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Program Song List [PDF]

Texts and Translations [PDF]

Additional notes on the program. [PDF]


Vocal Arts DC
PO Box 42423
Washington DC 20015





Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, directors and pianists
Chelsea Shephard, soprano
Lucia Bradford and Annie Rosen, mezzo-sopranos
Miles Mykkanen, tenor
Justin Austin, baritone
Adrian Rosas, bass-baritone
Barry Centanni and Taylor Goodson, percussionists

Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Terrace Theater

The Passion of Leonard Bernstein

Washington, D.C. is celebrating the legacy of Leonard Bernstein during his centennial year and we invite you to join us. Explore a listing of events throughout the city. Immerse yourself in #BernsteinAt100:

Now celebrating its 30th season, New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) is dedicated to creating intimate song concerts of great beauty and originality. Weaving music, poetry, history and humor into evenings of compelling theater, NYFOS fosters community among artists and audiences. Founded by pianists Michael Barrett and Steven Blier in 1988, NYFOS continues to produce NYFOS Mainstage, its flagship series of thematic song programs, drawing together rarelyheard songs of all kinds, overriding traditional distinctions between classical and popular performance genres, and exploring the character and language of other cultures. Since its founding NYFOS has particularly celebrated the wide spectrum of American music. Among many highlights is the double bill of one-act comic operas, Bastianello by John Musto and Lucrezia by William Bolcom, both with libretti by Mark Campbell, commissioned and premiered by NYFOS in 2008 and recorded on Bridge Records.

NYFOS has produced five recordings on the Koch label, including a Grammy Award-winning disc of Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles, and the Grammy-nominated recording of Ned Rorem's Evidence of Things Not Seen (also a NYFOS commission) on New World Records. NYFOS's discography also includes Spanish Love Songs with Joseph Kaiser and the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson on Bridge Records. Its recently released CD on the GPR label, Canción amorosa, also focuses on Spanish song - Basque, Catalan, Castilian, and Sephardic - with soprano Corinne Winters accompanied by Steven Blier.

In 2010, NYFOS launched NYFOS Next, a concert series for new songs, hosted by guest composers in intimate venues. Now in its eighth season, the series returns to Manhattan following a season at National Sawdust in Brooklyn. With an emphasis on spontaneity, novelty, and collaboration, NYFOS Next offers today's song composers a forum to create a program of their work alongside that of their peers, students, and mentors.

NYFOS is passionate about nurturing the artistry and careers of young artists and through its NYFOS Emerging Artists program has developed professional training residencies around the country, including The Juilliard School's Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts (13th season); Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (10th season); NYFOS@North Fork in Orient, NY (5th season); Glimmerglass Opera (2008-2010); and San Francisco Opera Center (multiple visits over the last 18 seasons). These intensive programs train young artists in programming and translation, presentation and production, and research and musical style.

NYFOS's concert series, touring programs, radio broadcasts, recordings, and educational activities continue to spark new interest in the creative possibilities of the song program, and have inspired the creation of thematic vocal series around the world.

Steven Blier is the Artistic Director of the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), which he co-founded in 1988 with Michael Barrett. Since the Festival's inception, he has programmed, performed, translated and annotated more than 140 vocal recitals with repertoire spanning the entire range of American song, art song from Schubert to Szymanowski, and popular song from early vaudeville to Lennon-McCartney. NYFOS has also made in-depth explorations of music from Spain, Latin America, Scandinavia and Russia. New York Magazine gave NYFOS its award for Best Classical Programming, while Opera News proclaimed Blier "the coolest dude in town."

Mr. Blier enjoys an eminent career as an accompanist and vocal coach. His recital partners have included Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Samuel Ramey, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Susan Graham, Jessye Norman, and José van Dam, in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to La Scala. He is also on the faculty of The Juilliard School and has been active in encouraging young recitalists at summer programs, including the Wolf Trap Opera Company, the Steans Institute at Ravinia, Santa Fe Opera, and the San Francisco Opera Center. Many of his former students, including Stephanie Blythe, Joseph Kaiser, Sasha Cooke, Paul Appleby, Dina Kuznetsova, Corinne Winters, Julia Bullock, and Kate Lindsey, have gone on to be valued recital colleagues and sought-after stars on the opera and concert stage.

