WCC CoOPERAtive Alumni Recital features mezzo-soprano Anne Marie Stanley and James Sparks


Westminster Choir College and CoOPERAtive program alumna Anne Marie Stanley will present a recital Thursday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Bristol Chapel on the campus of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton. She will be accompanied by pianist James Sparks. Admission is free.

Their program will include Cinco Canciones by Xavier Montsalvage, Hebrew Melodies by Maurice Ravel, Banalités by Francis Poulenc and selections from Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti.

Mezzo-soprano Anne Marie Stanley made her professional operatic debut at the Spoleto Festival USA as Suor Agnese in Giordano’s Mese Mariano in 2013. The following year, she completed the Houston Grand Opera Young Artists Vocal Academy and performed the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni with the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. Subsequently, she became a member of the Apprentice Singer Program with The Santa Fe Opera, singing the role of Giovanna in Rigoletto, covering Olivia in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain and singing in the chorus in La fille du régiment.

She is the first prize winner in the Franco-American Grand Concours Vocal Competition in Austin, Texas; the Philadelphia Orchestra's Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition, The New York Lyric Opera Theatre's National Vocal Competition, the Opera Columbus' Cooper-Bing Vocal Competition and the Schuyler Foundation's for Career Bridges Grant.

Last summer she attended Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Calif., where she performed the role of Dinah in Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti. She also sang the role of Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, conducted by James Conlon and directed by James Darrah. She recently sang the role of Valletto in Bare Opera's production of L'incorinazione di Poppea conducted by David Moody and directed by David Paul. Locally, she was the mezzo soloist in performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with The Princeton Symphony, conducted by Rossen Milanov in 2017. This season she will enroll at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where she will perform the role of Leonora in Donizetti’s La Favorite.

An alumna of Westminster’s CoOPERAtive summer opera training program, Stanley earned a Bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir College and a Master of Music from Rice University in Houston.

A native of Ashland, Kentucky, James Sparks relocated to Princeton, to pursue a master's degree at Westminster Choir College.  He earned a Bachelor of Music in collaborative piano performance from Morehead State University. Sought by singers and teachers for his colorful, sensitive playing, he coaches several students at Westminster Choir College and Rowan University. Sparks made his debut with Westminster’s CoOPERAtive program as assistant conductor/pianist for Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore in 2015, working closely with conductor Susan Ashbaker.  He has since served as assistant conductor/pianist for CoOPERAtive’s productions of Verdi’s La traviata and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, working with conductor Thomas Bagwell.

At Westminster James developed a close working relationship with famed collaborative pianist Dalton Baldwin. He has participated in Mr. Baldwin’s classes at l’Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice in France. In 2017, he was selected to participate in the Bayerische Staatsoper Summer Festival as répétiteur pianist.​