Program Notes

Classical Christmas

December 16, 2021

Join us for a night of Classical Christmas pieces to help bring in the joy of the holidays. Performed by an array of talented vocalists and chorus to celebrate this joyous time of year.

LPO Musicians

Guest Artists

Frazier Singers

Haley Whitney (vocalist)

Kameron Lopreore (vocalist)

Tyler Smith (vocalist)

Program

“Jauchzet Frohlocket” from Christmas Oratorio, BWV
248
Jauchzet, frohlocket! Auf, preiset die Tage
Meg Frazier, conductorJOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
(1685 – 1750)

“There Shall a Star Come Out of Jacob” from Christus, Opus 97
Meg Frazier, conductor
FELIX MENDELSSOHN
(1809 – 1847)

Shepherd’s Farewell from L’Enfance du Christ, Opus 25
Meg Frazier, conductor
1850 – 1854
HECTOR BERLIOZ
(1803 – 1869)

March of the Kings
Meg Frazier, conductor
TRADITIONAL / Duain Wolfe

“Farandole” from L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2
Farandole
1872
GEORGES BIZET
(1838 – 1875)

Ave Maria, Op. 52, No. 6, D. 839
Haley Whitney, soprano
FRANZ SCHUBERT / William Ryden
(1797 – 1828)

Fantasia on Christmas Carols
Meg Frazier, conductor
Tyler Smith, baritone
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
(1872 – 1958)

Excerpts from Messiah

-Sinfonia

PART I.

-Accompagnato (Tenor): Comfort ye, my people

-Air (Tenor): Ev’ry valley shall be exalted

-Chorus: And the Glory of the Lord

-Chorus: For unto us a Child is Born

-Air (Soprano): Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion

PART II.

-Chorus: Surely he hath borne our griefs

-Chorus: All we like sheep, have gone astray

-Aria (Soprano): How beautiful are the feet

-Chorus: Hallelujah

Meg Frazier, conductor
Haley Whitney, soprano
Kameron Lopreore, tenor
GEORGE FREDERIC HANDEL
(1685 – 1759)

Conductor

Sameer Patel

Internationally recognized for his deep musicianship and passionate communication, Sameer Patel is one of America’s most exciting young conductors.

Sameer serves as Associate Conductor of the Sun Valley Music Festival and recently concluded an acclaimed tenure as Associate Conductor of the San Diego Symphony, where he reinvigorated the orchestra’s programming and connection with its community. This season, Sameer makes debuts with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, and the Florida Orchestra, as well as return engagements with the Knoxville Symphony and La Jolla Symphony. Recent performances include Puccini’s Tosca with Houston’s Opera in the Heights, as well as concerts with the orchestras of Toronto, St. Louis, Detroit, New Jersey, Phoenix, Sacramento, Toledo, New Hampshire, Bozeman, Savannah, Fresno, Knoxville, Alabama, Naples, Reading, and Jacksonville, as well as the National Symphony in Washington, D.C, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Abroad, he has conducted acclaimed performances with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo, the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana, the Leipziger Sinfonieorchester. With an unending enthusiasm for the music of our time, Sameer has championed music by living composers such as Adam Schoenberg, Anna Clyne, Mason Bates, Ellen Reid, Hannah Lash, Tan Dun, and many others. As a proud product of public school music education, Sameer dedicates time in his schedule each season to working with youth orchestras and All-State orchestras around the country.

Sameer’s impressive work spans three continents and has led to recognition from the Solti Foundation U.S., which granted him three consecutive Career Assistance Awards and an Elizabeth Buccheri Opera Residency with North Carolina Opera. In 2016 he was recognized by Daniele Gatti as a top conductor at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy, which led to his acclaimed debut with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo. In 2013, Kurt Masur, the late Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, recognized Sameer’s talents with a prize from the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Foundation, which allowed him to study with and assist Maestro Masur in his appearances with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. That same year, Sameer was one of only six conductors selected by the League of American Orchestras for the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, which led to subsequent, multiple engagements with that orchestra. In the early stages of his career, he held conducting positions with the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

Sameer studied at the University of Michigan and furthered his training across Europe with some of the greatest conductors of our time, including Gianandrea Noseda, Daniele Gatti, the late Kurt Masur, Bernard Haitink, David Zinman, and Paavo Järvi. His experiences were further developed through assisting Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Edo de Waart, Robert Spano, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, and Jaap van Zweden, among many others.

