Ohio Philharmonic Offers Mozart, Marriage & The Prague - May 7th, 2011

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Saturday, May 7th at 7:00 pm The Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra will perform at the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, 3630 Fairmount Blvd. Shaker Heights, OH 44118. The concert is an exciting Mozart Fest and is free and open to the public. This Mozart celebration will include a first program of Mozart’s Symphony no.38, the "Prague" – and a second program of selections from the opera, the Marriage of Figaro. The Ohio Philharmonic’s Maestro and Music director is Domenico Boyagian. William Laufer is the Artistic and Executive Director. A full professional symphony orchestra, The OPO is made up of the most gifted Ohio based musicians. The Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra, Inc, is a not-for profit 501-C-3 organization headquartered in Cleveland OH. A free will offering will be taken at the concert.

Domenico Boyagian is a gifted young maestro who brings excitement to both the orchestra and the audience.

On Saturday evening, May 7th at 7:00 pm The Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Mozart in a free and open to the public. The venue is the historic First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland located at 3630 Fairmount Blvd. in Shaker Heights, OH 44118.

Artistic Director William Laufer announced that the musical celebration will feature Mozart’s Symphony no.38, the "Prague" symphony, followed by vocal selections from the opera the Marriage of Figaro. The orchestra will be conducted by Italian maestro and OPO music director, Domenico Boyagian and feature a 6 singer ensemble: John Watson as Figaro, Megan Hamm, Susanna, Catheryne Shuman, the Countess, Mark Wanich, the Count, Elizabeth Frey as Cherubino and Michael Talerico as Don Basilio. A post concert reception will take place in the church’s on-premises Spahr Center.

Mr. Domenico Boyagian was born and raised in Bologna, Italy and began his music studies at the age of 6. He is quickly proving himself to be equally comfortable with both the orchestral and operatic repertory. In addition to his duties as the Music Director and Conductor of the Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra, he is Assistant Conductor of Opera Southwest in Albuquerque (NM).

He was recently reinvited to lead performances of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci in Toronto, where last year he made his Canadian debut, conducting a new production of La Traviata for Opera Belcanto of South Simcoe. Also, in the Fall Mr. Boyagian will continue his duties as Assistant Conductor of Opera Southwest in a new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Domenico Boyagian is a recipient of the CPAC’s Creative Workforce Fellowship given to “outstanding Cuyahoga County artists.” He is very excited to lead the Ohio Philharmonic in its debut concert.

Mr. William Laufer is the Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra's Artistic and Executive Director. He studied at Boston College, graduated from Georgetown University and got his MBA from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. This emerging vibrant and young orchestra is the inspiration of this Cleveland native who also founded the Powers Concert Series at the former Saint Ann Church, now part of the Communion of Saints Parish. Mr. Laufer’s interests in classical music came from a love of the trumpet, an instrument that he and his father both played. A former President of the Friends of CIM board and member of the CIM board, Mr. Laufer has actively been involved in supporting classical music and the Ohio music scene for nearly twenty years. He is an award winning film producer, director and writer. He co-produced the feature Christmas at Maxwell’s with his daughter, Tiffany Laufer, Laurel School Young Alumna of Distinction. He is President of Laufer Film and a founding member of the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival. He is an active member of the Georgetown University Alumni Community. Mr. Laufer obtained his MBA from CWRU; he is also a CPA in the state of Ohio.

John Gray Watson (Figaro), baritone, is a graduate from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance. His more notable performances at CIM include Papageno in the Magic Flute, Peter in Hänsel und Gretel, and Die Musiklehrer from Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos. Recently, Mr. Watson performed the roles of The Judge from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury and Elviro from Handel’s Xerxes. In 2006 Mr. Watson had his professional debut in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro as the gardner Antonio with the Duke Symphony Orchestra. On occasion he has sung with Opera Cleveland, performing in choruses and at gala events. This past fall Mr. Watson had the great pleasure of performing our National Anthem for his hometown team, the Cleveland Browns, at Cleveland Browns’ Stadium.

