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Arts and Theater 1
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Black Tie International:
Opera Exposures

Janinah Burnett

Janinah Burnett

 

MAY 15 AT 3 PM

 

Opera Exposures, the Staten Island-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to presenting seasoned professional musicians and young artists in accessible venues at affordable prices, will present its first concert on Staten Island on Sunday, May 15, 2011, at 3 PM when -- in cooperation with The North Shore Waterfront Conservancy of Staten Island -- it will present a recital at The Reformed Church of Staten Island, 54 Port Richmond Avenue. The featured artists will be soprano Janinah Burnett, mezzo soprano Sandra Schwarzhaupt, tenors Angelo Mazzone, Anthony Turner and Lawrence Craig. Jonathan Kelly, Opera Exposure’s Musical Director, will be at the piano. Dwight Owsley, Opera Exposure’s Artistic Director, will serve as narrator. Edna Greenwich, Opera Exposure’s Founder and President, is the producer.

The program will include arias from Tales of Hoffman, Carmen, Porgy and Bess, as well as spirituals and other musical numbers and surprises.

Tickets are $ 40 and may be purchased in advance by calling 917/402-8144 or visiting the Opera Exposures official website at www.operaexposures.org. They may also be purchased at the door.

         

The Artists

Soprano Janinah Burnett, winner of a 2008 Sullivan Foundation Award, is widely known for her timeless vocal quality and poignant portrayals in signature roles such as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and Mimi in Baz Luhrman’s adaptation of Puccini’s La Bohème. She received tremendous acclaim winning the “Ovation Award” with a record 82 consecutive sold-out shows. Some recent performances include, Frasquita in Carmen and Musetta in La Bohème, covers at the Metropolitan Opera, Violetta in La Traviata with Opera Columbus, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and Norina in Don Pasquale with Connecticut Opera, Bess in Porgy and Bess with Michigan Opera Theatre, Mimi in La Bohème with Baltimore Opera and Manitoba Opera, Micaela in Carmen with the Skylight Opera Theatre and Todi Music Festival, and solo performances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. She also performed Violetta in Urbania and Fermignano, Italy under the baton of Benton Hess.

Lawrence Craig has earned a reputation for his “Fine baritone” and “virtuosic talent” in Europe and the Americas in opera, concert and recital. He has appeared as Escamillo in Carmen, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Ford in Falstaff, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. Most recently, he appeared as Sportin' Life in the New York City 75th Anniversary Concert to honor Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess as well as in fully staged productions for the inaugural season of the Buck Hill-Skytop Music Festival and with the Virginia Opera, Henry Davis in Street Scene with Opéra Toulon of France, Music Sharing from New York in Hiroshima, Kobe and Yannai, Japan, and Porgy and Bess Concerts to great success in Koszalin, Poland, Bogota, Colombia and Santiago, Chile.

               Tenor Angelo Mazzone is a graduate of the Crane School of Music receiving a degree in French Horn Performance and Music Education. Angelo began his Vocal training in Sienna, Italy with the world renowned tenor Steffano Algieri. Upon his return to the United States, he decided to pursue a career in opera. Instantly working with such companies as Sarasota Opera, Tri Cities Opera, and Opera Excelsior. Mr. Mazzone was the featured tenor soloist with the Victor Herbert Festival in Saratoga, New York. Angelo is a fine recitalist, singing songs of Bellini, Donizetti, Tosti, and Donaudy, delighting audiences at the Saugerties Pro Musica concert series. Angelo appeared in a sacred music concert at St. Thomas's Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland. He has also been heard with the Caramoor Opera Festival as well as the International Vocal Arts Institute in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Angelo recently made his New York City debut with the West Side Opera Society singing the role of Roberto in Donizetti's Roberto Devereux      

             Mezzo Soprano Sandra Schwarzhaupt began her professional singing career at age 10 when she performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, at Carnegie Hall as part of a gala benefit concert.  At age 12, Sandra was awarded the prestigious Youth Advancement Award in Dresden, for outstanding young artists. In 2000, she sang Mahlerʼs Fourth Symphony in the Musikverein in Vienna. In Rome, she later performed at the Accademia Santa Cecilia where she debuted as Adele in Die Fledermaus. In Torino, she sang the role of Woglinde in Die Götterdämmerung, with the Orchestra della Rai. Sandra has recorded many albums, including one of Mozart concert arias with the Salzburg Chamber Orchestra and Boris Belkin, violinist, and a live recording of her Carnegie Hall Mozart Recital.  Sandra debuted Schumann’s song cycle, A Woman’s Love and Life (Opus 42) in March 2011 in New York and is scheduled to sing The Poet’s Love (Opus 48) by the same composer, in the fall. In December, she will sing the second soprano in Mozart’s C Minor Mass (K427) with the Arcadian Chorale. In January 2012, Sandra will debut in the role of Adalgisa in Norma in Houston, Texas.

