The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical Music: University Opera’s fall Showcase of new talent is this Sunday afternoon.

September 20, 2012
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ALERT: This Saturday at 4 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall in the Mosse Humanities Building on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, Areon Flutes (below) will perform a FREE concert. Areon Flutes, a contemporary flute chamber ensemble, is noted for innovative and provocative performances and was recently awarded the Bronze Medal at the prestigious and internationally acclaimed Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Flautists Jill Heinke, Kassey Plaha and Amelia Vitarelli will perform “Godpots” by Jeremy Haladyna; “One Tree Catching Light” by Mike Semper; and “Void of Day” by Cornelius Boots.

By Jacob Stockinger

Opera Props, the support organization for University Opera, will hold its first Opera Showcase Concert of the new season this Sunday, Sept. 23, at 3:30 p.m. in the historic, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed First Unitarian Society Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive (below).

Proceeds will help recruit and fund young artists for the opera program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For more information about  University Opera and Opera Props, visit:

This year’s concert features nine student singers (three undergraduates, 6 graduate students) in arias and songs by Berlioz, Gounod, Herbert, Korngold, Mozart, Thomas, Verdi and Wagner), accompanied by pianists Steve Radtke and Rick Cordova.

(The variety of music is, I  admit, terrific. But The Ear wonders if including one or two of those luscious and irresistible arias by Puccini wouldn’t attract more people, especially since the event is going head-to-head with the Sunday afternoon performance of an all-Russian program by the Madison Symphony Orchestra with pianist Garrick Ohlsson.)

A reception will follow featuring locally produced Gail Ambrosius chocolates.

Organizers hope that people attending will make a free will contribution – the suggested donation is $25 — to the program, either in advance or in future.

Here is a photo from last year’s concert, with (from left to right): Accompanists Susan Goeres and David Sytkowski; then singers Chelsie Propst, Aldo Perrelli, Michael Roemer, Alex Gmeinder, Caitlin Miller, Benjamin Schultz and Shannon Prickett. Some of those names have since become familiar to local voice, choral and opera fans.

This Sunday’s event will introduce several new singers to the Madison music community who will be featured in a pair of operas this season, namely Cherubini’s “Medea” (Nov. 9, 11 and 13), guest conducted by Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra maestro Andrew Sewell, and Mascagni’s “L’amico Fritz” (March 15, 17 and 19).  The proceeds from this concert will help recruit and fund young artists for the UW Opera program.

Assisting longtime Opera Director William Farlow in preparing the students is vocal coach Richard Cordova, currently Music Director of the Little Opera Theatre of New York.

Here is the program for Sunday’s event:

Cassie Glaeser in “Dich teure Halle” from Wagner’s “Tannhäuser”

Bethany Hickman in  “Que tu-fais” from Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette

Jordan Wilson in Pierrot’s “Tanzlied” from Korngold’s “Die tote Stadt

Daniel Lopez in “Il mio Tesoro” from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”

Anna Whiteway in “Art is calling for me” from Victor Herbert’s  “The Enchantress”

Lindsay Metzger in “Voi che sapete” from Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro”

Spencer Schumann in “L’ile inconnue” from Berlioz’ “Les nuits d’été

Ben Li in “Hamlet’s Drinking Song” from Thomas’ “Hamlet”

Shannon Prickett (below) in “Pace, pace mio Dio!” from Verdi’s “Forza del destino”

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