Conductor Huw Edwards said, 2013 is a big anniversary for three influential opera composers. Both Wagner and Verdi were born in 1813, and in 1913, the English composer Benjamin Britten was born.
This program, all taken from opera, highlights the music of these three landmark composers.
The program, Operatic Treasures, also is part of the Diamond Brilliance season, celebrating the symphonys 60th anniversary. Its the diamond jubilee, and I sort of played on that theme, Edwards said. Our last concert in February was called Symphonic Gems.
And then there is Gheorghiu, 19, who graduated from Olympia High School. Shes in her second year studying opera at The Juilliard School in New York.
What Im trying to establish is every season having someone from here come back, somebody whos been away working in the field or studying, Edwards said. I was in New York last year and met up with her and invited her to come back and be a guest artist.
Gheorghiu, who first performed with the symphony three years ago, is excited about the concert, one of her few large-scale performance opportunities as she works 12-hour days learning her craft.
It is officially my life, she said. Its wonderful. Im constantly immersed in the school. I get ear training and theory and music history.
Shes been in the chorus of some of the schools operas and also served as an understudy. Im still kind of at the bottom of the ladder right now, she said. The first two years are really devoted to building your foundation.
She does sing in public as part of a community service project, teaming up with another singer, a violinist, a bassoonist and a pianist to play and teach about music at nursing homes and rehab centers.
We perform for people who either have not ever been exposed to this kind of music or who cant physically go to a concert, she said. We bring the concert experience to them.
Gheorghiu will sing arias from four operas. She is especially excited about the Mozart piece.
This year in school, Ive been studying a lot more German diction, she said. Im very good at it, and I wanted to show that off a little bit.