This concert is sponsored in part by Kristin & Richard Thibedeau

Additional support provided by The Colburn Foundation

Overture to Le nozze di Figaro

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Born 1756 in Salzburg, Austria | Died 1791 in Vienna, Austria

Composed in 1786 | 5 minutes
Scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings

"Senza Mamma" from Suor Angelica

Giacomo Puccini

Born 1858 in Lucca, Italy | Died 1924 in Brussels, Belgium

Composed in 1918| 5 minutes
Scored for 2 flutes, piccolo, zoboe, English horn, and 3 clarinets

"Song of the Moon" from Rusalka

Antonín Dvořák

Born 1841 in | Died 194 in Belgium

Composed in 1900| 6 minutes
Scored for clarinet, piano, percussion, and strings

Symphony No. 40

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Born 1756 in Salzburg, Austria | Died 1791 in Vienna, Austria

Composed in 1788 | 30 minutes
Scored for flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, and strings

Program Notes: Mozart In Vienna

Overture to Le nozze di Figaro

Mozart’s opera Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), based on Pierre Beaumarchais’ play, is a masterpiece of wit, intrigue, and musical brilliance. Premiering in 1786, the opera quickly became a sensation for its complex characters, sharp social commentary, and the sheer exuberance of its music. The overture, a standalone gem in its own right, encapsulates the opera’s spirit in a concise and vibrant orchestral showcase.

The overture opens with a bold, energetic theme that sets the stage for the drama to unfold. Immediately, we are introduced to the opera’s key themes and characters through snippets of melodies that hint at the various relationships and conflicts to come. The lively Allegro section contrasts with a more lyrical Andante, where Mozart explores a tender, heartfelt theme, perhaps hinting at the romantic entanglements and emotional depths of the story.

Throughout the overture, Mozart displays his mastery of orchestral color and dynamics, seamlessly weaving together contrasting moods and musical ideas. The music sparkles with wit and elegance, reflecting the opera’s comedic and satirical elements, while also hinting at the deeper emotional undercurrents that drive the plot forward.

As the overture builds to its triumphant conclusion, with its spirited Allegro reprisal, one can almost envision the lively interactions and intricate plot twists that characterize the opera itself. It is a fitting prelude to the delights and surprises that await the audience in Le nozze di Figaro, showcasing Mozart’s ability to capture the essence of human drama and emotion through the power of music.

"Senza Mamma" from Suor Angelica

Suor Angelica, one of Giacomo Puccini’s lesser-known operas, is nonetheless a poignant and deeply emotional work that explores themes of sacrifice, redemption, and maternal love. Premiering in 1918 as part of the composer’s triptych Il Trittico, the opera tells the tragic story of Sister Angelica, a nun who has been secluded in a convent as penance for bearing a child out of wedlock.

The aria "Senza Mamma" ("Without Mama") comes in the second act, where Sister Angelica, having learned of her child’s death years earlier, is overwhelmed by grief and longing. The aria is a heart-wrenching soliloquy in which Angelica reflects on the pain of losing her child and the anguish of being separated from her own mother.

Puccini’s music beautifully captures the depths of Angelica’s sorrow and longing. The aria begins with a hauntingly plaintive melody, accompanied by lush strings that underscore the emotional intensity of the moment. Angelica’s vocal line is marked by its lyrical simplicity and directness, conveying her raw emotions with every note. As the aria progresses, Puccini’s orchestration swells and ebbs, mirroring the waves of Angelica’s grief. The music reaches its climax as Angelica’s sorrow peaks, before gradually subsiding into a gentle, tender conclusion that reflects her resignation and acceptance of her fate.

"Senza Mamma" stands as a testament to Puccini’s skill in crafting music that not only expresses the dramatic essence of a character but also resonates deeply with universal themes of love, loss, and longing. Through this aria, Puccini invites us to empathize with Sister Angelica’s profound emotional journey, reminding us of the power of music to transcend words and touch the deepest recesses of the human soul.

"Song of the Moon" from Rusalka

Antonín Dvořák’s opera Rusalka, premiered in 1901, is a lyrical fairy tale that draws upon Slavic folklore to tell the tragic story of a water nymph who falls in love with a human prince. The opera is perhaps best known for its exquisite aria "Song to the Moon" (Czech: "Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém"), sung by the title character, Rusalka, in the first act.

In this aria, Rusalka stands at the edge of her lake, gazing up at the moonlit sky. She pleads with the moon to tell the prince of her love for him, despite the risks and uncertainties that come with becoming human to be with him. The aria is a breathtakingly beautiful expression of Rusalka’s longing and hope, as well as her fear of the unknown.

Dvořák’s music perfectly captures the ethereal atmosphere of the fairy tale setting. The aria begins with a delicate orchestral introduction, evoking the shimmering reflection of moonlight on water. Rusalka’s vocal line soars above the orchestra, adorned with lyrical melodies that showcase Dvořák’s gift for creating expressive and evocative music.As the aria progresses, the music swells with emotion, reflecting Rusalka’s yearning and the intensity of her desire to be with the prince. The orchestration, rich with lush harmonies and poignant themes, enhances the aria’s romantic and mystical qualities, transporting listeners into Rusalka’s world of enchantment and longing.

