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New Choral Society – Carmina Burana


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Erica Kelly


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New Choral Society celebrates a return to live performances with Orff’s dramatic “Carmina Burana” on October 23 and 24, 2021

The New Choral Society, under the direction of Dr. John T. King celebrates its return to live concerts with two performances of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana on Saturday, October 23 at 8pm and Sunday, October 24 at 4pm at Hitchcock Presbyterian Church. Performances will feature an all-star trio of vocal soloists along with the Westchester Children’s Chorus. The 48-member award-winning chorus, based in Scarsdale, has become known throughout the tri-state area for its outstanding musical accomplishments, presenting choral masterworks for the past 28 years.

Carl Orff’s masterpiece is one of the most well-known choral works of the 20th century, featuring the dramatic “O Fortuna” which both opens and closes the piece. Dr. John T. King, Artistic Director and Conductor, says, “This is the perfect piece to welcome our audiences back. Not only is it exciting and accessible, but the piece’s theme of the wheel that turns and returns symbolizes a return after our journey of the last year and a half.”

The solo artists for this season opener are a trio of bright, accomplished young stars from the world of opera, Sarah Joy Miller, soprano; Andrew Bidlack, tenor; and Steven LaBrie, baritone; all of whom are making their New Choral Society debut. The performances will also feature the Westchester Children’s Chorus. Accompanying the chorus will be the professional orchestra that has played with the New Choral Society for all of its 28 years and is made up of players from some of the finest orchestras in New York City and surrounds, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, The Orchestra of St. Luke’s and some of the best of Broadway. 

Soprano Sarah Joy Miller has been praised by The New York Times as “vivacious and fearless” is widely acknowledged as one of the industry’s foremost emerging talents. Ms. Miller first began turning heads at her New York City Opera and BAM débuts to great critical acclaim singing the title role of Anna Nicole Smith in the Royal Opera House commissioned opera Anna Nicole by Mark-Anthony Turnage. Ms. Miller returned to The Metropolitan Opera for their production of Orfeo et Eurydice and performed the title role of Thaïs for Maryland Lyric Opera.  This past summer, she joined Bard Music Festival for concert performances of Nadia Boulanger and Her World.

Featured by Opera News as one of their “top 25 brilliant young artists”, tenor Andrew Bidlack is renowned for his interpretation of roles in contemporary opera, as well as his appearances in standard repertoire.  Recent highlights include his 2016 Metropolitan Opera debut as Beppe I Pagliacci; the principal tenor role in Iain Bell’s world premiere In Parenthesis at Welsh National Opera with performances at Covent Garden; and the role of Sprinck in Kevin Puts’s Nobel Prize winning composition Silent Night at Arizona Opera. Other recent successes include the role of Lyonnel Le Roi Arthus at Bard Summerscape; and the role of Rob Hall in Joby Talbot’s celebrated Everest, a role he inaugurated at Dallas Opera and sang at Calgary Opera, Austin Opera, and Chicago Opera Theatre. A concert recording of this work is scheduled with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at London’s Barbican Theatre in a future season.

Baritone Steven LaBrie is attracting attention for his beautiful timbre, expressive singing and dramatic presence. Mr. LaBrie was named among the five leading lyric baritones to watch by Opera News. Recent engagements included his return to Opera Omaha in his role debut as Belcore in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore; his company debut with Tulsa Opera in the title role of Rossini’s Il barbiere di siviglia; and his company and role debuts with San Diego Opera in Heggie’s Three Decembers and Teatro Nuovo as Valdeburgo in Bellini’s La Straniera. Additionally, Mr. LaBrie made his debut as Escamillo in the Sarasota Opera production of Bizet’s Carmen as well as his debut with the Florida Grand Opera as Ríolobo in their production of Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas.

The Westchester Children’s Chorus engages and empowers our diverse community of children through choral education and performance opportunities. WCChorus performs regular seasonal concerts and often collaborates with fellow youth orchestras, local musicians and local adult choirs. Their students have performed works such as John Rutter’s Mass of the Children with the Westchester Chorale and Carmina Burana with the New Choral Society. They have also performed the National Anthem for the Harlem Globetrotters and at a West Point Basketball game, at outreach events at White Plains Hospital and the Westchester Children’s Association Gala, and performed carols at local holiday events in Yonkers, Armonk, and at the Kensico Dam.

Hitchcock Presbyterian Church is located at 6 Greenacres Avenue in Scarsdale, and is wheelchair accessible, has free parking all around the building and boasts a sanctuary, used for concerts, that is acoustically renowned in the area.

Tickets for the single performance are available in three categories: Preferred Seating – $30; General Admission – $25; and a discounted General Admission ticket for Seniors and Students – $20. For those that are unable to join in person, a virtual ticket is available for $25 to stream for two weeks starting the Wednesday following the performance. To purchase tickets, please visit www.newchoralsociety.org or call the office at (914)725-1678.

This concert is made possible, in part, by the Westchester Community Foundation, a division of The New York Community Foundation. Westchester Community Foundation’s mission is to connect generous people to the causes they care about and invest in transformative ideas and organizations to improve lives and strengthen our community. WCF is a division of The New York Community Trust, one of the largest community foundations in the country, with assets of approximately $2.6 billion. ‘

This concert is also supported with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by ArtsWestchester.