Oratorio Society of Queens Sings “Messiah” at Holiday Concert
Maestro David Close Leads Chorus & Orchestra in Concert of Holiday Favorites
Sunday, December 22, 2019
St. Kevin R.C. Church
42-21 194th Street
Flushing, New York
David Close, Conductor
Audrey J. Edelstein, Assistant Conductor
Jennifer Gliere, soprano
John Easterlin, tenor
Nathan Bahny, bass-baritone
Cantor Jerry Korobow, guest artist
Tickets are $40; $35 for seniors (62+) and students with ID; $10 for children (12 and under) accompanied by an adult. For additional information, please call the Oratorio Society of Queens at 718.279.3006 or visit www.QueensOratorio.org
As a hallmark of the vibrant arts community in Queens, the Oratorio Society of Queens will perform with its 125-plus member chorus under the direction of Maestro David Close with featured soloists Jennifer Gliere, soprano; John Easterlin, tenor; Nathan Bahny, bass-baritone; guest artist Cantor Jerry Korobow; and with OSQ’s orchestra, the Orchestral Arts Ensemble of Queens.
The first half of the program spotlights excerpts of Handel’s iconic “Messiah.” The second half of the program features the spirited Chanukah favorite “Nun Gimel/Chanukah, O Chanukah” and “Ocho Kandelikas” a Ladino treasure celebrating the eight candles of Chanukah. Feel the grandeur of Christmas with Maestro Close’s arrangement of C.B. Hawley’s “A Christmas Cradle Song.”
A performance of “Won’t You Come A-Christmasing” with our tenor soloist will undoubtedly be a magical and unforgettable experience. “O Holy Night” featuring our tenor and soprano soloists backed by the entire chorus brings the concert to its spectacular climax!
Maestro Close studied conducting with John Castellini, founder and first Music Director of the Queens College Choral Society, and Laszlo Halasz, founder and first Music Director of the New York City Opera, and assisted Maurice Peress in the training of young conductors at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. For many years, he served as conductor and vocal coach for the Queens College Opera Theater under the direction of the distinguished American opera composer and conductor, Hugo Weisgall and has conducted performances for the Singers’ Theater of Westchester, the Manhattan Opera, and the New York Lyric Opera and guest-conducted Summer Sings for the New York Choral Society and the Masterwork Chorus of New Jersey. He was recently invited to conduct a choral festival for the Long Island chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM). The 50th anniversary of the Queens chapter of the American Guild of Organists saw him leading the forces of the combined choirs in a performance that included a specially commissioned work by Queens-based composer, Bruce Saylor. David conducted in the National Choral Messiah Sing-In at Avery Fisher Hall in December 2012.
David Close is the founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of Musica Reginae Productions, a professional classical music production arts organization in Queens. He is an active composer and arranger, and is currently the Music Director and Organist at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Forest Hills, and Organist at Temple Am Echad in Lynbrook.
David is very proud of being awarded a Queens Impact Award from the TimesLedger Newspapers. In addition, he is very proud about being honored, along with his wife, LeeAnn, and Assembly Member David Weprin, at the Oratorio Society of Queens’ 90th Anniversary Gala.
Audrey J. Edelstein is a conductor, bassoonist, and vocalist based in the New York Area. Ms. Edelstein is the Assistant Conductor of the Oratorio Society of Queens and Northwinds Symphonic Band, and frequently conducts on their concerts. She also conducts middle school teens at HaZaPrep Long Island, a chapter of HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir. Previous positions include the Assistant Conductor of the Yonkers Philharmonic and Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra. She has guest and cover conducted the Queens College Orchestra, the Queensboro Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York, and the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Edelstein is a founding member of the New Conductors Orchestra, a NYC-based civic orchestra committed to showcasing emerging talented conductors. Ms. Edelstein holds a Masters of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the Aaron Copland School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College, where she studied music and religion.
