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"Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is just twenty-four, but he's already a countertenor on the rise." - Opera News
"Dominique McCormick, whose superlative vocals complemented a wonderful expressiveness and impeccable comic timing. McCormick’s interpretation revealed natural acting talent, and it was thrilling to watch her command the stage." - Houstonia Magazine
Bach Goes Greek
Saturday, May 16 at 7:30 pm
Zilkha Hall / Hobby Center For The Performing Arts
Our 2019/20 season finale brings the full ensemble to the stage with six outstanding singers, for an evening of Bach cantatas with characters drawn from Greek mythology. Bach and his librettist turned the legendary competition between Phoebus (Apollo) and Pan into a lively singing contest, and so does Ars Lyrica. Tara Faircloth directs Bach’s comic masterpiece and Matthew Dirst conducts.
Phoebus & Pan, BWV 201
Tönet ihr Pauken, BWV 214
SOLOISTS & FEATURED ARTISTS
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Recently recognized in the 2019 GRAMMY® Awards, 25-year-old American countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is one of opera's most promising rising stars. First Prize Winner and Audience Choice Award recipient at the 2018 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, in his breakout 2016-2017 season, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen was awarded the Grand Prize of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was the recipient of a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. He was First Prize winner of the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition, and winner of the Irvin Scherzer Award from the George London Foundation. His first commercial recording project - the world premiere recording of Kenneth Fuchs' Poems of Life with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta - was recently honored with a 2019 GRAMMY® Award in the Best Classical Compendium category, which honors albums with multiple soloists and multiple works. Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen joined San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship program in autumn 2018 and he makes a main stage debut with the Company as Medoro in Orlando in a bold new production by English director Harry Fehr in summer 2019 under the baton of Christopher Moulds. Performances of the season also include the role of David in Handel’s Saul with Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, including for his debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Ottone in Handel’s Agrippina in staged performances with Ars Lyrica Houston conducted by Matthew Dirst and directed by Tara Faircloth, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Matthew Dirst and the Portland Baroque Orchestra, the world premiere of a ballet by Yuri Possokhov with the San Francisco Ballet, and a gala concert with American Bach Soloists, with whom he then records his debut solo album. He covers the role of Polinesso in Handel’s Ariodante conducted by Harry Bicket at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The New York City native became the first countertenor in the history of the Houston Grand Opera Studio where he was a member during the 2017-18 season. His performances for the company included the roles of Nireno in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Second Maid in Strauss' Elektra, both under the baton of Music Director Patrick Summers. He made his Cincinnati Opera debut in a new production by Zack Winokur of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea conducted by Gary Thor Wedow and appeared in concert programs of Bach and Handel with the American Bach Soloists and with Ars Lyrica Houston. Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen made his European debut at the Theater an der Wien singing Timante in Gluck's Demofonte with Baroque ensemble Il Complesso Barocco, under the baton of Alan Curtis. His opera roles also include Nerone and Ottone in Monteverdi's L’incoronazione di Poppea, Raphael (The Angel) in Jonathan Dove's Tobias and the Angel, The Son in Philip Glass’ The Juniper Tree, and Cefalo in Cavalli's Gli Amori di Apollo e Dafne. The artist’s experience in the world of sacred music is no less impressive and highlights include serving as the alto soloist in Bach’s Magnificat with the Leipzig Barockorchester in the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Germany. Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from Princeton University (with a concentration in Intellectual and Cultural History) and was awarded academic certificates in Vocal Performance and Judaic Studies. During his senior year, he became the first singer in a decade to win the Princeton University Concerto Competition and he was awarded the Isidore and Helen Sacks Memorial Prize for extraordinary achievement in the arts, granted each year by Princeton University to the student of greatest promise in the performance of classical music.
Dominique McCormick is a lyric soprano from New York known for her “superlative vocals complimented with wonderful expressiveness and impeccable comic timing” (Houstonia). She received her undergraduate and masters degrees from the Eastman School of Music. She continued her education and professional experience in France performing oratorio and operatic works with, l’Orchestre Nationale des Pays de la Loire, Théâtre d’Asnières, Théâtre du Tambour Royal and upon her return to the United States, singing with Opera America, Ars Lyrica and Opera in the Heights in Houston. She is currently finishing her doctoral dissertation on the vocal works of Marital Caillebotte. She is also proud to be the Co-Founder/owner and Artistic Director of Century Fine Arts, a music and fine arts school in Sugar Land, TX.
