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Foremost interpreter of bass and bass-baritone will also conduct master class
(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) - Samuel Ramey, world-renowned bass from the Metropolitan Opera, will perform in concert at Moravian College on Wednesday, February 26, at 8:00 p.m. in Foy Concert Hall on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus. Ramey will also preside over an informal master class with Moravian College students on Thursday, February 27, at 11:30 a.m. in Foy Concert Hall. Tickets for the February 26th concert are $50 and all seats for the February 27 master class are $10. Proceeds from these Great Artists Concert Series events benefit the John H. Reimers Music Scholarship Fund at Moravian College.
Ramey is the foremost interpreter of bass and bass-baritone operatic and concert repertoire. He has a wide range of experience in almost every musical style from his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1984 in the Fioratura of Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo to his portrayal of the title role in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle. The combination of his commanding vocalism, musicianship, elegant stage presence, and theatrical abilities enable him to play many different roles such as the sharp-witted protagonist of Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro, King Philip II of Verdi’s Don Carlos, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Field Marshal Kutuzov in Prokofiev’s War and Peace, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust. This latter role has become his most-performed role with over 200 performances in more than twenty productions.
Ramey’s portrayal of four villains in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffman prompted one critic to write in 1992, “[It was] the best interpretation of the four villains I can remember in the last 25 years. This is the stuff of which operatic legends are made.” Ramey presented a sold out concert in New York at Avery Fisher Hall in 1996. The production was entitled A Date With the Devil, in which Ramey sang fourteen arias. He continues to tour throughout the world. In 2000, Ramey performed at Munich’s Gasteig Concert Hall. This performance was recorded and released on compact disc in the summer of 2002. Ramey has given sold out performances in all the major European capitals.
Ramey has made appearances on stages of the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper, Opéra de Paris - Bastille, Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, the operas of Munich, Hamburg, Geneva, Florence, Zürich and Amsterdam, among others. In concert, he has performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, La Scala Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and the symphonies of Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Ramey has also worked with every major conductor including Claudio Abbado, the late Leonard Bernstein, James Conlon, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, the late Sir Georg Solti, and the late Herbert von Karajan.
Ramey holds the distinction of being the most recorded bass in history. His more than eighty recordings include complete operas, recordings of arias, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums on every major label. His recordings have garnered nearly every major award including three Grammy Awards, Gran Prix du Disc Awards, and "Best of the Year" citations from journals including Stereo Review and Opera News. His exposure on television and video is no less impressive, Ramey is seen frequently on television in appearances with "Live from the Met" and "Live from Lincoln Center" as well as other productions taped for PBS.
Ramey's 2002-2003 season begins with his return to Lyric Opera of Chicago for performances as Olin Blitch in Susannah. He then travels to the Los Angeles Opera where he portrays the villains in Les Contes d'Hoffmann. Following this performance, he travels to Europe for a recital tour which will take him to Vienna, Amsterdam, Madrid, Lisbon, and Milan's Teatro alla Scala. While in Europe, Ramey also appears as Philip II for the Vienna Staatsoper and Opernhaus Zürich. He continues his recital tour upon his return to the United States before appearing at the Metropolitan Opera as Zaccaria and Nick Shadow. Audiences in New York can also see his portrayal of the role of Attila at Carnegie Hall with Opera Orchestra of New York. Mr. Ramey's season concludes with his return to Opéra de Paris for his first performances of Procida in Verdi's Les vêpres Siciliennes.
Ramey is a native of Colby, Kansas. He was active in music throughout his high school and college years. In 1995, he was named "Kansan of the Year," and in 1998 the French Ministry of Culture awarded him the rank of Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters. He now makes his home in Chicago and through appearances in venues worldwide; he maintains a non-stop schedule of more than seventy performances each season.
Foy Concert Hall is located on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus at Church and Main Streets in historic Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. For more information or to purchase advance tickets, call 610-861-1650. The concert is sponsored by the Moravian College Music Department and Music Institute.
A private post-concert party will be held in Peter Hall immediately following the performance on Wednesday evening. Tickets for this private performance are $125 a person which includes a concert ticket, the party, and a contribution to the Moravian College Music Alliance. There are a limited number of tickets still available. For ticket information, contact Rose Panik 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.