50th Anniversary Season
Serban Petrescu, Concertmaster
Serban Petrescu was born in Bailesti Romania and received his BM from the National University of Music in Bucharest Romania in 2003. He also received his MM at Southeastern Louisiana University in 2005.
In 2003 he cofounded the Liric String Quartet with whom he performed in New Orleans, Little Rock, Wilmington, Newark and Philadelphia (at the Academy of Music). In 2005, the Liric String Quartet was the recipient of the Samuel Barber Foundation Award for performing Samuel Barber’s String Quartet.
Serban Petrescu has been the concertmaster of Newark Symphony since 2005. He also plays with Lancaster Symphony and Kennett Symphony.
In addition to performing Mr. Petrescu maintains a private studio, teaching violin and chamber music with locations in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Serban also teaches violin, viola and chamber music at Widener University.
March 5, 2017 “Swan Lake”
Delaware Dance Company was founded over thirty years ago as the performing troupe associated with The Ballet School of Newark in Newark, DE. A decade later, the school became part of the non-profit organization and expanded to teach jazz and modern technique as well as ballet and tap. Sunshine Webster Latshaw, who began training at DDC at the age of 12, returned as Ballet Mistress and, in 1999, replaced founder Priscilla Payson as the Artistic Director.
Ms. Latshaw danced with The Maryland Ballet before attending The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. While attending university, she worked with local modern companies including Archetype Dance and Koresh Dance Company and developed a passion for modern and contemporary forms of dance. Upon completing her BFA with a concentration in Dance Education, Ms. Latshaw brought her passions back to DDC. Always striving to offer the best in dance training and performance, DDC’s instruction is founded in a strong ballet core curriculum while encouraging students to broaden their dance education through the study of other dance techniques. Every December since 1984, DDC has produced a fully staged version of The Nutcracker ballet. Spring performances alternate between a ballet or mixed-style story performance and a Gala concert featuring the works of regional guest choreographers.
As a recipient of support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, DDC takes seriously its role of promoting the art of dance in the community. In recent years, DDC has offered free school performances, arranged dance badge events for local Girl Scouts, and collaborated with the Newark Symphony Orchestra for their family concerts. Honored to have been selected as a member of RDA Northeast in 2014, DDC looks forward to expanding its influence in the local arts community.
May 14, 2017 “Ode to…(50 years) of Musical Joy”
Sharon Christman, soprano, has soloed and debuted in almost every Lincoln Center venue. She made her Alice Tully Hall debut singing Pergolesi’s Orpheus Cantata with the New York Chamber Orchestra and her Metropolitan Opera debut singing the” Queen of the Night” in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte – a role she has performed with more than twenty opera companies and symphonies across the United States, Canada and South America. She may be seen on video with the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s production of that role with L’Opera de Montreal, a Maurice Sendak production. Peter Davis of New York Magazine has called Ms. Christman’s singing “dazzling.” Daniel Webster of The Philadelphia Enquirer called her “a polished stylist with a gleaming voice.” Martin Mayer of Opera Magazine, London, referred to Ms. Christman as, “the mistress of a fioratura the others did not attempt. Ms. Christman has soloed under the baton of such conductors as Julius Rudel, Eduardo Muller, Alfredo Silipigni, Wolfgang Rennert, Hans Allers, Steven Larsen, Richard Lert, Yakov Kreizburg, Gustave Meier, Simeone Tartaglione and Murry Sidlin. She has performed with many leading artists such as Jerome Hines, Pablo Elvira, Jerry Hadley, Renée Fleming and Carlo Bergonzi. Ms. Christman has sung with major opera companies around the world such as Dallas Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, Connecticut Opera, New York City Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Teatro Municipal to name a few, and premiered works by composers such as John Corigliano and Mark Adamo. Most recently, she was seen on the PBS presentation of the documentary, “Defiant Requiem, Voices of Resistance” as the soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem. Ms. Christman is Head of the Vocal Division of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at The Catholic University of America where she received the “Overall Excellence in Teaching” award for all of Catholic University in 2009. Her students sing with the Metropolitan Opera and other famous venues around the world as well as being competition winners.
