KENT TRITLE, CONDUCTOR
Kent Tritle Music Director of the Oratorio Society of New York is one of the leading choral conductors in the United States. In fall 2011, he conducted members of the Society at the 10th International Festival of Sacred Music and Art in Rome. At the festival’s opening Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica the chorus and this recording’s soloists performed Mozart’s Coronation Mass. This was followed in December by the rarely performed Mozart arrangement of Messiah, which brought a new breadth to the Society’s tradition of annual performances. In April 2012, he led the Society in Antonín Dvořák’s Stabat mater and the world premiere of Juraj Filas’ Song of Solomon.
Under his leadership, in 2010 the Society’s bass section joined the New York Philharmonic and music director Alan Gilbert for a performance of Varèse’s Nocturnal, part of Lincoln Center’s two-day survey of the composer’s works. Two years earlier, the Society joined the Juilliard Orchestra in a performance of Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish,” also conducted by Alan Gilbert, as part of the “Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds” Festival.
Called “the brightest star in New York’s choral music world” by the New York Times, his weekly WQXR show, The Choral Mix with Kent Tritle, explores the extraordinary riches of the choral repertoire every Sunday at 7:00 am. and 11:00 pm. Mr. Tritle is also Director of Cathedral Music and organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Music Director of Musica Sacra, New York’s longest continuously performing professional chorus. He is also the founder of Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, the acclaimed concert series at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola and which he led during 1989–2011. From 1996 to 2004, he was Music Director of the Emmy-nominated Dessoff Choirs, winners of the ASCAP/Chorus America award for adventurous programming of contemporary music.
An acclaimed organ virtuoso, Mr. Tritle is the organist of the New York Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra. He has often appeared as a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and performs regularly in Europe and across the United States. Recital venues have included the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Zurich Tonhalle, the Church of St. Sulpice, Dresden’s Hofkirche, King’s College at Cambridge, and Westminster Abbey.
Kent Tritle holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from the Juilliard School in organ performance and choral conducting and has been on the Juilliard faculty since 1996. He currently directs a graduate practicum on oratorio in collaboration with the school’s vocal arts department and teaches choral conducting. In addition, he is Director of Choral Activities at the Manhattan School of Music. He has been featured in the New York Times and on ABC World News Tonight, National Public Radio, and Minnesota Public Radio.
ORATORIO SOCIETY OF NEW YORK
Founded in 1873 by Leopold Damrosch, the Oratorio Society of New York is one of the city’s oldest musical organizations. From its earliest days, the Society played an integral role in the musical life of the city, presenting its own concerts and performing at musically and historically significant events. It also created a fund to finance building a concert hall. When Andrew Carnegie became the Society’s fifth president in 1888, he adopted the cause, enlisting fellow board member, architect William Tuthill, to design a “Music Hall” that would provide a suitable artistic home for the Society. In 1891, singing under Tchaikovsky’s baton, the Society helped inaugurate the concert hall that came to be known as Carnegie Hall. It has performed there ever since, except for its 1960 Messiah concert when the Hall did not accept bookings because demolition seemed imminent.
On its 100th anniversary the Society was presented with the Handel Medallion, New York City’s highest cultural award, in recognition of these contributions. It made its European debut in 1982 and has since performed in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. In March 2003, it received the UNESCO Commemorative Medal and the Cocos Island World Natural Heritage Site Award from the Friends of Cocos Island Foundation for its series of benefit concerts in Costa Rica.
In 1977, the Society inaugurated a solo competition to encourage the art of oratorio singing and to give young singers an opportunity to advance their careers. In 2006 it was renamed the Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition in honor of Dr. Woodside’s dedication to the competition. International in scope, the competition attracts more than 100 singers each year; it is supported in part by a generous grant from the Sam and Anna Lopin Foundation and judged by a distinguished panel. The Solo Competition is only one example of the Society’s commitment to the next generation’s involvement in choral music. The Choral Scholars program provides financial support and coaching experience to young professionals who work with the chorus on a weekly basis. The Education Program introduces teens to classical choral music through classroom presentations and complimentary tickets to Oratorio Society performances. The Society also donates tickets to high school students through “High 5 Tickets to the Arts.” Encouraging young artists, teachers, and audiences is an essential part of the Society’s heritage and mission, and one of its proudest achievements.
RACHEL ROSALES, SOPRANO
Blessed with a sumptuous voice of magnificent proportions, soprano Rachel Rosales is equally capable of delivering the fiery intensity of Verdi’s most demanding works or spinning out the delicate filigree of Handel’s intricate embellishments. She has achieved both popular and critical acclaim on international stages in opera, oratorio, and solo recitals.
Her recent performances include Richard Wilson’s opera Aethelred the Unready at Vassar College and Symphony Space, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Spokane Symphony, the Verdi Requiem with the Dayton Philharmonic, Messiah with the Pennsylvania Sinfonia and Camerata Singers, Beethoven’s Christus am Ölberge with Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, and appearances with the Orpheus Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Musica Sacra. In fall 2011, she joined members of the Oratorio Society of New York in the 10th International Festival of Sacred Music and Art in Rome and was the featured soloist at the Society’s spring 2012 concert at Carnegie Hall.
