Welcome Home Gary Thor Wedow

April 17, 2021 at 7 p.m. Chicago Time in the Civic Auditorium

Address: 1001 Ridge St., LaPorte, IN 46350

It was a great honor for the LCSO to present Maestro Gary Wedow in concert. Maestro Wedow, a native of La Porte, has garnered a well-deserved reputation for his conducting excellence with opera companies and orchestras all over the United States. In addition to his conducting duties, Maestro Wedow is a Professor of Music at the Juilliard School of Music. Joining the Maestro were two of his favorite vocalists, Kellie Motter and Edward Graves, who received several standing ovations for their performances.  It was a wonderful finale to our 48th season!   Tickets to the concert may still be purchased below.

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Conductor Gary Thor Wedow has established an enviable reputation for dramatically exciting and historically informed performances with opera companies, orchestras, festivals, and choral organizations throughout North America. Opera News has hailed him for his “hot music making” and “convincingly elegant period style.” His debut with the New York Philharmonic conducting Messiah was noted in the New York Times for ‘a fleet, lithe orchestral performance, aptly complemented by the buoyant singing of the chorus.’

Maestro Wedow’s original engagements during the COVID-19 shortened 2019-2020 season begin with returns to Opera Philadelphia for Semele and Seattle Opera for La cenerentola, and then makes his house debut with Opera Omaha conducting The Abduction from the Seraglio.  He also returns to Utah Opera for Il barbiere di Siviglia and Boston Lyric Opera for Giulio Cesare. In the summer of 2020 he joins Des Moines Metro Opera for Rameau’s Platée.

The Maestro’s busy 2018-2019 season included a return engagement with Pittsburgh Opera for Don Pasquale, as well as La Calisto at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and Giulio Cesare for the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the latter for the American Handel Society’s Festival and Conference

His 2017-2018 season was notable for debuts with the Nashville Symphony for Messiah, Lembit Beecher’s War Stories for Opera Philadelphia and L’incoronazione di Poppea starring Anthony Roth Costanzo for Cincinnati Opera.  He was also in Madison for a concert appearance with Madison Opera, the Manhattan School of Music conducting La CenerentolaLucia di Lammermoor for The Jacobs School of Music and Die Fledermaus for Utah Opera.

Recent appearances include his debuts with San Diego Opera conducting Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Orphée for Des Moines Metro OperaLucia di Lammermoor for Utah OperaThe Magic Flute for Madison Opera and a special collaboration between The Juilliard School and the Westminster Choir College of Mozart’s Requiem at Alice Tully Hall. Handel’s Messiah is frequently on his schedule with return engagements at Portland Baroque, the Santa Fe Symphony and a special performance at St. Thomas Church that the New York Times called “a war horse of a different, brighter color, with mighty crescendos and exquisite pianissimos, and guilty pleasures.”

A favorite with Seattle Opera audiences, Wedow has also been a frequent guest of Florida Grand OperaBoston Lyric OperaCanadian Opera Company, Arizona Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Portland Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Berkshire Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Saratoga, and the Amherst Early Music Festival, among others. He was for many years associated with New York City Opera, leading the New York premiere of Telemann’s Orpheus, the groundbreaking Christopher Alden productions of Don Giovanni and Stephen Wadsworth’s Xerxes.

Choral masterpieces and symphonic repertoire have taken him to the podiums of the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, The Alabama Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Berkshire Choral International in Massachusetts, New Mexico, California and in Salzburg, and Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society where he was, for many years, Associate Conductor.

Born in LaPorte, Indiana and now a resident of New York City, he has been a member of the Juilliard School faculty since 1994 where he has led performances of L’incoronazione di Poppea, La finta giardinieraAriodante and Don Giovanni. Of particular note was the tour of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Juilliard 415 Historical Performance Ensemble that culminated at Alice Tully Hall ‘in a performance that caught fire and magic’ according to the New York Times. His continued championship of young musicians and singers is further exemplified by projects at The Teatro Colón, Wolf Trap Opera, the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. A musical scholar as well as conductor, he has prepared several performing editions of baroque works in collaboration with gambist Lawrence Lipnik. Mr. Wedow studied piano with virtuoso Jorge Bolet at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University and received his Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory.

Praised for her “moving, involved expression,” Atlanta-born soprano Kellie Motter is a versatile
artist in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary. On the opera stage, Kellie has been
engaged with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Central City Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera.
Notable role credits include the roles of Marie (La fille du régiment), Despina (Così fan tutte),
Sivia (L’isola disabitata), La Fée (Cendrillon), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Galatea (Acis & Galatea),
Morgana (Alcina) and the title role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.
As a concert soloist, she has been featured in Carissimi’s Jepthe, Handel’s Messiah,
Haydn’s Kleine Orgelmesse & Schöpfungmesse, Steve Reich’s Tehillim, the requiems of Brahms
and Fauré, and in numerous works by J.S. Bach, including his solo cantata No. 51, Jauchzet Gott
in allen Landen. An enthusiastic performer of new works, Kellie premiered the soprano solo in
John Gibson’s In Flight for choir, soloists, and electronics with NOTUS: Contemporary Vocal
Ensemble, which was released on the album Of Radiance & Refraction under the Innova
Recordings label.
Kellie is a 2017-2018 Winner of The American Prize in Opera and a 2016 Georgia District Winner
of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions. She received her Bachelor of Music from
the University of Maryland and her Master of Music from Indiana University, where she held
the prestigious Georgina Joshi Graduate Fellowship.

Tenor Edward Graves, a 2019-20 Studio Artist at Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit covered Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, sang Rinuccio in a double bill of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Ching’s Buoso’s Ghost, and covered Luis Rodrigo Griffith in Terence Blachard’s Champion. Highlights of the 2018-19 season included his Seattle Opera debut as Robbins in Porgy and Bess and a return to The Glimmerglass Festival for the world premiere of Blue. In 2017-18, Edward was a Baumgartner Studio Artist at Florentine Opera where he performed the roles St. Brioche in The Merry Widow, Shepherd/ Sailor in Venus and Adonis/ Dido and Aeneas, and 2nd Priest/ 1st Armored Man in The Magic Flute​. He was the tenor soloist in Florentine Opera’s Viva Opera! Opera’s greatest hits concert and premiered the role of Buzz/Child in the children’s opera A Busy Bee.
Edward received an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Wisconsin District in 2017. That same year he was a 2017 Young Artist at The Glimmerglass Festival where he sang the role of Peter and covered the role of Robbins in Porgy and Bess and sang the role of Fred in Oklahoma! He received his Performer Diploma and Master of Music in Voice Performance from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where he studied with Patricia Havranek. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Towson University as a student of Aaron Sheehan. While at Towson, he performed the roles of Calandrino in Mozart’s The Goose of Cairo, Cinderella’s Father in Into the Woods, Dudley in John Davies’ children’s opera Little Red’s Most Unusual Day, and Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus. In 2011 he participated in the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, performing scenes from The Merry Widow, Showboat and Regina.

Toward the end of his graduate studies, Edward transitioned from baritone to tenor. Previous Indiana University Opera Theater appearances include Brühlmann in Massenet’s Werther, ensemble in Verdi’s La Traviata, The Doctor/ ensemble in Menotti’s The Last Savage, ensemble in The Magic Flute, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Grimoaldo in Rodelinda, and Constable Locke/ ensemble in The Music Man.

The Robert J. Hiler Family Foundation

Mr. Wedow’s appearance is sponsored by Dr. Charles & Mrs. Rita Hagenow


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