Tosca

Saturday, May 4, 2019 @ 7:30 p.m. | Santander Performing Arts Center

Puccini’s thrilling tale of love and despair takes center stage in a collaboration with Berks Opera Company, the Reading Choral Society, and Berks Youth Chorus, featuring some of the composer’s most well-known arias including Vissi d’arte and Recondita armonia.

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About the Groups

Since its inception in 2007, Berks Opera Company has grown into a regional company committed to finding current cultural relevance in standard operatic repertoire. The company presently offers young artist programs for local singers and features internationally acclaimed artists in main stage productions, presenting opera on a sustainable basis. Additionally, Berks Opera Company has an innovative “BOOT Camp” orchestra training program, presents the Unleashing Your Inner Opera Fan multimedia educational series, and makes regular appearances at smaller venues in Berks County.

Founded in 1875, the 70-voice Reading Choral Society is one of America’s oldest musical ensembles. The society still operates under the mission of its first music director—to perform great choral masterworks, without ignoring contemporary composers. The RCS is currently under the music direction of Graham Bier. Performances have included collaborations with the Reading Symphony Orchestra, Ringgold Band and the Reading Pops. While continuing the tradition of programming choral masterworks, the Society has expanded its repertory to include the more frequent performance and commissioning of new music and the exploration of more “popular” literature. The Reading Choral Society is comprised now, as it has always been, of dedicated amateur singers from all ages and all walks of life.

Since 1992, the young musicians of the Berks Youth Chorus have delighted audiences with their superb artistry and joyful enthusiasm. Through a rigorous music curriculum, BYC singers acquire an outstanding education and learn crucial life lessons-like teamwork, time management, priority setting, self-presentation, communication and personal responsibility. The culturally and musically diverse repertoire performed with precision by these trained young voices is inspirational and uplifting for anyone who listens. With its headquarters and rehearsals located in Reading’s geographically accessible GoggleWorks, BYC is dedicated to making life-changing musical opportunities accessible to all children.

Cast

Toni Marie Palmertree is a recent graduate of the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera. During her time in the program, she was heard as Barena in Jenufa, Voice of Heaven in Don Carlo, and High Priestess in Aida. Additional assignments include covering Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Violetta in La traviata, and the title role in Madama Butterfly. In November of 2016, Ms. Palmertree was called to step onto the War Memorial stage as Cio-Cio San on three hours’ notice. Of her performance, Janos Gereben from San Francisco Classical Voice wrote: “The young soprano not only met the challenge, but she claimed her place among the finest vocal interpreters of the role heard here recently.” Ms. Palmertree opened San Francisco Opera’s 95th Season as Liù in Turandot, receiving high praise for her “performance of wondrous poignancy and heroism…clothed in vigorous, expressive phrasing.” Further performances in the 2017-2018 season included returning to the title role in Madama Butterfly for Festival Opera New Zealand and for Syracuse Opera. In the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Palmertree returns to San Francisco Opera to cover the role of Nedda in Pagliacci, will be heard in The Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductor’s concert, and makes debuts in the title role of Tosca with the Reading Symphony Orchestra and in Verdi’s Requiem with Allentown Symphony. Additionally, she joins the Sacramento Philharmonic for a concert of operatic debuts with tenor Dimitri Pittas.

Other recent performances include Giorgetta in Il tabarro and the title role in Suor Angelica for West Bay Opera’s production of Puccini’s Il trittico, and a recital performance with pianist Ronny Michael Greenberg in Berkeley, CA. A 2015 participant of the Merola Opera Program, Ms. Palmertree is also a recent recipient of the The Richard F. Gold Career Grant by the Shoshana Foundation. She is proud to hold many awards including winner of The Metropolitan Opera National Council District Awards, finalist in The International Moniuszko Voice Competition, and The Classical Singer Voice competition. She took first place in the Long Leaf Opera of North Carolina voice competition, The Kennett Square Symphony Voice Competition, and The Marcella Sembrich competition. She was awarded third place in the National Opera Association Voice Competition, the James Parkinson Opera Competition, and was second place winner of the Sylvia Green Voice Competition.

Recently reviewed in the Huffington Post as a “breakout star” and “powerhouse lyric tenor,” young tenor Dominick Chenes was recently heard as Don José in Carmen with Palm Beach Opera, Alfredo in La Traviata at the På Skäret Opera Festival in Sweden, and Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera in his professional debut with Austin Opera. In 2015-16, he made his debut at Grand Théâtre de Genève as Iopas in Les Troyens with Maestro Dutoit, followed by his debut as Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca with the Minnesota Opera. In 2016-17 he returned to Austin Opera as Pinkerton, performed Don José with Utah Opera, followed by Rodolfo in La Bohème with Welsh National Opera. In 2017-18, he debuted Seattle Opera as Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Opera Colorado as Rodolfo in La Bohème, Hong Kong as Rodolfo in La Bohème, and the role of Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana with New Orleans Opera.

A graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA), he has performed Rodolfo in La Bohème conducted by Christofer Macatsoris. Other roles at AVA include Alfredo in La Traviata, Gherman in Pique Dame, and Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera. In 2016, Dominick made his Carnegie Hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium debut as the Tenor Soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C. Dominick made his Alice Tully Hall debut with the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation as well as a concert for the Gerda Lissner Foundation in Zankel Hall In 2013.

Dominick attended the Russian Opera Workshop under the direction of Ghenady Meirson, where he sang the role of Paolo in Francesca di Rimini, summer of 2013. Dominick received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. At UNLV, he performed Don Jose in Carmen, Ferrando in Cosí Fan Tutte, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, and Rodolfo in La Bohème. While an apprentice with the Utah Symphony Opera Program in 2008, he performed in their productions of Madame Butterfly, Don Pasquale, Regina, and as the Witch in Hansel and Gretel.

