by Rory O’Donoghue
This Friday, August 2 at 7:00 pm in Severance Hall, the Blossom Festival Chorus will join The Cleveland Orchestra for a one-off performance of Mozart’s “Great” Mass in c-minor. Last Sunday, the Chorus and Orchestra brought the house down at Blossom in their Aretha Franklin tribute concert, with vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Ryan Shaw in the spotlight.
“It’s a busy summer in Cleveland,” Director of Choruses Lisa Wong said over the phone last week, “but it’s a fun one.” I got the chance to talk with Wong by telephone about her work with The Cleveland Orchestra Choruses in anticipation of this Friday’s concert, the latest installment of their Summers@Severance Series.
Rory O’Donoghue: How did you get started in choral music?
Lisa Wong: Interestingly, the very first choral and orchestral piece that I ever encountered was this Friday’s selection, Mozart’s Mass in c-minor. I sang it as an undergraduate music student, and we had a guest conductor who came to our university and worked with our choruses for that concert. It was a singularly influential moment in my life — I was so inspired by this wonderful conductor. As it turned out, that was the late Robert Page, who was director of choruses for The Cleveland Orchestra at the time. I didn’t know what that title meant, exactly, but I knew how inspired I was by the way this music bubbles up with emotion. [Read more…]