The Mendelssohn, the go-to chorus of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, announces its upcoming season, including a performance with the PSO at East Liberty Presbyterian Church in October. As Mary Ann Lapinski, the choir's executive director, wrote to me in an email:
"The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is the Mendelssohn Choir's primary artistic partner. Usually this means that the Mendelssohn Choir that performs with the PSO as a 'guest artist.' What makes the October concert so thrilling for us, is that the tables are being turned; we are producing the concert and the PSO is performing for the Mendelssohn as its orchestra under Betsy's baton. This 'role reversal' speaks to the mutual respect that the PSO and MCP have for each other's artistic excellence and vision."
More from the press release:
The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh Announces Its 2014-2015 Season—
A Season of Earthly Delights and Celestial Bliss
The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh’s 106th season entitled “Heaven and Earth” will take audience members on a journey from heavenly bliss to the dramatic depths of despair to sublime tranquility—along with a dash of earthly fun to round it all out!
Our season begins with a special collaboration with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra when the Mendelssohn Choir (MCP) performs Faith & Fate: Beethoven’s Mass in C and Brahms Schicksalslied (Oct. 5 at East Liberty Presbyterian Church). The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Mendelssohn Choir Music Director Betsy Burleigh, will accompany MCP in this musical exploration of a kinder, gentler Beethoven and a blustery Brahms. "I am thrilled to be working directly with the fabulous musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony,” says Burleigh, “and this new collaboration shows the PSO's support of the Mendelssohn, opening the door for more great music making for the city of Pittsburgh." Next the Mendelssohn Choir will present Gioachino Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle (March 22 at East Liberty Presbyterian Church). Called "the last of my sins of old age" by Rossini, this exquisite work for four soloists and chorus was Rossini’s last major work and makes a fitting climax to the life of the “Italian Mozart,” the man then considered the greatest opera composer of all time.
Then the season turns earthward for a delightful evening of song called I Got Gershwin! which will include excerpts from Porgy and Bess, and standards like “I Got Rhythm,” “Embraceable You,” “The Man I Love,” “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off,” and “Love Walked In” (May 2 & 3 at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts). Audiences will hear rarities from Hollywood, solo songs, and some of Gershwin’s own piano arrangements and Preludes.
The Mendelssohn Choir will present its second annual Cabaret Fundraiser (Feb. 14 at Olive or Twist) called quite fittingly Let’s Fall in Love! The Junior Mendelssohn Choir, under the direction of Maria Sensi Sellner, will perform its Fall Concert at Westminster Presbyterian Church (Nov. 9).
Tickets for the above concerts will go on sale August 1 at www.themendelssohn.org.
MCP performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2014-2015 include: Sci-Fi Spectacular with the PSO Pops Orchestra at Heinz Hall (Nov. 14-16); Music for the Spirit with the PSO, location TBA, (Nov. 20); Holiday Pops with the PSO at Heinz Hall (Dec. 12-21); and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the PSO at Heinz Hall (June 5-7). Tickets for these performances can be purchased at www.pittsburghsymphony.org.