Opera arias and great choral music conclude the 37th Season of the GJSO

On Tuesday, April 21st, the 37th Season of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra closes with Christie & Chorus at the Grand Junction High School Auditorium.

The concert begins at 7:30pm and will feature soprano Christie Conover, the winner of the GJSO’s 2014 Young Artist Competition, on the first half singing some of the best loved opera arias and will conclude with the Grand Junction Symphony Chorus performing choral works of Mozart and Brahms.

Described as a “jewel” with a “lovely timbre, perfect trill, and soaring top”, soprano Christie (Hageman) Conover is a quickly rising star. Her voice, rich and warm, is partnered by a personal grace both on and off the stage. Her sensitive portrayal of characters such as Liù (Turandot), Juliette (Romeo et Juliette) and Micaëla (Carmen) have garnered her critical acclaim as has her fiery portrayal of Musetta (La bohème) and comedic rendition of Clorinda (La Cenerentola).

Ms. Conover won the heart of Minnesota Opera’s Artistic Director Dale Johnson in 2012 and secured a coveted place as a Resident Artist. She made an impressive company debut as Anna in Nabucco and was reviewed as “one to watch” in the coming years. Following her debut, Ms. Conover appeared again with Minnesota Opera as Liù in Turandot and was noted as having a “tonally rich” voice and was “armed with enviable control and storytelling sensitivity.” She returned to Minnesota for a summer season encore of concerts in 2013 as Musetta in La Bohème and was described as “full of fiery physicality”, her voice “mellifluous and lovely.”

A gifted performer of new works, Ms. Conover’s credits include: Sister James (cover) in the world premier of Doubt by Douglas Cuomo and Jocelyn Jordan in The Manchurian Candidate (workshop) by Kevin Puts, both with Minnesota Opera; Josefina in The Autumn Orchard with CU New Opera Works; and Emily in Ned Rorem’s Our Town with the University of Colorado.

Conover will be performing arias from Dvorak’s Rusalka, Verdi’s Rigoletto and Puccini’s La Boheme as well as joining the Symphony Chorus on Mozart’s Laudate Dominum.

The most popular Czech opera, Dvořák’s Rusalka is based on the fairy talks of Karel Jaromir Erben and Bozena Nemcova. Song of the Moon is sung by the title character, Rusalka, the daughter of a water-goblin, who wants to be human after she falls in love with a Prince. Rusalka sings this song asking for the moon to reveal her love to the Prince.

Verdi’s Rigoletto is a story about love, hate, revenge and deception. In Caro Nome, Gilda, Rigoletto’s daughter, sings of her love for a boy she met in church.

In the second act of Puccini’s most popular opera, La Bohème, Musetta sings of her mesmerizing attraction among her Bohemian friends, but the underlying motivation is to make Marcello jealous.

The Grand Junction Symphony Chorus, which is comprised of the combined voices of the Western Colorado Chorale, the Colorado Mesa University Concert Choir and the Schumann Singers will conclude the evening with Mozart’s Kyrie and Brahms’ Schiksalslied. The choirs are under the direction of Dr. Monte Atkinson and Norm Ashley, respectively.

Christie & Chorus is sponsored by Chuck & Robbie Breaux. The Breaux’s have been active supporters of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra for many years and will even be singing on stage as a part of the chorus at the April 21st concert.

All seating is reserved and tickets are $20, $25 & $30 for adults and only $5 for students.

Tickets can be purchased online at GJSO.org, by calling 243-6787 or by visiting the Grand Junction Symphony office at 414 Main Street. They will also be available at the Grand Junction High School Auditorium box office beginning at 6:30pm the evening of the concert.

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