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MasterVoices 2016 Spring Benefit Featuring Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell and Nahum Tate


2016 Spring Benefit


Dido and Aeneas

by Henry Purcell and Nahum Tate

Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 6 pm & 8:30 pm

MasterVoices - Dido & Aeneas - The Culture News

WHO: Kelli O'Hara, Victoria Clark, Elliot Madore, Anna Christy, Sarah Mesko, Michael John LaChiusa, Doug Varone, Christian Siriano, Ted Sperling, Doug Varone and Dancers, Orchestra of St. Luke's, and MasterVoices.

Gala Chairs: Antonia and George Grumbach and Ellen F. Marcus, and Co-Chairs: Jewelle and Nathaniel Bickford, Jill K. Malila, Judith and Morton Sloan, Deborah Stiles, and Adèle K. and John Talty. The Corporate Co-Chair is AON.

Board of Directors: Jewelle Bickford (co-chair), Deborah Stiles (co-chair), Susan Shine (Vice Chair), Sandra Joys (Secretary), Lois Conway (Treasurer), Martina Arroyo, Susan L. Baker, Juliana Chen, Alicia Damley, George G. Grumbach, Jr., Kenneth Hannan, Jr., Sandra S. Joys, Robert Jurgrau, Ellen F. Marcus, Jill Malila, Ellen Nenner, Elaine Petschek, Lisa Rubin, Petra Slater, Adèle K. Talty, Elizabeth Tunick.

Benefit Committee: M. Bernard Aidinoff & Elsie V. Aidinoff, Martina Arroyo, Rima Ayas & Ronald Moore, Sarah Billinghurst & Howard Solomon, André Bishop, Karin and Henry Barkhorn, Kit Smyth Basquin, Douglas & Beatrice Broadwater, Susan & David Brownwood, Juliana Chen, Lois Conway, Marilyn and Lawrence Friedland, Cathy J. Friedman & Thomas R. Feyer, Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth H. & Yvonne S. Hannan, Bruce C. Johnson, Sandra & David Joys, Robert Jurgrau & Marc Gollub, Nancy Karch, Sahra T. Lese, Dinny & Lester Morse, Ellen B. Nenner, Richard C. Norton, Naomi and Stuart Paley, Elaine Petschek, Lisa Rubin & Dr. Carl Mankowitz, Christie C. Salomon, Susan Shine, Margo Shulman, Petra & Sam Slater, Mr. and Mrs. David M. Tobey, Elizabeth Tunick, Alan & Elaine Weiler, Judy Francis Zankel.

Attendees: Bernard and Elsie Aidinoff, Karin and Henry Barkhorn, Edward Barnes, Kit Basquin, Norman Benzaquen, Jewelle and Nathaniel Bickford, Andre Bishop and Hon. Jody Adams, David and Susan Brownwood, Juliana Chen, Connie and Henry Christiensen, Lois Conway, Jamie Cowperthwait, Peter and Katherine Darrow, Elisabeth De Picciotto, Jennie L and Richard K DeScherer, Junia Doan, Anthony and Judy Evnin, Marilyn and Lawrence Friedland, Patsy and Ed Garno, Michael and Mary Gellert, Michael Siegal and Nomi Ghez, Lynn Gilbert, Beth and Gary Glynn, Andrew Goffe and Jeff Levin, Ricky Ian Gordon and Kevin Doyle, Paul Gruber and Keith Champagne, George and Antonia Grumbach, Yvonne and Kenneth Hannan, Sandra and David Joys, Robert Jurgrau and Marc Gollub, Helen Little, Jill Malila, Ellen Marcus, Stefania and James McClennen, Dinny and Lester Morse, Ellen Nenner, Richard Norton and Gary Schocker, Naomi Paley, Elaine Petschek, Richard Prins and Corrine Steensma, Jesse Rosen, Lisa Rubin and Carl Mankowitz, Christie Salomon and Rich Lombard, Irving and Lucy Sandler, Susan Shine, Robert Simon and Gilles DeVoe, Frank Skillern, Petra Slater, Judith and Morton Sloan, Annaliese Soros, Mira Spektor, Nora London, Deborah Stiles, Adèle K. and John Talty, David and Julie Tobey, Elizabeth Tunick, Christie and Ron Ulrich, Charlotte and Carl von Axelson, Sandra and George Weiksner, Rick Wertheim and Angelo Chan, Judy Francis Zankel.

MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale) will hold its 2016 Spring Benefit in support of its artistic programming and education initiatives, featuring Dido and Aeneas at New York City Center and Le Parker Meridien on April 28, 2016. The event will begin at 6:00 pm with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres on the Grand Tier at New York City Center, located at 131 W. 55th Street, and lead into the 7:00 pm concert. Following the performance, guests will enjoy dinner, dessert, and a brief live auction led by Steve Rosen at Le Parker Meridien's beautiful Estrela Penthouse, located at 119 W. 56th Street. Tickets for the 2016 Spring Benefit range from $500 to $1,500 and tables from $5,000-$15,000.

The event is led by Chairs Antonia and George Grumbach and Ellen F. Marcus, and Co-Chairs Jewelle and Nathaniel Bickford, Jill K. Malila, Deborah Stiles, and Adèle K. and John Talty. The Corporate Co-Chair is AON.

The Dido and Aeneas program is dedicated to the memory of James S. Marcus, a longtime MasterVoices Board Member. MasterVoices is forever grateful for his and his wife Ellen's generosity, and will always remember Jim for his boundless spirit, tremendous wisdom, and deep love of music.

Henry Purcell and Nahum Tate's tempestuous Baroque opera, Dido and Aeneas, brings together Kelli O'Hara (Tony Award Winner, The King and I) as Dido, Victoria Clark (Tony Award Winner, The Light in the Piazza) as the Sorceress, Elliot Madore (Winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions) as Aeneas, Anna Christy (Les contes d'Hoffmann, the Metropolitan Opera) as Belinda, and emerging young artist Sarah Mesko. The concert will begin with the world premiere of a work by Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party), specially commissioned by MasterVoices. Conceived by Artistic Director Ted Sperling, with Obie Award-Winning Director/Choreographer Doug Varone, the evening will feature these award-winning soloists with Orchestra of St. Luke's, Doug Varone, and Dancers, and MasterVoices, with scenic consultation by David Korins (Hamilton, Bel Canto), and gowns provided by CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) designer Christian Siriano.

"We are thrilled to reunite Tony Award-winning actresses Kelli O'Hara and Victoria Clark, who appeared together in The Light in the Piazza ten years ago, in Dido and Aeneas," said Ted Sperling, Artistic Director of MasterVoices. "Further, the evening will open with the World Premiere of a new prologue written and composed by Michael John LaChiusa, in which the three leading ladies play the three Fates, sisters who control our destinies. As the original prologue was lost, I called on my long-time collaborator to bring a contemporary voice into counterpoint with the Baroque, utilizing the same orchestration, including an expanded continuo section of harpsichord, organ, guitar, and harp. Orchestrations for the new prologue are by Bruce Coughlin."

Dido and Aeneas will run for a limited engagement at the New York City Center on April 28 (7 p.m.) and 29 (8 p.m.), 2016. Concert tickets are $30-$130 and are available online, by calling CityTix® at 212-581-1212, or the box office at 131 W. 55th Street (between 6th and 7th).


