Renowned soprano Sharon Sweet will be joined by friends to present an afternoon of opera arias and ensembles.

Sharon Sweet

The Westminster Choir College Faculty Recital Series will continue with a performance by soprano Sharon Sweet on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 3 p.m. in Bristol Chapel on the campus of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, N.J.

Titled “Sharon Sweet and Friends,” the program will feature Ms. Sweet with fellow Westminster Choir College faculty members, select talented students and special guests.  They include guests Kevin Langan, bass, and Tom Studebaker, tenor.  Faculty members are Elem Eley, baritone; Tom Faracco, tenor; Sean McCarther, baritone; Kathy Price, soprano; Eric Rieger, tenor; Elizabeth Sutton, soprano; Sally Wolf, soprano and Amy Zorn. They will be accompanied by pianists William Hobbs and J.J. Penna.  

Dramatic soprano Sharon Sweet began her international career with a concert performance of Aida in Munich that brought her an invitation to join the Deutsche Oper Berlin at the beginning of the 1986-87 season, where she was particularly acclaimed for her interpretations of Leonora in Il Trovatore.  Her debut at the Paris Opera in 1987 as Elisabetta di Valois in Don Carlos was the springboard for her subsequent international career. She sang her first Norma at the Theatre Royale de la Monnaie under the late Sir John Pritchard and made her first Italian appearances as Aida at the Arena di Verona. 

Ms. Sweet's operatic discography includes complete recordings of Don Giovanni under Sir Neville Marriner; Falstaff, Lohengrin, and Der Freischutz under Marek Janowski and Il Trovatore.  In 1999 she joined the faculty at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where she is associate professor of voice.  She is in frequent demand to lead master classes and to judge international competitions. 

William Hobbs has worked at many of the world’s major opera houses, including the Opéra National de Paris, the Salzburg Festival, San Francisco Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington Opera and the Opéra de Monte-Carlo as repetiteur and conductor. His repertoire ranges from Handel to the European avant-garde, as well as works by Slavic composers and a number of premieres by American composers such as Lowell Liebermann and John Musto. He has also served on the faculty of the Aspen Opera Theater Center of the Aspen Music Festival and CoOPERAtive Program at Westminster and on the coaching staff of the Juilliard School of Music.

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.

Admission to the recital is free.