Artist Recital Series

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And Yet She Persisted: Women in Classical Music

 

Carrie Hennessey, soprano

 Jennifer Reason, pianist

March 21, 2021 - 5:00 PM

Piedmont Center for the Arts


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.

“And Yet She Persisted” highlights the lives, conflicts, and genius of these under-celebrated composers and extraordinary women. Pauline Viardot spent her life juggling careers as a performer, composer, and teacher. Alma Mahler was told by her husband to quit composing and only focus on his work, and only 14 of her songs have survived. Amy Beach had to publish her works under the name of “Mrs. HHA Beach” as one of the conditions of her marriage, and also was mandated to keep public performances and all composing strictly limited. Libby Larsen has given us the music for a song cycle with text by one of the most infamous women of the Wild West, Calamity Jane. This stunning work reveals the struggle of a singular, tender soul, who was a pioneer on many frontiers.

 

Ms. Hennessey will return to the Festival Opera Mainstage in August of 2021 to perform Jake Heggie’s At the Statue of Venus at the Lesher Center for the Arts, with Jake Heggie at the piano! 

 

** Pro tip: take some time to mix/mingle with fellow music lovers, and snap a selfie with the artists at our hosted happy hour with wine and bites, immediately following the performance.

Un raggio di speme - A Ray of Hope

 

Lila Khazoum, soprano

Alexander Katsman, pianist

May 23, 2021 - 5:00 PM

Piedmont Center for the Arts

 

The second recital of Festival Opera's 2021 season features Lila Khazoum, an exciting coloratura soprano emerging on the Bay Area music scene, accompanied by Maestro Alexander Katsman at the piano. 

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A collection of songs about the beauty of hope, even as it relates to loss and the longing for love. So very timely in a world where hope and healing are sometimes in short supply. This program truly has something for everyone: from the fireworks of virtuoso arias by Antonio Vivaldi, the tender storytelling of Sei ariette by Vincenzo Bellini, the heart wrenching art songs of Georges Bizet, Reynaldo Hahn, and Henri Duparc, and it ends with a delightful selection of favorites from the American Songbook. 

 

Ms. Khazoum will return to Festival Opera Mainstage in August of 2021 to perform the role of Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen at the Lesher Center for the Arts.

** Pro tip: take some time to mix/mingle with fellow music lovers, and snap a selfie with the artists at our hosted happy hour with wine and bites, immediately following the performance.

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Walnut Creek, CA 94596

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