Opera Bites

MIRROR

An Immersive Song Cycle Experience

Schumann's Frauenliebe und -leben

Argento's From the Diary of Virginia Woolf 

January 6 - 8, 2017
 

People Rave

 

“...Mirror is a touching, thought-provoking evening of music theater that will have you discussing not just the lives and loves of women then and now, but also the brave, bright future of young opera companies such as this one .”

Boston Music Intelligencer http://www.classical-scene.com/2017/01/08/boc-mirror/

“....contrasting the song cycles is a beautiful idea, made more elegant by the choice to stage the show piece by piece in the labyrinthine Zabriskie House mansion at the Longy School of Music. What a wonderful concept, realized in immersive detail..”

The New England Theater Geek

http://www.netheatregeek.com/2017/01/11/mirror-immerses- audience-in-both-moving-show-and-modern-complexities-of- womanhood/#more-2889

Come celebrate the New Year with us as we present two stunning song cycles in an immersive performance that pairs Schumann’s beloved Frauenliebe und -leben with Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf – a physical and musical journey through the lives of two women separated by a century of changing expectations and aspirations.

Drinks and hors d’oeuvres served before, during and after the event.

 

Both works explore eight moments from the lives of two women: the first, a young woman falling in love, and the second, a celebrated writer falling into depression and madness.

 

Staged in rooms throughout Longy’s historic Zabriskie House mansion, this production allows 15 patrons at a time to follow the characters throughout the house.

 

The performance lasts approximately 80 minutes.

Performed in German and English with piano accompaniment.

Originally developed in partnership with

Longy School of Music of Bard College.

 

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In this immersive experience, you'll hear two song cycles

performed in rooms throughout Longy's Zabriskie house

 

In each room, two singers and a pianist perform one song from each cycle

before leading you and a small group of audience members through the halls,

the down staircases and around the hidden recesses of this magnificent old mansion,

taking you to the next room and the next pair of songs. 

As you move from room to room, you'll also move through the moments - 

some slight, some monumental - that shape the lives of two women 

separated by a century of change.

 

The Experience

Cast & Creative Team

Visit "our people" for full biographies

Cast

Tascha Anderson
Tascha Anderson

Tasha hails from Missoula, Montana. She is active on the roster for Boston Lyric Opera and BOC and earned her MM from The Boston Conservatory. In 2015, Ms. Anderson was awarded 3rd Place in Opera and the Encouragement Award in Art Song from The American Prize, and this year was a finalist in the professional divisions of both the National Opera Center’s Dominick Argento Competition and the Classical Singer Competition. Festivals include Seagle Music Colony and Chautauqua Opera.

Britt Brown
Britt Brown

A native of Winter Park, FL, Ms. Brown holds a BM with Honors from Stetson University and a MM from the Boston Conservatory. Boston-based mezzo-soprano Britt Brown's 2015-16 season included winning the 1st Place prize in the NATSAA recital competition for the New England Region, and the Lee Cass Award at the National Competition in Chicago. Recent performances with Boston Opera Collaborative, MetroWest Opera, Beth Morrison Projects, and Boston Midsummer Opera.

Julia Cavallaro
Julia Cavallaro

Julia received her master’s degree from Boston University and bachelor’s degree from Harvard College. She has performed with the Boston Early Music Festival, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, Emmanuel Music, and Handel and Haydn Society. Festivals include the Amherst Early Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, International Baroque Institute at Longy, Pacific MusicWorks, and the Vancouver Early Music Festival.

Rhaea DAliesio
Rhaea DAliesio

Rhaea is a Boston-based soprano who received her Bachelor of Music degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Master of Music degree from the Longy School of Music. She is equally at home in opera, art song, lieder, and oratorio. She is also a lover of musical theatre and has most recently appeared as Maria (West Side Story) in Durban, South Africa, as well as a tribute to the beloved music of Stephen Sondheim in Mission Viejo, California.

Carley DeFranco
Carley DeFranco

A native of Rush, New York, Carley completed her MM at the Longy School of Music of Bard College and her BM from the American University. She has appeared here and abroad with Emerald City Opera, the Bach Sinfonia, the Polymnia Choral Society, the BACH Orchestra in Yekaterinburg, Russia, the Vladimir Symphony Orchestra, the American University Symphonic Orchestra and Chamber Singers, the Madrigirls of Glasgow, Scotland, and Emmanual Music.

Shannon Grace
Shannon Grace

Shannon obtained her MM from The Boston Conservatory and her BM from Ithaca College. Performances with BOC include: Opera Bites in 2015 and 2016 and Our Town. She has performed with MetroWest Opera in Hansel and Gretel, NEMPAC in Die Fledermaus, and was a Resident Artist at the Atlantic Music Festival singing scenes from Rigoletto and L’elisir d’amore. She was top 20 finalist for the Classical Singer Competition – Young Artist Division.

Krista Laskowski
Krista Laskowski

Krista received her BM and MM in Vocal Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In 2015 as a Young Artist with Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theater, Krista covered the roles of Aldonza, Antonia and Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha. She has also performed with Central City Opera, Odyssey Opera, Boston Opera Collaborative, MetroWest Opera, New Voices Opera and the Bay View Music Festival.

Susannah Thornton
Susannah Thornton

Susannah received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of New Hampshire and received her Master of Music degree from Longy School of Music of Bard College. While earning her undergraduate degree at the University of New Hampshire, Thornton performed the role of L’Enfant/ L’Enfant et les Sortileges) as well as studying Hermia/Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dorabella/Cosi fan tutte), and Cherubino/The Marriage of Figaro. Companies include Opera by the Bay in Hingham, MA.

