West Side Story
Based on a conception of Jerome Robbins
Dear MAC Friends!
I am so thrilled to be writing to you with the wonderful news that we are returning to in-person performances in time to celebrate our 35th anniversary together! We have safety protocols in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which you can read about on our website, atthemac.org. As the pandemic changes, so will our policies and we will keep you updated.
This season is packed with your favorites. Music fans will enjoy everything from electrifying BoDeans, to the legendary Oak Ridge Boys, to The Texas Tenors. Get ready for a Mardi Gras and Zydeco party with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at Mardi Gras Mambo. I also look forward to sharing one of the most compelling concerts I’ve seen, in an evening with Tony Award-winning Broadway star, Heather Headley.
We are happy to remain the home of our resident companies Buffalo Theatre Ensemble and New Philharmonic. BTE brings live theater back with Stove Toucher, a one-man show written and performed by Kurt Naebig, and closes the season with Naperville by Mat Smart. New Philharmonic Orchestra and Maestro Muspratt are putting on a blockbuster season starting with a Spooktakular concert filled with themes from your favorite horror cinema classics, followed by American melodies in Dvořák’s New World Symphony featuring the incomparable David Taylor playing one of the most complex violin pieces, culminating in a concert version of West Side Story.
Following the blockbuster Frida Kahlo exhibition this summer, the Cleve Carney Museum of Art will open its season with COD alum and brilliant contemporary artist Tony Fitzpatrick. We will close the MAC season in 2022 by bringing back the beloved free outdoor Lakeside Summer series!
We look forward to seeing you and engaging in thought-provoking, joy-inducing, exciting LIVE entertainment. I look forward to seeing you back at the MAC soon!
Enjoy the show!
Dear Friends of New Philharmonic,
Usually, I would begin this letter to you with something like:"Welcome to our New Philharmonic season! This is our 45th season and we are so very pleased to share this moment in our history with each and every one of you."
All of the above is true, sincerely felt and important.
However, in welcoming you back and in these extremely difficult times, I wanted to also share with you how vital I believe music is right now to each of us - whether player or patron. The Greeks used to say that music was the study of relationships between the hidden, internal parts of our humanness – that music has way of finding the big, invisible moving pieces in our hearts and helping us to figure out all that is inside of us.
I believe this, and I am hoping that when you come to hear our wonderful musicians play the Largo of Dvořák's New World Symphony, John Williams' Artificial Intelligence, or “Tonight” from West Side Story, it will crack your hearts just open as it does mine.
We hope that we will bring much joy to your lives this year! The Halloween concert is going to be a hoot, the New Year's Eve concerts are always a blast, and movie themes from Beauty and the Beast and The Rocketeer should bring a smile to folks of all ages.
You and the New Philharmonic musicians are a total family. You are part of our orchestra - right there with us. We thank you for being so loyal, generous, and dedicated to something so meaningful and beautiful as this orchestra.
Kirk Muspratt, Music Director and Conductor
--------------- NEW PHILHARMONIC 2021-2022 SEASON --------------
A Night at the Movies
For tickets and information, call (630) 942-4000 or visit AtTheMAC.org
New Philharmonic is grateful for support from:
Two rival teenage gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, struggle for control of their neighborhood on the Upper West Side of New York City. Police officers Krupke and Lt. Schrank warn them to stop fighting on their beat. The police chase the Sharks off, and then the Jets plan how they can assure their continued dominance of the street. The Jets' leader, Riff, suggests setting up a rumble with the Sharks. He plans to make the challenge to Bernardo, the Sharks' leader, that night at the neighborhood dance. Riff wants to convince his best friend and former member of the Jets, Tony, to meet the Jets at the dance. Some of the Jets are unsure of his loyalty, but Riff is adamant that Tony is still one of them. Riff meets Tony while he's working at Doc's Drugstore to persuade him to come. Tony initially refuses, but Riff wins him over. Tony is convinced that something important is around the corner.
