Lyric Fest has collaborated with singers, composers, choirs, actors, dancers, visual artists, and narrators to present a distinctly different concert experience.
Designed for the aficianado and newcomer to song alike, LYRIC FEST is equally noted for scholarship and fun, presenting artists of upcoming, national and international status, heard in the intimate setting of song. Experience what critics have called. “AN IRRESISTIBLE MIX OF HIGH ART AND HUMANE FEELING…AS ENTERTAINING AS A WELL-MANAGED PARTY.” – Tom Purdom, Broad Street Review
Charlotte Blake Alston
Charlotte Blake Alston performs in venues throughout North America and abroad. Venues are wide and include the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, the Kimmel Center, the Women of the World Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, prisons, detention centers and a refugee camp in northern Senegal.
Personal Website: www.charlotteblakealston.com
Praised as "especially moving" by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, soprano Christine Lyons uses her fearless presence and creative approach to enthrall her audiences in Europe and America.
Soprano Cristina Nassif is acclaimed on the operatic and concert stage for her "powerful, expressive voice and electric stage presence” (The Washington Post on her Vitellia with Washington National Opera). In roles that include Violetta, Musetta , Rosina, Vitellia, Donna Elvira, Countess Almaviva, Tatiana, Santuzza, Nedda as well as Carmen, critics have praised her versatility as singer and actress.
Personal Website: http://www.cristinanassif.com/biography.asp
Daron Aric Hagen
Daron Hagen (b. 1961, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was recognized in 2014 by the American Academy of Arts and Letters with an Academy Award citing his "outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledging the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice," an extraordinary statement, since his effusively eclectic works blend with subversive fluency Renaissance polyphony and extended vocal techniques, 40s Americana and electro-acoustic soundscapes, ambient sound installations and opulent multi-media verismo operas, 60s folk rock and Weimar agitprop, sprawling Modernist sound mass works and exquisitely-wrought art songs.
Personal Website: http://www.daronhagen.com/
Harold Evans joined the faculty of Westminster Choir College of Rider University as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Voice in September 2007. In addition, he maintains studios in New York City and Philadelphia, where he teaches classical voice, coaches singers and teaches conducting. Mr. Evans also has a significant background in operatic, orchestral and choral conducting.
Personal Website: http://www.rider.edu/faculty/harold-evans
Jake Miller is an actor, director and artist educator living & working in the Philadelphia area. He is co-founder and currently chairs the Board of Directors for Yes! AndÄ Collaborative Arts, a youth development organization that uses the collaborative work of theatre to build character and community.
Jean Bernard Cerin
JEAN BERNARD CERIN has charmed audiences throughout the United States, France, Austria and his native Haiti. This season, Jean Bernard will sing the bass solos in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Mendelssohn Club, Javert in a concert version of Les Miz at St. Joseph’s University, and make his debut with Philadelphia’s premier early music ensembles Piffaro and Tempesta di Mare in a program of German Renaissance music.
Personal Website: http://duo1717.com/
Jeffrey Brillhart is Director of Music and Fine Arts at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr, PA and on the music faculty at Yale University, where he teaches organ improvisation. He is also Artistic Director of Philadelphia's famed Singing City Choir.
Personal Website: http://www.jeffreybrillhart.com/
As a composer, John's Choral and Orchestral works have received much acclaim and are performed frequently all over the world. His works have been premiered by an array of artists including Lorin Maazel, Marin Alsop, Denyce Graves, Donald Nally & The Crossing, Deborah Voigt, Antioch Chamber Ensemble, Jeffrey Brillhart & Singing City, and Sir James Galway _ at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Lincoln Center.
Personal Website: http://www.johnconahan.com/
John Moore is garnering praise for his energetic performances and burnished baritone in both operatic and concert repertoire. The upcoming 2015-2016 season sees several significant company debuts for the baritone including: Seattle Opera, as Count Almavivia in Le nozze di Figaro; the Bayerische Staatsoper, as Adario in Les indes galantes; Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (Lisbon), as Thoas in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, Florida Grand Opera, as Tadeusz in The Passenger;Portland Opera, as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, and Opera Omaha, as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Personal Website: http://www.moorebaritone.com/
Composer and pianist John Musto is regarded as one of the most versatile musicians before the public today. His activities encompass virtually every genre: orchestral and operatic, solo, chamber and vocal music, concerti, and music for film and television. His music embraces many strains of contemporary American concert music, enriched by sophisticated inspirations from jazz, ragtime and the blues.
Personal Website: http://www.johnmusto.com/
JONAS HACKER is an up and coming tenor from Lake Delton, Wisconsin, praised for his beauty of tone, innate musicality, and intuitive interpretation, especially in the operas of Mozart. He currently attends the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he studies voice with William Stone.
