We just finished a hugely successful production week and premiere of Lembit Beecher's opera Sophia's Forest! I've spent nearly a year workshopping the piece with Lembit and the Aizuri Quartet and to see the full opera take shape was a true thrill. This was one of those dream productions, filled with the most talented, sweetest and most passionate people around. We were lead by Brian Staufenbiel and Nicole Paiement of Opera Parallele and our Sophia was the amazing soprano Kiera Duffy. Lembit teamed up with the Drexel University Excite Center to create a forest of beautiful and haunting sound sculptures.
I'm back from an amazing time in Portland, OR where I worked with The Broken Consort on two world premieres by composer Emily Lau. We all spent two weeks living together, eating together, rehearsing, improvising and recording an album of Emily's music. Our time concluded with a live performance of The Glorious Cuntata and Radical Softness at the official launch party of the Big Mouth Society. It was a gift to live immersed in artistic expression and exploration with a group of such courageous, talented and loving people.
photo credit: Meg Nanna
Last week I spent five days improving and rehearsing with an amazing group of people! I joined Urban Arias for their Sizzlin' Summer Nights "Scenes, Not Screens!" at the Signature Theater in Arlington, VA. I've spent some time doing opera improv, but this was my first time doing it in front of an audience, and just as I suspected, it was even MORE fun that way! In addition to performing improvised opera, we put on a production of the new opera Service Provider. We were joined by composer Christopher Weiss and librettist/ choreographer John De Los Santos, who helped us block our (hilarious) fight scene and give us insights into this fantastic piece.
I'm featured in Classical Singer Magazine's Summer 2016 publication! Michelle LaTour interviewed me for her column "Where I Last Got Paid To Sing." I was thrilled to tell her all about my amazing experience in South Korea with the PyeongChang Winter Music Festival back in February. Pick up a copy, or read the article here!
I am so honored to be one of the five winners of the S&R Foundation 2016 Washington Award, which recognizes talented emerging artists in all disciplines. Last weekend I traveled to Washington DC to meet the other amazing winners for a beautiful dinner and to perform at the award Gala. It was amazing to spend the week in the company of incredible and inspiring artists. Huge thanks to President Dr. Sachiko Kuno, Dr. Ryuji Ueno, Molly Turner and Danielle Reed.
Last weekend I had the privilege of making my solo debut with the City Choir of Washington in Handel's Solomon. I was kept very busy, singing roles in all three acts- Solomon's Queen in Act 1, Woman 1 in Act 2 and the Queen of Sheba in Act 3. I was joined by three fabulous soloists, soprano Katelyn Aungst, tenor Patrick Kilbride and counter tenor Charlie Humphries with Maestro Bob Shafer leading us from the podium. The choir, 120 strong, was quite a force and together with a full orchestra, the event was a true thrill. Stay tuned for recordings from the performance!
While in DC, I visited the East Wing Gallery of the National Gallery of Art, where (among many other amazing things) I saw a rooster with my haircut.
This weekend I was fortunate to be included in a new production of Schumann's Dichterliebe and Britten's Les Illuminations at the Mile Square Theater in collaboration with Premiere Productions at Zen Space Studios. While Brian Holman, pianist and I performed Les Illuminations, artist Rufino Jimenez improvised a large charcoal drawing on stage left. Then Byron Singleton sang Dichterliebe and was joined on stage by several incredible dancers, including choreographer/ director Kristen Mangione. I'm thrilled to say that we will be taking this production to other venues in the future!
This week I'm in DC making my debut with the New Dominion Chorale and Maestro Tom Beveridge! This program, "Opera and Operetta Favorites," features singers from the 2016 Washington International Competition for Voice, presented by the Friday Morning Music Club. I'm so excited to be singing some really fun repertoire including Poor Wand'ring One from Pirates of Penzance, My Dear Marquis from Die Fledermaus, the Fire Aria from Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortileges and the Italian Street Song from Naughty Marietta.
Here is a [BEHIND THE SCENES] clip of me singing the chorus of Italian Street Song from our rehearsal yesterday. I tried out a fun new ending, and I think I'll stick with it!
All the soloists are amazing and a joy to work with, but I'm especially stoked to be singing with my dear friend and fabulous Mezzo-Soprano Madelyn Wanner. She and I were in the same Graduate class at Peabody Conservatory and sang together in an outreach production of Hansel and Gretel!