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Bowling Green opera students to perform Mozart and Handel works

From stage lights to sunlight, audiences at Bowling Green State University’s next Opera Theater production will see a double bill of Mozart and Handel. Mozart’s “The Impresario” and Handel’s “Acis and Galatea” will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26, in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

“The Impresario,” one of Mozart’s early works, is a delightful glimpse into the backstage world of opera, complete with rich bankers, poor impresarios and dueling divas. In the comic opera with spoken dialogue, Gottlieb Stephanie’s libretto is combined with Mozart’s score, which he created as an entry for a musical competition.

Originally written in Italian, “Acis and Galatea” is a pastoral tale of love between a demigoddess and a simple shepherd who is threatened by a crude cyclops. The secondary characters provide humor without diminishing the audience’s capacity to sympathize with the main characters.

The production’s co-directors are Darin Kerr, a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Theater and Film, and Dr. Ronald Shields, department chair. Dr. Emily Freeman Brown, director of BGSU orchestral activities, is the musical director. The performance will be sung in English with English supertitles.

The cast of “The Impresario” includes sopranos Rachel Snitzer, a vocal performance major from Forest City, Iowa, in the role of Miss Silverpeal, and Rebecca Eaddy, a graduate student in vocal performance from Milan, Mich., as Madame Goldentrill. In addition to co-directing, Kerr will play the speaking role of Mr. Scruples. Performing the role of Mr. Bluff is baritone Ryan Jones from Columbus, a senior majoring in vocal performance. Tenor John Carmack, a graduate student in vocal performance from Willoughby, will appear as Mr. Angel.

The cast of “Acis and Galatea” will include tenor Greg Ashe from Huber Heights in the tile role of Acis. Galatea will be played by soprano Jing Lin, a graduate student in vocal performance from Putian, China. Also in the cast are Jake Wilder from Van Wert, a senior in vocal performance, as Damond; soprano Amanda Deboer, a doctoral candidate in contemporary studies in vocal performance from Bellevue, Neb., as Demetrius, and mezzo-soprano Kaleigh Butcher, a graduate student from St. Louis, Mo., studying vocal performance, as Octavia. Baritone Stephen Maus, from El Paso, Texas, will perform the role of Polypheme.

Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for senior citizens. On the day of the performance, tickets will be $15 for adults and $12 for students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased at the Moore Musical Arts Center box office weekdays from noon to 6 p.m. or by calling 419-372-8171 or toll-free 1-800-589-2224.

You can learn more about the opera and hear from the performers and faculty by clicking here.

University Choral Society seeks members

The College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University is holding open auditions for the 2010-11 season of the University Choral Society.

The ensemble will perform Handel’s “Messiah” with soloists and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra on Dec. 4 and 5 as part of the symphony’s regular season at the Toledo Museum of Art. On Feb. 4 and 5 the University Choral Society, along with the Collegiate Chorale and A Cappella Choir, will join the Toledo Symphony in performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. To close the season, the ensemble will perform Beethoven’s “Mass in C Major” with the Bowling Green Philharmonic on April 20 in Kobacker Hall.

BGSU director of choral activities Mark Munson directs the chorus. Now in his 21st year on the BGSU faculty, he has led the Collegiate Chorale, A Cappella Choir and University Women’s Chorus. Founder and director of the local vocal ensemble OPUS 18, he is also director of the Lima Symphony Orchestra Chorus. During the 2005-06 school year, Munson lived in Sweden where he conducted and taught choral music. He is a past president of the Ohio Choral Directors Association.

The chorus rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the College of Musical Arts. For more information, and/or to schedule an audition, call the college at 419-372-2186.

Jazz group New York Voices to perform at BGSU

Area audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy the unique vocal style and harmonies of the New York Voices when the a cappella group returns to Bowling Green State University in August. They will be giving three concerts, at 8 p.m. Aug. 3, 5 and 7, in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. The concerts complement the vocal jazz camp taught by members of the multiple Grammy Award-winning ensemble that week.

In a joint concert on Tuesday, Aug. 3, members Peter Eldridge and Lauren Kinhan will perform material from their solo recordings. Bass vocalist Eldridge will preview songs from his soon-to-be released “Mad Heaven,” while Kinhan will debut her just-released project “Avalon” to the Bowling Green audience. Tickets are $5, payable in cash at the door.

On Thursday, Aug. 5, founding members Kim Nazarian and Darmon Meader will perform together. In addition to singing, both serve as arrangers for the group’s musical selections. Tickets are also $5, payable in cash at the door.

