Orchestra, chorus, soloist join for ‘Evening of Opera’

“An Evening of Opera Choruses, Arias and Overtures” is the theme for the April 28 concert of the Orchestra at Maryville College. The performance, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Maryville, showcases nearly 60 instrumentalists, 50 vocalists with the Maryville College Community Chorus and special guest soloist, Michael Bundon.

The lively arias and choruses on the program will be familiar to many, even the listener who is not well-acquainted with the opera. Bundon will sing Di Capua’s “O sole mio,” Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” and “La donna e mobile” from Rossini’s Rigoletto.

On a contemporary note, Bundon and Maryville College soprano April Martin will sing “The Prayer” by Bayer-Sager/Foster. The Community Chorus win join the Orchestra for the “Anvil Chorus” from Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” the “Wedding March” from Wagner’s “Lohengrin,” Verdi’s “The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” from “Nabucco,” and “Chorus of the Wedding Guests” from Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.” For the finale, Bundon will sing the aria made famous by the late Italian tenor Pavarotti, the “Nessun Dorma” or “None shall sleep,” from Puccini’s “Turandot.”

Bundon has been the minister of music at Knoxville’s Beaver Dam Baptist Church since 1982. He has performed as soloist at numerous church and civic gatherings, concerts, and symphonic settings and was recorded in performances with The Centurymen and the Tennessee Baptist Convention Men’s Chorale. He has also performed several operatic and oratorio solos with area musical groups, winning the Tennessee Concerto Soloist Audition and the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in Tennessee.

Previous to his work in Knoxville, he was choral director of Jefferson County High School and minister of music at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church in Maryville. He holds degrees from Carson-Newman College and the University of Tennessee, where he was named, respectively, Outstanding Graduate in Music and the Viola Bitzas Music Scholar. In 1970, Bundon won the Philip Steele Affiliate Artist Award at Maryville College.

The Orchestra at Maryville College, conducted by Bill Robinson, is a college and community ensemble that meets Monday evenings at Maryville High School during the academic year and performs 4 concerts per year. April 28 will be the final concert this season.

Stacey Wilner, coordinator of choral music at the college, directs the Community Chorus, which is an unauditioned ensemble of singers that includes high-school students, Maryville College students and members of the community.

Tickets are available at the door: $10 adults; $7.50 for seniors 60 and over. Admission is free to students 18 and under and to all Maryville College staff, faculty and students with ID. For more information, contact Genevieve Michael, general manager of the orchestra, at 865-273-8871.

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