QCSO welcomes back rising star Sarah Shafer

Mark Russell Smith knew he was working with a budding talent the first time he worked with Sarah Shafer at the Curtis Institute in 2007. Sarah had been given the small but important part of Barbarina in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. "She made an immediate impression as an innately musical singer and had a radiant presence on stage,” explained Mark Russell Smith. Smith worked again with Shafer on a tour of China and Korea with the Curtis Chamber Orchestra. And he also invited her to perform with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra as one of the four vocalists for Mozart’s Requiem during the 2010-11 season, and later as one of three soloists for Strauss’ Suite from Der Rosenkavalier in 2011-12 season.

In the mean time, Shafer’s professional career has blossomed. She recently made her professional operatic debut in the role of Barbarina and the cover role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Glyndebourne Festival and at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall. Roles for the 2012-13 season included her American debut with Opera Memphis singing Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore, Mary Lennox in the world premiere of San Francisco Opera's newly commissioned work The Secret Garden, and Papagena in Opera Philadelphia's Die Zauberflöte. And now Shafer returns to the Quad Cities from these lead operatic roles to lend her "luminous voice” (New York Times) to Samuel Barber’s deeply personal Knoxville, Summer of 1915.

Shafer will also make and appearance on the second half of the program to perform Mozart’s "Ch’io mi scordi di te?” with celebrated pianist Joel Fan. Joel Fan has been described as a "versatile and sensitive pianist” (Washington Post) and praised for his "vivid imagination” (New York Times). This recital for soprano and piano will be performed along with and Richard Strauss’ "Morgen!” in the midst of Strauss’ Suite of incidental music from Le bourgeois gentilhomme, enacting a portion the original stage play. You are sure to be smiling at the end of this delightful production.

Masterworks II

Saturday, October 26, at 7:30 p.m., Adler Theatre, Davenport

Sunday, October 27, at 2:00 p.m., Centennial Hall, Rock Island

Masterworks II is sponsored by the Charles B. Preacher Foundation

On Friday, October 25, Sarah Shafer and Joel Fan will join Music Director Mark Russell Smith for the Inside the Music Luncheon, once again at the Figge Art Museum at 12:00 noon. This luncheon is hosted by Volunteers for Symphony. Inside the Music is a great place to grab a bite to eat for lunch and get the inside scoop on the upcoming performances. This is also a great opportunity for music lovers throughout the Quad Cities to meet these internationally acclaimed artists. The luncheon is $20 and reservations can be made at www.qcsymphony.com or by calling 563.322.QCSO (7276).

Music Director Mark Russell Smith, Sarah Shafer, and Joel Fan will also be available during Concert Conversations, held in the concert hall an hour before each of the weekend's concerts. At Concert Conversations the audience is given a quick overview of the program they are about to experience. This look into the background of the concert's repertoire is in its sixteenth year and has become an audience favorite.

Finally, after the Saturday night performance, the entire audience is invited to mingle with the guest artists, Mark Russell Smith, and many of the musicians of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in the lobby of the Hotel Blackhawk at Afterglow. The evening includes free hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, and always remarkable repartee.

Don’t miss this exciting performance! Tickets and more information can be found at www.qcsymphony.com or by calling 563.322.QCSO (7276).

Inside the Music Luncheon

Friday, October 25, at 12:00 noon

Reservations: $20

Contact: www.qcsymphony.com or 563.322.QCSO (7276)

Figge Art Museum, Davenport

Concert Conversations

Saturday, October 26, at 6:30 p.m.

Adler Theatre, Davenport

Sponsored by Rich James, Wells Fargo Financial Advisors

Afterglow

Saturday, October 26, immediately following the concert

Hotel Blackhawk, adjacent to the Adler Theatre/RiverCenter

Concert Conversations

Sunday, October 27, at 1:00 p.m.

Centennial Hall, Rock Island

Sponsored by Rich James, Wells Fargo Financial Advisors

Masterworks II

Saturday, October 26, at 7:30 p.m., Adler Theatre, Davenport

Sunday, October 27, at 2:00 p.m., Centennial Hall, Rock Island

SCHUBERT Rosamunde Overture and Ballet

BARBER Knoxville, Summer of 1915

MOZART Ch’io mi scordi di te?

R. STRAUSS "Morgen!” for soprano and orchestra

R. STRAUSS Suite from Le bourgeois gentilhomme

Masterworks II is sponsored by the Charles B. Preacher Foundation