PORTLAND – For the first Sunday Classical performance of Robert Moody’s inaugural season as music director, the Portland Symphony Orchestra will present “Classical Travels” with renowned American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop Sunday, Oct. 26.

The program will open with “Overture to L’Italiana in Algieri” (The Italian Girl in Algiers) by Gioachino Rossini. Famous for his great comic operas, including “The Barber of Seville,” Rossini wrote this piece in just one month at age 21. The second work is Gustav Mahler’s “Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen” (Songs of a Wayfarer). Mahler’s intensely poignant work, for which the composer wrote the texts in addition to the music, was possibly motivated by his own unrequited love for a singer of the time.

“Classical Travels” will close with Antonín Dvorák’s famous Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 “From the New World.” Inspired by African-American spirituals and Native American rhythms, the piece brims over with melody and drama.

Bishop has been hailed by Opera News for her “gorgeous voice,” and has performed on opera and concert stages across the country, in music ranging from the baroque to the contemporary. This season, she will perform with the Los Angeles Opera and Masters Chorale, the Metropolitan Opera, the Atlanta Symphony and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. She and Moody have performed together often.

The concert will begin at 2:30 p.m. at Merrill Auditorium. A Concert Conversation with Moody and Bishop will be held at 1:15 p.m. in the rehearsal hall before the concert. This performance will also be broadcast on MPBN over the radio at 8 p.m. Nov. 12.

Tickets range from $17 to $54, with special pricing available for students, seniors and groups of 10 or more. All Portland Symphony Orchestra tickets are sold through PortTix at 842-0800 or www.porttix.com. Tickets may also be purchased in person from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the box office at 20 Myrtle St.

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