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'There seems to be a sort-of vacuum on the New York musical scene,' he said. 'Not every venue can afford to hire St Luke's or the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, and not every concertgoer can afford to buy tickets at the astronomical prices. The MCO was created with an aim to fill in this gap. We hope to serve audiences who are looking for innovative programming that still remains shy of the line dividing the interesting and the avant-garde.'

'Many of the great composers,' continued Nuzzo, 'reduced their works -- Mahler, Mozart, and Schoenberg, among many others. There is also a reduction of Wagner's Ring by Jonathan Dove, and he also did a reduction of Beethoven's Fidelio. The MCO focuses on bringing these fine reductions to public attention, and we like to highlight arrangements of well-known works in our programming. Additionally, we've even commissioned reductions by our own accord, including one of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier by Enno Poppe.'

On Saturday 4 March 2006, Nuzzo and the MCO will continue honoring its vow to deliver pure, entertaining programs, with the presentation of their 'Ides of Mozart' concert -- an all-Mozart program to honor the 250th birthday of the one and the only, Wolfgang Amadeus. Works slated for this program include the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, the overture to Die Zauberflöte, and Motet Exultate Jubilate. The full ensemble will perform Mozart's Symphony No 29 in A Major, and sopranos Deborah Surdi and Therese Panicali will join tenor Douglas McCormick and the MCO in aria selections from Le Nozze de Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Idomeneo.

Douglas McCormick
Douglas McCormick

Nuzzo asserted that the Mozart arias will likely be one of the biggest draws for this upcoming program: 'A large bulk of Mozart's work was comprised of Italian operas, and so we at the MCO felt this concert would aptly represent a large part of this wonderful repertoire. I feel particularly blessed that I have such fine singers joining us to bring these pieces to life.'

Debbie Surdi
Debbie Surdi

'I know Deborah [Surdi] for twenty-five years now,' he continued without pause, 'she is an extremely reliable, experienced singer, who could have easily chosen singing as a full-time profession. Instead, however, she chose to contribute to the arts by way of administration, selecting a very different, but equally great, path in music.'

Therese Julia Panicali
Therese Julia Panicali

'Therese [Panicali] has a very unique instrument and sings with great passion, as well as with an extraordinary amount of power. She is truly a diamond in the rough. And Douglas did such a fine job with Sean [Hickey]'s work, Sagesse, when we invited him to perform last October, that I would have been truly remiss, had I not asked him back immediately.'

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Copyright © 4 March 2006 Ted Kendall, New York, USA


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