KRYSTY SWANN et al. Sing at Opera Exposures' Spiritual Music Recital, April 22
Opera Exposures, the Staten Island-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to presenting concerts featuring seasoned professional musicians and young operatic artists in accessible venues at affordable prices, will present its first 2012 spiritual music recital on Sunday, April 22, at 3 PM at Saint Mark's Church, Second Avenue and 10th Street in Manhattan. Sopranos Natalie Bergeron, Krysty Swann and Cheryl Warfield will join tenor George Cornelius on the program. Baritone Anthony Turner will also present an excerpt from his program, "Poets of the Harlem Renaissance." JoNathan Kelly will be at the piano. The recital will be followed by a Reception and Dance with the cast.
Dwight Owsley, Opera Exposure's Artistic Director, will serve as narrator. Edna Greenwich, Opera Exposure's Founder and President, is the producer.
Tickets are $50 and $40 and include Reception and Dance Party with a live DJ immediately following the recital. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling 917/402-8144 or visiting the Opera Exposures official website at www.operaexposures.org. They may also be purchased at the door
Soprano Natalie Bergeron is a recent winner in the Liederkranz Wagner Division, which includes a debut at Carnegie Hall in Weill auditorium. In the 2011-2012 season, she can be seen as Maddalena opposite Marcello Giordani as Andrea Chenier with the Orchestra Toscanini of Milan as well as other concerts in New York, Memphis and her hometown of Birmingham, AL. She was recently accepted into the Evelyn Lear/Thomas Stewart Emerging Wagnerian Artists Program in Washington D.C. as well as creating the role of Blanche Germont in the premiere of Dodici Personaggi in Cerca di Voce by the renowned La Scala Maestro Bruno Rigacci. She recently performed Ines while covering Leonora in Verdi's Il Trovatore in her Opera Memphis main stage debut, and has performed Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Rosalinda in Strauss' Die Fledermaus, Lady Billows in Britten's Albert Herring, the Countess Almaviva in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Sylvianne in Lehar's The Merry Widow, Musetta in Puccini's La Bohème, and with Opera Birmingham the role of Giovanna in Verdi's Rigoletto.
George Cornelius recently made his tenor debut as Don José with Stony Hill Players in NJ, and repeated the role shortly thereafter with Pacific Opera. This Spring he returns to Stony Hill Players as Ferrando in Cosí fan tutte. A former baritone, his roles included Leporello, Giovanni, Guglielmo, Papageno, Onegin, Falke, Escamillo, Ford, Rossini's Figaro, Count Danilo and many others. George holds music degrees from Texas Christian University, University of North Texas, and University of Michigan. He has apprenticed with Fort Worth Opera, Pine Mountain Music Festival, and Utah Festival Opera.
Mezzo-soprano Krysty Swann is the recipient of the New York City Opera 2009 Richard F. Gold Career Grant and the 2008 Intermezzo Foundation Award, given by the prestigious Elardo International Opera Competition. Other recent awards include the Silver Prize with Opera Index and a Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation grant for 2006-07 and 2008-09. In the 2010-2011 season, Ms. Swann has performed Handel's Messiah with the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the role of Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with the Opera Orchestra of New York, conducted by Alberto Veronisi. She will also be covering Schwertleite in Die Walkure with the Metropolitan Opera, and she will participate in the Bregenz Festival in Austria. This past season, Ms. Swann appeared as Emilia in Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin's The Firebrand of Florence with The Collegiate Chorale conducted by Ted Sperling and an opera gala concert with Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Swan also returned to the New York City Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. Ms. Swann has also recently covered the title role of Margaret Garner in the New York premiere of Richard Danielpour's opera with New York City Opera and made her Avery Fisher Hall debut in Verdi's Requiem. Ms. Swann has also appeared with Michigan Opera Theatre and the International Vocal Arts Institute, Israel. A recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Ms. Swann was featured on the cover of the July 2007 issue of Opera News with acclaimed dramatic mezzo Dolora Zajick. Additionally, at Manhattan School of Music she received critical acclaim in Vaughan-Williams' Riders to the Sea and as Madame de la Haltiere in Massenet's Cendrillon.
