Monday, October 29, 2018

"BRAHMS and HAYDN" is November 7th at St James Cathedral

Considerable savings for advanced purchase.

Michelle Areyzaga, soprano
As a coveted performer with a diverse repertoire, American soprano Michelle Areyzaga is held in high regard by orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States and abroad. She has performed operatic roles with New York City Opera in Telemann’s Orpheus as well as in their VOX series, and has appeared in leading roles with Chicago Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s In the Neighborhoods programs, Opera Birmingham, Ravinia Festival, and Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México.

Michelle Areyzaga’s association with the music of Leonard Bernstein runs deep. She has become well known for her interpretation of his delightful and moving music – from her portrayal of Cunegonde in Candide to her participation in varied programs featuring his works, including musical theater and chamber music/recital works. Areyzaga toured the show Bernstein on Broadway together with Jamie Bernstein (Leonard’s daughter) for six years, performing it with the Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Oregon Bach Festival, among many others. Areyzaga is still often heard performing Bernstein, such as her performances in Las Vegas and at Ravinia in conjunction with the composer’s centennial celebration.

As an orchestral soloist, she has appeared with, in addition to orchestras listed above,  Richmond Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival, Rochester Symphony, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, and North Carolina Symphony, among others. She sang the first Bach B minor Mass in the country of Costa Rica, under the baton of Maestro John Nelson.

Ms. Areyzaga’s operatic roles have included Susanna, Le nozze di Figaro; title role, Madama Butterfly; Cunegonde, Candide; Adina, L’elisir d’amore; Despina, Così fan tutte; Zerlina, Don Giovanni; Pamina, Die Zauberflöte; Lauretta, Gianni Schicchi; both Musetta and Mimì, La bohème and Casilda in The Gondoliers.

Known as a foremost interpreter of vocal art song and chamber music, Ms. Areyzaga has been a repeat guest of the New York Festival of Song under the direction of Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Chicago Ensemble, as well as Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, and the Tucson Desert Song Festival. She has collaborated with the Avalon String Quartet, the Cavatina Duo, and the Lincoln Trio, and has been selected to perform world premieres of many new works by American composers.

As a recorded artist, she has performed song cycles by Gwyneth Walker on The Sun Is Love (Proteus). Other recordings include Songs from Spoon River (Cedille) by Lita Grier and The Small Hours, songs by William Ferris. She has sung numerous times in both live and programmed broadcasts on Chicago’s classical music radio station WFMT.

Ms. Areyzaga made her European concert debut as soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G Minor at England’s York Minster Cathedral, Ely Cathedral, and St. Mary’s Church in Oxford. In Paris, she received standing ovations as soloist in the Lord Nelson Mass with the orchestra of London’s Royal Academy of Music and the St. Charles Singers.

Michelle Areyzaga has been named “Artist of the Year” by Pioneer Press and has been an award recipient from the Julian Autrey Song Foundation, Wm. C. Byrd International Young Artist, Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year, Marguerite McCammon Vocal Competition (Ft. Worth Opera), The American Prize, NATSAA—National Finalist ”Outstanding Artist” chosen by Teresa Stratas, Metropolitan Opera National Council (Central Region), Viñas Concurs International and the Concert Artist Guild.

She received her B.A. in Vocal Performance from Roosevelt University with honors and was a member of Ravinia’s Steans Institute for Young Artists. In addition she has been a member of the OperaWorks Summer intensive Program in L.A. and a member of Chicago Opera Theater’s Debut Artist Series.
Jennifer Kosharsky, mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Kosharsky has been described by the press as “an excellent actress, with a dark-timbred, beautiful mezzo-soprano voice” of “outstanding vocal range” Her portrayal of Princess Eboli in Don Carlo for Houston’s “Opera in the Heights” inspired the press to call her: “a powerhouse mezzo...velvet voiced...a supple mezzo [that] raised the roof.” The Elgin Review says, “At first, the dark, polished tone of mezzo-soprano Jennifer Kosharsky reminds you of exquisite contralto voices from another continent and century, but her strength and control in the upper register...proves she can cover either part with her impressive tessitura.”

Originally an accomplished flutist, Ms. Kosharsky graduated from DePaul University with a degree in vocal performance. She won second place in The Classical Singer International Emerging Professional Competition. She also received recognition as a finalist in the Marcella Sembrich Vocal Competition in New York City, a two-time regional winner for the National MacAllistar Awards (Chicago), a finalist in the Union League Civic & Arts Foundation Vocal Competition (Chicago), and was a semi-finalist in both the Tito Gobbi International Competition and the International Giovan Battista Velluti Competition while living abroad in Italy.