In keeping the traditions of American music alive, he has brought back to the stage many of the rarely heard songs of George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Kurt Weill and Cole Porter. He has also played ragtime, blues and stride piano evenings with John Musto. A champion of American art song, he has premiered works of John Corigliano, Paul Moravec, Ned Rorem, William Bolcom, Mark Adamo, John Musto, Richard Danielpour, Tobias Picker, Robert Beaser, Lowell Liebermann, Harold Meltzer, and Lee Hoiby, many of which were commissioned by NYFOS.

Mr. Blier's extensive discography includes the premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles (Koch International), which won a Grammy Award; Spanish Love Songs (Bridge Records), recorded live at the Caramoor International Music Festival with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Joseph Kaiser, and Michael Barrett; the world premiere recording of Bastianello (John Musto) and Lucrezia (William Bolcom), a double bill of one-act comic operas set to librettos by Mark Campbell; and Quiet Please, an album of jazz standards with vocalist Darius de Haas. His latest release is Canción amorosa, a CD of Spanish songs with soprano Corinne Winters.

His writings on opera have been featured in Opera News and the Yale Review. A native New Yorker, he received a Bachelor's Degree with Honors in English Literature at Yale University, where he studied piano with Alexander Farkas. He completed his musical studies in New York with Martin Isepp and Paul Jacobs.

NYFOS Associate Artistic Director Michael Barrett started NYFOS in 1988 with his friend and colleague Steven Blier. In 1992, he co-founded the Moab Music Festival with his wife, violist Leslie Tomkins. From 1994 to 1997, he was the Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y in New York, and from 2003 to 2012, he was Chief Executive and General Director of the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, NY.

He has distinguished himself as a conductor with major orchestras here and abroad in the symphonic, operatic, and dance repertoire. A protégé of Leonard Bernstein, he began his long association with the renowned conductor and composer as a student in 1982. He served as Maestro Bernstein's assistant conductor from 1985-1990. He currently serves as music advisor to the Leonard Bernstein Estate.

A champion of new music, Mr. Barrett has conducted and played premieres by Bernstein, Blitzstein, Bolcom, Danielpour, Kernis, Sellars, Harrison, Takemitsu, Del Tredici, John Corigliano, Lowell Liebermann, and John Musto. He has collaborated with the directors Jerome Robbins, John Houseman, Sir Peter Hall, David Alden, Christopher Alden, and Gregory Mosher.

Mr. Barrett has recorded for Koch, TER, CRI, and Deutsche Grammophon. He has released two compact discs with the Brooklyn Philharmonic; one as soloist playing Blitzstein's Piano Concerto with Lukas Foss conducting, the other as conductor of works of Wilder and Corigliano with oboist Humbert Lucarelli. The DG recording, The Joys of Bernstein, features Mr. Barrett playing solo piano with Maestro Bernstein conducting. Other discs include Spanish Love Songs, recorded live at Caramoor with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Steven Blier, and Joseph Kaiser, Live from the Moab Music Festival, the Grammy-nominated Evidence of Things Not Seen (New World Records), Aaron Kernis: 100 Greatest Dance Hits (New Albion), On the Town (Deutsche Grammophon), Kaballah (Koch Classics) by Stewart Wallace and Michael Korie, Schumann Lieder with Lorraine Hunt and Kurt Ollmann (Koch), and Arias and Barcarolles (Koch) by Leonard Bernstein (Grammy Award).

Dedicated to music education, Mr. Barrett oversees the innovative education programs of the Moab Music Festival. He is also active in the creation of new educational programs for symphony orchestras in collaboration with Jamie Bernstein. Their programs have been performed throughout the U.S., Asia, Cuba and Europe.

Born in Guam and raised in California, Mr. Barrett attended the University of California at Berkeley and is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied piano with Paul Hersh, and earned his master's degrees in conducting and piano performance.

Chelsea Shephard.Chelsea Shephard, soprano, has previously appeared in New York Festival of Song's mainstage programs Picnic Cantata/Dinner at Eight and Bel Canto/Can Belto. In addition to her 2017 Carnegie Hall debut in Brahms' Requiem, last season's other highlights included joining the roster of Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as performances of Bach's St. John Passion and B Minor Mass. This season, the "vocally lustrous" (Chicago Tribune) soprano will workshop the title role in a new opera at The Metropolitan Opera, and make her role debut as Purcell's Dido with Madison Bach Musicians in Madison, Wisconsin. Recent operatic roles include Beth in Little Women, the title role in La Calisto, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Lisa in The Land of Smiles, Emily Webb in Our Town, and Poppea in L'incoronazione di Poppea with companies such as Madison Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Haymarket Opera Company, and Caramoor International Music Festival. Ms. Shephard has also been recognized with accolades including an Education Grant from The Metropolitan Opera National Council (2016), appearing as a Finalist for Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Opera Center (2015), and the Jensen Foundation Competition (2014), and First Place in the Handel Aria Competition (2014).

Lucia Bradford.Mezzo-soprano, Lucia Bradford is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. Ms. Bradford has performed a number of operatic roles including Carmen in Peter Brook's La tragédie de Carmen, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, La Principessa in Suor Angelica, The Mother in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges, Mercédès in Carmen, Mrs. Quickly in Falstaff, The Sorceress in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Gertrude in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, Hippolyta in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Miss Todd in Menotti's Old Maid and the Thief, the Duchess of Plaza Toro in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers, Azelia Dessalines in the historic return of William Grant Still's opera Troubled Island, and Maria in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Ms. Bradford has had the privilege of singing and touring in Russia, Budapest, Spain, the Caribbean and throughout the United States.

Annie Rosen.Mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen is a 2017 graduate of the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Opera Center; her performances throughout the apprenticeship were recognized by the Chicago press as "charismatic," "show-stealing," and "soul-crushingly vulnerable." Her six mainstage roles at the Lyric Opera included Tisbe in La cenerentola and Wellgunde Das Rheingold, and she returns to the Lyric as a principal artist this March for Siébel in Faust. Other engagements this season have included recording the role of Susie in A Quiet Place (Bernstein) with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under the baton of Kent Nagano, the leading role of the Stepmother in The Juniper Tree (Glass/Moran) with the Wolf Trap Opera, and Eve in the world premiere of the opera Rev 23 with White Snake Projects.

Ms. Rosen is a fierce advocate of new music; her recent staged performance of Kurtág's Kafka Fragments was called "a flatout triumph" by Opera News. She is a founding member of Cantata Profana, a New York City-based ensemble devoted to vocal and theatrical chamber music; and a contributing member of the Materia Collective, for which she arranges and records video game music. Outside of the Lyric, she has completed apprenticeships at the Santa Fe Opera, Central City Opera, and Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she was a recipient of the Opera Foundation's American Berlin Scholarship. Rosen holds degrees in music and performance from Yale University and Mannes College.

Miles Mykkanen.Miles Mykkanen performs Bernstein's Candide with Arizona Opera and Palm Beach Opera and Britten's The Turn of the Screw for Opera Columbus in the 2017-18 season. He also debuts at the Canadian Opera Company in Robert Lepage's production of The Nightingale and Other Short Fables and joins Cincinnati Opera in a production of Der fliegende Holländer. On the concert stage he is heard in performances of Handel's Messiah with the New Jersey Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony, in concert performances of Verdi's Otello with Robert Spano leading the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the tenor makes his New York Philharmonic debut in a program of highlights from West Side Story conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

Last season Miles Mykkanen bowed in Opera Columbus' new production of Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, in Janáek's Káa Kabanová at Juilliard, and in Candide with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

The tenor is a YoungArts Gold winner and the recipient of prizes from the Sullivan Foundation, Toulmin Foundation, Novick Career Advancement Grant, and Juilliard's Joseph W. Polisi Award. Recently graduated from The Juilliard School with an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies, Miles Mykkanen earned his Bachelor's and Master's degree from the school under the tutelage of Cynthia Hoffmann.

