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Rose. Yende. Brancy. Polenzani. Deshayes.

2014-15 Season

RoseOct 19, 2014
Matthew Rose
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YendeNov 6, 2014
Pretty Yende
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Brancy Dec 10, 2014
John Brancy
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PolenzaniJan 14, 2015
Matthew Polenzani
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DeshayesFeb 3, 2015
Karine Deshayes
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CargillApr 7, 2015
Karen Cargill
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NYFOSApr 30, 2015
New York Festival of Song
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Vocal Arts DC
PO Box 42423
Washington, DC 20015
202-669-1463
info@vocalartsdc.org


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University of Maryland Opera Studio
Wagner Society DC

 

2014-2015 Season


With six outstanding singers, ranging from established stars to those still on the brink of international fame, all making Washington, DC recital debuts, plus the return by popular demand of New York Festival of Song, we are delighted to introduce our exciting 2014-2015 season. As our nation's only subscription concert series dedicated exclusively to the presentation of classical song recitals, we are proud to offer our patrons extraordinary quality at exceptional value, as well as enough variety in programming to provide something for all tastes. A superbly gifted singer, fully immersed in great music and poetry, accompanied only by piano or chamber ensemble, can transport us and make the world seem a better place, lifting our spirits, offering solace, providing catharsis. As an audience, we share in the visceral and emotional immediacy of that experience together. The Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, with its marvelous acoustics and unmatched intimacy, is an ideal venue in which to enjoy every vocal and interpretive nuance.

Single tickets are now on sale through the Kennedy Center box office for all seven concerts. Full season subscriptions and mini-series subscriptions are also available directly from Vocal Arts DC.

2013-2014 Season Brochure

Click here to purchase a Full Season Subscription.

Click here to purchase a Mini-Subscription.

Click here to purchase Individual Tickets.

More Information (Season Brochure PDF) ..........................................................................................................................................

'My Favorite Song'

Welcome to the monthly feature of the Vocal Arts DC web site in which guest contributors select one song that has a special, personal meaning for them, sharing specific reasons about why they find the music and lyrics irresistible, and choosing a performance that they feel ideally captures the spirit of that song.

Welcome to the monthly feature of the Vocal Arts DC web site in which guest contributors select one song that has a special, personal meaning for them, sharing specific reasons about why they find the music and lyrics irresistible, and choosing a performance that they feel ideally captures the spirit of that song.

From John Brancy, baritone.

Charles Ives: "Tom Sails Away"

John Brancy makes his Washington recital debut in collaboration with pianist Peter Dugan on December 10, under the auspices of Vocal Arts DC's Gerald Perman Fund for Emerging Artists. They have selected a program they have christened, "Silent Night: A Centenary Tribute to WWI through Song," featuring works by, among others, Ivor Gurney, Maurice Ravel, Charles Ives, and George Butterworth.

Scenes from my childhood are with me,
I'm in the lot behind our house upon the hill,
A spring day's sun is setting, mother with
Tom in her arms is coming towards the garden;
The lettuce rows are showing green.
Thinner grows the smoke o'er the town,
Stronger comes the breeze from the ridge,
'Tis after six, the whistles have blown,
The milk train's gone down the valley
Daddy is coming up the hill from the mill,
We run down the lane to meet him But today!
In freedom's cause Tom sailed away for over there, over there!
Scenes from my childhood are floating before my eyes.

Tom Sails Away is a story about family, love, duty, remembrance and grief. In this song, Ives captures what I imagine War must feel like for so many young men and women: being far from home, in unimaginable places and situations, questioning ones purpose, and then realizing the insanity of it all. In order for me to meaningfully perform this piece, I must first imagine myself on the front lines of war, yearning for my home and loved ones, questioning the very reasons I joined the fight in the first place. Was it for family? Was it for money? Was it for duty? Was it for my country?

When I sing or listen to this song, I am transported to a time and place where life was much simpler than it is today. A time where people still made an honest living working at a mill, providing food for their family from their garden, or when steam trains still served as the lifeline for rural communities. This was a time when I'd imagine going to War represented an incredible journey for most people; the chance to venture off to a far away land and discover the world. I feel a deep sadness when I reflect on the innocence and naïveté of so many in this troubled time.

