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NFSO Symphony Concert Nov. 1 Features A Night at the Opera

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


Top to bottom: <br />Mootos, Murray, Matz
Top to bottom:
Mootos, Murray, Matz

10/23/2008 - The second concert of the 22nd performance season of the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra will be held Saturday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College.

The "Night at the Opera" concert will feature national guest soloists Maryann Mootos, a glorious soprano who is appearing this fall with Opera New York; tenor John Matz, who made his debut in 2002 with the Washington National Opera and performs at prestigious venues across the nation; and David Murray whose rich baritone voice, dramatic presence and versatility have brought him acclaim from concertgoers throughout the world. These soloists will be joined by the more than 70 talented voices of the regional Northwest Florida Symphony Chorus who will perform with the orchestra. This special evening of opera will highlight many familiar and some not-as-familiar ensembles, arias, choruses and symphonic excerpts from the world of opera. Each selection will introduced by NFSO conductor emeritus John Leatherwood to assist the audience in understanding the scenes they are about to hear.

Tickets for the November 1 concert and all other NFSO season concerts are now available from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center box office for $22.50 each for adults and $16 each for youth age 18 or younger. Tickets are available in person, by phone at (850) 729-6000 or online from the box office website at or the symphony website at Tickets are also available at the door on the night of the concert starting at 6:00 p.m. Currently enrolled NWF State College students may receive one complimentary ticket per valid student ID, in person from the box office only.

"As the 2005 winner of the prestigious Jacopo Peri award for contributions to the world of opera in Boston, I can assure you that opera holds a special place in my musical heart and I am sure that this concert will help bring it alive for our NFSO patrons as well," commented Jeffrey Rink, who moved from Boston to Florida in 2007 to lead the NFSO as Conductor and Music Director. During his career in New England, Maestro Rink conducted critically acclaimed concert opera performances with Chorus pro Musica including the Boston premiere of Attila, Samson et Dalila, Mefistofele, La Traviata, Nabucco, Macbeth, Otello, Turandot, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Faust and Carmen. With the Newton Symphony Orchestra, he conducted highly successful concert opera performances of Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, Rigoletto, Don Pasquale, and Barber of Seville.

Established in 1987, the NFSO is the region's premiere professional orchestra and performs in residence at the Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center in Niceville. A custom designed orchestra shell is used for each NFSO concert to provide an optimal acoustic experience for symphony patrons as the orchestra performs in the state-of-the-art main stage theater at the arts complex.

The remaining concerts of the NFSO season include a popular annual Holiday Pops concert on December 12 with the orchestra and the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorus for an evening filled with popular holiday fare. On January 30, 2009 the NFSO will collaborate with the NWF State College dance program to present "Symphonic Miniatures," a chamber orchestra program that will feature Strauss' Bourgeois Gentilhomme Suite, Handel's Concerto Grosso in B flat, Op. 3 No. 2, and Mozart's Serenade in C minor set to dance choreographed by college dance faculty. The "Stars of Tomorrow" concert on February 20 will feature winners of the prestigious regional Concerto Competition, sponsored by the NFSO Guild and performance of Britten's Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra. The season finale concert on May 9, 2009 features the prestigious Tokyo Oratorio Society from Japan, in conjunction with the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorus and a trio of national soloists, as more than 200 instrumentalists and vocalists will join together to perform Haydns beautiful oratorio The Creation in English. Tickets to each of these NFSO concerts are now available for $22.50 each for adults.

A special "NFSO Goes Pops" concert on March 14, 2009, will feature special guest star Della Reese, the Grammy nominated vocalist and legendary screen star best known for her role on the network TV series "Touched by an Angel." Tickets for the Reese concert are $100 for front row seats, which includes an exclusive post-concert reception with Reese, and $45 for regular reserved seats. This special Pops concert is a fund raiser for the NFSO's year-round community endeavors, which include free concerts for every 5th grade student in Okaloosa and Walton County, NFSO musicians who visit 4th grade classes to introduce youth to classical music, sponsorship of the regional Concerto Competition for talented young musicians, a free community concert on Memorial Day weekend and much more.

For additional information see the symphony's website at