Symphoria and the Syracuse Pops Chorus join forces to present the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah, including the magnificent Hallelujah Chorus. This musical setting of the Christmas story has become a holiday tradition for many families. The “Hallelujah Chorus” so moved King George II that he sprang to his feet on hearing it, and audiences have continued to do so ever since.
This performance is made possible with generous support from our concert sponsor!
In June 2019, Mr. Capocaccia made his German debut conducting The Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen in both Stuttgart and Reutlingen. He returned to Italy in July and August for a production of L’elisir d’amore with performances throughout Tuscany. In the coming 2019-2020 season he embarks on his second season as Artistic and Music Director of Syracuse Opera, leading performances of Così fan tutte, Candide, and Tosca. In addition, the season will also be his third as Symphoria’s Youth Orchestra Music Director. Other debuts include his conducting a new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Curtis Institute Of Music.
Mr. Capocaccia’s first year as Artistic and Music Director of Syracuse Opera saw him conduct the three Syracuse Opera productions (Macbeth, Don Giovanni, and The Threepenny Opera). In the same season, he also made his debut with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. In spring 2018 he returned to Pittsburgh Opera to conduct L’elisir d’amore following a very well-received debut with the company in 2017 conducting La Traviata.
Over the last several years, Mr. Capocaccia has divided his time between the pit and the podium, fostering relationships with companies in Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and abroad. Prior to being named Artistic Director of Syracuse Opera, he conducted performances of Carmen, Rigoletto, and La Bohème, and led many performances with Symphoria. He has a long-standing relationship with the city of Pittsburgh, having served as guest conductor and cover on the staff of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and guest conductor of the Pittsburgh Opera. Outside of the United States, he conducted in Italy with AsLiCo, now OperaLombardia (I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Les contes d’Hoffmann), and debuted with Welsh National Opera conducting performances of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux.
Mr. Capocaccia has previously collaborated with Manhattan School of Music conducting Haydn’s Orlando Paladino. As a guest conductor he has appeared in the United States and in Europe leading the Orchestra di Roma e del Lazio, Moscow Ballet Orchestra, and Orchestra Sinfonica Città di Grosseto. He held positions as Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Opera, Resident Conductor of the Fischer Center at Bard College, and Assistant Conductor of the Indiana University Opera. He is a former Aspen Music Festival Conducting Fellow, where he studied with David Zinman and Murry Sidlin.
Born in Rome, he attended the Santa Cecilia Music Conservatory and studied violin, conducting, and composition extensively. A graduate of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington under David Effron, he has participated in Master classes with Herbert Blomstedt, Gustav Meier, and Leonard Slatkin.
Repertoire consists largely of new choral arrangements of old standards: patriotic anthems, holiday favorites, Broadway and movie music, and songs from the American Songbook. Lou Lemos, a graduate of the Crane School of Music is the director of the Syracuse Pops Chorus. Lou holds a degree in voice and instrumental music. At Crane, he also studied conducting with Brock McElheran.
The Syracuse Pops chorus is continuously welcoming new members, all voice parts. Visit syracusepopschorus.org for more information about joining the chorus.
heralded as "a pure-toned soprano that soared radiantly in the high climaxes." She starred this season as La Sua Compagna in
Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza with the American ...
heralded as "a pure-toned soprano that soared radiantly in the high climaxes." She starred this season as La Sua Compagna in
Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall led by Leon Botstein. “Serena Benedetti, who drew the Sills role of the Emigrant’s Companion, tossed the crazy music off like some amiable cabaletta, her lovely, deep soprano mastering the dramatic phrases lyrically, the lyric phrases dramatically. This is a voice one is very eager to hear take on more wide-ranging assignments. Apparently she can do anything beautifully.” (Parterrebox.com) In demand as a concert artist, Benedetti made back-to-back appearances in Bach’s Magnificat and Mozart’s Grand Mass in C Minor with the Greenwich Choral Society in 2018, and debuted with the Bard Festival in Rimsky-Korsakov’s From Homer with the American Symphony Orchestra.
Concert highlights include Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall under the baton of John Rutter. Other Carnegie Hall performances include those with the New York Oratorio Society, in repertoire ranging from Vivaldi to Mendelssohn. She has performed Brahms’ Requiem and Orff’s Carmina Burana with Southwest Florida Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Eroica Ensemble. She performed these works with New York's Chelsea Symphony at Bargemusic for which The New York Times praised her "warmly lyrical performance of Barber's ‘Knoxville: Summer of 1915', a lissome, sweetly sung account." She was a repeat favorite of the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space Series in New York with Kent Tritle, with whom she performed Bach’s Magnificat and St. John Passion, Massenet’s La Terre Promise and Gounod’s Tobie. She has appeared with the National Symphony, Danish Radio Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Eugene Symphony, the National Cathedral Choir, Greater Palm Beach Symphony Society, Lancaster Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic, the Princeton Symphony and others. She also collaborated with legendary artist Dave Brubeck in his oratorio, La Fiesta de la Posada.
Winner of a Marian Anderson Career Grant for Emerging Classical Artists, highlights of her operatic appearances include the role of Frantik in The New York Philharmonic's production of Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen conducted by Alan Gilbert, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Sarasota Opera, Musetta in La Bohème with the Palm Beach Opera, Fiordiligi in Così Fan Tutte with the Utah Symphony and Opera, Marzelline in Fidelio with Virginia Opera, and many others.