Maria works in a bridal shop with Anita, the girlfriend of her brother, Bernardo. Maria has just arrived from Puerto Rico for her arranged marriage to Chino, a friend of Bernardo's. Maria confesses to Anita that she is not in love with Chino. Anita makes Maria a dress to wear to the neighborhood dance.
At the dance, after introductions, the teenagers begin to dance; soon a challenge dance is called, during which Tony and Maria see each other across the room and are drawn to each other. They dance together, forgetting the tension in the room, and fall in love, but Bernardo pulls his sister from Tony and sends her home. Riff and Bernardo agree to meet for a War Council at Doc's, a drug store which is considered neutral ground, but meanwhile, an infatuated and happy Tony finds Maria's building and serenades her outside her bedroom. She appears on her fire escape, and the two profess their love for one another. Meanwhile, Anita, Rosalia, and the other Shark girls discuss the differences between the territory of Puerto Rico and the mainland United States of America, with Anita defending America, and Rosalia yearning for Puerto Rico .
The Jets get antsy while waiting for the Sharks inside Doc's drugstore. Riff helps them let out their aggression. The Sharks arrive to discuss weapons to use in the rumble. Tony suggests "a fair fight" (fists only), which the leaders agree to, despite the other members' protests. Bernardo believes that he will fight Tony, but must settle for fighting Diesel, Riff's second-in-command, instead. This is followed by a monologue by the ineffective Lt. Schrank trying to find out the location of the rumble. Tony tells Doc about Maria. Doc is worried for them while Tony is convinced that nothing can go wrong; he is in love.
The next day, Maria is in a very happy mood at the bridal shop, as she anticipates seeing Tony again, but she is dismayed when she learns about the upcoming rumble from Anita. When Tony arrives, Maria insists that he must stop the fight altogether, which he agrees to do. Before he goes, they dream of their wedding. Tony, Maria, Anita, Bernardo and the Sharks, and Riff and the Jets all anticipate the events to come that night. The gangs meet under the highway and, as the fight between Bernardo and Diesel begins, Tony arrives and tries to stop it. Though Bernardo taunts and provokes Tony, ridiculing his attempt to make peace, Tony keeps his composure. When Bernardo pushes Tony, Riff punches him in Tony's defense. The two draw their switchblades and get in a fight. Tony attempts to intervene, inadvertently leading to Riff being fatally stabbed by Bernardo. Tony kills Bernardo in a fit of rage, which in turn provokes an all-out fight like the fight in the Prologue. The sound of approaching police sirens is heard, and everyone scatters, except Tony, who stands in shock at what he has done. The tomboy Anybodys, who stubbornly wishes that she could become a Jet, tells Tony to flee from the scene at the last moment and flees with the knives. Only the bodies of Riff and Bernardo remain.
Blissfully unaware that the rumble has taken place with fatal consequences, Maria giddily sings to her friends Rosalia, Teresita, and Francisca that she is in love. Chino brings the news that Tony has killed Bernardo, then leaves. Maria prays that what he has told her is a lie. Tony arrives to see Maria and she initially pounds on his chest with rage, but she still loves him. They plan to run away together. As the walls of Maria's bedroom disappear, they find themselves in a dreamlike world of peace.
Two of the Jets, A-Rab and Baby John, are set on by Officer Krupke, but they manage to escape him. They meet the rest of the gang. To cheer themselves up, they lampoon Krupke and the other adults who don't understand them. Anybodys arrives and tells the Jets that she has been spying on the Puerto Ricans; she has discovered that Chino has a gun and is looking for Tony. The gang separates to find Tony and protect him. Action has taken charge; he accepts Anybodys into the Jets and includes her in the search.
