Press Release

June 12, 2018

Nmon Ford To Replace Davóne Tines As The Celebrant In The Mostly Mozart Festival’s Performances Of Bernstein’s Mass

Mostly Mozart Festival






New York, NY (June 12, 2018) — Lincoln Center announced today that baritone Nmon Ford will join Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Louis Langrée and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra as the Celebrant in Bernstein’s MASS, replacing Davóne Tines, who has withdrawn from the performances. Mr. Ford has enjoyed success in increasingly challenging and dramatic repertoire, most recently with Pittsburgh Opera as Jochanaan (Salome) and Cincinnati Opera in his first performances as Pizarro (Fidelio). These performances will mark Mr. Ford’s Mostly Mozart Festival debut.


Written for the 1971 inauguration of the Kennedy Center, Bernstein’s MASS merges traditional liturgical form with contemporary theater, dance, jazz, and popular music, imbuing it with the social and political concerns of Vietnam War–era America. SF Opera Lab curator Elkhanah Pulitzer makes her New York debut directing this fully staged presentation, starring acclaimed baritone Nmon Ford, who sings the role of the morally conflicted Celebrant. Louis Langrée leads more than 200 performers, including the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Concert Chorale of New York, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and dancers in this monumental dramatic work with its eclectic score encompassing gospel, rock, showtunes, marches, and chorales.




Bernstein MASS (New York production premiere)

Tuesday, July 17 and Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 7:30 pm David Geffen Hall

Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra

Louis Langrée, conductor

Nmon Ford, Celebrant (Mostly Mozart Festival debut)

Elkhanah Pulitzer, director (New York debut)

Concert Chorale of New York James Bagwell, choral director

Young People’s Chorus of New York City Elizabeth Núñez, associate artistic director Laurel Jenkins, choreographer

Seth Reiser, scenic and lighting designer Christine Crook, costume designer

Mark Grey, sound designer  Adam Larsen, projection designer

Bernstein: MASS: A Theater Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers


With English supertitles


A production of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, Music and Artistic Director


A pre-performance lecture by NYU music professor Michael Beckerman will take place at 6:15 pm on Tuesday, July 17, and a pre-performance discussion with lyricist Stephen Schwartz and director Elkhanah Pulitzer, moderated by WNYC’s John Schaefer, will be at 6:15 pm on Wednesday, July 18. Both will be held in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse.



Baritone Nmon Ford opened the 2017–18 season as Iago in a concert performance of Otello with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano. He also performed the Brahms Requiem with the Kansas City Symphony and Bernstein’s Songfest cycle with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at London’s Barbican Centre. At Madison Opera he sang the role of Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas. Last season Mr. Ford appeared as Don Pizarro in Fidelio alongside Christine Goerke at Cincinnati Opera, for which he received outstanding reviews. Other highlights include a critically acclaimed appearance as Jochanaan (Salome) alongside Patricia Racette at Pittsburgh Opera, The Creation with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah at Pomona College in Claremont, California. Past successes include Mr. Ford’s tenure in the ensemble at Hamburg State Opera, where he made role debuts as Scarpia (Tosca), the title role in Billy Budd, the Traveler (Death in Venice), Thoas (Iphigénie en Tauride), and Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). In Hungary, he sang Escamillo (Carmen) at the Szeged Open-Air Festival and Jochanaan at Opéra National de Bordeaux in a new production of Salome. At the Spoleto Festival, Mr. Ford received critical praise in the title role in Don Giovanni. Further roles include Amfortas (Parsifal) at Los Angeles Opera in Robert Wilson’s production; Count di Luna (Il Trovatore) and Iago (Otello) at Virginia Opera; the title role of Ernst Bloch’s Macbeth in a new production at Chicago Opera Theater and Long Beach Opera; Belcore (L’Elisir d’Amore) at San Francisco Opera; and Amonasro (Aida) at Opera Memphis. Future engagements include performances as Crown (Porgy and Bess) at English National Opera and in Bernstein’s Songfest with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.



Louis Langrée was appointed music director of the Mostly Mozart Festival in December 2002, was named Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director in August 2006, and his contract has been extended through the 2020 season. Langrée has also extended his contract with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, where he has served as music director since 2013, through the 2022 season. Langrée’s engagements as guest conductor have included the Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orchestre de Paris. He also regularly conducts opera at such houses as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Royal Opera House, and Wiener Staatsoper. A conductor with wide-ranging interests and expertise, Langrée is equally at home leading period ensembles, including Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, as well as conducting world premieres of compositions by Magnus Lindberg, David Lang, Daníel Bjarnason, Nico Muhly, Thierry Escaich, Sebastian Currier, Caroline Shaw, and more. 




The Mostly Mozart Festival is a presentation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA), which serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers a variety of festivals and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, LC Kids, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award–winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating more than four decades enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.


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American Express is the Lead Sponsor of the Mostly Mozart Festival.


Endowment support is provided by the Blavatnik Family Foundation Fund for Dance.


The Mostly Mozart Festival is also made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ford Foundation, and Rita E. and Gustave M. Hauser. Additional support is provided by The Shubert Foundation, LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Howard Gilman Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc., The Katzenberger Foundation, Inc., Great Performers Circle, Chairman’s Council, Friends of Mostly Mozart, and Friends of Lincoln Center


Nespresso is the Official Coffee of Lincoln Center

NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center

Summer at Lincoln Center is supported by Bubly.

Artist Catering provided by Zabar’s and




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Press Contact: 

Julia Kirchhausen, 212.875.5049 

[email protected] 

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