Baritone Anthony Turner performed the lead role of Josh Gibson in scenes from The Summer King with American Opera Projects and the University of Southern Maine. This new work in progress, composed by Daniel Sonenberg, chronicles the life of the black 'Babe Ruth' of Negro League Baseball. He has appeared with Opera Ebony in a program of Negro Spirituals at The New York Historical Society. These performances are affiliated with the exhibit: New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War. Mr. Turner is also a featured soloist with YesIsAWorld in Katrina Ballads, by composer TEd Hearne, at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C.; Opera Exposures, in a program of operatic arias; The Art of the Spiritual at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Oakland, CA and the Yachats Music Festival (OR), under the auspices of Four Seasons Concerts. He has appeared as guest soloist with Boston Musica Viva in the Creation by Louis Gruenberg, the Serenade recital series (Staten Island, NY) and at the Kennedy Center in the Dance Theatre of Harlem production St. Louis Woman.
Soprano Cheryl Warfield has performed over 15 lead roles in the standard operatic repertoire during her career. She made her European operatic debut as Fiordiligi in Mozart's Cosí fan tutte with the Rome Festival Orchestra, and has performed at the Bregenz Festival (Austria), the Theater des Westins (Berlin), and in Italy, Sweden and the Czech Republic. This season, Cheryl sang the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro with Amore Opera and Leonora in Verdi's Il trovatore with the Manhattan Opera Repertory Ensemble, and was a guest artist at Little Italy's San Gennaro Festival Opera Night festivities. Career highlights include her Broadway debut in Hal Prince's Show Boat, critical acclaim from the Chicago Tribune for her portrayal of Strawberry Woman in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Porgy and Bess, and a guest soloist appearance at the 2010 NFL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies in Canton, Ohio. She appears on the Live from Lincoln Center broadcast DVDs of the Metropolitan Opera's productions of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Fidelio. Cheryl is the founder of ADVANCE, a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit community based vocal arts organization that produces concerts and educational programs promoting the understanding and appreciation of classical music and opera.
JoNathan Kelly (Pianist/Music Director) is an Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera and the San Francisco Opera. He has worked in similar capacities at Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Theater of Lucca, and the Chautauqua Institution Frequently seen in concert, he has appeared with many of today's leading performers, including Anna Netrebko, Ramon Vargas, Rolando Villazon, Joshua Bell, and Sting. As an educator he was a Professor at Yale University, holding the title of Lecturer in Song Literature and is currently on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in a similar position Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, MR. Kelly spent his formative years in Kentucky. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and continued his studies at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Warren Jones.
Dwight Owsley (Host/Narrator), born in Texas, owes many of his early musical influences to Ethel Waters, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters and Leontyne Price, as well as to the excellent and loving "home training" received at the knee of his mother Mary Veche Owsley (aka Jiveass). Also, much of his inimitable "joie de vivre" springs from her firm love and tutelage. He has lived in New York City for more than twenty-five years. An enthusiastic performer since infancy, he has appeared on stage in recitals, operas, musicals, and in night clubs internationally. His musical interests have always been divided between grand opera and American jazz and folk standards. He has sung with Barbara Carroll, Bobby Short, Hank Jones, Billy Joel and Kurt Wieting. As he has for the last seventeen years, he continues to usher in each coming New Year by singing at midnight for The Revelers in the Carlyle Hotel's Bemelman's Bar. Currently he presides over the concierge desk at the prestigious Manhattan hotel advising the rich and powerful how to allocate their opera ticket budgets. In his role as concierge he has received awards and editorial praise from GQ, Harpers and Queens, WWD, the New York Times, Where Magazine, the New York Hotel Association and many others. In 2004 Dwight was selected by American Express' travel magazine Travesías as one of the twelve most important people to know in the world of travel, and especially music. Just ask him.
In June 2004, the newly-formed Opera Exposures launched its premier operatic event at Saint Mark's Church in Manhattan with great success. Several artists performed for an audience of almost 500 concert-goers, among them many newcomers to the world of classical music as well as experienced aficionados who responded with standing ovations and received the program with great warmth, enthusiasm and civic pride. Opera Exposures, under the leadership and guidance of its founder Edna Greenwich, has since hosted several additional performances at Saint Marks Church and is well on its way to achieving its stated mission of presenting seasoned vocal professionals and bright upcoming talents in diverse venues at accessible ticket prices.
This past year, Opera Exposures presented The Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield Story in concert at St. Bart's in Manhattan on February 6, and offered its first Staten Island recital on May 15 at the historic Reformed Church of Staten Island in Port Richmond.
The Opera Exposures Board of Directors is composed of Edna Greenwich, David Cowlick, Dwight Owsley and Carl Sylvestre.