A renowned opera singer and recitalist, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is one of the most highly respected and critically acclaimed artists of her generation. Her repertoire ranges from Handel to Wagner, German lieder to contemporary and classic American song. Ms. Blythe has performed on many of the world's great stages, such as Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Paris National Opera and San Francisco, Chicago Lyric and Seattle Operas. Ms. Blythe was named Musical America's Vocalist of the Year in 2009, received an Opera News Award in 2007 and won the Tucker Award in 1999. Ms. Blythe has sung in many of the renowned opera houses in the US and Europe including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the Opera National de Paris. Her many roles include the title roles in Carmen, Samson et Dalila , Orfeo ed Euridice, La Grande Duchesse, Tancredi, Mignon, and Giulio Cesare; Frugola, Principessa, and Zita in Il Trittico, Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera, Baba the Turk in The Rake's Progress, Ježibaba in Rusalka, Jocasta in Oedipus Rex, Mere Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites; Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, and Ino/Juno in Semele. She also created the role of Gertrude Stein in Ricky Ian Gordon's 27 at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Ms. Blythe has also appeared with many of the world's finest orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Orchestra of New York, Minnesota Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Ensemble Orchestre de Paris, and the Concertgerbouworkest. She has also appeared at the Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, and Ravinia festivals, and at the BBC Proms. The many conductors with whom she has worked include Harry Bicket, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Alan Gilbert, James Levine, Fabio Luisi, Nicola Luisotti, Sir Charles Mackerras, John Nelson, Antonio Pappano, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, and Michael Tilson Thomas. A frequent recitalist, Ms. Blythe has been presented in recital with her collaborative partner, Warren Jones, in New York by Carnegie Hall in Stern Auditorium and Zankel Hall, Lincoln Center in both its Great Performers Series at Alice Tully Hall and its American Songbook Series at the Allen Room, Town Hall, the 92nd Street Y, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has also been presenter by the Vocal Arts Society and at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC; the Cleveland Art Song Festival, the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Shriver Hall in Baltimore, and San Francisco Performances. A champion of American song, Ms. Blythe has premiered several song cycles written for her including Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson by the late James Legg, Covered Wagon Woman by Alan Smith which was commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and recorded with the ensemble (CMS Studio Recordings); and Vignettes: Ellis Island, also by Alan Smith and featured in a special television program entitled Vignettes: An Evening with Stephanie Blythe and Warren Jones. Ms Blythe starred in the Metropolitan Opera’s live HD broadcasts of Orfeo ed Euridice, Il Trittico, Rodelinda, Falstaff, and the complete Ring Cycle. She also appeared in PBS's Live From Lincoln Center broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic's performance of Carousel and her acclaimed show, We'll Meet Again: The Songs of Kate Smith. Her recordings include her solo crossover album with pianist, Craig Terry, as long as there are songs (Innova), and works by Mahler, Brahms, Wagner, Handel and Bach (Virgin Classics). Her musical theater credits include her appearance with the San Francisco Opera as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd and with the New York Philharmonic as well as the Houston Grand Opera as Nettie Fowler in Carousel. She has performed her acclaimed American Song singalong program, Sing, America! with presenters such as The Tanglewood Music Festival and Carnegie Hall. On occasion, she moonlights as her alter-ego, dramatic tenor, Blythely Oratonio, and has been presented as such in opera/cabaret shows with Philadelphia Opera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Resonant Bodies, and had a Lincoln Center debut in January, 2020 on their American Songbook Series in the Appel Room. Ms. Blythe was named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year for 2009. Her other awards include the 2007 Opera News Award and the 1999 Richard Tucker Award. She is the Artistic Director of the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar at the Crane School of Music, and was appointed Artistic Director of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College in the fall of 2019.
Soprano Christine Goerke has appeared in the major opera houses of the world including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Opera , New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Scala, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro Real in Madrid, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, and the Saito Kinen Festival. She has sung much of the great soprano repertoire, starting with the Mozartand Handel heroines and now earning critical acclaim for the dramatic Strauss and Wagner roles. She has received praise for her portrayals of the title roles in Elektra, Turandot, and Ariadne auf Naxos, Brünnhilde in the Ring Cycle, Kundry in Parsifal, Ortrud in Lohengrin, Leonora in Fidelio, Eboli in Don Carlos, The Dyer's Wife in Die Frau ohne Schatten, Cassandre in Les Troyens, Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes, Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, Alice in Falstaff, and Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmelites. Ms. Goerke has also appeared with a number of the leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra (in Boston, Carnegie Hall, and the Tanglewood Festival), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Radio Vara (at the Concertgebouw), Sydney Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms, and the Hallé Orchestra at the Edinburgh International Festival. She has worked with some of the world's foremost conductors including James Conlon, Sir Andrew Davies, Sir Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Claus Peter Flor, James Levine, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Andris Nelsons, Seiji Ozawa, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, the late Robert Shaw, Patrick Summers, Jeffery Tate, Christian Thielemann, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Edo de Waart. Ms. Goerke's recording of Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Classical Recording and Best Choral Performance. Her close association with Robert Shaw yielded several recordings including Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes, Poulenc's Stabat Mater, Szymanowski's Stabat Mater, and the Grammy-nominated recording of Dvorak's Stabat Mater. Other recordings include the title role in Iphigenie en Tauride for Telarc and Britten’s War Requiem, which won the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance. Ms. Goerke was the recipient of the 2001 Richard Tucker Award, the 2015 Musical America Vocalist of the Year Award, and the 2017 Opera News Award.
Recognized worldwide as one of today's most exciting vocal stars, Denyce Graves continues to gather unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents. USA Today identifies her as "an operatic superstar of the 21st Century," and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution exclaims, "if the human voice has the power to move you, you will be touched by Denyce Graves." Her career has taken her to the world's great opera houses and concert halls. The combination of her expressive, rich vocalism, elegant stage presence, and exciting theatrical abilities allows her to pursue a wide breadth of operatic portrayals and to delight audiences in concert and recital appearances. Denyce Graves has become particularly well-known to operatic audiences for her portrayals of the title roles in Carmen and Samson et Dalila. These signature roles have brought Ms. Graves to the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Washington Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Arena di Verona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opernhaus Zürich, Teatro Real in Madrid, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles Opera, and the Festival Maggio Musicale in Florence. Ms. Graves appears continually on the stages of leading theaters in North America, Europe, and Asia. Highlights have included a Robert Lepage production of The Rake’s Progress at San Francisco Opera, the title role in Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner in the world premiere performances at Michigan Opera Theater with further performances at Cincinnati Opera, Opera Carolina, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the role of Charlotte in Werther for Michigan Opera Theater opposite Andrea Bocelli in his first staged operatic performances, and the role of Judith in a William Friedkin production of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle in her return to Los Angeles Opera; she also has sung Judith at the Washington National Opera and for the Dallas Opera. Recent appearances include the world premieres of Doubt at Minnesota Opera and Champion at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis as well as the role debuts of Katisha in The Mikado for Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Herodias in Salome for Palm Beach Opera. Denyce Graves has worked with the finest symphony orchestras and conductors in a wide range of repertoire. She has performed with Riccardo Chailly, Myung-Whun Chung, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, and Mstislav Rostropovich. One of the music world's most sought-after recitalists, Ms. Graves combines her expressive vocalism and exceptional gifts for communication with her dynamic stage presence. Her programs include classical repertoire of German lieder, French mélodie, and English art song, as well as the popular music of Broadway musicals, crossover and jazz together with American spirituals. For her New York recital debut, the New York Times wrote, "[h]er voice is dusky and earthy. She is a strikingly attractive stage presence and a communicative artist who had the audience with her through four encores." In 2001 Ms. Graves gave a series of appearances in response to the tragic events in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. Ms. Graves was invited by President Bush to participate in the National Prayer Service in Washington's National Cathedral in which she sang "America, the Beautiful" and "The Lord’s Prayer." This event was televised worldwide and was followed by Ms. Graves's appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in a live musical program of "Healing through Gospel Music." Ms. Graves appears regularly on radio and television as a musical performer, celebrity guest, and as the subject of documentaries and other special programming. In 1997 PBS Productions released a video and audio recording titled Denyce Graves: A Cathedral Christmas, featuring Ms. Graves in a program of Christmas music from Washington's National Cathedral. This celebration of music including chorus and orchestra is shown each year on PBS during the Christmas season. Ms. Graves was seen on the Emmy-award winning BBC special "The Royal Opera House," highlighting her debut performances there and she has been a frequent guest on television shows including Sesame Street, The Charlie Rose Show, and Larry King Live. In 1996 Ms. Graves was the subject of an Emmy-award winning profile on CBS's 60 Minutes. In 1999 Denyce Graves began a relationship with BMG Classics/RCA Red Seal. That same year Voce di Donna, a solo recording of opera arias, was released on RCA Red Seal. The Lost Days, a recording with jazz musicians of Latin songs in the Spanish and Portuguese languages, was released in January 2003. In June 2003 Church was released ‒ this recording, developed by Denyce Graves, brings together African-American divas from various forms of music, all of whom were first exposed to music through their upbringing in church. Participants recorded music of their choice and include Dr. Maya Angelou, Dionne Warwick, En Vogue, Patti LaBelle, and others. Other recordings of Ms. Graves include NPR Classics' release of a recording of spirituals, Angels watching over me, featuring the mezzo-soprano in performance with her frequent partner, Warren Jones, and an album of French arias, Héroïnes de l'Opéra romantique Français, with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo under Marc Soustrot. Her full opera recordings include Gran Vestale in La vestale, recorded live from La Scala with Riccardo Muti for Sony Classical; Queen Gertrude in Thomas's Hamlet for EMI Classics; Maddalena in Rigoletto with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under James Levine; and Emilia in Otello with Plácido Domingo and the Opéra de Paris, Bastille Orchestra under Myung-Whun Chung, both for Deutsche Grammophon. Denyce Graves is a native of Washington, D.C., where she attended the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts. She continued her education at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory. Ms. Graves is the recipient of many awards, including the Grand Prix du Concours International de Chant de Paris, the Eleanor Steber Music Award in the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition, and a Jacobson Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. In 1991, she received the Grand Prix Lyrique, awarded once every three years by the Association des amis de l’opéra de Monte-Carlo, and the Marian Anderson Award, presented to her by Miss Anderson. In addition she has received honorary doctorates from Oberlin College, the College of Saint Mary, and Centre College. Ms. Graves’s dedication to the singers of the next generation continues to be an important part of her career and recently she joined the voice faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore.
