Opera Exposure Presents 10th Anniversary Holiday Concert, 12/21

Opera Exposures, the not-for-profit opera company founded in 2004 by Edna Greenwich, will celebrate the end of its tenth year with a holiday concert on Sunday, December 21, 2014, at 3 PM at the same venue where it all began for the company in February 2004 - St. Marks Church in the Bowery, 131 East Tenth Street at Second Avenue in Manhattan. The concert will celebrate the holiday season with arias from Die Zauberflote, songs from Jerome Kerns Show Boat, and some all-time favorite spirituals.

"Since that first public performance ten years ago, Opera Exposures has featured more than 100 singers in over 30 exciting programs, exposing this beautiful art form that we love so much to over 5,000 attendees, including school age children from all five boroughs," says Ms. Greenwich.

The holiday concert promises to be another memorable afternoon featuring such outstanding artists as soprano Jessica Cates, tenor Carl Rosenthal, baritone Richard Hobson and harpist Sissi He. The occasion will also mark the return of the company's brilliant Music Director and pianist Jonathan Kelly to the Opera Exposures' stage. Dwight Owsley, Artistic Director of Opera Exposures, will moderate, offering his unique musical insights.

General admission is $20 and children up to the age of 16 are free when accompanied by an adult. If you would like additional information about the concert or Opera Exposures, visit operaexposures@aol.com.

The Artists

Jessica Cates (Soprano), a native of Greensboro, NC, recently debuted with Fort Worth Opera as Yum-Yum in The Mikado, where she was described as a "full-throated soprano ... a real find, a radiant, expressive soprano allied to a pert, vivid stage presence." This season she appeared with the Winston-Salem Symphony as Mimi in a concert version of La Boheme, and just returned from Opera Louisane where she sang the role of Adele in Die Fledermaus. She previously performed with North Carolina Opera as Lise in Philip Glass' Les Enfants Terribles. Upon completing her first summer as a Young American Artist with Glimmerglass Opera, she performed in The Tenderland, and covered Elisa in Tolomeo. Additionally, she appeared as a soloist in Steven Blier's Killer B's concert, in collaboration with The New York Festival of Song. To cap an eventful tenure in the Knoxville Opera Studio through the University of Tennessee, Jessica performed Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. Other roles through the Knoxville Opera Studio include Rose in Street Scene, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Ann Putnam in The Crucible, as well as Edith in Pirates of Penzance and Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto for Knoxville Opera.

Richard Hobson (Baritone) is acclaimed for the "strong dramatic persona" he brings to his performances. Appearances have taken him throughout the USA to companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, The Dallas Opera, Baltimore Opera, Mississippi Opera, Shreveport Opera, and Michigan Opera Theater. In his Italian operatic debut, he was heard as Amonasro at the Teatro Strehler (Milano, Italy) in the new Franco Zeffirelli production of Aida in the summer of 2001. In the 2013-2014 season, Mr. Hobson returned to the Metropolitan Opera to participate in The Nose and Die Frau ohne Schatten, after having appeared in August 2013 in a very successful series of performances for the Outdoor Szeged Festival in Szeged, Hungary. In the 2011-2012 season, Mr. Hobson also debuted at The Teatro San Carlo in Naples where he sang Jake in Porgy and Bess. On August 18th, he was the featured vocalist on a successful fund raiser for the re-election of President Barack Obama. During the 2010-2011 season he participated in the highly successful new Metropolitan Opera production of Verdi's Don Carlo. In 2009-2010 he began the season by singing in The Nose by Shostakovich at The Metropolitan Opera.

Carl Rosenthal (Tenor) began his vocal studies as a baritone, singing such roles as Count Danilo (The Merry Widow), Schaunard (La Boheme), and Sohn (Wachsfigurenkabinett). His transition to tenor was imminent, however, and since then, he has sung roles in La Traviata, Carmen, Romeo et Julliette, and The Magic Flute. He is currently preparing an all-Handel concert with soprano Maria Aurora Paz and pianist Michael Parker, to be performed internationally (Mexico and Ecuador) as well as in the U.S. Carl earned a B.A. In Music History from Columbia University in 2007, and has participated in training programs with New Jersey Opera, Aspen Music Festival, and Brevard Music Center. A native of Arlington, VA, he is a regular performer with the Washington Casa Italiana and the Opera Guild of Northern Virginia. He currently studies with acclaimed vocal instructor Michael Paul, with whom he has attended the New Opera Ischia Masterclass in Forio, Italy for the past several summers.

Sissi Luoqianqian He (Harpist) has performed regularly in China with the Shanghai Philharmonic and Hangzhou Philharmonic and played principal with the Kunshan Youth Orchestra. Now residing in New York, Sissi recently performed as substitute harpist for the American Ballet Theatre's production of Manon and Giselle at the Metropolitan Opera House. Ms. He has also recently performed in Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. And was invited to give a solo performance at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa). Sissi was invited to America by the late Principal Harpist of the MET Opera, Deborah Hoffman, to study at the Manhattan School of Music. Sissi is currently finishing her studies at the Manhattan School of Music under the guidance of Mariko Anraku, Ms. He has performed in master classes for Marie-Pierre Langlament, Nancy Allen, Sussan MacDonald and Judy Loman. Currently she won the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition, 2014.

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 25 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.

Opera Exposures

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 a number of 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. Over the past two years, Opera Exposures has presented recitals at St. Marks Church and St. Bart's in Manhattan and two Staten Island recitals at the historic Reformed Church of Staten Island in Port Richmond.

The Opera Exposures Board of Directors is composed of Edna Greenwich, Dwight Owsley and Carl Sylvestre.

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