A grieving Anita arrives at Maria's apartment. As Tony leaves, he tells Maria to meet him at Doc's so they can run away to the country. In spite of her attempts to conceal it, Anita sees that Tony has been with Maria, and launches an angry tirade against him. Maria counters by telling Anita how powerful love is, and Anita realizes that Maria loves Tony as much as she had loved Bernardo. She admits that Chino has a gun and is looking for Tony. Lt. Schrank arrives to question Maria about her brother's death, and Anita agrees to go to Doc's to tell Tony to wait. Unfortunately, the Jets, who have found Tony, have congregated at Doc's, and they taunt Anita with racist slurs and eventually attempt rape. Doc arrives and stops them. Furious, Anita spitefully delivers the wrong message, telling the Jets that Chino has shot Maria dead.
Doc relates the news to Tony, who has been dreaming of heading to the countryside to have children with Maria. Feeling there is no longer anything to live for, Tony leaves to find Chino, begging for him to shoot him as well. Just as Tony sees Maria alive, Chino arrives and shoots Tony. The Jets, Sharks, and adults flock around the lovers. Maria holds Tony in her arms as he dies. Angry at the death of another friend, the Jets move towards the Sharks but Maria takes Chino's gun and tells everyone that "all of [them]" killed Tony and the others because of their hate for each other, and, "Now I can kill too, because now I have hate" she yells. However, she is unable to bring herself to fire the gun and drops it, crying in grief. Gradually, all the members of both gangs assemble on either side of Tony's body, showing that the feud is over. The Jets and Sharks form a procession, and together carry Tony away, with Maria the last one in the procession.
synopsis courtesy Wikipedia
Soprano Brooklyn Snow is a rising international artist with multiple performances to her credit in both Europe and the United States in her young career. This season, Ms. Snow debuted at Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist for Choirs of America’s Emerging Artists Series, covered the role of Semele with Opera Santa Barbara. She debuted at Arizona Opera in A Little Night Music, and returns to Union Avenue Opera to sing Nannetta in Falstaff and Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music. She is excited to be singing again with the New Philharmonic in West Side Story as Maria. Ms. Snow last sang with the New Philharmonic for their Show Boat and Show Tunes concert alongside her husband, Matthew Greenblatt (Tony).
In 2020, she sang all three heroine roles in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in a well-reviewed return to Union Avenue Opera. “Snow was especially adept in distinguishing her three very different characters, displaying that stunning combination of vocal athleticism and theatrical smarts that impressed me so much in UAO’s Candide in 2019.”(Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX). Ms. Snow had previously received an Outstanding Achievement in Opera award nomination for her 2019 performance as Cunegonde in Candide with the company.
Originally from Beaverton, Oregon, Ms. Snow holds music performance degrees from the University of Oregon and Indiana University School of Music.
In 2020, Ms. Snow debuted with Opera Santa Barbara as Woglinde in Das Rheingold, followed by a performance of At the Statue of Venus, a monodrama by Jake Heggie and covered the role of Norina in Don Paquale. Ms. Snow was a featured soprano in the Eugene Opera’s virtual New Year's Eve Gala Concert. She sang her first Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Opera Bend in 2019 and will reprise the role with The Southern Illinois Music Festival in 2023. Ms. Snow was a finalist for the Central Region in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2015. Originally from Beaverton, Oregon, Ms. Snow holds music performance degrees from the University of Oregon and Indiana University School of Music.
A native of Port Washington, New York, tenor Matthew Greenblatt is excited to be joining the New Philharmonic as Tony in West Side Story. Earlier this Season, Mr. Greenblatt covered the role of Jupiter in Opera Santa Barbara’s production of Semele, and made his Carnegie Hall debut as part of the Choirs of America Emerging Artist Series alongside his wife, soprano, Brooklyn Snow. Mr. Greenblatt looks forward to covering the role of Fenton in Falstaff this summer with Union Avenue Opera, and is excited to sing the role of Nemorino with The Southern Illinois Music Festival in the summer of 2023.
During the 2020-21 season, Mr. Greenblatt was in residence with Opera Santa Barbara as a Chrisman Studio Artist. He was also a featured Tenor Soloist for Eugene Opera’s Virtual New Year’s Eve Gala Concert.
Prior to his training with Opera Santa Barbara, Mr. Greenblatt spent two seasons as an Apprentice Artist with Palm Beach Opera where he covered the roles of Frederic in Pirates of Penzance, and Candide in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.
Mr. Greenblatt has been a finalist in the New York International Vocal Competition, The Saltworks Opera Competition, and a Semi-finalist in the Opera Index Competition.
Mr. Greenblatt holds Voice Performance degrees from The University of Michigan and Mannes.
Mezzo-soprano Kate Tombaugh has been praised as “utterly convincing dramatically, and musically superlative” (Seen and Heard International). She recently won first place in the Mildred C. Miller International Competition, hosted by Pittsburgh Festival Opera and featuring an all-mezzo edition.
Earlier this spring, Tombaugh debuted in John Corigliano’s Fern Hill with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra & Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir. In June, she'll be reprising The Dough in Rachel J. Peters’ Companionship with Virginia Arts Festival-John Duffy Institute, a leading role she first sang in the world premiere produced by Fort Worth Opera.
Some of her recent portrayals have included the lead heroines Isabella and Angelina with Winter Opera St. Louis in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri and La Cenerentola, respectively, and Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with Stockton Opera. Tombaugh has been a featured soloist with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Seattle, BEST Ensemble of Cincinnati, Bach Collegium of Fort Wayne, Evansville Philharmonic, Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, among others. She regularly works with living composers and is an avid master class technician, presenter, and recitalist.
Tombaugh trained as a young artist in the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artist program, as a Gerdine Artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and as a Resident Artist with Utah Opera. Additionally, she was a Stern Fellow with the LA-based Songfest, and performed in the Opera Studio at AIMS in Graz, Austria. She holds a masters degree in voice-opera performance from University of Cincinnati’s College- Conservatory of Music (CCM), and dual undergraduate degrees in English literature and vocal performance from Illinois Wesleyan University.
Tombaugh is the founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit arts organization, Poco a Poco, hosting an intensive, week-long summer music training program for high school-aged vocalists, Community choir and guitar ensembles, and offering free concerts and events in her hometown of Streator, IL. Her husband, Dr. Steven Weimer, is a composer and music professor at Millikin University. They are based in central Illinois and have two young daughters. For more information, please visit: www.katetombaugh.com and www.pocoapoco.org
Evan Bravos, Greek-American baritone, has been praised by the Chicago Tribune for his “strong singing and acting” and marked as “a young talent to watch.” Most recently, Opera News touted his “lovely lyric baritone” as “charming and guileless,” concluding that he “sang winningly” in the premiere of Matthew Recio and Royce Vavrek’s The Puppy Episode with Chicago Opera Theatre.
Engagements for the 2021-2022 season include Le Dancaïre in Carmen (Chicago Opera Theater) starring Jamie Barton and Stephanie Blythe, Handel’s Messiah (Santa Fe Symphony), Hannah before in Laura Kaminsky’s groundbreaking As One (Opera Santa Barbara), Riff in West Side Story (New Philharmonic) and several performances of Patrice Michaels’ Notorious RBG in Song. During the 2020-2021 season, Mr. Bravos performed in two world premieres, first creating the role of Clay (The Puppy Episode, by Matthew Reccio Royce Vavrek) in his principal debut with Chicago Opera Theater, and second, as Claudius for Joseph Summer’s Hamlet in a unique co-production between Boston’s The Shakespeare Concerts and the Ruse Bulgarian State Opera. He reprises the role of Claudius at Jordon Hall in Boston later this month, and finishes the season as a guest artist singing Marcello in La Bohème at Northwestern Opera Theater.
Mr. Bravos made his professional debut in the summer of 2019 as Maximilian in Bernstein’s Candide at The Ravinia Festival. His operatic and concert experience has included appearances with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Central City Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Diego Opera, Aspen Music Festival and Music Academy of the West. In 2016, he made his European debut as baritone soloist with the Colorado Symphony Chorus Faure Requiem in Paris, Strasbourg and Munich.
Mr. Bravos is a native of St. Charles, IL. He studied at Lawrence Conservatory (BM) and Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music (MM), where he is currently pursuing the Doctorate of Musical Arts. Learn more about this artist at www.evanbravos.com
Molly Chesna is a professional soprano with a background in classical singing, musical theater, dance and gymnastics. Chesna holds a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from North Park University in Chicago, having studied under the late Annie Piccard. Upon graduation in May of 2020, Chesna has been working as a freelance musician during the pandemic, most recently playing the role of Clotilde in North Park University’s fall production of Handel’s Faramondo. Apart from performing, Chesna also teaches piano and voice lessons at Music Makers in Western Springs, IL.
Allison Selby Cook is a Chicago-based singer, actor, and multi-instrumentalist. She is so glad to reunite with much-missed New Philharmonic and DuPage friends, after previous full productions of The Merry Widow (Olga), Die Fledermaus (Prince Orlofsky Cover/Chorus), and La Traviata (Flora Cover/Chorus). Current 2021-22 Season appearances: Music of the Baroque, Newberry Consort, Schola Antiqua, Early Music Now (Milwaukee), Illinois State University, University of Chicago, and a radio broadcast celebrating WFMT 98.7FM's 70th anniversary. In previous seasons, Cook has performed with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Court Theatre, ShawChicago, Remy Bumppo Theatre, Chicago Radio Theatre, The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, and at the Ravinia Festival with Chicago Symphony Orchestra. After studying at Northwestern University, Cook went on to opera and early music festivals in Siena (Italy), New York, Boston, and Berkeley.
James Judd is excited to return to New Philharmonic for this exciting production of West Side Story! Recent performance credits include tenor soloist in Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops Concert, Elder Hayes in the WNED-PBS film broadcast of Carlisle Floyd's Susannah, tenor soloist in Händel's Messiah with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Camille in Lehár's The Merry Widow and Alfred in Strauss II's Die Fledermaus with New Philharmonic. Judd has participated as a Young Artist at Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, Opera Saratoga, the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, the Crittenden Opera Workshop, and the Rocky Ridge Music Center. Judd holds a Master of Arts in Vocal Performance at The University of Iowa, and a Bachelors of Music in both Education and Vocal Performance from SUNY Fredonia.
Ryan Morrison is an active performer in the Chicago area and is excited to return to New Philharmonic in this year’s production of West Side Story. He was seen most recently in New Philharmonic’s productions of Die Fledermaus and Mikado. Mr. Morrison has an extensive and passionate vocal background ranging from Gregorian chant and Renaissance pieces to contemporary operatic, oratorio, and choral works.
On stage, he’s performed a wide range of characters, including: a king, thieving scoundrel, buffoon, soldier, night watchman, shepherd, and even a drunken uncle! Past solo roles include: The Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Ben Budge in Britten's The Beggars Opera, the Herald in Verdi’s Otello, and the Customs Official in Puccini’s La boheme. He has also performed in numerous local productions in the Christmas classic Amahl and the Night Visitors, as both Melchior and Balthazar – two of the three Kings.
Morrison is married to his lovely wife, Erika (also a New Philharmonic alum), has two children, Charlotte and Leo, a dog (Major Tom) and a cat (Mr. Mustard). A big Beatles fan, he plays bass and sings as “Sir Paul” in a local Beatles Tribute band, Abbey Roads.
Equally at home on the operatic stage or in concert repertoire, soprano Susan Nelson has been praised by critics for her “full, powerful voice – agile and pliant” as well as her interpretations, called both “sensitive and moving” and “full of life and vigor”, showcasing her versatility in repertoire from Bach and Mozart to verismo and contemporary opera, as well as light opera and popular music.
