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New York Concerts

Orpheus with Liev Schreiber, Karen Slack & Will Liverman Beethoven's "Egmont" and 125th birthday tribute to Paul Robeson

Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall | New York, NY

MAY 20 2023 | 7:00PM
Copy of Liev Schreiber Karen Slack Will Liverman
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Heroes Unite

Concert Duration: 2 hours (includes intermission)

  • Jasmine Barnes

    Songs of Paul (125th birthday tribute to Paul Robeson)
    World Premiere, commissioned by Orpheus

    Karen Slack, soprano
    Will Liverman, baritone

  • Beethoven (Arr. Tarkmann)

    Incidental Music to Egmont, Op. 84
    Liev Schreiber, narrator
    Karen Slack, soprano

Copy of Liev Schreiber Karen Slack Will Liverman

Orpheus stands up for justice and freedom in this homage to courageous voices. Beethoven, an unyielding critic of despots, channeled his ardor and rage into music for Goethe’s historical drama about a local hero defying foreign occupiers. Liev Schreiber narrates an incisive new translation by Philip Boehm, while the clarion voice of Karen Slack and Orpheus illuminate the eternal truths of Egmont. Will Liverman, the “muscular-voiced baritone” (The New York Times) who astonished audiences starring in Fire Shut Up in My Bones at the Metropolitan Opera, joins Orpheus and Karen Slack for the World Premiere of Songs of Paul by Jasmine Barnes, a 125th birthday tribute to the singer-activist Paul Robeson.

The original narrative text by Franz Grillparzer to accompany Beethoven’s incidental music to Goethe’s Egmont was translated and adapted by Philip Boehm for Orpheus in 2020.

About the artists

Liev Schreiber

Known for his iconic roles in such flms as The Sum of All Fears and Spotlight, as well as his performance as the titular character on Showtime’s Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber has cemented his status as one of the most lauded actors of his generation. Much like those of his characters on screen and stage, Schreiber’s own origin story is equal parts fraught and remarkable. His recounting of it—in all its peculiar, exhilarating detail—has left audiences enthralled.

Heralded as “the finest American theater actor of his generation” by The New York Times , Liev Schreiber’s repertoire of resonant, humanistic and oftentimes gritty portrayals have garnered him praise in film, theatre, and television.

Schreiber stars in Showtime’s Ray Donovan critically-acclaimed hit series alongside Jon Voight. This powerful family drama centers on Ray as L.A.’s best professional fixer – the go-to guy in Hollywood who deftly solves the complicated, controversial and confidential problems of the city’s elite. Schreiber’s riveting performance as ‘Ray’ garnered him four Golden Globe Award nominations in the category of ‘Best Actor in a Television Series Drama’ and three Primetime Emmy nominations in “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.” He also directed the first episode of season four.

He was also recently seen in IFC’s Chuck which he also co-produced and co- wrote. The biopic tells the story of Chuck Wepner, the liquor store salesman and heavyweight boxer who was given the opportunity to fight Muhammad Ali as an underdog and was the inspiration for the film, Rocky. Schreiber stars alongside Naomi Watts, Ron Perlman, and Elisabeth Moss.

In 2015, Schreiber was seen in Spotlight, an award-winning film about the true story of when The Boston Globe uncovered the scandal of child molestation within the Catholic Church. Schreiber played Marty Baron, the editor-in-chief of The Boston Globe who assigned the journalists to the task. The film won several awards including an Oscar for Best Picture, a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama, and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Picture. It was also listed on the American Film Institute’s Top Ten Films
of 2015.

