I'm so excited to announce I'll be attending the Cortona Sesions for New Music this June in Cortona, Italy! There, I'll be collaborating with rising composers and new-music performers and coaching with some fantastic faculty. I'm picking out repertoire to bring with me and I'll be sent some brand-spanking-new pieces from composers to premiere. Can't wait!
I also wanted to post some links to press for La clemenza di Tito. I had a great time performing this piece and am so impressed by everyone involved. We had a great team of singers, instrumentalist, technical staff and leaders.
Iowa Public Radio show featuring Tito
Photos from the University Daily Iowan
May is shaping up to be a very exciting month! I'll be kicking it off with our production of La clmenza di Tito at the University of Iowa, and then I get to sing several solos with fantastic choirs on campus and around town! First is Bunte Schlangen (Spotted Snakes) from Felix Mendelssohn's incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, with the Women's Chorale under the baton of Emily Spencer. The performance is Friday May 10, 7:30 pm at the Iowa Memorial Union Ballroom, in Iowa City. The next night I sing in the alto section with Kantorei and also perform the alto solo with Camerata Choir in Purcell's Rejoice in the Lord Alway, conducted by John Hughes. This concert is Saturday May 11, 7:30 pm, also in the Iowa Memorial Union Ballroom. Both Emily and John have websites worth checking out! Finally, on Sunday, May 19 I will sing the alto solo in Bach's cantata, Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten (Resound, ye songs, ring out, ye strings!) at First United Methodist Church in Iowa City. I'm honored and excited to perform with these fantastic groups of musicians!
Just what exactly does BWV mean?
One of my pet peeves about classical music is how confusing the lingo and traditions can be for the anyone who's not a classical music junkie. When I was updating my site with information about the organ & voice concert I'm singing on in April, I encountered one of many cryptic terms: BWV. What on earth does this mean?
BWV stands for Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, or Bach Works Catalog. Wolfgang Schmieder assigned numbers to J.S. Bach's compositions in 1950 for the cataloge Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis der musikalischen Werke von Johann Sebastian Bach (Thematic-systematic catalog of musical works of Johann Sebastian Bach). The numbers are assigned thematically (based on the opening musical notes or the main musical theme of the piece), rather than chronologically.
So, there you have it: one of the classical music world's mysteries revealed!
The benefit concert I'm singing at with the University of Iowa Music Therapy club is featured on the University of Iowa School of Music blog. Fellow singer Kate McRae and I are performing selections from my cycle Snapshots on the concert. The concert is at the University Capitol Center Recital Hall on Sunday February 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm and benefits Iowa City Hospice.
I love having performances on my calendar...it energizes practice with a clear goal and motivates me to make strong decisions about interpretation and stage movements. My days acquire an undercurrent of excitement as the day of each performance gets closer. And February is going to be a busy month! My fellow students in Professor Eberle's studio and I are performing on concerts on February 8 and 17, I have a solo recital on February 16, and I am performing as part of the University of Iowa's "A Little Lunch Music" series on February 22. Add to that a few more summer program auditions and a full schedule of coachings for La clemenza di Tito, and I will be singing quite a bit! Detailed concert information for all of these events is available on my home page.
To Chicago and Back!
I just got back from my first ever trip to Chicago! I had great weather, clear and cold but not freezing, and it was fun to get a feel for the city as I navigated to and from the audition location. I figured out how to use local mass transit, mistakenly called the Chicago river a "canal," which made my local friends laugh, and got to sing a few arias for the directors of the Seagle Music Colony. Crossing fingers that they liked what they heard!
Earlier this year, I was asked to write an article on my opera Thérèse & Maurice for the National Opera Association's Sacred in Opera Newsletter. The article, which includes a scene-by-scene synopsis, list of roles and performing personnel, a discussion of the story's thematic elements, and insights into my compositional process, was published in the December 2012 issue online. I'm so grateful to have a chance to share my opera in this way and to know of this resource for discovering operatic works that explore similar themes. You can find the December 2012 new letter on the Sacred in Opera Newsletter page, and be sure to check out the rest of the National Opera Association's website as well!
Kantorei and University Choir Concert
The first Kantorei concert of the year is tonight, and its my first time performing with this U of Iowa choir, so I'm very excited. I'm particularly thrilled that we're performing two songs by contemporary composer David Biedenbender: "Herbst" and "Lösch mir die Augen aus," on texts by Rainer Maria Rilke. These pieces are not easy, but they are so expressive and the poetry is simply gorgeous.
Tonight's joint concert of Kantorei and the University Choir is at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19, at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City and is free.
Audition Results at U of Iowa
I'm settling into graduate study here at U of Iowa and I'm very excited about the results of my choral and opera auditions here! I'm joining Kantorei, the premier choral ensemble here, and I've also been cast as Annio in the spring 2013 production of La clemenza di Tito! Scores for the opera have been ordered for us and I can't want to get my hands on the music and start learning the role!
A big thank you to everyone who came to my recital last Friday! I think the program was very well received, and the variety was fun for the performers and the audience! A particular success for me was staying in character for "What is this Feeling"--always a challenge because I have to pretend to be mad at my wonderful friend Amber! I don't know how many times we cracked each other up during the rehearsal process, but fortunately there's nothing like an audience to help keep you focused! David Chavannes and I have so much fun with Poulenc's "La courte paille," with it's playful changes of mood and tempo. And I feel like my relationship with Fleming's "Confession Stone" is just beginning...I hope this piece can be in my repertoire for many, many years to come!