December 3 North South Artists
North/South Consonance, Inc. celebrates the holiday season with a free-admission concert featuring vocal and instrumental music inspired by spiritual texts.
— The Times Union
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, USA, November 16, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — North/South Consonance, Inc. celebrates the start of the holiday season on Sunday evening, December 3 presenting a concert featuring vocal and instrumental music inspired by spiritual texts.
The free admission in-person event will be held at the National Opera Center (330 7th Ave; New York, NY 10001).
It will start at 8 PM (EST) and end around 9:15 PM.
The event will be streamed live via the National Opera Center YouTube channel @
The program features recent works by Wallace De Pue, Jee Seo, Max Lifchitz, and Joseph Santo as performed by soprano Celia Castro, mezzo-soprano Anna Tonna, baritone Gustavo Ahualli, and pianist Max Lifchitz.
Active since 1980, North/South Consonance, Inc. is devoted to the promotion of music by composers from the Americas and the world. Its activities are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs as well as the BMI Foundation and the generosity of numerous individual donors.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Soprano Celia Castro has appeared in copious opera and zarzuela productions throughout New York City, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The winner of the NYSTA Young Artists Competition and the Clarisse Kampel Foundation Prize, Ms. Castro trained at Rutgers and Mannes before earning a master’s in music and music education from Teachers College while teaching privately. She played the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni under the baton of Maestro Richard Barrett with Opera in the Slopes in Brooklyn. At Opera America, she sang the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and excerpts from Verdi’s Aida.
The press has portrayed Mezzo-Soprano Anna Tonna as a “mezzo heroine who knows how to sing Rossini” and praised her for “showing off her warm, secure mezzo-soprano to maximum advantage.” Much in demand in Europe and the Americas as recitalist and opera singer, Ms. Tonna is highly regarded for her superb renditions of music by composers from Spain and Latin America. She has collaborated with, among others, the Casals Festival and the Festival Iberoamericano de las Artes in Puerto Rico; Música de Cámara and Joy in Singing and Elysium Between Two Continents in New York; the Nassau Music Festival; and the El Festival de Segovia in Spain.
Hailed for his rich and powerful baritone, Gustavo Ahualli is well-known for his dramatic portrayals in a myriad of leading roles of standard operatic repertoire as well as new works by contemporary composers. The Houston Press extolled, “As Macbeth, Argentinian baritone, Gustavo Ahualli proved he has an ideal voice for Verdi, beautiful, full, rich, and powerful. His singing was effortless, with excellent control, and ripe with machismo.” Ahaulli has sung throughout the US, South America and Europe and had the privilege to sing for both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. He currently serves as Director of the Latin American Music Center at Catholic University in Washington, DC.
A dynamic figure in America’s musical life, Max Lifchitz is active as composer, pianist, and conductor. Lifchitz was awarded first prize in the 1976 International Gaudeamus Competition for Performers of Twentieth Century Music, held in Holland. The San Francisco Chronicle described him as “a stunning, ultra-sensitive pianist” while The New York Times praised Mr. Lifchitz for his “clean, measured and sensitive performances.” The American Record Guide referred to him as “…one of America’s finest exponents of contemporary piano music.”
ABOUT THE COMPOSERS AND THEIR MUSIC
Wallace De Pue studied at Michigan State University before joining the faculty of Bowling Green State University where he taught for over thirty years. The winner of many ASCAP Awards, De Pue has been in residence at the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. De Pue’s recent piano composition Disciple Variations aims to paint a picture of Jesus and his disciples having supper while discussing their different personalities and activities.
Jee Seo began his musical training at South Korea’s Chung-Ang University College of Music before earning a graduate degree from the Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland. His works have earned awards and prizes at several international competitions and have been performed throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. Being heard for the very first time, Seo’s piano piece Ohr/Light was inspired by one of the opening lines in the Book of Genesis: And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Max Lifchitz’s Rosa Divina (Divine Rose) was inspired by a sonnet written by the Mexican intellectual Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695). Commonly referred to as The Tenth Muse, Sor Juana was a self-taught Hieronymite nun, widely acclaimed as poet and scholar. She is deemed an important contributor to the Spanish Golden Age, as well as a staunch advocate for women’s rights. Sor Juana’s poem employs the image of the rose – a flower often identified with human vanity during the Baroque Era – as a didactic tool. People are to learn a lesson at its expense: the beauty that life affords, and its creative energy, are transitory gifts to be seized and put to beneficial use, for they soon will be lost.
Joseph A. Santo taught at the Catholic University Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art at Catholic University from 2002 until 2018. The recipient of several ASCAPlus Awards, Santo’s music receives frequent performances in the Washington, DC area as well as various concert halls throughout the East Coast and Europe. The composer’s lifelong interest in languages has given the stimulus for music using texts in Latin, Anglo-Saxon, medieval and modern French, Neapolitan, and Spanish, among others. His song cycle Rimas Sacras (Sacred Rhymes) is a set of twelve songs on texts of Spanish religious poetry of the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. These twelve poems are both secular and sacred. Some are devoted exclusively to religious poetry, devotional and/or didactic in purpose. The set includes verses by Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila.
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Celia Castro Sings Rosa Divina by Max Lifchitz