Riverside Opera to Celebrate 20th Anniversary, 4/30
Joining a full orchestra are featured vocalists: Heejung Lee, Anna Tonna and Megan Nielson. Plus Staten Island Pop singers Kristin Palmeri and Nedzad Marsic. Some of the music being featured includes: La forza del destino overture, by Verdi; Mi chiamano Mimi from La Boheme by Puccini Orpheus by Offenbach; Juliet's waltz by Gounod, Let it go from Frozen and New York New York.
The Riverside Opera Company is based on Staten Island in New York City. It performs fully and semi-staged productions with full orchestra conducted by Maestro Alan Aurelia, who has conducted in Italy as well as in the U.S. Its singers are winners of open public auditions, held in New York City. Maestro Aurelia is slated this summer to conduct at The Alion Baltic International Music Festival 2016. The Festival offers competitive program, which offers private lessons and master classes in Strings, Winds & Brass, Piano, Composition, Voice, and Chamber Music, conducted by the internationally recognized musicians from Estonia, The United States, Latvia, Finland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Russia, Belgium, Ukraine and Georgia.
The following vocalist are performing at ROC Turns 20!
Mezzo-soprano ANNA TONNA. Well known for her commitment to the music of Spain and Latin America, her performances have been depicted as "...full of charm and magnetism with her dark, compact lyric mezzo-soprano, ideally suited for the flamenco-like vocal flourishes of Spanish music".
Ms. Tonna has been recognized by the Liederkranz Foundation, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, National Opera Association, BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) grant from the Bronx Council of the Arts, as well as a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research in and perform Spanish Art Song in Spain, where she has established a thriving career. Recordings that have preserved some of these efforts include "Las canciones de Julio Gómez" with VERSO accompanied by pianist Jorge Robaina. Her concert of Songs of Postwar Spain at La Fundación Juan March was transmitted live by RNE in Spain, and was hailed a "Tour de force" by the Spanish paper ABC. Her new disc España alla Rossini debuted in September of 2015
American Soprano, Megan Nielson has enjoyed success in such roles as the title role in Tosca, Judith in Bluebeard's Castle, Mimi in La boheme, Chrysothemis in Elektra, the title role in Suor Angelica, Nedda in Pagliacci, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Fiordigligi Così fan tutte and more. Praised by Opera News for her "engaging" presence and full "bloom", Ms. Nielson is a versatile singer who thrives in traditional canon repertoire as well as new work. She created the role of Ermia in the World Premiere of Kristin Hevner Wyatt's Il Sogno with Metropolis Opera Project in NYC and also sang the role of Melisande in Sheldon Harnick's rarely performed opera Frustration.
Ms. Nielson is a finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Austria's Meistersinger Competition, The Orpheus Competition, winner of the University of Tennessee Concerto Competition, and most recently a 2015 Career Bridges Grantee, Ms. Nielson has received praise by the industry's top judges, conductors and coaches for her exciting lyric spinto voice. Ms. Nielson is a graduate of the University of Kansas City-Missouri and received her Masters from the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She has had residency with young artist programs including Knoxville Opera, Bay View Music Festival, AIMS Graz and CoOPERAtive. This Fall Ms. Nielson will be an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera and will be returning to Opera Ithaca to perform Donna Anna in their new production of Don Giovanni.
Soprano, Heejung Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea. Earned her Bachelor of Music in voice with high honors from Seoul National University in South Korea, and her Master of Music in Vocal Arts from the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Lorraine Nubar and performs regularly with renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw.
Lee has won the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition in 2014 and she made her Carnegie Hall debut in New York City. She was declared as the finalist in several international competitions such as the Marcella Sembrich International Voice Competition, the Mario Lanza and Elaine Malbin Vocal Competitions, and the New York Lyric Opera Theater International Competition.
Soprano Kristin Palmeri recently had the lead Role as Elsa/ICE-Frozen the Musical Prod. Eve Ultra Ent. NY. In addition she has performed at lead vocalist at the Hoboken Festival, the NJ Actors Project NYC/Actress/Off-Off-Broadway, NYC Culture Feast/Singer, Performer & Dancer/Sicily, Italy Snug Harbor/Classical, Theatre Ensemble & Solo Performer/Staten Island. Ms. Palmeri earned an Associate Degree in Musical Theater from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The New School. She is a Vocal Coach and a teacher at the Theatre-Performing Arts, a Recording Artist and is fluent in-both Italian and Spanish.
Nedzad Marsic was born in Podgorica, the capitol of Montenegro. He started to sing at 12 years old with the Montenegro Folklore Ensemble. In festivals called the Podgorica Spring, "Prolece Podgorica", he would perform and he would win first prize numerous of times gaining popularity and honorable mention. He recorded his first record in 1988 with one Yugoslavia's greatest production companies, PGP RTS and was widely seen throughout Montenegro's newspapers and media- radio & television. In 1990, he fell in love and moved to the United States where he continued to sing in local Yugoslavian clubs, and continued to record Montenegrin singles. In 2014 and 2015, he participated in yearly festivals called UTEX, for which he won first prize on both occasions.