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Country Star Bonnie Montgomery Turns To Her Classical Roots For New Opera Music

CALL OUT will be released on December 1.

Country Star Bonnie Montgomery Turns To Her Classical Roots For New Opera Music

Award-winning singer/songwriter Bonnie Montgomery is widely lauded as enthusiastically for her polished parlor songs as she is for her lawless country barnburners - or for the classical opera arias she's penned at the piano.

The Austin-based artist is the winner of the Arkansas Country Music Awards' 2020 Entertainer of the Year, the ACMA 2019 Americana/Roots Artist of the Year, the Outlaw Female Award at the 2016 Ameripolitan Awards, and Best Americana Artist and Best Female Vocalist at the 2018 Arkansas Country Music Awards.

This December, Montgomery returns to her classical composition roots when her new song, "Song Beyond Words, a Vocalise," will be featured on the virtual album CALL OUT, a celebration of female composers by celebrated Broadway and Metropolitan Opera star Zachary James.

Montgomery's "Song Beyond Words, a Vocalise" for piano, steel guitar, baritone and soprano, features singers Zachary James and Megan Nielson. The composition is the first use of steel guitar in an operatic medium and seamlessly brings elements of virtuosic country instrumentation into a classical music landscape. Merging these two sounds fits perfectly in Montgomery's musical language, which celebrates the lyrical American sound reminiscent of Aaron Copland, Florence Price, Scott Joplin, and George Gershwin.

"I am incredibly honored to be featured alongside all the badass female composers on CALL OUT," says Montgomery. "Writing the vocal lines specifically for Zach and Megan's exquisite voices has been thrilling, and very personal because the two singers are close friends and endured family tragedies during the last year. Their pain and loss is a crucial influence on the musical terrain of the song. They are both among the greatest singers of our time."

"Song Beyond Words, a Vocalise" was written during the pandemic and expresses a spiritual journey that transcends language. Inspiration for the piece came primarily from Montgomery's time at Standing Rock, where many of the Native American ceremonial songs she heard were sung on a vowel. The power of those songs at the sacred fire led her to write this song without words. Other inspirations were Rachmaninoff's Vocalise and the passing of Ennio Morricone this past year.

However, this new work is not Montgomery's first foray into the opera world. In 2016, her BILLY BLYTHE, an opera about Bill Clinton's youth in Hot Springs, was presented at Opera Ithaca to wide critical acclaim. This and other productions of BILLY BLYTHE (staged in Little Rock, AR and New York City by the Metropolis Opera Project) have earned the attention of the The Economist, The New Yorker, The Huffington Post, US News, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Daily News and other publications. Her second full-length album FOREVER drew praise from Paste magazine for its "timeless songwriting."

With roots in White County, Arkansas and a firm foothold on forward-thinking audiences in Texas, Montgomery is armed with a poet's phrasing, a soprano's crystalline timbre and a revolutionary's spirit, and her repertoire ranges wherever it pleases - from high romantic ballads swaddled in violins to fiery anthems of dissent to spaghetti western-inspired vignettes. With two new singles produced by rockabilly legend Rosie Flores and a touring collaboration with Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard in her rearview mirror, Montgomery's leaving little doubt that she's a master in the making - a charismatic collaborator, a commanding bandleader and a prolific, sensitive conduit for big ideas about beauty, defiance and power.

CALL OUT will be released on December 1, 2020. For details, visit

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