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Camarena. Bullock. DeYoung. Graham. Barton.

2015-16 Season

CamarenaMarch 24, 2016
Javier Camarena
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BullockApril 18, 2016
Julia Bullock
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DeYoungMay 1, 2016
Michelle DeYoung
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GrahamSeptember 12, 2015
Susan Graham
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BartonOctober 15, 2015
Jamie Barton
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FangNovember 19, 2015
Ying Fang
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DanielsJanuary 31, 2016
David Daniels and Martin Katz
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Vocal Arts DC
PO Box 42423
Washington, DC 20015
202-669-1463
info@vocalartsdc.org

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University of Maryland Opera Studio
Wagner Society DC

 

Javier Camarena, tenor

Thursday Evening, March 24, 2016, at 7:00
Terrace Theater

Angel Rodriguez, pianist

Mexican lyric tenor Javier Camarena took New York by storm with tumultuously successful performances in La sonnambula with Diana Damrau in 2013, and again opposite Joyce DiDonato in 2014 in La cenerentola, to a degree that, in the latter run of performances, the audience demanded an encore of his bravura aria, an extremely rare occurrence at any contemporary opera performance. The combination of sweetness and brilliance in Mr. Camarena's singing has made him the darling of european audiences in Vienna, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Salzburg, and Zurich. His debut solo CD, Recitales, recorded live in recital in 2013, is available on the urtext label; his Zurich performances, co-starring with Cecilia Bartoli, of both Rossini's Le comte Ory and Otello have been preserved on DVD by Decca. The Vocal Arts DC program will include selections by Beethoven, Liszt, and Tosti.

More Information ..........................................................................................................................................

MICHELLE DeYOUNG TO SING FINAL RECITAL
OF VOCAL ARTS SEASON

Mezzo-Soprano Replaces Anna Caterina Antonacci,
Who Has Cancelled

Grammy-Award Winning American mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung will offer her first recital under the auspices of Vocal Arts DC since December of 1996 on Sunday afternoon, May 1 at 2:00 pm in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. She replaces Anna Caterina Antonacci, who, citing family reasons, has canceled her spring 2016 recital tour of the United States, including her May 1 concert appearance with Vocal Arts DC.

Ms. DeYoung, who is about to begin a run of performances of Wagner's Tanhäuser at the Metropolitan Opera on October 8 led by James Levine, including a "Live in HD" transmission to movie theaters on October 31, has won international acclaim on both the world's most prestigious operatic and concert hall stages. She continues to perform with many of today's top echelon of conductors, and has amassed an impressive discography and videography. In addition to Maestro Levine, Ms. DeYoung has collaborated with Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin David, Christoph von Dohnányi, Gustavo Dudamel, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Antonio Pappano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Michael Tilson Thomas, among many others. Her recording of Mahler's Kindertotenlieder and Symphony Number 3 with Maestro Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS Meridian) won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Classical Album. She also received the Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording for Berlioz's Les Troyens led by Sir Colin Davis with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO Live).

For her program on May, Ms. DeYoung, partnered by her frequent collaborator in recitals, pianist Kevin Murphy, will offer Manuel de Falla's Seven Popular Spanish Songs, Edward Elgar's Sea Pictures, as well as songs by Brahms, Strauss, and Joseph Marx.

Vocal Arts DC General Director Peter Russell noted, "We are extremely fortunate that an artist of Michelle DeYoung's caliber is available and ready to perform a recital program for our audience on the very date and time of that originally scheduled for Anna Caterina Antonacci. Her return to Vocal Arts DC brings her back for the first time in nearly 20 years, when she sang for us in collaboration with the Marilyn Horne Foundation at the very outset of her illustrious career. It also reunites me with a friend of over 20 years: Michelle DeYoung was a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera Company, where she returned as Artist in Residence last summer to mentor the 2015 Filene Young Artists, in 1995 when I was the General Director."

Subscribers who hold tickets to the May 1, 2016 recital with Anna Caterina Antonacci's name on it should use them for the recital on the same date and time by Michelle DeYoung.

More Information >  ..........................................................................................................................................

2015-2016 Season

Vocal Arts DC Celebrates Our 25th Anniversary in Style in 2015-2016

From the time our founder, Gerald Perman, first opened our doors in the small auditorium of the Charles Sumner School on 17th Street NW, quality has always been the guiding principle in planning Vocal Arts DC seasons. We feel certain that you will find our celebratory line-up for 2015-2016 exceptional. Highlights include our first commission, a new song cycle by the acclaimed team of composer Jake Heggie and lyricist Gene Scheer. In addition, we look forward to return visits by three artists who have been enormously popular with our audiences in past recitals - Susan Graham, Jamie Barton, and Anna Caterina Antonacci - the Washington recital debut of the gifted newcomer Ying Fang, the area debuts of two of today's most acclaimed artists, tenor Javier Camarena and bass Alexander Tsymbalyuk, plus a return to Washington by "star on the rise" Julia Bullock.

2015-2016 Season Brochure

Click here to purchase a Full Season Subscription.

Click here to purchase a Mini-Subscription.

More Information (Season Brochure PDF) ..........................................................................................................................................

'My Favorite Song'

Welcome to the monthly feature of the Vocal Arts DC web site in which guest contributors select one song that has a special, personal meaning for them, sharing specific reasons about why they find the music and lyrics irresistible, and choosing a performance that they feel ideally captures the spirit of that song.

Samuel Viggiano

Leonard Bernstein: "I Hate Music!"