Schreiber’s many feature credits include Sony’s The 5th Wave; Ed Zwicks’ Pawn Sacrifice; The Good Lord Bird; Lee Daniels’ The Butler; Larry David’s Clear History ; Fading Gigolo ; The Reluctant Fundamentalist ; Salt with Angelina Jolie; X-Men Origins: Wolverine; Defiance with Daniel Craig; Repo Men; The Painted Veil ; The Manchurian Candidate, opposite Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington; The Sum of All Fears; Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock; Kate & Leopold ; Goon ; Every Day ; Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet ; Spring Forward ; The Hurricane ; A Walk on the Moon with Diane Lane; The Daytrippers; Nora Ephron’s Mixed Nuts; and Wes Craven’s Scream trilogy.
His portrayal of Orson Welles in Benjamin Ross’ RKO 281 brought Schreiber Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award nominations. His other telefilm credits include George C. Wolfe’s Lackawanna Blues and John Erman’s The Sunshine Boys , opposite Woody Allen and Peter Falk. As one of the documentary medium’s foremost narrators, he has lent his voice to such works as Mantle, :03 from Gold; A City on Fire: The Story of the ‘68 Detroit Tigers; Nova; and Nature.

In 2010, Schreiber received his third Tony® nomination for his role in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge alongside Scarlett Johansson. His performance as Ricky Roma in the 2005 Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross , directed by Joe Mantello, earned him his first Tony Award. He was again a Tony nominee for his portrayal of Barry Champlain in the 2007 Broadway revival of Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio, directed by Robert Falls. Other stage work includes in Les Liaisons Dangereuses in the lead role opposite Janet McTeer, the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Macbeth, in the lead role opposite Jennifer Ehle, directed by Moisés Kaufman; Othello; Hamlet; Henry V; and Cymbeline.

In 2005, Schreiber made his feature directorial debut with Everything is lluminated, which he also adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer’s best-selling novel of the same name. The film, starring Elijah Wood and Eugene Hutz, was named one of the year’s 10 Best by the National Board of Review.

Karen Slack

Hailed for possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, a Hailed as possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, celebrated American soprano Karen Slack has garnered international renown for her artistic versatility, charisma and entrepreneurial endeavors. A recipient of the 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, Slack is known for her dynamic and passionate performances in both lead operatic roles and on the concert stage; as a sought-after collaborator, curator, and artistic advisor; and for her ground-breaking approach to engagement. She is an Artistic Advisor for Portland Opera, Co-Chair of the Women's Opera Network with Opera America, and serves on the board of the American Composer’s Orchestra. In January 2022, Slack was appointed Creative Partner with Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, opening with a solo recital and continuing through multiple programs throughout the season.

Highlights of Slack’s 2022-2023 season include her debut with The Dallas Opera as Freia in Das Rheingold; the world premiere of Shawn Okpebholo’s Songs in Flight, developed by Sparks & Wiry Cries, alongside singer and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Kimmel Centert; performances in Austin and Portland with the Miró Quartet, and in Cincinnati and Albany with the Pacifica Quartet; a recital in Fort Worth with pianist Michelle Cann and at Cal Poly Arts with organist Alan Morrison; performing as featured soloist with the Nashville Symphony and Oklahoma City Philharmonic in two different world premieres by Hannibal Lokumbe; Beethoven’s Egmont at Carnegie Hall with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Fresno Philharmonic; and titled roles in productions at Portland Opera and Edmonton Opera. She also continues her roles as Artistic Advisor for Portland Opera and Co-Chair of the Women's Opera Network with Opera America.

Karen Slack has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, and San Francisco Opera in featured roles such as Alice Ford in Falstaff, Leonora in Il trovatore, Tosca with Arizona Opera, as Aïda at Austin Opera, Emelda Griffith in Champion with New Orleans Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Nashville Opera, Violetta in La Traviata with Sacramento Opera and Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking with Minnesota, Atlanta, and Vancouver Opera. She made her Scottish Opera debut as Anna in Puccini’s Le villi. Slack made her film debut portraying a featured role as the Opera Diva in Tyler Perry’s movie and soundtrack For Colored Girls.

Her 2021-2022 season featured a debut performances with Houston Grand Opera in the world premiere of Joel Thompson and Andrea Davis Pinkney's A Snowy Day, the title role in Aïda at Opera Carolina, recitals at Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, performances as featured soloist with Symphony of the Americas and in Derek Geter’s Justice Symphony with The Washington Chorus, her solo recital Of Thee I Sing at National Sawdust, and the May 2022 world premiere of a new work by James Lee III, written for her collaboration with the Pacifica Quartet and presented by Carnegie Hall and the Shriver Hall Concert Series.

