Viva España! With the Gloria Musicae Singers
Jonathan Godfrey, guitar
Jenny Kim-Godfrey and Nicole Smith, soprano soloists
Guillermo López, tenor soloist
Sunday, November 6, at the Siesta Key Chapel
Gloria Musicae’s 38th season launches with the sultry harmonies and sparkling rhythms of Spain and the New World.
(Sarasota, FL) Gloria Musicae launches its 38th season, “Musical Journeys,” with more of the innovative, cutting-edge programming that has become the organization’s hallmark under the artistic direction of Dr. Joseph Holt. “Viva España!” showcases the fiery and sensual music of Spain and the New World and features the Gloria Musicae Singers, soloists Jenny Kim-Godfrey, Nicole Smith and Guillermo López, guitarist Jonathan Godfrey, and pianist Joseph Holt. The concert is Sunday, November 6, 4 p.m., at Siesta Key Chapel, 4615 Gleason Ave, Sarasota. Tickets are $35 at the door; $30 in advance. Student tickets are $15. Season tickets for all six concerts are available now. For tickets and info, visit www.gloriamusicae.org or call 941-387-6046.
Performed by 16 members of the Gloria Musicae Singers, Sarasota’s only professional vocal ensemble, “Viva España!” showcases the fiery and sensual music of Spain and the Americas. The program includes music by Isaac Albéniz, Manuel de Falla, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Augustín Lara, and Maria Grever.
“The music of Spain and Latin America, some of the most passionate and expressive pieces ever composed, represents for me a connection to our colonial past in the United States,” says Dr. Joseph Holt, Gloria Musicae’s artistic director. “Most of the west and Florida was under Spanish rule during the colonization era and the Spanish/Latin influence has deeply enriched our culture.”
Holt explains that, for this concert, he’s chosen a wide variety of music “that showcases the essence of the gypsy soul, which is unique to southern Spain. The centerpiece of the concert is “Romancero Gitano” (Gypsy Ballads), a setting of seven poems from Federico Garcia Lorca’s most famous work. Mario Castelnouvo-Tedesco, an Italian composer of Spanish descent, composed the music and the result is a stunning setting for chorus and guitar.” Complementing the piece, are the “Siete Canciones Populares” (Seven Popular Songs) by Manuel de Falla; Villa-Lobos’s haunting “Bachianas Brasileiras #5” for soprano and guitar; “Cuatro Piezas Españolas” for piano solo by de Falla; and, rounding out the program, two of the most famous Latin American popular songs, “Granada” and “Jurame.”
The following soloists will perform with the Gloria Musicae Singers:
A young tenor originally from Sonora, Mexico, Guillermo López has been hailed as one of the promising voices in Mexico and the United States. Beginning his musical journey as a pianist before college, Lopez decided to be a professional singer after the quality of his voice was discovered. Lopez has participated as a soloist in international festivals and with various opera companies. For more information, visit www.guillermolopeztenor.com.
Nicole Smith recently returned to the solo stage after several choral engagements. She has been a featured soloist for Sarasota’s Key Chorale and held the soprano section leader position for Gloria Musicae for the past two seasons. Smith serves as the music director at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Sarasota.
Called “a fearless and confident performer with a beautiful high voice with excellent flexibility,” Korean-American coloratura soprano Jenny Kim-Godfrey is quickly gaining notoriety for her “nightingale tone” and as an “invigorating stage animal” and gifted recitalist. Kim-Godfrey has been a prizewinner in several national and international vocal competitions, and has performed numerous operatic roles throughout the U.S. and Europe. She recently performed the lead role of Jenny Lind in the Florida premiere of Libby Larsen’s opera “Barnum’s Bird” with Gloria Musicae, and regularly performs as the soprano half of the duo Corda Voce. For more information, visit www.JennyKimGodfrey.com.
Hailed for his “invitingly poetic” performance style, guitarist and composer Jonathan Godfrey studied under guitarist Jason Vieaux and legendary Argentinean-born guitarist Ernesto Bitetti. Godfrey regularly appears as part of the soprano-guitar duo, Corda Voce, with his coloratura-soprano wife Jenny Kim-Godfrey. He was guitar instructor for Indiana University, Manatee School For the Arts, and the Parrish Music Academy, an organization for which he serves as artistic director. Godfrey is on the faculty of the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. For more information, visit www.jonathangodfrey.net.
Founded in 1979, Gloria Musicae presents the greatest hits of the last four centuries along with lesser known gems and the work of living composers with imaginative programming and musical excellence. The chorus consists of 32 singers and eight apprentices.
For more information about Gloria Musicae, visit www.GloriaMusicae.org.
About Gloria Musicae
Gloria Musicae celebrates choral music through innovative performances. The critically acclaimed group, the Gloria Musicae Singers, under the artistic direction of Dr. Joseph Holt, performs a repertoire spanning four centuries, and includes orchestral works, intimate madrigals, church motets, folk songs, close-harmony jazz, and Broadway show music. The ensemble also specializes in premiere performances of lesser-known choral works, particularly music by living American composers. The Gloria Musicae Singers has performed premieres by René Clausen, Dick Hyman, Robert Levin, Gwyneth Walker, and James Grant, along with the premiere of a new edition of a rarely heard score by Rossini. For more information about Gloria Musicae, visit www.gloriamusicae.org