In 2005 through 2007, Dominick attended the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. During this time, he was selected to perform with Maestro Eduardo Müller and the AIMS Festival Orchestra. In 2013, Dominick was awarded second prize from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, third prize from the Mario Lanza Competition, and a Grant from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation. He was also a finalist in the Meistersinger Competition in Graz Austria in 2006 and 2007. He currently studies with Bill Schuman.

Described as “rich-voiced” (The New York Times) and hailed for his “warmly appealing, burnished baritone” (Opera Today), Joshua Jeremiah continues to bring his celebrated performances to theaters throughout the United States. Last season, he toured the Pacific Rim with New York City Opera in concerts of Carmen as Escamillo, debuted the opera Mata Hariwith in the PROTOTYPE Festival, returned to Arizona Opera as Lassiter in their world-première of Riders of the Purple Sage, and reprised the title role of Gianni Schicchi with the Opera Company of Middlebury. His 2017-2018 season included Silvio in Pagliacci with New Orleans Opera, The Man in Persona in his Los Angeles Opera debut, covering Alberich in Das Rheingold with Arizona Opera, making his debut with On Site Opera as Aaron Greenspan in Morning Star, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with Smith College, When Adonis Calls with Asheville Lyric Opera, and Marcello in La bohème with the Pittsburgh Festival. The fall of 2018 saw his debut with Minnesota Opera as Horstmayer in Silent Night.

Other recent performances include his Arizona Opera debut in the title role of Rigoletto, Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) with Hawaii Opera Theatre, Gianni Schicchi with Mobile Opera, his role debut as Macbeth with Opera Company of Middlebury, Alfio (Cavalleria rusticana) with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, his debut with Des Moines Metro Opera as The Foreman (Jenůfa) and Sonora (La fanciulla del West), Escamillo (Carmen) and Sharpless (Madama Butterfly) with the Northern Lights Festival, John Sorel (The Consul) with Opera Santa Barbara, Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas) to Stephanie Bythe’s Dido with Mark Morris Dance Group at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Ford (Falstaff) with Opera Louisiane, Don Pedro (La Périchole), Deputy Mayor (Anna Nicole), and the cover of Junior (A Quiet Place) and Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) with New York City Opera, Billy Bigelow (Carousel) with the Carnegie Visual and PAC, Capt. Lutte (Bitter Sweet) with Bard SummerScape, Athanaël (Thaïs) with Opera Company of Middlebury, and Silvio (Pagliacci) with Spokane Opera.

Applauded for his “robust and charismatic performances” (San Francisco Chronicle), Jeremy Galyon continues to impress audiences and critics alike. 2014 started with a bang: acclaimed Handel Messiah with University of Richmond, a great Mozart Requiem with Columbus Symphony, a command return to North Jersey Chorus for a program of “Variations on a Theme”, Dvorak Stabat Mater with Chorus of Westerly, an Avery Fisher Hall debut in Mozart Coronation Mass with DCINY, and returning to Carnegie Hall with John Rutter for Mass of the Children. Mr. Galyon also made the debut of Fafner in Das Rheingold with Opera Pacific (British Columbia) and then to Dayton Opera as Sarastro in Magic Flute. Jan 2015 was his debut in Salome with Opera San Antonio.

Galyon sang with the Metropolitan Opera in 2011-12 the roles of High Priest in Nabucco, Jago in Ernani (HD broadcast), Commissioner in Madama Butterfly, and Second Mate in Billy Budd. With New Jersey State Opera, he made the role debut of Don Basilio in Barber of Seville. Mr. Galyon also appeared with the Johnstown Symphony for their Opera Gala.

Last season’s highlights included a Mozart Requiem with the Colorado Symphony and Bernard Labadie, while at the Met he sang Naroumov in The Queen of Spades and Count Ceprano in Rigoletto.

2009-10 brought him to the San Francisco Symphony in Schubert’s Mass No. 6, the Princeton Festival as Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and again to the Met as Police Commissar in Der Rosenkavalier and Guccio in Gianni Schicchi.

The 2008-09 season marked the beginning of Galyon’s collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera with his debut as Alessio in Bellini’s La sonnambula. (HD broadcast). Other notable engagements during the season included Schubert’s Mass in E-flat Major with the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Midsummer Mozart Festival, and Theseus in Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Princeton Festival.

His San Francisco Opera debut was Count Horn in A Masked Ball. Other recent company appearances included Notary and Polizeikommissar (Der Rosenkavalier), Lincoln (Appomattox– Phillip Glass, world premiere), Count Ceprano (Rigoletto), the Sargeant (The Barber of Seville), Doctor (Macbeth), and the Sergeant of Archers in Manon Lescaut.

During 2007-08, his many appearances at the San Francisco Opera encompassed Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride (Le Ministre), the premiere of Glass’ Appomattox (as Lincoln), Doctor in Macbeth, and Sarastro in Magic Flute. Other highlights included his debut with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, a Handel Messiah with the American Bach Soloists, two productions at the Houston Grand Opera (Magic Flute as 2nd Armored Man and Priest, as well as Billy Budd / Lt. Radcliffe), and his debut at the Opera Theater of St. Louis as Crespel in Les Contes d’Hoffman rounded out the season.

Other recent engagements include performances with the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, and the new-music chamber ensemble Earplay. The Merola Opera Program alumnus has also sung Fauré’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie.

Concert Sponsors:

Reading Musical Foundation
Marlin & Ginger Miller

Guest Artists Sponsor (Berks Opera, Reading Choral, Berks Youth Chorus):

John P. Feeney Funeral Home