Brahms’ deeply personal masterpiece and its message of peace and transformation, still speaks to us after more than 150 years. Composed after the death of his mother this exquisite work is both intimate and universal. Through his exploration of sorrow and loss Brahms’ sublime music transports, comforts, and consoles.
Rita Lilly, soprano
Nikolas Nackley, baritone
and the Jubilate Orchestra
Rita Lilly is familiar to audiences in oratorio, recital, and opera, but most notably for her performances of baroque and early music. She has been lauded by The New York Times for “possessing a voice of strength, clarity, and virtuosity” and by the S.F. Classical Voice for “having a pure, silvery voice with plenty of color.” Ms. Lilly is a native New Yorker who has appeared as a featured soloist with the American Boychoir, American Classical Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Artek, Bachworks, Bach Aria Group, Clarion Music Society, Concert Royal, Rebel, Trinity Church Concerts Series, and the New York Consort of Viols, among others. As the soprano soloist of the Waverly Consort, she toured throughout the U.S. and abroad, including performances at N.Y.’s Alice Tully Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters. Ms. Lilly has been featured on live broadcasts on New York’s WNYC, WNCN, National Public Radio, and Radio-Canada.
Since coming to the Bay Area, Ms. Lilly has been a soloist with the Albany Consort, American Bach Soloists, Bay Choral Guild, Berkeley Community Chorus, California Bach Society, Cappella SF, Chora Nova, Contra Costa Chorale, Folger Consort, Magnificat, MUSA, Sacabuche, San Francisco Bach Choir, S.F. Renaissance Voices, and Sacramento Baroque.
Ms. Lilly’s recordings include three with the Waverly Consort on EMI; Handel and Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus with the American Boychoir on Musical Heritage; Scarlatti’s St. Cecilia Mass on Newport Classic; Sowerby’s Medieval Poem on Naxos; a German Baroque Christmas with American Classical Orchestra on Musicmasters; and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Valley Concert Chorale.
Ms. Lilly served for five years as Music Director of St. Jerome Catholic Church in El Cerrito and is now the Music Director of the Lafayette Christian Church in Lafayette, Ca. She is on the faculty as voice teacher at the Pacific Boychoir Academy, and is the vocal instructor for the SFEMS Baroque Summer Workshop. Ms. Lilly has recently become the choir director for Mills College Choir and maintains an active vocal studio in her home.
Baritone Nikolas Nackley is in demand for his work on both the concert and operatic stage. He has been heralded by the San Francisco Chronicle as “sonorous and heroic” and praised by the Boston Globe for his ability to “continually impress with his beautiful voice and acting.” Recently featured in the title role of West Edge Opera’s critically acclaimed Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Mr. Nackley returned to WEO this past summer to sing the role of Captain Bouchardon in the West Coast premiere Matt Mark’s opera Mata Hari. Recent credits include the role of Joe Pitt in the West Coast premiere of Peter Eötvös’s opera Angels in America with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Adonis in John Blow’s Venus and Adonis with Marin Baroque; Bach’s St. John Passion with the SF Bach Choir, Santa Clara Chorale, and Bay Choral Guild; Figaro in Paisiello’s Barber of Seville with WEO’s Opera Medium Rare; Haydn’s The Seasons with Marin Oratorio; and the West Coast premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s “The Tempest Songbook” with Cal Performances. Mr. Nackley is currently on the faculty at the School of Music at SF State University and at UC Berkeley, where he is the director of vocal studies.