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March 18, 1951 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1951-03-18

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Choral Union To Present
Two Works at Festival

Violin Artilst


Rise Stevens To Portray,
Carmen in Third Concert


Swims for.



(Continued from Page 2)

The University Choral Union,
which has always played an im-
portant part in the May Festival,
will perform two important works
during the Festival.
One of these will be Verdi's
"Requiem" which was presented at
Work Called
Secret Of -
Runaway slaves and the Choral
Union singers would seem to have
little in common, but their con-
necting link is Lester McCoy, As-
sociate Conductor of the Univer-
sity Musical Society.
"One day before I left home
for rehearsal with ,the Choral
Union group, I went up into the
attic. I was having it insulated
and I discovered, quite by acci-
dent, a hidden stairway. This
gave ground to the rumor that
my home was once a wayside
house for underground slaves,"
McCoy explained.
** *
BUT THERE IS nothing hidden
about the fine reputation and dis-
tinction that the Choral Union
enjoys as being one of the top
chor groups in the country.
"All300 members work hard.
and do it willingly. It's really
not a difficult task to get re-
suits when everyone cooperates
without a quibble," McCoy add-
"It takes a lot of planning to
whip up a vocal rendition on such
a large scale. After choosing the
musical work, the seating of such
a large group must be considered.
And this seating is based on the
patricular work to be done."
FOR EXAMPLE, in Verdi's
"Requiem" the "Sanctus" chorus
is sung by a double chorus. So
the Choral Union group must be
split into two equal parts to ob-
tain the fullest effect and yet not
draw attention to either one of
the two sections," McCoy ex-
It's the precision rehearsals
that results in the smooth deliv-
ery of the Choral Union group,
without any last-minute details
disrupting the performance.

- * -

the first Festival in 1894. The oth-
er performance will be the Ameri-
can premiere of Lambert's "Sum-
mer's Last Will and Testament."
** *
THE VERDI WORK will be sung
at the Friday concert with four
distinguished soloists; Eileen Far-
rell, soprano; Blanche Thebom,
contralto; Coloman de Pataky,
tenor; and O~~ar Natzka, bass.
"Summer's Last Will and Tes-
tament" by the contemporary
British composer Lanbert, who
has won recognition in America
as the artistic director of the
Sadler's, Wells Ballet, will be
heard at the Sunday afternoon
concert. Natzka will be fea-
tured as the bass-baritone solo-
This 1951 presentation of the
Choral Union is a far cry from the
group's beginning in 1879. Then
it was simply a union of singers
from several of the local church
choirs. During its first season it
gave four concerts, in association
with the women's societies of the
* * *
opment was stimulated by its early
presentation of choruses from
Handel's "Messiah." Increasing its
repertoire the group invited other
singers to its membership.
From a small beginning of not
more than two dozen voices the
group expanded to 100, 200 and
finally to more than 300 voices,
to which it is limited because of
the Hill Auditorium stage facili-
ties. '
Early in its career the Choral
Union undertook the public per-
formance of Handel's "Messiah" in
its entirety and other oratorios.
Later it performed operas in con-
cert form and through the years
has presented practically all of
the major choral works, operas
adaptable to concert perfomance
and many miscellaneous works of
various nature. Frequently it has
given American or world premieres.
Calvin Cady was the first con-
ductor of the Choral Union. He
was followed by Albert A. Stanley,
Earl V. Moore, Hardin Van Deur-
sen, Thor Johnson and Lester Mc-
Coy, the present incumbent who
conducts the Christmas perform-
ances of "Messiah" and prepares
the chorus for the Festival offer-
ing which are conducted by Thor
Johnson, permanent conductor of
the Cincinnati Symphony Orches-



