Bernstein on Stage
John Mauceri, Conductor | New West Symphony | Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles | Women of Areté Vocal Ensemble & California Lutheran University Choir | Suzanna Guzmán, Davis Gaines, Celena Shafer, and Casey Candebat
Bernstein on Stage
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Columbia Artists Management Inc. (CAMI)
Great Hall (Directions & Parking)
$43 to $85
** This is a past performance, this event was on Fri., November 17, 2017 **

Bernstein on Stage
John Mauceri, Conductor
New West Symphony
Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles
Dr. Joseph P. Nadeau, Artistic Director & Conductor
Women of Areté Vocal Ensemble & California Lutheran University Choir
Wyant Morton, Director

Just Announced! Suzanna Guzmán, Davis Gaines, Celena Shafer, and Casey Candebat!

Generously sponsored by Colburn Foundation
John Mauceri performance sponsored by Kathleen P. Martin

Media Sponsornew 91.5Logo Cardinal  Classic Event 

New West Symphony Dates
Sat., November 18 at 8PM
Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

Sun., November 19 at 3PM
Oxnard Performing Arts Center

Buy Tickets

VPAC partners with New West Symphony in celebrating the centenary of Leonard Bernstein with Bernstein on StageJohn Mauceri, former music director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, was once a young protégé of Leonard Bernstein. He’s known for his onstage commentary between pieces, so we can’t wait to hear him share both personal anecdotes and musical insights from the maestro himself. He’s created a concert packed with pieces from the entire canon of Bernstein’s compositions for the stage.


JOHN MAUCERI, world-renowned conductor, writer, and educator has appeared with the world’s greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras, on the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood as well as at the most prestigious halls of academia.

Mr. Mauceri served as music director of the Teatro Regio in Turin, Italy for three years after completing seven years as music director of Scottish Opera, and is the first American ever to have held the post of music director of an opera house in either Great Britain or Italy. He was music director of the Washington Opera (The Kennedy Center) as well as Pittsburgh Opera, and was the first music director of American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall after its legendary founding director, Leopold Stokowski, whom he assisted. For fifteen years he served on the faculty of his alma mater, Yale University, and was the chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for seven years (2006-2013).

For 18 years, Mr. Mauceri worked closely with Leonard Bernstein, conducting many of the composer’s premieres at Bernstein’s request. He remains the conductor who has had the longest musical relationship with the composer, having edited, assisted, and conducted his works—with the composer present—in Vienna, Tel Aviv, London, Paris, Glasgow, Milan, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and performed at the composer’s 60th and 70th birthday galas.

He is the Founding Director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, which was created for him in 1991 by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Breaking all records at the Bowl, he conducted over 300 concerts at the 18,000-seat amphitheater with a total audience of four million people.

Deeply committed to preserving two American art forms, the Broadway musical, and Hollywood film scores, he has edited and performed a vast catalogue of restorations and first performances, and has conducted significant premieres of works by Verdi, Debussy, Hindemith, Ives, Gershwin, Stockhausen, Korngold, and Weill in concert halls and on Broadway.

Mr. Mauceri is one of the world’s most accomplished recording artists, having released over 70 audio CDs and is the recipient of Grammy, Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Billboard, Edison Klassiek, 3 Emmy Awards, 2 Diapasons d’Or, Cannes Classique, ECHO Klassik, and four Deutsche Schallplatten awards. This year, marking the 50th anniversary of his first concert, Mr. Mauceri has been honored by Yale University and received the Ditson Conducting Award in Carnegie Hall. His book, “Maestros and Their Music – The Art and Alchemy of Conducting,” has recently been published by Alfred A. Knopf.

See for further information.

Founded in 1995, the New West Symphony is a professional orchestra that draws its players from the rich talent pool of professional Los Angeles-area musicians. The Symphony presents an annual Masterpiece Series concert season and provides a number of educational opportunities for local youth through its annual Symphonic Adventures concerts, its traveling Music Van, and the Harmony Project of Ventura County.  For more information go to and follow them on Facebook at

nws logo2

For 39 years the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles has built an international reputation for musical excellence while remaining deeply rooted in service to the Los Angeles community. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the last important links to a glorious tradition in music,” GMCLA is one of the country’s largest male choruses with over 250 singers. GMCLA also has an extensive youth outreach program that brings a message of love, acceptance, and hope to over 50,000 students in the Los Angeles middle schools, high schools, and juvenile detention centers.

