The May Festival, the oldest continuous choral festival in the western hemisphere, has been directed by Maestro James Conlon for 31 years. This two-weekend festival opens its 89th season with four magnificent choruses by George Frideric Handel at Music Hall and continues this weekend with Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion" and a Sunday evening performance of spiritual works at Covington's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption.
The next weekend (May 21 and 22), will feature a commissioned work by Ian Krouse to honor Robert Porco's 20th anniversary as director of the May Festival Chorus, Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" and Walton's "Belshazzar's Feast." Then on Sunday, the May Festival finale will feature an all-Russian program with works by Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff's one act opera, Aleko.
Performing the role of Zamfira, will be locally based soprano Kara Shay Thomson.
She'll be making her May Festival debut, singing in front of her Cincinnati friends and family for the first time, in a role she's never sung and in Russian, a language she's had to learn specifically for this appearance.