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SOLOISTS TO SING WITH MONMOUTH CIVIC CHORUS

November 27, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A quartet of outstanding soloists will perform with the Monmouth Civic Chorus in Messiah and More on Sunday, December 19, 2010, at 4:00 p.m. at the Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, New Jersey.

Soprano Elisa Singer made her New York debut as soprano soloist for the world premiere of Jorge Martin’s Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Rocking with Cantori New York. More recent performances in the New York area include Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the New York Choral Artists and the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Monmouth Civic Chorus. Recent opera engagements include La Fee in Massenet’s Cendrillon and Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, both with New York Lyric Opera Theatre, as well as Bizet’s Pearl Fishers with the Opera Company of Middlebury. Other concerts of note include a performance with the internationally acclaimed USC Chamber Choir and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall under the baton of EsaPekka Salonen, and a performance at the 2001 Emmy Awards with Barbra Streisand. She has received numerous awards and scholarships from the Young Musician Foundation, and won the Boris Goldovsky prize in opera from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

“The marvelous mezzo-soprano Silvie Jensen,” according to the New York Times, “sings beautifully.” Critics have called her voice “exquisite, floating and expressive, a joy to hear.” A vocalist of great versatility, Ms. Jensen enjoys a wide-ranging career, which includes early and contemporary music, opera and musical theater, and ethnic, improvised, and experimental music. As a soloist, she has appeared with Ornette Coleman at London’s Barbican Centre, with Meredith Monk at Zankel Hall and Teatro Comunale Ferarra, in Handel’s Messiah at Trinity Wall Street, and in classical and contemporary works at Brooklyn Academy of Music with Sir Jonathan Miller and Paul Goodwin, Ash Lawn Opera, Stonington Opera House, Riverside Opera, American Chamber Opera, New Amsterdam Opera, Miller Theater, One World Symphony, Big Apple Baroque, and with Broadway Bach Ensemble singing Mahler’s 4th symphony. Her performance in Hildegard von Bingen’s chant opera Ordo Virtutum, under the direction of Drew Minter, was critically acclaimed by the New York Times.

David Kellett made his operatic debut as Count Belfiore in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera with the Opera Shop at the Vineyard Theatre and has performed over 45 principal and secondary roles in opera and operetta. As composer/conductor David Amram’s tenor of choice, David has sung in the composer’s opera, Twelfth Night, and performed his songs in concert on numerous occasions. He appeared at Lincoln Center on a program celebrating the 50th anniversary of Joseph Papp’s Shakespeare Festival singing selections composed for productions directed by Papp during the first 11 years of its existence. Other new music endeavors include the world premieres of several works by Peter Westergaard: his operas Alice in Wonderland, The Tempest and Moby Dick and his cantata, To the Dark Lady. Radio audiences have heard him on WQXR’s “Listening Room,” and WNCN’s “WNCN Live” and recordings of his operatic performances have been broadcast on WKCR and WBAI in New York City. David appeared in Zoe Caldwell’s production of A Christmas Carol at the Hudson Theatre on Broadway featuring Christopher Plummer, Richard Kiley, Jason Robards, Maureen Stapleton, Julie Harris, and E.G. Marshall. Since 1995, David has taught private voice at Princeton University.

Baritone Andrew Cummings made his 2010 Carnegie Hall debut in the title role in Rigoletto with the New York Lyric Opera Theater in Weill Hall, followed by his debut at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia as Figaro in scenes from Le nozze di Figaro with Vox Ama Deus. Acclaimed by The New York Times for his performance in Shaw Sings! with Encompass New Opera Theater at Symphony Space, other notable operatic credits include Scarpia (Tosca) with Taconic Opera, Renato (Un Ballo in Maschera) with New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) with Opera Delaware, Zurga (Les Pecheurs de Perles) with The Opera Company of Middlebury, Escamillo (Le Tragedie de Carmen) with Hubbard Hall Opera, Tonio (I Pagliacci) at the 92nd Street Y, Germont (La Traviata) with Regina Opera, Guglielmo (Cosi fan Tutte) with Natchez Opera, and Falstaff with American Singers Opera Project. On the concert stage, Mr. Cummings has made frequent guest appearances across the United States, including Bach’s St. John’s Passion with Shepherd University in West Virginia, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Brahm’s Ein Deutsches Requiem with the University of Pennsylvania’s Choral Society, Mozart’s Requiem with the Camerata New York Orchestra, and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the University of Pennsylvania and Shepherd University. An avid performer of contemporary music, Mr. Cummings has been featured in the world premieres of Boyle’s To One in Paradise at Merkin Hall, Searching for Kristallnacht by Thomas Cabaniss at the JCC of Manhattan, Hero of Crossroads, Gardener of the Heart by Emily Anna Bridges for the Penn Composers Guild, and Papach’s The Last Leaf with the North Czech Philharmonic in the Czech Republic. A former apprentice artist at Lake George Opera, he received his music education from Temple University.

The concert features the Christmas portion of Handel’s beloved Messiah along with music from Bach’s glorious Christmas Oratorio. Dr. Mark Shapiro, Artistic Director and Conductor, will lead the chorus with orchestra and soloists. For true music lovers, it won’t be Christmas without it.

Tickets are $45 for premium seating ($40 seniors, $35 groups, $10 students), and $25 regular seating ($22 seniors, $20 groups, $5 students). Call (732) 933-9333 or visit www.monmouthcivicchorus.org for tickets and information.

The Monmouth Civic Chorus is the proud recipient of the 2008 ASCAP/Chorus America Alice Parker Award, given to only one chorus in North America each year. Under Artistic Director Dr. Mark Shapiro, the Chorus has been called “close to perfect” (Asbury Park Press), “alive and evocative” (The Star-Ledger) and “exceptional” (Red Bank Green).

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