Proud to be born and raised in Michigan, Sameer currently makes his home in San Diego with his wife, Shannon, their three-year-old son, Devan, and their infant daughter, Veda. In his spare time, Sameer pursues his passions for literature, languages, jazz, traveling, history, and tennis.

Guest Artist Bios

Haley Whitney

Soprano, Haley Whitney has enthralled local audiences with her elegant lyric singing and sparkling theatricality. She most recently performed as a soloist for New Orleans Opera’s concert series, “Opera in Our Yard.” Haley was a festival artist with Opera Saratoga in the summer of 2020.

In 2019, she performed as a soloist for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Baroque Christmas” concert, as well as Frasquita in Carmen and Woman I in The Blind with New Orleans Opera. In the spring of 2018, she performed as Mary Jacobi in Bach’s Easter Oratorio with the LPO, Blanche de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and The Youth in Tom Cipullo’s After Life with Loyola University Opera Theater.

She also performed as Céphise in Rameau’s Pygmalion with the New Orleans Opera. Additionally, Haley performed as Rose Maurrant in Weill’s Street Scene in 2017 and Suor Geniovieffa in Suor Angelica in 2016 with the Loyola University Opera Theater. Later that year, Haley also performed as Michaëla in Carmen at Spotlight on Opera. She also performed as a soloist in Kodaly’s Missa Brevis in a stirring collaboration with New Orleans Opera and New Orleans Ballet. Haley has been a soloist and section leader at St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian church since 2015 where she has performed in multiple sacred works such as Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, The Poulenc Gloria, Mozart’s C Minor Mass, and Vaughan Williams Hodie.

In 2019, she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Loyola University New Orleans in the studio of Luretta Bybee.  She is a proud NOCCA graduate and studied under the direction of Phyllis Treigle. Haley currently studies with acclaimed mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson-Cano.

Kameron Lopreore

Hailed by Opera News as a “fresh voiced” tenor, Kameron Lopreore has delighted audiences all over the United States. This summer, he sang Tamino in The Magic Flute and Panatellas in the world premiere of Songbird at the prestigious Glimmerglass Festival.

Last season, he performed the roles of Le Remendado in Bizet’s Carmen and Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore with Pensacola Opera. In November of 2019, he traveled with The Glimmerglass Festival to perform the role of the Marquis in the culmination of Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles at the Château de Versailles in France.

He has enjoyed a two-year resident artist position with Shreveport Opera where he performed roles such as Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte, and Motel the tailor in Fiddler on the Roof. A New Orleans native, he holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in voice from Loyola University New Orleans and he is the recipient of the first Italian American Scholarship Award as well as two Metropolitan Opera National Council district winner awards.

In the summer of 2017, he performed in Chautauqua Opera’s studio artist program. Some more of his recent roles include E.T.A. Hoffman in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman, Roméo in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Candide in Bernstein’s Candide. 

Tyler Smith

Tenor Tyler Smith has appeared in numerous operatic and concert performances throughout the United States, Europe, and South America. Most recently he was seen as Canio in the Mobile Opera production of I Pagliacci and Tamino in Louisiana Opera’s production of Die Zauberflöte.  He also performed the role of Howard Boucher in New Orleans Opera’s critically acclaimed production of Dead Man Walking. 

Other appearances with Louisiana Opera include Rodolfo in La bohéme and Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana.  For Opéra Louisiane he has performed the roles of Siegmund and Siegfried in a production of The Ring: a two-hour reduction created by Michael Borowitz. For his performance as Eléazar in a highlights concert of La Juive, he won The Big Easy Award in New Orleans for Best Community Opera in 2013.

