The performance of Beethoven’s towering Ninth Symphony requires four outstanding soloists – and we’ve got ‘em!
Interestingly, Beethoven was the first composer to add human voices to a symphony. The Ninth is also known as the “Choral Symphony” for that reason.
And boy, what a symphony it is!
In particular, the soloists and a chorus join the orchestra in the fourth movement of the Symphony, known as “Ode to Joy.” The soloists are a soprano, alto/mezzo soprano, tenor, and bass.
The solo bass begins the fourth movement with Beethoven’s words, added at the beginning of Schiller’s poem: “O friends, no more these sounds! Let us sing songs that are more cheerful and full of joy!” And then he continues with Friedrich Schiller’s words:
Joy, lovely divine spark,
Daughter of Elysium,
With fiery rapture,
We approach your sanctuary!
Your magic reunites,
What stern custom separated;
All men shall be brothers,
Under your gentle wings.
The four soloists joining the Cape Symphony are:
Abigail Rethwisch, Soprano
Abigail is a familiar face (and voice) to Cape Symphony fans; she appeared in our “Happy Anniversary, Cape Symphony!” celebration and we’re thrilled to have her back! Abigail appears courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera. She has performed many of the classic opera roles at major companies across the country, including the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor with the Utah Opera Company. Abigail holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Florida State University. Learn more about Abigail.
Laurel Semerdjian, Alto
Laurel makes her Cape Symphony debut with this performance, and we’re excited to welcome her! Laurel has sung some of the most famous roles in opera, including the title role in Le Tragédie de Carmen, the title role in The Rape of Lucretia, and Flora in La traviata. She has performed in renowned composer Mohammed Fairouz's Sumeida's Song, based on the play Song of Death by the Egyptian playwright Tawfiq al-Hakim, and in the title role of Benazir Bhutto in a workshop of Fairouz's Bhutto. Learn more about Laurel.
Adrian Kramer, Tenor
Adrian is also debuting with the Cape Symphony, and we’re glad to have him! Of Adrian, Opera Canada said, “Who knows where Kramer's voice will take him?” So far, it has taken him across North America, appearing in both modern and classic operas: Adrian debuted with San Diego Opera as Don José in La tragédie de Carmen and appeared as Gérard in Philip Glass’s Les enfants terribles. Adrian is the recipient of multiple awards, a six-time grant recipient from the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for Young Canadian Opera Singers. Learn more about Adrian.
Brandon Bell, Bass
We’re excited to work with Brandon in his Cape Symphony debut. He’s a proud alumnus of the prestigious Wolf Trap Opera Studio Artist program where, in the summer of 2015, he was seen as the English Ambassador in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and the L’imperial Commissario in Madama Butterfly. In 2017, Brandon returned to Wolf Trap Opera to appear in the world premiere performances of Listen, Wilhelmina!, a mini-opera for children. From La traviata to Porgy & Bess, award-winning Brandon can do it all. Learn more about Brandon.