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Bradshaw Performing Arts Center to Present Baritone Lucas Meachem In Debut Album Release Concert

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Shall We Gather is an emotional and heartfelt plea for a better, more tolerant world, through 15 art songs.

Bradshaw Performing Arts Center to Present Baritone Lucas Meachem In Debut Album Release Concert

On Friday, September 24, 2021 at 6:00pm, Bradshaw Performing Arts Center at Sandhills Community College will present Grammy Award-winning baritone Lucas Meachem in a recital celebrating the release of his first ever solo album, Shall We Gather, out on Rubicon Classics the same day. Performed with his wife, pianist Irina Meachem, Shall We Gather is an emotional and heartfelt plea for a better, more tolerant world, through 15 art songs that offer a vision of America's truly rich national character. The recital will feature the Meachems in their favorite songs from the album as well as popular opera arias and show-tunes by composers such as Puccini, Wagner, Verdi, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. An album release party will be held directly following the event for VIP ticket holders to celebrate the release of the album.

Works on the album include Gene Scheer's American Anthem; "Song of the Deathless Voice" from Arthur Farwell's Three Indian Songs; William Grant Still's Grief; "Beat! Beat! Drums!" from Kurt Weill's Four Walt Whitman Songs; "Litany" from John Musto's Shadow of the Blues with text by Langston Hughes; Richard Hageman's The Rich Man; Florence Price's Night; "That Moment On" from Jake Heggie's Pieces of 9/11, as we near the 20th anniversary of the attacks; Irina Meachem and Steve White's arrangement of Carrie Jacob-Bonds' A Perfect Day; traditional American folk song Oh, Shenandoah; Charles Ives' arrangement of In The Mornin'; Ricky Ian Gordon's We Will Always Walk Together; Stephen Foster's Hard Times Come Again No More; and "The Boatman's Dance" and "At The River" from Aaron Copland's Old American Songs. Lucas Meachem says, "With these songs, I hope to offer a bit of hope for what truly makes us come together: our belief in the good of humanity and love for our neighbor."

All of the proceeds from Shall We Gather will go to the Meachems' Perfect Day Music Foundation, a non-profit promoting diversity in classical music, to fund projects such as the Perfect Day Competition, which encourages young musicians to share through social media works by composers and poets who have been historically excluded.

In the liner notes, composer and arts critic Dan Ruccia writes, "We gather to assert what unites us. In most of the songs presented here, observations about Americanness are implicit. Each lifts a particular moment, a facet of our collective character, highlighting our aspirations to resilience, care, humor, strength, justice, and so forth, the many qualities and beliefs that tie us together. That sentiment is made explicit by the first song on the album, Gene Scheer's American Anthem. It asserts that what connects us as Americans is not some innate, unquestionable exceptionalism. Instead, we are gathered by a constant striving toward a more just and equal society, pursued through actions large and small. It is a gathering whose power is derived from its hopefulness and the commitment we make to ourselves to give our all to improve ourselves. And the warm embrace of that hopefulness is perhaps enough of a balm to tie us together until we can all gather safely and uncomplicatedly again."

Program Details

Baritone Lucas Meachem and Pianist Irina Meachem in "Shall We Gather"
Friday, September 24, 2021 at 6:00pm
Bradshaw Performing Arts Center, Sandhills Community College | 3395 Airport Road | Pinehurst, NC
Tickets: $20-$125
Link: https://ticketmesandhills.com/events/shallwegather

Program:
Gene Scheer (arr. Lee Musiker) - American Anthem
Arthur Farwell - "Song of the Deathless Voice" from Three Indian Songs
William Grant Still (text by Leroy V. Brant) - Grief
Richard Hageman (text by Franklin P. Adams) - The Rich Man
John Musto (text by Langston Hughes) - "Litany" from Shadow of the Blues
Florence Price (text by Louise C. Wallace) - Night
Jake Heggie (text by Gene Scheer) - "That Moment On" from Pieces of 9/11
Traditional (arr. Steve White) - Oh, Shenandoah

- Intermission -

Puccini - "Ah, vittoria, vittoria!" from Gianni Schicchi
Wagner - "O! du mein holder Abendstern" from Tannhäuser
Verdi - "Eri tu" from Un Ballo in Maschera
Francesco Paolo Tosti - L'alba sepàra dalla luce l'ombra
Undine Smith Moore - Love Let The Wind Cry
Rodgers and Hammerstein - "You'll never Walk Alone" from Carousel

About Lucas Meachem:


Grammy Award-winning baritone Lucas Meachem is one of the most accomplished, in-demand singers of the moment, captivating audiences around the world with his "earnest appealing baritone" (The New York Times) and "commanding presence" (San Francisco Chronicle). "A rock star of opera" (Opera Pulse), Meachem's post-COVID season begins with returns to San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Dallas Opera, Festival Napa Valley, and Santa Fe Opera as the title role in Eugene Onegin.

