Song of the Earth

Mount Gretna, PA, United States

Mt. Gretna Playhouse

7:30 PM

Mahler's epic hymn to man and nature, love and life, in the composer's own version for voices and piano.

Two-thirds of our Song of the Earth trio performing Mozart:

The Artists

Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano; John Matthew Myers, tenor; Christopher Cano, piano


A naturally gifted singer noted for her commanding stage presence and profound artistry, Jennifer Johnson Cano has garnered critical acclaim. During the 2018-2019 season, she returns to The Metropolitan Opera as Emilia in Otello and Meg Page in Falstaff and makes her role debut as Offred in Poul Ruders’s The Handmaid’s Tale with Boston Lyric Opera.

Ms. Cano’s orchestral engagements include Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Symphonies. A dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, she joins tenor Matthew Polenzani and pianist Julius Drake at Carnegie Hall for an evening of Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms and Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared. She will return to Chamber Music of Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall for a performance of Ravel’s Sheherazade and Falla’s Psyche. Ms. Cano will also be part of two world premiere performances this season; Paul Moravec’s A New Country and Gregg Kallor’s Sketches from Frankenstein Suite.

Ms. Cano has given over 100 performances at The Metropolitan Opera, with recent roles including Bersi, Emilia, Hansel, Meg Page, Mercedes, Nicklausse, Wellgunde and Waltraute. Other operatic appearances have included Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Boston Lyric and Arizona Operas, The Sharp Eared Fox in Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen with the Cleveland Orchestra, Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen with Boston Lyric Opera, Orphée in Orphée et Eurydice with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Des Moines Metro Opera, Diana in La Calisto with Cincinnati Opera, and Marguerite in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust with the Tucson Symphony. She has recently worked with an impressive array of conductors, such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Franz Welser-Möst, Gustavo Dudamel, Manfred Honeck, Marin Alsop, Robert Spano, Louis Langrée, Osmo Vänskä and Sir Andrew Davis. Ms. Cano made her European debut on tour with John Adams’s El Niño including performances in London and Paris with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mr. Adams, and The Radio Filharmonisch Orkest conducted by Markus Stenz at The Royal Concertgebouw. Additionally, she performed this work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Grant Gershon.

In addition to her continued relationship with The Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic and The Cleveland Orchestra, Ms. Cano has appeared with such esteemed orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, San Diego and Utah Symphonies and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She toured with Musicians from Marlboro singing Respighi’s Il Tramonto and Cuckson’s Der gayst funem shturem, recorded live for the Marlboro Recording Society. A live recording of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde featured conductor George Manahan, tenor Paul Groves and St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble in a rare arrangement by Arnold Schoenberg and Rainer Riehn. At the invitation of Mrs. Carol Armstrong, Jennifer Johnson Cano was particularly honored to sing the Anderson/Weill September Song at the private funeral for American icon and astronaut Neil Armstrong. In 2014, she released her debut recital recording with pianist Christopher Cano, Unaffected: Live from the Savannah Voice Festival, recorded completely live and unedited. Her most recent recording of Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1: Jeremiah with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on Naxos received high praise from critics. “Jennifer Johnson Cano brings depth of tone and a noble resolve to the concluding Lamentation and just for once Lenny’s cathartic pay-off is deafeningly quiet.” (Gramophone)

Ms. Cano is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and made her professional operatic debut with Opera Theatre of St. Louis. She has earned degrees from Webster University and Rice University and was honored as a distinguished alumna and commencement speaker at Webster University last May. Ms. Cano joined The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera after winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition, and made her Met debut during the 2009-2010 season. Among her honors are a First Prize winner of the Young Concert Artist International Auditions, Sara Tucker Study Grant, Richard Tucker Career Grant and George London Award.


Tenor John Matthew Myers, declared an “artist to watch” by Opera News, has rapidly established himself among the ranks of today’s exceptional young voices. He has collaborated with companies such as the Verbier Festival, Santa Fe Opera and LA Opera, and made his surprise Los Angeles Philharmonic debut in 2017 as Mao in John Adams’sNixon in China conducted by the composer. His breakout performance was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “brightly lighted to match his declaiming voice.” Currently a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, he has garnered acclaim for his “lovely, warm tenor of considerable promise” (Opera News) and “insightful and beautifully nuanced performances” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram). He was a Gerdine Young Artist with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and has advanced as a finalist in each of his competition entries, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, and others.

Concert highlights of the 2018-19 season include Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech; a new production of John Cage’s Europeras 1 & 2 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the direction of Yuval Sharon; Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and Marcelo Lehninger; and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and José-Luis Novo. At the Academy of Vocal Arts, Myers bows in the role of the Prince in Dvořák’s Rusalka.

