The Beacon News, December 24, 2014
By popular demand, the New Philharmonic Orchestra will offer three New Year’s Eve performances this year.
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 for the performances. The program will feature works by Johann Strauss, Stoltz and Von Suppe, plus a celebratory champagne toast and other surprises, said Muspratt.
Performances will be at 1, 5 and 9 p.m. Dec. 31.
“We always had people waiting outside for tickets every time … so now, for the first time, we’re doing three (performances),” he said.
The New Year’s Eve show differs in tone from other shows throughout the year.
“There is some very serious and thought-filled music on the program, and I aim to make people cry,” he said. “I want people to be blurry-eyed at least once in the concert. I try to get them that knife in the heart. But most of it is a big party.
“And it should feel like that. Hey, it’s New Year’s Eve. Everybody should have a big smile on their face at the end of the concert. I hope I really captivate people and they have no choice next year, they must come back. I try to make it as magnetic a concert as possible.”
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).
Muspratt calls him a “future star.”
“He’s a lovely guy and … it’s going to be a joy for everyone as soon as he opens his mouth,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if he is singing ‘The Hippopotamus Song’ or a very serious song like the (Erich Wolfgang) Korngold that is really heart-wrenching. He will be the star of the show. It’s a chance for him to sing some different songs with an orchestra that he might not get to do otherwise.”
Muspratt and the New Philharmonic were the first performers last year after The Mac’s massive renovations.
This year, WFMT will broadcast the 5 p.m. performance live.
“We’re not messing around,” he said. “You should expect a complete blast of a time. The best time you’ve had in all of 2014.”
The program will start with Josef Strauss’ “Schabernack Polka,” then continue with J. Strauss Jr.’s “Emperor Waltz.”
Irvin will guest for Rudolf Sieczyński’s “Vienna, City of My Dreams” and will also be featured in Korngold’s “O Freund, Ich Werde Sie Nicht Wiedersehen.”
The evening will include the traditional “Auld Lang Syne” and other interesting surprises.