Artist Recital Series

SalON Demand!

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Un raggio di speme - A Ray of Hope

Lila Khazoum, soprano

Alexander Katsman, pianist

Live Event: July 11, 2021 - 5:00 PM

Piedmont Center for the Arts

Offered as both an online HD video, and an in-person event! 

Festival Opera's 2021 season continues with an exciting, live audience event! Featuring Syrian-American coloratura soprano Lila Khazoum with Maestro Alexander Katsman at the piano, this special event will be the first concert presented at the Piedmont Center for the Arts with a live audience since the onset of the COVID pandemic.

Un raggio di speme (A Ray of Hope) is a collection of songs about the beauty of hope, even as it relates to loss and longing for love - so timely as we begin to re-emerge in a world where hope and healing are sometimes in short supply. This program truly resonates with a wide audience, featuring the fireworks of virtuoso arias by Antonio Vivaldi, tender storytelling in Sei ariette by Vincenzo Bellini, heart wrenching impact in the art songs of Georges Bizet, Reynaldo Hahn, and Henri Duparc, and a delightful selection of favorites from the American Songbook.

FO General Director, Zachary Gordin shares: “I am thrilled at the opportunity to highlight this exciting new voice in the opera world with a live performance, and that we are making this performance available online to our friends around the globe. Festival Opera maintains our commitment to seeking out and nurturing exceptionally talented artists, and highlighting diverse voices. I look forward to this event with great excitement, and hope that you'll join us either in person, or in the digital concert space." 

For online viewers, tickets for this SalON Demand performance are available for $40 per household, which includes a link to the HD video performance, available On-Demand to stream to your digital devices and smart TV. Video for the online event will be available to ticket buyers the week following the live event. 

​Following this concert, a video interview with Ms. Khazoum and Festival Opera’s General Director, Zachary Gordin, will be hosted by Director of Social Media, Ruchi Kapila, on our YouTube channel. All ticket buyers will automatically receive a link to this companion offering as soon as it is online. Join us, pour yourself a glass of wine or your favorite beverage and tune in for this fun and inspiring discussion!

* Audience masking and safety precautions will take place in accordance with current city and county regulations. Audience will be notified of protocol in advance of the performance.

And Yet She Persisted: Women in Classical Music

Carrie Hennessey, soprano

 Jennifer Reason, pianist

Release Date: March 28, 2021

5:00 PM

Online Event


Opening Festival Opera's 2021 season, two internationally renowned artists team up for an exquisite program of music by women composers. Carrie Hennessey and Jennifer Reason bring their special brand of joyous synergy to the recital stage, sharing their insight, artistic flair, and sublime musicality.

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“And Yet She Persisted” explores the powerful and diverse world of female composers. You will bask in beautiful melodies and harmonies crafted by Pauline Viardot and Amy Beach. Composer Libby Larsen unmasks the infamous gun wielding Calamity Jane that we perhaps picture in our minds with settings of intimate and honest letters to her daughter toward the end of her life. Jane is revealed in her soaring truth, strength and vulnerability. Julia Seeholzer’s cycle “ Portraits of Disquiet” was originally composed in reaction to the 2016 U. S. presidential election. She could not have known that it would feel even more potent in our present day. As a trans-woman who was raised in the Mormon tradition, the poet, Kendall A. remains off the grid quite purposefully. The first song of this ground breaking cycle is deeply personal, a letter to her mom and dad. The second piece follows as a community outcry for the devastation of Ferguson in 2014. Kendall heightens the drama with quotes directly from Dante’s Inferno in Italian. Barbara Strozzi’s Lagrime Mie, a baroque lament is musically quoted in Seeholzer’s opening line. Her scope broadens even further In the third song, to encompass the wonder and the great tragedy of life; of humanity marching forward through space and time. 


Ms. Hennessey will return later in the Festival Opera season to perform Jake Heggie’s At the Statue of Venus with Jake Heggie at the piano. She is a beloved artist in our community and known for her dramatic ability and fearless commitment to contemporary and rare repertoire. Tickets for FO’s SalON Demand are available for $40 per household which will give you an HD video link, available on demand to stream to your digital devices and smart TV.

Following this digital release, a live chat with the artists and Festival Opera’s General Director, Zachary Gordin will be hosted by Ruchi Kapila on Facebook Live. Ticket buyers will receive an invitation to this live chat event. Join us, pour yourself a glass of wine or your favorite beverage and tune in for this fun and inspiring discussion!


* This series of piano/vocal recitals will be produced in accordance with strict COVID-19 testing and safety measures. The safety of our artists will be secured and assured without compromise. ​