New Haven Symphony Orchestra plays its holiday concert at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts December 19


Image: ErnestThe New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO), under the baton of Thomas C. Duffy, performs its Holiday Extravaganza at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 8:00 p.m. Featured soprano Lorraine Ernest and the noted Elm City Girls' Choir (ECGC) join the program for classic and popular selections. The NHSO concert is a featured event in Fairfield University's 2009-2010 Arts & Minds series.

The NHSO's holiday program begins with "A Christmas Festival" and weaves a thread of beauty that features Handel, Holst/Rossetti/Steichen, Della Joio/Steichen, Mozart, Brusa and Corelli. Ernest's exquisite soprano voice is joyful in the Alleluia from Mozart's "Exsultate Jubilate" and the ECGC brings to life selections from "Missa pro defunctis" by Brusa with a rich ensemble led by Music Director Rebecca Rosenbaum. Act I ends with the hauntingly beautiful hymn, "O Holy Night" featuring Ernest with the Choir.

The exuberance of the holidays commands Act II with "Carol of the Bells," a carol by Leontovich that is arranged here by Hayman. The seasonal celebration continues with "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "The Christmas Song," "Hanukah is Here/How Many Nights" by Linda Swears and traditional carols. Ernest returns to sing "The Bells of Christmas" while the ECGC chimes in with "Jingle Bell Rock" and the singers come together again with the classic Irving Berlin favorite, "White Christmas."

Ernest "brought down the house with her spectacular arias," as Queen of the Night in Mozart's "The Magic Flute" according to Peter G. Davis, critic of New York Magazine. She has performed this brilliant and arduous role with New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera Company, Pittsburgh Opera, Washington National Opera and the Denver Symphony Orchestra, to name but a few companies. She has appeared in "Fedora" with Plácido Domingo and Mirelli Freni and made her Carnegie Hall debut singing the role of Mademoiselle Jouvenot in Opera Orchestra of New York's concert version of "Adriana Lecouvreur."

Image: DuffyMaestro Duffy is the Director of Bands at Yale University and Professor (Adj.) in the Yale School of Music. He received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education (magna cum laude) and Master of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of Connecticut and his Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from Cornell University where he studied with Karel Husa and Steven Stucky. Recordings and performances of Duffy's music include those by college bands, orchestras and wind ensembles throughout the world. He has conducted bands and orchestras throughout the United States and Japan, England, France, Ireland and Italy.

Tickets are $40 and $35 and are available online at fairfield.edu/quick or by calling the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. Special offers and discounts are available through the Quick Center's e-mail list. Join, by contacting boxoffice@quickcenter.com. And become a fan of the Quick Center for the Arts on Facebook! Keep up-to-date with the latest performance news, plus special offers and discounts! Find the Quick Center at www.facebook.com/FairfieldQuickCenter.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 4, 2009

Vol. 42, No. 143