Thursday, November 19 at 7:30PM EST

+Post-Performance Q&A

CLICK HERE (or copy-paste the link below) to reserve a ticket to join us after the performance for a Q&A session with Jason Tramm plus vocalists Rochelle Bard Errin Duane Brooks. (https://sopacnow.secure.force.com/ticket/#/instances/a0F2I00000SGjdCUAT)

Seton Hall University’s Classical Concert Series and the Charles and Joan Alberto Italian Studies Institute are pleased to present A Night of Italian Opera Arias for Hope and Resilience featuring performances by artists of MidAtlantic Artistic Productions with commentary by Jason Tramm, Director.

Featuring

Rochelle Bard, soprano
Errin Duane Brooks, tenor
Karen Linstedt Delavan, piano accompaniment
Jason Tramm, commentary

Program

Introduction by Drs. Levine and Romani

Arias from Puccini’s Tosca
Recondita armonia
Vissi d’arte

Arias from Verdi’s operas
O tue che in seno agli angeli (La Forza del Destino)
Sempre Libera (La Traviata) 

Arias from Puccini’s operas
Che il bel sogno di Doretta (La Rondine)
Nessun dorma (Turandot) 

La Boheme (Che Gelida Manina- Mi chiamano Mimi- O Soave Fanciulla) Act 1 Love Scene

Question and Answer Session

Special Thanks

Special thanks to those at Seton Hall who have made this program possible:

Joseph E. Nyre, President
Katia Passerini, Provost and Executive Vice President
Deirdre Yates, Dean of the College of Communication and the Arts
Danielle Clements, Executive Director for Marketing and Enrollment, College of Communication and the Arts
Gabriella Romani, Director, Alberto Italian Studies Institute
Barbara Ritchie, Administrative Assistant, Alberto Italian Studies Institute

For questions about the Seton Hall University Classical Series, please contact Dena Levine: denalevine@shu.edu

For questions about the Alberto Institute, please contact Gabriella Romani: gabriella.romani@shu.edu

About the Artists

Soprano Rochelle Bard has been described as an “exquisite singing actress, brilliant and heart-breaking.” Ms. Bard performed her second Donizetti queen Maria Stuarda, and recently made her debut as Norma for which critics proclaimed her “beautifully constructed and achingly gorgeous delivery, at times soft as a whisper, and at others thrilling in its altitude…” and said “…she carried off the dramatic contrast between the grandeur of confident matriarchal strength and the rage of a spurned woman with as much believability as can be wrung out of the role.”

Recent seasons featured debut roles of Abigaille in Nabucco with Sarasota Opera, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with Opera Tampa, and the title role in Aida with Washington Opera Society, the ruthless Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, and the ill-fated queen Maria Stuarda, as well as a house debut as Tosca with Hawaii Opera Theatre. Upcoming in 2020/21, the role debut of Odabella in Verdi’s Attila is scheduled with Sarasota Opera, as well as concerts with Maryland Opera.

Under the baton of Eve Queler, Ms. Bard was the cover for Ms. Mariella Devia as Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux with the Opera Orchestra of New York, and performed a concert of arias at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. She also debuted the title role in Norma, as well as Leonora in Il Trovatore with Knoxville Opera, the title role of Tosca in Boston, and Violetta in La Traviata with Opera Company of Middlebury and Shreveport Opera.

In concert, Ms. Bard has performed on the main stage of Carnegie Hall as the soloist in Carmina Burana with dancers from Alvin Ailey, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Mozart’s Requiem, and A Prayer for Peace. She has been recognized with prestigious awards from the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, George London Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards, the Seoul International Competition, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition.

Opera roles also include the tour de force performance of the four heroines Olympia/ Antonia/ Giulietta/ Stella in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. She has performed The Merry Widow with Opera Tampa and Utah Festival Opera, as well as Magda in La Rondine with Opera Tampa with Maestro Anton Coppola, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Idaho, West Bay Opera and Opera San Jose, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Utah Festival Opera, Musetta in La Boheme with Sacramento Opera, and Micaëla in Carmen with Ash Lawn Opera. As the Foreign Princess in Rusalka with Boston Lyric Opera, she was deemed by Opera News to be “a deliciously evil enchantress.” Ms. Bard was also an Artist in Residence with Opera San José, Baltimore Opera, and Tanglewood.

Critics report that as Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s Macbeth “Her voice is rich and engaging, she is a wonder…This Lord and Lady engage each other with a sparkling intimacy that makes their ‘road to hell’ a very exciting one.” As Violetta in La Traviata, “Bard became Violetta by not only convincing acting, she incorporated the character and her joys and woes into her vocal delivery, much in the way that made Maria Callas a legend.” As the title role in Maria Stuarda, “Bard’s performance exemplified the gentle nuance and outward clarity of a heroine in true bel canto style, while reserving startling power and strength for the inevitable conflict. Her performance revealed a leading lyrical edge to her voice that is not only gorgeously crystalline but also has stunning depth. In her confrontation scene with Elizabeth, Bard’s dramatic power emerged as she hurls a ‘vil bastarda’ at Elizabeth as if it were a dagger.” As Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, critics noted “A brilliant and complete comic performance -the total package…enhanced by her acting chops and a sweetness at the top of her range.”

A recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Music from her alma mater the College of the Holy Cross, and a Master’s Degree from the New England Conservatory, Ms. Bard is a sought-after concert artist as well. Recent appearances include the Mozart Requiem with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Carmina Burana and the Poulenc Gloria with the New Haven Symphony, Beethoven’s 9th, Messiah with the Hartford Symphony, Rachmaninoff Vocalise, Exsultate Jubilate, Lord Nelson Mass, Elijah, Bachianas Brasileiras, Coronation Mass and the Brahms Requiem. A pianist before finding her classical voice, she is also an accompanist and music director in Connecticut.

Errin Duane Brooks is quickly gaining momentum worldwide as an American tenor from Detroit, Michigan. Most recently, he made his role and company debut, singing the title role in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde with Connecticut Lyric Opera in the fall of 2019, his Lincoln Center Theater debut singing the role of Mr. Charles in Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel in the winter of 2020, as well as his Metropolitan Opera debut, singing the role of Mingo in Porgy and Bess in the Fall of 2019 and again in the winter of 2020. In May, Brooks returned to New Amsterdam Opera for another role debut; Jean de Baptîste in Massenet’s Hérodiade, where he was highly praised for having “a voice like warm steel!” That same month, he also made his debut with American Opera Project, based in Brooklyn, NY, in their production of Stonewall, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Mr. Brooks made his debut as the tenor soloist in Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes at Lincoln Center with The National Chorale in April 2019 and also debuted as tenor soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Vaughn-Williams’ Serenade to Music and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms at Carnegie Hall in May 2018. He has performed with many companies including Boheme Opera New Jersey, Lyric Opera Chicago, Michigan Opera Theater, New York City Opera, Teatro Petruzelli, Toledo Opera, and Utah Festival Opera.

Brooks has also had success in competitions, most recently winning the Giulio Gari Foundation International Voice Competition and, most notably, earning the George London-Kirsten Flagstad Grand Prize Award for promising Wagnerian Singer in the 2017 George London Foundation Competition. Upcoming performances for Mr. Brooks included a return to the Metropolitan Opera for the 2021-22 season singing the 1st Priest and 1st Armed Man in Die Zauberflöte and a reprise of Mingo in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Brooks received his Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance with a minor in Business from Madonna University and his Master’s degree in Vocal Performance at Bowling Green State University. He currently resides in New York City.