Other recent roles include Canio for New Orleans Opera and The Southern Opera & Musical Theatre’s productions of I Pagliacci as well as Maxwell in Pensacola Opera’s world premiere of The Widow’s Lantern.  For his debut as Canio with New Orleans Opera, Mr. Smith stepped in with six hours’ notice for an ailing colleague. Opera News deemed his performance a “heroic job…[a] powerful voice and was remarkably in touch with the drama.”  For Des Moines Metro Opera, he has covered the roles of Max in Der Freischütz, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Otello in Otello, and Riccardo in The Masked Ball. Other roles performed include Don Jose in Carmen, Sam in Susannah, Max in Der Freischütz, Boris in Katya Kabanova, the title role in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann, Florestan in Fidelio, and Belfiore in Argento’s Casanova’s Homecoming (released on the Newport Classics label). In 2001 he made his Houston Grand Opera Debut as Carlson in Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men (released on the Albany label). Recent roles have included Malcolm in New Orleans Opera’s production of Verdi’s Macbeth, Sam Polk in Susannah, and Alfred in Die Fledermaus for Louisiana Opera.

Equally, at home on the concert stage, Mr. Smith has performed with the Caritas Chorale, Houston Symphony, New Orleans Symphony Chorus, Orchestra X, Idaho Falls Symphony, Corpus Christi Symphony, Ars Lyrica Houston, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Some highlights include Bach’s Magnificat and St. John Passion, Vaughan Williams’ Hodie, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Creation, and Paukenmesse, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, the Verdi Requiem, the Mozart Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, Goodall’s Eternal Light Requiem, Beethoven’s Mass in C, and 9th Symphony, Schubert’s Mass in A-flat and B flat, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Britten’s Ballade of Heroes.  

Mr. Smith holds a Doctorate of Music and is currently an Extraordinary Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Voice Studies at Loyola University of New Orleans and also serves on the faculty of the International Performing Arts Institute based in Kiefersfelden, Germany. Some of his teachers have included Scharmal Schrock, David Holley, Joseph Evans, and Bill Shuman.

Frazier Singers

The Frazier Singers (selected and prepared by Meg Frazier) are talented singers from the Loyola Chorale and NOVA Chorale who love singing choral music and especially love singing it at Christmas with the LPO.

Performing with the ensemble is by invitation only; singers who are interested in joining the group can contact the NOVA Chorale at info@novachorale.org for upcoming audition information.

Lyrics

Johann Sebastian Bach: “Jauchzet Frohlocket” from Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248

Composed in 1734, Jauchzet Frohlocket is the opening movement from Bach’s Christmas Cantata, which itself serves as the opening part of his Christmas Oratorio, a massive six-part work. Bach’s intention was for a single part of the oratorio to be performed on its corresponding feast days of the Christmas season. (Jauchzet Frohlocket is intended for the celebration of Christ’s birth, or December 25th.)

——–

Jauchzet, frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage,
rühmet, was heute der Höchste getan!
Lasset das Zagen, verbannet die Klage,
stimmet voll Jauchzen und Fröhlichkeit an!

Shout for joy, exult, rise up, praise the day,
extol what the Highest has done today!
Stop being faint-hearted, banish lamentation,
strike up, full of rejoicing and exultation!

Dienet dem Höchsten mit herrlichen Chören,
lasst uns den Namen des Herrschers verehren!

Serve the Highest with splendid choirs,
let us revere the name of the sovereign!

Felix Mendelssohn: “There Shall a Star Come Out of Jacob” from Christus, Op. 97

Mendelssohn began writing this oratorio in 1846 and his work on it continued through his last year of life, but it was left incomplete at the time of is death.  Named Christus by the composer’s brother and published posthumously as opus 97, the chorale There Shall a Star Come Out of Jacob was one of the portions of the oratorio completed by Felix himself.

——–

Es wird ein Stern aus Jacob aufgehn und ein Scepter aus Israel kommen; der wird zerschmettern Fürsten und Städte.

There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, [that will splinter sovereigns and cities]

Hector Berlioz: Shepherd’s Farewell from L’Enfance du Christ, Op. 25

Described by the composer himself as a “sacred trilogy,” Berlioz composed L’Enfance du Christ (the Infant Christ) in 1854, based on text that he himself wrote. The first of the three parts of L’Enfance depicts King Herod ordering the massacre of young children in Judea, the second part shows the expectant Mary and Joseph escaping the slaughter and the final section portrays their arrival into Egypt where they are given refuge. 

——–

Il s’en va loin de la terre

Où dans l’étable il vit le jour.

