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"Echoes of the Soul: A Drama of American Song" on November 20

Melissa Wegner



Program Features Students from the Bard College Conservatory of Music’s Graduate Program in Vocal Arts Performing Works by Bernstein, Bolcom, and Rorem, Among Others

RHINEBECK, N.Y.—Developed and performed by five students in the new Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College, “Echoes of the Soul: A Drama of American Song,” is a theatrical presentation of American art song that follows four singers who try to realize their dreams, each to different ends. The program is presented on Tuesday, November 20, at 8:00 p.m. at the Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck. Admission is free; donations are accepted at the door.

Sopranos Maghan Stewart and Melissa Wegner, mezzo-soprano Julie Anne Miller, bass-baritone Yohan Yi, and pianist Wei-Han Wu perform the songs of American composers Leonard Bernstein, William Bolcom, Norman Dello Joio, John Duke, Ricky Ian Gordon, Jake Heggie,  John Musto, Ned Rorem, Thomas Pasatieri, and James Primosch.

The singers are four of the eight students selected internationally who comprise the inaugural class of the Bard College Conservatory of Music’s Graduate Program in Vocal Arts, under the artistic direction of world-renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw. In collaboration with The Weill Institute, all four singers made their debut at Carnegie Hall in April 2007 in the Osvaldo Golijov/Dawn Upshaw Workshop for Singers and Composers. Additionally, the singers each participated in Bard SummerScape’s 2007 season: Yi in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Sorcerer, and Miller, Stewart, and Wegner in Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg.

For additional information, call 845-876-3080.

About the Performers:

A native of Northern California, mezzo-soprano Julie Anne Miller has appeared as Ottavia in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and as Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She has also been heard as the mezzo soloist in performances of Bach’s Cantata No. 147a, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse, and Schubert’s Mass in Ab Major. She earned her bachelor of music degree in vocal and violin performance at California State University, Sacramento.

A native of Timmins, Ontario, Canadian soprano Maghan Stewart’s solo performance highlights include appearances on CBC radio and Classique 97.1 FM, the mainstage at the National Art Centre, and the National Gallery of Canada. In the 2006–07 season, she has performed Faure’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s “Hear my Prayer” and Elijah, and a solo concert of arias with the Timmins Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Stewart recently earned a master’s degree from the University of Ottawa.

Colombian-American Soprano Melissa Wegner recently reprised her performance of David Bruce’s Piosenki at Carnegie Hall and Skidmore College with the acclaimed Ensemble ACJW. In recital, Wegner has performed repertoire ranging from the standard to the contemporary. She has coached songs and roles with many living composers and has worked with the top musicians in the classical world, including director Peter Sellars, conductor James Conlon, singers Dawn Upshaw, Phyllis Curtain, Stephanie Blythe, Lucy Shelton, Judith Kellock, and Janice Felty, and pianists Richard Goode, Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, and Brian Zeger. Wegner holds degrees from The Manhattan School of Music and The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.

Wei-Han Wu, a native of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, recently completed his master’s degree in collaborative piano at University of Michigan, where he was a fellowship student of Martin Katz. In addition, Wu is a graduate of Northwestern University and The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Program. This year Wu and his piano quintet were selected to represent University of Michigan by performing in the Millennium Stage Conservatory Project concert at the Kennedy Center. He has collaborated with artists such as Steven Dibner, David Wakefield, Gary Levinson, and the Fischoff competition-winning quartet, H2 Saxophone Quartet. An avid new music performer, Wu was the pianist for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble for the last three summers. He is currently a Collaborative Piano Fellow at Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Bass-baritone Yohan Yi is a graduate of Hanyang University in South Korea. Yi was a prizewinner at the 21st Music Association of Korea Competition. He has performed the roles of Masetto in Don Giovanni and Marcello in La Bohème at the Seoul Arts Center. He is an enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music, having collaborated with several composers in Korea. Yi made his solo debut at the Fisher Center with the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, singing Ibert’s Quatre Chansons de Don Quichotte.

About The Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College

The Graduate Program in Vocal Arts at the Bard College Conservatory is a unique master of music program in vocal performance. Conceived and designed by the renowned American soprano Dawn Upshaw, it was created to prepare the young singer to meet the special artistic and practical challenges of a musical career in the 21st century. This two-year master of music degree balances a respect for established repertory and expressive techniques with the flexibility and curiosity needed to keep abreast of evolving musical ideas. It also includes a strong practical component with seminars and classes on career skills led by some of the leading figures in arts management and administration. Each year a select group of up to 8 singers is invited to join the program through an intensive audition process.

Editor's Note: To download high resolution press photos (300 dpi jpeg's), click on thumbnail images below:



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This event was last updated on 11-01-2007