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Western Piedmont Symphony (WPS), the professional orchestra of the western foothills of North Carolina, presents MASTERWORKS: CARMINA BURANA featuring works by Orff and Brahms on Friday, February 9, at 7:30 PM at P.E. Monroe Auditorium on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory. Orff’s massive chorale work features acclaimed soloists Sequina DuBose (soprano), Daniel Stein (tenor), Michael Adams (baritone), and more than 120 members of regional community choirs including the CVCC Choir, Hickory Choral Society, Lenoir-Rhyne A Cappella Choir, and Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus. The symphony performance opens with the celebration to scholarly success, Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture.
“Our upcoming Masterworks celebrates living life to the fullest,” said WPS music director Matthew Troy. “Both Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture and Orff’’s Carmina Burana are immersive musical odes to fate, fortune, the trials of life, and our human nature to seek joy and other earthly pleasures when possible. Carmina Burana is one of the most iconic works ever written, and the music has timeless appeal due to the famous recognizable opening chords. This is the dynamite music event of the year and not to be missed!” added Troy.
Orff’s 20th century epic chorale work, based on a set of 24 poems written in the 13th century by the Goliards, a group of defrocked monks and vagabond students, was an instant hit with orchestras, but it has also become the underscore to many films and pop culture moments. When King Arthur leads his knights into battle in the movie “Excalibur,” the music is from Carmina Burana. In one scene where Jim Morrison hallucinates in “The Doors,” Carmina Burana provides the soundtrack. Its instantly recognizable themes have even worked their way into “The Simpsons,” a Super Bowl commercial, and several YouTube flash mobs and TikTok stories. Backed by four community choruses of more than 120 singers and relentlessly driven by a powerhouse orchestra and three stellar operatic soloists, Carmina Burana is a tour de force to experience live and in concert.
The Catawba Valley Community College Chorus is led by CVCC professor of music Caroline Simyon. The Hickory Choral Society’s artistic director and conductor is Dr. Ryan Luhrs. The Lenoir-Rhyne A Cappella Choir is directed by Dr. Ryan Luhrs. The Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus is conducted by Cory Westby.
Western Piedmont Symphony MASTERWORKS: CARMINA BURANA is sponsored by Vanguard Furniture, Sandra Pait Clay and George Clay, III, an Anonymous Angel, and with generous support from the United Arts Council of Catawba County and the North Carolina Arts Council.
MASTERWORKS tickets are $20, $30, $40, and $50, with $10 tickets available for students with valid ID. Purchase by visiting wpsymphony.org/tickets, call 828.324.8603, or visit the WPS Box Office, located on the SALT Block at 243 Third Avenue NE, Hickory, NC, 28601. Box Office hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mon. – Fri. Concert venue is P.E. Monroe Auditorium on the Lenoir-Rhyne University campus, 775 6th St NE, Hickory, NC, 28601. Please note: All programs, artists, venues, prices, and dates are subject to change.
About the Artists:
Sequina DuBose, soprano
An interpreter of contemporary and hybrid works, Dr. Sequina DuBose launched her debut album entitled “Blurred Lines: 21st Century Hybrid Vocal Literature” on the Albany Records label in 2022. In the same season, she debuted with the Virginia Arts Festival in two chamber operas as part of the John Duffy Institute for New Opera: Companionship by Rachel Peters and Tales From the Briar Patch by Nkeiru Okoye. She also performed in 2022 as Donna Elvira in Eve Summer’s modern adaptation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Opera Carolina. She looks forward to performances as Clara in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with Opera Carolina in 2023. Other recent highlights include a 2021 performance as soprano soloist with the Tulsa Symphony, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in Tulsa Oklahoma in remembrance of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Riots, and in 2020, several live-streamed virtual concerts as soloist with Opera Carolina as part of the iStream Virtual Concert Series and a collaboration with the Mint Museum entitled: Voice and Vision Live at the Mint. With 2019 came the world-premiere of Elegy: In Memoriam of the Emanuel Nine by Leonard Mark Lewis, a work for soprano soloist and chamber orchestra dedicated to the lives lost in the tragic shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 12, 2015. Additionally, Dr. DuBose created the role of Philomena in the world premiere performances of the electronic chamber opera, Nightingale and the Tower (Jason Treuting, Rebecca Comerford, Beth Meyers, Mikael Jorgensen). The work’s neo-classical score featured adult singers, a children’s ensemble, orchestra, synthesizers, and a long-string harp coined “Sonic Butterfly” by artist Andrea Brook; demonstrative of the movement toward technology integration in 21st-century hybrid works on the operatic stage. Additional distinctive engagements include: performances as a soloist and ensemble member in Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey, a concert series that culminated in a performance at the Metropolitan Opera with international opera icon Kathleen Battle; a debut with Michigan Opera Theater as 4th Maidservant in Strauss’ Elektra; and performances with both the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Royal Danish Opera as Annie in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and portrayed Rachel in the world premiere of Nkeiru Okoye’s folk opera Harriet Tubman: When I Cross That Line to Freedom. She continues to serve as a board member for ArtsCentric and is also the current Board Vice-President for The International Florence Price Festival. Dr. DuBose serves as Assistant Professor of Classical and Contemporary Voice at UNC Charlotte and serves as Co-Coordinator of the Musical Theatre Certificate Program.
