Dream Orchestra Finds New Home In Santa Monica, Kicks Off Season With Opera Gala, Sept. 11
Posted: Monday, August 31, 2015 – 12:42 PM
The Dream Orchestra has found itself a home, fulfilling a dream of Artistic Director/Conductor Daniel Suk.
Suk founded the orchestra in the fall of 2011, and since then it has performed in concert halls across Southern California—Walt Disney Concert Hall and Zipper Hall in downtown Los Angeles, the Barclay Center in Irvine, the James R. Armstrong Theatre in Torrance and others.
Now The Dream Orchestra will present its complete 2015-2016 season in one place at St. Monica Catholic Church, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica.
The season kicks off at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11. with the “Opera Forever” Gala Concert .Tickets are $40 general, $30 for seniors and students and $180 for the whole season (six concerts). The gala includes an after-concert reception hosted by Urth Caffé. To purchase tickets, call 800-838-3006 or visit www.dreamorchestra.org. Tickets are available at St. Monica Catholic Church and all Urth Caffé locations.
The opera-themed gala will feature the orchestra performing Verdi’s Nabucco Overture, Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture and the Manon Lescaut Intermezzo by Puccini.
The program of arias and duets will include:
• Soprano Tracy Cox, singing Vissi D’arte from Puccini’s Tosca and Dich, Teure halle from Wagner’s Tannhäuser. She was awarded the George London-Kirsten Flagstad Prize in February 2014 and the Birgit Nilsson Prize at the 2013 Operalia Competition in Verona.
• Hot young tenor Joshua Guerrero will sing an aria from Bellini’s Romeo et Juliet, and more.
• Lacey Jo Benter, LA Opera mezzo soprano, will sing an aria from Bizet’s Carmen, and Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix from Saint Saens’ Samson et Dalila.
• Bass baritone Patrick Blackwell will sing the Toreador Song from Carmen.
• Young soprano Golda Berkman, grand prize finalist in classical voice of The LA Music Center’s Spotlight Awards last March, will sing Bellini’s O quante volte.
The St. Monica residency came after two Dream Orchestra concerts: Mozart’s Requiem at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles in April of 2014 and Handel’s Messiah at St. Monica last December. “The Messiah was such a success,” Suk recalled. “We had to turn away people who wanted to see it. The people at St. Monica said they had never seen anything like that.”
The residency comes during the St Monica’s celebration of Pope Francis’ Jubilee of Mercy, a call for “the Church to take up the joyful call to mercy once more,” he stated.
“It’s wonderful for us to be working together now,” Suk said. “Plus St. Monica has the most incredible architecture in town. The beauty of the place is marvelous; and it’s the perfect size for acoustic orchestral and operatic repertoire. Its 700 seats provide an intimate concert experience.”
The season will commemorate the Jubilee of Mercy with the Mozart Requiem on Oct. 30, Handel’s Messiah on Dec. 3, 4, and the Rossini’s rarely performed Stabat Mater on March 4, 2016.
The season continues on May 20, 2016 with what Suk is calling the “Rusty Musicians” concert created to make dreams come true for adults who play instruments or didn’t major in music or gave up their music, yet always had a dream to perform with a professional orchestra.
The final concert will be the Dream Concert Under the Stars on July 15, 2016.
Suk has enjoyed an international career as an operatic tenor and as a conductor worldwide for more than 20 years and now he’s using the group to make dream come true for young musicians. “When we started discussing our future, this word ‘dream’ kept ringing in our ears,” Suk recalled. “This orchestra should make dreams come true for the next generation of musicians. Why don’t we offer a number of chairs in the orchestra to young musicians so they can play alongside professional orchestra musicians?”
This season, 15 such young musicians will have this one-of-a-kind training experience. “I’m confident these young artists will prevail,” Suk said. “We’re going to sound better than ever. The professionals have a little more pressure to be perfect as mentors to the young musicians, who will also have to be prepared and committed. Our audiences will feel the refreshing energy these young artists will bring to our concerts.”
Suk and the orchestra have previously spotlighted young artists at performances like the “Young Stars of Tomorrow” concert in Jane at Zipper Hall.
“I’d like to express my gratitude to St. Monica’s Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson, Music Director Dale Sieverding, Thomas Bleich, and all volunteer staffs for supporting us and really joining together for the vision of bringing good music to people of Santa Monica and beyond,” Suk said.
“I’d like to also recognize our strong partnership with Urth Caffé with whom we share the vision of inspiring our young and our communities with music that gives hopes and dreams,” he continued. The Chan Il Foundation is also a partner in The Dream Orchestra’s 2015-2016 season.
For more information about the orchestra’s upcoming season, visit www.dreamorchestra.org.