Kelli O'Hara has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway's great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of The King and I recently garnered her a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics nominations. 2014 was an exceptionally busy year. Her performance as Francesca in the musical adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County earned her Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Additionally, she starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC's live telecast of "Peter Pan" alongside Allison Williams and Christian Borle, and on New Year's Eve, Kelli made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the production of The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming. For more, visit

Victoria Clark maintains one of the most diverse careers of any artist living today, equally at home in plays, musicals, film, television, and the concert stage. She most recently starred in the 2015 revival of GIGI The Musical on Broadway where she received a Tony Award nomination for her role as "Mamita." In 2014, starred as Marie, The Fairy Godmother in the Broadway musical revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella where she received both Tony and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. Clark also starred in Sharr White's play, The Snow Geese at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Before that, she appeared as Mother Superior in the hit Broadway musical, Sister Act for which she received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations and the Drama League honor. Last year, Ms. Clark was the Artist in Residence at Pace University's School of the Arts where she taught and directed The Light in the Piazza for which she received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, as well as Drama League honor for her portrayal of protective but domineering mother Margaret Johnson in 2005. Her virtuoso performance in the Lincoln Center Production of the Tony Award-winning musical has made her a favorite among audiences and critics, including The New York Times' Ben Brantley, who called Clark's work in Piazza "the best musical performance by an actress this season." For more, visit

A winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Canadian baritone Elliot Madore is already gaining international notoriety for his exceptional voice and artistry. In the 2015-2016 season, Elliot Madore returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Figaro in The Barber of Seville. He also makes his San Francisco Opera debut as Anthony in Sweeney Todd and returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos under music director Kirill Petrenko to be performed both in Munich and at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. He debuts at Teatro de la Maestranza as Figaro, Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Belcore in L'elisir d'amore, and at Santa Fe Opera as Mercutio in a new production of Roméo et Juliette conducted by Harry Bicket. Mr. Madore will be seen in concert with Charles Dutoit and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in L'heure espagnole and L'enfant et les sortilèges. For more, visit

Praised for her combination of sparkling voice and innate musicality, internationally acclaimed soprano Anna Christy appears this season as Morgana in Handel's Alcina at Teatro Real, Madrid, under Christopher Moulds. Further highlights include Soeur Constance (Les dialogues des Carmélites) at Bayerische Staatsoper under Bertrand de Billy and a return to the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan as Adele (Die Fledermaus) under Seiji Ozawa, having previously appeared there in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges. Recent highlights include Marie (La fille du régiment) at the Santa Fe Opera Festival, Gilda in Christopher Alden's production of Rigoletto at the English National Opera, and her noted company debut with the Canadian Opera Company as Lucia di Lammermoor. For more, visit

Praised by The Washington Post for her "consistently beautiful sound," American mezzo-soprano Sarah Mesko is rapidly gaining attention for her "rich mezzo-soprano" voice and musicality. Sarah Mesko begins the 2015-2016 season in her role debut as Carmen at Washington National Opera in the Domingo-Cafritz Emerging Artists performance. She will join the Metropolitan Opera for their Rising Stars concert tour across the United States and also will cover Malcolm in La Donna del Lago on the main stage. In concert, she will appear with the Columbus Symphony in Alexander Nevsky and with the Mercury Orchestra in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Recently, Ms. Mesko debuted at the Glimmerglass Festival in Vivaldi's Catone in Utica to great acclaim. She was seen at the Washington National Opera as the Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte and made her debut at the Houston Grand Opera as Mrs. Segstrom in A Little Night Music. In concert, she appeared with Ars Lyrica, the Bach Society of Houston, and Mercury Baroque in Houston.

Michael John LaChiusa is a five-time Tony Award-nominated Composer, Lyricist, and Librettist for his Broadway productions of The Wild Party, Marie Christine, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold. LaChiusa's acclaimed off-Broadway musicals have been seen at The Public Theater and Lincoln Center in NY and include Giant, Queen of the Mist, See What I Wanna See, First Lady Suite, Bernarda Alba, Hello Again, Little Fish, and Four Short Operas: Break, Agnes, Eulogy For Mr. Hamm, Lucky Nurse. This season, his new musical First Daughter Suite premiered at The Public Theater in NY Fall of 2015 and his musical Rain will premiere at the Old Globe in San Diego Spring of 2016. LaChiusa has been commissioned by the Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival among others, and has penned Lovers & Friends: The Chautauqua Variations for CLO and Send (Who are you? I love you) written for Audra McDonald at HGO. LaChiusa's revues of his work include (Joe's Pub), Hotel C'est l'Amour (Blank Theatre), and most recently Heartbreak Country: Michael John LaChiusa's Stories of America (Jazz at Lincoln Center). LaChiusa's awards include an Obie, Gillman Gonzalez-Falla, Kleban Foundation, Dramatists Guild, and 2008 & 2009 Daytime Emmy Awards.