Baritone Anthony Turner performed the lead role of Josh Gibson in scenes from The Summer King with American Opera Projects and the University of Southern Maine. This new work in progress, composed by Daniel Sonenberg, chronicles the life of the black ‘Babe Ruth’ of Negro League Baseball. He has appeared with Opera Ebony in a program of Negro Spirituals at The New York Historical Society. These performances are affiliated with the exhibit: New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War.  Mr. Turner is also a featured soloist with YesIsAWorld in Katrina Ballads, by composer Ted Hearne, at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C.; Opera Exposures, in a program of operatic arias; The Art of the Spiritual at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Oakland, CA and the Yachats Music Festival (OR), under the auspices of Four Seasons Concerts. He has appeared as guest soloist with Boston Musica Viva in the Creation by Louis Gruenberg, the Serenade recital series (Staten Island, NY) and at the Kennedy Center in the Dance Theatre of Harlem production St. Louis Woman.

             Jonathan Kelly (Pianist/Music Director) is an Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera and the San Francisco Opera.  He has worked in similar capacities at Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Theater of Lucca, and the Chautauqua Institution Frequently seen in concert, he has appeared with many of today's leading performers, including Anna Netrebko, Ramon Vargas, Rolando Villazon, Joshua Bell, and Sting.  As an educator he was a Professor at Yale University, holding the title of Lecturer in Song Literature and is currently on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in a similar position Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Mr. Kelly spent his formative years in Kentucky.  He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and continued his studies at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Warren Jones.

Dwight Owsley (Host/Narrator), born in Texas, owes many of his early musical influences to Ethel Waters, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters and Leontyne Price, as well as to the excellent and loving “home training” received at the knee of his mother Mary Veche Owsley (aka Jiveass). Also, much of his inimitable “joie de vivre” springs from her firm love and tutelage. He has lived in New York City for more than twenty-five years. An enthusiastic performer since infancy, he has appeared on stage in recitals, operas, musicals, and in night clubs internationally. His musical interests have always been divided between grand opera and American jazz and folk standards. He has sung with Barbara Carroll, Bobby Short, Hank Jones, Billy Joel and Kurt Wieting. As he has for the last seventeen years, he continues to usher in each coming New Year by singing at midnight for the revelers in the Carlyle Hotel’s Bemelman’s Bar. Currently he presides over the concierge desk at the prestigious Manhattan hotel advising the rich and powerful how to allocate their opera ticket budgets. In his role as concierge he has received awards and editorial praise from GQ, Harpers and Queens, WWD, the New York Times, Where Magazine, the New York Hotel Association and many others. In 2004 Dwight was selected by American Express’ travel magazine Travesías as one of the twelve most important people to know in the world of travel. As many of you who have attended previous Opera Exposures presentations may know, he is also an exceptionally entertaining raconteur knowledgeable on many subjects: love, politics, fashion, etiquette, and especially music. Just ask him.

             In June 2004, the newly-formed Opera Exposures launched its premier operatic event at Saint Mark’s Church in Manhattan with great success. Several artists performed for an audience of almost 500 concert-goers, among them many newcomers to the world of classical music as well as experienced aficionados who responded with standing ovations and received the program with great warmth, enthusiasm and civic pride. Opera Exposures, under the leadership and guidance of its founder Edna Greenwich, has since hosted several additional performances at Saint Marks Church and is well on its way to achieving its stated mission of presenting seasoned vocal professionals and bright upcoming talents in diverse venues at accessible ticket prices. The Amsterdam News has praised her as "a very enterprising young woman [who] has chosen to address herself to the challenging task of creating a forum for outstanding vocal talents." The Opera Exposures Board of Directors is composed of Edna Greenwich, David Cowlick, Dwight Owsley and Carl Sylvestre.

  Travel Directions to the Reformed Church of Staten Island, 54 Port Richmond Avenue, SI From St. George Ferry Terminal: Go to Ramp “D,” take the #40 Bus along Richmond

Terrace to Port Richmond Square. Walk to the corner and you will be on Port Richmond Avenue. You will see the graveyard and the church.

 

 

Joyce Brooks

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