September 21, 2013 8:00pm
The RSO’s 105th season will open with an evening of beloved arias, ensembles, and choral scenes from the world of Opera. This concert will also celebrate the 200th anniversary of two of the world's greatest opera composers - Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. All Gala proceeds will go to the RSO Education and Outreach.
Baritone John Brancy is on the verge of an exciting and diverse performing career, and has been hailed by the New York Times as "a vibrant, resonate presence". This season Mr. Brancy made his professional operatic debut with the Dresden Semperoper in their 2012/13 season, singing the role of Fiorello in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia. As well Mr. Brancy recently performed the role of Papageno at the prestigious Music Academy of the West. This year also marked Mr. Brancy's first performance of Handel's The Messiah with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra as well He gave a recital with the renowned Hugo Wolf Akademie in Stuttgart, Germany. While still an undergraduate student, Mr. Brancy made his Carnegie and Avery Fischer Hall debuts as the Baritone soloist in Fauré's Requiem, Mozart's Coronation Mass, Schubert's Mass in G to name a few. He has given recitals throughout Europe and North America, and has appeared frequently in concert with theNew York Festival of Song, including several concerts at the Caramoor Festival. He was also the winner of the 2010 Juilliard School Honors Recital Competition, resulting in his New York solo recital debut. In the following year he made his Alice Tully Hall debut in Songfest with Brian Zeger at the piano.
During the 2011/12 season with Juilliard Opera, Mr. Brancy sang the role of Slook in Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio, and covered the title role in Don Giovanni, as well as the lead role James Meredith in Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' new student opera, Kommilitionen!. His other recent roles include Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas, and Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Juilliard School, and Sid in Albert Herring with the Opera on the Avalon Festival. Mr. Brancy has garnered numerous awards from prominent competitions. He is the most recent winner of the Sullivan Foundation Grand Prize and career grant, 1st Prize at the Classical Singer Magazine Competition, and in the same year won the Gold award for Voice at the YoungArts Foundation competition. He was the 2nd Place winner in the Gerda Lissner and Liederkranz competitions, and 3rd place winner in the 2012 Montreal International Music Competition. He has also been a finalist in both the Young Concert Artist and George London competitions.
Mr. Brancy recently received his bachelors degree from the Juilliard school and has finished his studies this year receiving his Graduate Diploma from Juilliard, under the tutelage of Edith Wiens.
Born in Saguenay, Canadian soprano Marie-Eve Munger has been hailed for her crystalline timbre, soaring range and as “graceful and virtuosic” by the New York Times. Recent and upcoming engagements include her company debut at Teatro alla Scala and the Aix-en-Provence festival as Vierte Magd in Elektra, Ophélie in Hamlet with Minnesota Opera, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with Intermountain Opera, Gilda in Rigoletto with Saratoga Opera, Ilia in Idomeneo with the Florentine Opera, Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione with Gotham Chamber Opera in New York City and the leading lady in Villa Lobos’ Magdalena at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, to name a few. On the concert stage, she was noticed for her "honeyed voice" at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, in The Essential Bernstein. Also at home in contemporary music, she created the role of the Coloratura in The Second Woman, an award-winning opera premiered in Paris in 2011. Recent engagements also include lead roles with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Opéra de Metz, Opéra de Tours, Charlotte Symphony, Glimmerglass Opera, Saguenay Orchestra, Banff Centre for the Arts, McGill Chamber Orchestra. Awarded the Wirth Scholarship, she earned the degree of Master of Music in performance at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal in 2007.
Hailed by The New York Times for her "chocolaty and penetrating mezzosoprano voice", Ottawa native, Wallis Giunta, is a current member of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, while simultaneously completing an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at The Juilliard School. She has had an exciting 2012/13 season so far, debuting the role of Annio in La Clemenza di Tito (Mozart) with the Canadian Opera
Won Whi Choi
Upcoming engagements for Won Whi Choi include performances as tenor soloist in MESSIAH with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and his debut as Rodolfo in La Boheme with both El Paso Opera and Lyric Opera Virginia.
He holds a Professional Studies Diploma and a Master's Degree from Mannes College of Music and has a bachelor of music degree from the Korean National University of the Arts.