Shortly after winning the 2015 Grammy for Best Opera Recording, UW Senior Artist-in-Residence Stephen Stubbs has been nominated yet again, for his collaboration with Paul O’Dette and Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra on a CD featuring Agostino Steffani’s 3-act opera Niobe, regina di Tebe. This recording includes the stellar singing of Philippe Jaroussky and Karina Gauvin.
The University of Washington vocal department has been enjoying yearly collaborations with Stubbs, most recently with his production of Cavalli’s Calisto (directed by Zach Winokur) in January 2016. DMA, MM, and BM students of Kari Ragan, Tom Harper, and Cyndia Sieden sang the roles, accompanied by and ensemble early music instrumentalists led by Stubbs on harpsichord and Maxine Eilander on Baroque violin. Stubbs has also been active in conducting the UW Chamber Singers in a series of Handel Messiah concerts last December.
University of Washington vocalists and instrumentalists shone brightly in the second of a series of planned collaborations with Pacific MusicWorks, as evidenced in this glowing Seattle Times review by Melinda Bargreen. Bargreen writes, “One of the most positive environments for music students is the opportunity to perform alongside excellent professionals. At the University of Washington School of Music, the new partnership with the pros – in this case, the much-lauded Pacific MusicWorks – is providing bonuses for both students and audiences in the stellar new production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” The production was directed by Dan Wallace Miller with musical direction by Stephen Stubbs.
Next year the two organizations will launch Gluck’s “Orphée” May 20, 21 and 22nd, 2016. Ticket information available here.
Three graduate students in vocal performance currently preparing roles for Magic Flute, produced via a partnership between Pacific MusicWorks and University of Washington, enjoyed a masterclass last month with newly appointed artists-in-residence Stephen Stubbs and Cyndia Sieden.
Stubbs offered an in-depth lecture discussing the origin of Magic Flute and Mozart performance practice tips. Alexandra Picard (a student of Tom Harper), Emerald Lessley, and Katrina Deininger (both students of Kari Ragan) received detailed feedback from Sieden, an internationally renowned soprano known for her interpretation of Mozart roles.
More information about the May performances of Magic Flute is found here.
Check out this Seattle Times review about last weekend’s stunning production of Handel’s Baroque opera Semele! There is much cause for celebration in the success of this collaboration between the choir and voice divisions at UW and Pacific MusicWorks. The chorus consisted of members of Chamber Singers, UW Chorale, Men’s Glee and Recital Choir. Students in solo roles included Chris Kouldukis, Emerald Lessley, Christina Kowalski-Holien, Joseph Muriello, Brianna Atwell and Dakota Miller. Next year’s production will be Mozart’s Magic Flute- tune back for more details soon.
Semele (click here for video), the first collaboration between UW Opera Program and Pacific MusicWorks, is now selling tickets for this unforgettable production, featuring professionals working alongside students in every aspect of the show, including students playing historical instruments in the pit, directed by Stephen Stubbs. Rehearsals are in full swing in Meany Hall, and chorus members are amazed at the ways in which their parts have been developed into a “lead” of sorts by LA based stage director James Darrah. A highly physical, dynamic series of choreographed scenes with projection and special lighting will amaze you, and Sunday’s cast will feature UW graduate and undergraduate voice majors in the lead roles. Don’t miss this innovative and remarkable production!
Dr. Ragan initiates new vocal health study
Trials have started using singers from the University of Washington voice department, as part of a national study initiated by Dr. Kari Ragan entitled “The Pedagogical Basis for Vocal Cool Down Exercises.” The purpose of the study is to determine whether “cool downs” can have a beneficial effect for singers in a similar way to “warming up.” Here at UW we are very excited to be at the cutting edge of new discoveries in voice science!
Nationally acclaimed voice specialist Dr. Ingo Titze visited the University of Washington campus last week, and met with students in vocal performance and speech and hearing sciences. His visit demonstrates the exciting possibilities inherent in collaborations between our two departments. Special thanks to Dr. Ragan for her leadership in bringing Titze to campus!