“Rick Christman . . .. a spectacularly gifted tenor” Zakariasen New York Daily News. Rick Christman has performed in every venue at New York’s Lincoln Center. In addition his performances have thrilled audiences throughout Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. Of his singing of the murderish role of Arnoldo in Rossini’s “William Tell” the Salzburger Nachtrichten wrote, “Rick Christman’s singing rose to mesmerizing and in the famous final act aria, he blazed forth the numerous high C’s of the cabaletta singing with full, round, and flowing tones.”
Mr. Christman studied under the tutelage of famed tenors Enrico Di Giuseppe, John Alexander, and Franco Corelli. Early engagements included New York’s Bel Canto Opera and the Bronx Opera, before being engaged by the New York City Opera, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Metropolitan Opera. Subsequently he was engaged by the Opernhaus Zurich in Zurich Switzerland to understudy Salvatore Fisichella in the role of Arnoldo in Rossini’s “William Tell”. It was in that capacity that he made his European opera debut on one hour’s notice, singing under the baton of conductor Nello Santi, with La Scala artists Maria Chiara and Giorgio Zancanaro in the title role. Due to the success of that performance, he was engaged to sing Arnoldo in several European opera houses, as well as over 50 other roles before returning to the United States.
He has studied and/or sung under the baton of such conductors as James Levine, Nello Santi, Nikolaus Hanoncourt, Georg Solti, Antonio Pappano, and Ignace Strasfogel. He has sung with such famous singing artists as as Luciano Pavorotti, Placido Domingo, Alfredo Kraus, Jon Vickers, Carlo Bergonzi, Joan Sutherland, Maria Chiara, Kiri Te Kanawa, Monserrat Caballe, Margaret Price, Michele Crider, Sherrill Milnes, and Giorgio Zancanaro.
Mr. Christman is in very high demand as a voice teacher and maintains a voice studio in New York City while on the Voice faculty at the Catholic University of America’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. His students perform throughout North America and Europe and continue to win major vocal competitions.
Mezzo soprano Suzanne DuPlantis is featured regularly as soloist throughout the region. In a career that has spanned opera, song, chamber music and oratorio, she is widely appreciated for her communicative gifts. Suzanne made her New York debut in the St. John Passion of Bach at Alice Tully Hall with Musica Sacra and her Kimmel Center debut in Mahler’sDas Lied von der Erde with Orchestra 2001. Suzanne has premiered many new works including Andrea Clearfield’s “Les Fenêtres” and the “Women of Valor Suite”, Kile Smith’s “In This Blue Room” and Two Laudate Psalms”, written for her, Robert Maggio’s “Rachel and her Children; Small Hands Relinquish All”, Roxanna Panufnik’s “Love Abide”, Logan Skelton’s “Dickinson Songs”, and has recorded “Ancestral Waters” of Brian Gabor for mezzo, orchestra and jazz trio. In opera she has debuted with Arizona Opera, Austin Lyric, New Orleans Opera, Mobile Opera, Eugene Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Knoxville Opera, Chautauqua Opera and Opera Philadelphia in roles from Rossini’s heroines Rosina and Isabella, Carmen to Waltraute. In chamber music and song, Suzanne has appeared on numerous occasions with many of Philadelphia’s premiere arts organizations including The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Music at Gretna, Orchestra 2001, and 1807 and Friends. Suzanne co-founded Lyric Fest, a novel song festival in Philadelphia that presents theme-oriented programs. Noted for artistic excellence, scholarship and fun, Lyric Fest has received critical acclaim and enjoys broad audience appeal. www.lyricfest.com
“Peter Tomaszewski… puts his warm, hefty bass-baritone to telling use… shaping phrases with stylish flair and extracting something colorful out of nearly every syllable of text.”