De son père et de sa mère

Qu’il reste le constant amour,

Qu’il grandisse, qu’il prospère

Et qu’il soit bon père à son tour.

He goes away from the land

where, in the barn, he saw the day.

May he remain the constant love

of his father and his mother,

may he grow, may he thrive

and may he be a good father in his turn.

Oncques si, chez l’idolâtre,

Il vient à sentir le malheur,

Fuyant la terre marâtre,

Chez nous qu’il revienne au bonheur.

Que la pauvreté du pâtre

Reste toujours chère à son cœur.

If he ever come to feel unhappiness

among the idolatrous,

fleeing from the stepmother land,

may he return home to happiness.

May the poverty of the shepherd

always remain dear to his heart.

Cher enfant, Dieu te bénisse!

Dieu vous bénisse, heureux époux!

Que jamais de l’injustice

Vous ne puissiez sentir les coups.

Qu’un bon ange vous avertisse

Des dangers planant sur vous.

Dear child, God bless you!

God bless you, happy couple!

May you never never feel

the blows of injustice.

May a good angel warn you

of the dangers hovering over you.

Traditional: March of the Kings

Three great kings I met at early morn

With all their retinue were slowly marching

Three great kings I met at early morn

Were on their way to meet the newly born

With gifts of gold brought from far away

And valiant warriors to guard the royal treasure

With gifts of gold brought from far away

Their shields all shining in their bright array

Ce matin, j’ai rencontre le train

De trois grands rois qui allaient en voyage

Ce matin, j’ai rencontre le train

De trois grands rois dessus le grand chemin

Tout charges d’or les suivaient d’abord

De grands guerriers et les gardes du tresor

Tout charges d’or les suivaient d’abord

De grands guerriers avec leurs boucliers

For Thy mercy and Thy grace

Constant through another year

Hear our song of thankfulness

Father and Redeemer hear

Dark the future; let Thy light

Guide us, bright and morning star

Fierce our foes and hard the fight

Arm us Savior for the war

In our weakness and distress

Rock of strength be Thou our stay

In the pathless wilderness

Be our true and living way

Keep us faithful; keep us pure

Keep us evermore Thine own

Help, O help us to endure

Fit us for the promised crown

Georges Bizet: “Farandole” from L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2    

Georges Bizet composed L’Arlésienne as incidental music to Alphonse Daudet’s play of the same name. It was first performed on 1 October 1872, with the composer himself playing the off-stage harmonium. The entire body of incidental music consists of 27 individual works, some of them only a few measures in length, however his music has flourished and endured in two orchestral suites that were first published in 1872.

Franz Schubert: Ave Maria, Op. 52, No. 6, D. 839

This song is No. 6 of Schubert’s Liederzyklus vom Fräulein vom See (‘The Lady of the Lake’ song-cycle), composed in 1825. The seven songs that form the song-cycle were published in 1826 as Schubert’s Op. 52.  Often sung in Latin with an adaptation of the Roman Catholic Ave Maria text, this song is often referred to as “Schubert’s Ave Maria.”

——–

Ave Maria! Jungfrau mild,

Erhöre einer Jungfrau Flehen,

Aus diesem Felsen starr und wild

Soll mein Gebet zu dir hin wehen.

Wir schlafen sicher bis zum Morgen,

Ob Menschen noch so grausam sind.

O Jungfrau, sieh der Jungfrau Sorgen,

O Mutter, hör ein bittend Kind!

Ave Maria!

Ave, Maria! Maiden mild!

Oh listen to a maiden’s prayer;

For thou canst hear tho’ from the wild,

And Thou canst save amid despair.

Safe may we sleep beneath thy care

Tho’ banish’d outcast and reviled,

Oh, Maiden hear a maidens prayer.

Oh Mother, hear a suppliant child!

Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! Unbefleckt!

Wenn wir auf diesen Fels hinsinken

Zum Schlaf, und uns dein Schutz bedeckt,

Wird weich der harte Fels uns dünken

Du lächelst, Rosendüfte wehen

In dieser dumpfen Felsenkluft.

O Mutter, höre Kindes Flehen,

O Jungfrau, eine Jungfrau ruft!

Ave Maria!

