Bach Festival Orchestra and Chorus
Friday, July 14th, 7:30 PM
Soprano Jamie-Rose Guarrine is acclaimed for her vibrant vocal beauty, charming stage presence, and accomplished musicianship. Of her portrayal of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Opera News described her as "a natural object of attraction for the men in the play," her voice as "light, flexible and vibrant — well suited to the part of a scheming maid and romantic ingénue."
In the 2011-12 season, Jamie-Rose sang the role of Olympia in Les contes d'Hoffmann with Wolf Trap Opera Company, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte with Austin Lyric Opera, Maria Celeste in Galileo Galilei with Madison Opera, Cis in Albert Herring with Los Angeles Opera, and Xanthe/Aphrodite in Lysistrata with Fort Worth Opera. She was a featured soloist in the 2011 Christmas Spectacular with Madison Symphony Orchestra, and Brahms' Requiem with the Santa Fe Orchestra. In the 2012-2013 season she reprises her Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro for both Florentine Opera and Austin Lyric Opera. Additional engagements for the upcoming season include Papagena with Opera Omaha and her debut with Memphis Opera as Judy Atkins in Lee Hoiby's This is the Rill Speaking.
In the summer of 2008, Ms. Guarrine made her debut with Santa Fe Opera as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. The following season, Ms. Guarrine sang Mabel inThe Pirates of Penzance with Kentucky Opera, Susanna in Utah Opera's Le nozze di Figaro, Nella in Gianni Schicchi and the roles of Fire, Nightingale and Princess inL'Enfant et les Sortileges with Opera Company of Philadelphia, and appeared in concert with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the St Paul Chamber Orchestra. Most recently she sang with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica as the soprano soloist in Orff's Carmina Burana, and returned to Santa Fe Opera as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte and Cis in Albert Herring, as well as an appearance as a guest soloist with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Engagements for the 2010-2011 season included Adina in L'elisir d'amore with Opera Fairbanks and a return to the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica for Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, her Chicago Opera Theater debut as Cleonte in Medee.
Ms. Guarrine returned to the San Francisco Opera's prestigious Merola Program in 2007 where she sang the role of Veronique in the world premiere of Hotel Casablanca by Thomas Pasatieri, "... Bringing a winning vulnerability to the role of the aspiring actress." (San Francisco Chronicle) During her tenure as a Resident Artist with The Minnesota Opera, Ms. Guarrine sang Zerlina in Don Giovanni, which was hailed by Opera News as "feminine and fresh voiced," and "a scene-stealing surprise" by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She also performed Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and La Coloratura in Joseph Merrick: The Elephant Man. Ms. Guarrine returned to The Minnesota Opera stage as a Guest Artist in 2008, for the American premiere of The Fortunes of King Croesus under the baton of Harry Bicket with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, of which the Wall Street Journal stated, "Guarrine displayed sparkling coloratura clarity."
Ms Guarrine is the recipient of numerous awards, notably the Santa Fe Opera, Central City Opera, Jensen Foundation, as a 2007 Sullivan Foundation Award Winner, and a first place winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the Wisconsin and Minnesota Districts.
Julie Cross (mezzo-soprano) is a singer and voice teacher in Nebraska, where she is Director of Music at the Unitarian Church of Lincoln, teacher at SNJ Studios in Omaha, staff at Doane College, and performs in the Lincoln and Omaha areas. She has served on the faculties of Seattle Conservatory of Music, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (tenured Associate Professor), Barry University, and Florida International University. She is a recent past Treasurer for the International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM.) She regularly performs new music, and has sung at both national and international IAWM annual events and the Festival of Women Composers International. She has also published frequent CD, concert, and book reviews for the Journal of the IAWM.
Dr. Cross has performed with the Omaha Symphony (Jan. 2017), Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, Chautauqua Institution, Lake Chelan Bach Festival, Sonict New Music Ensemble, South Beach Chamber Ensemble, the Ann Arbor Art Song Festival, Friday Noon Musicales at First Unitarian Society, and has sung many oratorios, recitals and master classes throughout the U.S. Five of her performances have been aired live on Wisconsin Public Radio through the Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen Art Museum program. She recently performed solo and chamber recitals in Maine, Wisconsin, Washington, and New York state.
