Two world-renowned stars of the opera stage, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and current Professor of Voice, Anthony Dean Griffey will perform a benefit concert Sunday, February 18, at 7 p.m., in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music. Together von Stade and Griffey, with pianist Russell Miller, Professor of Vocal Coaching and Repertoire, will grace the Kilbourn Hall stage for a one-night performance that opera fans will not want to miss.
Described by the New York Times as “one of America’s finest artists and singers,” Frederica von Stade continues to be extolled as one of the music world’s most beloved figures. Known to family, friends, and fans by her nickname “Flicka,” the mezzo-soprano has enriched the world of classical music for three decades with her appearances in opera, concert, and recital. Since her debut with the Metropolitan Opera in 1970 she has sung nearly all of her great roles with that company. In addition, von Stade has appeared with every leading American opera company, including San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Los Angeles Opera. Her career in Europe has been no less spectacular, with new productions mounted for her at Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, and the Paris Opera.
Four-time Grammy Award-winning American tenor Anthony Dean Griffey has captured critical and popular acclaim on opera, concert, and recital stages around the world. Graduating with a Masters in vocal performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music (MM ‘01), Tony is currently Professor of Voice at Eastman. The combination of his beautiful and powerful lyric tenor voice, gift of dramatic interpretation, and superb musicianship have earned him the highest praise from critics and audiences alike. In a career spanning 20 years, Griffey has performed leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Bastille, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, San Diego Opera, Canadian Opera Company and Opera Australia; as well as made operatic appearances at the Glyndebourne, Bregenz, Glimmerglass, Mostly Mozart, Saito Kinen, and Aspen festivals.
Pianist Russell Miller has been a coach and teacher of vocal repertoire at Eastman since 1995. He has performed throughout the United States and abroad as soloist and chamber musician, with notable collaborations including Schubert’s Winterreise with tenor Robert Swensen at the Pierpont Morgan Library, as well as recitals with Jan Opalach, Julia Broxholm, Lynn Blakeslee, Zvi Zeitlin, Susan Shafer, Todd Graber, and Marilyn Horne.
Dr. Miller studied at the University of Southern California, the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School, and holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan. He also served as pianist and harpsichordist for several professional opera companies, including the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee (Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Verdi’s Aïda), Mercury Opera of Rochester (Mozart’s Don Giovanni), and several productions for Eastman Opera Theatre.
All proceeds will benefit the Eastman Voice and Opera Department.
Tickets for this benefit concert are $26-36 or $100 ($60 tax deductible) for both a ticket and reception where guests can meet Griffey and von Stade. The concert is free to students with ID. Tickets can be purchased at the Eastman Theatre Box Office, 433 East Main St.; by phone (585) 274-3000; or online at http://eastmantheatre.org
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About Eastman School of Music:
The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training. The current dean is Jamal Rossi, appointed in 2014.
About 900 students are enrolled in Eastman’s Collegiate Division– about 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students. Students come from almost every state, and approximately 20 percent are from other countries. They are guided by more than 95 full-time faculty members. Six alumni and three faculty members have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music, as have numerous GRAMMYÒ Awards. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 700 concerts to the Rochester community.