Creative Team

Jean Collier - Music Director
Jean Collier - Music Director

Jean Anderson Collier is a guest artist in our performance. Please scroll down on this page for her full bio.

Patricia Au - Music Director
Patricia Au - Music Director

Patricia Au is a guest artist in our performance. Please scroll down on this page for her full bio.

Brendon Shapiro - Music Director
Brendon Shapiro - Music Director

Brendon Shapiro is a guest artist in our performance. Please scroll down on this page for his full bio.

Chelsea Whitaker - Music Director
Chelsea Whitaker - Music Director

Chelsea Whitaker is a guest artist in our performance. Please scroll down on this page for her full bio.

Greg Smucker - Stage Director
Greg Smucker - Stage Director

Greg studied with the late Wesley Balk, a noted pioneer in the field of singer-actor training. Greg was co-founder and artistic director of 15 HEAD, a critically acclaimed experimental theater company in Minneapolis and served as managing director of Theatre for Young America in Kansas City, a professional theater for children. Greg served for seven years on the faculty of the New England Conservatory and is currently a faculty member of the American Institute for Musical Studies.

Patricia Weinmann - Stage Director
Patricia Weinmann - Stage Director

Weinmann has worked with Opera on the James, Utah Opera, Syracuse Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Seagle Music Colony, Boston Lyric Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Boston, Ashlawn Opera Festival, and American Opera Project. Weinmann has served on the faculties of both the Boston Conservatory and the New England Conservatory and is guest director for Utah Opera’s Young Artist Program. She is currently on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Austria.

 

The Works

Frauenliebe und -leben

Music by Robert Schumann

Text by Adelbert von Chamisso

Cast

Julia Cavallaro

Rhaea D'Aliesio

Carley DeFranco

Susannah Thornton
 

Accompanied by piano

Creative Team

Music Directors:

Jean Anderson Collier

Patricia Au

Brendon Shapiro

Chelsea Whitaker

Stage Directors:

Patricia Weinmann

Greg Smucker

About Our Guest Artists

Jean Collier: Music Director

Dr. Jean Anderson Collier is the principal opera coach at Boston Conservatory and also teaches diction courses and coaches privately.  She is also a vocal coach at New England Conservatory of Music where she works in the opera department, coaches privately, and teaches diction and art song courses.  She is also active as musical advisor and coach for the Boston Opera Collaborative, and is the organist and choir director at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Scituate, MA.

Patricia Au: Music Director

Widely known for her vivacious playing, Canadian collaborative pianist Patricia Au leads an active performing and coaching career. In the past several seasons, she has toured throughout North America and Europe performing opera and art songs and worked with Boston-based organizations such as Boston Opera Collaborative, Opera on Tap and Phoenix.  Currently based in Boston, Patricia Au is pursuing a doctoral degree at New England Conservatory majoring in Collaborative Piano where she is also part of the coaching staff. Most recently, she joined the coaching staff at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and served as Education Pianist for Boston Lyric Opera's Education Outreach Programs.

 

Brendon Shapiro: Music Director

Brendon Shapiro is a versatile pianist, vocal coach and conductor with a specialty in opera and a passion for contemporary music. He has worked for numerous companies including Boston Lyric Opera, Opera NEO, Boston Opera Collaborative, MetroWest Opera, Opera Fayetteville, North End Music and Performing Arts Center, Opera on Tap and Juventas New Music Ensemble.

Brendon is currently serving as a staff pianist at Boston University, the organist for First Parish in Arlington, MA and the assistant music director for the Boston Saengerfest Men's Chorus. He has also been on faculty as a vocal coach at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. As a freelance pianist, Brendon is frequently sought out for recitals, competitions, concerts, auditions, recording sessions and coachings.

Brendon has enjoyed working outside of the classical music scene as well. He served as musical director for the first four seasons of the newly renovated Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock, NY. In a performance praised by the Boston Globe, he appeared in a production of Master Class with the New Repertory Theatre portraying Manny, the onstage pianist. In addition, he has performed as a featured soloist with Video Games Live with whom he also recorded a solo piano album, Through Time and Space, which became a #1 bestseller on Amazon.com.  

Brendon holds a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano Performance from Boston University and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Ithaca College School of Music where he won the Mary Hayes North Piano Competition Award.


 

Chelsea Whitaker: Music Director

Chelsea Whitaker is a collaborative pianist in the Boston area, enjoying a diverse career   involving art song, opera, chamber, musical theatre, worship, and choral performances in the United States and Europe. She is in high demand for her supportive and reliable collaboration, coaching, and teaching. A native of Kansas, she received her Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City: Conservatory of Music and Dance under the instruction of Dr. Robert Weirich. She continued her studies at the University of Southern California: Thornton School of Music and received her Master's degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts in 2014, studying under Dr. Alan Smith.


Chelsea has performed in the masterclasses of Susan Graham, John Moriarty, Barbara Bonney, Margo Garrett, Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Emma Kirkby, and numerous others. Her most recent work in the Boston area has included serving as the assistant music director and keyboardist for Show Boat at the Shubert theater; Liederabend concerts with New England Conservatory and the Boston Art Song Society; a performance of John Heiss’ Songs from James Joyce with the NEC Contemporary Ensemble in Jordan Hall, coached and directed by the composer; and a salon-style performance collaborating with Greer Grimsley and Luretta Bybee. Chelsea currently studies under Cameron Stowe and Jonathan Feldman at New England Conservatory, where she is working on her DMA.

chelseawhitaker@yahoo.com

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