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Photo Flash: Young Artists of America at Strathmore Presents CHILDREN OF EDEN with Stephen Schwartz

On Sunday, March 13th at 4pm, Young Artists of America at Strathmore (YAA) presented the youth premiere of the new symphonic version of Children of Eden by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin and The Prince of Egypt). Schwartz himself worked as a guest mentor with the YAA high school-aged students. The cast, full symphonic orchestra, and chorus will include over 350 youth from all over the DC Metro area including 250 younger artists from North Bethesda Middle School. The performance took place at The Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Ln, North Bethesda, MD).

Special Guest Bios:

Stephen Schwartz (Guest Mentor) is an American musical theatre lyricist and composer. In a career spanning over four decades, Schwartz has written such hit musicals as Godspell (1971), Pippin (1972) and Wicked (2003). He has contributed lyrics for a number of successful films, including Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), The Prince of Egypt (1998; music and lyrics) and Enchanted (2007). Schwartz has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics, three Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards and has been nominated for six Tony Awards. He received the 2015 Isabelle Stevenson Award, a special Tony Award, for his commitment to serving artists and fostering new talent.

Rolando Sanz (Guest Artist) Praised by Opera News for his "warm, strong, highly promising tenor," Rolando Sanz is thrilling audiences with his impeccable technique and musical depth, as well as his vocal "color and heartfelt interpretations" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). This season, he joins the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for their season-opening production of Otello. He also returns to Spoleto Festival USA as tenor soloist in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy and Mass in C Major, Washington Concert Opera as Don Gaspar in La favorite, and makes his Ash Lawn Opera debut in his signature role of Alfredo in La traviata. In the 2014-2015 season, Rolando returned to both Florentine Opera and Finger Lakes Opera as Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, joined Baltimore Concert Opera for the U.S. premiere of Franco Faccio's Amleto, and made his Virginia Opera debut as Alfredo.

Rolando is passionately involved with the musical landscape of the Mid-Atlantic region as an educator and producer. He serves as Artistic Director of Young Artists of America, an organization he co-founded with his brother, conductor Kristofer Sanz. YAA was created to provide talented young musicians with exceptional opportunities to be mentored by professional artists, culminating in fully orchestrated performances of large-scale works of opera, musical theater, and oratorio. This spring, Rolando is executive producer of the world premiere of Andrew Lippa's newest work, "I Am Anne Hutchinson / I Am Harvey Milk," starring Kristin Chenoweth at the Strathmore Music Center.

Noah Himmelstein (Stage Director) is a theatre and opera director based in Manhattan. His work has been seen at Lincoln Center, Goodspeed Opera House, Circle in the Square, Weston Playhouse, Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Living Theatre, and American Opera Projects among other theatres in NY and regionally. Noah's recently directed the world premiere production of Bleeding Love, a dark comic fairy tale by Harris Doran, Jason Schafer and Arthur Bacon at the Fredericia Teater in Denmark. This past October, Noah directed Andrew Lippa's theatrical oratorio, I Am Harvey Milk at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center starring Kristin Chenoweth and Andrew Lippa among a company of 120 and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. In July he staged the work at Disney Hall in Los Angeles in addition to the world premiere featuring Laura Benanti at the Nourse Theatre in San Francisco last year. (2014 NY Magazine & LA Magazine Critics' Pick, Playbill "Unforgettable Experience of the Year."). In 2016, Mr. Himmelstein will stage the world premiere of I Am Anne Hutchinson, written by Andrew Lippa for Kristin Chenoweth. The world premiere will take place alongside I Am Harvey Milk at The Music Center at Strathmore.

Photos by Carmelita Watkinson

Photo Flash: Young Artists of America at Strathmore Presents CHILDREN OF EDEN with Stephen Schwartz
Young Artists of America at Strathmore present Children of Eden at Music Center at Strathmore with Guest Mentors, Stage Director Noah Himmelstein and Composer Stephen Schwartz

Photo Flash: Young Artists of America at Strathmore Presents CHILDREN OF EDEN with Stephen Schwartz
Julia Fanzares as Eve

Photo Flash: Young Artists of America at Strathmore Presents CHILDREN OF EDEN with Stephen Schwartz
Young Artists of America at Strathmore present Children of Eden at Music Center at Strathmore with Guest Mentors, Stage Director Noah Himmelstein and Composer Stephen Schwartz

Photo Flash: Young Artists of America at Strathmore Presents CHILDREN OF EDEN with Stephen Schwartz
Young Artists of America at Strathmore present Children of Eden at Music Center at Strathmore with Guest Mentors, Stage Director Noah Himmelstein and Composer Stephen Schwartz

Photo Flash: Young Artists of America at Strathmore Presents CHILDREN OF EDEN with Stephen Schwartz
Amanda Yuan (partially obscured), Bobby Gallagher, Julia Fanzares, Ethan Miller (in rear), Ari Goldbloom-Helzner, and Kevin Key

Photo Flash: Young Artists of America at Strathmore Presents CHILDREN OF EDEN with Stephen Schwartz
Maestro Kristofer Sanz

Photo Flash: Young Artists of America at Strathmore Presents CHILDREN OF EDEN with Stephen Schwartz
Maestro Kristofer Sanz, Composer and Guest Mentor Stephen Schwartz, Artistic Director Rolando Sanz

Photo Flash: Young Artists of America at Strathmore Presents CHILDREN OF EDEN with Stephen Schwartz
Guest Mentor and Composer Stephen Schwartz

Photo Flash: Young Artists of America at Strathmore Presents CHILDREN OF EDEN with Stephen Schwartz


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