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ABOUT THE STUDENTS
Chelsea Rose Friedlander, a native of New Jersey, holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music in Vocal Performance. Favorite roles include Marie in La Fille du Régiment, Sophie in Werther, and the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel. Recently, Chelsea sang the roles of Mabel in the Pirates of Penzance and Adele in Die Fledermaus with Ridge Light Opera Company of New Jersey. Chelsea won Second Place in the 2010 Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition and Honorable Mention in the 2010 Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition. Chelsea will be singing the role of Papagena in The Magic Flute this year with Manhattan School of Music’s Opera Studio Outreach Program. Chelsea is pursuing her Master of Music degree at Manhattan School of Music, and studies with Maitland Peters.
Baritone Nickoli Strommer is a first-year Master's degree candidate at the Manhattan School of Music where he is a student of Mark Oswald. Performance highlights include John Buchanan in Hoiby's Summer and Smoke and baritone soloist for Haydn's Creation and for Orff's Carmina Burana. This spring, he will be performing Ford in Verdi's Falstaff. In the summer, Nickoli will appear as a Studio Artist at Chautauqua Opera.
Baritone Robert E. Mellon is a second year Master’s degree candidate at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Mignon Dunn. He is a recipient of the Mae Zenke Orvis Endowed Opera Scholarship and the Edgar Foster Daniels Scholarship in Voice at Manhattan School of Music. Robert has been mentioned in Opera News Magazine as a “sonorous voice” and “a winning Figaro.” Parterre.com referred to him as a “sure voiced and very funny Figaro” and Mundoq.com stated Mellon as being a “baritone with a promising future.” Previous credits include Le Nozze di Figaro (Figaro), Rigoletto (Monterone) and Penelope (Eumee) at Manhattan School of Music, Gianni Schicchi (Gianni Schicchi), and L’egisto (Apollo) with the Crane School of Music, The Merry Widow (Cascada) with the Altamura Center in Roundtop, New York, and Bastien und Bastienne (Colas) with Opera Manhattan Repertory Theatre. Scene work includes Cosi Fan Tutte (Don Alfonso) at the Crane School of Music and Don Giovanni (Leporello) with the Curso Internacional de Musica in Aveiro, Portugal. Robert spent the 2010 summer in Provo, Utah studying under Dolora Zajick at the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices and in Blacksburg, Virginia with Joan Dornemann, Mignon Dunn and Sherrill Milnes at the International Vocal Arts Institute. In addition to recitals, his solo work includes performances with the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Sinfonia, Orchestra of Northern New York and Crane Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Mellon was the winner of the 2008 northeast regional NATS competition for senior men and the recipient of the George W. Blaha Award for outstanding vocalist at the Crane School of Music.
American tenor Brett Sprague is a Master’s Degree candidate at Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Mark Oswald. He has performed titles such as L’elisir d’amore (Nemorino) at the Tuscia Operafestival, Cosi fan tutte (Ferrando), Signor Deluso (Leon), Gianni Schicchi (Rinuccio) and Die Fledermaus (Eisenstein) with Opera Chapman. Scene work includes Don Pasquale (Ernesto) with the Metropolitan Opera Guild, Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio) and La Perichole (Piquillo) at Manhattan School of Music, Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Hoffmann) and A Little Night Music (Liebslieder) with Opera Chapman, and Die Zauberflöte (Tamino), La Boheme (Rodolfo) and Werther (Werther) at the Tyrolean Opera Program. Brett has performed extensively as a recitalist on the west coast and as soloist for many major choral-orchestral works including credits with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra and the Idyllwild Arts Festival Ensemble. This spring Brett is scheduled to sing Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff as well as La Voz en la Fragua in de Falla's La Vida Breve at the Manhattan School of Music, and scenes from Rossini’s Le Comte Ory with the Metropolitan Opera Guild.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
American baritone Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular international career as a recitalist, opera singer, and recording artist, and maintains an active interest in teaching, research, and technology. He has performed in all of the world’s most important concert halls and opera houses with many of today’s most renowned singers, pianists, conductors, and orchestras. He is one of the most important interpreters of German romantic song, and with his celebrated “Song of America” project, has become the “ambassador” of American song. Through the Hampsong Foundation, founded in 2003, he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.
A significant part of Hampson’s 2010-2011 seasons is dedicated to performances celebrating the 150th anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s birth and the 100th anniversary of his death. Recognized as today’s leading interpreter of the Austrian composer’s songs, he performs Mahler in many of the world’s musical capitals with orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the NDR Sinfonieorchester, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, and the Czech Philharmonic with conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Manfred Honeck, Mariss Jansons, Philippe Jordan and Antonio Pappano. He also features the composer’s songs in a series of recitals in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Vienna, Zurich, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Milan, Madrid, and Oslo, and presents the complete songs as “Mahler Artist-in-Residence” at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. His new recording of Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Wiener Virtuosen – a conductor-less ensemble comprised of the principal players of the Vienna Philharmonic – will appear on Deutsche Grammophon in January 2011.
Additional highlights this season include season-opening performances in the title role in a new production of Verdi’s Macbeth at Lyric Opera of Chicago; three all-Strauss concerts with Renee Fleming and the Berliner Philharmoniker; selections from George Crumb’s American Songbooks performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; “Song of America” recitals at Duke University and Minnesota Beethoven Festival; and the world-premiere of William Bolcom’s Laura Sonnets, written especially for him. In Switzerland, he performs at the Zurich Opera in new productions of Verdi’s I Masnadieri and Wagner’s Parsifal under Adam Fischer and Daniele Gatti, and appears in a series of opera galas.
Raised in Spokane, Washington, Hampson has received many honors and awards for his probing artistry and cultural leadership. His discography of more than 150 albums includes winners of a Grammy Award, two Edison Prizes and the Grand Prix du Disque. He holds honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music, Whitworth College, WA, and the San Francisco Conservatory, and is an honorary member of London’s Royal Academy of Music. He carries the titles of Kammersänger of the Vienna State Opera and the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France, and in 2008 was named Special Advisor to the Study and Performance of Music in America by Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress. In 2010, he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received the “Living Legend” award from the Library of Congress.
For more information please visit www.thomashampson.com.