Daniel Stein, tenor
Tenor Daniel Stein, whose voice has been described as “warm and flexible,” is an avid concert performer. Most recently, he made his debut with the Filharmonie Brno as the orchestra toured in the US from the Czech Republic. Stein has performed as tenor soloist with many regional orchestras, including the Arizona MusicFest Festival Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, Portland (ME) Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, and numerous others. His performed works include Carmina Burana (Orff), Messiah (Handel), C-minor Mass (Mozart), Glagolitic Mass (Janacek), St. John Passion (J.S. Bach), and Elijah (Mendelssohn), to name a few. Equally comfortable on the operatic stage, Stein has sung leading roles with such companies as Asheville Lyric Opera, Opera Carolina, Opera Columbus, Dayton Opera, Greensboro Opera and Opera North (NH). Some of his favorite roles include Conte Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Theodore Lawrence (Little Women), Alfredo (La Traviata), and world premiere performances creating the roles of Alan Seymour in Picnic (Libby Larsen) and William in The Flood (Korine Fujiwara). Stein earned his D.M.A. from The Ohio State University, his M.M. from University of North Carolina Greensboro, and his B.M. from Wright State University. A 2020 (rescheduled to 2021 due to COVID) National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Professional Intern alumnus, he currently serves as Assistant Professor of Instruction in Classical and Musical Theater Voice and is Coordinator of Opera Theater at Ohio University. He resides in Athens, OH, with his wife and 3 daughters and their dog.
Michael Adams, baritone
Praised by Opera News for “brandishing a beautiful, evenly produced, nicely ripe sound,” Michael Adams makes his Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2023-24 season as Dancaïre in a new production of Carmen. He also returns to Utah Opera as the Count in Le nozze di Figaro and sings his first performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Phoenix Symphony and Western Piedmont Symphony. Last season, he also sang the Count in Le nozze di Figaro with both Opera Omaha and Madison Opera and returned to the role of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Idaho. The baritone recently made his debut at the Grand Teatre del Liceu as Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles. He first joined Seattle Opera as the title role in Eugene Onegin, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, and Belcore in filmed performances of L’elisir d’amore and made company debuts and subsequent returns at the Grand Théâtre de Genève as Melisso in Alcina, and Marcello in La bohème, Masetto in Don Giovanni, and Maximilian in Candide; Utah Opera as Marcello in La bohème, Silvio in Pagliacci, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Betto in Gianni Schicchi; and Des Moines Metro Opera as Lescaut in Manon, Ping in Turandot, Donald in Billy Budd. He joined Dallas Opera as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Austin Opera for the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Knoxville Opera for Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, made his first appearance at the Glimmerglass Festival as Gaylord Ravenal in Showboat, and sang Edwin Cheney in Hagen’s Shining Brow with Arizona Opera. Mr. Adams completed two years as a Resident Artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts, where his performances included Valentin in Faust, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Lescaut in Manon, Tomsky in Pique Dame, Schaunard in La bohème, and Taddeo in L’italiana in Algeri. He is a former Resident Artist of the Santa Fe Opera and Studio Artist at Wolf Trap Opera. Mr. Adams holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Texas Christian University and completed further training at the Seagle Music Colony and Janiec Opera Company of the Brevard Music Center.