Jacobsen Series: Got Opera? Arias, Duets, and Ensembles

January 8, 2014

TACOMA, Wash. – The Jacobsen Series will open the new year with a powerful and lively vocal concert including all of the singers in University of Puget Sound’s voice faculty and a prominent and popular Seattle guest artist.

The evening concert, titled Got Opera? Arias, Duets, and Ensembles, will take place Friday, Jan. 31, in the university’s Schneebeck Concert Hall, starting at 7:30 p.m. Ticket information is below.

The performers will include faculty members Michael Delos, bass; Christina Kowalski, soprano; Kathryn Lehmann, alto; Dawn Padula, mezzo-soprano; and guest artist Gino Luchetti, tenor. They will be accompanied by Denes van Parys on the piano

“This concert will feature real and big operatic singing, with a lot of comedy and a dash of drama,” Kowalski said. “We will be singing highlights out of the comedic opera The Bat, by Johann Strauss, Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, and Delibes’ famous Lakme duet, among many other fun and entertaining pieces.”

The evening will include vocal selections from the composers Léo Delibes, Gaetano Donizetti, Gilbert and Sullivan, Johann Strauss, Gioachino Rossini, Carl Maria von Weber, and Richard Wagner.

Michael Delos ’74 attended University of Puget Sound and has been an affiliate faculty member since 1997. He has performed nationally with the New York City Opera, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Carmel Bach Festival, and Hawai`i Opera Theater, and internationally with Operá Monte Carlo, the Tokyo Shinsei Nihon Symphony Orchestra, and Osaka Symphoniker. His résumé includes Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Handel’s Saul, the Bach Passions, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Additionally Delos’ voice can be heard on video games such as Elder Scrolls, World of Warcraft, and the Halo franchise, and on the soundtracks of films including Mirror, Mirror, The Celestine Prophecy, and Ghost Rider.

Christina Kowalski is an affiliate artist at Puget Sound and a doctoral student at University of Washington. Native to Germany, she has performed leading soprano roles around the globe and sung with groups including Opera Coeur d’Alene, La Stagione Orchestra at the Berlin Philharmonic Concert Hall, and Portland Opera. Upcoming performance roles include Isoldes LIebestod, with the Olympia Symphony Orchestra, and Rosalinde in The Bat, with Skagit Opera. Kowalski twice won first place in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Northwest Region program. She has performed Mimi in La Boehme, Floria Tosca in Tosca, and Inez in Il Trovatore.

Kathryn Lehmann is an affiliate artist at Puget Sound and has taught and directed vocal programs at Westminster Choir College, Oregon State University, and Pacific Lutheran University. She was granted the Francis Robinson Award for performance and academic achievement at Westminster, where she developed a training program at the Westminster Conservatory of Music. She has performed as a soprano soloist in roles at the Spoleto, Aspen Music, and Bowdoin International Music festivals, and took first place at a concerto competition in Aspen. Prior to joining Puget Sound, Lehmann was the director of choral activities at Pacific Lutheran University and director of vocal and choral activities at Oregon State University.

Gino Luchetti has performed with the Seattle Opera, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Tacoma Opera, Hans Wolf Memorial Operetta Series, Everett Opera, Puget Sound Concert Opera, Black Box Opera Theater, and Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society. He has sung the roles of Rodolfo in La Boheme, Manrico in Il Trovatore, Don Jose in Carmen, and Macduff in Macbeth, among others. He can sing in a wide range of languages, and has been a popular featured concert artist at numerous festivals in the West. Luchetti has been engaged for music recordings, including Howard Hanson’s Merry Mount, and has performed at top restaurant venues. 

Dawn Padula is the director of vocal studies at Puget Sound and has performed with the Houston Grand Opera, Tacoma Opera, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Amarillo Opera, Alamo City Men’s Chorale, Opera in the Heights of Houston, and Living Opera Company of Dallas, among others. She has sung many of the major mezzo-soprano operatic roles, including Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Suzuki in Madame Butterfly, and Isabella in L’Italiana Algeri. In addition she has performed extensively as a soloist in oratorios such as Handel’s Messiah, and in several orchestral pieces, including the requiems of Mozart and Duruflé.

Denes van Parys is the staff accompanist and serves as musical director of opera productions at Puget Sound. He has worked widely as a musical director, conductor, coach, composer, and arranger. Van Parys has led opera and musical theater performances at numerous venues in the United States, Asia, and Europe. He conducted national tours of Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady, and Man of La Mancha. In New York he led the York Theater’s production of Golden Boy, and in Miami he led the world premiere of Charles Stouse’s musical Real Men. Parys also is associate conductor at Tacoma Opera. He is the chorus master for selected productions and will conduct the Madame Butterfly performance in April.

The Jacobsen Series, named in honor of Leonard Jacobsen, former chair of the piano department at Puget Sound, has been running since 1984. The Jacobsen Series Scholarship Fund awards annual music scholarships to outstanding student performers and scholars. The fund is sustained entirely by season subscribers and ticket sales.

FOR TICKETS order online at tickets.pugetsound.edu or call Wheelock Information Center at 253.879.6013 to purchase with a credit card. Admission is $12.50 for the general public; $8.50 for seniors (55+), students, military, and Puget Sound faculty and staff members. The concert is free for current  Puget Sound students. Group ticket rates are available for parties of 10 or more by calling 253.879.3555 in advance. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.

For directions and a map of the campus:pugetsound.edu/directions
For accessibility information please contact accessibility@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3236, or visit pugetsound.edu/accessibility.

Press photos of the performers are available upon request
Photo on page: Tannhauser, by Gabriel von Max, circa 1878

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