May 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm
Oratorio Society of Queens and its own orchestra, the Orchestral Arts Ensemble of Queens
Celebrate the promise of the season of renewal and rebirth. Rejoice in hearing Haydn’s uplifting and moving “Lord Nelson Mass” sung live by the Oratorio Society of Queens and its own orchestra, the Orchestral Arts Ensemble of Queens, conducted by Maestro David Close on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm in the Queensborough Performing Arts Center (QPAC), Bayside, New York.
In addition to this stirring composition, you will be thrilled to hear OSQ sing renditions of some of America’s best choral masterpieces and our guest soloists performing audience favorite operatic selections. This Queens’ institution will perform with its 125-plus member chorus under the direction of Maestro David Close with featured soloists Geraldine McMillian, soprano, Patricia Cay, mezzo-soprano, John Easterlin, tenor, C. David Morrow, bass-baritone, with OSQ’s orchestra, the Orchestral Arts Ensemble of Queens.
The 1790’s in Europe were a time of great disruption and anxiety. The French Revolution was already a threat to the established order and now, Napoleon was rattling his saber throughout the continent with one successful military campaign after another. Folks were uneasy and apprehensive everywhere and it was reflected in the music that Haydn wrote for the Esterhazy Court. And it wasn’t only the jitters that were touching people’s lives. The economic situation was also affected, leading the prince to dismiss his wind band in order to save money. Haydn was forced, as a result, to score the music of the “Missa in angustiis” (“Mass in troubled times”) with much reduced instrumental forces. Out of these conditions, Haydn still turned out a matchless masterpiece that inspires in our troubled times. In the final section of the work, “Dona nobis pacem” (“Grant us peace”), Haydn inspires us with a marvelously upbeat ending that gave consolation to his audience and the generations that followed who heard the piece performed. How fortunate are we in our present day to have this work as a beacon of hope for the world. A month before the first performance, Admiral Lord Nelson, unbeknownst to Haydn or his listeners, had delivered a stunning blow to Napoleon by sinking the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile, beginning a tradition of the work being referred to as the “Lord Nelson Mass”. Later, Lord Nelson came to Esterhazy on a visit and the connection was “set in stone!”
The 2nd half Spring Concert highlights include the rousing “Gypsy Song” from Bizet’s daring masterpiece Carmen, the fateful aria “Pace, pace mio dio” from Verdi’s La forza del destino and from the world of operetta, perhaps the greatest tenor love song ever written, “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz” of Franz Lehar! Aaron Copland gives us a taste of the great American Music heritage with his settings of the fervent “At the River” and the whimsical “Ching-a-Ring-Chaw.” Contemporary American composer Gene Scheer celebrates, in “American Anthem,” the contributions of every American that has made and continues to make this land the great nation that it is.
Queensborough Performing Arts Center is located in Queensborough Community College at 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside, NY – on 56th Avenue one block east of Springfield Boulevard in Bayside. Parking is free on the main lot next to the theater, which offers easy-access entry.
Ticket prices are $35 general admission, $30 seniors and students with ID; children, 12 and under, accompanied by an adult, $10. For additional information, please call the Oratorio Society of Queens at 718.279.3006 or visit www.QueensOratorio.org