seasons, an epic blank-verse poem by Englishman James Thomson. In four parts (one for each season), Die Jahreszeiten mixes choruses and ensemble numbers with recitatives and arias for bass, tenor and soprano (in the roles of characters named Simon, Lucas and Hanne).