River Cities Symphony concludes season at Lafayette

The River Cities Symphony Orchestra concludes its 2013-2014 season at the Lafayette Hotel Grand Ballroom on May 30 at 7 p.m. with its annual Pops Concert, “Evening at the Opera.” Featured soloists are Marietta’s own soprano Tiffany CasaSante and South Korean tenor Halim Shon. This concert presents a special opportunity to see the orchestra and artists up close, and take in the full orchestra experience.

Maestro Robert Turizziani and the River Cities Symphony will present an evening of popular operatic arias and overtures showcasing the artistry of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s very own critically acclaimed orchestra and the incredible talents of the evening’s guest vocalists. Vocal selections include the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen, La donna e mobile from Verdi’s Rigoletto, Che glida manina from Puccini’s La Boheme and Porgi Amor from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. Orchestral works on the program include the Overture to Marriage of Figaro, selections from Carmen, Bachanale from Camille Saint-Saens’ Samson and Delilah, and Verdi’s Overture to La Forza del Destino. Concert master, violinist Ian Jesseee, will also be featured as soloist in Massenet’s Meditation from Thais. Also on the program are arias by Dvorak and Gounod.

The concert will be presented in an intimate setting with reserved table seating available by calling (304)485-7068 or 373-2221. Table seating is limited so calling in advance is recommended. General admission tickets will also be available at the door. Tickets for adults are $15 and students, $10.

The River Cities Symphony Orchestra is very proud to present Tiffany CasaSante. She has thrilled New England and New York City audiences with her full sound, exciting coloratura extension and captivating stage presence, showcasing her versatility in an impressive range of repertoire, including modern works. In her Carnegie Hall debut, she received a standing ovation for her performance of Angelus by Wojciech Kilar. That triumph led to an encore performance at Carnegie Hall, where she was also featured in Gorecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. She has also been the lead soprano soloist in Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio, Mendelsson’s St. Paul, Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols , Mozart’s Alleluia with numerous New York and New Jersey Orchestras.

On the operatic stage, CasaSante sang Marguerite in Faust at the Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv. She has performed the roles of Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte, and Anna Maurrant in Street Scene with Delaware Valley Opera. Her Verdi repertoire includes the roles of Amelia in Un Ballo In Maschera, Amelia in Simon Boccanegra and Leonora in Il Trovatore with the New York Opera Festival. She made her debut with Caramoor International Music Festival as Abagaille in scenes from Verdi’s Nabucco, and returned performing scenes as Norma in Bellini’s opera Norma.

In recent years, she performed the role of Mother Abbess in the Mid-Ohio Valley Players production of The Sound of Music. She has been actively involved with the Peoples Bank Theatre renovation project through benefit concerts for the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association.

The River Cities Symphony Orchestra is also pleased to introduce Halim Shon to the Mid-Ohio Valley. Shon, a native of South Korea, has performed throughout Asia, North America, and Europe as a member of the renowned classical vocal quintet Uangel Voice. He is the recipient of the Georgia McEver Endowed Peabody Scholarship Award. He was a prizewinner at the Osaka International Competition in 2007. He has appeared as Alfredo in La Traviata, Lyric Tenor in Postcards from Morocco, Romeo in Romeo et Juliette, at the Peabody Opera Theatre, Rodolfo in La Boheme, Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana, Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto at the Seoul National University Opera Theatre and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Lyric Theatre. He has also performed Bach’s Mass in B minor with the Chowon Chamber Choir. Most recently, he was cast as Gerard in the opera Lakme for the Peabody Opera Theatre where he was praised as having “a telling fire in his delivery” by the Baltimore Sun.

Shon works in partnership with various choirs and vocal societies in the Maryland area. He acquired his Bachelor of Music Education at Seoul National University and his Master in Music at the Peabody Institute. While at Peabody, Shon won first place in the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition in April, 2013, leading to admission into the full-tuition Artist Diploma program at Yale University where he presently attends.

WesBanco and the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association are the corporate sponsors for this concert. Also helping to make this concert possible are Artsbridge, the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Marietta Community Foundation and the Oakland Foundation.

The doors open one hour prior to the concert. The venue is in compliance with the ADA regulations. Persons needing special accommodations may telephone (304) 485-7068 for arrangements and additional information.