Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 4, 2016

Talamantes performing with Seoul National Philharmonic

Talamantes performs with Seoul National Philharmonic

Opera Singer Hits High Note at MU

Virginia Rendler

Metropolitan Opera Soprano Danielle Talamantes performed with the Manchester Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, Oct. 23 in Cordier Auditorium during the opening concert of its 78th season. Conductor Scott Humphries led the orchestra through its performance, and Henry Dehlinger, composer, performed on the piano with Talamantes.

The first act of the concert featured solely the orchestra. It performed “Overture to Orphée et Eurydice” by Cristoph Willibald von Gluck, which tells the story of a tragic Greek love. It then performed “Symphony No. 94 in G” by Franz Joseph Haydn, or the “Surprise Symphony,” named for the unexpected fortissimo in the second movement. These pieces were very traditional, and the orchestra exhibited their skill as they conquered the challenging music. 

First-year viola player Sydney Abbott believes that being in the orchestra helps her in her studies. “I enjoy the mental stimulation,” she said. “Playing an instrument uses your brain in totally different ways than anything else and helps your brain perform better overall.” 

Danielle Talamantes took the stage in the second act, performing “Knoxville Summer of 1915” by Samuel Barber, originally a prologue to James Agee’s short autobiography “A Death in the Family.” The long, poetic performance described a childhood summer evening in Tennessee. She then performed “Almighty God Has Those Angels” by Duke Ellington, a slightly jazzy piece arranged specifically for Talamantes. She finished with “The Mount for Soprano Solo and Orchestra” by Henry Dehlinger, also written for her. “The Mount for Soprano Solo and Orchestra” was commissioned by the Casement Fund of New York through the Triad Grant, which is awarded each year to an artist, a vocalist, composer or lyricist. The Triad Grant was awarded to Henry Dehlinger as a composer, who selected Danielle Talamantes to be the vocalist on his work. 

Abbott says that this performance was unique. “This is my first year in the orchestra, but this performance was different from the rest of this year's because we worked with a special guest singer and composer and played premieres of original arrangement,” she said. “We were honored to work with her. It was a great experience to see a musician with a dream that is coming true, and to be able to work with someone of her caliber of talent was very exciting.”

Talamantes has an illustrious resume, having performed with many national orchestras and choral societies. She is a soprano soloist who is quickly climbing the ladder to success. Indeed, her vocal range and passion toward her craft left audiences amazed and made for an auspicious start to the Manchester Symphony Orchestra’s 78th season.