Leonard Bernstein understood the pulse of American life like no other composer, and his sassy, energetic scores still get our blood pumping. The Seattle Symphony brings Bernstein’s Broadway classic Wonderful Town to life with “Christopher Street,” “A Little Bit in Love,” “Ohio” and the “Conga!”
Pre-concert Talk presented one hour prior to each performance. Free with ticket purchase.
Ask the Artist
Ask the Artist to follow the Saturday night concert. Free with ticket purchase
1 hour, 44 minutes
1 hour, 30 minutes prior to performance
S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium - Benaroya Hall
French conductor Ludovic Morlot has been Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 2011. Among the many highlights of his tenure, the orchestra have won three Grammy Awards and gave an exhilarating performance at Carnegie Hall in 2014, as reported in The New York Times: “The performance Mr. Morlot coaxed from his players was rich with shimmering colors and tremulous energy.”
Benjamin Lulich is the newly appointed Principal Clarinet of the Seattle Symphony.
A native of the Red River Valley on the North Dakota Minnesota border, Christopher Kenney is a graduate of Concordia College and the University of Kentucky. Kenney has performed in many operatic venues, such as The Santa Fe Opera and Central City Opera, and recently made his Washington National Opera main stage debut as Figaro in Barber of Seville. Kenney continues as a young artist at Lyric Opera Chicago this season.
Indian-American actor and singer Sheila Houlahan has been seen on stage and screen around the world. Her most notable credits include performing the music of A.R. Rahman with him at the 2016 CES Intel Live Show in Las Vegas, winning an award with the Washington District Metropolitan Opera Competition in 2014, singing as a featured soprano soloist for the 2009 Salzburg Festival, playing the role of Optima Prime in the feature film Wallflower (produced by Paradigm Studios and set to release this year), and playing the role of Ghania (the villain’s henchwoman) in the new superhero TV show The Exceptionals. She received a Bachelor of Music in Operatic Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Houlahan is currently working on her first solo album and corresponding music video series.
Mezzo-soprano, Kristen Choi, has been hailed by Opera News as a “powerhouse in the making” for her portrayal of Suzuki in Madame Butterfly. In the 2017-2018 season she will make a role debut as Hermia in Virginia Opera's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Possessing a voice praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “effortless precision and tonal luster,” Grammy Award-winning soprano Jessica Rivera is established as one of the most creatively inspired vocal artists before the public today. The intelligence, dimension and spirituality with which she infuses her performances on the great international concert and opera stages has garnered Ms. Rivera unique artistic collaborations with many of today’s most celebrated composers.
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. A strong proponent of contemporary music, Kevin Deas was heard at Italy’s Spoleto Festival in a new production of Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors in honor of the composer's eighty-fifth birthday, which was videotaped for worldwide release.
Baritone Thomas Meglioranza’s roles include Pierrot in Die tote Stadt, Chou En-Lai in Nixon in China and Prior Walter in Eötvös' Angels in America. He also performed Copland's Old American Songs with the National Symphony, Eight Songs for a Mad King with the LA Philharmonic, and Harbison's Fifth Symphony with the Boston Symphony. A frequent recitalist, he has recorded albums of Schubert and Fauré. Meglioranza graduated from Grinnell College and the Eastman School of Music.
Hailed by the Seattle Times as “almost superhuman in musical effect”, Mr. Hauck maintains a busy and eclectic career, often specializing in sacred oratorio. Because of this life-long exposure to music as a “mother tongue”, Mr. Hauck has developed a reputation as a consummate musician, and he has stepped in frequently to learn new roles and music on short notice, and is frequently noted for his expressive capabilities in delivering the text of a song.
Ryan Bede, baritone, made his Seattle Opera solo debut in May 2017 as the Second Priest in The Magic Flute, followed by Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly and Fiorello in The Barber Of Seville in the 2017-18 season. He will return as Moralés in Carmen in May 2019. Much beloved for his portrayal of Papageno (Magic Flute) and Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Ryan has performed both roles multiple times for different companies.
With ringing high notes and an easy, polished technique, tenor Joel Cummings has charmed audiences of all kinds across the United States. Cummings sings as a regular chorister with Seattle Opera, and is a frequent concert artist and recitalist in the Seattle area. His repertoire is varied from the great opera arias of Mozart and Verdi, to the musical theater repertoire of Rodgers and Hart.
Charles Robert Stephens has been hailed by The New York Times as “a baritone of smooth distinction.”
M. Scott Spalding grew up in a musical family in Denver, Colorado, where he began singing and acting professionally in 1990. Since then he has performed in hundreds of concerts and stage productions across North America, including the 48 contiguous states and most of Canada. Scott’s repertoire ranges from classical and operetta to jazz, pop and rock. He is thrilled to be completing his first season as a tenor with the Seattle Symphony Chorale.
Joseph Crnko was appointed Associate Conductor for Choral Activities for Seattle Symphony in September 2007. Crnko brings a wealth of choral conducting, arranging, recording and education experience to his position. He has prepared the Seattle Symphony Chorale for numerous critically acclaimed performances, including Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Britten’s War Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and Verdi’s Requiem.
Katy Tabb is Seattle-native dancer and choreographer. Past choreography credits include Newsies, Singin’ In The Rain and Billy Elliot at Village Theatre, and the world premiere of Persuasion at Taproot Theatre. She has performed locally at The 5th Avenue Theatre, Village Theatre and Showtunes Theatre Company, and at numerous notable regional theatres across the U.S. She graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Dance from Chapman University and received additional training from The Ailey School.
The Seattle Symphony Chorale serves as the official chorus of the Seattle Symphony. Over its past four decades, the Chorale has grown in artistry and stature, establishing itself as a highly respected ensemble.
Support for Wonderful Town is generously provided by the Judith Fong Music Director’s Fund.