Most recently, Ms. Kosharsky most recently finished the “Classic Korea Good-Will Concert Tour” throughout the Midwest celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Korean Consulate. Jennifer recently debuted the title role in Bizet’s Carmen with Teatro Lirico D’Europa. She is quickly becoming a favorite in both dramatic and comedic roles with such opera companies as Union Avenue Opera of St. Louis, Elgin Opera, Golden Gate Opera, Miami Lyric Opera, Muddy River Opera, and Music by the Lake. Ms. Kosharsky has sung the title role in Dido and Aeneas and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly for Elgin Opera and her first Dalila in Samson et Dalila for St. Petersburg Opera. Other operatic roles include Preziosilla in Verdi’s La forza del destino, Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Sesto in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, Flora in La Traviata, Adalgisa in Norma, Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte.

Recent concert performances include the Verdi Requiem and the “Alto Rhapsody” by Brahms. Ms. Kosharsky has performed as a soloist with the Grass Valley Symphony Orchestra in California, Southwestern Suburban Symphony in Wisconsin, Millennium Orchestra of Chicago, Chicago’s Music of the Baroque and Traverse City Symphony Orchestra in Michigan. She made her European debut with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (Croatia) in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Upcoming appearances include the Verdi Requiem with the West Suburban Symphony Orchestra.

Cameo Humes, tenor
Cameo Humes is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after tenors in the operatic and concert repertoire. He has performed with Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Hilton Head Choral Society, Gainesville Civic Chorus, and the Orchestra Sinfonica dell’International Chamber Ensemble in Italy. His most recent engagement included a debut with Teatro alla Scala in the roles of Peter, Crab man, Mingo and Robbins in their production of Porgy and Bess. Other operatic credits include the title role in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito, Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Operafestival di Roma, Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Gastone (La Traviata), Prunier (La Rondine), Peter (Porgy and Bess) with Lyric Opera of Chicago (cover), Dayton Opera and Skylight Music Theatre of Milwaukee, Crab man (Porgy and Bess) with The Princeton Festival, Nelson (Porgy and Bess) with Cincinnati Opera, Ballad Singer (Of Mice and Men), and Ensemble (Show Boat) with Houston Grand Opera.

Mr. Humes has also performed regularly in the chorus of the Lyric Opera of Chicago since the 2014-15 season. He has performed as tenor soloist for the world premiere of Mozart’s Requiem staged with the Cincinnati Ballet, a performance that he repeated in the spring of 2015. Other recent concert performances include Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra as well as the DePaul University Community Chorus, Handel’s Judas Maccabeus, Mozart’s Grand Mass in C minor, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Bach Society of Dayton, Bach St. John Passion and Mass in B minor, and The Seven Last Words of Christ by Théodore Dubois.

He has recorded the lead role in Richard Thompson’s The Mask in the Mirror, a modern opera based on the life of Paul Laurence Dunbar; a role that Mr. Humes successfully portrayed on the stage with Trilogy Opera of New Jersey in 2014. Upcoming engagements include a debut with the Richmond Symphony in Handel’s Messiah. A lover and avid performer of the Negro spiritual, he has toured Spain, France and Ireland with the world renown American Spiritual Ensemble, and has served as Adjunct Professor of Voice and Opera workshop at Central State University. Mr. Humes completed his undergraduate studies at Stetson University and earned a Master of Music degree from the University of Florida.
Aaron Wardell, baritone 
Baritone Aaron Wardell is in demand as a performer of opera and concert in Chicago and beyond. He was most recently seen as Dr. Raymond in the world premiere of Ross Crean’s The Great God Pan with Chicago Fringe Opera. Previously he appeared as Le Roy in the modern-day premiere of Marais’ Ariane et Bachus with Haymarket Opera and as Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Chamber Opera Chicago. Last season he sang Angelotti in Tosca with the Fort Wayne Symphony and Emile de Becque in South Pacific with the La Porte Symphony. Upcoming engagements include Falke in Die Fledermaus with the New Philharmonic at the College of DuPage and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Promusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus.  

Additional performances include Lord Mountararat in Iolanthe with Chicago’s Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Yamadori in Madama Butterfly with the Castleton Festival and as Giove in La Calisto with Haymarket Opera. He has appeared with Chamber Opera Chicago, Dayton Opera, Opera Tampa, Central City Opera and internationally at Ecuador’s Teatro National de Sucre in numerous roles including John Sorel (The Consul), Dancaïro (Carmen), Marcello (La Bohème), Junius (Rape of Lucretia), Marco (Gianni Schicchi), Don Pizarro (Fidelio) and the title role in Don Giovanni. 

Equally at home on the concert stage, this season he makes his debut with the Paducah Symphony in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem and returns to perform with ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Mozart’s Requiem. He has appeared as a soloist with the Illinois Philharmonic, North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble, Aurora University, Harper College, George Williams College (Music by the Lake), Downers Grove Choral Society, Niles Metropolitan Chorus, The Bach Ensemble of Naples, FL and Cincinnati Baroque in such works as Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. John Passion, Schubert’s Mass in Ab, Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël, Arvo Pärt’s Passio and Haydn’s Creation. 

Aaron completed his formal musical training at Western Michigan University, and earned a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and an Artist Diploma certificate in Opera from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied under baritone William McGraw.

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