The first piece I ever performed by Charles Ives was The things our Fathers Loved, and since then I have been performing more and more of his works every year, slowly getting to know this patriotic and pivotal composer. I'm excited to present several of his songs on my upcoming recital. Normally, when I dive into a composer's repertoire I learn to love their music as I begin to understand them. I can't quite say Ives is my favorite composer, but at the moment I feel strongly connected to his music and believe him to be one of the greatest composers of the American song literature, paving the way for other greats such as Samuel Barber and Ned Rorem.

The first time I heard this song I was in my 2nd year at Juilliard. My voice teacher at the time recommended I learn it. Honestly, I didn't feel at that point I was musically capable of tackling Charles Ives; nonetheless, I took out a recording of his music from our school library. The moment I heard the chords on the piano and the first words sung (Played by Steven Blier and sung by William Sharp) I knew I was going to have a special connection to this song. The depth both artists are able to reach in this recording is astounding; I listened to it over and over again, each time learning something new about the piece, and understanding more about the text.

In my first year at Juilliard, I had just begun working with Steven Blier, coaching my music and getting used to life at Juilliard; he and I had already performed a full recital at the Caramoor Festival, and were planning our next performances. Steven is, and always will be, an inspiration to me: as a person, a colleague and an artist. He is one of those teachers whom you can always count on being there for you, and taking your artistry to great depths. My plan is to bring Tom Sails Away and the several other Charles Ives songs I am preparing for this recital to his studio, so that Peter Dugan and I may achieve that same artistic pathos he and William Sharp were able to capture when they recorded the song together.

I'm honored to have the chance to perform the music of Charles Ives and many other incredible WWI era composers, in our country's capital, on the 100th year anniversary of the beginning of The Great War. Please join Peter and me for a memorable evening of song, where we will take you on a journey through this defining time in our history.

Tom Sails Away [MP3]

Click here to view previous month's submission.

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Peter Russell Named General Director of Vocal Arts DC

Peter Russell, a noted figure in American opera, has been named as General Director of Vocal Arts DC (incorporated as The Vocal Arts Society). In his new position, Russell will assume responsibility for both the artistic and business management of Vocal Arts DC, working closely in the field of artistic programming with the organization's founder and President Emeritus, Dr. Gerald Perman, who is stepping down as Artistic Director to become Artistic Director Emeritus.
More Information > 
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maltman About Vocal Arts DC

Hear world-renowned singers
and discover tomorrow's stars

You’ll hear them here first!  Vocal Arts DC has given Washington recital debuts to many of the great singers whose names are familiar to lovers of vocal artistry throughout the world.  We pride ourselves on identifying and bringing to Washington singers -- often already celebrated on the European opera and concert stage -- who are on the cusp of attaining world-wide fame and achieving sensational success on the US opera scene.  

Our 22nd season begins with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and pianist Warren Jones giving an "American Songbook" program. This is followed by New York Festival of Song, a longtime favorite of Washington audiences, who bring their delightful, and timely, arrangement of three Broadway shows of the 1930's to town in "Mr. Gershwin Comes to Washington." Following NYFOS, soprano Christine Brewer returns and she and pianist Craig Rutenberg give an October 31 recital of Spanish and American song. Baritone Russell Braun and pianist Carolyn Maule traverse Schubert's Winterreise on November 7. DC favorite, tenor Vinson Cole performs on December 12, and he is followed by British tenor Toby Spence, a Washington debut, who rounds out the season, on January 16.  More Details >
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what video What's an Art Song?

Watch a video, hosted by Elizabeth Daniels, of young singers presented in recital by Vocal Arts DC at the Kennedy Center this past spring as part of the America Sings in the Nation's Capitol. Click here >

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Education Programs

discovery
Art Song Discovery Series Winners of the Vocal Arts DC competition appear in free recitals at various venues in the community each Spring. More >

school
Take Song to our Schools Classroom programs presenting young professional singers and song to students around the region inspire the singers and audience of the future. More >

young artists
Young Artists Competition
An annual, juried competition for singers in the greater Washington area. Find more information here. More >

 

"My Favorite Song"

Archive of Past Selections

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