Chicago Tribune, December 23, 2014
By popular demand, New Philharmonic (NP) expands its New Year’s Eve performances this year at the McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., to now include three performances Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 1, 5 and 9 p.m. The program will feature works by Josef Strauss, J. Strauss Jr., Franz von Suppé and others, plus a celebratory champagne toast and special surprises. Continuing their tradition of featuring soloists from the Lyric Opera Ryan Center for Young Artists, tenor John Irvin will join New Philharmonic and Maestro Kirk Muspratt to ring out the old and ring in the new 98.7 FM-WFMT will provide a live broadcast of the 5 p.m. performance.
“Our New Year’s Eve concerts have sold out year after year, so this year we’re proud to offer three concerts, guaranteed to give even more Chicagoland music lovers the opportunity to toast “good bye” to the old year, and hail the arrival of the new,” says Muspratt.
The program will start with Josef Strauss’ rousing “Schabernack Polka,” then continue with J. Strauss Jr.’s “Emperor Waltz.” Guest tenor John Irvin will join Muspratt and NP for Rudolf Sieczyński’s “Vienna, City of My Dreams” and will also be featured in Erich Wolfgang Korngold “O Freund, Ich Werde Sie Nicht Wiedersehen,” in these celebratory concerts replete with surprise encores, a New Year’s Eve champagne toast, the traditional “Auld Lang Syne” and more.
Originally a pianist, John Irvin discovered his passion for singing in 2008 and he went on to earn his Bachelor of Music magna cum laude from Georgia State University (2010) and Professional Certificate from Boston University’s Opera Institute (2012). A member of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Irvin recently appeared as Alfred for two performances of “Die Fledermaus” and appeared as Count Almaviva in Lyric’s family matinee of “The Family Barber.” Other highlights this past year include debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (“Beyond the Score” with Stéphane Denève), the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Don Curzio, Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro” with Gustavo Dudamel) and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven Symphony no. 9 with Sir Andrew Davis). For Lyric Opera’s 2014-15 season, Irvin will perform and cover roles in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” Strauss’ “Capriccio,” Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena” and Weinberg’s “The Passenger.”
New Philharmonic is a professional orchestra in residence of the MAC that has inspired classical music enthusiasts in Chicago and the suburbs for three decades. Under the direction of Conductor and Music Director Kirk Muspratt, named a 2006 Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, the group gives innovative treatment to both classic compositions and modern works and strives to make the music accessible to new audiences and youth through a variety of educational efforts.
New Philharmonic, under the direction of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, presents three New Year’s Eve concerts at the McAninch Arts Center, located on the campus of College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, Ill., Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 1, 5 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $55 (1 p.m.); and $65 (5 & 9 p.m.) A limited number of $10 student tickets will also be available, with valid student ID. To order tickets, call 630.942.4000, or visit AtTheMAC.org.