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Baritone Takaoki Onishi, Lyric Ryan Opera Center 16/17 ensemble member, featured on ESO season finale concerts May 6 & 7

Apr 20, 2017 12:04PM ● Published by Neighbors Magazines

Baritone Takaoki Onishi will perform Gustav Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer on the Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s (ESO) season finale concerts May 6 & 7 at the Hemmens Cultural Center. Mr. Onishi is the inaugural first prize winner of the IFAC-Juilliard Singing Competition in Japan, which awarded him a full scholarship to the Juilliard School.  He is also a second-year ensemble member with the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, and he appeared in the Lyric’s 2017 production of Eugene Onegin. Songs of a Wayfarer was written by Gustav Mahler at the end of a turbulent relationship with soprano Johanna Richter, and letters to friends reveal the extent of his heartache -"I am torn apart, my heart is bleeding, all is lost." He wrote the lyrics to the song cycle himself, although they were influenced by German folk poetry. The words convey all the emotions of someone despondent over a lost love - melancholy, regret, despair, bittersweet remembrance and finally acceptance and the embracing of all that life offers: “Everything: love and grief, world and dream.” The program also holds Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.  To purchase tickets, which start at only $30, visit ElginSymphony.Org or call the ESO Box Office at 847-888-4000.      

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