Ms. Benedetti has been heard extensive in both recital and chamber performances with the Ludwig van Beethoven Festival in Warsaw, Poland, where Benedetti presented a recital of Richard Strauss lieder, the Lyric Chamber Music Festival at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Maverick Music Festival, the Songfest Series (Princeton, NJ), in venues including The National Cathedral in Washington, DC, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York, and Detroit Symphony Hall. She has collaborated with members of the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, and with pianists JJ Penna and Brian
Zeger. Recital/chamber works have included Villa-Lobos Bachiana Brasileiras No.5, the Simple Songs of Aaron Jay Kernis, the Brentano
Lieder (Op. 68) of Richard Strauss, Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock, and works by 20th Century composers, including David Del Tredici, William Bolcom, Ricky IanGordon, Lee Hoiby and Stephen Sondheim.
Recognized by the press for her work in operetta, Ms. Smith has completed the G&S canon, performing in 13 Gilbert & Sullivan operettas with NYGASP. Roles include The Queen of the Fairies (Iolanthe), Little Buttercup (HMS Pinafore), Ruth (The Pirates of Penzance), Katisha (The Mikado and NYGASP’s 2017 new production of The Mikado), Dame Hannah (Ruddigore), Dame Carruthers (The Yeomen of the Guard), The Duchess of Plaza-Toro (The Gondoliers), The Baroness von Krakenfeldt (The Grand Duke), Lady Blanche (Princess Ida), Mrs. Partlet (The Sorcerer) and Dancing Sunbeam (The Rose of Persia). Ms. Smith first performed Gilbert & Sullivan at the College Light Opera Company where she played Little Buttercup (HMS Pinafore), The Queen of the Fairies (Iolanthe), Dame Carruthers (The Yeomen of the Guard), and Lady Jane (Patience) among other roles.
Her symphonic work includes performances with the Colorado Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Allentown Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Missouri Symphony and Williamsport Symphony with NYGASP under Artistic Director Albert Bergeret.
In 2016 Ms. Smith joined the cast of the Victor Herbert Renaissance Project Live! (VHRP LIVE!) in the title role of The Princess Pat where she “delivered…with assurance and style”, Operetta Research Center. She is also a proud member of the Bistro Award-winning cabaret show I've Got a Little Twist, appearing at 54 Below in New York City and on national tours as well as the Wand’ring Minstrels, where “Five of NYGASP’s top lead singers perform a condensed version of a Gilbert & Sullivan classic”.
Other credits include performances with Ardea Arts (Soloist in One Christmas Long Ago), New York Lyric Opera Theatre (La Contessa di Almaviva scenes in Le Nozze di Figaro and Cendrillon in Cendrillon), Opera Singers Initiative (Soloist), Belleayre Festival Opera (ensemble ringer in La Traviata, The G&S Society of NY (Rose Maybud in Ruddigore, The Countess of Newtown in The
Emerald Isle and concert soloist), Light Opera of New York (LOONY) (Duchess Anastasia in The Student Prince, soloist in The Desert Song, The Vagabond King and concerts), Martha Cardona Theater (soloist - National Anthem at The Society of Old Brooklynites 102nd Rededication of the Fort Greene Monument), Vocal Arts Symposium in Colorado Springs (Marguerite scenes in Faust, Micaëla Act III Aria in Carmen, and Amalia scenes in I Masnadieri), Opera Avanti (Miss Jessel scenes in Turn of the Screw), Opera Saratoga (G&S soloist in Oh Joy, Oh Rapture), St. Bonaventure Quick Center for the Arts (soloist in The Three Hermits and Hester Prynne), Pine Mountain Music Festival, Opera Delaware (Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore), South Carolina Opera (Rosina in Topsy-Turvy in Love, a G&S review and Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore), Caramoor Opera, Liederkranz Opera Theatre (Zita in GianniSchicci and Miss Todd in The Old Maid and the Thief), Pacific Opera, and New York Vocal Artists as a guest artist at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Ms. Smith is a 2009-2010 recipient of the Isaac Asimov Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement and is featured on NYGASP’s G&S Highlights recording available on CD and iTunes. In 2011 she received the CDM Sound Studios Recording Award from the Opera Singers Initiative and was a Semi-Finalist for The American Prize Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award.
Originally from Minnesota, Ms. Smith is a graduate of St. Olaf College with a Bachelor’s degree in Music and is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association.
During the 2017–2018 season, Dominick returned to Florida Grand Opera for a second year as a member of their studio artist program where he sang the ...
During the 2017–2018 season, Dominick returned to Florida Grand Opera for a second year as a member of their studio artist program where he sang the roles of Normanno in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lamermoor, as well as the 4th Jew in Richard Strauss’ Salome. Other roles at Florida Grand Opera have included Le Remendado in Bizet’s Carmen and Monsieur Triquet in Tchaicovsky’s Eugene Onegin, for which he recieved subsequent praise for his “agile instrument” and “impressive legato”. Originally from Syracuse, NY, he has sung a number of roles at Opera Saratoga including Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff (2017), The King of Venice in the American premiere of Philip Glass’ The Witches of Venice (2016) and The Sailor in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (2015) directed by renowned choreographer Karole Armitage. In 2015, Dominick was featured as a guest artist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Lee Mingwei’s performance art piece, Sonic Blossom, for which the New York Times credited him for having given “one excellent performance after another of the sublime Du bist die Ruh.”. In 2016, he was awarded a grant in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition in New York.
Other recent credits include Prince Sou Chong (Das Land des Lächelns), Ballad Singer (Of Mice and Men), Steven Todd/Arnold Murray (The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing), Castleman (The Long Walk), Mario (Il Postino), Ernesto (Don Pasquale) and Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni).