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Presenting

Jennifer Aylmer
Thomas Muraco

Sunday

September 17, 2017

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

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  Photo of Jennifer Aylmer   Photo of Thomas Muraco

Pictured above, left to right:Jennifer Aylmer, soprano and
Thomas Muraco, conductor and piano.

American soprano Jennifer Aylmer has developed a sterling reputation for her beautiful voice, compelling stage portrayals and impeccable musicianship. The New York Times has hailed her for her “awesome accuracy,” while The Chicago Sun-Times has recommended that listeners “bask in the aural delight of Aylmer’s dazzling shifts from regal command to cool insouciance and fatally attractive seduction.”

A passionate concert performer, Ms. Aylmer will be appearing in recitals across the United States this season, including appearances with the Stonington Opera House Series, Lyric Fest! in Philadelphia, the Carnegie Mellon University Faculty Concert Series, and with contemporary music groups Nat28 in Pittsburgh and with Kyo-Shin-An Arts in NYC.

Aylmer's prolific roster of performances include appearances with the Metropolitan Opera, Dallas Opera, Portland Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, New York City Opera, Minnesota Opera, Florentine Opera, Opera Boston, Atlanta Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Orlando Opera, Utah Opera, the Aspen Festival, Kentucky Opera, Berkshire Opera, Austin Lyric Opera and Wolf Trap Opera. She is particularly noted for her work in newly composed American music, including her 2005 Metropolitan Opera debut as Bella in the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy. Other premieres in the operatic arena include Martha in Kirke Meachem’s John Brown with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Rowena in Augusta Read Thomas’ Ligeia and as Cynthia Reid in Bernard Rands’ Belladonna with the Aspen Music Festival. At Houston Grand Opera she created the role of Amy in Mark Adamo’s Little Women. She may also be seen as Papagena in the first world-wide HD broadcast of The Magic Flute from the Metropolitan Opera, and on the 2012 release “The Opera America Songbook” in Kevin Puts’ composition You need song.

Ms. Aylmer is a graduate of The Eastman School of Music, Westminster Choir College, and the Juilliard Opera Center. She has been inspired by many mentors and she is especially indebted to her late teacher, soprano Rita Shane.

Thomas Muraco “is simply one of the finest collaborative artists before the public today; his contributions were models of complete support and specific understanding — they were songs without words.” (Richard Dyer, Boston Globe) Mr. Muraco has earned such accolades through a combination of technical virtuosity, tonal beauty and a unique understanding of the underlying poetry of music. His performances in major concert halls throughout the United States, Canada, Central America, Europe, and Asia reflect his command of a repertoire remarkable for its complete range of musical styles, periods and forms. He has been praised for his insightful interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms, Wolf, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Poulenc, and premieres of William Schuman and George Perle.

Mr. Muraco has partnered with distinguised musicians such as Adele Addison, John Aler, Martina Arroyo, Arleen Augér, John Cheek, Phyllis Curtin, Mary Dunleavy, Faith Esham, Maureen Forrester, Denyce Graves, Ben Heppner, Henry Herford, Ying Huang, Sumi Jo, Susanne Mentzer, Chris Merritt, Roberta Peters, Hermann Prey, Twyla Robinson, Jennie Tourel, Benita Valente and Dolora Zajick, and instrumentalists John Graham, Wolfram Koessel, Robert Mann, Arnold Steinhardt, Zara Nelsova, Ransom Wilson, Peter Winograd, and the American and Shanghai String Quartets. Highlights of his career include appearances at The White House, the Library of Congress, the Aspen, Banff, Bermuda, Casals, Cincinnati May and Ravinia Festivals, and on recital series at New York's major concert halls and at museums, universities and cultural centers throughout the US, Europe and Asia.

Mr. Muraco has recorded on the Serenus, CRI and Musical Heritage labels, including a program of music for viola and piano by Britten, Shostakovitch, Bergsma and Shapey with John Graham as well as a Liederabend of Brahms with contralto Maureen Forrester on CBC records.

In addition to his busy performing schedule, Mr. Muraco has been a member of the faculties of the Cleveland Institute of Music, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and is presently on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music. There he trains pianists in the art of accompanying and coaching, as well as singers in all aspects of the art. He has taught master classes for pianists and singers at the Aspen and Banff Music Festivals and the St. Louis Conservatory as well as at the Eastman School of Music. In such master classes he emphasizes the unique relationship of poetry and music in all aspects of the vocal repertoire, bringing to bear his extensive knowledge of languages — French, Italian, German and Portuguese among others. Influential teachers in Thomas Muraco's own training include Brooks Smith at the Eastman School of Music, from which he graduated with distinction, and Jeaneane Dowis at the Aspen Festival and in NYC, and conductors David Gilbert and John Nelson.

 

September 17, 2017

The Art of Song

Jennifer Aylmer, soprano
Thomas Muraco, conductor and piano

Eduardo Toldrà (1895-1962)
Canço de grumet
A l’ombra del lledoner

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Seligkeit
Die Forelle
Ganymed
Wandrers Nachtlied
Gretchen am Spinnrade

Heitor Villalobos (1887-1959)
Samba Classico
Canço de Cristal
Azulão

Intermission

Hugo Wolf (1860-1903)
From Spanishisches Liederbuch
Sagt, seid Ihr es, feiner Herr
In dem Schatten meiner Locken
Bedeckt mich mit Blumen
Geh, geliebter, geh jetzt!

Richard Hundley (b. 1931)
Strings in the earth and air
Seashore girls
Astronomers
Moonlight’s watermelon

Ricky Ian Gordon (b. 1956)
Joy
Will there really be a morning?
Coyotes

Program subject to change.

Admission is at the door only 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. Refreshments are served after the concert catered by A Taste of Europe Restaurant.

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.


In August 2000 he conducted Lakmé in Tel Aviv for the International Vocal Arts Institute and at the Manhattan School of Music La Bohème in 2000, La Traviata April 2001 and Carmen in April 2002. La Cenerentola was his debut with Opera San José in September 2002, in 2003 Die Zauberflöte, Idomeneo in January 2004 at Opera Mc Gill, Madama Butterfly, Don Giovanni, Dialogues des Carmélites, Il Tabarro/ Gianni Schicchi, Rigoletto, Falstaff, Lucia, Faust, Hänsel und Gretel, Capuleti e i Montecchi, Lakmé, Luisa Miller and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Don Pasquale, La voix Humaine with Suor Angelica all at the Manhattan School of Music in his Opera Repertory Ensemble where he prepares and conducts the chorus and the principles. In April 2015 he made his debut with Tri-Cities Opera to critical acclaim conducting Faust.

Often asked to judge competitions, Thomas Muraco has been the chairman of the jury of the annual international vocal competition held in Vivonne, France, “De Vive Voix” at which festival he conducted a program of opera scenes in 2007 and in 2008 performed “Die Winterreise” to great acclaim. In August, 2012 he was the Music Director of a new training program in Siena, Italy in which he conducted Orlando of Händel and Suor Angelica of Puccini and in the summer of 2013 assisted John Nelson at the Santa Fe Opera on Le Nozze di Figaro as well as performing and teaching at the Banff Centre and at Opera Advantage. He judges the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions every year and is on the Advisory Board of the Art Song Preservation Society.


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