At the Basilica of Saint John The Evangelist, 279 Atlantic Street, Stamford
SATURDAY, December 9th, 2017 at 8pm
Guest Conductor: Ted Sperling
Featuring MasterVoices chorus
- Handel's Messiah
- Part I and Hallelujah Chorus
to read the Program Notes
Watch the Hallelujah Chorus here! Performed by the Choir of Kings College, Cambridge
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Meet Ted Sperling
Ted Sperling has maintained an active and successful career in the theater and concert worlds for over thirty years. A multi-faceted artist, he is a director, music director, conductor, orchestrator, singer, pianist, violinist and violist. He is the Artistic Director of MasterVoices (formerly the Collegiate Chorale,) and Principal Conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic.
Mr. Sperling won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza, for which he was also music director. Other Broadway credits as music director/conductor/pianist include the rapturously received revivals of Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I and South Pacific; Guys and Dolls, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Angels in America, My Favorite Year, Falsettos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Les Misérables, Roza, and Sunday in the Park with George. Mr. Sperling was also an original cast member of the Broadway musical Titanic, playing bandleader Wallace Hartley. Off- Broadway credits as music director include A Man of No Importance, Wise Guys, A New Brain, Saturn Returns, Floyd Collins, Falsettoland, and Romance in Hard Times.
Mr. Sperling’s work as a stage director includes the world premieres of five musicals: Red Eye of Love, The Other Josh Cohen, See What I Wanna See, Charlotte: Life? Or Theater? and Striking 12, as well as a revival of Lady in the Dark. He has conducted the scores for the films The Manchurian Candidate and Everything Is Illuminated, and directed the short film, Love Mom, starring Tonya Pinkins, which has been shown in five international festivals. Recent gala concerts that Mr. Sperling has directed include: Show Boat, starring Vanessa Williams, Julian Ovenden, Lauren Worsham, Norm Lewis and the NY Philharmonic: One Singular Sensation, featuring Jane Lynch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Zachary Quinto and the original cast of A Chorus Line; The Pirates of Penzance with Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Jonathan Groff, Anika Noni Rose, Martin Short and Eric Idle; Cabaret with Anne Hathaway, Harvey Feierstein, Linda Lavin, Raul Esparza and Eddie Redmayne; Song of Norway with Judy Kaye, Santino Fontana, Jason Danieley and Alexandra Silber; and The Mikado with Victoria Clark, Kelli O’Hara, Jonathan Freeman, Steve Rosen, Lauren Worsham, Jason Danieley and Christopher Fitzgerald.
Mr. Sperling has an active concert career, working with many major symphony orchestras, and singers Audra McDonald, Victoria Clark, Patti LuPone, Kelli O’Hara, Nathan Gunn, Idina Menzel, Paulo Szot and Deborah Voigt. He has conducted multiple concerts with the New York Philharmonic, for Live at Lincoln Center, the American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center and the Lyrics and Lyricists series at the 92nd Street Y. Recent performances at Carnegie Hall include the NY premieres of Not the Messiah starring Eric Idle; Kurt Weill's The Road of Promise starring Anthony Dean Griffey; and Ricky Ian Gordon’s opera, The Grapes of Wrath, starring Nathan Gunn, Elizabeth Futral, Christine Ebersole and Victoria Clark. Mr. Sperling conducted Audra McDonald in a double bill of La Voix Humaine and the world premiere of Send: Who Are You? I Love You? at the Houston Grand Opera. Mr. Sperling’s television appearances include many Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts, as well as a Saturday Night Live Christmas show with Michael Bublé.
Mr. Sperling received the 2006 Ted Shen Family Foundation Award for leadership in the musical theater, is a consultant to the Public Theater, and is Creative Director of the 24-Hour Musicals.
MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale) was founded in 1941 by the legendary American choral conductor Robert Shaw, and is currently under the artistic direction of Ted Sperling. For 75 years, the organization has presented varied programming, with emphasis in three areas: choral masterpieces, operas in concert, and musical theater. Choral classics performed by MasterVoices have included Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion, Brahms’ Requiem, Britten’s War Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Verdi’s Requiem. The company has presented several important premieres, including the U.S. premieres of Dvorak’s Dmitri and Handel’s Jupiter in Argos, and the NY premieres of Respighi’s La Fiamma, Glass’s The Juniper Tree, and Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath. Other rarely heard operas presented in concert have included Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans, Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon, and Joplin’s Treemonisha. Throughout its history, MasterVoices has specialized in presenting rarely heard works of musical theater and standard works with a fresh approach, including Bernstein’s A White House Cantata, Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Weill’s The Firebrand of Florence, Knickerbocker Holiday, and the world premiere of a concert version of The Road of Promise.
MasterVoices has performed in prominent NYC concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, New York City Center, and Geffen Hall, under the batons of many esteemed conductors, including Serge Koussevitzky, Arturo Toscanini, Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, and Alan Gilbert. The company has also attracted many world-class soloists, including Bryn Terfel, René Pape, Stephanie Blythe, Deborah Voigt, Eric Owens, Thomas Hampson, Kelli O’Hara, Paulo Szot and Victoria Clark. Because of its reputation of excellence, MasterVoices has been hired to perform with many top orchestras over the years, including the NBC Symphony, The New York Philharmonic and The Israel Philharmonic, and has been invited to appear abroad, in Israel and at the Verbier and Salzburg festivals.
MasterVoices considers education and outreach to be important aspects of its work. Its Side-by-Side program offers gifted high school students the opportunity to rehearse and perform with guidance from singing members and professional artists in New York and abroad. Additionally, MasterVoices gives complimentary tickets to hundreds of high school students and seniors from New York each season, and invites young soloists to perform at top venues as a part of the Faith Geier Artist Initiative. In June 2016, MasterVoices launched “Bridges: Connecting Communities Through Music”, a new outreach program that provides people in a New York community the opportunity to come together to make music with MasterVoices, regardless of their abilities or backgrounds.
In August 2015, the organization transitioned from The Collegiate Chorale to MasterVoices, a name that better represents the current mission of the company as a performing arts organization that celebrates storytelling through the masterful voices of its chorus and world-class soloists, and the creative voices of composers, librettists, designers and directors. For more information, visit mastervoices.org. Connect with MasterVoices on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@mastervoicesny).
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