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JoAnne Wasserman to Steer Choral Society Tour of Italy With Composer Morten Lauridsen

Santa Barbara Choral Society Conductor JoAnne Wasserman Click to view larger
Santa Barbara Choral Society Conductor JoAnne Wasserman (Courtesy photo)
Composer Morten Lauridsen Click to view larger
Composer Morten Lauridsen (Courtesy photo)

On June 14, Santa Barbara Choral Society Conductor JoAnne Wasserman will lead a combined chorus of singers from the Choral Society and Berkeley’s University of California Alumni Chorus to Italy for concerts in Naples, Rome, Florence, Pisa and Lecco. 

Traveling with the group will be the legendary composer Morten Lauridsen, arguably one of America’s finest living composers, and his works will be featured in both concert repertoires.

With Orchestra Nova Amadeus in Naples and Pisa, Wasserman will conduct the chorus and four talented soloists in performances of Mozart’s Requiem and Lauridsen’s signature work, the ethereal “Lux Aeterna.”

Soprano Tamara Bevard, mezzo soprano Tracy Van Fleet, tenor William Smith and baritone Ralph Cato will thrill Italian audiences with their voices.

In Rome, Florence and Lecco, the group will delight Italian audiences with an a cappella and keyboard accompanied repertoire concert, “A World of Song,” featuring the works of mainly American composers, including traditional American Spirituals and the works of Aaron Copland, Stephen Paulus and a set of Lauridsen favorites, including his “O Magnum Mysterium,” “Dirait-on,” from the suite Les Chansons des Roses, and “Sure on this Shining Night.” On the latter two pieces, Lauridsen will accompany the chorus on keyboard.

“We are delighted to serve as cultural ambassadors of the vibrant Santa Barbara arts scene to the wider global community and to introduce these audiences to the works of Dr. Lauridsen and other great American composers,” Wasserman said.

Portions of this concert were recently enjoyed by attendees at the Choral Society’s annual spring gala at Rockwood Woman’s Club.

The trip abroad is the fourth international performance tour for the Santa Barbara Choral Society and Wasserman, with previous tours to Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary in 2005; Italy and Bavaria (including Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican) in 2007 and Spain in 2011 (the latter also with members of UCAC chorus.)

Mary Dan Eades is the vice president of the board and director of marketing of the Santa Barbara Choral Society.

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