The Church of the Transfiguration Presents A BAROQUE CHRISTMAS: THE CANDLELIGHT CONCERT, 12/14

Equally at home in opera, Ms. Zlabinger has performed roles from the Baroque era through the 21st century. Highlights include Virtù in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Belinda in Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Sophie in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and Blanche in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites. Ms. Zlabinger has also originated roles in three new operas: Cupid in Cupid & Psyche and Parisatis in Alexander the Great, or the Rival Queens, both by Matthew Pittsinger; and Soprano Soloist in Brian Schober’s Dance of the Stones, produced by neXus Arts. 

A seasoned chorister, Ms. Zlabinger has sung with a variety of touring, recording, and professional choirs. She is a member of the professional choir at Corpus Christi Church in Manhattan, the choir-in-residence of the Music Before 1800 concert series. She also sang with the Queens College Vocal Ensemble on its recording Selected Partsongs of Hamish MacCunn (2010), some of which had never previously been recorded. Additional choral credits include the Bel Canto Voices, Minneapolis, MN; Grinnell Singers, Grinnell, IA; and the Studentenkantorei, Freiburg, Germany. 

Ms. Zlabinger is also an accomplished recitalist. Past recital repertoire includes Debussy’s Quatre chansons du jeunesse, Argento’s Six Elizabethan Songs, selections from Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch, and Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen. She also presented a variety of sacred and secular Baroque duets at the Church of the Transfiguration in New York City on its mid-day concert series. 

Ms. Zlabinger holds an M.A. in Vocal Performance from Queens College / CUNY and a B.A. in German from Grinnell College. She teaches voice privately and through the Great Neck Arts Center. Please visit for performance listings, audio clips, and more.

Baritone Peter Van Derick made his Metropolitan Opera debut in April 1995 in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, and returned for seasons singing roles in Die Zauberflöte , Solome, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Capriccio and Andrea Chenier. In March 1997 he portrayed the title role in fourteen performances of Gianni Schicchi with the Metropolitan Opera Guild. In January of 2004, Van Derick conducted the Idaho Falls Opera Theatre's production of THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO. In New York, he has conducted Menotti's THE OLD MAID AND THE THIEF with the Champagne and Candlelight Opera, and Don Giovanni, I Pagliacci, and Il Tabarro with Dive Opera. Mr. Van Derick has maintained a private voice studio in New York City for over 20 years, teaching both classical and musical theatre. He has been on the faculty of The Lee Strasberg Institute, Collaborative Arts Project 21, and presently teaches at Marymount Manhattan College in the Musical Theatre Department. At Marymount he has served as music director for the Freshman Show ‘10 and Mark Morris’ BEDTIME for the Dance Department’s Spring Gala ‘12. and ALL SHOOK UP! in the fall of 2012.

Tenor James Barbato trained at the Eastman School of Music and the Boston University Opera Institute. His operatic appearances have included roles with Florida Grand Opera, Central City Opera, Opera New Jersey, and Ash Lawn Opera. As a concert soloist, he recently performed Stravinsky’s Les Noces with Charles Dutoit at Tanglewood. Other festival appearances have included residencies with the Marlboro Music Festival, Aldeburgh’s Britten-Pears Programme, and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence Académie européenne. Mr. Barbato was a finalist in the 2012 Liederkranz Song Competition, and has frequently been presented in recital as a guest of Cornell University’s Historical Performance Program. He was also honored to perform earlier this year on the Schubert & Co recital series in New York – an inaugural endeavor that is presenting the complete songs of Schubert in 31 recitals throughout this season. Formerly a staff tenor at Boston’s Trinity Church at Copley Square, Mr. Barbato has also been a soloist for many oratorios, including Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass, and Mass in C minor.

Flutist Sang Joon Park was the recipient of the prestigious 2005 Samuel Baron Prize awarded at SUNY Stony Brook University where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree under Carol Wincenc. He studied with distinguished Baroque flutists such as Wilbert Hazelzet, Sandra Miller, Janet See, Stephen Schultz, and Jed Wentz. He is the artistic director of the Baroque trio Aula Harmoniae, and is a member of Baroque chamber groups including Rossignols Amoureux, The Soul’s Delight, Ensemble La Sylva, La Donna Musicale, Catacoustic Consort, Bacchanalia Baroque, Empire Viols, Concert Royal, and The Grand Tour Orchestra, with performances in Peru, the Netherlands, Taiwan and the United States.

Laura Thompson, Flutist, pursues a career on both modern and historical instruments. She has won grants from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council for her work with Bacchanalia Baroque Ensemble, as well as from the Northern Manhattan Arts Association for a recording of early American flute music. Laura Thompson graduated cum laud from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, CUNY, where she earned both her Masters and Bachelor’s degrees in flute performance. Her principal teachers there were Samuel Baron and Keith Underwood with further studies on baroque flute with Jed Wentz in Amsterdam, Holland. Laura performs regularly with the Strathmere Festival Orchestra, The New York Chamber Players, and The Grand Tour Orchestra. Recent chamber music performances include concerts with Bacchanalia Baroque Ensemble, Mondonville Baroque, and the Zephyr Trio. MS. Thompson’s love of opera has led her to perform with the Lyric Opera of New York; Opera Ozarks; Di Capo Opera; New Opera Festival di Roma; and the Amato Opera. She has also appeared as renaissance flutist in the opera productions of the New York Continuo Collective!"

Vita Wallace, Violinist, is known as a powerful, sensitive, and versatile musician. The New York Times has recently noted her "fine" and "potent" interpretations of music from the 13th to the 21st centuries. She is a member of the Baroque ensembles Anima, ARTEK, the Dryden Ensemble, and Foundling, and has been a guest artist with Parthenia, Festival Scarlatti in Sicily, and numerous other medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque ensembles and festivals. Vita and her brother, Ishmael, have performed, recorded, and taught extensively as the Orfeo Duo. They recently recorded all of the Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano on period instruments for the Frederick Collection of Historical Pianos; Early Music notes that the Orfeo Duo's "sense of ensemble and communication is impeccable... These are singularly passionate performances."

Virginia Brewer, Oboist, started the 2012-13 season with performances of a Handel chamber music program as part of the Leaf Peeper series, followed by 12 performances of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera with the Phillipstown Depot Theater Company, staged and directed by GorDon Stewart. Ms. Brewer looks forward to performances of Handel’s Messiah and the Bach St. Matthew Passion with the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, John Scott director. In addition, Ms. Brewer continues her role as principal oboist of the Bach Vespers series at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church near Lincoln Center. Ms. Brewer can be heard on Nonesuch, Titanic and L’Oiseau Lyre Records, among others.

Rick Erickson, Organist & Harpsichordist, has performed as organist, conductor, and hymn-festival leader throughout the USA and Europe. He has appeared at conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, Pastoral Musicians, and Hymn Society of America. He served as co-editor for the choral edition of Bach for All Seasons, and has recorded for Augsburg Fortress, Naxos and JAV, among others. His choral arrangements are published by Augsburg Fortress and Kjos Publishers, and he appeared in the acclaimed film 13 Conversations About One Thing. This past year (2006) he arranged and directed music for the play The Orphan Singer, produced by Making Books Sing, which will be published by Boosey and Hawkes. He is also an Associate in Ministry in the ELCA.