Ave, Maria! Undefiled!

The flinty couch we now must share,

Shall seem with down of eider piled

If Thy, if Thy protection hover there.

The murky cavern’s heavy air

Shall breath of Balm if thou hast smiled;

Then, Maiden hear a maiden’s prayer.

Oh Mother, hear a suppliant child!

Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! Reine Magd!

Der Erde und der Luft Dämonen,

Von deines Auges Huld verjagt,

Sie können hier nicht bei uns wohnen

Wir woll’n uns still dem Schicksal beugen,

Da uns dein heilger Trost anweht;

Der Jungfrau wolle hold dich neigen,

Dem Kind, das für den Vater fleht!

Ave Maria!

Ave, Maria! Stainless-styled!

Foul demons of the earth and air,

From this their wonted haunt exiled,

Shall flee, shall flee before thy presence fair.

We bow us to our lot of care

Beneath Thy guidance reconciled,

Hear for a maid a maiden’s prayer;

And for a father bear a child!

Ave Maria!

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Christmas Carols

Composed in 1912, this single-movement work for baritone and orchestra features the English folk carols The Truth Sent from Above, Come, All You Worthy Gentlemen and the Sussex Carol (On Christmas night all Christians sing.) All of the songs were collected in southern England by Vaughan Williams and his friend Cecil Sharp in the preceding years.

——

This is the Truth

This is the truth sent from above,

The truth of God, the God of love;

Therefore don’t turn me from your door,

But hearken all, both rich and poor.

The first thing, which I do relate,

That God at first did man create

The next thing, which to you I tell,

Woman was made with him to dwell.

Then after this, ‘twas God’s own choice

To place them both in Paradise,

There to remain from evil free

Except they ate of such a tree.

And they did eat, which was a sin,

And thus their ruin did begin;

Ruined themselves, both you and me,

And all of their posterity.

Thus we were heirs to endless woes,

Till God the Lord did interpose

For so a promise soon did run

That He’d redeem us with a Son.

The Somerset Carol

Come all you worthy gentlemen

That may be standing by.

Christ our blessed Saviour

Was born on Christmas day.

The blessed virgin Mary

Unto the Lord did say,

O we wish you the comfort and tidings of joy!

Christ our blessed Saviour

Now in the manger lay;

He’s lying in the manger,

While the oxen fed on hay.

The blessed Virgin Mary

Unto the Lord did pray.

O we wish you the comfort and tidings of joy!

God bless the ruler of this house,

And long on may he reign;

Many happy Christmases

He live to see again!

God bless our generation

Who live both far and near;

O we wish you the comfort and tidings of joy!

Sussex Carol

On Christmas night all Christians sing

to hear the news the angels bring;

on Christmas night all Christians sing

to hear the news the angels bring:

news of great joy, news of great mirth,

news of our merciful King’s birth.

When sin departs before His grace,

then life and health come in its place;

when sin departs before His grace,

then life and health come in its place;

angels and men with joy may sing,

all for to see the newborn King.

From out of darkness we have light,

which made the angels sing this night;

all out of darkness we have light,

which made the angels sing this night:

“Glory to God and peace to men,

now and forevermore. Amen.”

George Fredrich Handel: The Messiah HWV 56 (Excerpts) 

Composed in only 24 days during 1741, the English-language oratorio has become Handel’s most enduring work, enjoying worldwide performances multiple times a year (Christmas and Easter.) With text compiled from the King James Bible by Charles Jennings, the oratorio portrays the birth, life and crucifixion of Jesus Christ through a combination of arias, ensemble and full chorus with orchestra. 

——

Accompagnato (Tenor) Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God (Isaiah 40:1–3)

Air (Tenor) Ev’ry valley shall be exalted, and ev’ry mountain and hill made low: the crooked straight and the rough places plain (Isaiah 40:4)

Chorus And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it (Isaiah 40:5)

Chorus  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)

Air (soprano) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is the righteous Saviour, and he shall speak peace unto the heathen (Zechariah 9:9–10)

Chorus Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him (Isaiah 53:4-5)

Chorus All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6)

Air (soprano) How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:15)

Chorus Hallelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” (Revelation 19:6) The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 11:15) King of Kings, and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16)

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