Saint Martin’s University Chorale and Olympia Chamber Orchestra present Major Works Concert

April 17, 2014

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LACEY, Wash. — The Saint Martin’s University Chorale will join the Olympia Chamber Orchestra for their eighth, collaborative Major Works Concert on Saturday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m., in Marcus Pavilion, located on the Lacey campus. The two groups will perform Franz Joseph Haydn’s epic piece, The Creation.

“This is a gorgeous and famous classical major work,” says Chorale Director Darrell Born, associate professor of music and chair of the Saint Martin’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts. Claudia Simpson-Jones is the chamber orchestra conductor.

Considered by many as a masterpiece of the 18th century, Austrian composer, The Creation (written in 1797-1798) is an oratorio that depicts and celebrates the creation of the world as described in the biblical Book of Genesis and in Paradise Lost. It is scored for soprano, tenor, bass soloist and a chorus, and is structured in three parts.

Born will sing the role of Adam during the performance. The other soloists and their roles in the oratorio are as follows:

James Walters, tenor, in the role of Uriel  – Walters recently made his musical theatre debut in the leading role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables at the Tacoma Musical Playhouse. His recent opera credits include singing as Tonio in previews of La Fille du Regiment for the Seattle Opera Guild; The Barber of Seville (Count Almaviva) and The Magic Flute (Tamino), both with Northwest Opera.

Ellaina Lewis, soprano, as Gabriel – Lewis’ principal roles include Amina in Bellini’s La Sonnambula; Monica in Menotti’s The Medium; Treemonisha in Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha; Erzulie in Flaherty’s Once on this Island; Pamina in The Magic Flute; Gertrude in Hansel and Gretel, and Sally Hemmings in Garett Fisher’s Sally Hemmings.  In the summer of 2009, she debuted the role of Simona in Night Flight, the operatic adaptation of the Saint-Exupéry novel, with Book-It Repertory.

Thomas Freet, bass/baritone, as Raphael – Freet performed leading roles with Tacoma Opera, Seattle Civic Light Opera, University of Washington School of Music, South Kitsap Opera, Skagit Opera,  Puget Sound Opera and Opera Pacifica.  Roles he has performed include Mephistopheles in Faust; Sarastro in The Magic Flute; Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni; Gugliemo in Cosi Fan Tutte; Count Almaviva in Marriage of Figaro, and Escamillo in Carmen.  Freet’s previous oratorio soloist performances include Messiah, The Creation and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Denise Daverso, soprano, as Eve -- Daverso has been soloist with the Federal Way Chorale, Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Illinois Opera Theater, Chamber Music Chicago, and Chicago Opera Theater. A strong advocate of vocal chamber music, Daverso was soprano and founding member of The Rookwood Trio (soprano, tenor and keyboard), which undertook the commissioning of new music resulting in four world premieres. Daverso has sung as a professional choral singer and soloist for the Robert Shaw Carnegie Hall Choir, The Rockefeller Chapel Choir, and Second Presbyterian Church in Chicago.  She sang with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus under the baton of Bruno Bartoletti and Marek Janowski.

The event is free to Saint Martin’s University faculty, staff and students with ID. The event is $5 at the door for the public.

Because of a private event taking place that same evening in the Norman Worthington Conference Center, guests are requested to enter the concert through the Northeast doors of Marcus Pavilion instead of through the main lobby. Volunteers and signage will be available to assist with directions.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For additional information:

Darrell Born
Chair, Fine and Performing Arts Department

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager