Wolf Trap Opera Announces World Premiere Of Edward W. Hardy's BORN FREE

Program will feature Filene artist and acclaimed soprano Tiffany Townsend who will explore themes of family and home with Hardy's new composition.

By: May. 20, 2022
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Wolf Trap Opera Announces World Premiere Of Edward W. Hardy's BORN FREE

Wolf Trap Opera has announced the world premiere of BORN FREE, composed by Edward W. Hardy with lyrics by American poet and writer Margaret Walker. BORN FREE, a song cycle based on four poems by Margaret Walker (Sorrow Home, Lineage, The Struggle Staggers Us and Southern Song) for soprano, violin, and piano, is a newly commissioned work by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.

This piece will be presented under their 2022 UNTRAPPED series in the concert Lineage: Poems of Margaret Walker. This performance at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will feature Filene artist and acclaimed soprano Tiffany Townsend who will explore themes of family and home with Hardy's new composition.

Taking place Friday, July 1, 2022 at 7 PM at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - 901 G St., NW Washington, DC 20001. Tickets may be reserved for free online at www.wolftrap.org/calendar/performance/22opera/lineage.aspx.

By reserving a ticket to Wolf Trap, you agree to comply with all health and safety protocols that are in place at the time of the performance. Wolf Trap's COVID-19 protocols are subject to change based on the CDC, Virginia, and National Park Service policies. Please check the policies and guidelines prior to the performance for the most up-to-date information.

Additional information, amenities, and protocols will be posted to the Wolf Trap website as information becomes available.

Edward W. Hardy (born January 12, 1992) is a critically acclaimed Black and Puerto Rican composer, music director, virtuoso violinist and violist and is one of the foremost exponents of solo violin repertoire for theatrical productions. At the age of 25, "Hardy (was) one of the youngest composers to ever be accepted into the Exploring the Metropolis Con Edison Composer Residency and one of the most prominent composer/ violinists in New York City" - BroadwayWorld. "Edward W. Hardy, who composed the omnipresent music, plays the violin superbly." - The New York Times. He has "Vigor, Control And Expressiveness." - The Post and Courier. Hardy is "Mesmerizing" - Manhattan With A Twist and also performs in a style that is "serene, dreamy, and soulful with velvety panache" - The Millbrook Independent. As the composer, music director and violinist of the smash hit Off-Broadway show The Woodsman Hardy's show was a recipient of the 2016 Obie Award, the 2014 Jim Henson Foundation Grant and was broadcast on PBS stations four separate times, streamed on BroadwayHD and major music producer Jim McElwaine produced Hardy's album "The Woodsman Original Off-Broadway Solo Recording" which continues to be sold and streamed in countries such as the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey, France, Hong Kong, Argentina, Ireland, and Germany.

Currently, Edward's discography contains 8 singles, 1 album, and his list of original compositions include works for solo violin, voice, harp, piano, string quartet, string trio, string duo, Latin ensemble, and soundtracks for film and stage.

Edward has received numerous awards, most recently winning 1st Prize in the 2022 University of Northern Colorado Concerto Competition and 2nd Prize in the 2022 Angie Southard Performance Competition. Edward also has an extensive performance history ranging from solo violin performances for the Congressional Black Caucus/ opening of the African-American Smithsonian Museum, Hublot, MAC Cosmetics, Haute Living, special performances for rap legends 50 Cent, Nas, Justin Bieber, Hailey Bieber, Usher, Russell Westbrook, Kehlani, and legendary hockey player Alexander Ovechkin, to sharing the stage with famous artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Kygo, André De Shields, Damien Sneed, Regina Carter, Norm Lewis, Joshua Bell, John Blake Jr., Mark O'Connor, and Radmila Lolly. Performance venues include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, WQXR, The Greene Space, The Apollo Theater, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, Charleston Museum, The Cutting Room, The Public Theater's Joe's Pub, Amanyara, and many others.

Edward is a proud member of Local 802 Musicians Union, Dramatist Guild of America, ASCAP and is affiliated with the Sphinx Organization, Exploring the Metropolis, the Gateways Music Festival. He is also the founder and artistic director of the Omnipresent Music Festival - BIPOC Musicians Festival, and the digital marketing director and artistic advisor of Beethoven in the Rockies. Master of Music, Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College CUNY, cum laude, Bachelor of Music, SUNY Purchase, cum laude. Edward is a Doctoral candidate/ graduate teaching assistant in Violin Performance at the University of Northern Colorado under the mentorship of Dr. Jubal Fulks.

Tiffany Townsend, from: Jackson, Mississippi. LA Opera: Léontine in The Anonymous Lover (2020, debut); Ines in Il Trovatore (2021). She joined the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program in the 2019/20 season.

In January 2022, Tiffany Townsend returned to Opera Philadelphia as the featured soloist in George Walker's Lilacs. In the summer of 2022, she will be a Filene Artist with Wolf Trap Opera.

In the spring of 2021, she performed the role of Katherine in Douglas Pew's Penny with Opera Grand Rapids.

She started the 2019/20 season as Princess Ninette in Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges with Opera Philadelphia. In February 2020, she appeared with Long Beach Opera in the Dream Variation concert.

In 2019, she performed Brenda in Rene Orth's Empty the House, a co-production with the Curtis Opera Theatre and Opera Philadelphia.

At Millsaps, she was seen as Lucy Lockit in Benjamin Britten's The Beggar's Opera and performed Fiordiligi in Cosí fan tutte in scenes. At Juilliard she covered the role of the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro. She also performed George Crumb's Winds of Destiny at Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble. At the Chautauqua Institution, Ms. Townsend performed the First Lady in The Magic Flute.

At Curtis she performed lead roles such as the Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. She was a winner of the 2019 New Orleans District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She then received an Encouragement Award in the 2019 Gulf Coast Regionals.

She holds a Professional Studies Certificate in Opera from the Curtis Institute of Music, a Master of Music from the Juilliard School, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Millsaps College.

Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by Wolf Trap Foundation year-round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America's outstanding professional training programs for early career opera singers. Wolf Trap's education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.

For more information visit wolftrap.org.


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