Last season, Myers performed with the Cathedral Choral Society in Washington DC under the baton of Kent Tritle in Mozart’s Requiem and Doctor Marianus in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium Perelman Stage with the Canterbury Choral Society. Elsewhere in the U.S. he performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Marcelo Lehninger and Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with Nir Kabaretti and Southwest Florida Symphony, and Allentown Symphony Orchestra alongside soprano Angela Meade. With the Academy of Vocal Arts, Myers sang the role of Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos in March 2018.The winner of Vocal Arts DC’s 2017 Art Song Discovery Competition, he subsequently gave a recital at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Recent performances of Myers’s vast and diverse operatic repertoire have included the roles of Pollione in Norma, Don Jose in Carmen, Cassio in Otello, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, the Duke of Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Prince Sinodal in Rubinstein’s The Demon, Trin in La Fanciulla del West, Valerio in Mercadante’s Virginia, Ophide in Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon, Steve Wozniak in Mason Bates’s The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, and Junior/Charlie in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain. He has collaborated with Long Beach Opera in Michael Gordon’s Van Gogh, Gabriela Ortiz’s Camelia la Tejana: Unicamente La Verdad, Stewart Copeland’s Tell Tale Heart, and as Monsieur Grivet in Tobias Picker’s Thérèse Raquin, the latter of which he performed in his debut at Chicago Opera Theater. Additional credits include Rodolfo in La Boheme, the title role in Bernstein’s Candide, Lensky in Eugene Onegin, Agenore in Mozart’s Il Re Pastore, Antinoüs in Faure’s Pénélope, Fenton in Falstaff, and the Jazz Trio Tenor in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti.

A frequent concert artist, John has performed Britten’s War Requiem at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of New York and in The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine,Jocelyn Hagen’s Amass at Alice Tully Hall with Kent Tritle for his Lincoln Center debut with Musica Sacra, Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music with the Wexford Festival Orchestra,Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Fairfield Chorale, and Brahms’s Liebeslieder Waltzes and other quartets with Performance Santa Fe. John has had the pleasure of performing in concert with composers Ricky Ian Gordon and Ben Moore at the Chautauqua Institute Music Festival, Opera America’s Salon Series: Exploring American Voices and the Van Cliburn Foundation’s Modern at the Modern Concert Series in Fort Worth, TX. He was a soloist with the Mark Morris Dance Group in their performances of The Muir as as well as soloist in September Songs: The Legacy of Kurt Weill with the American Musical Theatre Ensemble.

John received his graduate and undergraduate degrees from the Manhattan School of Music with additional studies at the Verbier Festival Academy, Chautauqua Institute, and Music Academy of the West.


A seasoned recitalist and orchestra soloist, pianist Christopher Cano has performed with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Tucson Civic Orchestra, the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, the Catalina Chamber Orchestra, and the University of Arizona Symphony Orchestra. Recital appearances have been in Europe, across the US, Mexico, Israel and the Far East.

Mr. Cano has won numerous awards including the Green Valley Scholarship Competition, Emilio Osta Scholarship Competition, Tucson Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, and is a recipient of the Theodore Presser Scholarship. He is also a two-time winner of the University of Arizona President’s Concert Concerto Competition. Mr. Cano made his recording debut with The Catalina Chamber Orchestra in an acclaimed performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.1, Op.35.

As a collaborative artist, he has played in the Master Classes of the late Fedora Barbieri, the late Anna Moffo, Lauren Flannigan, Martin Katz, Craig Rutenberg, and Suzanne Mentzer. Mr. Cano has also played for the master classes of Marilyn Horne in New York City at Carnegie Hall. As a studio pianist, Mr. Cano has had the distinct privilege of working with some of the great artists and teachers of singing including Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Luciano Pavarotti, Marni Nixon, Patricia McCaffrey, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, Rita Shane and Diana Soviero.

Mr. Cano has performed as a guest soloist and chamber musician at the Killington Music Festival in Vermont, the Alamos Music Festival of Sonora, Mexico, and has participated as a pianist at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel and Blacksburg, Virginia.

Mr. Cano has been a member of the music staff at the Festival Lyrique en Mer in Belle Isle, France, Toledo Opera, San Diego Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Opera Company of North Carolina, Florida Grand Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Mr. Cano has also served on the faculties of The Intermezzo Music Festival, Manhattan School of Music Summer Voice Institute, the CoOPERAtive Program of Westminster College for the Arts and V.O.I.C.Experience, a summer program for promising young singers in New York City, Orlando and Savannah under the Artistic Direction of acclaimed baritone, Sherrill Milnes.

Recent recital appearances include collaborations with some of today’s most promising young vocal talent including, Jennifer Welch-Babidge, Jossie Perez, Wendy Bryn Harmer, Elaine Alvarez, Timothy Mix and Young Concert Artists Winners Jeanine DeBique and Jennifer Johnson Cano.

Currently, Mr. Cano maintains his private studio in New York City where he has prepared singers for appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Chicago Lyric Opera, and orchestral appearances with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic among others.

A native of Southern Arizona, Mr. Cano holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Arizona where his teachers included the late Ozan Marsh, Nicholas Zumbro, Dr. Paula Fan and Rex Woods.

Mr. Cano and his wife, Mezzo-Soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano currently reside in New York City where he was a full-scholarship student in the Professional Studies Program of Vocal Accompanying at the Manhattan School of Music. He currently serves on the vocal coaching faculty of that institution where he was a student of renowned pianist, Warren Jones.

The Program

Full program notes and text and translations here:

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)

Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac, Op. 51




Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

Das Lied von der Erde

Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde

Der Einsame im Herbst

Von der Jugend

Von der Schönheit

Der Trunkene im Frühling

Der Abschied


Venue Details

200 Pennsylvania Avenue
Mount Gretna, PA 17064
United States
(717) 361-1508