Praised by the New York Times for his "beautifully shaped and carefully nuanced singing," tenor Derek Chester is steadily making a name for himself in the world of classical singing. In demand as an interpreter of oratorio, Chester has appeared as soloist with such organizations as Boston Baroque, Ars Lyrica Houston, the Korean Broadcasting System Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Colorado Symphony, the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, the Pacific Chorale and Orchestra, Bach Collegium San Diego, and the American Bach Soloists. He holds degrees from University of Georgia and the Yale School of Music as a full scholarship recipient. After a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, Chester competed his Doctorate in Music from the University of North Texas. As a well-regarded pedagogue Chester participated in the 2016 NATS Intern Program and has given master classes across the country. He currently serves on the voice faculty at the University of Northern Colorado and continues his worldwide career as an interpreter of concert repertoire.
Christopher Bozeka, an alumnus of the prestigious Houston Grand Opera Studio, is quickly becoming recognized for his “expressively captivating” performances as well as his “beautiful, piercing tone” (San Francisco Chronicle). He recently debuted at Glimmerglass Festival as Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd, and returned to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as First Jew in Strauss’ Salome. In the summer of 2017, Mr. Bozeka debuts with Opera Project Columbus as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi.In the 2016-17 season, Mr. Bozeka returns to Houston Grand Opera as Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and Pedrillo in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail. He debuts with Opera Columbus Ohio as Pedrillo, Albany Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Musical Bridges Around the World San Antonio as soloist in a Mozart Opera Gala. During his association with Houston Grand Opera Studio, Mr. Bozeka has performed in Tosca as Spoletta, Carlisle Floyd’s new opera Prince of Players as Male Emilia, Le nozze di Figaro asDon Curzio, and The Little Prince as the Drunkard/Lamplight. He also joined San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program in their production of Gianni Schicchi for which Opera News praised his “handsome, open-throated rendering of Rinuccio's aria,” and Castleton Festival’s production of Madame Butterfly as Pinkerton. Christopher Bozeka is first place prizewinner of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in Ohio, and second place winner in Houston’s Eleanor McCollum Competition in 2015. He received his master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music, where he appeared as Nemorino, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, and the Narrator in Owen Wingrave.
Baritone Mark Diamond joins Ars Lyrica in the middle of a decorated and flourishing singing career. Mr. Diamond has sung leading roles in the distinguished young artist programs of Houston Grand Opera Studio, Glimmerglass Opera, Merola Opera, and Aspen Music Festival. Notable major role debuts include the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Marcello in La Boheme, John Proctor in The Crucible, Count Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music, and many more. He has sung professionally across the globe in concert and operatic works with organizations such as Houston Grand Opera, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Opéra de Limoges, Théâtre de Caen, Opéra de Reims, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Mercury Orchestra, as well as others. Mr. Diamond is on the voice faculty at Baylor University, is a doctoral candidate at University of Houston and holds degrees in voice from both Rice University and Georgia Southern University.
Baritone Thomas Glass is a 2018-2019 Studio Artist at Houston Grand Opera, where this season he makes his role debut as Marcello in La bohème, Alvaro in Florencia en el Amazonas and covers the title role in Don Giovanni. Additional season debuts include Marcello with Des Moines Metro Opera. In the 2017-2018 season with Houston Grand Opera, Mr. Glass made his role debut as Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, performed Baron Duphol in La Traviata, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Officer Krupke in Bernstein’s West Side Story. Further assignments in the season included the cover of Achilla in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto. He joined Wolf Trap Opera to sing Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, and appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra as the baritone soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. In the 2016-17 season, Mr. Glass was a Resident Artist at Minnesota Opera, where he made his professional debut as Capulet in Roméo et Juliette. He created the role of Gustave in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight and made his role debut as Schaunard in La bohème. Other assignments included covers of Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, Donner in Das Rheingold, and Dan Packard and Dr. Talbot in Dinner at Eight. In the summer of 2017, the baritone participated in the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, where he was featured in the Schwabacher Concert, performing Athanaël in Massenet’s Thaïs and singing Ford’s Monologue from Verdi’s Falstaff in the Grand Finale Concert.