The splendor and elegance of Old Europe come to The Sembrich on Saturday, September 5th at 6:30 pm with VISIONS of VIENNA, a gala performance featuring acclaimed tenor William Ferguson and pianist Kenneth Merrill.
An elegant lakeside reception with champagne, Austrian wines and catered delicacies follows the hour-long performance. The Viennese music continues with harpist Lydia Zotto and Strauss waltzes performed by the Hyperion String Quartet.
Tickets, for the benefit of The Sembrich's summer performance series, are $125.
Set against the magical but turbulent backdrop of early 1930's Europe, VISIONS of VIENNA tells a bittersweet tale of first love and celebrates the vibrant music of European operetta and music-hall composers in a soaring and beautiful evening of romance, song and story.
Performed in English, German and French, VISIONS of VIENNA is comprised of vintage Viennese operetta and song selections, including works by Franz Lehar, Fritz Kreisler, Johann Strauss and Noel Coward.
Tenor William Ferguson, a Marilyn Horne Foundation grant winner, has been enlisted for appearances by numerous opera companies and orchestras throughout the world. Highlights of his career include performances as Beppe in Pagliacci with The Metropolitan Opera and the title role in Candide at New York City Opera.
Pianist Kenneth Merrill, a faculty member at both the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools, has appeared in concert with some of the most prominent singers of our time, including Anna Moffo, Gérard Souzay and Regina Resnick.
VISIONS of VIENNA concludes The Sembrich's 2015 series, ON WINGS OF SONG, The Marriage of Music and Poetry.
"This celebration of Vienna is an appropriate way for us to close this series," states Sembrich Artistic Director Richard Wargo, "Since it was in Vienna that the young Marcella Sembrich's vocal promise was first truly recognized."
In 1875 at the age of 17, Marcella Sembrich auditioned for composer Franz Liszt, playing piano, violin and singing for the master. Though Liszt was impressed by all of her talents, he singled out Marcella's vocal potential and counseled her "to take flight on wings of song."
"So Vienna holds a place of great importance for us," continues Wargo, "Not only for this season and our ON WINGS OF SONG series, but for our very history and legacy as The Sembrich."