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Washington, New York, Philadelphia

9/29/2015

WASHINGTON  /  Strathmore Music Center  04.01.2015  New Years Concert
NEW YORK CITY  /  Lincoln Center - Avery Fisher Hall 1.1.2015 New Years Concert 
PHILADELPHIA  /  Kimmel Center Verizon Hall  28.12.2014  New Years Concert

December 26, 2014 by Celia Wren 

A gift from Vienna It doesn’t come wrapped in a bow, but for a musical professional, the city of Vienna “is a gift.” So says soprano Sera Gösch, who was raised in Istanbul, but lives in the Austrian town that was home to Mozart, Beethoven and other musical luminaries.“ I love to be here,” the singer exclaimed happily in a Skype interview from her home. In Vienna, she pointed out, “You go into the street and everywhere is history! You feel the music!”

If Vienna is a gift, this is the time of year when Gösch gets to do some re-gifting: She is one of the artists performing in “Salute to Vienna,” the New Year’s-themed concert, at Strathmore on Jan. 4. Gösch previously sang in an edition of “Salute to Vienna” in Toronto / Canada 2014.

An homage to a Viennese tradition, the “Salute to Vienna” series has been popping figurative champagne corks across North America for two decades. On the lineup with Gösch at the upcoming Strathmore performance will be Hungarian conductor András Deák, Austrian tenor Michael Heim, the Kiev-Aniko Ballet, and more.

The program — which includes operetta numbers, polkas and immortal Strauss dance tunes in three-quarter time — “makes you happy and joyful,” says Gösch, “After the concert, you can waltz on the street.”

Watching New Year’s concerts on television was a regular tradition for Gösch’s family when she was growing up in Istanbul. She went on to pursue music in more systematic fashion, studying at Vienna’s Konservatorium Wien University. In recent years, she has sung the role of Constanze in Mozart’s “Die Entführung aus dem Serail,” performing in various European metropolises, as well as on tour in Asia. Her other credits include solos in Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” in Bonn, Germany, and “St. John Passion” in Rome.

In “Salute to Vienna,” she’ll embrace operetta, including material from Franz Lehár’s “Giuditta” and from Emmerich Kálmán’s “Die Csárdásfürstin.” She’s particularly fond of the Kálmán solo she sings, channeling “Die Csárdásfürstin’s” cabaret-star heroine. “She is a sparkly character, and there are many high notes, and that’s fun to sing,” Gösch says. “Also, the orchestral part is very richly written. It’s beautiful music.”

The “Salute to Vienna” tour will take Gösch away from her beloved Vienna for a while, but there are compensations. The soprano is making her U.S. debut on this tour, but, while performing for international arts lovers in Vienna, she has learned that American audiences are particularly demonstrative.

“They show their feelings” and have a “really open heart,” Gösch says. For a performer, “this is a really, really wonderful thing.”

Salute to Vienna. Jan. 4 at 3:00 pm at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Visit www.strathmore.org or call (301) 581-5100.


 


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