During the 2020-2021 season, Slack drew on her experience in film to expand her artistic platform through premiere digital performances with Houston Grand Opera, Madison Opera, and Minnesota Opera, taking on a starring role in Driving While Black with urbanarias and launching her digital talk show, #kikikonversations, which garnered critical acclaim from both Opera News and The New York Times. She was also Co-Director for the 2020-21 Opera Program at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts. Additionally, Slack became a sought-after collaborator to create bespoke content for the digital concert stage, co-creating and performing in #saytheirnames – Women of the Movement, a film recital and production in partnership with Philadelphia’s Lyric Fest, performed in recital for Opera Philadelphia, and was the featured vocalist alongside actor/narrator Liev Schreiber in Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s Speaking Truth to Power program, presented in October 2020 and hosted by livestream platform Idagio.

Slack’s 2019-2020 season included a return to The Metropolitan Opera as Serena in Porgy and Bess, her debut with Opera Theatre of St. Louis originating the role of Billie in the world premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, a recital with Opera Philadelphia, performing as guest soloist for Madison Opera’s virtual Opera in the Park, and a series of recitals throughout the US including the Vilar Center for the Performing Arts in Vail, Colorado with pianist Joe Illick. In concert, she was a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the world premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s Healing Tones with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Union Symphony Orchestra for Wagner’s Wesendonk Lieder.

Equally at home on the concert stage, Slack has performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder, and the Verdi Requiem with various orchestras throughout the United States, and was featured in her first performances of Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et la mer with the Omaha Symphony in collaboration with Opera Omaha. Abroad she has appeared with the Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestras, and most recently, with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in celebration of the 80th birthday of conductor Yuri Temirkanov. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as Agnes Sorel in Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

A graduate of the Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera Program at the San Francisco Opera, the native Philadelphian is also a graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. Karen Slack is a winner of numerous competitions and awards: most notably the Montserrat Caballé International Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, George London Foundation Award, Marian Anderson ICON Award, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition, Portland Opera Lieber Award, Liederkranz Foundation Award and the Jose Iturbi International Competition for Voice.

Will Liverman

Called “a voice for this historic moment” (Washington Post), GRAMMY-winning baritone Will Liverman is the recipient of the 2022 Beverly Sills Artist Award by The Metropolitan Opera. He opened the Met’s 2021-22 season in a celebrated “breakout performance” (New York Times) as Charles in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which received the 2023 Grammy for 'Best Opera Recording.' Following Fire’s success, the Met announced that Liverman will star in Anthony Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, which will be the third opera by a Black composer in the company’s history, premiering in the fall of 2023.

Following performances at Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festival, Liverman’s 2022-23 season opens at the Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, where he plays the Celebrant in Bernstein’s Mass. Next, the European premiere of Jeanine Tesori’s Blue takes Liverman to Dutch National Opera, where he makes his house debut as the Reverend in the Music Critics Association’s 2020 pick for “Best New Opera.”

Liverman’s new opera, The Factotum, which he stars in and composed with DJ/recording artist K. Rico, premieres at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in February 2023. Previously workshopped at the Ryan Opera Center in winter 2020, The Factotum blends classical singing with diverse musical styles, moving from hip-hop, R&B, funk, and gospel to traditional barbershop quartet to create a soul opera. Inspired by Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the piece takes place in a present-day Black barbershop on Chicago’s South Side and celebrates the strength of community and power of the human spirit.

Other 22-23 season engagements include performances of the title role in Pelléas et Mélisande at LA Opera and Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles at Austin Opera; appearances with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and Portland Opera; and solo recital performances at London’s Wigmore Hall.

In addition to opening the Met’s 21-22 season with Fire Shut Up in My Bones, Liverman revisited the role of Charles at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in a “rich leading performance” (Chicago Tribune) described as a “beautifully vocalized … gripping portrayal” (Opera News). Further highlights from last season include reprisals of his roles in Akhnaten (Horemhab) and The Magic Flute (Papageno) at the Met Opera; Steward (Jonathan Dove’s Flight) at Dallas Opera; and performances with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Aspen Music Festival, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, and Chicago Sinfonietta.