Megan Hamm (Susanna), a soprano in the Cleveland area, has been praised for her “gleaming” and “affecting” performances. Ms. Hamm is finishing up her Professional Studies Certification at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studies with Dr. Mary Schiller. During her time at CIM, she has performed the roles of Romilda in Handel’s Serse, Violetta in La Traviata, and Suor Genevieve in Suor Angelica. In her native Oklahoma, Ms. Hamm also performed The Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. She is a frequent concert soloist, having appeared at such venues as the Kennedy Center and Severance Hall.

Catheryne Shuman (Countess), a soprano, is a professional studies student of Clifford Billions. At CIM, she starred in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos, as Agathe from Der Freischütz and was most recently seen on CIM’s stage as Arminda in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious Irvin Bushman Memorial Vocal Prize at CIM, and won the Bellini Award and Audience Choice Award in the Orpheus Competition’s student category. This year, she competed as a Young Artist and won the Mozart Award. Next year, she will be working towards a Professional Diploma in Opera at Roosevelt University CCPA and will be performing with Chicago Opera Theater as a young artist.

Mark Wanich (The Count) is an Artist Diploma student at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Clifford Billions. He is a graduate of CIM (PS), Middle Tennessee State University (MA) and Georgia Southern University (BM), all in Vocal Performance. At CIM, Mark has been heard as Nardo (la finta giardiniera), Elviro (Serse), Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos), Claudio (Béatrice et Bénédict) and Papageno (Die Zauberflöte). Mark frequently performs German lied, recently having sung Schubert’s Winterreise. Mark will be an Emerging Artist with Opera New Jersey this summer, and has been a member of Nashville Opera's Fellowship program and Opera Cleveland's Short-Term Residency. This Spring, Mark is seen as the baritone soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Ashland Symphony, the Count in a program of le Nozze di Figaro with the Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra, The Learned Judge in Trial Jury with CIM and Ben in The Telephone at the Brecksville Theater on the Square.
Elizabeth Frey (Cherubino) is a mezzo-soprano and master’s student at CIM, studying under Mary Schiller. She has performed the role of Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the Maryland Opera Society. She has also performed the role of Arsamene in the CIM production of Handel's Xerxes, the role of Dryad in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, as well as scenes from Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, Thomas' Mignon, and Verdi's Falstaff. A native of California, Ms. Frey appeared as the Mother in UC Davis’ production of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors for which she was given the UC Davis Vocal Excellence award.

Michael Talerico (Don Basilio) is a tenor and is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was most recently seen as Podesta in La finta giardiniera at Cleveland Institute of Music, he has also been seen as Pluton in Orphée aux enfers, Menelas in La Belle Helene, and Bobinet in La Vie Parisienne with the Franco American Vocal Academy and Périgueux Opera in Périgueux, France. In 2010 he joined the recently formed Boston Metro Opera where he sang the role of Fritzchen in Lischen et Fritzchen. He has also performed as Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, and Ernesto in Don Pasquale with the American Singers Opera Project in North Carolina. He has also sung Role of Camille in Die lustige witwe as well as Eisenstein and Alfred in Die Fledermaus for the West Virginia Opera Theatre.

Michael Talerico (Don Basilio) has appeared as a soloist with the Washington Festival Arts Choir and Washington Choir in Washington Pennsylvania, and last December, sang the tenor solos in Handel's Messiah with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and in the Summer of 2009 he sang the famous Pearl Fishers Duet in Périgueux France as part of an Opera Gala for the Franco American Vocal Academy. He received his BM in Vocal Performance at West Virginia University and is currently pursing an MM in Vocal Performance at Cleveland Institute of Music. He studies with Vinson Cole.

This concert is a benefit for the Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra, and sponsorships opportunities for the OPO are available. For those not able to attend the concert but who would like to support this effort of the OPO, donations can be made on line at Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra. The Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra, Inc, is an Ohio not for profit 501-C-3 organization.

The Ohio Phil performs through out the state of Ohio and offers educational programs that bring an understanding and appreciation of orchestral music to all ages but particularly to younger audiences. Additionally, the Ohio Philharmonic performs larger venue concerts for community, civic and private organizations as well as performing and recording music for movies and special events. Tiffany Laufer is heading up the OPO educational video and film area. Ms. Laufer is an AFI graduate, award winning film director and published author. The OPO is available for national and international engagements.

Large groups are requested to contact the Ohio Philharmonic if possible with seat requirements. Any questions or donation issues can be directed to William Laufer, Artistic Director, 216-229-4444.

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