Join the National Chorale for an exciting performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 2:00pm
David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center
Soprano Rochelle Bard has been described as an ‘exquisite singing actress.’ Specializing in bel canto and Verdi repertoire, Ms. Bard recently made her debut in the title role of Norma with Knoxville Opera, for which critics proclaimed her: ‘beautifully constructed and achingly gorgeous delivery, at times soft as a whisper, and at others thrilling in its altitude…she carried off the dramatic contrast between the grandeur of confident matriarchal strength and the rage of a spurned woman with as much believability as can be wrung out of the role.’
Upcoming performances include Abigaille in Nabucco with Sarasota Opera, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with Opera Tampa,the title role in Tosca with Opera Theater of Connecticut, and Carmina Burana with Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. The 2016/2017 season began with the ruthless Lady Macbeth in Macbeth in Vermont, then Micaëla in Carmen in Connecticut, the title role in Tosca with MidAtlantic Opera in NJ, and the ill-fated queen in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda with Knoxville Opera. For her debut as Lady Macbeth, critics expressed: ‘Her voice is rich and engaging, she is a wonder…This Lord and Lady engage each other with a sparkling intimacy that makes their ‘road to hell’ a very exciting one.’
The 2014/15 season included her debut as Leonora in Il Trovatore with Knoxville Opera, Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux with the Opera Orchestra of New York, as the cover for Ms. Mariella Devia, and the title role of Tosca with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra. She performed Violetta in La Traviata twice this season with Shreveport Opera, under the baton of Joe Illick and directed by Bill Florescu, and the Opera Company of Middlebury. In Il Trovatore, ‘Bard brings a genuineness and confidence to the roles she sings, and in the case of Leonora, an intelligent and complex portrayal of substance. She has a winning combination of natural dramatic ability and captiving coloratura.’
On the concert stage, Ms. Bard made her mainstage Carnegie Hall debut as the soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C and Mozart’s Vespers, and returns to Carnegie as a soloist with MidAtlantic Opera this fall. She performed a concert of arias with the Opera Orchestra of New York and maestro Eve Queler at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. She has been recognized with prestigious awards and grants from the Classical Singer Competition, Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, George London Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards (San Francisco and Boston), the Seoul International Competition, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition.
Ms. Bard’s recent performances include the four heroines Olympia/ Antonia/ Giulietta/ Stella in Les Contes d’Hoffmann with West Bay Opera, Magda in La Rondine with Opera Tampa with Maestro Anton Coppola, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Idaho, West Bay Opera and Opera San Jose, the title role in The Merry Widow with Opera Tampa, Utah Festival Opera, New England Light Opera, Altamura Center for the Arts, and St. Petersburg Opera, Mary Willis in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree with Sugar Creek Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Utah Festival Opera, Violetta in La Traviata with Music by the Lake and Opera San Jose, Musetta in La Boheme with Sacramento Opera, Gilda in Rigoletto with Rockland Opera, Opera San Jose and Cape Cod Opera, Micaëla in Carmen with Ash Lawn Opera, and the Foreign Princess in Rusalka with Boston Lyric Opera, for which Opera News deemed her: ‘a deliciously evil enchantress.’
Previously an Artist in Residence with Opera San José, Ms. Bard performed Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. Ms. Bard was also engaged as a Studio Artist with Baltimore Opera, where she sang Giannetta in L’Elisir d’Amore, Barbarina and Countess (cover) in Le Nozze di Figaro, and covered Antonia and Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. As a fellow at Tanglewood, Ms. Bard created the role of Juana in the world premiere opera Rage d’Amours, commissioned by the Boston Symphony.
A recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Music from her alma mater, The College of the Holy Cross, and a Master’s Degree in voice from the New England Conservatory, Ms. Bard is a sought-after concert artist as well. Recent appearances include the Mozart Requiem with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Wilmington Symphony and Cambridge Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with the Hartford Symphony, Rachmaninoff Vocalise, Exsultate Jubilate, Carmina Burana, Lord Nelson Mass, Elijah, Bachianas Brasileiras, Poulenc’s Gloria, Beethoven’s Mass in C, and the Brahms Requiem.
Matthew Truss, Countertenor, has garnered critical acclaim both nationally and internationally on the concert and opera stage. Praised for his “mellifluous voice and ebullient manner,” Matthew continues to make his mark as a countertenor whose “precocious” voice “boasts both beauty and volume.”
Recent performances include international and national tours with the American Spiritual Ensemble (Lexington, KY), concerts with The National Chorale (New York, NY), Coro Lutero King (São Paulo, Brazil), the Lexington Symphony (Lexington, MA) and the Orchestra of Indian Hill (Littleton, MA).
To his credit are the opera roles of Akhnaten (Glass), Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten), Belize in Angels in America (Eötvös), and the premiere roles of Rev. Eli Hunt in We Are Sons (Rojahn), and The Miller in Rumpelstiltskin (Epstein).
Matthew has been the recipient of many awards including the Jerry Hadley Awardin the Elardo International Opera Competition (Bruges, Belgium) and being a two-time finalist in the New England Regional Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
An alumnus of Boston Conservatory, Matthew joined the roster of teaching artists at The National Chorale and The Metropolitan Opera Guild in 2016.
Reginald Smith, Jr., Baritone has been lauded as a “passionate performer” (New York Times) with an “electric, hall-filling” (The Baltimore Sun), and “thrillingly dramatic” (Opera News) voice that is “one of the most exciting baritone sounds to come along in years” (Opera News). Reginald, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is a Grand Finals winner of the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and he is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.
In the 2018-2019 season, Reginald Smith, Jr. will appear as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Opera Memphis, return to the role of Amonasro in Aida with Opera Idaho, perform the baritone solo in Carmina Burana for his return to the Houston Symphony, debut with the New Jersey Symphony as the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (which he will also perform with the West Virginia Symphony). Mr. Smith will also return to the rosters of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera.
Last season, Mr. Smith made his company debuts with Opera Hong Kong as Amonasro in Aida, the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Senator Charles Potter/General Airlie/Bartender in Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers and Portland Opera as Monterone in Rigoletto. He returned to Opera Memphis to make his role debut as Taddeo in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri. In conjunction with the University of Michigan Gershwin Initiative’s research, Mr. Smith sang the role of Jake in an concert performance of the new, critical edition score of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Additionally, he made his concert debut with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra as the bass soloist for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as well as making his Dallas Symphony Orchestra debut as the guest soloist and narrator for the Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops. This spring, he made his Lincoln Center debut as the bass soloist for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Chorale. Mr. Smith was thrilled to return to his alma mater, the University of Kentucky, to perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Lexington Singers and the University of Kentucky Chorale.
During the 2016 – 2017 season, Mr. Smith made company debuts with the San Francisco Opera, the Dallas Opera, Opera Memphis and Opera Carolina, as well as making his concert debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop.
Mr. Smith has appeared in operatic performances with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Toledo Opera, and Houston Grand Opera. In concert, Mr. Smith has performed with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, Lexington Philharmonic, Columbus Symphony Orchestra (GA), North Carolina Symphony, Johnson City Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Russia. Previous operatic highlights include La Boheme (Marcello), Die Fledermaus (Falke), Madama Butterfly (Sharpless), La Traviata (Giorgio Germont), The Pirates of Penzance (The Pirate King), Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (Capulet) and Le Nozze di Figaro (Count Almaviva). Mr. Smith’s previous concert engagements includes performances of Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, the Fauré and Duruflé Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, Schoenberg’s Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte, Handel’s Messiah, and Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette.
In addition to receiving recognition from the Dallas Opera Guild Competition, the Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Vocal Competition, Mr. Smith has won first place in the National Opera Association Competition: Scholarship Division, Orpheus Vocal Competition: Young Artist Division, George London Vocal Competition: Top Prize (George London Award), Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition: Top Prize, received a 2015 Sarah Tucker Study Grant, and he has received a 2016 Career Grant from the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation.
National Chorale is pleased to announce its soloists for the 51st Annual Handel’s Messiah Sing-In on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at 7:30pm
David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center
Erica Koehring, Mezzo Soprano, is Versatile in drama and comedy, mezzo-soprano Erica Koehring has recently portrayed Amneris in Verdi’s Aida, Azucena in Il Trovatore (Verdi), Carmen in La Tragédie de Carmen (Bizet/Brooke), Zulma in L’Italiana in Algeri (Rossini), and Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart). Other roles include Cecilia and Alma March in Little Women (Adamo), Madame de Croissy in Les Dialogues des Carmélites (Poulenc), and Flora in La Traviata (Verdi). Equally at home in the concert setting, Erica often participates in Art Song recitals hosted by American soprano Lauren Flanigan featuring “unknown and unsung” works and composers.
He has performed with the Kentucky Opera, Sarasota Opera, Central City Opera, Chatauqua Opera, Utah Opera Festival, Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, Connecticut Opera, Connecticut Concert Opera, Opera New Jersey, Tuscia Opera Festival, Dicapo Opera Theatre, Opera North, Toledo Opera, Opera on the James, Tri-Cities Opera, Middlebury Opera, and Syracuse Opera.
Mr. Coleman has been most recognized for role appearances as Mephistopheles in Faust, Ibn Hakia in Iolanta, Joe in Showboat, Jesus in The Seven Last Words, Crown in Porgy and Bess, Fred in Smokey Joe’s Cafe.
In 2011, he made his international debut as a guest artist singing the role of Sarastro in Die Zauberflote with the Tuscia Opera Festival under the baton of Maestro Stefano Vignati.
Brandon Coleman resides in the New York City area. He received his Bachelors of Music degree from the University of Hartford Hartt School of Music. He currently studies with the remarkable Andrea Delgiudice.
Mr. Wetzel is active as an organist and continuo player, having performed at the Berkshire Choral Festival and with the Collegiate Chorale, the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s, the American Symphony Orchestra, the American Classical Orchestra, the National Chorale, and the Paul Winter Consort. He is the sub-dean and chairman of the program committee of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, a board member of the Catholic Artists Society, and a member of the New York Purgatorial Society and the Society for Catholic Liturgy.
Born in Pittsburgh, James earned a bachelor’s degree in organ performance from The Juilliard School where he studied with Paul Jacobs and was the first person ever to graduate with a master’s degree and a professional studies certificate in choral conducting from Manhattan School of Music under Kent Tritle. He also studied privately with Donald K. Fellows and Robert Page and spent a year reading Early Christianity and Apologetics at Columbia University.