In February 2021, Cedille Records released Liverman’s Dreams of a New Day: Songs by Black Composers with pianist Paul Sanchez – a collection of works by Damien Sneed, Henry Burleigh, H. Leslie Adams, Robert Owens, Margaret Bonds, and Thomas Kerr, plus a world premiere recording by Shawn E. Okpebholo and Liverman’s arrangement of Richard Fariña’s Birmingham Sunday. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart, and The New Yorker praised its “clarity, sensitivity, and barely contained heartbreak,” while NPR declared “velvet-voiced baritone Will Liverman is out to make the classical music canon more inclusive.” Dreams of a New Day was nominated for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album at the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards. His 2020 album, Whither Must I Wander, with pianist Jonathan King, released on Odradek Records, was named one of the Chicago Tribune’s “best classical recordings of 2020” and BBC Music Magazine praised Liverman’s “firm, oaky baritone with a sharp interpretive attitude… admirable poise and clarity of intention.”

In 2019, Liverman made history as the first-ever Black Papageno in The Metropolitan Opera’s production of The Magic Flute. Other notable past performances include Malcolm Fleet in Nico Muhly’s Marnie at the Met Opera; Pantalone in The Love of Three Oranges at Opera Philadelphia; Silvio in Pagliacci at Opera Colorado; Schaunard in La bohème with the Santa Fe and Dallas Operas, and Opera Philadelphia; and The Pilot in The Little Prince with Tulsa Opera. Additionally, Liverman has performed the leading role of Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Seattle, Virginia, Kentucky, Madison, and Utah Operas. He originated the role of Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird with Opera Philadelphia, in addition to performing the role with English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Madison Opera, and the Apollo Theater. Other highlights include the role of Tommy McIntyre in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Fellow Travelers for its Lyric Unlimited initiative; Papageno in The Magic Flute with the Florentine and Central City Operas; his role debut as Marcello in La bohème with Portland Opera; his debut with Seattle Opera as Raimbaud in Le Comte Ory; Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia and Beaumarchais in The Ghosts of Versailles with Wolf Trap Opera; Andrew Hanley in the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ The Manchurian Candidate with Minnesota Opera; Sam in The Pirates of Penzance with Atlanta Opera; the Foreman at the Mill in Jenůfa; and the Protestant Minister in Menotti’s The Last Savage with Santa Fe Opera.

Expanding into the concert repertoire, Liverman performed the title role in a concert version of the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and was a featured soloist in Brahms’ Requiem with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle Symphony, Carmina Burana with Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He was also featured in concert at Carnegie Hall, in addition to appearing in Schubert’s Die Winterreise at The Barns at Wolf Trap Opera.

Awards and achievements include receiving a 2022 Sphinx MPower Artist Grant, the 2020 Marian Anderson Vocal Award, a 2019 Richard Tucker Career Grant, and a 2019 Sphinx Medal of Excellence. In 2017 he received a 3Arts Award, a George London Award, and was recognized as a classical division Luminarts Fellow by the Luminarts Cultural Foundation. In 2015, he won the Stella Maris International Vocal Competition, the Gerda Lissner Charitable Fund Award, and a top prize from Opera Index.

Liverman concluded his tenure at the prestigious Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2015 and was previously a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival. He holds his Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music degree from Wheaton College in Illinois.

Jasmine Barnes

Jasmine Arielle Barnes is a promising composer/vocalist who has performed and has had her music performed all over the world. She is a multifaceted composer who embraces any writing style of music using a variety of instrumentation and specializes in writing for the voice. A full time composer, Barnes is managed by UIA talent for her work as a composer, is a resident artist in American Lyric Theater's Composer Librettist Development Program, and has held residencies as a composer fellow at Chautauqua Opera 2021 season, as well as a residency with All Classical Portland. Barnes has been privileged to be commissioned by numerous organizations such as The Washington National Opera (in celebration of the Kennedy Center's 50th year anniversary), Bare Opera, Aspen Summer Music Festival, Baltimore Choral Arts, Resonance Ensemble, Tapestry Choir, CityMusic Cleveland, LyricFest Philadelphia, Burleigh Music Festival, Symphony Number One, Baltimore Musicales, amongst others. Jasmine is beginning to be noticed for her work.

