The Jacksonville Symphony will conclude its 2015-16 season with the music of Beethoven and Thomas Adès, in a special presentation that features the orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus and guest artists Karin Wolverton, Stacey Rishoi, Jonathan Johnson and Evan Boyer. The Masterworks finale will be conducted by Music Director Courtney Lewis as he completes his first full season with the Jacksonville Symphony.
The concerts are scheduled for Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m. at Jacoby Symphony Hall, Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, 300 Water St. Ste. 200 in Jacksonville. Evening tickets range from $25 to $74 and the Sunday matinee performance tickets range from $25 to $59. For more information or to buy tickets, visit jaxsymphony.org or call 904-354-5547.
Composed in 1997, Thomas Adès’s Asyla has been praised for “the originality of its textures” and its “highly original narrative of sound and shape.” The nature of the piece is enhanced through an uncommon percussion section, as well as a piano purposely tuned a quarter tone flat.
Widely established as one of the most celebrated and iconic works in the history of music, Symphony No. 9 was the first instance of a well-known composer using vocals in a symphonic piece. The fourth and final movement features the recognizable “Ode to Joy” text and the melody that has become associated with the poem’s title. This final movement, “Presto,” will feature the voices of the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus and its four guest artists.
Among the performers, Soprano Karin Wolverton has been described as “a young soprano to watch” having “a lovely warm tone, easy agility and winning musicality.” Wolverton played the leading role in Kevin Puts’ award-winning opera Silent Night with the Minnesota Opera. In addition to her operatic work, Wolverton made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in Nielson’s Symphony No. 3. She has also performed with the Chippewa Valley and Phoenix symphonies, as well as the Wayzata Symphony Orchestra.
Mezzo-soprano Stacey Rishoi has received critical acclaim on concert stages across the country. She has performed a variety of symphonic works, including Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the National Symphony Orchestra and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Virginia symphony orchestras. Rishoi is a winner of the 1999 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Normal Treigle Award from New York City Opera.
Tenor Jonathan Johnson has performed renowned works including Capriccio, The Magic Victrola and The Passenger. This season, Johnson will join the Lyric Opera of Chicago to present Le Nozze di Figaro, The Merry Widow and Der Rosenkavalier. Johnson is currently a member of the Patrick G. & Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center and will soon make performance debuts with the Portland Opera, Grant Park Music Festival, San Diego Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Baritone Evan Boyer, who recently graduated from the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera, has performed roles in Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute and Otello. In addition to operatic works, Boyer has performed with the Dallas and Houston symphonies for Mozart’s Requiem. He made his United Kingdom debut as Sarastro in The Magic Flute with the Garsington Opera in London, and later returned to the Chicago Opera Theatre to perform in Charpentier’s musical tragedy Médée.