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(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) -- Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano, of the Metropolitan Opera will perform at Moravian College on Wednesday, March 28, at 8 p.m. in Foy Concert Hall. Described by the New York Times as "one of America's finest artists and singers," Frederica von Stade is in the midst of the third decade on an extraordinary career and continues to reign as one of the music world's most beloved figures.
Miss von Stade's career has taken her to the stages of the world's great opera houses and concert halls. In January 2000, the Metroplolitan Opera celebrated the 30th anniversary of her debut with a new production of The Merry Widow specifically for her.
Well known through her numerous featured appearances on "Live From Lincoln Center"telecasts, and her discography which includes dozens of recordings ranging from the songs of Canteloube and Debussy to the operas of Mozart and Rossini, and most recently to the musical theater works of Rodgers and Hammerstein (The Sound of Music) and Jerome Kern (Showboat), this renowned star is acclaimed by audiences everywhere.
Funding for this performance is provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by an annual state appropriation and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
General admission to the concert is $35. Foy Hall is located at Moravian College’s Church Street Campus at Church and Main streets in Historic Bethlehem. For more information, contact the Moravian College Music Department at 610-861-1650.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the web site at www.moravian.edu.
Biography of Frederica von Stade
Described by the New York Times as "one of America's finest artists and singers, Frederica von Stade enters the third decade of an extraordinary career and continues to reign as one of the music world's most beloved figures...
Miss von Stade's career has taken her to the stages of the world's great opera houses and concert halls. She began at the top, when she received a contract from Sir Rudolph Bing during the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, and since her debut in 1970 she has sung nearly all of her great roles with that company. In 1995, as a celebration of her 25th anniversary with the Metropolitan Opera, the company mounted a new production of Pelleas et Melisande specifically for her. In addition, Miss von Stade has appeared with every leading American opera company, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Music Center Opera, San Francisco Opera and Dallas Opera, among others. Her career in Europe has been no less spectacular, with new productions mounted for her regularly at La Scala, Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, and the Paris Opera. She is invited regularly by the world's top conductors, among them Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Andre Previn, Sir George Solti and Michael Tilson Thomas, to appear in concert with the world's leading orchestras including Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony, Orchestra of La Scala, and many others.
With seemingly effortless versatility she traverses an ever-broadening spectrum of musical styles and dramatic characterizations. A noted bel canto specialist, she excels as the heroines of Rossini's La cenerentola and of Bellini's La sonnambula. She is an unmatched stylist in the French repertoire, a delectable Mignon or Perichole, a regal Marguerite in Berlioz' La Damnation de Faust and, in one critic's words, "the Melisande of one's dreams." Her elegant figure and keen imagination have made her the world's favorite interpreter of the great trouser roles, from Strauss' Octavian and Composer to Mozart's Sextus, Idamante and - magically, indelibly - Cherubino. Miss von Stade's artistry has inspired the revival of neglected works such as Massenet's Cherubin, Thomas' Mignon, Rameau's Dardanus and Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria. Her repertoire is continually expanding with newer works such as Dominick Argento's The Aspern Papers and Thomas Pasatieri's The Seagull. It was in San Francisco that she recently performed the role of Madame de Merteuil in the world premiere of Conrad Susa's Dangerous Liasons which was broadcast on PBS.
Unparalleled in her artistry as a recitalist, Miss von Stade combines her expressive vocalism and exceptional musicianship with a rare gift for communication enriching audiences throughout the world. Here too, her repertoire encompasses an expansive range, from the Italian "Arie antiche" to the songs of contemporary composers such as Dominick Argento, who compose specifically for her, from the classical style of Mozart and Haydn to the popular music of Broadway's greatest songs. In November 1995, Miss von Stade's return to New York's Carnegie Hall for a sold-out recital was the culmination of an extensive, critically acclaimed recital tour which took her prominent venues throughout North and South America.
She has made over three dozen recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy's Premio della Critica Discografica, and "Best of the Year" citations by Stereo Review, Opera News, and other journals. Recently, she enjoyed the distinction of holding simultaneously the first and second places on the national sales charts, for Angel/EMI's Showboat and Telarc's The Sound of Music.
Miss von Stade also appears regularly on television, with "Live from the Met" performances of Cherubino, Hansel and Idamante as well as a Unitel film of the classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production of La cenerentola. She created the role of Tina in the world premiere production of Argento's The Aspern Papers (a work written for her) which was broadcast from Dallas Opera on PBS. In January 1996, Miss von Stade celebrated the art of American song with Thomas Hampson, Marilyn Horne, Dawn Upshaw and Jerry Hadley in a program at New York's Town Hall titled, "I Hear America Singing," which was televised by PBS. During the Fall of 1995 she recorded another television special for PBS which included arias, art songs and popular crossover material. A holiday special, "Christmas with Flicka," was shot on location in Salzburg and appeared on PBS, and in the spring of 1990 she was the focal point of another PBS special, "Flicka and Friends," in which she was joined by bass, Samuel Ramey, and tenor, Jerry Hadley, for an evening of operatic and musical theater selections. In December 1991 she appeared with Kathleen Battle and Wynton Marsalis in a "Carnegie Hall Christmas Concert", which was conducted by Andre Previn and broadcast internationally on television; audio and home video recordings were issued by Sony Classics. She was the guest soloist for the Berlin Philharmonic's 1992 New Year's Eve gala, conducted by Claudio Abbado, which was also telecast worldwide and recorded in audio and video formats by Sony.
Miss von Stade's 1996-97 season begins with a gala concert with the San Francisco Symphony to open their season and is followed by performances with Washington's National Symphony, under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. Further concert appearances include performances with the Utah Symphony and the Symphony of Goteborg, Sweden. Operatic highlights of the season include performances of Penelope in Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria with the Los Angeles Music Center Opera, the title role in Handel's Xerxes with Seattle Opera, and performances of Offenbach arias and ensembles with the Opera de Monte-Carlo. Miss von Stade's numerous recital appearances take her from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Montreal and from Princeton to Palm Beach. She also travels abroad to present recitals in Bordeaux, Barcelona, Valencia, Ovieto, Stockholm and Jakarta.
Frederica von Stade is the holder of honorary doctorates from Yale University, Boston University, the Georgetown University of Medicine, and her alma mater, the Mannes School of Music. In 1983 she was honored with an award given at the White House by former president Ronald Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts.