National Chorale presents A Gershwin Celebration Featuring Karen Slack, Janinah Burnett, Robert Mack, Kenneth Overton, and pianist Michael Fennelly October 21, 2016 at 8pm

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National Chorale


A Gershwin Celebration

Featuring Karen Slack, Janinah Burnett,

Robert Mack, Kenneth Overton, and pianist Michael Fennelly

October 21, 2016 at 8pm

National Chorale, New York’s premier professional choral company, under the Artistic Direction of Everett McCorvey, begins its 2016-2017 Season at Lincoln Center with A Gershwin Celebration onFriday, October 21, 2016 at 8pm at the David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, NYC.

A Gershwin Celebration is an evening of music by celebrated American composer George Gershwin, including Rhapsody in Blue, interpreted as “a musical portrait of New York City” and stunning, exciting, and moving selections packed with human emotions from Porgy and Bess. The production features Karen Slack, Janinah Burnett, Robert Mack, Kenneth Overton,and pianist Michael Fennelly.

Tickets are available at, or by calling (212) 333-5333.

“The National Chorale is one of the most firmly established professional choral groups in the country.”The New Times



Karen Slack, Soprano makes her premiere with the National Chorale in this evening’s performance. Hailed by critics for possessing a lustrous voice of extraordinary beauty and artistry of great dramatic depth American soprano Karen Slack has performed with major conductors in opera houses and concert halls around the world. She was most recently seen in Verdi’s AIDA with Austin Opera, Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff with Arizona Opera and in the West Coast premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Champion as Emelda Griffith with San Francisco’s Opera Parallele, Litton’s Porgy and Bess Suite at the Bergen Festival in Norway, Mahler Symphony # 2 with Lexington Philharmonic, Beethoven’s 9th with both Quad City Symphony and Alabama Symphony, and a house debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Serena in Francesca Zambello’s production of Porgy and Bess which she has performed at both Washington National Opera and San Francisco Opera. She can be seen reprising the role of Serena in San Francisco Opera’s production that was released on DVD in 2015.

Janinah Burnett, Soprano joins the Chorale for the first time. Janinah Burnett’s artistry is profoundly carving her place as one of the most notable sopranos of our time, serving dramatic intent while producing exquisite sound. As Lolo in the revival of Harry Lawrence Freeman’s opera VooDoo, The New York Times says that “Ms. Burnett relishing Lolo’s cries of power and pain are the opera’s highlight”. And Montreal Gazette agrees, exclaiming she “brought a storytelling quality as well as soprano pyrotechnics to Violetta [in La Traviata].” As Mimì in Baz Luhrman’s adaptation of Puccini’s La Bohème, Ms. Burnett received tremendous acclaim winning the Los Angeles Stage Alliance’s “Ovation Award” with a record 82 consecutive sold-out shows.

Robert Mack, Tenor also makes his debut with the Chorale this evening. His career highlights include Remus, Treemonisha with The Collegiate Chorale; Snake/Vain Man, The Little Prince with NYCO; Alfredo, La Traviata with The Martina Arroyo Foundation. Performances with the New York City Opera include Goro, Madame Butterfly; Goopy, Haroun and the Sea of Stories; Remendado, Carmen; the Ballad Singer, Of Mice and Men; Pong, Turandot; Don Curzio, The Marriage of Figaro; Spoletta, Tosca; Second Shepherd, Daphne; Arturo, Lucia Di Lammermoor, and Rinuccio, Gianni Schicchi. Mack debuted the role of Sportin’ Life, Porgy and Bess with New York City Opera and Opera Carolina. He recorded the role of Sportin’ Life with The Nasvhville Symphony on Decca Records. Mack has toured with the nationally acclaimed “Three Mo’ Tenors” and in addition has made outstanding appearances with Houston Grand Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia and Indianapolis Opera.

Kenneth Overton, Baritone joins the Chorale for his first of two performance this Season. Heralded by the BBC for his “exceptional voice,” Kenneth made his New York City Opera main-stage debut in 2012 as Doctor Grenvil in Verdi’s La Traviata. That season, Kenneth also made an acclaimed debut in the world premiere of David Ott’s The Widow’s Lantern at Pensacola Opera, whereby he was immediately re-engaged to star as Joe in Showboat. 2012-13 included debuts with New Jersey Symphony (Bruckner Te Deum) and Tacoma Symphony Orchestra (Verdi concert).

Michael Fennelly, Pianist is praised by The New York Times for his “flair and energy.” His recordings include The Legend of Faust: Part One and Debut. He is currently recording Grand Tour in New York City. This season he is the soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic conducted by JoAnn Falletta in the Moross Symphony no. 1, and appears in concert with the Sanibel Music Festival, Palm Beach Theater Guild, and the Berkshire Theater Festival. He conducts Madama Butterfly with Amore Opera, and is the music director and pianist for Porgy and Bess with the Tillis Center for the Performing Arts.

Everett McCorvey, Tenor and Artistic Director, is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. He received his degrees from the University of Alabama, including a Doctorate of Musical Arts. He has performed in many cities around the world and theaters across the country, including the Metropolitan Opera, the John F. Kennedy Center, Aspen and Blossom Music Festivals, Radio City Music Hall, and performances throughout Italy, England, Spain, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Austria, Japan, China, Brazil, Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, Peru and France. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. McCorvey was the catalyst for developing a widely recognized opera program at the University of Kentucky, which is listed by the Richard Tucker Foundation as one of the top recommended opera training programs. Dr. McCorvey is also the Founder and Music Director of the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group of 24 professional singers performing spirituals and other compositions of African-American composers. In its nineteen-year history, the group has presented over 250 concerts, including 19 tours of the United States and 17 tours of Spain and other European countries. The unique sound molded by Dr. McCorvey has garnered the group world-wide attention and interest.



Beethoven’s  Symphony #9

Friday, November 18, 2016 at 8:00 pm

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts – 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, NYC

Beethoven’s monumental choral symphony – with the triumphal “Ode to Joy” – is the most powerful celebration of Man’s faith and freedom ever written. It captures our musical imagination like no other work in the repertory.

Featuring Angela Brown, Teresa Buchholz, John Pickle, and Erik Kroncke.

49th presentation of Handel’sMessiah Sing-In

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 7:30 pm

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts – 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, NYC

You are the audience-chorus of almost 3,000 voices under the batons of 17 eminent conductors. Celebrate choral singing and sing in New York’s most joyous and popular Holiday Season music event!

Featuring Jessica Sandidge, Eric Brenner, Roderick George, and Kevin Maynor.

Mozart’s Requiem

Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 8:00 pm

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts – 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, NYC

Mozart’s great last work – the summation of a creative lifetime. Music of unsurpassed beauty – majestic, tragic and sublime – a moving statement of faith – his own Requiem.

Featuring Elizabeth de Trejo, Blythe Gaissert, Daniel Curran, and Kenneth Overton.



The National Chorale, New York’s premier professional choral company, is celebrating its 49th Lincoln Center Season at David Geffen Hall, previously Avery Fisher Hall, with its continuing series of choral orchestral masterworks and 20th century American Classics.

Founded in 1967, the National Chorale is the only professional choral company in the United States to have established and maintained an annual subscription season in the major New York City concert halls – 49 seasons in David Geffen Hall,  with additional concerts at Carnegie Hall.  It presents a broad repertory of choral-orchestral works; seldom-performed works from many stylistic periods; opera-in-concert; American music theatre; and contemporary works, including commissions by the Chorale for its Lincoln Center Season.

In addition to its Avery Fisher Hall series, the Chorale has toured nationally; presented 19 summer seasons of New York Festival of American Music Theater concerts in Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park and parks throughout the New York area; concert tours of New York State and New York City; vocal-instrumental chamber music series, and Concerts for Young People.

The National Chorale is a leader in the development of choral singing in the New York City area.  The New York Times calls the National Chorale “one of the most firmly established professional choral groups in the country.”

For 49 years, the Chorale has also presented vocal music education programs for NYC public schools, developing singing participation and future audiences for choral and vocal music.  National Chorale’s contracts with the NYC Department of Education provide year-long artist-in-residence programs for elementary, middle and high schools throughout the city.  The Chorale regularly tours New York area schools, presenting concerts and choral workshops; and will present the popular 24th     annual New York City High School Choral Festival, the 7th   annual Elementary School Choral Festival and 4th annual Middle School Choral Festival in May 2017, with 36 participating high school, elementary and middle school choirs and more than 2,700 student singers from all five Boroughs of the City.

The Chorale also has a major Partnership with the NYC Professional Performing Arts High School in Manhattan, now in its 7th year, where a team of Chorale artist/teachers lead and develop the PPAS Vocal/Choral Program daily throughout the school year.  The PPAS Choir will perform at Lincoln Center at each National Chorale performance during the 2016-2017 Season.

In 1962, Philharmonic Hall-renamed Avery Fisher Hall in 1973 and later renamed David Geffen Hall in 2015-became one of the first buildings to be completed on the Lincoln Center site and home to one of its first resident organizations, the world-renowned New York Philharmonic, the oldest symphony orchestra in the U.S. Today, David Geffen Hall hosts notable performances by acclaimed orchestras and artists from around the globe, as well as galas, film premieres, graduations, and conferences. Located on the north side of Josie Robertson Plaza facing Lincoln Center’s iconic Revson Fountain, David Geffen Hall’s spacious lobby and promenade feature such eminent artwork as Rodin’s bust of Gustav Mahler and Dimitri Hadzi’s sculpture The Hunt, in addition to wraparound views of the Lincoln Center campus.


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