The Cal Lutheran University Choral Ensembles includes the Cal Lutheran University Choir, Women’s Chorale, and Areté Vocal Ensemble. The Cal Lutheran University Choir and Women’s Chorale are the premiere undergraduate choral ensembles at CLU. The ensembles have earned an enviable reputation in their home state and throughout the Western United States for their commitment to performing the finest in choral literature from all eras in their original languages. While dedicated to performing works that represent the University’s Lutheran heritage, the choirs also embrace innovative new music as well as music expressing a multi-cultural perspective.

Suzanna Guzmán

Actor, tv/radio host and mezzo soprano, has appeared as a principal soloist with orchestras and opera houses around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Dallas Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Opera de Genéve, and San Diego Opera, to name a few. Known for her portrayal of the title role in Bizet’s Carmen, (Fire-breathing actress, devastingly sexy.” TIME magazine), she is also a champion of new music, most recently, in The Industry’s acclaimed Hopscotch, the mobile opera. She has created premieres in lead roles in works by Michael Nyman, Daniel Catán, Giancarlo Menotti, Ian Krouse, and recently as the Mother in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking: “Guzmán came across as so authentic, it transcended the artificiality of the theatrical experience. Everything seemed to melt away: the moment danced between sobering and exhilarating.” Fresno Bee

Davis Gaines

Davis Gaines performed the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera more than 2,000 times during his run on Broadway, in Los Angeles (L.A.’s longest-running Phantom), and in San Francisco (Bay Area Critics’ Award for Best Actor). Other Broadway and National Tour credits include the world premiere of Lloyd Webber’s Whistle Down the Wind, Cornelius Hackl in Hello, Dolly! (with Carol Channing), Camelot (with Richard Burton) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (with Alexis Smith). Gaines’ Off-Broadway appearances include Des McAnuff’s The Death of Von Richthofen as Witnessed from Earth, the Maury Yeston/Larry Gelbart musical One Two Three Four Five, Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, She Loves Me, and Forbidden Broadway. In Southern California, he has appeared as Tito Merelli in Lend Me a Tenor (McCoy/Rigby), at Musical Theatre West as Juan Peron in Evita, Lawrence Jameson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha (Ovation Award and Broadway World Award, Best Lead Actor in a Musical), King Arthur in Spamalot, Javert in Les Miserables, Harold Hill in The Music Man, Richard Henry Lee in 1776 and Mack Sennett in Mack and Mabel.

Celena Shafer 100x150

After two summers as an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera, the career of Soprano Celena Shafer was launched to critical raves as Ismene in Mozart’s Mitridate, Re di Ponto. Since that breakthrough debut, Ms. Shafer has garnered acclaim for her silvery voice, fearlessly committed acting and phenomenal technique. She spends much of her time on the concert stage working with the leading conductors and orchestras of our time.

Among Ms. Shafer's 2017/2018 appearances include Musetta in La Boheme and the Mozart Mass in C Minor for the Utah Symphony, Carmina Burana in Costa Rica, and Handel's Messiah with the Nashville Symphony.

During the 2016/2017 season she sang Mahler Symphony No. 2 at the Britt Festival in Oregon, and repeated the work with the Louisville Orchestra. She returned to the Phoenix Symphony for Handel's Messiah, sang Mozart arias and Carmina Burana with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and performed Marzelline in Beethoven's Leonore with the Washington Concert Opera.

Casey Candebat

Casey Candebat, a tenor hailing from New Orleans, is quickly garnering the attention of opera companies around the country. He will be part of the workshop of Matthew Aucoin’s new opera, Eurydice, with the Metropolitan Opera in New York this January. He is a frequent performer with San Francisco Opera, New Orleans Opera, Kansas City Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, and Opera Grand Rapids. He is a graduate of the illustrious Merola Opera Program, where he was a two-time participant in the summer training program. With the New Orleans Opera, he has been featured in their productions of Orpheus in the Underworld, Dead Man Walking, Salome, Madama Butterfly, Rigoletto, Il Trittico, Manon Lescaut, La Bohème, and Turandot. Equally at home in concert work and oratorio, Mr. Candebat recently performed Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the New West Symphony in Los Angeles and will be the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra this season. He has also performed the tenor solos in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and Schubert’s Mass in E-flat, to name a few. A frequent recitalist, Mr. Candebat has had several highly acclaimed touring recitals including: Casey at the Movies, O Holy Night of Opera, and Scarborough Fair: Folk Songs of the British Isles. Mr. Candebat has won several prestigious vocal competitions, including the Grand Prize in the Bel Canto Foundation Voice Competition, 2011. Mr. Candebat is a graduate of Northwestern University and Loyola University New Orleans.

Press Release

Performances Magazine, "Beloved Bernstein". Oct 2017