Nelson’s opera works has included four Mozart soprano roles, two Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief, Bubikopf in Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis, and Micaëla in Carmen, as well as covering four small roles at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
A member of the Grant Park Chorus since 2003 and soprano soloist in their 2021 Vivaldi Gloria, Nelson’s Chicago area solo appearances include Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Elmhurst Choral Union, Elgin Master Chorale, and Midwest Mozart Festival.
Nelson teaches through Music of the Baroque’s Strong Voices program and at Concordia University Chicago and is the music director at Grace Lutheran Church in Mt. Prospect. During the pandemic she also has recorded 500 songs by women composers/songwriters of all different genres. She is also a soloist on three CDs from Music of the Baroque, Peace Be (works by David Jennings) and the Grant Park Music Festival Chorus’ first a cappella CD, Songs of Smaller Creatures and Other American Choral Works, which was released in 2012. Ms. Nelson tied for third place for the 2014 The American Prize in Vocal Performance Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award in the Professional Opera Division, was also a 2014 Finalist for the Chicago Oratorio Award by the same organization, and is a recipient of a Career Encouragement Award from the MacAllister Foundation.
Colleen Ortega is the director of music at St. Luke and St. Bernardine Parish in River Forest, IL. Professionally, Ms. Ortega has performed as a pianist, organist, clarinetist and vocalist (contralto) in her native Canada, Europe, and here in the Chicago area. She has worked with Main Street Opera (Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci), Da Corneto Opera (Faust, Noli Me Tangere, Nabucco) Sinfonietta Bel Canto (Il Tabarro,Suor Angelica), New Philharmonic (Merry Widow) and is so pleased to be back for this production of West Side Story.
William Ortega, tenor, is the Orchestra and Associate Band Director at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn. He has appeared as a chorister and in various comprimario roles with DuPage Opera and as a utility clarinetist with the New Philharmonic. Mr. Ortega is a voice student of Alvaro Ramirez.
Arlington Heights, IL native Ryan Wolfe is a passionate musician who is fueled by his love for collaboration and performance. Wolfe has won an Encouragement Award in the Central Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, is a two-time semi-finalist of the Lotte Lenya Competition, and won first prize in the 2022 University of Cincinnati – CCM Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition. This year at CCM, Wolfe was seen as Il Conte Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro and Cardinal 3/Priest/Father in Phillip Glass’ Galileo Galilei. In March of 2022, Wolfe returned to Des Moines Metro Opera to cover Papageno in Barry Kosky’s internationally acclaimed production of Die Zauberflöte.
Kirk Muspratt recently received the 2020 Programming of the Year Award as well as the 2018 Conductor of the Year award from the Illinois Council of Orchestras. He was also named “Chicagoan of the Year” in classical music by John von Rhein and the staff of the Chicago Tribune. In honoring Muspratt, von Rhein said, “Ask the delighted adults and kids who this year flocked to his concerts in west suburban Glen Ellyn with the New Philharmonic Orchestra … They will tell you he made concert going an interactive experience that was both enlightening and— are you ready?—fun.”
Recognized as one of the outstanding figures in the new generation of conductors, Muspratt has garnered international critical acclaim as a “born opera conductor” (Rheinische Post), “a knowledgeable musician who delivers superbly controlled, gorgeously shaped readings” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), and “friend to local music” (Midwest Beat Magazine). The Los Angeles Times declared, “Watch him!”
In July 2004, Muspratt was named both music director of New Philharmonic and artistic director/music director of DuPage Opera Theatre (now New Philharmonic Opera). In his last fifteen years, productions featured Otello, Madama Butterfly, Le Nozze di Figaro, Il Barbiere di Seviglia, Hansel and Gretel, La Boheme, Faust, Tosca, The Beggars Opera, Elixir of Love, Turandot, Gianni Schicchi, Cosi fan Tutte, The Mikado, La Traviata, Die Fledermaus, and The Merry Widow.
