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News Release

Renowned Mezzo-Soprano Denyce Graves to Perform at Moravian College

Annual Great Artist Series continues with concert and master class on February 27

Bethlehem, Pa., February 14, 2008— Recognized worldwide as one of today's most exciting vocal stars, Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano, will perform at Moravian College on Wednesday, February 27, 7:30 p.m., in Foy Concert Hall.  Graves will perform in concert, accompanied by Brian Zeger, piano, as part of the Great Artist Series at Moravian College—now in its 11th year.

USA Today identified her as one of the "singers most likely to be an operatic superstar of the 21st Century," and after a recent performance in Atlanta, the Journal-Constitution exclaimed, "if the human voice has the power to move you, you will be touched by Denyce Graves."

Graves will conduct a public master class Moravian College students on Thursday, February 28, at 11 a.m. in Foy Hall. In addition to the concert and master class, a celebration party will be held in Peter Hall after the concert.  Reserved seating for the concert is $50.  Tickets for the celebration reception are $125 (includes concert ticket). Admission to the master class is $10.

At Moravian, Graves’ repertoire will include Franz Schubert’s Heimliches Lieben, Op, 106 no. 1, D. 922; Der Tod und das Mädchen, Op. 7 no. 3, D. 531; Gretchen am Spinnrade, Op. 2, D. 118.  She will also perform, Johannes Brahms’ Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht, Op. 96 no. 1; Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehen, op. 32 no. 2; and Meine Liebe ist grun.  Other selections will include Francesco Cilea’s "Acerba Volutta" (from Adriana Lecouvreur); Robert Saari’s When the Forsythia Bloom; Manuel de Falla’s Siete canciones populares españolas. Later in the concert, Graves plans to sign a number of spiritual selections including Scandalize my Name, Prayer, Swing Low, and Git on Board.

Graves is no stranger to Moravian College,  the Metropolitan Opera mezzo sang for a sellout audience at Foy Hall in March of 2002, then spent the better part of the next day in a master class with students Evelyn Stewart, Rebecca Dishon ’04, Oscar Cruz Jr. ’02, and Nora Cheatham ’02. Graves cajoled, demonstrated, joked, gestured, dramatized, laughed, and marched around the stage. All the while, her fluffy white dog named Madison went to sleep under the piano.

Graves career has taken her to the world's great opera houses and concert halls. The combination of her expressive, rich vocalism, elegant stage presence, and exciting theatrical abilities allows her to pursue a wide breadth of operatic portrayals as well as delight audiences in concert and recital appearances. Graves has become particularly well-known to operatic audiences for her portrayals of the title roles in Carmen and Samson et Dalila. These signature roles have brought Graves to the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Royal Opera – Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Washington Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Arena di Verona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opernhaus Zürich, Teatro Real in Madrid, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles Opera, and the Festival Maggio Musicale in Florence.

Graves made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1995-96 season in the title role of Carmen. She returned the following season to lead the new Franco Zeffirelli production of this work, conducted by James Levine, and she sang the opening night performance of the Metropolitan Opera's 1997-98 season as Carmen opposite Plácido Domingo. She was seen again that season as Bizet's gypsy on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera for Domingo's 30th Anniversary Gala, and she made her debut in Japan as Carmen, opposite the Don José of Roberto Alagna. Ms. Graves appeared in a new production of Samson et Dalila opposite Domingo at the Metropolitan Opera, and she performed Act III of this work opposite Placido Domingo to open the Met's season in 2005. She was partnered again with Domingo in the 1999 season-opening performances of this work for Los Angeles Opera. She was seen as Saint-Saëns' seductress with Royal Opera, Covent Garden and The Washington Opera, both opposite José Cura – the latter under the baton of Maestro Domingo, as well as with Houston Grand Opera. Her debut in this signature role came in 1992 with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival under the direction of James Levine and opposite Mr. Domingo and Sherrill Milnes, and she made a return engagement to the Festival in this same role in 1997.

Graves began the 2006-07 season with performances as Judith in Duke Bluebeard's Castle in her return to The Washington Opera, a role she reprised for Dallas Opera Other operatic highlights of the season include performances as Dalila with Orlando Opera, San Diego Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, as well as performances as Carmen in Athens. Her extensive work in concert and recital includes solo recitals at the Washington Center for Performing Arts and concert appearances with the Madison Symphony and the Chicago Symphony.

Graves is a native of Washington, D.C., where she attended the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts. She continued her education at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory. In 1998, Ms. Graves received an honorary doctorate from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. She was named one of the "50 Leaders of Tomorrow" by Ebony Magazine and was one of Glamour Magazine's 1997 “Women of the Year.” In 1999, WQXR Radio in New York named her as one of classical music's “Standard Bearers for the 21st Century.”  For a complete biography, photos, audio and video clips, visit Graves’ official website at www.denycegraves.com

Foy Concert Hall is located on the Hurd Campus of Moravian College at Main and Church Streets in Bethlehem, Pa. For more information, call 610-861-1650 or email music@moravian.edu.

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.