With coloratura soprano Laura León – Justin Bischof, conductor
St. Mary Church, NYC – April 29, 2023
“Modus @ Mary” concert features works by Beethoven and Mozart, performed by a 42-piece orchestra & rising star guest soloist, Cuban soprano Laura León, above right.On Saturday, April 29th at 7:30 pm, Modus Operandi Orchestra (MOO), under the baton of Maestro Justin Bischof (pictured above left), with Eiko Kano, concertmaster (pictured above center), will celebrate the riches and majesty of works that either premiered in Vienna or that have a strong connection to this glittering European capital city. The program will feature Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and Symphony No. 7, as well as Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 “Haffner,” Exsultate Jubilate for soprano and orchestra, and concert aria “No no, che non sei capace”. In her MOO debut, Cuban coloratura soprano Laura León will take on the thrilling and fiendishly difficult aria with its numerous high E’s, as well as the beloved composer’s joyous Exsultate Jubilate.
The concert also includes several notable anniversaries and interconnections with the number “3”: the 250th anniversary of Exsultate Jubilate (1773); the 240th anniversary of Symphony No. 35 “Haffner” and “No, no che non non sei capace” (1783); and the 210th anniversary of Symphony No. 7 (30 years later in 1813).
The performance will take place at St. Mary Church, 1008 49th Avenue, Long Island City, NY. Tickets are $25 General Admission and $50 Preferred Seating and are available at moo tickets april 29.eventbrite.com. For more information about MOO, please visit moonyc.org.
Coriolan Overture Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 35 “Haffner” W. A. Mozart
Exsultate Jubilate, K. 165 Mozart
“No no, che non sei capace”, K. 419 Mozart
Symphony No. 7 Beethoven
Here’s what makes this concert so special:
- 42 piece orchestra composed of NYC’s best musicians under the baton of Maestro Bischof.
- Modus Operandi Orchestra debut of up-and-coming Cuban soprano Laura León.
- Each work was inspired by various themes and people surrounding war, ennoblement, and religion; all of the music embodies drama and exuberance.
- The opportunity to compare and contrast the genius of Mozart & Beethoven in a unique program of their works which includes 2 legendary symphonies and masterful works for soprano and orchestra.
Cuban soprano Laura León (lauraleonsoprano.com) is quickly becoming a rising star on the operatic stages with a voice that “sparkles, seduces and languishes.” Laura made her dèbut as Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte with Orchestra Miami under the baton of Elaine Rinaldi, as well as a Florida Grand Opera dèbut as Frasquita in Carmen with subsequent performances as Mother of Peasant in Before Night Falls and Cristina Kahlo in Frida.
Last season, Laura performed as Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Opera in Williamsburg, Woman I in Frida with both El Paso Opera and Opera Southwest, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi with On Site Opera, Giulietta/Antonia/Stella/Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann with Opera Lousiane, Mozart’s Mass in C and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music with Mid-America Productions at Carnegie Hall. This season, Leon will join the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the world premiere of The Factotum, perform the role of Ana Maria in Héctor Armienta’s Zorro with Opera Southwest, and joins Modus Operandi Orchestra as the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate.
Most recently, Ms. León performed the role of Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte with Opera in Williamsburg, Susanna in Figaro 90210! with Chautauqua Opera, the Four Heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Opera Orlando, Norina in Don Pasquale with Gulf Shore Opera, and Amore in Orfeo ed Eurydice with Opera in Williamsburg. This season she will perform Cristina Kahlo in Frida with both El Paso Opera and Opera Southwest, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi with On Site Opera, and the Heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Opera Delaware. Next season’s engagements include returns to Southwest Opera and El Paso Opera.
On the concert stages, Laura has performed as a soloist in Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Egmont, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Missa Solemnis, Rutter’s Requiem, Al Borde de la Esperanza with University of Miami, and in the Ernesto Lecuona International Festival with Alba Productions.
