Yom Ha’Shoah 2018 Holocaust Commemoration
A TRIBUTE TO THE HUMAN SPIRIT: VERDI’S REQUIEM
Sunday, April 15 at 4 pm
Chizuk Amuno Congregation, 8100 Stevenson Road, Pikesville, MD 21208
Holocaust Commemoration Ceremony
Jenni Bank, mezzo-soprano
Natanya Washer, soprano
Dr. Min Jin, tenor
Jeffrey Williams, bass
Morgan State University Choir
The free afternoon program includes a Holocaust Commemoration Ceremony and a performance of Verdi’s dramatic masterpiece Requiem, a breathtaking and varied piece expressing a full range of emotion from terror, joy, uncertainty, and the indelible strength of the human spirit in the face of tragedy. Between 1943 and 1944, the Requiem was performed 16 times by the prisoners of Theresienstadt, a Nazi concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, directed by interned composer Rafael Schächter. Our performance of Verdi’s Requiem at the Chizuk Amuno Synagogue will feature the Morgan State University Choir joining with the Bach in Baltimore Choir and Orchestra. Two hundred and fifty musicians will together recreate Verdi’s “most famous opera” in remembrance of the Shoah and in an affirmation of our shared humanity.
On Wednesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. in the Krieger Auditorium at Chizuk Amuno Congregation, please join us for a viewing of the feature-length documentary film Defiant Requiem that depicts the story of the Nazi concentration camp Theresienstad. Led by imprisoned conductor Rafael Schächter, the inmates of the inmates of Theresienstad fought back…with art and music. Through hunger, disease, and slave labor, the Jewish inmates of Terezin hold onto their humanity by staging plays, composing opera, performing opera’s like Verdi’s Requiem, and using paper and ink to record the horrors around them. This film presentation will help prepare you for the performance of Verdi’s Requiem on Sunday, April 15. This is FREE, NON-TICKETED event.
“Jenni Bank produces a deep, dark penetrating tone, one that can extract verdian richness.” Baltimore Sun
Praised as “lush” by The Wall Street Journal, mezzo-soprano Jenni Bank’s voice has a “deep, dark, penetrating tone…that can extract Verdian richness” (The Baltimore Sun). Ms. Bank was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and grew up in Binghamton, New York knowing from a young age that she wanted to be a singer. Following early studies in voice, she attended The Peabody Conservatory and participated in the prestigious Young Artist programs at Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Opera New Jersey. Additionally, she was a member of the world-renowned Filene Young Artist Program at Wolf Trap Opera where she performed the roles of Marcellina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Samira in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles to rave reviews. In 2017 Ms. Bank returned to Seattle Opera to make her main stage debut performing Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Last season also included her debut with Knoxville Opera as Ruth in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, a return to the Young Victorian Theatre Company of Baltimore as Little Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore, Emilia in Rossini’s Otello with the Bard Summer Music Festival, and a Third Lady cover with The Chicago Lyric Opera. This season Ms. Bank will debut with Hawaii Opera Theatre as the Marquise in La fille du régiment, sing La Zia Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica in Columbus, and return to both The Florentine Opera to perform Third Lady in The Magic Flute and Baltimore Concert Opera as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd.
Also known for her prowess in contemporary opera, Ms. Bank performed the role of The Duchess in The American Premier of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for which Opera News called her performance “a standout”, proclaiming she possessed a “luscious, dramatic voice and plenty of stage humor.” She made her European Debut singing Chin’s Scenes From Alice in Wonderland with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and has performed this work many times, including with the Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester in Bergen, The Oslo Opera House in Norway, The Seoul Philharmonic at Lotte Concert Hall in South Korea, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall, and at the Barbican Centre in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Bank also created the role of Firdhaus Noman in the World Premiere adaptation of Salmon Rushdie’s novel Shalimar the Clown, composed by Jack Perla with a libretto by Rajiv Joseph, at Opera Theatre Saint Louis and will be featured in the much-anticipated release of the cast recording.
Ms. Bank’s recent performances include Mary in Die Fliegende Holländer and Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with Florentine Opera Company, The Old Lady in Candide and Mrs. Peachum in Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera with Amarillo Opera, and Golde in Fiddler on the Roof with Ash Lawn Opera. Lauded for her interpretation of Verdi’s music, Ms. Bank has also performed Azucena in Verdi’s Il Trovatore with Opera in the Heights for which the Houston Chronicle said, “Bank is her own force of nature and achingly conveyed her obsessed gypsy heart through masterful command of her stupendous voice, praised her for her performance. Thrilling to behold, it’s like hearing the waves of the sea”. She returned to the company to sing The Witch in Hänsel und Gretel to further rave reviews. Other performance repertoire includes Dame Quickly in Falstaff, Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos, Frugola in Il Tabarro, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Martha in Faust, Giulietta and La voix de la mere in Les Contess d’Hoffmann, Miss Todd in The Old Maid and the Thief, Petra in A Little Night Music, Fairy Queen in Iolanthe, Katisha in The Mikado, Filipyevna in Eugene Onegin, Argento’s orchestrated Casa Guidi song cycle, and mezzo solos in the Verdi Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Bruckner Te Deum, Szymanowski Stabat Mater, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
Additionally, Ms. Bank has been featured numerous times on public television and radio as an up-and-coming artist. She recently returned to both her hometown to sing the role of Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with Tri-Cities Opera and to her country of birth to sing a recital in Cape Town. Ms. Bank is the winner of a prestigious Sullivan Foundation Award, a finalist in the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Competition, winner of The Harold Haugh Competition, 2nd place winner in the Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year Competition, a semi-finalist in the Competizione dell’Opera in Germany, and was semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
“At the sound of her voice the audience is immediately charmed.” ~ BmoreArt, 2014
Natanya Sheva Washer was the first youth soloist to perform with the El Paso Symphony in 2007. She was the one millionth dollar recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Scholarship Award of $10,000. Experienced in solo recitals and performance since her symphony debut, Ms. Washer has performed with various venues and artists mostly in the Baltimore and El Paso area. She made her debut as an international soloist in October 2013 singing with “Britain’s Got Talent” winner, Paul Potts, and the Juarez Symphony Orchestra.
