Carl St.Clair, conductor
Mary Wilson, soprano
Milena Kitec, mezzo-soprano
Scott Ramsay, tenor
Kevin Deas, bass-baritone
Pacific Chorale — Robert Istad, artistic director
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9, "Choral"
Join Conductor Carl St.Clair, Pacific Symphony and the Pacific Chorale in their first performance in the newly renovated Christ Cathedral. Enjoy a spectacular performance of Beethoven's magnificent Symphony No. 9 — culminating in the inspirational "Ode to Joy" — in the sonic splendor of the amazing new acoustics of this iconic building. A performance not to be missed!
Soprano Mary Wilson is acknowledged as one of today's most exciting young artists. In consistent high demand on the concert stage, she has most recently appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Detroit Symphony, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Dayton Philharmonic, Memphis Symphony, IRIS Chamber Orchestra, Vocal Essence, and at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. She has frequently worked with conductors including Nicholas McGegan, Bernard Labadie, Martin Pearlman, Martin Haselböck, JoAnn Falletta, Michael Stern, Anton Armstrong, Philip Brunelle and Leonard Slatkin. An exciting interpreter of Baroque repertoire, especially Handel, she has appeared with Philharmonia Baroque, Musica Angelica, American Bach Soloists, Boston Baroque, Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Bach Society of St. Louis, Baltimore Handel Choir, Florida Bach Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Casals Festival and the Carmel Bach Festival. With the IRIS Chamber Orchestra, she sang the world premiere of the song cycle “Songs Old and New” written especially for her by Ned Rorem.
On the opera stage, she is especially noted for her portrayals of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Susannah in Le Nozze di Figaro and Gilda in Rigoletto. She has created leading roles in North American and World premiere performances of Dove’s Flight, Glass’ Galileo Galilei and Petitgirard’s Joseph Merrick dit L’Elephant Man.
An accomplished pianist, Wilson holds performance degrees from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and Washington University in St. Louis, Miss. She is currently on the faculty at the University of Memphis.
A star of the Belgrade Opera, Serbia, Milena Kitic made her debut in 1989 as Olga in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. She has performed with the National Theater in Belgrade for eight years in a wide range of roles: from Rosina in Rossini's Il Baribiere di Siviglia, Cherubino in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Preziosilla in Verdi's La Forza del Destino, Fenena in Nabucco, Bastien in Bastien e Bastiena, Flora in La Traviata, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Mercedes in Carmen, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Fiodor in Boris Godunov - to the title role of Carmen and Principessa de Bouillon in Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur.
Currently, she is an adjunct professor and master class instructor at Chapman University. Kitic has also lead master classes at USC's Thornton School of Music, UC Irvine, The Classical Singers Association, Saddleback College in Mission Viejo and the Orange County School of the Arts. All this while operating a private vocal studio.
Kitic is a member of NATS, (National Association of Teaches of Singing) and NATS-LA (National Association of Teachers of Singing, Los Angeles). Kitic is often seen as a judge for the Music Center Spotlight Awards in Los Angeles and is enthusiastic donor for several Young Artist Programs in the United States.
In 2008 Kitic served as a board member of the Opera Pacific in Costa Mesa. She currently serves as chair for artistic excellence for LA Opera. She is also on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County.
Kitic has studied with Metropolitan and Vienna State Opera star, Kammersaengerin Biserka Cvejic. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in performance from the University of Music in Belgrade, Serbia and a Master of Music degree in performance from the University of the Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Praised by Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times for his “impressive bright-voiced tenor,” Scott Ramsay is highly regarded by opera companies and symphony orchestras across North America and abroad for his dynamic performances in repertoire ranging from Bel Canto to the 21st century. Following his portrayal of Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, under the baton of Jesús López-Cobos at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times proclaimed "He brought a passionate intensity to the role that matched the fire of Dessay's riveting Lucia." Of his Canadian debut in Verdi’s Requiem with Sir Andrew Davis and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Globe & Mail declared, "He proved a real find. His Ingemisco, Hostias and solo in the Lux Aeterna, had a sweetness and modest purity reminiscent of vintage Bjoerling and Simoneau.” Most recently, for his portrayal of Narraboth in the concert production of Salome with the Detroit Symphony, the Detroit Free Press remarked “Scott Ramsay was a more distinctive Narraboth, singing with both lyricism and enough edge to compete with the orchestral roar behind him.”
Kevin Deas has gained international renown as one of America’s leading bass-baritones. He is perhaps most acclaimed for his signature portrayal of the title role in Porgy and Bess, having performed it with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony and the symphonies of Atlanta, Baltimore, Calgary, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, Hartford, Houston, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Montreal, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Utah and Vancouver, and at the Ravinia, Vail and Saratoga festivals. He repeats the role during the 2015-16 season with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mineria, Dallas Symphony and Buffalo Philharmonic.
Deas’ recent highlight orchestral concert performances include Boston Baroque, Buffalo Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony and Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico. Deas can be heard on Decca/London, Vox Classics, Telarc, Linn Records and Naxos recording labels.
Founded in 1968, Pacific Chorale is internationally recognized for exceptional artistic expression, stimulating American-focused programming, and influential education programs. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Istad, Pacific Chorale presents a substantial performance season of its own at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. Pacific Chorale is composed of 140 professional and volunteer singers. In addition to its longstanding partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Disney Hall on numerous occasions. Other noted collaborations include the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, and the Long Beach, Pasadena, Riverside and San Diego symphonies. John Alexander and the Chorale have toured extensively in Europe, South America and Asia, performing in London, Paris, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong, and collaborating with the London Symphony, L’Orchestre Lamoureux of Paris, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the China National Symphony, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Estonian National Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Argentina.