Praised in Opera News as "a gentle actor and elegant musician", baritone Justin Austin has sung principal roles at Landestheater Linz, Grand Théâtre de Genève, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. This season Justin joined Heidelberger Frühling 2017 as a Lied Scholar Artist under the tutelage of Artistic Director Thomas Hampson. Mr. Austin was a Young Artist with the Glimmerglass Opera Festival 2017 and was featured in concert and on the Main Stage singing the role of Jake in George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, directed by Francesca Zambello and covering the role of Elviro in Handel's Xerxes, directed by Tazewell Thompson. The baritone made his return to Carnegie Hall this Fall for his recital debut collaborating with world renowned accompanist, conductor, and composer Damien Sneed. In 2018 Mr. Austin will return to Heidelberger Frühling as a Lied Scholar. He will also make his return to the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as a Principle Artist singing the role of Cal in Marc Blitzstein's Regina, directed by James Robinson and conducted by maestro Stephen Lord. Mr. Austin is a proud graduate of the Manhattan School of Music holding a Bachelor of Music Degree and a Master of Music Degree. Mr. Austin is under the tutelage and mentorship of Catherine Malfitano.

Adrian Rosas.Adrian Rosas, hailed by The New York Times as "a stalwart bass-baritone with a burnished voice" and in Opera News as a "mellifluous bass-baritone [with] theatrical flair", is an emerging young artist with "impressive experience and talent" (The Boston Globe). Mr. Rosas has performed with opera companies such as the Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Saratoga, Houston's Opera in the Heights, and the Detroit Opera House. As a champion of new and modern music, he has had the opportunity to work on a variety of newly written works, including Peter Ash's The Golden Ticket, Robert Xavier Rodriguez's Frida, Petr Kotik's Master-Pieces, Matt Aucoin's Whitman, newly written operas with American Opera Projects and the American Lyric Theater in New York, and with the Ostrava Center for New Music in the Czech Republic. Equally versed in concert and oratorio work, he has performed at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium, Weill Recital Hall, and Zankel Hall), Merkin Concert Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. Mr. Rosas holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School.

Barry Centanni.Barry Centanni is the principal percussionist for the Orchestra of St. Luke's. He is also a member of the New York Pops and principal timpanist for the Gotham Opera, the New Jersey Festival Orchestra and the Center for Contemporary Opera.

His work has included recordings for Sony, Music Masters, Telarc and Deutsche Grammophon as well as appearances on Live from Lincoln Center, The Late Show with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live. As a freelance musician he has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera and with the bands Yes, The Moody Blues, Blues Traveler and Metallica.

A proponent of new music, Mr. Centanni has premiered works written for him by William Kraft and Patrick Ippolito, as well as David Sampson's Black River Concerto for violin, percussion and orchestra written for Mr. Centanni and his wife, New York Philharmonic Principal Associate Concertmaster, Sheryl Staples.

Mr. Centanni holds an MM degree from The Juilliard School and is currently the percussion chair at Montclair State University.

Taylor Goodson.Taylor Goodson is very active as a freelance percussionist in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, participating in performance with members of the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Opera, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's at many notable venues in both New York and New Jersey. He performs regularly with a wide variety of ensembles and has appeared as a soloist on multiple occasions with performances of works such as William Kraft's Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra, Eric Ewazen's Concerto for Marimba, and Béla Bartok's Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion. Also an active composer and arranger, he was selected as a winner of the 2010 Dallas Wind Symphony Fanfare Competition and has received a multitude of commissions for a variety of ensembles. He has written original commissions and arrangements for notable soloists and conductors around the globe, has been published by Row-Loff Productions, and continues to compose for a wide variety of instruments and ensembles. He received his MA from Montclair State University in 2013.

"[New York Festival of Song]... delivered everything that a song recital can achieve, in terms of musical revelation, vocal excellence and audience engagement."

Tim Page, The Washington Post

Photo of Steven Blier and Michael Barrett by Dario Acosta.
Photo of Chelsea shephard by Brett Chisholm.
Photo of lucia Bradford by Reggo Wilson.
Photo of Annie rosen by Simon Pauly.
Photo of Miles Mykkanen by Kristin Hoebermann.
Photo of Justin Austin by Erick Hercules.
Photo of Adrian rosas by Vanessa Rosas.
Photo of Barry Centanni by Barry Centanni.
Photo of taylor goodson by Les Vrtiak.


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