plays an excellent game of ten-
nis and enjoys swimming and
He is joined in his athletic in-
terests by his attractive, red-hair-
ed wife and their 12 year old
daughter, Ruth.
* * *
back seat to herhusband in ac-
complishments -- holding a doc-
tor's degree in philosophy and ro-
mance languages. Both she and
her husband enjoy reading and
point with pride to their valuable
library. Ruth shares their interest
in serious books, but, in the best
United States tradition, prefers
Ruth has received a good deal
of instruction in the art of "'fid-
dling" from her father. But, as
for a prospective concert career,
her father says, "No--too stren-
uous for a woman, at least our
little woman."
Regardless of his athletic and lit-
erary interests, Spivakovsky spends
a large portion of his free time in
developing his own musical talents.
He likes to play for an audience of
two-his wife and his daughter.
And when it comes to limiting
his activities, he never indulges in
anything which he thinks might
injure his hands. This is why he
never dared to realize his life-long
ambition, to become a gentleman

Carmen, in the person of titian-
haired Rise Stevens, will step
onto the stage of Hill Auditorium,
when she will be featured in the
third concert of the May Festi-
Included on her program will be
the Habanera and Seguidilla from
* * *
MISS STEVENS, star of the
Metropolitan O p e r a Company,
holds the honor of having sung
the greatest number of starring
roles at the Metropolitan in one
season in its entire history.
Acclaimed the hardest work-
ink and most valuable mezzo-
soprano of today, Miss Stevens'
talent has been heralded in six
fields-opera, concert, screen,
radio, television, and records.
The glamorous star of the Me-
tropolitan Opera was born in New
York of Norwegian and American
parents. She made her singing
debut when she was ten years old.
Later while leading lady with the
Opera Comique at the Heckscher
Theatre in New York, she received
a scholarship to the Juilliard
School of Music.
* * *
astonished Metropolitan Opera of-
ficials by refusing a contract so
that she could go to Europe to
continue her studies. She made
her operatic debut in Prague in
the title role of "Mignon." While
in Europe, Miss Stevens studied
with Richard Strauss who coached
her in the title role of his "Der
Miss Stevens returned to
America where she made opera-
tic history. The Met revived

* * *
operas for her which became
immediate successes.
At first it seemed that the sing-
er would be type-cast into boy
parts after her success in such
roles as "Der Rosenkavalier" and
"Hansel." However, Miss Stevens
proved to everyone that she was
able to become a femme fatale
just as easily in her portrayals of
"Carmen" and "Delilah."
Miss Stevens has starred in sev-
eral motion pictures and has had
several of her own radio programs.
Her motion pictures include such
hits as "Carnegie Hall," the prize-
winner, "Going My Way," with
Bing Crosby, and "The Chocolate
Soldier " with Nelson Eddy. And
her classical and popular albums
have literally been bought by mil-
lions of admirers.
In private life she is Mrs. Wal-
ter Surovy and considers her
greatest production her six year
old son, Nicky.

A ristocratic
Tenor Will
Be Soloist
A note of European aristocracy1
will be injected into the May Fes-
tival performance of Verdi's "Re-
quiem Mass" by tenor Coloman de
Pataky of Hungary.
De Pataky will be one of four
outstanding soloists combining
with the University Choral Union
under the baton of Thor Johnson
Fi-iday, May 4, at 8:30 p.m.
THE TENOR IS of aristocratic
descent, and was educated in the
Hungarian Royal Military Acade-
my for a career as an officer. How-
ever, after receiving his commis-
sion, he presented himself at the
Hungarian Royal'Opera House in
Budapest and was awarded a five
year contract.
De Pataky came to the United
States just one year ago, after
leaving his native land to escape
the spread of Communism. Be-
fore his arrival, he had made
an extensive singing tour of Eur-
ope and South America, always
drawing avid praise from music-
The Communist regime did not
provide de Pataky's first experi-
ence with oppression. In 1939 when
the Nazis invaded Austria, he left
the world famous Vienna Opera
House as a sign of protest to the
aggressors. He returned to Buda-
pest after the war, but left per-
manently in 1945 when the Com-
munists arrived.
Since then the world has been
his theatre. His high tenor voice
has been heard in Milan, Paris,
London, Berlin, Munich, Amster-
dam, Stockholm, and in numerous
other cities of Europe.