In 2017 and 2009, New Philharmonic was awarded Professional Orchestra of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras. Programming of the Year award, also by the Illinois Council of Orchestras, was garnered in 2019 and bestowed in 2020.
In his first months at New Philharmonic, Muspratt instituted a Side-by-Side program for local high school students. Six years ago, Muspratt initiated a popular Solo Competition for Children that results in a child performing at every New Philharmonic concert. In order to involve the community to the maximum, Muspratt has created “Just Ask Kirk™” cards for audience members’ questions and a “Kirkature™” cartoon to help advocate the credo: “Classical music is for everyone.”
Muspratt begins his 20th acclaimed season as music director of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra (NISO). In 2006, with NISO, he initiated the South Shore Summer Music Festival.
From 1991 through 1996, Muspratt served as resident conductor to Lorin Maazel at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Prior to that, he was appointed as associate conductor to Joseph Silverstein at the Utah Symphony Orchestra (1990-1992). From 1987 through 1990, Muspratt served as assistant conductor to Leonard Slatkin at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as well as music director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. He was music director of the Alberta Ballet from 1997 through 1999. At the New York Philharmonic, Muspratt has served as a cover conductor.
In addition to his work in Pittsburgh, Utah and St. Louis, Muspratt has guest conducted the orchestras of Los Angeles, Montreal, London, Korean Broadcast Symphony, Detroit, Rochester, National Arts Center, Vancouver, Knoxville, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Victoria, Thunder Bay, New Orleans, Stamford, Binghamton, Lafayette, South Bend, Puchon, Annapolis, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and Baltimore Chamber Symphony. Summer debuts have included the Tanglewood, Chautauqua and Sewanee Music Festivals and the Banff Center for Performing Arts.
In Europe, Muspratt was assistant conductor in the opera houses of Monchengladbach/ Krefeld, Germany, from 1985 to 1987. His American opera-conducting debut came with the Utah Opera in 1991. He returned there to premiere Mascagni’s L‘Amico Fritz. Maestro Muspratt has conducted Die Fledermaus for the Calgary Opera, Faust and Merry Widow for the Utah Opera, Of Mice and Men and Il Barbiere di Siviglia for the Arizona Opera, all to stunning critical acclaim. In addition, he debuted at the Ash Lawn-Highland Summer Opera Festival in Virginia. He returned to Arizona Opera to conduct their production of Dialogues of the Carmelites, to the Utah Opera for their new production of Faust and Amahl and the Night Visitors at Opera Illinois.
In 1983 and 1984, Muspratt was invited to be a scholarship student at the Chautauqua Institute and in 1986 was selected as a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival. A year later, he was invited into the Conducting Program at the Tanglewood Festival. In 1988, he was chosen to be one of three conducting fellows for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute at the Hollywood Bowl.
As a teacher, Muspratt has taught at the Conductors’ Institute of the University of South Carolina, the Conductors’ Guild National Workshops, Association of Canadian Orchestras National Conference in Toronto, the Conductors’ Studio at Illinois State University and at Westminster Choir College in Princeton. During the summer, he has often taught a graduate conducting class at VanderCook College of Music and for the last three summers has been teaching at the Northwestern University Summer Opera Seminar. In 2019, he taught graduate conducting master classes at Illinois State University and judged the concerto competition at Northwestern University. Muspratt recently completed a six-year tenure on the board of directors of the Conductors’ Guild.
Having always enjoyed working with young people, he has conducted the Pennsylvania Regional Orchestra and the Pennsylvania All- State Orchestra and most recently the IMEA District 9 orchestra. Muspratt has conducted the Boston University Tanglewood Orchestra at the Tanglewood Festival. Muspratt has been the recipient of numerous awards, among them grants from the Canada Council and the Presser Foundation. In 1983 and again in 1984, he was winner of the Strauss Conducting Prize while a conducting student at the Vienna Conservatory. During his tenure in Utah, he received the first Utah Up ’n Comers Award ever given to a classical musician. This honor was awarded to Muspratt for his work and involvement in the Utah Arts Community. In 1987, he was named winner of the prestigious Exxon/Affiliate Artists Award.
He began his studies as a pianist in New York with Harold Zabrack and continued his studies at Temple University with Adele Marcus and Alexander Fiorillo. After completing graduate studies, Muspratt was accepted into the conducting program at the Konservatorium in Vienna, Austria.
Muspratt is a native of Crows Nest Pass, Alberta, Canada. He became an American citizen in the summer of 2010.
In 2016, he was honored to become a Paul Harris Fellow, an award named for the Rotary International Founder, Paul Harris. In recent seasons, Muspratt has conducted at the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.
Benjamin Nadel is a classically trained conductor, pianist, and violinist. Based in Chicago, he is the Associate Conductor and Orchestra Librarian for the New Philharmonic and Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra. He is also the Orchestra Director at North Central College. Nadel served as Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master at the Midwest Institute of Opera from 2011 – 2015.
Nadel began his conducting studies with Dr. Glenn Block at Illinois State University while completing his undergraduate degree. He then went on to receive his MA in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Iowa with Dr. William LaRue Jones. Early on in his studies, Nadel fell in love with operatic conducting because to him, it is one of the most moving and all-encompassing art forms. This passion for opera led him to the Cincinnati Conservatory’s summer opera program in Spoleto, Italy, where he studied with Maestro Mark Gibson. It was after this that he became Assistant Conductor at the Midwest Institute of Opera, where he had the privilege to work closely with Maestro Joshua Greene of the Metropolitan Opera. Nadel is devoted to understanding the native languages of operatic scores in order to best interpret them musically, so he spent 2 summers in Italian language immersion, and has a firm command of German as well.
As an orchestral conductor, Nadel has worked with several youth groups and high school ensembles, including New Trier, Metea Valley, Glenbard West, and Stevenson High School, as well as the Northwest Indiana Youth Symphony. He also regularly conducts on the summer concerts at New Philharmonic and the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra.
Elias Morales is excited to be working as the Lighting Designer for another amazing production at College of DuPage! For the past 14 years, he has been working as a freelance lighting designer, stage manager, and as a stage technician around Chicago. In addition, he has also had the pleasure of traveling across the US on tour with dance and sketch comedy companies. While working with so many individuals throughout the US has been fun, it is a pure delight to be working with all the passionate and talented individuals at the MAC on the show tonight!
Kimberly G. Morris is pleased to continue her work at College of DuPage. Prior to joining the crew at COD she spent 13 years as a freelance costume, makeup, wig and properties designer throughout Chicago and the east coast. She is a company member of Babes with Blades Theatre Company where she has designed Promise of a Rose Garden, Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, Patchwork Drifter, Macbeth, Susan Swayne and Bewildered Bride and Bo Thomas and the Case of the Spy Pirates. Other favorite past projects include Carmilla and Grease at COD; puppet design for Lifeline Theatre’s Neverwhere, and costumes/masks for their Island of Dr. Moreau; costume and puppet design for Akvavit Theatre’s production of Blue Planet; and properties design for Chicago Children’s Theatre productions of A Year with Frog and Toad and 100 Dresses. She has also designed for Stage Left Theatre, Fox Valley Repertory, Ball State University, American Shakespeare Center, Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, Heritage Repertory Theatre, Tecumseh!, Wilmette Arts Center, NWHS and MEHS.
McAninch Arts Center acknowledges and gives grateful thanks to those donors who have contributed in support of the MAC mission and vision. This list of donors reflects contributions made from July 1, 2020 - Jan. 28, 2022. While we carefully prepared this list, we recognize that errors may have occurred. Please accept our apology if you are not properly represented on this list and contact the College of DuPage Foundation at (630) 942-2462 so we may correct our records.