Jennifer Gliere, from Cincinnati, Ohio, has been described as “a sensitive artist who knows how to turn a phrase while giving urgent meaning to the text.” She has appeared in recital and oratorio in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, and throughout the United States. She has given two recital tours in Mexico, performing in live festivals and events around the country as well as giving masterclasses to several youth choirs and appearing in television and radio studios. Her repertoire runs the gamut from Barbara Strozzi chamber music and cantatas, early Baroque zarzuelas, Handel’s Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day, Bach’s B Minor Mass/Magnificat, and Rossini’s Stabat Mater to Luigi Dallapiccola’s Canti di Prigionia and Poulenc’s Gloria. This summer found her on a return recital tour in Russia with performances in Siberia, the Ural Mountains, and Moscow.
Equally at home on the concert and operatic stages, Gliere has garnered rave reviews for her portrayals of many heroines; OperaWire noted that her Violetta (La traviata) was a “delicate powerhouse… displaying vocal effervescence as good as any champagne.” Other noted roles include Gilda in Rigoletto, Suzel in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz and Michaëla in Carmen. She has been involved with productions at the Bard Opera Theatre and appeared with Amor Artis and New Opera New York. Favorite operatic credits at home and abroad include Le nozze di Figaro, La bohème, and The Telephone/Old Maid and the Thief.
Jennifer is indeed related to the Soviet composer Reinhold Gliere; he is a first cousin. Relatives from Brazil, Moscow, and Berlin have all taken part in forming an extensive family tree and discovering the rich Gliere family history back to 1350. In addition to singing, Gliere plays a violin made by her great-great-grandfather.
John Easterlin, tenor, a five time Grammy Award and two time Emmy Award winner with three listings in the Guinness Book of World Records, has performed at America’s leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles, and Seattle Opera, as well as appearing at many of the leading opera houses in Europe, including the Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra national de Paris, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Teatro Real, and English National Opera. A master puppeteer and certified magician, he became the first opera singer in history to win at the renowned Cannes Film Festival for his dual performance in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and a recipient of London’s prestigious Olivier Award for his Covent Garden debut in The Gambler. His career highlights include creating roles in two world premiere operas: Andy Warhol in Philip Glass’ The Perfect American and Larry King in Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole; and his Broadway debut as Ubaldo Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera, a role he portrayed for two years and over 850 performances.
Nathan Bahny, bass-baritone has appeared in concert with the Wagner Society of Washington D.C. and as baritone soloist in an all-Mahler concert at the Kennedy Center. Operatic roles include Pizarro in Beethoven’s Fidelio; the four villains in Tales of Hoffmann; Mephistopheles in
Gounod’s Faust; Alberich in Wagner’s Ring Cycle and the titular bloodsuckerin the rarely performed Der Vampyr by Heinrich Marschner. He has also appeared in the world premiere of Seymour Barab’s opera Savoir Faire. He has performed throughout the United States, including engagements with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Long Beach Opera, Sorg Opera, New York Grand Opera, Four Corners Opera of Colorado, Sanibel Music Festival, Opera Northeast, New
Jersey Verismo Opera, the New York Liederkranz Society, and the Belleayre Music Festival. His extensive oratorio repertoire includes performances of Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the Verdi and Mozart Requiems, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and the Brahms Deutsches Requiem. Mr. Bahny made his Broadway debut in Baz Luhrmann’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème and on Late Night with David Letterman. Recordings include the Polygram CD, Chants Mystique and the Metropolitan Opera’s Grammy Award-winning recording of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen.
JERRY KOROBOW, guest artist, has many years of experience as a professional performing, touring, and recording singer/instrumentalist and actor. Having worked as a social worker, public school music teacher, and currently working as a full-time practicing attorney, he has also brought a very unusual and interesting background to the world of Jewish cantorial music. Jerry served for twelve years as the Cantor of Temple Am Echad in Lynbrook, New York, and is now the Cantor of Temple Beth Sholom in Flushing, New York. As part of his cantorial work, he created and produced “Jazz Shabbat”, “Peter, Paul & Mary Shabbat”, “Rock Shabbat”, “Gospel Shabbat”, and “Klezmer Shabbat” services, to mention just a few. He also spent years entertaining children as “Jeremy Kidd.”