GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — The Ohio Valley Symphony is tuning up for its 30th season in the Ariel Opera House with guest maestros and friends both old and new.
The season opener, “Opera Gala-polis” features acclaimed mezzo-soprano Katherine Rohrer under the able direction of Maestro Steven Huang. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 14.
According to information provided by the Ariel Opera House, Maestro Huang has conducted orchestras and operas across the country and throughout the world. At the age of 21, he served as Music Director of the Bach Society Orchestra of Harvard University, where he received his undergraduate degree. While at Harvard, Huang also directed the Lowell House Opera (the oldest continuously running opera company in New England), in a critically acclaimed production of Kurt Weill’s “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.” He is also an associate professor at the nearby Ohio University in Athens.
Balancing the rigors of traditional and mainstream repertoire with some of today’s most celebrated composers, Rohrer, mezzo-soprano, garnered critical acclaim in recent performances as Nicklausse/Muse in “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” with Opera Colorado and Florida Grand Opera, Marguerite in “La Damnation de Faustwith Oper Frankfurt,” the Malaysian Philharmonia, and the Saint Louis Symphony, the role of Lady Macbeth in Bloch’s rarely-heard “Macbeth” with London’s University College Opera, and her first Pilgrim in “Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin” with Vlaamse Opera. Rohrer has collaborated with many of the world’s leading directors and conductors including Michail Jurowski, Seiji Ozawa, Donald Runnicles, Patrick Summers, Daniel Oren, Steven Lord, David Agler, Dimitri Jurowski, Jakub Hrůša, Marco Armiliato, David McVicar, John Copley, David and Christopher Alden, Stephen Langridge, John Cox, Roy Rallo, Ian Judge and James Robinson.
Maestro Keitaro Harada returns to the podium twice this season on Oct. 26 and March 21, 2020. “The Fabulous Flute” features soloist Lindsey Goodman, OVS’s own piccolo and flutist, who performs an Ohio premiere of Nancy Galbraith’s “Concert for Flute.” “Independent Streams” for percussion and strings is another Ohio premiere – written by the OVS’s principal percussionist Roger Braun. Mozart’s “Symphony No. 35” and de Fall’s much loved “Three Cornered Hat” round out the program.
Conductor Harada continues to be recognized at the highest levels for his artistic abilities and passion for musical excellence. As a three-time recipient of The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award (2014, 2015, 2016), Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview (2013), the Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Festival, a student of Lorin Maazel at Castleton Festival and Fabio Luisi at Pacific Music Festival, Harada’s credentials are exemplary.
In his third season as associate conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops, Harada regularly assists Music Director Louis Langrée and conducts the CSO, POPS, and World Piano Competition, and assists James Conlon and Juanjo Mena for the May Festival. Keitaro also holds the position of Associate Conductor of the Arizona Opera.
Maestro Tim Berens will return to the Ariel Opera House with Broadway tenor Mike Eldred for a “Salute to our Veterans” concert on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Berens’ multi-faceted career gives testament to his lifelong quest to learn, perform and write music. So far, his venture has led him through the worlds of classical guitar, jazz guitar, orchestral guitar, arranging, orchestration, composition, and conducting.
During his years as the guitarist for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Berens played guitar, banjo, mandolin and bouzouki on concerts, recordings, television programs, and tours. Beginning in the late 1990’s, Berens began arranging for the CPO, eventually becoming the orchestra’s principal arranger. His arrangements are regularly performed in venues from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center to the Hollywood Bowl.
Mike Eldred appeared on Broadway in “Les Miserables” as Jean Valjean, and in the original cast of the Tony-nominated “The Civil War.” He performed in the 25th anniversary tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and starred as The Tenor in the 2010 national concert tour of “Handel’s Messiah Rocks.” His starring role as Tony in the Nashville Symphony’s production of “West Side Story” has earned international praise as “arguably the best ‘Tony’ on record.” The cast recording featuring Eldred was released on NAXOS International.
“Songs of Rural America” starring The Ohio Valley Symphony and folk singer Michael Johnathon will also be featured July 6 at 8 p.m. on West Virginia public television. The Ariel Opera House served as the filming location for the program.
Information for this article provided by the Ariel Opera House.