Sopranos Nicole Cabell And Alyson Cambridge Sing Duets On 'Sisters In Song' From Cedille Records
Nicole Cabell and Alyson Cambridge, celebrated American sopranos and close friends, record together for the first time on "Sisters in Song," a new Cedille Records album of opera duets and specially commissioned duet arrangements of classical songs, African-American spirituals, and a folk tune, accompanied by the Lake Forest Symphony conducted by Vladimir Kulenovic.
The singers describe "Sisters in Song," available September 21, as "a dream project" inspired by Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman's spirituals recording from the early 1990s. Cabell and Cambridge selected repertoire they call "uniquely us," reflecting their multi-ethnic heritages and showcasing pieces that profoundly influenced each of them (Cedille Records CDR 90000 181).
"We both had the desire to create an album together that allowed us to show our various musical sides and voices in harmony," they write in their introduction to the liner notes.
The album's opera repertoire includes the Barcarolle from Jacque Offenbach's "Les Contes d'Hoffmann"; the Flower Duet from Léo Delibes's "Lakmé"; the Evening Prayer from Engelbert Humperdinck's "Hänsel und Gretel," and "Ah guarda, sorella" and "Soave sia il vento" from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Così fan tutte," K. 588. Joining them in "Soave" is "mellow-voiced and charismatic" (New York Times) baritone Will Liverman.
Composer-arranger Joe Clark, whose music has been performed by Reneé Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, and jazz singer Kurt Elling, among other classical, jazz, and pop artists, arranged the album's songs and spirituals expressly for Cabell and Cambridge's distinctive voices.
These include Fernando J. Obradors's "Del Cabello más Sutil," Gabriel Fauré's "Clair de Lune," the traditional folk tune "Black is the Color (of My True Love's Hair)," Charles Gounod's "Ave Maria" after J. S. Bach, and the spirituals "There is a Balm in Gilead," "Oh, What a Beautiful City!," "Ain't That Good News," "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."
Cabell and Cambridge call their collaboration with Chicago-focused Cedille Records "wonderfully organic." Each artist has resided or currently resides in Chicago and both had gotten to know Cedille Records founder and president James Ginsburg and his family socially and on the music scene. The singers say it's a "natural fit" for them and are "thrilled" with the results.
"We applaud Cedille's commitment, not only to Chicago-based artists, but to new and interesting recording projects and to artists' visions that might not otherwise get to be heard," they write in the album notes.
The sopranos aspire to tour their "Sisters in Song" program with orchestras worldwide.
"Sisters in Song" was produced by Grammy-nominated producer James Ginsburg and engineered by multiple Grammy-nominated engineer Bill Maylone Jan. 22-25, 2018, at the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, College of Lake County, Grayslake, Ill.
Nicole Cabell, 2005 winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, is a "faultlessly gleaming soprano" (Financial Times). Among her opera engagements have been the title role in Handel's "Alcina" with the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Mimi in Puccini's "La Bohème" with the Paris and Cincinnati Operas, Musetta in "La Bohème" at the Metropolitan Opera, and Hanna Glawari in Lehár's "The Merry Widow" with Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her discography includes, among other albums, "Soprano," an opera recital disc for Decca, which was named an Editors Choice by Gramophone magazine, and Musetta in Deutsche Grammophon's "La Bohème" with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon. Her website is www.nicole-cabell.com.
Alyson Cambridge is "radiant, vocally assured ... and artistically imaginative" (Washington Post), known for her "revelatory, sensual, smoky readings" (Opera News). Her credits span nearly two decades with major opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Deutsche Oper Berlin, among others, in which repertoire highlights include Mimi in "La Bohème," Cio-Cio San in "Madama Butterfly," Donna Elvira in "Don Giovanni," Bess in "Porgy and Bess," and Julie in "Show Boat." She has made solo concert appearances with the Vienna Kamerorchester, Munich Philharmoniker, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, and others. Her debut classical album, "From the Diary of Sally Hemings," a classical song-cycle by William Bolcom, premiered in concert at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. Her second album, "Until Now," released in 2016, highlights her jazz and crossover vocalism, and she recently made her Broadway debut in "Rocktopia." Her website is www.alysoncambridge.com.
The Lake Forest Symphony is a critically-acclaimed, Chicago-area professional ensemble founded more than 60 years ago. Its music director and conductor, Vladimir Kulenovic, earned the 2015 Sir Georg Soli conducting award and was named that year's "Chicagoan of the Year in Classical Music" by the Chicago Tribune. In addition to his activities in the Chicago area, Kulenovic has conducted numerous prominent orchestras worldwide.
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