THE COLLEGIATE CHORALE AND MUSIC DIRECTOR ROBERT BASS Present The Rings: Myth and Music Excerpts from Wagner’s Ring Cycle and The New York Premiere of Howard Shore’s Movements I and II “The Fellowship of the Ring” from The Lord of the Rings Symphony

Sunday, November 13 at 3 p.m.

At Carnegie Hall

New York, NY – The Collegiate Chorale, led by Robert Bass, opens its 64th season with The Rings: Myth and Music on November 13th at 3 p.m. at Carnegie Hall. Excerpts from Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle, including Die Walkϋre and Götterdämmerung and a suite from Flying Dutchman, and the New York Premiere of Movements I and II “The Fellowship of the Ring” from The Lord of the Rings Symphony by Howard Shore, will be performed.

Guest artists include Christine Goerke, soprano; Valentin Peitchinoff, bass; and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus.

The operas of Richard Wagner illustrate the profound influence of myth and legend. His “Ring” cycle and Flying Dutchman are mainstays of opera houses around the world and are notable in part for their Valkyries, giants, gnomes and ghosts. Few composers unfold supernatural forces as effectively as Wagner, matching music to story.

Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony, based on the music from his Academy Award winning film score, like the works of Wagner and others, is derived from mythological sources. In this instance, the books by J.R.R. Tolkien dramatically unfold the fable of the lowly Hobbits as they struggle against the forces of evil. The Rings Symphony has been performed more than 50 times on four continents including performances in Sydney’s Opera House and London’s Royal Albert Hall. In fall 2004 The Lord of the Rings Symphony received 25 performances in the United States and Europe, including a historic concert by the National Philharmonic of Russia in Moscow’s Kremlin Palace Theater.


Howard Shore, composer, had a record-breaking 2003/2004 awards season. His score and song for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. The Best Score “Oscar” went to the entire film score The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Shore also won a Grammy Award for his work on the previous “Rings” film, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. In 2002, he received top honors – both an Oscar and a Grammy (Best Original Score) – for The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, which also received awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics, the Chicago Film Critics and the Broadcast Film Critics.

The UK’s Classic FM voted The Lord of the Rings soundtrack the Best Film Score of All Time for two consecutive years. In addition to the recordings of his film score, Shore’s chamber music has been featured on an Arabesque Records CD entitled Reel Life – The Private Music of Film Composers, Vol. 1.

Shore’s music has been performed throughout the world. He has conducted concerts of his original music in Seville (at the Seville Film Music Festival); Melbourne (at Cinesonic’s First International Conference on Film Scores and Sound Design); and Ottawa, and at the National Arts Centre.

Shore conducted the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings Symphony: Six Movements for Orchestra and Chorus in 2003. He is currently touring the symphony, conducting performances in communities all over the world. Each of the symphony’s six movements corresponds to a book within J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. The concerts feature over two hundred onstage performers, including large orchestra, adult and boy choruses, and numerous vocal and instrumental soloists.

Howard Shore received his formal musical education at Boston’s world famous Berklee School of Music. He recorded with the group “Lighthouse” from 1969 to 1972, and was the original musical director of Saturday Night Live, where he worked with his lifelong friend Lorne Michaels between 1975 and 1980.

Christine Goerke, soprano, was the recipient of the 2001 Richard Tucker Award and has established an outstanding reputation with many of the world’s leading opera houses and orchestras. Ms. Goerke has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera (where she is an alumna of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program), the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, the New York City Opera, the Seattle Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, the Pittsburgh Opera, the Saito Kinen Festival and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

She also appeared in a series of Mozart/da Ponte operas staged by the Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-Juku Opera Project which included Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan tutte. Ms. Goerke’s many roles include the title roles in Norma, Alcina, Agrippina, and Iphigenie en Tauride; Donna Elvira and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Vitellia in Clemenza di Tito, Elletra in Idomeneo, Armida in Rinaldo, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Musetta in La Bohème, Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmelites, the Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, and Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes.

On the concert platform, Ms. Goerke has appeared with a number of the leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Houston Symphony, Sydney Symphony, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

In both opera and concerts, Ms. Goerke continues to work with some of the world’s foremost conductors including James Conlon, Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Claus Peter Flor, James Levine, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Esa-Pekka Salonen, the late Robert Shaw, Leonard Slatkin, Patrick Summers, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Edo de Waart.

Ms. Goerke’s recording of Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Classical Recording and Best Choral Performance. Her close association with Robert Shaw yielded several recordings including the Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes, Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater, and the Grammy-nominated recording of Dvorak’s Stabat Mater. Other recordings include the title role of Iphigenie in Iphigenie en Tauride for Telarc and the Britten War Requiem which won the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance.

Ms. Goerke recently made her debut at the Opera Company of Philadelphia as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, sang the Beethoven Symphony 9 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and appeared in Tokyo as Chrysothemis in Elektra.

Valentin Peitchinoff, bass, has appeared throughout his native Bulgaria in such roles as Mephistopheles in Faust, Gomez da Silva in Ernani, the title roles in Ivan Sussanin and Aleko, Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri, Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Pizarro in Fidelio, and Ramfis in Aida. In addition, he has also appeared on opera, symphony, and recital stages in Germany, Austria, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, and Poland before emigrating to the United States.

In America, he has appeared as Lanciotto in Rachmaninoff’s Francesca da Rimini and King Rene in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta with Sarasota Opera; the title role in Der Fliegende Holländer and Ramfis in Aida with Nashville Opera; King Philip in Don Carlos (in the original French) with New York Grand Opera; Zaccaria in Nabucco with Opera Hamilton, Sarasota Opera and Opera Columbus; Banquo in Macbeth and Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra and in Macbeth with Opera Hamilton; Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Calgary Opera and Mustafa with the Dublin Opera; Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Colline in La Bohème with the Florentine Opera, Opera Columbus and Hartford Opera and Timur in Turandot with Baltimore Opera.

In New York, Mr. Peitchinoff made his first appearances as Bronza in Rothchild’s Violin at The Juilliard Opera Center. Since that time, he has appeared at the New York City Opera as Prince Galitsky in Prince Igor, Basilio, Colline, and Sparafucile. He also joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in 2000.

On the concert stage, Mr. Peitchinoff has appeared in New York at Alice Tully Hall as bass soloist in Shostakovitch’s Symphony No. 14, with the Santa Fe Symphony for Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and numerous appearances for the Verdi Requiem (Carnegie Hall, West Virginia Symphony, Collegiate Chorale, Connecticut Grand Opera). In addition, he was featured soloist performances of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14 and his Suite on Poems by Michelangelo in two concerts of the music of Shostakovich as part of the International Music Festival broadcast nationwide on National Public Radio. He has appeared in recital at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, in the Gala of L’Opera de Montreal.

New York City Gay Men’s Chorus is the longest standing member of Big Apple Performing Arts, having just celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2005. New York City Gay Men’s Chorus now comprises 250 voices, appearing in three subscription concerts each year, moving between Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall as well as other world-class venues in New York City. Affirming their world-class status is a roster of classical and contemporary artists who have graced the stages with the Chorus: Marilyn Horne, Roberta Peters, Liza Minnelli, Stephen Sondheim, Barbara Cook, Carol Channing, Jerry Herman, Eartha Kitt, Joel Grey – to name just a few. In addition to the full chorus, the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus includes the 24-voice Ambassadors Chorus which serves as a community outreach ensemble.

Robert Bass, the Music Director of the Collegiate Chorale since 1980, conducts a wide repertoire including choral works and operas, and has initiated numerous commissions in his tenure. The upcoming season marks Mr. Bass’ 26th yeah with the Chorale. He made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut at the age of 26, and has since presented several operas in concert at Carnegie Hall including the New York premieres of Richard Strauss’ Friedenstag, Schubert’s Fierrabras, Respighi’s La fiamma, and the American premiere of Dvořák’s Dmitri, as well as Verdi’s Nabucco, Giovanna d’Arco (Joan of Arc), Macbeth, La Forza del Destino, Un Ballo in Maschera and Ponchielli’s La Gioconda. He also serves as artistic director of the Olga Forrai Foundation, which supports the careers of young singers and conductors, and is a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

The Collegiate Chorale, among New York’s foremost vocal ensembles, has added to the richness of the City’s cultural fabric for more than 60 years. Founded in 1941 by legendary conductor Robert Shaw, The Chorale has achieved national and international prominence under the leadership of Music Director Robert Bass, who recently celebrated his 25th Anniversary season. The Chorale has established a preeminent reputation for its interpretations of the traditional choral repertoire, vocal works by American composers and rarely heard operas-in-concert, as well as commissions and premieres of new works by today’s most exciting creative artists.

The Verbier Festival and The Collegiate Chorale

James Levine has invited The Collegiate Chorale to return to the Verbier Festival following its triumphant performance of the Verdi Requiem in August 2005. On August 3rd, 2006, The Collegiate Chorale will perform in Verdi’s Otello with soprano Barbara Frittoli, tenor Ben Heppner and baritone Carlo Guelfi. They will also participate in the closing of the Festival on August 6th in Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 9. Both concerts will be conducted by Maestro Levine.

The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, one of America’s foremost chamber orchestras, commands a mastery of a diverse repertoire spanning from the Baroque to the contemporary. First organized at the Caramoor International Music Festival in the summer of 1979, the Orchestra evolved from the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, established in 1974, whose members formed the Orchestra’s artistic core as principal players. The Orchestra has worked with the finest conductors, including former Music Directors Sir Charles Mackerras (1998-2001) and Sir Roger Norrington (1990-94). In 2001, they continued this tradition by appointing Donald Runnicles as Principal Conductor.