Julie and pianist Susan McDaniel recorded a CD entitled Songs of Forgotten Women with Audio for the Arts. Her performance of Aunt Hannah in William Mayer’s A Death in the Family was recorded on the Albany Records label and received a positive review in the New York Times. She has degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Michigan, and has studied additionally at the Centro Studi Italiani in Italy. Her primary teachers were Daune Mahy, Marlena Malas, and Shirley Verrett, and she also studied with George Shirley, Hilda Harris, Richard Miller (pedagogy) and Martin Katz.
Tenor Mel Foster is an Associate Professor of Voice and Chair of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences at Morehouse College. Dr. Foster has a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where he was a student of John Maloy and his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara where he was under the tutelage of Elizabeth Mannion. Most recently, he has greatly benefited from the mentoring of Victor Roman.
A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Dr. Foster believes his experience at the Brevard Music Festival as a teenager heavily influenced his decision to commit his life to singing. Since then, he has had the opportunity to be engaged in opera, oratorio, and recital performances in the United States and Europe. In the 19 years that Dr. Foster has taught at Morehouse, he has enjoyed rewarding performance and teaching experiences. Endeavoring to create more roles for African-American operatic tenors, he has premiered more than ten roles and solos for the Americolor Opera Alliance, a performing arts organization for which he is now the Artistic Director. Along with being interested in the lost art of intimate operatic singing, most recently, Dr. Foster has become interested in the vital role that the Arts play in sustaining culture.
Highlights of his performances have been with the Americolor Opera Alliance in the role of Ellington Dupont in The Bridge(premiere), Johnnie Washington in Carmen J(premiere), as Alonzo Herndon in The Herndons, as Missouri in The Great Divide(premiere),as Melchior in 3Kings and a Prince, as Ransom in Madame CJ(premiere), as Ray Grayson in The Pink Lady(premiere), as Aleph in The Candlers(premiere), and role Sam in The Opera Singer(premiere). With the Atlanta Opera, he performed the role of Nelson in their historic 2008 european tour of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Other performances have been in Salt Lake City in The Life of Roland Hayes and the Moor Tenors' Project; tenor soloist in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Fairbanks Symphony and the Macon Symphony: the Rome Festival as Ferrando in Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte in Rome ,Italy; twice performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a nationally broadcasted event entitled A King Celebration in memory of the Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; as a featured soloist with the Atlanta Chamber Players; Mozart's Requiem with the Augusta Choral Society; tenor soloist in Bach's St. John's Passion with the St. Paul's Bach Society; and tenor soloist in the Verdi's Requiem with the Interlochen Arts Festival Philharmonic.
As Associate Professor of Voice at Morehouse College, Dr. Foster gives a number of performances and masterclasses annually.
Charles Robert Stephens’s career spans a wide variety of roles and styles in opera and concert music. His performances show “a committed characterization and a voice of considerable beauty.” (Opera News) At the New York City Opera he sang the role of Professor Friedrich Bhaer in the New York premiere of Adamo’s Little Women, and was hailed by The New York Times as a “baritone of smooth distinction.” Since his debut as Marcello in La Bohème, Mr. Stephens’ New York City Opera roles include Frank in Die Tote Stadt, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and 43 performances as Germont in La Traviata on tour across the US.
Mr. Stephens has sung on numerous occasions at Carnegie Hall in a variety of roles with the Oratorio Society of New York (St. Matthew Passion), the Masterworks Chorus (Messiah), and Musica Sacra (Lord Nelson Mass). Carnegie Hall performances with Opera Orchestra of New York have included roles in Otello, Lucrezia Borgia, and Adriana Lecouvreur.
