[Camerata Singers of Monterey]

Just a week after returning from Korea, I'm off to the gorgeous Monterey Peninsula of California to sing with the Camerata Singers of Monterey County. I am fortunate to have grown up on the tip of the peninsula in Pacific Grove, so I get to see my parents, many old friends and my mom's three dogs, Sofie, Dixie and Louie. 

My view while having coffee this morning. Across the bay is Santa Cruz!

My view while having coffee this morning. Across the bay is Santa Cruz!

I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium today, which is a few blocks from my house! The jellies have always been my favorite :) We also visited Point Lobos State Reserve, IMHO one of the most beautiful places on earth. The shot above is of China Cove. I found a perfect tree at the Badger Hills Park for some #spontaneousyoga.  

Me and conductor John Koza

Me and conductor John Koza

We've had two very successful concerts already, and tomorrow we close our run with a matinée at the First Presbyterian Church in Monterey, CA. Working with the Camerata Singers and conductor John Koza has been very special for me. Seventeen years ago, John began the Futures Program with the Camerata Singers of Monterey County, accepting a few high school students to sing with the choir. I joined the choir that inaugural year and it means so much to me to have been asked back to solo with the choir this season.  I've seen many faces from my past, and I want to thank everyone who came out to support me and the Camerata Singers this week! And a huge thanks to John Koza for inviting me to return home to make my solo debut with the Camerata Singers of Monterey County! 

Also, thanks to composer Abbie Betinis, who wrote one of the pieces featured on our concert- Behind the Clouds. It is always thrilling for me to sing works by living composers, and Abbie has been so encouraging and wonderful in preparation for this performance. 

 

[THE REVIEWS ARE IN]

[PENINSULA REVIEWS]

"Her first song was the Felix Mendelssohn Grant, O Lord, thy grace unbounded exhibiting an evenness and controlled soaring ability"

"Behind The Clouds [Abbie Betinis], displayed her wide range and ability to convey hope, peace, joy, and love."

 

[PERFORMING ARTS MONTEREY BAY]

"Finnegan sang the first verse alone, handling its challenging voice-leading with smooth command."

I am supported by so many amazing people! My first voice teacher, Linda Purdy came to hear me, as well as two of my teachers from York School- Nicholas Sturch and Jack Arnold. And as always, my awesome parents came to see EVERY show! 

PyeongChang Winter Music Festival 2017

I am SO THRILLED to make my International Debut at the PyeongChang Winter music Festival in the beautiful mountains of South Korea! Huge thanks to Samuel Koo, John Gingrich, Bobby White, the Wonju Philharmonic Orchestra, Yeoleum Son, Kyu Yeon Kim and Sang Yoon Kim and every person at the festival who helped me so much. I performed with world class musicians from all over the world and got to bring Gershwin and Bernstein to this Korean audience for the first time! 

Here is a clip from a rehearsal I had with the Wonju Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Kwang Hyun Kim for our performance of Bernstein's "Little Bit in Love." 

The view from my hotel window at 6am this morning at the Alpensia Intercontinental Resort. 

The view from my hotel window at 6am this morning at the Alpensia Intercontinental Resort. 

After 24 hours of travel door to door, last night I arrived in beautiful PyeongChang, South Korea. I will be here for a week, making my international solo debut with the second annual Winter Music Festival! This trip already feels like a dream come true... it is beautiful here and I feel very well taken care of. I'll be posting some photos and thoughts about my trip, so please check back! 

We flew over the North Pole to get from the States to Korea!

We flew over the North Pole to get from the States to Korea!

[Washington Award Winner]

I am excited to announce that I am one of the recipients of the S&R Foundation's Washington Award!  This award honors "forward thinking emerging artists pushing the boundaries of their artistic and performance practices." I had the privilege of performing two of 2015 Grand Prize winner Lembit Beecher's pieces at last year's Washington Award Gala, and am absolutely thrilled to return as an award recipient this June. Huge thanks to everyone at the S&R Foundation as well as Lembit Beecher, Jeremy Ney and Ryo Yanagitani. 