In an American society that values Disney's latest musical movie and Billboard Top 40 hits over opera and art song, we are faced with a dilemma: what keeps art relevant? When deciding on my favorite song, I considered relevancy rather than what I try to "belt out" in the shower.

I first heard Leonard Bernstein's comical musical masterpiece "I Hate Music" at a close friend's recital. The recital was meant for academic purposes, but exceeded the expectations of academia and entertainment through the artist's mastery of challenging and unique vocal works, including repertoire from Mozart to Debussy, Brazilian jazz, and of course, Bernstein's "I Hate Music."

The song is one of five in Bernstein's cycle "A Cycle of Five Kid Songs for Soprano and Piano" and is anything but childish. "I Hate Music" requires strong vocal technique and fluid musicianship. The song is considered "atonal," or not written within a key or mode. Yet, the melody is surprisingly hummable and recognizable. Bernstein's accompaniment does very little to aid the singer musically, however provides supportive drama, much like Schubert's lieder accompaniment.

The vocal range and capabilities of the singer are tested by the tessitura (or range) and ever-changing style, as are the singer's musical aptitude and acting ability. The song begins with a giant leap scaling a typical soprano's range, followed by a disjunctive chromatic, yet catchy, melody. After the virtuosic beginning, the singer suddenly jumps into vocal patter with changing and asymmetrical meters.

While considering its musical difficulties, the singer must also understand and develop an appropriate character presentation. Although the song cycle's title alludes to children's songs, the cycle is anything but. "I Hate Music" comments with child-like simplicity on the "state" of music, claiming music is, " a lot of men and a lot of tails/Making lots of noise like a lot of females/Music is a lot of folks in a big dark hall/ Where they really don't want to be at all/With a lot of chairs and a lot of heirs/And a lot of furs and diamonds." This perception of music encapsulates the attitude millennials and young audience currently feel towards opera and art song, yet so many continue to love to sing and explore the music.

The composer, Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), although not a millennial, held a similar attitude towards music. Hailed as the "dean of American music," Bernstein championed symphonic and orchestra music, ballet, film, and theater music, choral works, opera, chamber music and pieces for piano. A multifarious composer, author, and musician, Bernstein wrote some serial music, but later rejected the musical movement that many composers considered was the next popular musical form. His "I Hate Music," among his other notable choral, vocal, and orchestra works, is a reflection of his attitude, that music can be simultaneously enjoyable, intelligent, and virtuosic. His timeless song cycle, among his other works, remains a relevant musical staple which comments on that state of music while displaying superior musical qualities.

I HATE MUSIC (1943)
A Cycle of Five Kid Songs for Soprano and Piano

1. My Name is Barbara  2. Jupiter Has Seven Moons  3. I Hate Music!  4. A Big Indian and a Little Indian (Riddle Song)  5. I'm a Person Too

I hate music but I like to sing
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
But that's not music
Not what I call music, no sir

Music is a lot of men and a lot of tails
Making lots of noise like a lot of females
Music is a lot of folks in a big dark hall
Where they really don't want to be at all
With a lot of chairs and a lot of heirs
And a lot of furs and diamonds

Music is silly
I hate music but I like to sing
La, la, la, la, la

Click here to view previous month's submission.

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Peter Russell Named General Director of Vocal Arts DC

Peter Russell, a noted figure in American opera, has been named as General Director of Vocal Arts DC (incorporated as The Vocal Arts Society). In his new position, Russell will assume responsibility for both the artistic and business management of Vocal Arts DC, working closely in the field of artistic programming with the organization's founder and President Emeritus, Dr. Gerald Perman, who is stepping down as Artistic Director to become Artistic Director Emeritus.
More Information > 

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maltman About Vocal Arts DC

Hear world-renowned singers
and discover tomorrow's stars

You’ll hear them here first!  Vocal Arts DC has given Washington recital debuts to many of the great singers whose names are familiar to lovers of vocal artistry throughout the world.  We pride ourselves on identifying and bringing to Washington singers -- often already celebrated on the European opera and concert stage -- who are on the cusp of attaining world-wide fame and achieving sensational success on the US opera scene.  

Our 22nd season begins with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and pianist Warren Jones giving an "American Songbook" program. This is followed by New York Festival of Song, a longtime favorite of Washington audiences, who bring their delightful, and timely, arrangement of three Broadway shows of the 1930's to town in "Mr. Gershwin Comes to Washington." Following NYFOS, soprano Christine Brewer returns and she and pianist Craig Rutenberg give an October 31 recital of Spanish and American song. Baritone Russell Braun and pianist Carolyn Maule traverse Schubert's Winterreise on November 7. DC favorite, tenor Vinson Cole performs on December 12, and he is followed by British tenor Toby Spence, a Washington debut, who rounds out the season, on January 16.  More Details >

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what video What's an Art Song?

Watch a video, hosted by Elizabeth Daniels, of young singers presented in recital by Vocal Arts DC at the Kennedy Center this past spring as part of the America Sings in the Nation's Capitol. Click here >

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Education Programs

discovery
Art Song Discovery Series Winners of the Vocal Arts DC competition appear in free recitals at various venues in the community each Spring. More >

school
Take Song to our Schools Classroom programs presenting young professional singers and song to students around the region inspire the singers and audience of the future. More >

young artists
Young Artists Competition
An annual, juried competition for singers in the greater Washington area. Find more information here. More >

 

"My Favorite Song"

Archive of Past Selections

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