The Faculty Artist Series presents: bass-baritone Jan Opalach, Associate Professor of Voice together with the Lilac String Quartet, including Haley Schricker and Julia Churchill, violins; Ethan Durrell, viola; Jordan Gunn, Violoncello; and Edward Rothmel, piano at the Eastman School of Music, Sunday, March 4, at 3 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall. The program is set to include Schubert’s Schwanengesang.
Opalach has received a Sullivan Foundation Award, won the National Arts Club Vocal Music Competition, Kosciuszko Foundation’s Marcella Sembrich Award, prestigious Walter M. Naumburg Vocal Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, Hertogenbosch International Vocalisten Concours as well as a National Endowment for the Arts Soloist Recital Grant. He has been heard in recitals including Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall (NY), Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie), Kosciuszko Foundation (NY), Music Mountain (CT), Miller Theater (Columbia University), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam, Netherlands), and Edmonton Chamber Music Festival (Alberta, Canada), among others.
Mr. Opalach was a member of the New York Vocal Arts Ensemble (a solo vocal quartet with piano) performing little known quartet repertoire for a three-concert series at NYC’s Alice Tully Hall, touring throughout the United States and South America. With the world-famous Waverly Consort, he was seen on a CBS TV special filmed at the Cloisters museum in New York City and can be heard on its recording of A Renaissance Christmas. He was a member of the Bach Aria Group concurrently with current Eastman Voice Professor Carol Webber and was the original bass soloist in Joshua Rifkin’s Bach Ensemble, recording the B-minor Mass (with one soloist on a part), Solo Bass Cantatas Nos. 56,82,158, and numerous other Bach cantatas. With renowned conductor Helmut Rilling, he sang at the Oregon Bach Festival and the Hollywood Bowl and toured Bach’s St. John Passion with Maestro Rilling’s Gaechinger Kantorei in Germany. He was heard in the Boston Early Music Festival’s spectacular production of Luigi Rossi’s rarely staged Orfeo, co-directed by Paul O’Dette and Steven Stubbs, with additional performances at the Tanglewood Music Festival, and appeared at the Drottningholms Slottsteatre for a live broadcast on Swedish television.
Mr. Opalach has performed over fifty roles during his distinguished career. In 1980 he was invited by Beverly Sills to join the New York City Opera, where he was a principal artist for thirty years. Among the roles he performed with the company were the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore, Jonathan Miller, director), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia, Sergiu Commissiona, conductor), King Fisher (Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage, New York stage premiere; Francesca Zambello, director), Wesener (Berndt Alois Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten, New York stage premiere; Rhoda Levine, director), the Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen), Newspaper Publisher (Mark Adamo’s Little Women; George Manahan, conductor; New York and Tokyo stage premieres), and the title role of Verdi’s Falstaff (George Manahan, conductor; Leon Major, director). He has been seen on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center with Dame Joan Sutherland (Anna Bolena; Richard Bonynge, conductor), the Rossini Bicentennial Anniversary Gala (Sir Roger Norrington, conductor) and the New York City Ballet’s 2004 Spring Gala (Liebeslieder Waltzer). He was heard in the Metropolitan Opera’s world premiere of Philip Glass’ The Voyage for his company debut and in performances of Prokofiev’s War and Peace (Valerie Gergiev, conductor); Opera Theater of St. Louis, Lord Sydney (Il Viaggio a Rheims, United States stage premiere; John Nelson, conductor; Colin Graham, director), Henry Kissinger (Nixon in China, new production; Marin Alsop, conductor; James Robinson, director); Santa Fe Opera, Schaunard (La Bohème), Seattle Opera (Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Xerxes, Musik-Lehrer in Ariadne auf Naxos); Washington Opera (Cendrillon, Don Giovanni). Internationally he has appeared with the Canadian Opera Company (Il barbiere di Siviglia and Xerxes; Steven Wadsworth, director); Cervantino Festival, (Guanajuato); Bellas Artes (Mexico City); Leporello (Don Giovanni; Eduardo Mata, conductor); Netherlands Opera (Taddeo: L’italiana in Algeri –TV broadcast, Alberto Zedda, conductor; Dario Fo, director); Wesener in Die Soldaten (English National Opera, British premiere, Elgar Howarth, conductor). He was recently seen in SpoletoUSA’s critically acclaimed production of Janacek’s Kat’a Kabanova (in Czech; Anne Manson, conductor; Tony Award winner Garry Hynes, director).
Among the many orchestras Mr. Opalach has been heard with are the Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, London Sinfonietta, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Mostly Mozart Festival, New York, Pittsburgh, Rochester Philharmonic, San Francisco, St. Louis, Seattle and the National Symphony (D.C.). He has collaborated with Marin Alsop, Mario Bernardi, RichardBonynge, SemyonBychkov, SergiuComissiona, James DePriest, Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Gunter Herbig, Christopher Hogwood, Lorin Maazel, Eduardo Mata, Kurt Masur, Sir Roger Norrington, Oliver Knussen, Sir Simon Rattle, Christopher Seaman, Robert Shaw, Leonard Slatkin, Edo de Waart, Richard Westenberg, Hugh Wolff and David Zinman.
The Faculty Artist Series is generously supported by Patricia Ward-Baker.
Tickets for Eastman’s Faculty Artist Series are $10 for the general public and free to current Season Subscribers. 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.