The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The annual showcase benefit for University Opera, with student performers and famed bass-baritone alumnus Sam Handley, is this Sunday afternoon | September 23, 2017

By Jacob Stockinger

Students in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s opera program will present the annual “Showcase Concert” of songs and arias this Sunday, Sept. 24, at 3 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society of Madison’s Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive.

They will be joined by bass-baritone Sam Handley (below top), a well-known alumnus now living in Chicago, and accompanist Daniel Fung (below bottom).

The program includes:

Samuel Handley in the “Calumny” aria from Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” and the song “Her Face” from Merrill’s show “Carnival”

John McHugh in “Donne mie” (Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte”)

Shaddai Solidum in “The Jewel Song” (Gounod’s “Faust”)

Grace Subat in “Far From the Home I Love” (Bock’s “Fiddler on the Roof“)

Sarah Kendall in “Mi chiamano Mimì” (Puccini’s “La Bohème“)

Benjamin Liupaogo (below) in the “Flower Song” (Bizet’s “Carmen”)

Liza Shapin in “I Walked in the Path Where Jesus Walked”

Matthew Chastain in “Questo amor” (Puccini’s “Edgar”)

Yanzelmalee Rivera in “Dondi lieta” (Puccini’s “La Bohème”)

Also the trio “Soave sia il vento” (from Mozart’s “Così fan tutti”) will be sung by Solidum, Subat and Handley; and the duet “Libiamo” (from Verdi’s “La Traviata“) will be sung by Rivera and Liupaogo.

Sam Handley has been praised for “his rich, burnished” voice and the “genuine emotional depth of his characterizations.” The Houston Chronicle has described his “vivid and polished singing” as “leaving the audience panting.”) You can hear him in the YouTube video at the bottom, where he sings the “Calumny” aria that he will also perform at this event.

A contribution of $30 at the door ($10 for students) is requested for this benefit concert.

A reception of chocolate, cheese, wine and punch will follow the concert and is included in the donation. (Below are the participants from last year with David Ronis, third from left in the back row, who is the director of the University Opera.)


4 Comments »

  1. Well, the 23rd, according to Christian Fundamentalists, is the end of the world, right? So will it matter?

    Comment by fflambeau — September 23, 2017 @ 9:52 pm

  2. Am I alone in thinking that ‘I Walked in the Path where Jesus Walked’ is a bizarre and questionable choice for an operatic showcase?

    Comment by Larry Wells — September 23, 2017 @ 10:31 am

    • This was a favorite song of opera star Jerome Hines which I believe comes from an opera (obviously it’s religious but so are lots Jewish songs that I enjoy and so are many of the melodies of Alan Hovhaness.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_Hines

      Here he sings the very song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSzUe4rML4M

      Comment by fflambeau — September 24, 2017 @ 12:12 am

      • Mr. Wells might also want to check out the venue. The Unitarian Society. The Unitarian Church, as I recall, has its roots in liberal Christianity. By the way, Jerome Hines was a mainstay of the Metropolitan Opera for many years. Moreover, to paraphrase James Hilton in Lost Horizon, perhaps all religions are “moderately” correct! Do you walk out on Bach performances? Almost all of his music was written for religious occasions.

        Comment by fflambeau — September 24, 2017 @ 12:56 am


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