Personal Website: http://www.avaopera.com/education/resident-artists/jonas-hacker/
In the 2014-15 season, Mezzo-soprano Katherine Pracht made a role debut as Sharon Falconer in Elmer Gantry with Florentine Opera; another role debut as Ariel in the World Premiere of Joseph Summer's The Tempest for The Shakespeare Concerts in Somerville, MA; followed by Covering the role of Baroness –Nica” in Daniel Schnyder's Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD commissioned for Opera Philadelphia; and performing the role of Flora Bervoix in Opera Philadelphia's La Traviata.
Personal Website: http://katherinepracht.com/
A noted interpreter of Mozart and bel canto repertoire as well as Benjamin Britten and many of today's living composers, Keith Phares is regarded as one of his generation's most versatile artists.
Personal Website: www.keithphares.squarespace.com
The music of Kile Smith is praised by critics and audiences for its emotional power, direct appeal, and strong voice. Gramophone hailed the –sparkling beauty” of his music, calling Vespers –spectacular.” The Philadelphia Inquirer called it –ecstatically beautiful,” American Record Guide, –a major new work,” Audiophile Audition, –easily one of the best releases of the year of any typeÄ a crime to pass up,” and Fanfare, –a magnificent achievement.”
Personal Website: http://kilesmith.com/
Pianist and Co-founding Artistic Director of Lyric Fest,LAURA WARD has been gracing Philadelphia audiences with her powerful, sensitive accompanying since arriving here in 1998. As a distinguished collaborative pianist she is known for both her technical ability and vast knowledge of repertoire and styles.
Student Actor, Lyric Fest debut in "A Neighborhood of Friends".
The work of composer and pianist Michael Djupstrom (b. 1980) has been honored with first prizes in the international composition competitions of the UK's Delius Society, the American Viola Society, the Chinese Fine Arts Society, and has been further recognized through awards and grants from institutions such as the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Charles Ives Fellowship, Charles Ives Scholarship), Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (Pew Fellowship), New Music USA, S&R Foundation (Grand Prize, Washington Awards), Meet the Composer, the American Composers Forum, the Acad_mie musicale de Villecroze, and the Sigurd and Jarmila Rislov Foundation, among many others. The Music Teachers National Association named him its 2005 MTNA-Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year.
Personal Website: http://www.michaeldjupstrom.com/
Soprano Michelle Johnson has been praised for her "extraordinary breath control and flawless articulation. Her voice is velvety and pliant - a dulcet dream." A highlight of Ms. Johnson's 2011/12 season was her debut with Opera Company of Philadelphia as the title role in Puccini's Manon Lescaut.
Personal Website: http://www.belcantoglobalarts.com/johnsonbio.php
Possessed of a powerful voice and striking stage presence, Misoon Ghim has appeared on the stages of the New York City Opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, and with Opera Delaware as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Most recently she appeared with the Daegu International Opera Festival as Amneris in Aida. The New York Times' Bernard Holland praised Ghim's New York City Opera performance as –first rate," and Clive Barnes raved of her –dramatic sensitivity" in the role of Suzuki.
Personal Website: http://www.misoonghim.com/
Hailed for his warm, expressive sound and winning way with the audience, baritone Randall Scarlata enjoys an unusually diverse career. He has appeared as soloist with top orchestras and on important concert stages throughout the world. Mr. Scarlata is particularly well known for his interpretations of German Lieder and American Art Song.
Personal Website: http://www.randallscarlata.com/
Praised by Opera News for "the agility with which she negotiated her beautiful upper register", soprano Sara Duchovnay continues to garner critical acclaim for her performances across the country.
Personal Website: http://www.saraduchovnay.com/
For over half a century, Singing City has been Philadelphia’s premier avocational chorus, committed to bringing people of diverse races, creeds and backgrounds together under the common purpose of music making. Singing City grew out of the Fellowship House movement, and has been deeply engaged not only in creating a community of mind and purpose in Philadelphia, but also in other civil rights and social justice movements since the 1950s.
Personal Website: http://www.singingcity.org/
STEVEN LABRIE, a native of Dallas, Texas, is a recent graduate of The Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia, PA and is beginning to attract attention for his beautiful timbre, expressive singing and dramatic presence.
Personal Website: www.stevenlabrie.com
Mezzo-soprano Suzanne DuPlantis is a widely appreciated artist who is featured regularly as soloist throughout the region. Noted for her moving renditions of songs and for her intimate way with an audience, Ms. Duplantis “deeply imprints the music with her personality with great emotional underpinning” (The Philadelphia Inquirer).
Tenor TONY BOUTTÉ made his professional operatic debut as Orfeo in the groundbreaking Monteverdi Cycle with Skylight Opera of Milwaukee. Since then he has appeared in a wide range of roles, including Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Acis in Handel’s Acis & Galatea with soprano Elizabeth Futral, and Gandhi in the Philip Glass opera Satyagraha.
Personal Website: http://www.tonyboutte.com/
American baritone Troy Cook recently performed his first Ford in the Hamburgische Staatsoper’s Falstaff following his debut with the company as Marcello in La bohème, and debuted with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte.
Personal Website: http://www.troycookbaritone.com/