Fabio Mechetti, music director emeritus of the Jacksonville Symphony, returns to Jacoby Symphony Hall in the Times-Union Center for Performing Arts on Nov. 10, 11 and 12. The concert, Fabio, Faure and Fantastique, is a part of the Florida Blue Masterworks Series.
Currently, Mechetti serves as the music director and principal conductor of the Minas Gerais Philharmonic in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, a position he has held since 2008. Mechetti has also held the post of music director for the Spokane Symphony Orchestra and was eventually named music director laureate. Joining him will be guest soprano Jessica Pray, guest baritone Bryan Murray and the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus.
Pray started her music career at the University of Iowa and went on to receive her Master of Music in Voice from the Yale School of Music. Pray also earned an Ethics and Public Policy degree from the University of Iowa that has helped her become a more holistic musician and artist. In addition to being a classical vocalist, Pray was also one of the Top 10 Miss America contestants in 2011 using her voice as her talent. Pray will perform on Gabriel Faure’s Requiem. “Singing and doing what I love, there’s nothing better,” Pray said.
Murray is currently pursuing a Master of Musical Arts degree in Opera at Yale University’s School of Music. Prior to Yale, Murray received an Artist diploma and a Master of Music degree from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music. Murray is also the grand-prize winner of the 2016 Heida Hermann’s International Voice Competition. Murray will perform on Faure’s Requiem.
Faure’s Requiem is one of his largest works to receive general popularity. In its original performance in 1888, only five of the current seven movements existed. The work is serene, elegant and will feature the Bryan Concert Organ.
Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique is well-thought to have made his reputation. Beethoven had a strong influence on Berlioz and some would go as far to say there would be no Symphonie Fantastique without the symphonies of Beethoven. As many works have, Symphonie Fantastique was influenced by a love story gone awry. At a showing of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Berlioz developed an infatuation with one of the performers, Harriet Smithson. Berlioz spent months trying to bring himself to the lady’s attention, succeeded, and had a bitter marriage ending in divorce.
The Nov. 10 and 11 concerts are at 8 p.m., and the Nov. 12 concert is at 3 p.m.
For more information, go to JaxSymphony.org.