New Beginnings

May 18, 2010

As many of you know, baritone and founding member Scott Dispensa is leaving New York Polyphony for a full-time position in the Metropolitan Opera chorus.  More than a great friend and an enthusiastic collaborator, Scott has been integral to what we as an ensemble have achieved over the last four years.  It would be a huge understatement to say that we’re sad to see him go, so we won’t even bother.  We’re happy for Scott and grateful for the talent and time he dedicated to New York Polyphony.

But with endings come exciting new beginnings.  We are very pleased to announce that baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert is joining us for the next phase of New York Polyphony.

Christopher Dylan Herbert has received acclaim for his “smooth baritone voice”, his “consistently warm sound” and his “versatile dramatic abilities”. He recently won an encouragement award from the Sullivan Foundation, garnered the French Consulate Award in the Gérard Souzay Competition, received third prize in the Kurt Weill Foundation’s Lotte Lenya Competition, and was a finalist in the Liederkranz Foundation Competition.  Performances this season include the role of Henrik in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at Opera Theatre Saint Louis, Dover Beach at Lake George, baritone solos in Monteverdi’s Vespers at Saint Thomas Church 5thAvenue and various recitals with renowned pianist Thomas Bagwell.  During 2009, Mr. Herbert performed the role of Sid in Britten’s Albert Herring with Opera Vivente, the role of Connie in Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, and the role of Il prigioniero in Mascagni’s Il piccolo Marat with Teatro Grattacielo in Avery Fisher Hall.  Concert appearances included Nancy Wertsch’s The Seven Last Words of Christ with St. Joseph’s Chorale and a New York and Broadway benefit concert entitled Songs for Our Future featuring prominent Yale University alumni in the arts.  Mr. Herbert has performed with the Boston Pops and has sung at the Tanglewood Music Center, Wolf Trap, Central City Opera, National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland, and various recital venues.

Mr. Herbert holds a B.A. in Music and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Yale University and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University.  He also serves as the Director of Advancement for the charitable institution Sing for Hope.