UMaine groups, BSO to perform

Posted April 22, 2009, at 6:03 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6:38 a.m.

ORONO, Maine — The Bangor Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with the University Singers and University of Maine Oratorio Society, will present Massenet’s “Marie Magdeleine” at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 26, in Hutchins Concert Hall, Collins Center for the Arts.

Soloists will be music professor Nancy Ogle, soprano, in the role of Marie Magdeleine; Marcia Gronewolt Sly, mezzo-soprano, as Marthe; John Grover, tenor, as Jesus; and Seth Grondin, bass, as Judas.

The performance, sung in French, will be conducted by music professor Ludlow Hallman, who has served as conductor for scores of performances.

“The Oratorio Society and University Singers have enjoyed a long relationship with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and have collaborated on many major choral works,” said Hallman. “It’s a great honor to have been asked to conduct this year’s project, Jules Massenet’s ‘Marie Magdeleine.’”

“Marie Magdeleine” is a three-act, four-part oratorio first performed at the Odean Theatre in Paris on Good Friday 1873. The libretto by Louis Gallet traces Marie Magdeleine’s redemption through Christ from her life as a courtesan, beginning with her vision of the Savior through his visit to her home, his Crucifixion and ultimate Resurrection, according to Hallman.

The premiere was a success and began the career of the most successful and prolific French opera composer of the 19th century. “Marie Magdeleine” is a major, although seldom performed, masterwork of the French repertoire.

The University of Maine has been the depository and caretaker of the archive collection of Massenet scores previously held by the American branch of the Massenet Society since 1996. As part of the arrangement with the society, the university committed to a series of annual concerts featuring French music and the works of Jules Massenet, in particular. The first was a performance of the master’s oratorio presented by the UM Oratorio Society and University Orchestra in St. John’s Catholic Church in Bangor in 1996.

“This gala performance of ‘Marie Magdeleine’ features more than 200 performers and will officially mark the end of the university’s series of French music concerts, book-ending the entire series with his two great oratorios,” Hallman said.

Nancy Ogle is a UM music professor who teaches voice and opera; Marcia Gronewolt Sly teaches voice at UM and at a private studio in Blue Hill. Both have long histories of performing and recording internationally.

John Grover is assistant director of systems and operations at the University of Maine System Computing Center, a member of the Oratorio Society and a veteran performer in community theater and classical productions.

Bangor native Seth Grondin is a 2008 graduate of the UM School of Performing Arts and has had major roles in many university concerts, including the lead in last year’s performance of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro.” He is pursuing graduate studies in music in Boston.

Dennis Cox, director of choral activities and graduate coordinator in the school of performing arts, directs the University Singers and prepared the group to join with the Oratorio Society for the joint chorus for the performance.

Tickets start at $16, $10 students, and are available at 581-1755 or 800-622-TIXX or online at www.bangorsymphony.org. Tickets also may be purchased at the Collins Center in advance or the day of the concert.

UMaine groups, BSO to perform

ORONO — The Bangor Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with the University Singers and University of Maine Oratorio Society, will present Massenet’s “Marie Magdeleine” at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 26, in Hutchins Concert Hall, Collins Center for the Arts.

Soloists will be music professor Nancy Ogle, soprano, in the role of Marie Magdeleine; Marcia Gronewolt Sly, mezzo-soprano, as Marthe; John Grover, tenor, as Jesus; and Seth Grondin, bass, as Judas.

The performance, sung in French, will be conducted by music professor Ludlow Hallman, who has served as conductor for scores of performances.

“The Oratorio Society and University Singers have enjoyed a long relationship with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and have collaborated on many major choral works,” said Hallman. “It’s a great honor to have been asked to conduct this year’s project, Jules Massenet’s ‘Marie Magdeleine.’”

“Marie Magdeleine” is a three-act, four-part oratorio first performed at the Odean Theatre in Paris on Good Friday 1873. The libretto by Louis Gallet traces Marie Magdeleine’s redemption through Christ from her life as a courtesan, beginning with her vision of the Savior through his visit to her home, his Crucifixion and ultimate Resurrection, according to Hallman.

The premiere was a success and began the career of the most successful and prolific French opera composer of the 19th century. “Marie Magdeleine” is a major, although seldom performed, masterwork of the French repertoire.

The University of Maine has been the depository and caretaker of the archive collection of Massenet scores previously held by the American branch of the Massenet Society since 1996. As part of the arrangement with the society, the university committed to a series of annual concerts featuring French music and the works of Jules Massenet, in particular. The first was a performance of the master’s oratorio presented by the UM Oratorio Society and University Orchestra in St. John’s Catholic Church in Bangor in 1996.

“This gala performance of ‘Marie Magdeleine’ features more than 200 performers and will officially mark the end of the university’s series of French music concerts, book-ending the entire series with his two great oratorios,” Hallman said.

Nancy Ogle is a UM music professor who teaches voice and opera; Marcia Gronewolt Sly teaches voice at UM and at a private studio in Blue Hill. Both have long histories of performing and recording internationally.

John Grover is assistant director of systems and operations at the University of Maine System Computing Center, a member of the Oratorio Society and a veteran performer in community theater and classical productions.

Bangor native Seth Grondin is a 2008 graduate of the UM School of Performing Arts and has had major roles in many university concerts, including the lead in last year’s performance of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro.” He is pursuing graduate studies in music in Boston.

Dennis Cox, director of choral activities and graduate coordinator in the school of performing arts, directs the University Singers and prepared the group to join with the Oratorio Society for the joint chorus for the performance.

Tickets start at $16, $10 students, and are available at 581-1755 or 800-622-TIXX or online at www.bangorsymphony.org. Tickets also may be purchased at the Collins Center in advance or the day of the concert.

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