Bel Canto Chorus
Press Release

Bel Canto Chorus Opens 2017-18 Season with Evensong

Music Director celebrates his 30th season with a personal piece, acclaimed soprano returns home. Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 4 p.m. Basilica of St. Josaphat

By - Sep 21st, 2017 10:26 am
The Basilica of St. Josaphat

The Basilica of St. Josaphat

MILWAUKEE, WI (September 21, 2017)Bel Canto Chorus opens its 87th season with Evensong on Sunday, October 15 at the Basilica of St. Josaphat. The concert will focus on music for the unaccompanied voice and features three large-scale works including music director Richard Hynson’s EvensongRalph Vaughan Williams’s Mass in G Minor, and Grammy award-winner Eric Whitacre‘s first sacred work: Alleluia. Jonathan Laabs (baritone) and Whitefish Bay native Emily Pogorelc (soprano) will appear as soloists in the concert.

Written almost twenty years ago, music director Richard Hynson now looks back at what inspired him to compose the piece, Evensong. “I needed to find a new, unaccompanied work to balance the rest of the programming for the season,” said Hynson. After spending several frustrating and unsuccessful weeks looking for an appropriate work, he decided to write one himself. “I turned to words that had been a regular part of my life while a choirboy at the Washington National Cathedral: the Anglican Evensong Service. I used every part of the service—the prayers, psalms, and canticles—as my libretto.”

Bel Canto Chorus will be joined by special guest performers, including soprano Emily Pogorelc. At 20 years old, Whitefish Bay native Pogorelc has already made a name for herself throughout the country. Pogorelc was praised by the New York Times last year for her “lively, incisive soprano” performance in Opera Philadelphia’s Charlie Parker’s Yardbird at the Apollo Theater. The young opera singer is currently entering her final year at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In May, she will be joining the 2018–19 ensemble of the The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric of Chicago.

Likewise, Jonathan Laabs will return to Milwaukee to sing baritone for the concert. Laabs served as a bass section leader and member of the professional core of Bel Canto Chorus, as well as guest conductor. He recently moved to Minnesota to pursue a position as Professor of Music at Martin Luther College. He also serves as Artistic Director of Canticum Novum: A WELS Chamber Choir.

Season and Individual Tickets:

Bel Canto Chorus 2017–18 season and individual tickets are on sale now. Purchase season tickets and save up to 15% versus single ticket prices through October 13, 2017.

Individual tickets are on sale now for $29.50 and $35; student and senior discounts are available starting at $19. Purchase online at or by phone at 414-481-8801.

Mentioned in This Press Release


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Friday, May 17, 2019 at 7:30 pm. Basilica of St. Josaphat

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