Hill Auditorium will resound to
the volcanic pianism of the King
of Pianists, Artur Rubinstein, at
the first concert of the May Festi-
The pianist will be soloist with
the Philadelphia Orchestra in the
performance of .the Chopin Con-
certo No. 2.
S* *
14th tour of the United States, has
* * *
, een. ~ra rd by m or;:4r":.{ h a
': ..ir .. .. -r r. Y ". "Hs :..yff':. f' f
He isRAVi4 rs ednga
bu? . ..r.
been heard by more people than
any other living pianist.
Besides on the concert stage,I
music lovers have seen him inj
two movies and listened to him
on the sound-track of two more.
He Is RCA Victor's leading al-
bum seller.
A native of Poland, Rubinstein

first displayed his musical to
at the age of three. When A
was six years old, his father,
considered the violin much n
aristocratic than the piano, bo
the young musician a violin. A
promptly smashed it.
* * *
stein produces have been aptly
scribed as sizzling. He has beer
claimed as the pianist who pu
corpuscles in Chopin, ele
sparks in Stravinsky, and thu
in Beethoven.
One New York critic said al
him, "About one pianist in
000 or more reaches a state
perfection when critics can o
sit back and admire. Artur I
instein has reached that spar
populated state."
Rubinstein made his Ame
debut in Philadelphia with
Philadelphia Orchestra in
Still in his teens, he had alr
acquired a reputation throug
of another great Pole, Pade
ski. Nine leading composers
dedicated works to him, an
whom are Stravinsky, Prokc
Milhaud and Poulenc.
The famous "Fire Dance"
arranged for piano by its com
De Falla at the urging of R1
Considered the most interna
al of all living artists, Rubir
became a U.S. citizen in 194

Rubinstein Will Perfori
Chopin's Concerto No.-

Munsel Moves From Flutey
Sibilation to Met Coloratura

As the thirteen-year-old captain
of Spokane, Washington's all-girl
football team and possessing an
intense interest in athletics, Pa-
trice Munsel, now famed coloratura
Toprano, at one time considered a
career as a professional athlete.
Artistic whistling was another of
Miss Munsel's early ambitions and
her aim in life was to develop this
to the extent where she might be
engaged for sound effects in a Walt
Disney cartoon.
THOUGH NOT immediately ap-
parent, there was a link between
flutey sibilation and coloratura
singing. The brother of Miss Mun-
sel's whistling teacher was a violin
student at the University of Idaho
and after hearing her sing, ar-
ranged an audition before the mu-
sical director there.
After voice studies in Spokane,
Miss Munsel continued to work
with a voice teacher in New
In 1943, at the age of 18, she
appeared on the Metropolitan Au-
ditions of the Air. A few months
later, she made her Metropolitan
debut, when she sang the role of
Philine in "Mignon."
Since her phenomenal debut
she has appeared in many leading
roles. She enjoys playing in light
opera and- her rendition of

* * *

"Naughty Marietta" was hailed by
critics as "the successor to Fritzi
S* s
MISS MUNSEL, the youngest
singer ever to be awarded a con-
tract by Metropolitan, made her
first trip abroad in the summer of
Miss Munsel will be the soloist
at the concluding program of the
May Festival, when she will sing
selections including arias from "La
Boheme" by Puccini and Donizet-
ti's "Daughter of the Regiment."





Six Concerts -Four Days - May 3,4,5,6,1951-Hill Auditorium

BERLIOZ Fantastic Symphony; SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 1; and
CRESTON Symphony No. 3.
CHOPIN Piano concerto No. 2; PROKOFIEFF Piano Concerto No. 3; and
SIBELIUS Violin Concerto






VERDI "Manzoni" Requiem; LAMBERT "Summer's Last Will and Testament"
can premiere); and American Folk Songs (Orchestrated by Dorothy James).




"Herod iade"

"Marriage of Figaro"

La Boheme", "Die Fleder-


IN r.i

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