February 22 at 8:00 pm
The Akron Symphony Orchestra presents a trio of towering works, including Mozart's Requiem, which shares dark mysteries through its lyric beauty.
Did You Know?
Mozart’s Requiem was composed in 1791 and was left unfinished at the time of his death. Mozart composed his Requiem with the belief it was for himself, but the work was actually commissioned by an anonymous nobleman, who had intended to pass it off as his own. (Source: Classic FM)
The facts surrounding Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony are scarce and mysterious, which has only heightened the intrigue over the years. There was no mention of this symphony made during the composer’s lifetime. It lay buried, like hidden treasure, in Anselm Hüttenbrenner’s cluttered study until the 1860s — more than 30 years after Schubert’s death — when it was dusted off to take its place as No. 8 among the known Schubert symphonies. (Source: CSO Sounds and Stories)
Beethoven composed no fewer than four different overtures for his opera, Fidelio, including three that bear the name of the opera’s heroine, Leonore. (Source: The Kennedy Center)
Gabrielle Haigh (Soprano)
Northeast Ohio native Gabrielle Haigh (Laurel School 2009) is enjoying a career which balances opera, operetta, concert work, choral singing and art song in equal measure.
With the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra under Nicholas McGegan, Gabrielle has performed as Angel in Handel’s Joshua and Benjamin in Handel’s Joseph and His Brethren. She has appeared as soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s B Minor Mass with the San Jose Baroque Orchestra, and in Vaughan Williams’ Hodie with the Nova Vista Symphony.
In 2019, Gabrielle performed at Lyric Opera Studio Weimar as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus and as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and appeared in opera gala concerts with the Thüringer Sinfoniker Saalfeld-Rudolstadt. An avid recitalist, she was a 2019 Colburn Foundation Fellow at Songfest in Los Angeles.
Graduating from Cambridge University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Classics, Gabrielle frequently soloed with the renowned Clare College Choir, including several Harmonia Mundi recordings. Highlights include soprano solos in Brahms’ German Requiem in Kings College Chapel and in Handel’s Birthday Ode to Queen Anne with the European Union Baroque Orchestra.
Melisa Bonetti, has been hailed by Opera today as “a warm, supple mezzo that struck all the right impressions” and as “commanding a wonderful presence in the lower middle voice but also easily soaring heavenward with a well-schooled top.”
Melisa’s 2018-2019 season includes Olga Olsen in Street Scene and Zerlina in Don Giovanni; both productions with Virginia Opera, and she also continues to perform new works and is excited to be in Virginia Opera’s new Variation Series and featured as Johanna in Breaking, Autumn in Service Provider, and Eva in An American Dream.
She is excited to revisit the role of Tyler in Three Way with Shreveport Opera, which she premiered with Nashville Opera. Melisa is also looking forward to revisiting the role of Mercedes, this time alongside Denyce Graves as Carmen, with the Richmond Symphony.
Concert performances include Das Knabe Wunderhorn, selections with the Richmond Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah with the Dayton Philharmonic, El Amor Brujo with the Queens Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 & Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Queens College Orchestra.
Timothy Culver (Tenor)
Timothy Culver has been described as having “a rich but penetrating tenor” and that he “faces florid tenor writing with a fearless vivacity.” Since his professional debut in 2003, he has performed almost 40 different stage roles.
Equally at home in both operatic and musical theatre works, Timothy has performed with Atlanta Opera, Ann Arbor Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Cleveland Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Porthouse Theatre, Akron Symphony, Bar Harbor Music Festival and the Cleveland Orchestra.
Recent roles include Cavaradossi in Tosca, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Luigi in Il Tabarro, Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Canio in I Pagliacci, Il duca di Mantua in Rigoletto, Alfredo in La Traviata and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore. During the inaugural season of the Opera Theatre of Lucca in Lucca, Italy, Timothy performed and studied under the direction of internationally renowned baritone, Lorenzo Malfatti.
Currently, Timothy is an Associate Professor of Voice at the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University, where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He resides in Stow with his wife and three children.
Brian Keith Johnson
Brian Keith Johnson is nationally acclaimed for his opera and oratorio performances and his “powerful presence” and “rich and gleaming” voice.
He has received raves for performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Blossom Festival Orchestra, New Opera Festival di Roma Orchestra in Rome, Italy, Canton Symphony, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Springfield Orchestra, Carolina Master Chorale, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Porthouse Theatre, Cleveland Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, The San Jose Ballet and The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
Area audiences know Brian from appearances with the WPO and star roles in Opera Western Reserve’s productions of Porgy and Bess, Barber of Seville, La Boheme, Pagliaci, Traviata, Madame Butterfly, Carmen, and The Marriage of Figaro.
Born and raised in Warren, Brian received his bachelor’s degree from The University of Akron. He studied abroad at The New Opera Academy of Rome in Italy and at The American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. In 2018 Brian was inducted into the Warren City Schools Alumni Hall of Fame.
Brian is in his 30th year as a music teacher for The Akron Public School System, where he teaches general music at Findley CLC.