April 7, 2018

Lyric Fest Presents International Opera Stars Bryan Hymel and Irini Kyriakidou in Concert with Pianist Laura Ward


Media Contact: Robert Rimm

 Lyric Fest Presents
International Opera Stars Bryan Hymel and Irini Kyriakidou in Concert with Pianist Laura Ward

Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 3 PM
Church of the Holy Trinity
Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, PA April 6, 2018

As the grand finale to Lyric Fest’s 15th-anniversary season, international opera stars—tenor Bryan Hymel and soprano Irini Kyriakidou—perform in the couple’s first song recital in Philadelphia, joined by pianist Laura Ward.

Bryan Hymel is among the world’s elite tenors, singing on the top international stages and receiving consistent critical acclaim: “unflagging stamina and impetuous abandon” (The New York Times review of his Metropolitan Opera debut in Berlioz’s Les Troyensand “range of expression and vocal power combined with the subtle art of characterization” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). His career began when he won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera and the Metropolitan Opera’s Beverly Sills Artist Award. He has since triumphed at the Opéra national de Paris, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna Staatsopera and Lyric Opera of Chicago, among many others. Also celebrated on the concert stage, he has sung Verdi’s Requiem with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin. This spring sees him in a return to the Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Royal Opera House and Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Hymel’s thrilling debut album roique made the Billboard Classical Music chart and won the Académie Nationale du Disque Lyrique’s Georges Thill Prize and Newcomer of the Year Award from ECHO Klassik.

Hymel has close ties to Philadelphia, having studied at the Academy of Vocal Arts. The Philadelphia Inquirer raved: “Academy of Vocal Arts grad Bryan Hymel sang the leading tenor role of Rodolfo showing his high notes are easily among the best in the business. The rest of his voice is so attractive, and his presence so winning….”

This is a unique opportunity to hear Hymel in both song and opera. He is joined by his wife, Greek soprano Irini Kyriakidou, who has sung leading roles at the Paris Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Zürich Opera, Prague Philharmonia, Greek National Opera and at the Ravenna Festival under the baton of Riccardo Muti.

“It is a special delight to play for my dear friends, Bryan and Irini,” said Lyric Fest’s co-Artistic Director Laura Ward. “Our audiences are in for a treat! Last season we crafted a program to present in Bryan’s hometown, New Orleans, and then had the opportunity to bring that program to Lyric Fest with the help of our 15th-anniversary season sponsors, Randy Apgar and Allen Black. To hear these two artists together, with their consummate musicianship, operatic virtuosity and nuanced performance of art song is a very special opportunity that Lyric Fest is thrilled to offer to Philadelphia. Bryan and Irini are going to raise the roof with their glorious singing for this concert!”

The program opens with Hymel singing Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Four Hymns for Tenor, Viola and Piano. Violist from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Mark Holloway, will join for these songs of praise. Kyriakidou sings Ravel’s effervescent Five Popular Greek Melodies in her native language. The first half concludes with Chansons de Diane, by Lyric Fest’s Composer in Residence, Benjamin C.S. Boyle. The composer and artists had the opportunity to work together this past summer in Paris, resulting in the promise of more collaborations with the couple, the composer and pianist Laura Ward.

The second half gives way to Hymel’s quintessential repertoire that has catapulted him to international stardom. Operatic arias and duets will include “Ah! Le belle ciliege!” (the Cherry Duet from Mascagni’s Lamico Fritz) and Giànella notte densa” (from Verdi’s Otello).

Priority seating and an elegant reception with Bryan and Irini at the Academy of Vocal Arts (1920 Spruce Street) following the concert are available for the ticket price of $150, with general seating at $35. Tickets are available here.

Lyric Fest’s mission is to bring people together through the shared experience of song by offering to diverse audiences lively, theme-oriented voice recitals designed to engage, educate, stimulate dialogue and foster community. LF is committed to expanding the region’s interest in and knowledge of song as an important and relevant art form, and to access through affordable ticket prices. With a growing national reputation for excellence and innovation, LF receives critical acclaim and attention in a number of national publications such as Opera News.

Lyric Fest’s recording, “Daron Hagen: 21st-Century Song Cycles,” has recently been released by Naxos and additional recordings are forthcoming.

Lyric Fest was founded in 2003 by three Philadelphia-area musicians: mezzo-soprano Suzanne DuPlantis, pianist Laura Ward and soprano Randi Marrazzo, with the shared goal of celebrating and revitalizing the song tradition. It has produced and presented over 100 concerts and recitals featuring more than 200 local, regional and national artists, actors, dancers and choral groups.

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