HENRY DEHLINGER'S "THE MOUNT" PREMIERES IN NEW YORK
Sunday, November 15th marked the world premiere of The Mount, composed by Henry Dehlinger for international opera star Danielle Talamantes with text by conductor, choral musician and poet Mark Riddles. Based on Riddles' collection of sacred poems in which he casts famous biblical passages in remarkable sensory language, Dehlinger's The Mount received a resounding ovation at its New York City world premiere performance and is available now as a digital download.
The original composition was commissioned by The Casement Fund of New York through its Triad Grant, which is awarded each year to three artists – a vocalist, composer and lyricist. Talamantes, Dehlinger and Riddles are the 2015 award recipients.
Composed for soprano and piano, The Mount - and Riddles' dramatic text - draws inspiration from the mystical vision of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor recounted in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Yet, one could just as easily imagine another dramatic setting from the Hebrew Bible - Mount Horeb, the “Mountain of God” on which, according to the book of Deuteronomy, the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God.
The Mount's elegant melodic line and use of Phrygian dominant scales evoke the powerful chants of Jewish liturgical music or deep song of Spain's Moorish past. At The Mount's climactic summit midway through the performance, the soprano line soars above Dehlinger's sweeping arpeggios, and then shifts to a lyric pianissimo. The world premiere performance was held at the historic Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan's Upper East Side.
About Henry Dehlinger
Hailed by London’s Gramophone Magazine for his “exquisite piano-playing” and “vibrantly colorful palette,” Henry Dehlinger is a celebrated concert pianist, recording artist, composer and arranger. He has appeared on some of the world's leading concert stages from San Francisco's War Memorial and Performing Arts Center to the White House in Washington, D.C. He has appeared as featured soloist with The United States Army Chorus, special guest performer on Washington’s Embassy Row, and in concert for notable public officials, including the President of the United States and the Prince of Wales. ConcertoNet.com calls him "an experienced and versatile soloist." MusicWeb International praises his "delicious piano playing," and Audiophile Audition, his "adroit and sparkling" performances. Born in San Francisco, he quickly earned a reputation as a prodigious talent. By the age of eleven, he was performing with major orchestras under conductors such as Riccardo Chailly and Edo de Waart and operatic legends Luciano Pavarotti, Montserrat Caballé and Georgio Tozzi.
About Danielle Talamantes
Soprano Danielle Talamantes is an international recitalist who made her Carnegie Hall debut in a solo recital in 2007. Since then, she has appeared as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore and Nashville Symphony Orchestras, National Philharmonic Chorale and Orchestra, United States Army Chorus, Choralis, Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Trujillo Symphony Orchestra and Seoul Philharmonic. Talamantes joined the Metropolitan Opera roster in the spring of 2011. In 2015, she made her Metropolitan Opera stage debut as Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen. She made her Lincoln Center debut at Alice Tully Hall as the soprano soloist in the world premiere of Bob Chilcott’s Requiem and returned to the National Philharmonic in Beethoven’s Choral Symphony and Mozart’s Requiem and Exsultate, jubilate. Other highlights include the soprano lead in the world premiere production of Janice Hamer’s Lost Childhood with the National Philharmonic, Handel’s Messiah with the Phoenix Symphony, and Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Cedar Rapids Opera. She also sings the role of Violetta in La traviata at Cedar Rapids Opera and Finger Lakes Opera, Adina in L’elisir d’amore at Gulf Shore Opera and Mimí in La bohéme at St. Petersburg Opera. Talamantes reprises her role as Frasquita and sings the role of Anna in Nabucco at the Metropolitan Opera in the 2016-17 season.
About Mark Riddles
Mark Riddles is a talented choral musician and conductor who has spearheaded and performed some of the most renowned programs of sacred music in the United States. Choral organizations under his direction are recognized for their beauty of tonal production, transparent texture, excellent intonation and lyrical sense of line. Riddles enjoys a wide range of music, and his experience includes congregations in Washington, DC, Indianapolis, New York City and Michigan. He has been affiliated with professional organizations such as the American Choral Directors Association in which he served both as state and divisional repertoire and standards chair in the area of Music and Worship. He conducts programs,presents lectures and publishes articles for chapters of the American Guild of Organists, Choral Conductor’s Guild, and other church music related organizations and publications.
About The Casement Fund
Headquartered in New York City, The Casement Fund supports new directions in creative writing, especially in connection with the other arts. It provides grants to accredited institutions of higher learning for seminars supporting The Casement Fund's purpose and to other non-profit organizations to encourage private and public performances and publications. The Casement Fund sponsors programs for writing through The Writers’ Studio, Issue Project Room and the Poetry Brothel; programs for theater education through The Classical Theater of Harlem and The Tank; and programs for songwriting through the International Contemporary Ensemble and through the Casement Recital series and Casement Triad Grants. It also supports university programs in writing and music.