“Salut de France: A Celebration of Opera and Song” January 17 - 19

Westminster's CoOPERAtive Program presents La Fille du Régiment and a French mélodie recital.
Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Westminster Choir College CoOPERAtive Program will present “Salut de France: A Celebration of Opera and Song,” Friday, January 17 through Sunday, January 19.  The series will include performances of Gaetano Donizetti’s opéra comique La Fille du Régiment on Friday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m.; and a French mélodie recital on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Bristol Chapel on the campus of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. Pre-concert lectures will be offered 45 minutes before each performance.

Gaetano Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) is a cheerful, charming and elegant comedy centering on Marie, a young girl who is experiencing love for the first time. After being lost on a battlefield as a child, she has been raised by a group of French soldiers and has become their mascot, or the “daughter of the regiment.” Led by Musical Director Anthony Manoli and Stage Director David Paul, this semi-stage production will be performed with piano accompaniment, and sung in French with English dialogue and English supertitles.  The cast is composed of alumni of Westminster’s CoOPERAtive summer opera training program.   It will include three recent winners of the Metropolitan Opera Council’s District Auditions.  Katrina Galka will sing the role of Marie, Rexford Tester will sing the role of Tonio, and Gerard Michael D’Emilio will sing the role of Sulpice.  Diana Crane, recognized for her theatrical work in the Princeton area, will perform the role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp.

An intimate evening of French song, the French mélodie recital will feature a variety of composers to represent this genre of music. Westminster Choir College faculty member J. J. Penna will accompany alumni of the CoOPERAtive Program.

The CoOPERAtive Program is a three week intensive program with private coaching, focusing on operatic style, performance techniques, dramatic presentation, language and diction, body awareness, and résumé and application advice.  Directed by Westminster Voice faculty members Laura Brooks Rice and Christopher Arneson, the CoOPERAtive Program is presented in cooperation and consultation with professionals in the field of opera.

Anthony Manoli has worked with some of the leading opera companies throughout the world including the Theatre Des Champs-Elysees, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Opera Lausanne and L’Opera Du Rhin as assistant conductor and coach. In addition, the Spoleto Festival in both Italy and the United States, The Los Angeles Opera, The Washington Opera, Opera Company of Boston, Opera New England, Lake George Opera Festival and L’Opera Français de New York have engaged him as conductor, pianist and coach. He was a fellowship coach at the Tanglewood Festival, and he has worked with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Seiji Ozawa, Claudio Abbado, Robert Shaw, Sir Andrew Davis, Richard Bonygne and Sir Colin Davis.

Mr. Manoli is currently a coach for the Young Artists Program at the Washington Opera. He previously worked for the Los Angeles Opera’s Young Artist Program and the Canadian Opera Company’s Young Artist Ensemble. He recently conducted the Young Artist Studio of the New National Theater in Tokyo in a series of concerts. He is also a faculty member of the Mannes College of Music in New York City where he lives and maintains an active coaching studio.

David Paul has worked as a stage director at opera houses, theater companies and educational institutions throughout the United States and abroad. Recent operatic directing credits include critically-acclaimed productions of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress for the Music Academy of the West; Verdi's Il Trovatore for North Carolina Opera; and Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro at the Kennedy Center Opera House. He made his Lincoln Center debut directing a double-bill of Rossini one-act operas at The Juilliard School. Equally at home in the theater, Mr. Paul enjoys a strong connection to the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., where he directed Julius Caesar on the main stage, adapted and directed Hamlet, and served as assistant director on productions of King Lear, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, and Euripides' Ion. He was assistant director for the Broadway production of Terrence McNally's Master Class, featuring Tyne Daly. Additional directing and assistant directing credits include Ash Lawn Opera, Alaska's Perseverance Theater, Atlanta Opera, the Tel Aviv Summer Opera Festival, the Intermezzo Festival in Belgium, California Shakespeare Theater, Chautauqua Theater Company, Columbia University and The Juilliard School Drama Division, among others.

Pianist J. J. Penna, has performed in recital with some of the world’s most notable singers.  Dr. Penna holds a doctoral degree from the University of Michigan, and he has served on the faculties of the Yale University School of Music, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Bowdoin Chamber Music Festival and the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute for Young Artists.  In addition to serving on the Westminster Choir College faculty, he is a coach at The Juilliard School.

Tickets are $25 general admission for La Fille du Régiment and $15 general admission for the French mélodie recital.  They can be purchased at the door, through the box office at 609-921-2663, or online at www.rider.edu/arts. For more information, visit www.rider.edu/arts. Proceeds from these performances will benefit the CoOPERAtive Program.