Doug Varone is an Obie Award-winning director and choreographer for the concert stage, opera, theater, and film. He is the Artistic Director of Doug Varone and Dancers, established in 1986 as an opportunity to explore and process his particular choreographic vision. His work has been singled out for its extraordinary physical daring, vivid musicality, and genius for capturing through movement the nuances of true human interaction. His Company has been commissioned and presented to critical acclaim by leading international venues for close to three decades. In opera, Varone is in demand as both a director and choreographer. Among his four productions at The Metropolitan Opera are Salome (returning to The Met, December 2016), the world premiere of Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy, Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps, designed by David Hockney, and Hector Berloiz's Les Troyens. He has staged multiple premieres for Minnesota Opera, Opera Colorado, Washington Opera, New York City Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera, among others. He created the dances for the World Premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's The Grapes of Wrath and was awarded an OBIE for staging Gordon's Orpheus and Euridice at Lincoln Center. His numerous theater credits include choreography for Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theaters across the country, including the musical Murder Ballad at Manhattan Theater Club, earning him a Lortel Award nomination. Varone's The Bottomland, set in the Mammoth Caves of Kentucky, was the subject of the PBS Dance in America: Wolf Trap's Face of America. Among other honors and awards: are a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, two individual Bessie Awards, and a 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award.

Ted Sperling, has maintained an active and successful career in the theater and concert worlds for over thirty years. A multi-faceted artist, he is a director, music director, conductor, orchestrator, singer, pianist, violinist and violist. He is the Artistic Director of MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale) and Principal Conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic. Mr. Sperling won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza, for which he was also music director. Other Broadway credits as music director/conductor/pianist include the rapturously received revivals of Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, and South Pacific; Guys and Dolls, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Angels in America, My Favorite Year, Falsettos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Les Misérables, Roza, and Sunday in the Park with George. Mr. Sperling was also an original cast member of the Broadway musical Titanic. Mr. Sperling has an active concert career, working with many major symphony orchestras, and singers Audra McDonald, Victoria Clark, Patti LuPone, Kelli O'Hara, Nathan Gunn, Idina Menzel, Paulo Szot, and Deborah Voigt. For more, visit

Christian Siriano followed his studies in London under Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen and launched his eponymous collection in 2008. The Christian Siriano collection is now shown each season at New York Fashion Week, and presented in New York and Paris to retailers. Known for whimsical and show-stopping design - from fantasy evening gowns and cocktail dresses to tailored sportswear, to intricately detailed shoes and accessories - the collection can be found at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and other department stores and specialty boutiques around the globe. In 2012 the first flagship Christian Siriano store opened on Elizabeth Street in New York City, and in 2013 he was inducted as a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Dubbed "the new king of old-school glamour" by Elle and "the next billion-dollar designer" by Yahoo! Style's Lauren Sherman, his designs have appeared on the world's biggest stars and most prestigious red carpets. He counts the world's leading ladies as clients, from stars of film (Lupita Nyong'o, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Shailene Woodley, Patricia Arquette, Emily Blunt, Sharon Stone) to icons of music (Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Solange Knowles, Nicki Minaj, Carrie Underwood) to stars of television (Tina Fey, Lea Michele, Emma Roberts, Christina Hendricks, Heidi Klum, Allison Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Edie Falco) and darlings of fashion (Victoria Beckham, Alexa Chung, Dita Von Teese, Kate Upton, Olivia Palermo, Coco Rocha), to name just a few.

