The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Middleton Community Orchestra offers its sure-to-please holiday concert this Wednesday night with soprano soloist Emily Birsan.

December 17, 2012

By Jacob Stockinger

If you are looking for a relaxing break from holiday shopping and holiday parties, you are in luck.

The Middleton Community Orchestra (below) will present its holiday concert on this Wednesday night, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the very attractive and comfortable Middleton Performing Arts Center, attached to Middleton High School, at 2100 Bristol Street in Middleton.

Middleton Community Orchestra by William Ballhorn

The concert will feature guest soloist soprano Emily Birsan (below), who studied at the University of Wisconsin School of Music and who is completing the second of a three-year apprenticeship with the prestigious Lyric Opera in Chicago.


The MCO will play a selection of classical ethnic and well-known dances and accompany Birsan in some well-known opera arias.

Tickets are free to students. Tickets are available at Willy St. Coop West and at the door on the night of the show.  General admission is $10. Call 212-8690 for more information or visit our website:

Here’s what Emily Birsan will sing:

Musetta’s Waltz” from “La Boheme” by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924); “Vilia” from “The Merry Widow” by Franz Lehár  (1870–1948); “Ach, Ich Liebte” from “The Abduction From the Seraglio” by W. A. Mozart (1756-1791); “Ah!  fors’ e lui … Sempre Libera” from “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901).

Emily Birsan performing

Under the baton of congenial conductor Steve Kurr (below), the MCO will be perform dances by Brahms (Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 and 3), Dvorak (Slavonic Dance, Op. 46, No. 8), Strauss (“Blue Danube” Waltz” and “Persian March”) the “Bacchanale” from Saint-Saens’ “Samson and Delilah” and the Polonaise from Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Christmas Eve” Suite.

Middleton Community Orchestra Steve Kurr conducting

And if this concert is anything like the last one I attended, there will be some terrifically tasty holiday snacks to eat and drink as you mix with the musicians and other audience members at the post-concert reception (below).

Middleton Community Orchestra reception

Here is the very positive review I did of another MCO concert:

Also, if you are interested in joining the MCO or supporting it or seeing about its upcoming concerts – with violin and cello soloists — for the rest of the season, visit:

Here is a video for the current season with the soundtrack from last season’s final concert the one I review, with Middleton resident and UW graduate pianist Thomas Kasdorf, playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488, with the MCO.

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,250 other subscribers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,411,905 hits
%d bloggers like this: