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On The Upbeat May 2015 • Volume 8, Edition 7

a few words from...

2014-2015 Subscription Series

executive director

MAY 16 & 17, 2015

Porgy and Bess

David Pratt

Dear Symphony Patrons, Welcome to our 2014/15 Season Finale. I think it’s fitting that we end our season with one of our frequent artistic partners, the Santa Barbara Choral Society. It is these types of artistic partnerships that reflect one of the many roles that a city’s hometown symphony orchestra can play. I’m often asked the question why does a city need a symphony orchestra? How is it different from a visiting orchestra? All orchestras exist to perform symphonic works for their community. What they present each season depends on many factors, although, most importantly the programming should reflect the needs and wants of the community and different concerts and events will engage different sectors of the community. But apart from programming concerts each season, the local orchestra has the ability to collaborate with other resident arts organizations to present concerts and events. Not only does this bring other artistic elements to the performance, it provides substantial benefits for both parties, such as access to an expanded audience and sharing resources. One of the other important roles an orchestra plays in their community is outreach - their impact on the broader community beyond the concert hall. Music education for young people is one such example. Local orchestras have the ability to work with their school districts, music teachers and many other community organizations to deliver much needed music education programs at the grass roots level where it’s most effective. It’s also vital that these programs are ongoing so they can be tracked and measured for success. The Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra is absolutely committed to our community. Not only do we strive to present a range of interesting, entertaining and compelling symphonic performances to you each month, we strive to be deeply rooted in the broader community through our education programs that now touch the lives of more than 5000 children. I hope you all have a wonderful summer and thank you for your support, generosity, and friendship.



Nir Kabaretti, Conductor Laquita Mitchell, Soprano Michael Sumuel, Bass-Baritone Santa Barbara Choral Society/ Joanne Wasserman, Director REDFELD Arioso for Oboe, Percussion and Strings World Concert Premiere

HANSON Symphony No. 2, Op. 30, “Romantic” Adagio — Allegro moderato Andante con tenerezza Allegro con brio — INTERMISSION —

GERSHWIN Arr. Bennett

Porgy and Bess: A Concert in Songs for Soprano, Baritone and Chorus

Introduction Summertime A Woman Is A Sometime Thing My Man’s Gone Now Promised Land I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’ Bess, You Is My Woman Now Oh, I Can’t Sit Down It Ain’t Necessarily So There’s A Boat Dat’s Leavin’ Oh Lawd, I’m On My Way sponsored by

David Pratt, Executive Director P.S. See you in October for Carmina Burana, our stunning collaboration between the Santa Barbara Choral Society, State Street Ballet and the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts and please don’t forget to renew your subscriptions!





Laquita Mitchell soprano Laquita Mitchell consistently earns acclaim at eminent international opera companies. In her compelling début as Bess in Porgy and Bess with the San Francisco Opera, Opera News said “Laquita Mitchell, in her first outing as Bess, dazzled the SFO [San Francisco Opera] audience with her purity of tone and vivid theatrical presence.” She has since reprised the role with The Atlanta Opera, The Tanglewood Festival, Madison Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Cleveland Orchestra. Additionally, PBS invited Ms. Mitchell to perform excerpts from Porgy and Bess for the Television Critics Association Press Tour in preparation for the broadcast and DVD release of SFO’s Porgy and Bess. This season, Laquita joins Beth Morrison Projects for a production and recording of David Lang’s The Difficulty of Crossing a Field in the role of Virginia Creeper; sings a special Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert with Philadelphia Orchestra, and sings the soprano solo in Verdi’s Requiem at Waterbury Symphony.

Michael Sumuel bass-baritone

Bass-baritone Michael Sumuel began the current season at Lyric Opera of Chicago as Masetto in a new production of Don Giovanni, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. He also returned to Houston Grand Opera as Papageno in The Magic Flute, and returns to Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Junius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. On the concert stage, Mr. Sumuel returned to Mercury Baroque Houston to sing a series of Bach cantatas, Handel’s Messiah with the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and sings selected scenes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with the Santa Barbara Symphony. Recent highlights of Mr. Sumuel’s schedule include the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro at Central City Opera, returns to HGO, debuts with San Francisco Opera, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and appearances with the San Francisco Symphony, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Next season will see a return to San Francisco Opera for his role debut of Escamillo in Carmen.

Join Ramón Araïza for “Behind the Music” beginning one hour before each concert!

Sponsored by Marilynn L. Sullivan & Marlyn Bernard Bernstein 2

Santa Barbara Choral Society Joanne Wasserman, Conductor

The Santa Barbara Choral Society has existed since 1948 as a vehicle to enable community singers to study and perform choral music at the highest artistic level, to preserve classical choral works through performance, to encourage and educate young vocalists, and to nurture and stimulate appreciation for the fine art of choral composition and performance within the community locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.

SOPRANOS Aylin Bilir Karen Brill Christine Chambers Nathalie Confiac Diane Das Karen Decker Erica Di Bartolomeo Mary Dan Eades Tara Eisenhauer * Pamela Enticknap Ellen Evans Roxanne Fung Kimberly Goldstein Christine Hollinger * Ann Marie King Paula Kirchoff Gail Lucas Marilyn Mazess Martha Mengqiu Jin Barbara Rosen Margot Roseman Felicia Saunders

Jeffery Warlick * Paul Warner

Candace Stevenson Debra Stewart Lisa Sueyres Marylove Thralls

ALTOS Mikki Andina Kristin Aylesworth * Laurie Berg Rinda Brown Sara Burt Kay Chambers Kate Firestone Elizabeth Friedrich Nancy La Sota Amy Love Eleanor Lynn Lisa Maraszek Kathy McGuire Teresa Means Gretchen Murray Kathy Piasecki Kate Rees Joan Renehan Susan Robbins

BASSES Steve Dombek Brooks Firestone Bart Francis Don Jeske Bob Lally Peter Lombrozo John Lynn John Maxwell Jay Means Richard Merritt Joseph McCarthy Gregory Pantages Steve Pearson Tyler Reece * Jim Robbins Howard Rothman James Stemen 3

Deborah Rosique Linda Rouhas Valerie Saint Martin Abby Schott Claudia Scott Lu Setnicka Barbara Shelton Linda Shobe Ruth Warkentin Karen Williams TENORS John Baker Tom Hurd David Peckham John Revheim John Rodkey Paul Satterblom Travis Stehmeier * Denny Thomas Ross Williams *Section Leader

MAY 2015

Notes on the Program by Dr. Richard E. Rodda

Arioso for Oboe, Percussion and Strings (2001)

of candles, flowers and photographs strewn out front. As we passed these buildings, I recall hearing strains of the Arioso in my mind. The music continued to accompany me through the subsequent days as I saw one sobering sight after another. In early November, I returned to New York on business and went to Ground Zero. This time, I was confronted with a fresh onslaught of haunting images. A week later, when we recorded the Arioso back in Los Angeles, I recall speaking to the orchestra about how this piece had become the soundtrack to the sights and sounds I experienced on both New York trips. “Arioso is constructed around two contrasting themes — A and B. The structure is a simple arch form. The work begins with the solo oboe intoning a variant of theme B. The first desks of the strings provide light accompaniment midway through this introduction. As it cadences, the full string section comes in with a brief repeating figure before segueing into theme A. The oboe eventually joins in and the melody is further developed. This brief development reaches its climax and theme B begins, played by the violas with only celli accompaniment. This B theme is then built upon in the violins and celli with oboe obbligato. It reaches its apex exactly at the halfway mark in the piece. “The development material is brought back before theme A returns in an extended form played by the oboe and violins. This is followed by a solo cadenza for the oboe in which both themes are stripped down to their core building blocks. A brief coda then plays out as the strings and percussion re-enter. The piece closes with three ambiguous chords that ultimately resolve peacefully to the tonic, a high oboe note lying gently atop. “If there were to be a dedicatee for the Arioso, I would say to picture those firefighters and first responders on 9/11 who demonstrated incredible bravery and gave their lives so willingly in their heroic efforts to save their fellow human

WORLD CONCERT PREMIERE Dan Redfeld (born in 1970) Dan Redfeld, born in San Diego in 1970, attended Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music before transferring to UCLA, where he received his degree in composition and conducting; he was selected upon graduating to participate in the 1994 ASCAP/Fred Karlin Film Scoring Workshop. Redfeld has since developed a career one of America’s most gifted and versatile composers, conductors, orchestrators and producers. Among his film credits are the award-winning AFI-produced Clinic E, Christina Harding’s film noir Moustache, and silent classics including The Phantom of the Opera, The Sheik and Robin Hood, as well as the restored Sparrows and Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall starring Mary Pickford, in which he participated in a five-city West Coast tour for the Library of Congress. For the concert hall, Dan Redfeld has composed for ensembles spanning chamber music to symphony orchestra. In 2012, Redfeld arranged, orchestrated, conducted and produced Titanic: An Epic Musical Voyage, an album commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic and the re-release of James Cameron’s Oscarwinning film, which contains music from various Titanic-related motion pictures and the Broadway musical. Redfeld wrote of Arioso for Oboe, Percussion and Strings, “In early September 2001, I left Los Angeles for a business trip to New York City. On the morning of September 11th, as I was waiting to board my return flight, the World Trade Center was attacked. I got back into Manhattan will never forget seeing an almost empty Times Square. The cab ride uptown was equally surreal as each firehouse we passed had makeshift memorials 4

beings. Their enduring spirit must be cherished as it reminds us of the love and unconditional sacrifice we are capable of giving in the most horrific circumstances.”

transition, again interrupted by a florid woodwind passage, leads into a restatement of the movement’s principal theme. “The third movement begins with a vigorous accompaniment figure in strings and woodwinds, the principal theme of the movement — reminiscent of the first movement — entering in the four horns. The subordinate theme is announced first by the cellos. The development of this leads into the middle section, which begins with a pizzicato accompaniment in the violas, cellos and basses, over which is announced a horn call. With the climax of this fanfare comes the announcement of the principal theme of the first movement by the trumpets. The development of this theme leads into a final statement of the subordinate theme of the first movement fortissimo. A brief coda of this material leads to a final fanfare and the end of the Symphony.”