"Song to the Moon" has become one of Dvořák’s most beloved compositions, celebrated for its melodic beauty and emotional depth. Through this aria, Dvořák not only captures the essence of Rusalka’s character but also explores universal themes of love, sacrifice, and the longing for connection across boundaries of existence.

MOZART: Symphony No. 40

Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor stands as one of the most iconic and revered works in the symphonic repertoire. Composed in 1788 during a period of great creativity and personal turmoil for Mozart, the symphony is part of his final trilogy of symphonies (Nos. 39, 40, and 41) and is notable for its emotional intensity, melodic richness, and masterful orchestration.

The Symphony No. 40 is set in the key of G minor, a key that Mozart rarely used in his symphonic works, adding to its distinctiveness and dramatic character. The symphony is scored for pairs of woodwinds (flutes, oboes, clarinets, and bassoons), horns, and strings, with no trumpets or timpani, giving it a more intimate and chamber-like quality compared to his other symphonies.

The first movement, Molto allegro, immediately captures the listener’s attention with its urgent and stormy opening theme. This movement is marked by its dramatic contrasts, with moments of dark intensity juxtaposed with passages of lyrical beauty. The development section is particularly remarkable for its harmonic complexity and emotional depth, showcasing Mozart’s mastery of form and expression.

The second movement, Andante, provides a contrast to the first with its lyrical and graceful melodies. Here, Mozart displays his gift for writing poignant and deeply expressive music. The movement unfolds with a serenity that belies the turmoil of the first movement, offering a moment of reflection and introspection. The third movement, Menuetto: Allegretto, returns to the minor key, maintaining the symphony’s overall mood of melancholy and drama. The minuet, a dance form traditionally associated with elegance and courtly grace, takes on a more somber character in Mozart’s hands, yet retains a sense of rhythmic vitality and charm.

The symphony concludes with the exhilarating Allegro assai. This final movement is a tour de force of virtuosity and energy, with its relentless drive and propulsive rhythms. The music brims with vitality and excitement, culminating in a thrilling coda that brings the symphony to a triumphant close.

Guest Conductor

Enluis Montes Olivar

Enluis Montes Olivar is a dynamic 27-year-old Venezuelan conductor Enluis Montes Olivar is receiving glowing reviews from around the world. The actual Associate Conductor of the Simon Bolivar Chamber Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Schwob Philharmonic and Music and Artistic Director of The Blue Morpho Orchestra recently won 1st Prize and the Orchestra Prize of the 2nd International Conducting Competition of University of Almeria and made debuts with the San Francisco Symphony, San Diego Symphony and the New West Symphony. Previously he served as a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for two seasons where he led the orchestra in multiple performances at both Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. Of his leadership with the LA Philharmonic, music critic Tony Frankel said that the Hollywood Bowl saw Venezuelan conductor (and Gustavo Dudamel fellow) Enluis Montes Olivar in “virtuosic splendor” and that the concert was “a master class in musicianship.” Upcoming appearances include return engagements with the San Diego Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica Metropolitana di Bari, The Blue Morpho Orchestra, and the Simon Bolivar Symphony. In the Opera National de Paris, Enluis recently served as an assistant conductor to Gustavo Dudamel in a production of John Adams’ Nixon in China featuring Thomas Hampson and Renee Fleming, also he served in the same capacity for ONP’s Fall 2023 production of Wagner’s Lohengrin under the baton of Alexander Soddy. Enluis received a diploma in orchestral conducting from the Simon Bolivar Conservatory of Music and with the El Sistema program he has led numerous performances with orchestras including the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, Juan Jose Landaeta Symphony, Caracas Symphony Orchestra, Simon Bolivar National Choir and others. As a result of this work, he was selected to lead a posthumous tribute to Maestro José Antonio Abreu that involved members of the entire El Sistema family. He also conducted an orchestra and chorus comprised of 12,000 musicians in a subsequent concert, which in turn set the Guinness World Record for the largest orchestra in the world. Enluis began his formal studies in orchestral conducting in 2012 with Teresa Hernández, José Antonio Abreu, Gregory Carreño, and Franka Verhagen. He has participated in conducting workshops with Dick van Gasteren, Eduardo Marturet, Diego Matheuz, Roberto Zambrano, Jhon Farrer, Leonardo Panigada, Tarcisio Barreto, Holger Baron, Leaf Bjaland, Mark Churchill, Marc Moncusí, Luis Mauricio Carneiro, David Cubeck, and Nathalie Stutzmann. Currently he is also studying conducting with Paul Hostetter, voice with Dr. Michelle Debruyn, piano with Dr. Esther Park, and opera direction with Dr. Joshua May at the Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University.

He earned dual bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano and composition from The Juilliard School, where he studied with pianists Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald and composers Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser. Additional mentors have included András Schiff and Richard Goode as well as his early teachers, Herbert Rothgarber and Adam Kent.

A native New Yorker, he lives there with his two 19th century Steinway D’s, Octavia and Daria.
He will not reveal which is his favorite, so as not to incite jealousy. In his spare time, he learns Italian, carves stumps into coffee tables, and plays a lot of Mendelssohn.

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