With the BSO under Marian Alsop, Ms. Washer was in the chorus of Honeggar’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher at Carnegie Hall in 2011. With the Peabody Singers and the Concert Artists of Baltimore directed by Edward Polochick, she performed Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric Opera House in 2012.
Currently the soprano soloist at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian, Ms. Washer has premiered choral works as the featured soloist with the Tiffany Concert Series. She has been recorded for posterity by the Maryland Historical Society as part of the official tribute to J. Spenser Hammond.
Tenor Dr. Min Jin has a versatile and wide-ranging career as a leading operatic tenor, recitalist, conductor, and voice professor. Praised for his easy lyricism, emotional intensity, and extraordinary top notes, Dr. Jin has delighted audiences throughout the world. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center as a recitalist, opera performer, and oratorio soloist with choral societies. His past opera performances include leading roles in La Boheme, Lucia di Lammermoor, Romeo et Juliette, Carmen, L’elisir d’amore, The Magic Flute, La Rondine, La Traviata, Tosca, Manon, Werther, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and La Vera Costanza. He has performed with the New Jersey State Opera, Ann Arbor Opera, Aspen Opera, Rochester Mercury Opera, Dicapo Opera, Academic Opera, Mannes Opera, Eastman Opera, Grand Valley State University, Kwang Ju City Opera, and Po Hang City Opera.
As an oratorio and chamber music soloist, he has been featured in Carmina Burana and Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings with the Finger Lake Music Festival and the Grand Valley State University. Other featured solo engagements have included Haydn’s Creation and The Seasons, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Requiem, Dubois’ The Seven Last Word of Christ, Mendelssohn’s St. Paul and Elijah, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Mass in C Major and Symphony No. 9, Frank’s Mass in A Op. 12, and Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G and Mass in A flat with orchestras in the U.S. and around the world.
He was a first prize winner of the Artist International Music Competition, Korean Music Association Competition, and a winner of the Heida Hermann International Voice Competition, the Oratorio Society Voice Competition, and a finalist in the Caruso International Voice Competition.
Dr. Jin holds a D.Mus.A. degree in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music. He served as a principal conductor for the Tedeum Choir in Chicago and as the orchestra conductor at the Central Wesleyan Church in Holland. As a studio voice teacher, many of Dr. Jin’s students are awarded at voice competitions, festivals, and young artist programs at the national and international levels. He currently works as an assistant professor of voice at Towson University.
Jeffrey Williams has been hailed by The Baltimore Sun as “very likable, a winning performance sung with much confidence, phrasing everything stylishly,” and the Miami Herald as possessing a “commanding, sizeable, effortless, manly baritone.” He has portrayed a wide range of characters including Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Lord Ruthven in Der Vampyr, Lionel in Maid of Orleans, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Prince Yeletsky in Pique Dame, and the titular role in Figaro, among others. Williams was a Nashville Opera Mary Ragland Young Artist and a Seagle Music Colony Young Artist. He is a frequent soloist in the oratorio and concert works of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Mendelssohn, and Saint-Saëns, among others. He has been part of the John Duffy Composers Institute and Virginia Arts Festival in Norfolk, VA, premiering operatic works of living operatic composers. Williams has received multiple awards including an Arleen Auger Memorial Fund Study Grant, the Cynthia Vernardakis Award at the Orpheus National Voice Competition, as well as being a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Mid-South Regional Finalist. He is currently on the voice faculty at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. For more information, please visit jeffreywilliamsbaritone.com.
Bach in Baltimore gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the following, who helped make this performance possible:
William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund
Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Memorial Foundation
Maryland State Arts Council
The Citizens of Baltimore County
Lee M. Hendler Philanthropic Fund
Peggy & Yale Gordon Trust
The Baltimore Jewish Council
Chizuk Amuno Congretation
RESERVE TICKETS NOW:
Although the TRIBUTE TO THE HUMAN SPIRIT: VERDI’S REQUIEM on April 15 at 4 p.m. is FREE, tickets are required. Please select the number of tickets you would like to reserve and click on “Buy Tickets.” Then complete the form on the next page with your contact information, so that we can ensure that you will have seats for this concert.
Tickets are not required for the viewing of the film Defiant Requiem on Wednesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. in the Krieger Auditorium at Chizuk Amuno Congregation.
Online sales for A Tribute to the Human Spirit: Verdi’s Requiem end on April 14 at 11:55 p.m., but limited tickets may be available at the door 30 minutes prior to the start of the concert. However, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for patrons to secure tickets before online sales end.