Patricia Racette has been heralded a preeminent singing actress of our time. She has built and sustained an evolving career in the most acclaimed opera houses and concert stages of the world for over thirty years and continues to not only sustain her passion for this art form but also expand it to broader arenas as both stage director and master teacher. An internationally recognized artist herself, she has sung leading roles at the major houses of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera House, La Scala, Paris Opera, Teatro Liceu, Teatro Real, Bayerische Staatsoper, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, Ravinia Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, and San Diego Opera. She established herself as a great interpreter of Janáček and Puccini, gaining particular acclaim for her portrayals of not only the title roles of Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Jenufa, Kátya Kabanová, and all three lead soprano roles in Il Trittico but also continues to make her mark in repertory expansion to include triumphant portrayals of Strauss’s Salome, Minnie in La Fancuilla del West, Katerina in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Elle in La Voix Humaine, and Kostelnicka in Jenufa. She also made her mark on The Met: Live in HD series as both leading lady in Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Pagliacci, and Peter Grimes as well as appearing as a favorite host for multiple other productions and outreach programs. In championing new works, Ms. Racette has created roles in a number of world premieres: three works of Tobias Picker (title role of Dolores Claiborne at the San Francisco Opera, Roberta Alden in An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera, and her groundbreaking performance as Emmeline at the Santa Fe Opera (broadcast on PBS and repeated live at New York City Opera); Leslie Crosbie in Paul Moravec’s The Letter at The Santa Fe Opera, and Love Simpson in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree at the Houston Grand Opera. The 2019-20 season includes Patricia's role debut as Sister Helen Préjean in Dead Man Walking for Lyric Opera of Chicago; a house debut with Opera Monte Carlo for the Teatro Real co-production of Street Scene as well as a command performance of her cabaret show, Diva on Detour; a new production of La Voix Humaine for The Dallas Opera in which she will both sing and direct. She fully embraces her new appointment as Artistic Director of the Young Artist Program for Opera Theatre of St. Louis and also directs a new production of Floyd's Susannah. In the summer she returns to Ravinia for a production of Bernstein's White House Cantata. Her intensive seminar, Integrative Artistry, will be offered for both San Francisco Conservatory and the New England Conservatory. In November, Patricia will be honored by the Metropolitan Opera Guild to mark the 25th Anniversary of her debut with the company. To end the year, the Harris Theater will present Patricia and her collaborator, Craig Terry, in a new program entitled Piaf: No Regrets. Highlights from her 2018-19 season included a new production entitled Ne Quittez Pas (a reimagined version of Poulenc's La Voix Humaine) with Opera Company of Philadelphia's celebrated festival, a return to Barcelona’s Teatro Liceu as the title role in Kátya Kabanová, a repeat residency at San Francisco Conservatory for her Integrative Artistry master teacher seminar, her highly-anticipated role debut as Kostelnicka in Jenufa for The Santa Fe Opera, and a return to the Ravinia Festival as Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti alongside Paolo Szot with Marin Alsop conducting. Projects in her 2017-18 season included her role debut as Magda in Menotti’s The Consul, a role and house debut in Weill’s Street Scene for Madrid’s Teatro Real, two live performances of her cabaret album Diva on Detour for Teatro Real, her Carnegie Hall debut as The Old Lady in Candide, and her directorial debut with a new production of La Traviata for Opera Theatre of St. Louis. She continues to be sought after for master classes and workshops to foster artistry in the next generation of classical singers. In January 2017 she presented the pilot program of her intensive seminar, Integrative Artistry, at the San Francisco Conservatory [SFCM] which she subsequently offered at The Juilliard School, SFCM, and Washington National Opera. Born and raised in New Hampshire, Ms. Racette studied jazz and music education at North Texas State University, received training in the Merola and Adler programs at San Francisco Opera, and most recently received an honorary doctorate from San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2017. Among her prestigious recognitions are an Opera News Award, the Richard Tucker Award, and the Marian Anderson Award. She also received a Grammy Award in 2017 for Best Opera Recording for her performance as Marie Antoinette in the Los Angeles Opera’s production of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles.
About this Event
Video Recording: 2020 Silver Soiree