Ms. Rosales has participated in the Merola Program at San Francisco Opera, was a National Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and took First Place in competitions sponsored by the San Francisco Opera Center, the Music Teachers National Association, and the National Association of the Teachers of Singing.
Her recordings include North/South Consonance and The Music of John Anthony Lennon for Composers Recordings, The Music of Samuel Zyman for Warner Brothers, Ritmo Jondo - Music of Carlos Suriñach for New World Records, and El mensajero de plata by Roberto Sierra.
MALENA DAYEN, MEZZO-SOPRANO
Mezzo-soprano Malena Dayen made her debut as Carmen in Natchez Opera Festival conducted by Christopher Larkin. She sang Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte with Pocket Opera of New York and Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia at Bleecker Street Opera in New York City.
Ms. Dayen was the soloist at a gala with the Teatro Colón Orchestra in her native Buenos Aires under the direction of her husband, David Rosenmeyer. Under the direction of Kent Tritle she was the alto soloist in the Oratorio Society’s performance of Honegger’s Le roi David on their tour of Hungary, performing at the Palace of Arts in Budapest; in Rome at the 10th International Festival of Sacred Music and Art, singing the Saint-Saëns Requiem, and at Carnegie Hall as a soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy.
As a participant in the International Vocal Arts Institute, Ms. Dayen has sung in several productions in Israel, Puerto Rico, and Canada. She appeared in galas in the Israeli Opera House, outdoor concerts in the old City of Jaffa with the Israeli Chamber Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico.
Malena Dayen made her Merkin Concert Hall debut with Ravel’s Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé. A Spanish music and tango specialist, she made her Weill Recital Hall debut performing De Falla’s Siete canciones populares Españolas and Granados’ Tonadillas. She has been a featured soloist with the Columbia University Bach Society, performing Mozart’s Concert Aria “Ch’io mi scordi di te,” Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Dido), Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder, the world premieres of works by composers Robert Cuckson and David Ames, and works by Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart. Ms. Dayen is a graduate of Mannes College of Music.
JOHN TIRANNO, TENOR
Tenor John Tiranno is acknowledged as a talented and versatile singer throughout the United States and Canada with performances spanning baroque, classical, verismo, and contemporary genres. The New York Times has called his singing "ardent and mellifluous.” During the 2011–2012 season, Mr. Tiranno performed with the Oratorio Society at the 10th International Festival of Sacred Music and Art in Rome. In addition, he debuted with Florentine Opera (Elder Hayes in Carlisle Floyd's Susannah) as well as with the Center for Contemporary Opera (in Mark Grant's The Human Zoo) and returned to Teatro Grattacielo as Il Maestro delle Acque in Italo Montemezzi's La Nave.
Performances in 2011 include the U.S. premiere of Juraj Filas' Oratio spei (Sacred Music in a Sacred Space), Bach's St. John Passion and Franck's Mass in A (Saint Andrew Music Society), Rachmaninoff's Vespers (Musica Sacra), Bach's St. John Passion (Oriana Singers), Noro di Gozzo in I Compagnacci and Il Prete in Il Re (Teatro Grattacielo), and Mozart's Coronation Mass as part of the Make Music New York Festival.
Performances in previous seasons include creating the role of Trouble in Gisle Kverndokk's Max and Moritz (New York Opera Society), Hoffmann in Les contes d'Hoffmann (Hillman Opera, SUNY Fredonia), Belmonte in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Concert Opera of Philadelphia), Captain Richard Warrington in Victor Herbert's Naughty Marietta (Light Opera of New York), Handel's Messiah (National Academy Orchestra of Canada and Dayton Philharmonic), Totonno in Wolf-Ferrari's I Gioielli della Madonna (Teatro Grattacielo), and the world premiere of Gregory Walker's The Passion According to St. Toscanini (Boulder Philharmonic).
Mr. Tiranno is a winner of the Dorothy Strayer Premier Music award and the Pittsburgh Concert Society Major Audition.
JOSHUA SOUTH, BARITONE
Career highlights for baritone Joshua South include his Carnegie Hall debut singing the role of Riff in the New York Philharmonic’s West Side Story Suites, his Avery Fisher Hall debut with the American Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein, and his New York City debut with Kent Tritle in the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space concert series. He appeared at Brooklyn Academy of Music in the critically acclaimed staging of Bach's St. Matthew Passion directed by Sir Jonathan Miller. The New York Times called his portrayal of Peter “unforgettable.” He was also a member of the chorus in the New York premiere of Elliot Goldenthal's Grendel under the direction of Julie Taymor, as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. During March 2010 Mr. South presented recitals in Xiamen and Shanghai, China.
In the 2006–2007 season Joshua South appeared in the U.S. premiere of Paul McCartney’s oratorio Ecce cor meum at Carnegie Hall. He was also a member of the Servants’ Chorus in a semistaged production of My Fair Lady with the New York Philharmonic. Mr. South is an active ensemble singer whose credits include engagements with the New York Choral Artists, the Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola, Temple Emanu-El, and Concert Chorale of New York. He serves as a soloist and cantor at the Cathedral of St. Patrick, broadcast internationally on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
The multitalented Joshua South plays piano for the Ballet Academy East, is a professional photographer, and has appeared in The Notorious Bettie Page. Television credits include PBS Live from Lincoln Center, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and Good Morning, America.