Justin Bischof, Founder, Artistic Director & Conductor (justinbischof.com)
New York City resident Justin Bischof is one of the most eclectic artists of his generation. He is an internationally acclaimed orchestral and opera conductor as well as concert organist, pianist and improviser. He has performed in some of the world’s great venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Lincoln Center, Rose Theatre Lincoln Center, Tonhalle of Zurich, Eli Broad Theatre of Los Angeles, St. Paul’s Cathedral London, Notre Dame Paris, Cologne Cathedral, to name a few. He has collaborated with some of the world’s most prominent artists including Joshua Bell, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun and Roberta Peters. As an orchestral conductor, he was worked with numerous ensembles including National Arts Center Orchestra, The Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Vancouver Symphony, the Royal Symphony of Oman, the State Philharmonic Kavkazskiye of Russia, the WAAPA orchestra in Perth Australia, and the National Orchestra of Haiti. He made his Australian Opera Conducting Debut in Perth at the WAAPA leading a critically acclaimed production of the Australian Premiere of Robert Ward’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Crucible. Other important opera premieres include the Hawaiian premiere of Menotti’s The Medium and the Telephone, working with members of The Honolulu Symphony and Hawaii Opera Theatre. He is one of the profession’s most respected organists and has concertized extensively. He has performed numerous premieres for solo organ and with chamber ensembles. He won the First Prize at the 2000 AGO International Organ Improvisation Competition and is a leading proponent of the craft with his all improvisation performances have been met with critical acclaim throughout the world. Bischof has performed and recorded with numerous orchestras including the Zurich Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony and the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt. Before COVID, he performed the Middle East premiere of Samuel Barber’s Toccata Festiva for Orchestra and Organ in February 2019 at the Royal Opera House in Muscat Oman with the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt. Professor Bischof taught for many years at the esteemed Manhattan School of Music as well as Barnard College Columbia University. He is sought after as a guest professor for master classes around the world. He maintains a private conducting studio for gifted conductors. He serves on numerous boards including as Chair of the Alumni Council of MSM and Chair of the Conductors Retreat at Medomak.
MOO Modus Operandi Orchestra (moonyc.org)
Modus Operandi Orchestra’s mission is to present symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire at the highest artistic level with the goal to engage and enrich the local community. A vital component of its mission is to provide the opportunity for some of the finest freelance musicians in New York City, led by internationally acclaimed conductor Justin Bischof, to perform the staples of the great symphonic and operatic repertory as well as contemporary works and world premieres with their colleagues. Their concerts have been met with critical acclaim and a dedicated audience following. Many of their players have gone on to perform with major ensembles including Berlin’s Konzerthaus Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony and St. Paul’s Chamber Orchestra. MOO’s stellar roster of international guest soloists have appeared with Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Edinburgh Festival, Lyric Opera Chicago, New Israeli Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Seattle Symphony, Hong Kong Opera, Seattle Opera, Vlaamse Opera (Belgium), Sante Fe Opera, Montreal Opera, Opera North (UK), New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
MOO presented an Annual Children’s Benefit Concert for 10 years to help at-risk children that raised over $1,000,000 which enabled more than 700 at-risk children from Mount Vernon to attend the life-altering Children’s Aid Society Wagon Road summer camp. MOO was in residency at the historic Church of St. James the Less Scarsdale, NY, from 2007–2017 performing several times a season. They began their New York City residency at St. Mary Church, Long Island City, in November 2019.
Eiko Kano, Concertmaster (eikonyc.com) Praised as an artist with “electrifying intensity and lyrical expression”, Japanese violinist Eiko Kano is known for her sensational and dynamic performances. Eiko has a thriving international career as a soloist as well as a chamber musician frequently collaborating with distinguished artists such as principal oboist of the Berlin Philharmonic Albrecht Meyer, Eugene Drucker of the Emerson Quartet and Kenneth Cooper and Ani Kavafian. She is a top prizewinner of multiple international competitions and as a result of winning the Forval Scholarship, Eiko was granted the Stradivarius “Reinville” violin for 2 years. She currently serves as an assistant concertmaster in Grammy Award-winning Albany Symphony Orchestra as well as regularly plays in the New York Philharmonic. Eiko is the concertmaster and senior artistic advisor of Pegasus: The Orchestra based in New York. Eiko has received BM and MM degrees from Manhattan School of Music and is a long-time resident of New York. In 2016, she launched the critically acclaimed production titled A Manhattan Story (unique style of violin music with original storytelling). Winter was released in 2017 followed by Spring in 2018 and both CDs have been featured in the audio program on all international JAL flights. In 2018, Eiko founded a dynamic new ensemble, The New Yorkers, featuring Karén Hakobyan as her duo partner. Since then they have been performing extensively in the US and touring Japan for three consecutive seasons. As a recognition of her remarkable performances, Eiko was loaned the precious “Wilhelmj” Stradivarius violin by Nippon Music Foundation. Her rare and mesmerizing video production of Bach Chaconne filmed in the prestigious Kyoto temple Zenrin-ji (Eikando) with a costume designed by Junko Koshino was scheduled to be featured on all JAL International flights and it has been featured on STRAD Magazine. Her belief and passion to connect science and music influenced by her physicist father led her to be appointed as the Musical Ambassador by prestigious OIST Foundation (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology) in 2020 and also as Honorary Music Director by OIST in 2022.