South Carolina Young Artists to Perform
Not every young singer dreams of being Elise Testone and singing on American Idol, for some the dream is to sing on stage at The Metropolitan Opera or even La Scala.
For a select group of three South Carolinasingers the journey has begun as they perform with the Charleston Chamber Opera on May 6th.
Selected to participate in Charleston Chamber Opera’s Young Artists’ concert, “Songs for the Spirit –Opera and the African American Experience,” Darius Gillard, baritone; Ginger Jones, mezzo soprano; and Taylor Johnson, lyric soprano are getting a boost from the opera company. These talented, classically trained singers native toSouth Carolinahave sung in other cities, and now they will be in the spotlight inCharleston.
Patrice Teiedemann and Lara Wilson of the CCO auditioned young singers and hand-picked these singers with the desire to showcase their voices.
Charleston Chamber Opera offered their first intimate opera experience in 2008. Their performances in conjunction with Piccolo Spoleto and The Gibbes Museum of Art allow music lovers to experience, in a less grand way, the vocal literature of opera. Believing small is better, Charleston Chamber Opera returns the experience of opera to performance practices frequently used in 19th century inAmerica—crafting interesting concert presentations built around a theme. Less intimidating than fully staged grand opera, the audience viscerally experiences “up-close and personal” of the power of the human voice.
These are the first young artists selected through an open auditions process held by the four-year-old Charleston Chamber Opera’s Young Artists Program. Artistic Director Patrice Tiedemann said she selected these native South Carolinians, “for their voices and their potential. I’m always looking to put a twist on the performances.”
Tiedemann says of the upcoming performance, “We are featuring pieces from Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha because it is a neglected work—most people have only heard of Scott Joplin in relation to the Maple Leaf Rag and his connection the ragtime genre. For this operatic concert performance, singers will also sing pieces from other African American composers’ art song collections and operas. The world of African American music is not just spirituals, and certainly not just Porgy and Bess, a wonderful work, but written by a white Jewish composer.”
Immediately prior to the performance Berkeley County high school student and young artist Courtney Pourciaux will sing. Charleston Chamber Opera is featuring this young singer to assist her in gaining attention and support for her summer studies.
Sunday, May 6, 3pm-- Songs for the Spirit—Opera and the African American Experience; excerpts from Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha and other African American composers. Tickets $15 for museum members and students. $25 for non-members (museum admission included in the ticket price). Purchase online at www.gibbesmuseum.org/events, or Gibbes Museum Store, or by calling 722-2706 x22. Advance purchase recommended.
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