Her 10 minute opera entitled "The Late Walk" commissioned by Bare Opera as a part of the Decameron Opera Coalition has been archived in the Library of Congress. She was featured in The Baltimore Sun in an article written by Elizabeth Nonemaker. as well as an interview in the Washington Post about "The Burning Bush" a short opera written with Joshua Banbury about Freddie Gray for Washington National Opera. She was named the recipient of the Florence Price award for composition from Pricefest, named a winner of the International Women's Brass Conference Emerging Composer Competition, a winner of the Black Brilliance award by The Pleiades Project , recognized as the Gwendolyn J Brinkley Fine Arts First Place Award Winner of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. South Central Region 2021, and named a finalist of All Classical Portland's Recording Inclusivity Initiative.

Outside of commissions, her work has been performed by numerous High Performing Artists and Organizations such as Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, Portland Opera, Tulsa Opera, Hampsong Foundation ( at the Elbphilharmonie), Tennessee State University Meistersingers, University of North Iowa, University of Memphis, Indiana University (graduate song literature class), Karen Slack, Leah Hawkins, Leonna Mitchell, Marquita Lister, Gabrielle Gilliam, Alexandria Crichlow, Christian Simmons, among other established artists and organizations. Some upcoming premieres include the incredible voices of Lawrence Brownlee, Will Liverman, Russell Thomas, and Helena Brown. Barnes is also a part of a network composers called "The Blacknificient Seven" with 6 other composers, Shawn Okpebholo, Jessie Montgomery, Damien Geter, Dave Ragland, Joel Thompson, and Carlos Simon. This dynamic group of composers act as a support group to each other and are even working on an upcoming project together, stay tuned.

Jasmine is not only a composer/vocalist, but an educator. She is the former Head of Compositional Studies and Jazz Voice Studies at Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX. She holds her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Music from Morgan State University in Baltimore Maryland. Her Master of Arts in Music was earned as a Composition student studying under Dr. James Lee III. She proved her musical prowess in her debut composition concert entitled "Reality Race and Religion" that took place on May 9th, 2018 in the Gilliam Concert Hall of the Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center. She was the very first composition major of Morgan State University, thus hosting the first composition recital, setting the bar high for those to follow. As a student in the Morgan State University Choir, she was privy to showcasing her work through the choir, who has performed her music in three continents and all over the United States. She held the esteemed pleasure of being a Graduate Teaching Assistant teaching Music Theory and Aural Skills to students of Morgan State University which prepared her well for teaching various levels of Music Theory including AP Music Theory in her career as a teacher. Her professional career in teaching lead her to educator honors such as National Young Arts Foundation Educator (5x recipient), Teacher Recognition award recipient from American Composer's Forum; NextNotes High School Music Creator Competition, as well as partnering with AT&T Performing Arts Center in creating a composition competition for her students to compose an original piece for the acclaimed chandelier in the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, TX, home of the Dallas Opera.. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated as well as Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity Inc. One motto of Sigma Alpha Iota that Jasmine holds true to her life as an artist is "Vita Brevis, Ars Longa" which translates from Latin to English as "Life is Short, Art is Long". She believes that giving your all to music, contributing to the art, and teaching what you've learned is truly upholding Art and being a true musician.

Orpheus Lower Strings by Chris Lee

Beethoven's Egmont | Beyond The Overture

When we think of what Beethoven wrote for Egmont, the first thing that comes to mind is the Overture. But what about the rest? WXQR's Elliott Forrest hosts our panel discussion diving into everything that comes next.

Orpheus is proud to commission a new translation by the award-winning translator and playwright, Philip Boehm, to bring 21st century relevance to Beethoven and Goethe's themes of courage, justice, and freedom.


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