The entire New York Voices ensemble will present the Saturday evening, Aug. 7, concert. Rejoining the group will be West Coast vocal entrepreneur Greg Jasperse, who continues to make his mark as an ensemble and solo vocalist in a cappella, vocal jazz and other vocal groups. Tickets are $15, payable in cash at the door or reserved by e-mailing

New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp returns to BGSU

Following rave reviews from last year’s participants and concert attendees, the New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp returns to Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts Aug. 2-8. The camp will once again provide a blend of the group’s style of ensemble singing and soloist virtuosity in both teaching and performing. The multiple Grammy Award-winners return with several new releases in tow.

“Singing at the camp both as a soloist and as part of an ensemble has informed not just my work and performance in jazz, but also my singing in front of rock crowds with my rhythm and blues band,” reported Texas resident Elisha Jordan, a 2009 camp participant.

While this uniquely American art form was the popular music of the 1930s and ’40s, a recent resurgence with such performers as Norah Jones and Michael Bublé has lent the educational efforts of the New York Voices new steam.

In concerts on Aug. 3 and Aug. 5, group members Kim Nazarian, Peter Eldridge, Darmon Meader and Lauren Kinhan will perform material from their solo recordings. Kinhan will have her just-released project “Avalon” to debut to Midwest audiences, and in a joint concert bass vocalist Eldridge will preview material from his soon-to-be released “Mad Heaven.” On Aug. 7, the New York Voices will be featured in concert as the final event of the camp.

Rejoining the group will be West Coast vocal entrepreneur Greg Jasperse, who continues to make his mark as an ensemble and solo vocalist in a cappella, vocal jazz and other vocal groups.

For registration information, visit

BGSU announces 2010-11 Festival Series

In observance of Bowling Green State University’s 100-year centennial, the 31st season of the College of Musical Arts Festival Series 2010-11 promises to be a year of music worth celebrating.

The series opens Oct. 7 with a special centennial celebration concert featuring Branford Marsalis. The world-renowned saxophonist is an instrumentalist, composer and the head of Marsalis Music (the label he founded in 2002), as well as a three-time Grammy Award winner. In residency at BGSU Oct. 6 and 7, his visit is also part of the Dorothy E. and DuWayne H. Hansen Musical Arts Series and will include workshops and clinics.

On Dec. 3, the Louise F. Rees Memorial Concert begins the holiday season with the return of the Empire Brass with Elisabeth von Trapp (cq) in a special program titled “The Sound of Christmas.”

Empire Brass has built a reputation as North America’s finest brass quintet, known for its virtuosity and the diversity of its repertoire, which includes music from Bach and Handel to jazz and Broadway. The five musicians, all of whom have held leading positions with major American orchestras, perform over 100 concerts a year in cities around the world.

Elisabeth von Trapp, the granddaughter of the legendary Maria and Baron von Trapp, has been singing professionally since childhood. Building on her family’s passion for music, she has created her own artistic style, her repertoire stretching from Bach and Schubert to Broadway and Sting.

The series will continue on Feb. 5 with pianist Robert Levin. An artist renowned for his restoration of the classical period practice of improvised embellishments and cadenzas, his performances of Mozart’s and Beethoven’s works have been hailed for their active mastery of the classical music language. Levin is also a noted theorist and Mozart scholar.

On Feb. 26, in celebration of Black History Month, the Bowling Green Philharmonia and soloists will present a special evening of selections from George Gershwin’s immortal American opera “Porgy and Bess.” Gershwin melded classical music, popular song, jazz, blues and spirituals in this American masterpiece. It tells the poignant story of a crippled beggar, the headstrong woman he loves and the community that sustains them both.

The series will culminate on April 7 with a performance by the nationally recognized River North Chicago Dance Company. The dynamic professional company was founded in 1989 for the purpose of cultivating and promoting Chicago’s wealth of jazz dance talent. With a commitment to creating an accessible, enriching experience for audiences, the company dedicates itself to presenting works that demonstrate depth and sophistication.

All Festival Series performances will be held at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

Season subscription prices are $155, $124 and $90 for adults. A special student section subscription is available to all students for $75.

Single tickets, available Oct. 8, vary from $10 to $47 depending upon the concert.

For subscription information, call the box office weekdays from noon-6 p.m. at 1-800-589-2224 or 419-372-8171; email, and/or visit