Mr. Stephens’ many operatic roles include Rigoletto (National Theater of Taiwan), Amonasro (El Paso Opera), Germont (Montevideo, Uruguay and Minnesota Opera), Rodrigo (Boston Bel Canto), Count di Luna (Boston Bel Canto), Gianni Schicchi (Buffalo Opera), Tonio ( Di Capo Opera), Enrico (Connecticut Opera), Sharpless (National Theater of Santo Domingo), the Barber in Figaro (Hawaii Opera) and many others, with leading opera companies throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Memorable engagements include the role of the blind Tiresias in Niobe, Queen of Thebes with the Boston Early Music Festival, Scarpia in Tosca and Rigoletto in Spokane, Belcore, Sharpless and Escamillio with the Helena Symphony, Britten’s Cantata Misericordia in Tacoma and Seattle, Verdi’s Requiem in Philadelphia, Messiah with the Santa Fe Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony, Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony with the Tacoma Symphony, The High Priest in Samson and Delilah in Birmingham and the Bach St. John Passion with Portland Baroque and the Northwest Sinfonietta.
Festival appearances include performances at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, the Methow Chamber Music Festival, the Spoletto Festival, Whidbey Island Music Festival and the Bellingham International Festival. Mr. Stephens appeared on CUNY TV in New York City as a featured artist with “Regina Resnik Presents.”
Notable engagements include Elijah with Seattle Pro Musica and Portland Chamber Orchestra, Carmina Burana with the Hartford Symphony, Haydn’s Creation with the North Carolina Symphony and Opening Night 2014 with the Seattle Symphony.
Last season included performances of the Monteverdi Vespers with Pacific Musicworks, Messiah with Tacoma Symphony and Bellevue Ballet, Brahms Requiem in Missoula and Olympia, the title role in Rigoletto with Northwest Lyric Opera, Bach B Minor Mass with Seattle Pro Musical, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War with the Northwest Sinfonietta and Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte with City Opera Bellevue.
This season will bring performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Yakima and Spokane Symphony, Messiah in Helena, Tacoma and Vashon Island, the world premiere of John Muhlheisen’s Passion of Rudyard Kipling with Choral Arts, Jeffrey L. Moidel’s Four Love Sonnets with the Lake Union Civic Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with Northwest Sinfonietta and various recitals and chamber music concerts in the Seattle area.
Mr. Stephens maintains an active voice studio in Seattle and teaches voice at PLU.
Noted for his “polished, atmospheric performances”, violinist Tarn Travers has performed throughout the Unites States, Europe, and Japan as a soloist and a chamber musician. He is an accomplished performer of classical repertoire from early works to contemporary masterpieces and in 2001 was a prizewinner at the Heifetz Guarneri auditions, which led to a performance on the historic “ex-David” Guarneri, the favored violin of Jascha Heifetz.
Travers spent three years as a violinist in the New World Symphony, where he often led the orchestra as concertmaster under numerous conductors, including Michael Tilson Thomas, baroque expert Ton Koopman, and new music specialist Susanna Mälkki. During his tenure with the New World Symphony, he appeared three times as a soloist (once in every season) to perform the music of Béla Bartók, Ramiro Cortés, and Chen Yi. After giving the world premiere of Maria Newman’s Triple Concerto, he was asked by the composer to record the piece, which was released in 2010.
Tarn is currently a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra, and was Principal Second Violin of the Festival Orchestra for the International Beethoven Festival in Chicago in 2012 and 2013, where he also performed chamber music as a part of the Prometheus Ensemble live on WFMT.
Recent performance highlights include an Austrian tour of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto that culminated in a performance in Vienna’s Konzerthaus, a performance at the Library of Congress with new music group Ensemble Dal Niente, and concerti, recitals, and chamber music performances from coast to coast. He recently completed a week long residency with Ensemble Del Niente at Harvard University, where the group worked directly with composers and performed their music.
Travers served on the faculty of Luther College for four years, beginning in 2010. During his tenure, he performed as a member of the Luther College Piano Quartet and released a CD of chamber music by Beethoven, Brahms, and Brooke Joyce (2011). His love of teaching has taken Travers to far flung locations such as Haiti and Austria, where in 2014 - 2015 he joined the faculty of AlpenKammerMusik in the Austrian Alps to teach, coach and perform chamber music. He regularly performs master classes as part of his touring schedule. In 2015, Travers joined the faculty at the DePauw University School of Music to teach violin and chamber music. He holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Stony Brook University, where his primary teachers included Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster William Preucil, concert violinists Camilla Wicks and Axel Strauss, and Emerson Quartet violinist Philip Setzer.