Ashley Becker, Soprano
Hometown: Lowville, NY
Current City: New York, NY
Education: B. Mus Vocal Performance from McGill University; M.Mus Solo Song from McGill University
Roles: Francesca, Francesca da Rimini (Rachmaninoff); Juliet, Romeo and Juliet (Tchaikovsky); Jenufa, Jenufa; Madame Lidoine, Dialogues des Carmelites; Vitellia, La Clemenza di Tito; Elettra, Idomeneo
Awards/Honors: 1st place Charles Lynam Competition (Student); 2nd place Orpheus Vocal Competition (Student); 3rd place New England Region Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Lydia Gray, Soprano
Hometown: Broken Arrow, OK
Current City: Tallahassee, FL
Education: M.M. in Vocal Performance candidate, Florida State University; B.M. in Vocal Performance, University of Oklahoma
Roles: Juliet, Romeo and Juliet (Tchaikovsky); Francesca, Francesca da Rimini (Rachmaninoff); Lightfoot McClendon, Cold Sassy Tree (Carlisle Floyd); Musetta, La bohème; Phyllis, Iolanthe (Gilbert & Sullivan); Drusilla, L'incoronazione di Poppea
Awards/Honors: 2nd place 2013 NATS Southeastern Region: Graduate Women; Leslie N. Wilson Minority Fellowship & Graduate Assistantship - Florida State University; Miss Oklahoma Scholarship Pageant - Talent award
Cristina Castro, Soprano
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Current City: Fort Worth, TX
Education: Artist Diploma Vocal Performance - Texas Christian University (in progress);
M. M. Vocal Performance -The Ohio State University; B. M. Vocal Performance - Trinity University
Roles: Juliet, Romeo and Juliet (Tchaikovsky); Francesca, Francesca da Rimini (Rachmaninoff); Nannetta, Falstaff; Frasquita, Carmen - A One-Act Opera Comique; Rosa Bud, The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Lauretta, Gianni Schicchi; La Ciesca, Gianni Schicchi; Hanna Glawari, The Merry Widow; Adele, Die Fledermaus; Papagena, Die Zauberflöte
Awards: MONC Houston District Encouragement Award; Trinity University Hendricks Graduating Senior Award; 1st Place, Trinity University Rosalind Phillips Competition
Kimberly Merrill, Soprano
Hometown: Gowanda, NY
Current City: Rochester, NY
Education: Eastman School of Music, Voice Major
Roles & Related Experience: Juliet, Romeo and Juliet (Tchaikovsky); Francesca, Francesca da Rimini (Rachmaninoff); 2nd Nursemaid, Street Scene, Assistant Director/Assistant Stage Manager, Orlando; Alice Ford, Scenes from Falstaff, Assistant Stage Manager, The Bartered Bride
AVA Resident Artists
Ghenady Meirson, Music Director and Pianist
Dec 13, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
Dec 15, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
Songs by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Alyabiev, Dargomyzhsky, Shostakovitch, Sviridov, Ryabov, Khrennikov
Other selections include Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet and Pique Dame.
By 1878, Romeo and Juliet played in most musical capitals. In a letter to his patron Nadezhda von Meck, Tchaikovsky comments that the overture plays without success. In Vienna and Paris the audience even 'hissed.'
In one article, Hans von Bülow referred to a Moscow Conservatory composition professor, Tchaikovsky, as one who 'strives and aspires.' A champion of Tchaikovsky's music, von Bülow commends Romeo and Juliet overture as 'uncommonly interesting' with original and lavish melody
Tchaikovsky sketched out a scene including duet and appearance of the nurse, but the opera was never written. After Tchaikovsky's death, composer Sergei Taneyev published the original duet with reconstructed introduction based on themes from the overture.
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