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The Bard Conservatory of Music and the Hudson Opera House Present Beat! Beat! Drums! A Recital of Works by Benjamin Britten, Leonard Bernstein, and Kurt Weill

Singers from the Bard Graduate Program in Vocal Arts Perform Works of Composers and Poets Responding to War and Peace

Tania M. Rodriguez
The Bard Conservatory of Music and the Hudson Opera House Present Beat! Beat! Drums! A Recital of Works by Benjamin Britten, Leonard Bernstein, and Kurt Weill  Image Credit: L-R: Tania M. Rodriguez, mezzo-soprano; Adam Bloniarz, pianist; Patrick Cook, tenor; and Rie Miyake, soprano
HUDSON, N.Y. — Performers from the Bard College Graduate Program in Vocal Arts will present a recital, BEAT! BEAT! DRUMS!, a program of songs about war and peace, Thursday, November 13, at 8 p.m., at the Hudson Opera House, on Warren Street in Hudson, N.Y. BEAT! BEAT! DRUMS! offers anthems, battle songs, marches, prayers, and letters in a journey of protest and patriotism, victory and defeat, mourning and celebration. The program explores responses to conflicts that span from the American Civil War to the Vietnam War, and will feature an interesting and diverse selection of composers and styles that range from the classical art songs of Benjamin Britten and Charles Ives to the popular tunes of John Kander and Irving Berlin. The songs will feature texts from renowned poets such as Walt Whitman and Federico Garcia Lorca and words from Broadway lyricists Fred Ebb and Hughie Prince.
The performance is free and open to the public.

An international group of performers, including soprano Rie Miyake, mezzo-soprano Tania M. Rodriguez, tenor Patrick Cook, and pianist Adam Bloniarz, will offer works from a variety of American views as well as a worldwide perspective with songs from Great Britain, Japan, and Spain. The experience of war is universal; so is the hope for a lasting peace.

Singers of the Bard College Graduate Program in Vocal Arts are selected yearly from an international group of candidates and are under the artistic direction of the renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw. The program aims for the artistic growth of its singers and its community by offering performances and repertoire that are rich in creativity, scholarship, and diversity.

About the performers:
American tenor Patrick Cook is at home in a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary. In 2007 and 2008 he was a studio artist with the Wolf Trap Opera Company, performing as Offizier and Perückenmacher in Ariadne auf Naxos and Patacha in L’Etoile. Other recent operatic roles include Saint Stephen/Saint Chavez in Four Saints in Three Acts with the Bard Conservatory Graduate Program in Vocal Arts, John Adams in The Mother of Us All, and Zweiter Priester in Die Zauberflöte with the Juilliard Opera Workshop. An avid performer of new music, Cook made his professional operatic debut in 2006 as Father Tree in Michael Webster’s opera Hell in a premiere production at PS 122 in New York City. A native of Baltimore and a graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts, Cook holds a bachelor of music degree from The Juilliard School.

Japanese coloratura soprano Rie Miyake was born in Tokyo. She received a bachelor of vocal player degree from the Tokyo College of Music, and there continued her graduate studies, finishing at the top of her class. In 2005, she was chosen by Maestro Christian Arming to sing Marzelline in Beethoven’s Leonore with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. Under the direction of Maestro Seiji Ozawa she performed Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro atSaito Kinen Festival. She has been a soprano soloist in the Mozart C Major Mass, and the Schubert A flat Major Mass with the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra. Rie sang with the Seiji Ozawa Ongakujuku Opera Japan Tour in 2005 as La Boheme’s Musetta, in 2006 as a soprano soloist for Mahler’s Resurrection, and in 2007 as Frasquita in Carmen. Miyake was a semifinalist of the Houston Grand Opera Young Artist Program in 2006 and a New York Region winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition in 2008.

Tania Maria Rodriguez has been named a winner for three consecutive years at the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition and was the recipient of the 2006 Lee Ross Memorial Music Award at Florida Southern College. She has participated in Orlando Opera’s performances of Carmina Burana and Aida and has performed the leading roles of Ms. Todd in Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief and Perichole in Jacques Offenbach’s La Perichole for the Florida Southern College Festival of Fine Arts. She also participated in the Lake Wales Choral Society for Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Regina Coeli. In 2007, she debuted the role of Narrator III in the world premiere of David Bruce’s A Bird in Your Ear for the Bard Conservatory of Graduate Program in Vocal Arts. She holds a bachelor of music degree from Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida.
Adam Bloniarz, pianist, is a fellow in collaborative piano at The Bard College Conservatory of Music. He received his master’s degree from the Yale School of Music, where he was a student of Boris Berman. Prior to that, he graduated magna cum laude from Yale College, where he studied mathematics, receiving numerous departmental prizes, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He has been heard in recitals throughout the United States and Europe as both a solo pianist and chamber musician. He has appeared on Radio Suisse Romande in a broadcast of the final concert of the Academie de Musique Lausanne, and is also faculty member at the McAlester Summer Institute of Music in McAlester, Oklahoma. He has participated in the Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Bowdoin Music Festival. He made his concerto debut at age 17 with the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra.

Mezzo-soprano Solange Merdinian was born in Argentina. Future performances include recitals in Maine with the Bayside Trio, Composing Songs in Zankel Hall and recitals at Bard College and Conservatory. Past concert engagements include first-time performance of Pierrot Lunaire by Schoenberg at Bard College; recitals at Weill Hall, Carnegie; soloist at Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Chamber Orchestra; and alto soloist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Merdinian graduated in 2007 from The Juilliard School, with a bachelors of music in voice. She is currently a member of Bard College Conservatory of Music’s Graduate Program in Vocal Arts, where she studies with Lorraine Nubar.

About the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College:

The Graduate Program in Vocal Arts at Bard College is a two-year master of music degree conceived by soprano Dawn Upshaw. The course work is designed to support a broad-based approach to a singing career that extends from standard repertory to new music. Alongside weekly voice lessons and diction and repertory courses is training in acting, as well as core seminars that introduce and tie together the historical/cultural perspective, analytical tools, and performance skills that distinguish vocal and operatic performance at the highest level. In addition to artistic director Dawn Upshaw, the program includes associate director Kayo Iwama; voice teachers Edith Bers, Patricia Misslin, and Lorraine Nubar; diction coach Jennifer Ringo; Alexander Technique teachers Gwen Ellison and Judith Grodowitz; staff pianist Ying-Chien Lin; and career workshop coordinator Carol Yaple. Master classes have been held with conductor James Conlon; pianist Richard Goode; vocalists Phyllis Curtin, Timothy Hill, and Lucy Shelton; and directors JoAnne Akalaitis, Eve Shapiro, and Peter Sellars.

About the Hudson Opera House:

Hudson Opera House, built in 1855 as the City Hall for Hudson, is a nonprofit multiarts center offering numerous programs for adults and children, many of which are free. Ongoing programs, include concerts, readings, exhibitions, lectures, workshops, after-school programs, and a Junior Membership Program, which provides free access to performances and other art-making activities for children.


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This event was last updated on 11-26-2008