A native of California, Karen Linstedt Delavan earned her B.M. in Piano Performance at the New England Conservatory, her M.M. in Collaborative Piano from The Juilliard School, and also held a Fellowship with The Juilliard Opera Center. Ms. Delavan has worked for more than 25 years as a successful freelance coach and recital accompanist, including recitals at Weill Recital Hall, Westminster Choir College, and Cairn University. She held adjunct faculty positions at Long Island University and The Hartt School of Music, including two residencies at UT Austin–Butler Opera Center. Currently she is Coach and Advisor for the M.M. and Graduate Diploma students at the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at the Juilliard School, and also holds adjunct faculty positions at Seton Hall University and Far Brook School, while continuing to freelance in the New York area. Ms. Delavan has also held music staff positions with many notable opera companies including Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Sarasota Opera, Boston Lyric, Light Opera of New Jersey, Michigan Opera Theater, and The Spoleto Festival (Charleston). She has had the good fortune to work with exceptional artists including Victor DeRenzi, Jane Glover, Ernst Haefliger, George Manahan, James Meena, Joe Rescigno, Stewart Robertson, Emmanuel Villaume, Elly Ameling, Hans Hotter, Martin Isepp, Martin Katz, Marlena Malas, Hermann Prey, Harvey Shapiro, and Edward Zambara. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband – baritone Mark Delavan, and three children.

Hailed as “a conductor to watch” by Symphony Magazine and “Filled with Italianate Passion” by the Huffington Post, Jason C. Tramm’s work in the opera, choral and symphonic realms have received critical acclaim throughout the United States and abroad. Maestro Tramm serves as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor with MidAtlantic Artistic Productions with whom he made his Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium) debut in 2015. The program, entitled “A Prayer for Peace,” featured works of Bernstein, Vaughan Williams, and Saygun. The second concert of this critically acclaimed series took place on October 27, 2017 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and featured works of Vasks, Schoenberg and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Metropolitan Opera baritone, Mark Delavan. He served as Artistic Director of the New Jersey State Opera from 2008 to 2012, where he collaborated with some of the finest voices in opera, including Samuel Ramey, Vladimir Galouzine, Angela Brown, Gregg Baker, and Paul Plishka. His 2009 HDTV broadcast with PBS affiliate NJN of “Verdi Requiem: Live from Ocean Grove,” garnered an Emmy Award nomination.

The busy maestro is entering his 15th season as Director of Music, in Residence, of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association in the summer months, where he leads the choral, orchestral, and oratorio performances in the historic 6,500-seat Great Auditorium. In addition to the Ocean Grove Choir Festival, a beloved event in its 64th year and attended by thousands, he has appeared on two National Public Radio broadcasts with organ virtuoso Gordon Turk and symphonic orchestra. He also serves as Music Director of two acclaimed community choral societies, the Morris Choral Society (Morristown, N.J.), with whom he began his fifth season and the Taghkanic Chorale (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) with which he is in his second season. Maestro Tramm was also appointed as the Music Director/Conductor of the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Ensemble, where he collaborates with noted director/choreographer, Gabriel Chajnik.

An accomplished educator, he has served as Director of Choral Activities at Seton Hall University since 2011, where he has lead the University Chorus, Chamber Choir, Orchestra, and teaches voice and conducting. In 2017, Seton Hall University Awarded him the University Faculty Teacher of the Year. Educating and mentoring the next generation of musicians has always been a central part of Jason Tramm’s career. He is also actively sought as a clinician and regularly presents lectures on a wide variety of musical topics.

Mr. Tramm holds degrees in music from the Crane School, the Hartt School, and a D.M.A. in Conducting from Rutgers University, where he was the recipient of their prestigious Presidential Fellowship. In 2003, he joined the ranks of Metropolitan Opera Stars Renee Fleming and Stephanie Blythe when he was honored with the Rising Star Award from the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association.

A frequent guest conductor, he has led operatic and symphonic performances in Italy, Romania, Albania, and in Hungary, where he recorded an album of rarely heard French operatic arias with the Szeged Symphony. He was Guest Conductor on the Narnia Festival (Narni, Italy) during the 2017 season. The spring 2020 guest conducting season was cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this Jason Tramm launched a podcast entitled Music Matters 2020, where he has explored the effects on COVID-19 on the music industry, as seen through the eyes of distinguished colleagues. This podcast has become the fastest growing classical music podcast on YouTube.

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