Opera Superstar Sets Sights on Great American Songbook
The great mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe steps off the opera stage to appear in an intimate duet recital with pianist Warren Jones in a program entitled “All American Song” at 8 p.m., Friday, February 1, 2013, at Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The performance is sponsored in part by Venü Magazine. A pre-performance discussion with Laura Nash, Fairfield University associate professor of music, takes place at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are: $55, $45, and $35.
The world-renowned Stephanie Blythe has starred on opera stages in the U.S. and Europe including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the Opera National de Paris. Ms. Blythe regularly appears in productions at the Metropolitan Opera, including in the Met’s new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, “Der Ring des Nibelungen.” She also stars in this season’s “Un Ballo in Maschera”and appeared in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra's presentation of “Carousel.” Just prior to her performance at the Quick Center, she will have completed another starring role in the Metropolitan Opera’s “Il Trovatore,” as the gypsy Azucena. As one of today’s most popular and respected vocal superstars, Ms. Blythe is also a champion of the Great American Songbook. She tours nationally with her “All American Song” program plus a separate Kate Smith retrospective. Her “All American Song” recital at the Quick Center is part of a current tour that culminates later this year with an encore performance in Lincoln Center's American Songbook series and recital in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium.
Ms. Blythe has premiered several song cycles written for her including “Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson” by the late James Legg, which is featured on the Quick Center program and “Vignettes: Ellis Island,” also by Alan Smith and featured in a special television program entitled “Vignettes: An Evening with Stephanie Blythe and Warren Jones.” The Quick Center program also includes music by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, the songwriting team of Buddy Desylva, Lew Brown, and Ray Henderson, and others.
Pianist Warren Jones, who was named as "Collaborative Pianist of the Year" for 2010 by the publication Musical America, is Principal Pianist for the California-based chamber music group Camerata Pacifica. He is a member of the faculty of Manhattan School of Music as well as the Music Academy of the West and received the “Achievement Award” for 2011 from the Music Teachers National Association of America, their highest honor. Three times he has been an invited guest to the White House to perform for state dinners. A graduate of New England Conservatory, he currently serves on its Board of Visitors and has been honored with the Doctor of Music degree from San Francisco Conservatory. His discography contains more than 25 recordings. His newest musical ventures include conducting, and he will return to the podium for performances of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” in 2013.