About Orchestra of St. Luke's

Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) is one of America's foremost and most versatile orchestras, collaborating with the world's greatest artists and performing approximately 70 concerts each year-including its Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series, Chamber Music Series at The Morgan Library & Museum and Brooklyn Museum, and summer residency at Caramoor Music Festival. OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works, including four this season; has given more than 170 world, U.S., and New York City premieres; and appears on more than 100 recordings, including four Grammy Award winners and seven releases on its label, St. Luke's Collection. Pablo Heras-Casado, named 2014 Conductor of the Year by Musical America, is OSL's principal conductor.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this season, OSL began as a chamber ensemble based at The Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village. Today, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble consists of 21 virtuoso artists who perform a diverse repertoire and make up OSL's artistic core.

OSL owns and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Midtown Manhattan, where it shares a building with the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The DiMenna Center is New York City's premier venue for rehearsal, recording, and learning, having quickly gained a reputation for its superb acoustics, state-of-the-art facilities, and affordability. Since opening in 2011, The DiMenna Center has welcomed more than 50,000 visitors, including more than 300 ensembles and artists such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, James Taylor, and Sting. OSL hosts hundreds of neighbors, families, and school children at its home each year for free community events.

Through its Community and education programs, OSL has introduced audiences across New York City to live classical music. OSL brings free chamber concerts to the five boroughs; offers free, interactive events at The DiMenna Center; provides chamber music coaching for adults; and engages 10,000 public school students each year through its Free School Concerts. In 2013, OSL launched Youth Orchestra of St. Luke's (YOSL), an intensive in- and after-school instrumental coaching program emphasizing musical excellence and social development, in partnership with Police Athletic League (PAL) and public schools in the Clinton / Hudson Yards neighborhood. For more information, visit

Since its founding in 1986, Doug Varone and Dancers has commanded attention for its expansive vision, versatility, and technical prowess. On the concert stage, in opera, theatre, and on the screen, Varone's kinetically thrilling dances make essential connections and mine the complexity of the human spirit. From the smallest gesture to full-throttle bursts of movement, Varone's work can take your breath away. On tour, the Company has performed in more than 100 cities in 45 states across the U.S. and in Europe, Asia, Canada, and South America. Stages include The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, San Francisco Performances, London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, Toronto's Harbourfront, Moscow's Stanislavsky Theatre, Buenos Aires' Teatro San Martin, the Venice Biennale, and the Tokyo, Bates, Jacob's Pillow, and American Dance Festivals. In opera and theatre, the Company regularly collaborates on the many Varone-directed or choreographed productions that have been produced around the country. Varone, his dancers, and designers have been honored with 11 New York Dance and Performance Awards (Bessies). For more, visit

Under the artistic direction of conductor Ted Sperling, MasterVoices is a New York City-based performing arts organization that celebrates singing and the art of musical storytelling. Founded as The Collegiate Chorale almost 75 years ago by legendary conductor Robert Shaw, the organization is one of the jewels of NYC cultural institutions and has achieved international acclaim as well. Recent performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center have included Ricky Ian Gordon's The Grapes of Wrath, Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, Boito's Mefistofele, Eric Idle's Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) and many of the great choral works, including Brahms' Requiem, Tippett's A Child of Our Time, Mahler's 8th Symphony, Glass' Koyaanisqatsi and the Verdi Requiem. Some of the solo artists who have sung with MasterVoices recently include Stephanie Blythe, Victoria Clark, Nathan Gunn, Kelli O'Hara, Eric Idle, Eric Owens, Bryn Terfel, and Deborah Voigt. For more information, visit Connect with MasterVoices on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@mastervoicesny).

The 2015-2016 Season continues with:

Mahler's Symphony No. 2

Conducted by Joshua Gersen, presented by the New York Youth Symphony

May 29, 2016, at Carnegie Hall


The 2015-2016 season will conclude in June with a program featuring a World Premiere work, with music by Marisa Michelson and libretto by Royce Vavrek, developed for the launch of MasterVoices' new community outreach program, Bridges.

June 5, 2016, at Ansche Chesed Synagogue

Major funding for MasterVoices' 2015-16 season has been generously provided by The Geier Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

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