It is my distinct privilege to be able to work with so many wonderful musicians and artists – both professional and students – throughout the course of the year, and 2017-2018 has most certainly been an exciting and rewarding season, full of extraordinary performances, rewarding musical collaborations, and promising opportunities. It’s not over yet and I am looking forward to a busy summer season and beyond.
In May, it was my great honor to conduct one of the towering works for orchestra, chorus, and soloists – Brahms’ monumental A German Requiem. At a time in our society when compassion, understanding, and respect for one another seem to be under attack, Brahms’ work speaks to the human condition in a way that is perceptive and truthful. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to conduct this work on a few occasions, and it is always a life-renewing experience. On this particular occasion, I led the combined forces of the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and soloists Keely Futterer and Jorell Williams. Thanks to the talent, dedication, and hard work of the performers, Brahms’ genius shone through in a memorable performance.
At this time, as I turn my focus to Finger Lakes Opera’s upcoming season and our new production of Johann Strauss, Jr.’s Die Fledermaus, I feel honored to lead this bold company into our sixth season. We have assembled an outstanding ensemble cast; foremost among them will be fast-rising soprano Elena O’Connor who will sing the role of ‘Rosalinde’ and the gifted European-based baritone, Jonathan Michie, who will sing ‘Eisenstein’. Veteran stage director Gary John LaRosa will direct, and production and set design is by the very talented young designer, Jefferson Ridenour.
Adding to this season’s excitement at FLO will be the inaugural year of our Young Artist Program. Six promising young singers will take to our stages in various productions this summer and I am delighted to work with them and witness their growth.
Looking ahead to the coming months, I am excited about returning to Europe to lead the acclaimed and spirited Geneseo Chamber singers on a two-week concert tour of Spain and Portugal, as well as an exciting slate of concerts with the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, featuring collaborations with area cultural and educational organizations.
As we enter the more relaxed pace of the summer months, my hope is that it brings with it health, happiness, and many blessings to you and yours.