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Sunday

October 18, 2015

3:00 PM at
Stamford United Methodist Church
88 Main St, Stamford NY

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Photo of Raehann Bryce-Davis

Photo of Robert Mellon

Photo of Thomas Muraco

An Afternoon of Songs and Arias

Featuring above, left to right: Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo soprano; Robert Mellon, baritone.
At left: Thomas Muraco, conductor and piano.

Our seventh concert of 2015 features rising opera professionals Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo soprano and Robert Mellon, baritone, who are introduced to Stamford thanks to their mentor and former teacher Thomas Muraco, conductor and pianist in his second performance for Friends of Music.

Hailed by the New York Times as a "striking mezzo soprano," the San Francisco Chronicle also praised Raehann Bryce-Davis for her "wealth of emotional and vocal color." She made a brilliant entrance to the European music scene this past spring as the winner of the 2015 9th International Hilde Zadek Competition at the Musikverein in Vienna as well as at the 2015 Sedat Güel - Güzin Gürel International Voice Competition in Istanbul. At the Zadek competition Ms. Bryce-Davis also was awarded the Supporters and Sponsors Prize, the Media Jury prize, a master class with Christa Ludwig, and a concert at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe in Germany. She also sang the role of Lily in a European tour of Porgy and Bess during the spring season this year.

Raehann Bryce-Davis is a 2014-2015 Florida Grand Opera Young Artist and Merola Opera Program Participant. She has performed numerous opera roles and has many solo concert credits, and has also premiered contemporary music pieces. Ms. Bryce-Davis is also the founder of JamRock Spirituals, a project promoting Jamaican Spirituals in North America and Europe. She earned her Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music in 2012 and continued in Professional Studies there in 2013.

Note that we will be treated to a performance of the duet from Cavalleria Rusticana for which she received lavish praise from the San Francisco Classical Voice at the Merola Grand Finale performance of the San Francisco Opera’s summer program. In a format not unlike the program today, Steven Winn said “This was reckless singing in the best sense — thunderous, scalding, remorseless, all of it brought to life with characters that seemed instantly three dimensional. It was like being air-lifted into the middle of a fully realized production. . . You believed in them absolutely.” For complete details of Raehann Bryce-Davis’ impressive credentials and to hear examples of her work, please visit her Web site at www.raehannbrycedavis.com.

Baritone Robert Mellon was likewise praised by the New York Times when he "sang with colorful flair and myriad shadings . . . with poignancy and dramatic vigor in equal measure" during a performance of Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death. He spent this past summer as a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and as a young artist with PORTopera in Portland, Maine, where he has performed during several summer seasons. Mr. Mellon won equal acclaim this past February as Don Alfonso in Mozart's Così fan tutte, when he was “the charismatic glue of the evening” according to Allegriconfuoco.com; “Anytime he was on stage. . . He was like an old pro up there.”

Robert Mellon earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and did his graduate work at the Manhattan School of Music from 2009 - 2011 with Dona Vaughn, Mignon Dunn and Thomas Muraco. Read more about him and his work at his Web site www.robertmellon.com. (Note: this does not display in the Internet Explorer browser).

Pianist and conductor Thomas Muraco has had a most impressive career and we are quite priveleged to hear him here in Stamford along with his choice of these fine young professionals. Opera News called him an “exceptional painist” who “played with wonderfully articulated tone, and the virtuosic postludes and preludes in this set were magnetic and mesmerizing.”

Continued at right.

 

October 18, 2015

An Afternoon of Songs and Arias

Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo soprano
Robert Mellon, baritone
Thomas Muraco, conductor and piano.

 

Three Browning Songs, Op. 44

“The Year’s at the Spring”
“Ah, Love, but a Day!”
“I Send My Heart Up to Thee”

Amy Beach
(1867-1944)

Ms. Bryce-Davis and Mr. Muraco

 

Aria “Si corre dal notaio” from the 1917-18 opera Gianni Schicchi

Giacomo Puccini
(1858-1924)

Mr. Mellon and Mr. Muraco

 

“Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix” from the 1877 opera Samson and Delilah

Camille Saint-Saëns
(1835-1921)

Ms. Bryce-Davis and Mr. Muraco

 

Songs from the Italienisches Liederbuch

“Ihr seid die Allerschönste”
“Gesegnet sei durch den die Welt entstund”
“Benedeit die sel’ge Mutter”
“Und wirst du deinen Liebsten sterben sehen”
“Geselle, woll’n wir uns in Kutten hüllen”

Hugo Wolf
(1860-1902)

Mr. Mellon and Mr. Muraco

 

“My Man’s Gone Now” from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess

George Gershwin
(1898-1937)

Ms. Bryce-Davis and Mr. Muraco

— Intermission —

 

“Soliloquy” from the musical Carousel

Richard Rogers
(1902-1979)

Mr. Mellon and Mr. Muraco

 

“Habanera” (“L’amour est un oiseau rebelle” or “Love is a rebellious bird”) from the 1875 opera Carmen

Georges Bizet
(1838-1875)

Ms. Bryce-Davis and Mr. Muraco

 

“The Green-eyed Dragon”

Charles Wolseley
(1889-1962)

Mr. Mellon and Mr. Muraco

 

“De España vengo” from the zarzuela El nino judio

Pablo Luna Carné
(1879-1942)

Ms. Bryce-Davis and Mr. Muraco

 

Duet between Santuzza and Alfio, “Il Signore vi manda, compar Alfio!” from the 1890 opera Cavalleria Rusticana

Pietro Mascagni
(1863-1945)

Ms. Bryce-Davis, Mr. Mellon and Mr. Muraco

Thomas Muraco’s musical partners include a veritable “Who’s Who” of singers and instrumentalists with performances at the major concert halls and cultural centers throughout the US, Canada, Central America, Europe and Asia. Mr. Muraco has been lauded for his combination of technical virtuosity, tonal beauty and a unique understanding of the underlying poetry of music. His repertoire is remarkable for its complete range of musical styles, periods and forms.

In addition to his busy performance schedule, Mr. Muraco has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and currently at the Manhattan School of Music where he trains pianists in the art of accompanying and coaching, as well as singers in all aspects of the art. Thomas Muraco often serves as a judge in competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and "De Vive Voix," the annual international vocal competition held in Vivonne, France each October where he has been the jury chairman as well as conductor and performer in the festival. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Art Song Preservation Society of New York.

Please visit Thomas Muraco's Web site at thomasmuraco.com for a more thorough description of his many accomplishments.

Admission is at the door by suggested donation of $12 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and students and anyone under 13 years of age is admitted at no charge. For complete details see our General Information page.

Thank you to all of our donors and especially to the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation for your generous support which makes this concert and our entire season possible.


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