Harlem Chamber Players Present HARLEM SONGFEST, 6/1

Harlem Chamber Players Present HARLEM SONGFEST, 6/1

The Harlem Chamber Players will celebrate its tenth anniversary season with Harlem SongFest at Columbia University's Miller Theater (2960 Broadway, New York, NY 10027), Friday evening, June 1, 2018, 7 pm, featuring Met Opera sopranos Janinah Burnett and Brandie Sutton, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford, tenor Phumzile Sojola, baritone Kenneth Overton, and conductor David Gilbert, Music Director and Conductor of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra. The full program follows:

Mozart Overture to Der Schauspieldirektor

"Deh vieni, non tardar" from Le Nozze di Figaro
Janinah Burnett, soprano

"Aprite Un Po'quegli Occhi" from Le Nozze di Figaro
Kenneth Overton, baritone

Donizetti "Vieni o tu che ognor io chiamo" from Caterina Cornaro
Brandie Sutton, soprano

Verdi "Re dell'abisso affrettati" from Un ballo in maschera
Lucia Bradford, mezzo soprano

Mozart "Soave il vento" from Cosi fan tutte
Soprano Brandie Sutton, mezzo soprano Lucia Bradford,
and baritone Kenneth Overton

Donizetti "Angelo casto e bel" from Il Duca d'Alba
Phumzile Sojola, tenor

Offenbach "Barcarolle" from Les Contes d'Hoffman
Brandie Sutton, soprano, and Lucia Bradford, mezzo
soprano

Gounod The Poison Aria from Roméo et Juliette
Janinah Burnett, soprano

Intermission

Verdi "La Donna e mobile" from Rigoletto
Phumzile Sojola, tenor

Delibes "Sous le dôme épais" (Flower Duet) from Lakmé
Janinah Burnett, soprano, and Lucia Bradford, mezzo
soprano

Verdi "Per me giunto" from Don Carlo
Kenneth Overton, baritone

Mozart "Mi tradi quel'alma ingrata" from Don Giovanni
Janinah Burnett, soprano

Bizet "Les tringles des sistres tintaient" de Carmen
Lucia Bradford, mezzo soprano

"Au fond du temple saint" from Les Pêcheurs de Perles
Phumzile Sojola, tenor, and Kenneth Overton, baritone

Mozart "Ach, ich liebte" from Die Entfürung aus dem Serail
Brandie Sutton, soprano

Dubbed "a series of which we can be proud" by the New York Amsterdam News, the Harlem Chamber Players is an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians dedicated to bringing high-caliber, affordable, and accessible live classical music to people in the Harlem community and beyond. Founded in 2008 by clarinetist Liz Player and the late violinist Charles Dalton, the group began as a summer music festival serving the Manhattanville/West Harlem neighborhood, expanding to an ongoing series in 2010 with the addition of clarinetist and associate director Carl Jackson.

The 2017-2018 season marks the tenth season of the Harlem Chamber Players chamber music series throughout Harlem, Morningside Heights, and the Upper West Side. In the fall of 2017, the ensemble opened its season with a performance at the Broadway Presbyterian Church at 114th Street and Broadway, featuring virtuoso pianist Joseph Joubert, violinists Joyce Hammann and Belinda Whitney, violist Tia Allen and cellist Clay Ruede in a performance of music by Dvo?ák, Tchaikovsky, and Jennifer Higdon. This concert was dedicated to the memory of cellist Lawrence Zoernig, who died in 2017. Then the ensemble gave a chamber music concert in collaboration with the Goddard Riverside Community Center in the Bernie Wohl Center; presented an all-Bach concert as part of its ongoing "Harlem Bach Project" at Broadway Presbyterian Church; gave a performance in honor of Black History Month at the Schomburg Center; and presented a free family concert at the Newark School of the Arts in celebration of its 50th anniversary. Still to come is a spring concert in collaboration with Opus 118 Harlem School of Music.

Next season, the Harlem Chamber Players has been invited to perform as part of the "Migrations: the Making of America" series presented by Carnegie Hall in a concert entitled "Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration," on Saturday, March 30, 2019, 8 pm, at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. Producers Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran who draw upon their family lore and the historical record of the Great Migration to explore everything from rhythm and blues to gospel, Broadway to classical music, works songs and rock 'n' roll. Leading the event will be Music Director Joseph Joubert. In addition, the Harlem Chamber Players is commissioning a new work by Adolphus Hailstork to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first importation of black slaves to America. The premiere is scheduled for February 2019.

A rare gem of an opera Voodoo, by Harry Lawrence Freeman, was revived in semi-staged production by the Morningside Opera, Harlem Opera Theater, and Harlem Chamber Players in June 2015. This marked the first performances since the 1928 premiere, and it featured a full orchestra, choir, and seven solo singers. Other highlights have included collaborations with artist Kehinde Wiley, American Opera Projects, Opera Ebony, Chamber Music NYC, and the NYC Housing Symphony Orchestra, as well as engagements at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, and the 2015 Caramoor Festival.

The Harlem Chamber Players not only brings live chamber music to underserved neighborhoods in the Harlem community but also creates opportunities for classically trained minority musicians. The ensemble is building an audience for classical music in general through community and educational outreach, including collaborations with Harlem's other arts organizations, schools, and cultural institutions. Previous educational efforts include performances at University Heights Charter School, Harlem School of the Arts, United Nations International School, Newark School of the Arts, as well as collaborations with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra CHAMPS program, the Institute of Music for Children, Opus 118 Harlem School of Music, and the Arts and Culture Committee of Community Board 9.

The Harlem Chamber Players is funded in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, including Mayor Bill de Blasio's CreateNYC plan to boost diversity in the arts. The 2018 disbursement of $40 million, includes $5 million budgeted from the City Council and $1.45 million from Mayor de Blasio that is directed at arts organizations focusing on low-income communities. Among other recipients are the Museum of Tibetan Art, Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture without Borders, the Bangladesh Institute of Performing Arts, the Bronx Council on the Arts and the Brooklyn Arts Council.

The Harlem Chamber Players is also funded by the West Harlem Development Corporation, Columbia Community Service, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, a Manhattan Community Award from the Office of the Borough President, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Other funding is contributed by the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, the Bagby Foundation, Guideposts, IDT Charitable Fund, the NYSE Foundation, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, and the generosity of individual donors.

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