– Tim Smith (Baltimore Sun)
Peter is excited to be making his debut with the Newark Symphony Orchestra. This year he has also worked as a concert soloist for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Concert Artists.
Tomaszewski served as an Apprentice Artist at Santa Fe Opera for the 2014 and 2015 seasons; there he made his mainstage debut as the Cappadocian in Salome and covered the roles of Ethan & Owens in the world premier of Cold Mountain by Jennifer Higdon. Peter performed as a Young Artist with Palm Beach Opera where he played Luther & Crespel in Les contes d’Hoffmann, First Nazarene in Salome, and Doctor Grenvil in La Traviata. He also workshopped and later went on to cover the role of Herman Broder for the world premier of Ben Moore’s Enemies: A Love Story.
Opera News magazine praised Peter’s work as the physician in Macbeth with Des Moines Metro Opera; there he also covered the title role in Don Pasquale and played Elder Ott in Susanna. Other opera roles include: Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress with The Peabody Conservatory, Gregorio in Roméo et Juliette with Annapolis Opera, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Maryland Concert Opera as well as with Opera AACC.
As for operetta, Peter has played: The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance with Maryland Concert Opera; also Lord Monterarat in Iolanthe, Counsel for the Plaintiff in Trial by Jury, Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore and Pooh-Bah in The Mikado all with the Young Victorian Theater Company.
He earned both a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance and an Opera Graduate Performance Degree at The Peabody Conservatory, where he studied under Stanley Cornett and the late celebrated English bass-baritone, John Shirley-Quirk.
Tomaszewski hails from the rural outskirts of Bellingham, Washington. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Western Washington University where he studied with Marvin Regier. He won the 2004 Concerto Competition in which he performed Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death with the WWU Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to his singing career Peter served two terms in AmeriCorps (National Civilian Community Corps) which included teaching in inner city schools, environmental work with The Nature Conservancy, construction with Habitat for Humanity, and disaster relief with FEMA. In 2006 he rode solo on a 6,000 mile cross-America bicycle tour.
for more info please visit: petertomaszewski.com
As director of choral studies at the University of Delaware, Paul D. Head directs the University Chorale and community-based Schola Cantorum. He also serves as the chair of the Department of Music. Dr. Head is a native Californian where he taught in the public schools for eight years before completing his Master of Music in Conducting and Music Education at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Oklahoma. His choirs have toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe and have received consistently high acclaim for their musical artistry, including the Grand Prix Award at the 2007 Estonian Choral Competition.
Dr. Head maintains an active presence as conductor and guest clinician, having conducted All-State choirs in ten states in addition to professional appearances throughout the United States. This year, Dr. Head will serve as a guest conductor and/or adjudicator in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. His choirs have made frequent appearances on American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) national (2005) and regional (2002, 2008, 2010) conventions. As an active researcher and pedagogue, he is published in several books and publications, and he is co-editor of Case Studies in Music Education (GiA; 2005) and a contributing author in The School Choral Program (GIA; 2008). He is currently editing the middle school choral edition of Teaching Music Through Performance, due for publication later this year.
As an active member of the ACDA, Dr. Head has held various leadership positions at state, regional and national levels. He also holds membership in Phi Mu Alpha, and Pi Kappa Lambda (the National Music Honor Society). He currently resides in southeastern Pennsylvania with his wife of twenty-five years, and he is the father of three children, all of whom are in college.
The University of Delaware Schola Cantorum, directed by Paul D. Head, is the University’s town and gown ensemble — a large chorus of University students, faculty and staff, along with members of the local community. Admission is open to all University students and community members via audition.
The choir specializes in extended works, frequently accompanied by full orchestra. Schola Cantorum performs regularly with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, most recently in the highly acclaimed performance of Mahler’sResurrection Symphony. Other appearances with the DSO include Mozart’s Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Recent collaborations with the University of Delaware Symphony Orchestra include Beethoven’s Mass in C , Haydn’s The Creation and Duruflé’s Requiem.