Symphony No. 2, Op. 30, “Romantic” (1930) Howard Hanson (1896-1981)

Howard Hanson was one of the foremost composers, conductors, teachers and academic administrators of 20th-century American music. Born in Wahoo, Nebraska in 1896 to Swedish immigrants, he studied at Luther Junior College in Wahoo in 1911, and then spent a term at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, but left that school to earn enough money as a freelance cellist to enroll a year later at the Institute of Music and Art in New York. His money ran out after a year there, however, and he finished his undergraduate work at Northwestern University. In 1916, he was appointed to teach theory and composition at the College of the Pacific in San Jose, California; three years later, at the age of 22, he was named dean of the College’s Conservatory of Fine Arts. In 1921, he was awarded the first American Prix de Rome and spent the following two years in Italy, where he studied with Ottorino Respighi and completed and premiered his First Symphony (“Nordic,” inspired by his ancestral heritage). Hanson returned to the United States in 1923 and conducted the American premiere of his First Symphony in Rochester, New York, an event that brought him to the attention of George Eastman, founder two years before of the music school bearing his name. Eastman invited Hanson to become the school’s director, and thus began one of the most distinguished tenures in the annals of American musical academe. During the forty years of his directorship, Hanson raised the Eastman School to the front rank of American conservatories. Among his awards were 36 American honorary degrees, a Pulitzer Prize (for his Symphony No. 4), and election to both the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Concerning his “Romantic” Symphony of 1930, Hanson wrote, “The first movement begins with an atmospheric introduction in the woodwinds. The principal theme is announced by four horns; an episodic theme appears quietly in the oboe. A transition leads into the subordinate theme in the strings and a countersubject in the solo horn. The development section follows, with the principal theme announced in a changed mood by the English horn and developed through the orchestra. The climax of the development section leads to the return of the principal theme in the trumpets. The subordinate theme follows, and the movement concludes quietly. “The second movement begins with a principal theme announced by the woodwinds. An interlude in the brass, taken from the introduction of the first movement and interrupted by florid passages in the woodwinds, develops into a subordinate theme taken from the horn solo in the first movement. A

Porgy and Bess: A Concert in Songs for Soprano, Baritone and Chorus (1934-1935; arranged in 1956) George Gershwin (1898-1937) Arranged by Robert Russell Bennett (1894-1981) Porgy and Bess is set in the 1930s in Catfish Row, a Negro tenement in Charleston. The curtain rises on Clara singing a lullaby (Summertime) to her child. Crown quarrels with Robbins during a crap game, kills him and escapes. Robbins is mourned by his wife, Serena (My Man’s Gone Now). Crown’s girl, Bess, finds refuge with the cripple, Porgy, who loves her devotedly. They sing of their happiness (I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’ and Bess, You Is My Woman Now). During a picnic on Kittiwah Island, Sportin’ Life, the local dope peddler, describes his cynical attitude toward religion (It Ain’t Necessarily So). Crown, who has been hiding on the island, confronts Bess and persuades her to stay with him. Having fallen sick, she returns to Porgy, who nurses her back to health. During a storm, Crown returns to Catfish Row. Porgy strangles his rival. The police suspect Porgy, and arrest him. Sportin’ Life tempts Bess to accompany him to New York with a package of his “happy dust.” Released from jail a few days later, Porgy finds Bess gone. Undaunted, he sets off in his goat cart to follow her (Oh, Lawd, I’m On My Way). In 1941, Fritz Reiner, Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, requested that Robert Russell Bennett, the dean of American Broadway arrangers, prepare an orchestral synopsis of Porgy and Bess. Bennett’s A Symphonic Picture became the most popular orchestral version of the music from Gershwin’s opera, and in 1956 he expanded his arrangement as “A Concert in Songs” to include soprano and baritone soloists and chorus performing many of the score’s most memorable selections. ©2014 Dr. Richard E. Rodda

©On the Upbeat, MAY 2015 VOL. 8, EDITION 7. Published for Symphony Series concert subscribers by the Santa Barbara Symphony, 1330 State Street, Suite 102, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, (805) 898-9386 — A non-profit organization.


Porgy and Bess On the Upbeat Program Notes  

Santa Barbara Symphony May 16-17, 2015

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