...TC The Morgan State University Choir, directed by Nathan Carter, will travel to Germany this week to perform at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn. The choir will be the only choral group featured at the prestigious month-long event, held every three years in the composer's native city.
The 70 singers will perform Beethoven's Mass in C Major, "The Ruins of Athens" and the Ninth Symphony with the Bonn Orchestra. The choir was invited to perform by Dennis Russell Davies, director of the Bonn Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra. The trip was paid for mostly by the Bonn Orchestra.
Several years ago, the Morgan choir performed with Mr. Davies in a production of Kurt Weill's "Lost in the Stars" in Carnegie Hall in New York. He invited them to sing at the Beethoven festival last year; plans were made final this spring.
Dr. Carter says the most demanding aspect of directing a student choir is "coordinating personnel."
"Students aren't always understanding about the discipline required," he says. "They learn swiftly, if they are there." The choir started rehearsing the festival music last spring -- they performed some of it in a spring concert at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall -- and continued twice a week through the summer.
"We have voices which are very capable of manipulating the parts; right now the German language is the most difficult thing," he says. "The word 'hard' is not one that fits into our vocabulary too often because we enjoy our music."
The choir will perform in Bonn on Sept 27, Oct. 3 and 4 and return to Baltimore Oct. 5. Other performances for the coming season include the choir's Christmas concert at the university and the annual Martin Luther King Jr. salute with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Meyerhoff Hall.
A benefit concert performed by opera singers Dominic Cossa and Gran Wilson is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday in the Tawes Recital Hall at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Baritone Dominic Cossa has appeared in leading roles with the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera and the opera companies of Montreal, Houston, Vancouver, Miami and Washington, D.C. Tenor Gran Wilson has performed leading roles with such companies as the New York City Opera, Opera de Nice, the Australian Opera, the Netherlands Opera and the Teatro di San Carlo in Lisbon. His television debut was on PBS's "Live From Lincoln Center" in "Anna Bolena" with Joan Sutherland.
The concert will benefit the artist scholarship program of the university's Department of Music. Tickets are $15 each. For details: (301) 405-5566.
Auditions for "Sound of Music," directed by F. Scott Black, are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. tomorrow and Tuesday in Room 336 of the Humanities and Arts Building at Essex Community College, 7201 Rossville Blvd. The production will run Dec. 4-12. For details, call (410) 522-1420.
The Maryland Stage Company, the professional theater company in residence at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will hold auditions for its production of "King Lear" from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in the UMBC Theatre, 5401 Wilkens Ave. The production, directed by Xerxes Mehta, will run April 27 to May 15. For details, call (410) 455-2917.
The Spotlighters will hold auditions for Neil Simon's "Last of the -- Red Hot Lovers" at 7 p.m. today and Monday at the theater, 817 St. Paul St. The production, directed by Robert Bayer, will run weekends Jan. 8-31. For details, call (410) 526-4787.
The Moonlight Troupers at Anne Arundel Community College will hold auditions for the musical comedy "Of Thee I Sing" at 7 p.m. tomorrow and Tuesday in the college's Pascal Center for Performing Arts, 101 College Parkway, Arnold. The production will run Nov. 13-15 and Nov. 20-22. For details, call (410) 541-2457.