[The Avanti Orchestra Concert]

Back in November I had an incredible time performing with the conductor Pablo Saelzer and the Avanti Orchestra of the Friday Morning Music Club of Washington DC.  The concert was part of my First Prize Award for winning the Washington International Competition for Voice this year. In addition to singing Glitter and be Gay and in Manuel De Falla's Sombrero de Tres Picos, I had the privilege of giving the second performance of Andrew Hsu's Teasdale Songs for orchestra and soprano.  I hope to make music again with this wonderful group of musicians. 

Me with Conductor Pablo Saelzer 

Me with Conductor Pablo Saelzer 

[To Hide in a Tree of Sound Workshop]

Last week I had the honor of singing in composer Lembit Beecher's workshop for his new opera To Hide in a Tree of Sound.  Lembit is one of my favorite composers, and this project includes some gorgeous music as well as a beautiful libretto by Hanna Moscovitch.  I spent the day making music at the Curtis Institute in Philly with the Aizuri Quartet and Lembit, who played everything from a custom build sound sculpture (built by the ExCITe Center at Drexel) to a wine glass, to a bicycle wheel!  I am very eager to follow the development of this piece.  Thanks for including me, Lembit!  

Fun Fact: Lembit and I went to High School together at York School in Monterey, California and performed together in a production of Kiss Me Kate! Go Yorkies! I'm so glad we're making music together again :) 

I got to play a music box! 

I got to play a music box! 

Here is a live recording of me singing another piece by Lembit entitled A Paradoxical Thing from his song cycle Looking at Spring. 

[Extraordinary Measures]

A few weeks ago I was honored to sing in a revival of Eve Ensler's one man show Extraordinary Measures, which embraces and honors death, life, and everything in between.  I had no idea what I was getting into when Daniela Candillari mentioned to me that she was recommending me for this project. All I knew was that Daniela would be there, as would award winning playwright, activist and all around badass Eve Ensler. I was sold.  The days I spent working on Extraordinary Measures were some of the most inspiring and artistically fulfilling days of my life thus far.  It's hard to put it into words, but I will say that it was a true honor to share a space with a group of individuals who completely embody what it means to be an artist and an activist for social change. It is such a rare and special gift to make real connections with humans who share the desire to change the world for the better, and I am changed forever for having had this experience. 

Unending gratitude to Diane Wondisford, Tony Montenieri, James Lecesne, Tony Speciale, Daniela Candillari, Jennifer Panara, Jeremy Carlisle Parker,  Koshin Ellison, Lester St.Louis and Eve Ensler.  

Please stay tuned for information about more performances in the near future! 

[Praise for Odysseus' Women/Anais Nin]

Last week I was honored to perform the Center for Contemporary Opera's US Premiere of Dutch composer Louis Andriessen's double bill Odysseus' Women/ Anais Nin at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.  Everyone on this project was mindblowingly talented and inspired. Shout outs to conductor Neal Goren, director Jorinde Keesmaat, dramaturg Koen Bollen, designer Ascon de Nijs, assistant director Lauren King, stage manager Suzi Bonnot, jack(ie) of all trades Katja Andreiev and the amazing cast of Augusta Caso, Nicole Mitchell, Hilary Ginter and Sharin Apostolou. This project has left me speechless because of how much it brought to my life. All I can really say is- guys LET'S DO IT AGAIN. 

The cherry on top was getting a stellar New York Times review, and my first official photo in the New York Times. (I was caught in the background of a review photo in The Metropolitan Opera's Boris Godunov in 2010 but I consider this my first real photo.) #proudsoprano #yeanewmusic 

The women of Odysseus' Women/ Anais Nin with conductor Neal Goren

The women of Odysseus' Women/ Anais Nin with conductor Neal Goren