After a year of theatres gone dark, Meachem returned to the stage this past spring where he sang his "signature role for good reason," (Opera News) as Figaro in San Francisco Opera's Il Barbiere di Siviglia for an innovative "drive-in" experience. Meachem then filmed a movie-version of Pagliacci as the romantic lead Silvio with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, set within their own opera house. Meachem's summer includes Eugene Onegin at Santa Fe Opera and Gianni Schicchi at Festival Napa Valley with Kent Nagano.

During the 21/22 season, Meachem appears at Los Angeles Opera (Wolfram in Tannhäuser), Bayerische Staatsoper (Escamillo in Carmen), Teatro Real Madrid and Metropolitan Opera (Marcello in La Bohème), The Dallas Opera (Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and Royal Opera House (Sharpless in Madama Butterfly).

Named the winner of San Francisco Opera's inaugural "Emerging Star of the Year" Award in 2016, notable performances in Meachem's American career include marking his 50th role debut as Athanaël in Thaïs (Minnesota Opera), Chorèbe in Les Troyens, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Valentin in Faust at Chicago Lyric Opera; Eugene Onegin, Don Giovanni, and Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, and Fritz/Frank in Korngold's Die Tote Stadt at San Francisco Opera; General Rayevsky in Prokofiev's War & Peace, Robert in Iolanta, Marcello in La Bohéme, Silvio in Pagliacci, and Mercutio in Roméo and Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera; Don Giovanni with Chicago Lyric Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Opera Cincinnati Opera; Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles at the Florida Grand Opera; Germont in La traviata at Washington National Opera; Il Barbiere di Siviglia at San Diego Opera, Opera Colorado, Houston Grand Opera, and Los Angeles Opera where he also gave his Grammy Award-winning performance of Figaro in The Ghosts of Versailles.

A regular performer across Europe, Meachem has performed the title role in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Vienna Staatsoper, Royal Opera House, Den Norske Opera; the title role in Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne Festival and Semperoper Dresden; the title role in Britten's Billy Budd at Opéra national de Paris; as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and Royal Opera House; Wolfram von Eschenbach in Tannhäuser at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan under the baton of Seiji Ozawa; the title role in Eugene Onegin with Komische Oper Berlin and Opéra national de Montpellier; Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles at Bilbao Opera; Escamillo in Carmen with Teatro Regio di Torino; with the Teatro Real de Madrid in the world premiere of El Viaje a Simorgh, Frank/Fritz in Die Tote Stadt, as well as Oreste in Iphigénie en Tauride; and a European tour with Anna Netrebko as Robert in Iolanta with 11 performances at Europe's most important musical centers and venues including Vienna, Munich, Paris, Berlin, and Amsterdam.

Last summer Meachem performed with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under the baton of Kent Nagano as the opening concert for the Salzburg Festival of Penderecki's St. Luke Passion. Additionally, Meachem was part of the opening concert for the Grafenegg Music Festival of the Britten War Requiem and performed the Mahler Kindertotenlieder with Emmanuel Villaume and the Prague Philharmonia. Other notable concert performances in Europe include the Fauré Requiem with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under Seiji Ozawa and Carmina Burana in Rome with the Accademia Nazionale de Santa Cecilia. Meachem made his Hollywood Bowl debut in 2014 as Silvio in Pagliacci with Gustavo Dudamel. He has sung with the New York Philharmonic in Bach's St. Matthew Passion under Kurt Masur; the San Francisco Symphony in concert performances of Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe; the American Symphony Orchestra in the United States premiere of Ferdinand Hiller's oratorio The Destruction of Jerusalem at Avery Fisher Hall.

Born in North Carolina, Lucas Meachem studied music at Appalachian State University, the Eastman School of Music, and Yale University before becoming an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera. Learn more at www.lucasmeachem.com.

About Irina Meachem:


First-generation Romanian-American pianist Irina Meachem regularly accompanies voice recitals and coaches opera singers.

Irina regularly performs with her husband, baritone Lucas Meachem in recitals. They have appeared at the Athanaeum in Romania, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Death of Classical's Crypt Sessions in New York City where they performed Mahler's Kindertotenlieder, the North Carolina Performing Arts series, and Moore County Arts Council in North Carolina. Virtual performances include Los Angeles Opera, The Dallas Opera, and the Merola Opera Program.

Ms. Meachem has served on faculty at the Tequila Cultural Festival, the Vincerò Opera Program, University of Minnesota and Michigan State University.

Ms. Meachem has worked as a coach and repetitive at opera companies, and classical music festivals such as Palm Beach Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Birmingham, Amarillo Opera, Nashville Opera, Shreveport Opera, OperaWorks, Chicago Summer Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, Bay View Music Festival, The Banff Centre, and the Interlochen Summer Arts Academy.

She earned a Master's of Music degree from Florida State University and a Bachelor's of Music from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Additionally, she attended the George Enescu High School of Music in Bucuresti, Romania. Ms. Meachem is a co-founder of Perfect Day Music Foundation.


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