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Ode to Joy

Infinite Joy: Beethoven’s Ninth

Update, 6/25/2020: Overture has suspended all performances through November 30. Due to Overture Center’s decision, and requirements of the FORWARD DANE Phased Reopening Plan for Dane County, the Madison Symphony Orchestra has reluctantly canceled this concert. While alternative programming opportunities are considered, the MSO will issue refunds to subscribers for the value of their tickets to this performance. Direct communication to each ticketholder will be sent by the MSO. Read our press release for more information.

Answers to other questions about subscriptions, renewals, seating, and plans for responding to Overture Center and health guidelines for our upcoming season, can be found on our 20/21 FAQ page. You can also read more about how we’re responding to current events by visiting our Summer 2020 Q&A and Current Schedule pages.

Fri., Sept. 25, 2020
7:30 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 26, 2020
8:00 p.m.

Sun., Sept. 27, 2020
2:30 p.m.

Music Program:
MozartOboe Concerto in C major 
Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 in D minor

John DeMain
, Conductor
Marc Fink, Oboe
Madison Symphony Chorus, Beverly Taylor, Director
Elizabeth Caballero, Soprano
Kirsten Larson, Mezzo-soprano
Edward Graves, Tenor
Matt Boehler, Bass

Read the Program Notes
Program Notes will be available in August.

Prelude Discussion
Enjoy a 30-minute talk starting one hour before each concert in Overture Hall. Free to ticketholders.

Mozart was Beethoven’s compositional inspiration. So, it is fitting to begin with his Oboe Concerto, performed by Marc Fink, as we recognize his brilliant tenure as principal oboist of the orchestra. Then we launch our Beethoven celebration with his iconic choral masterpiece and, of course the “Ode to Joy.”

A window of opportunity. In the summer of 1823, Beethoven was looking for a place where he could work on his Ninth Symphony. He returned to a house in Baden with an unlikely demand. He insisted that it have unpainted shutters on the windows overlooking the street. It turned out that he wrote on the shutters, penciling musical notes, and anything else that came to mind. Informed that the enterprising landlord had sold the shutters, Beethoven is said to have “exploded in Homeric laughter.”
– Norman Gilliland

About the Guest Singers

Elizabeth Caballero
Soprano Elizabeth Caballero is a frequent guest of numerous American and international opera houses, festivals and concert venues. Her repertoire encompasses staples of the dramatic coloratura and full lyric repertoire, including Mimì, La Bohème (Metropolitan Opera; New York City Opera; Florida Grand Opera; Hawaii Opera Theater); the title role in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Musetta, (La Bohème; Violetta, La Traviata (Opera Naples; Opera Carolina; Madison Opera; Pacific Symphony; Orlando Philharmonic; Compañía Lírica Nacional de Costa Rica); both Donna Anna (Madison Opera) and Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni (New York City Opera; Seattle Opera; Lyric Opera Kansas City); as well as Nedda, I Pagliacci (New York City Opera; Hawaii Opera), among others. In concert, she has sung the soprano solos in John Rutter’s Requiem; Orff’s Carmina Burana; Verdi’s Requiem; Rachmaninov’s The Bells and Poulenc’s Gloria. Originally from Cuba, Elizabeth Caballero is a citizen of the USA. She speaks fluent English, Spanish and Italian.

Kirsten Larson
Kirsten Larson is a lyric mezzo-soprano based in Madison, WI. She frequently performs operatic, musical theatre, and concert stages, both in choral groups and as a soloist. During the 2019-20 season, Ms. Larson was the Studio Artist with the Madison Opera. With a wide range and vocal flexibility, she has performed a variety of operatic and musical theatre roles such as Alisa, Lucia di Lammermoor; Third Wood Sprite, Rusalka; ​Fox, The Cunning Little Vixen; Lola, Cavalleria Rusticana; Third Spirit, The Magic Flute; and Flora, La Traviata; among others.

Edward Graves
Edward Graves was the 2019-2020 Studio Artist at the Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit, covering Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, singing Rinuccio in a double bill of Puccini’s Gianna Schicchi and Ching’s Buoso’s Ghost. 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.

Matt Boehler
Hailed by The New York Times as “a bass with an attitude and the goods to back it up,” Matt Boehler is a singer equally at home on the international opera stage as well as the concert platform. He has appeared as a principal artist with The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Theater St. Gallen, and Canadian Opera Company, as well as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and the New York Festival of Song, among many others. Frequently in demand as a collaborator and interpreter of new music, Matt’s discography features many world premieres. A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, he trained as an actor at Viterbo College, an opera singer at Juilliard, and as a composer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

That the MSO is such a superb ensemble is clear, and the display of members who are of superlative solo quality helps us understand why.

– John Barker, Isthmus


Major funding provided by


Rosemarie and Fred Blancke


Louise and Ernest Borden


David and Kato Perlman

Additional funding provided by


Barbara Melchert and Gale Meyer


Marvin L. Conney

with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts


September 25
September 27
Event Category:


Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703 United States