The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra Opens Its 22nd Season with a Birthday Party for Joe Green

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Most of us will not be remembered on our respective 200th birthdays, but Giuseppi Verdi's popularity and music lives on for all to discover and enjoy. Come celebrate great music with a performance by the KSO and fabulous singers.

Giuseppi Verdi (aka Joe Green) turns 200

The KSO guarantees that everyone attending the concert will recognize at least three tunes.

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra opens its 22nd season with a 200th birthday party for Joe Green (Giuseppi Verdi, who’s actual birthday is October 10). Verdi wrote 30 operas, and the universal appeal of his popular melodies (and the fact that they are in the public domain) have allowed advertisers to use Verdi’s music to market a variety of items like automobiles, salad dressings, restaurants, water faucets, etc. For the concert / party, the KSO has selected excerpts from ten operas and the Requiem that will have patrons humming and maybe even singing in Italian as they leave the opening night festivities.

A frequent guest of the KSO since 2000, soprano Amy Johnson, who sang the title role of Tosca in a live at Lincoln Center broadcast, will perform several lyric and dramatic arias and duets including “Ernani Involami” (Ernani), and “Pace, Pace mio Dio” (La Forza del Destino) and “Libiamo ne' lieti calici” (La Traviata). Tenor Raul Melo (a vet of both the MET and City Opera) makes his KSO debut, singing “Celeste Aida” and “Di quella pira” (Il Trovatore). Members of the West Chester Chorale, Randall Wolfe, director, will join the KSO Chorale for the rousing “Anvil Chorus”, the “Triumphal March” from Aida, the ever frightening “Dies Irae”from the Requiem and more.

"I believe Verdi's operas speak to people because his music conveys the range of human emotion — love, anger, jealousy, sadness, etc., and you can leave with the tune still in your head" said KSO music director, James Cassidy. Verdi along with Wagner (who turned 200 back in May), were the most important figures in 19th century opera, making the orchestra more a part of the mood and drama. When asked about the about the program title — Joe Green's 200th Birthday Bash, Cassidy said, "I suppose we are stealing a bit from the late Victor Borge's comedy act, but the name translated to Joe Green kinda sounds like an older friend that everyone loves and trusts."

The KSO has often celebrated a single composer in its programming, throughout the last two decades, as a way to focus on the author’s body of work and/or to highlight a particular relevant idea or concept (Last season’s Amadeus at Vespers presented the music of Mozart, yet also embraced the historical context and actual liturgy of the Vespers service). The music of John Williams, dating back to his television work, will be featured in the KSO’s season finale (May 10, 2014). Other programs on the 2013-14 campaign include the first U.S. appearance with orchestra by the world renowned 2CELLOS, a co-production with the Carnegie of The Sound of Music, and a global cornucopia of ten orchestral showpieces from 9 countries and 4 continents. The Subscription Series is sponsored by PNC. Check out the KSO website for more information on the season and great savings.

Join music director James Cassidy, the KSO and choruses, with Amy Johnson and Raul Melo 8:00 p.m., Saturday, October 5 at Florence Baptist Church at Mt. Zion. Tutti sono invitati per cannoli compleanno dopo il concerto (All are invited for birthday cannoli after the concert). Tickets are $19, $27, $35 for adults. Children 6-18 are 50% off in all sections. For more information or tickets visit or call the box office at (859) 431-6216.

About the KSO:
The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra takes the “phony” out of symphony through its live thematic concerts that culturally enrich, educate and entertain the residents of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. The KSO performs throughout Northern Kentucky performing three series of concerts each year. For more information visit

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James R. Cassidy
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra
since: 06/2009
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