THE STRANGENESS YOU FEEL–Information and Artist Bios


A musical investigation of desire. You may hear an operetta duet, a familiar or unknown musical theater selection, an Italian popular song, or even a country and western trio.

 

Friday, June 29, 7:30 pm
Parish Hall, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
1020 N. Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA

General admission, no tickets needed. Donations requested, $20 suggested
(Cash or check payable to St. Mark’s preferred)

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RON BARNETT is Director of Music and Sacred Arts at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, Glendale. In addition to his work as an organist, choir director, and keyboard artist, Ron is active as a composer. His full-length musicals as composer include: Manson’s Girls with book by Scott Guy, lyrics by Mitch Glaser, which won a “Pick of the Fringe” award and the ALNM Award for Outstanding Songwriting during the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018; A Christmas Carol with book by Barry Kornhauser, published in 2013 by Dramatic Publishing Company, and; When Butter Churns to Gold, which premiered in 2015 at Northern Sky Theatre in Door County, WI. His choral music is published by MorningStar, GIA, and Lorenz. Ron is currently a member of New Musicals Inc. in North Hollywood. Along with lyricist Greg Edwards, he was a finalist for the 2010 and 2012 Fred Ebb Prize.

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BernardoHeadshot3

Venezuelan-American singer BERNARDO BERMUDEZ has recently begun to essay roles and repertoire for the tenor voice. He is a long-time crossover performer with a wide repertoire of songs in English and Spanish. As a lyric baritone, his roles have included Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Diego Rivera in Frida, Silvio in Pagliacci, Escamillo in Carmen, Valentin in Faust, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, the title role in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Vidal Hernando in Luisa Fernanda, and Schaunard in La Boheme. He participated as a voice fellow in summer festivals at The Music Academy of the West, Opera North, and Opera NEO. Bernardo was a finalist in the Burbank Philharmonic Hennings-Fischer Opera Competition, an Opera Buffs Grant recipient, a semifinalist in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, a recipient of the Doug Acker Memorial Vocal Scholarship, and a winner in the Virginia Hawk Vocal Competition. (www.bernardobermudez.com)

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Ariel_pisturino_headshot_web

The Los Angeles Times hailed soprano ARIEL PISTURINO as “an impressive young discovery” following her debut performance as Nancy T’ang in Long Beach Opera’s production of Nixon in China. An advocate of contemporary works and collaborations with composers, Ariel performed the role of the Lover in The Industry’s nationally acclaimed production of HOPSCOTCH, and created the role of Laurie in Mark Abel’s opera Home is a Harbor, released on Delos Records. She also collaborated with Abel on his song cycle Five Rilke Songs for the album Terrain of the Heart, also on Delos. Recently, Ariel created the role of Rosina Brandram in a newly written Gilbert and Sullivan review Hail Poetry with Opera a la Carte. She also premiered a new song cycle, Dewdrops, by Alex Miller.

Ariel co-founded the performance troupe Chamber Opera Players of Los Angeles (COPLA) and the summer concert series unSUNg, focusing on new and unknown vocal music. Highlights of her work with COPLA include the commission and premiere of The Last Silent Voice by George N. Gianopoulos, and performances of Ned Rorem’s Three Sisters who are not Sisters. Other credits include her performances with Long Beach Opera in Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth, the premiere of the electronic opera The Master and Margarita by Russian composer Gamma Skupinsky, and the premiere of the oratorio Circular 14: The Apotheosis of Aristides by Neely Bruce.

Ariel also performs more traditional operatic roles such as Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Micaëla (Carmen), and Second Lady (The Magic Flute). She has also been heard as the soprano soloist in the Brahms Requiem, Fauré Requiem, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Requiem, and Rutter Gloria. (www.arielpisturino.com)

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gerald_seminatore

 

 

The American tenor GERALD SEMINATORE’s first public appearances were in musical theater roles, and as a cover band singer. He began his professional musical career with ensembles including the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival, and Emmanuel Music. After completing his formal training, he went on to operatic engagements with the Chautauqua, Dayton, Glimmerglass, Oakland, Santa Fe, and West Bay opera companies. Gerald made his European debut at England’s Aldeburgh Festival, and then went on to become a member of the solo ensemble at the Dortmund Opera in Germany. He was also a frequent guest artist at the Frankfurt am Main Opera, the Rheinland Pfalz Theater in Kaiserslautern, and the Bremen Opera. His operatic repertoire has embraced a wide range of roles in works by Handel, Mozart, Donizetti, Chausson, Janáček, Britten, Stravinsky, Strauss, and others. His concert performances have included appearances with many orchestras and choral ensembles. Gerald’s singing has been recognized with numerous awards, and praised in publications such as the London Times, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice. Recent collaborations include recital appearances with pianist Brian Moll in Boston, and with guitarist Taro Wayama in Los Angeles. Gerald is a teacher of vocal and performance techniques for college age and pre-professional singers and is currently a member of the Vocal Arts faculty at Georgia Southern University.

 

THE NOT QUITE PARIS CABARET (Los Angeles)

Our June 24 performance of “The Not Quite Paris Cabaret” in Glendale was enthusiastically received by our audience. That put some wind at our backs for our June 29 show for the Music@MiMoDa concert series in Los Angeles.

Tecopa_windmill_mimoda

We are nowhere near the windmills of the Moulin Rouge in Paris. However, we will sing a song about them, and also offer many other classic European and American selections during the “Not Quite Paris Cabaret.”

PRACTICAL DETAILS

Wednesday, June 29, 8:00 pm

Entry through the Paper or Plastik Cafe, 5774 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles.

Open seating, no presale of tickets. You set your donation amount at the door.

Cafe refreshments for purchase, you may bring them into the show with you.

The program is family friendly, but not intended for young audiences.

Scroll down to learn more about the artists.

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BernardoHeadshot3

American born lyric baritone BERNARDO BERMUDEZ started his musical education at The Conservatory of Music Juan Manuel Olivares in Caracas, Venezuela. His many operatic credits include Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Silvio in Pagliacci,  Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Vidal in Luisa Fernanda, Schicchi in Gianni Schicchi, and Morald in the North America stage premiere of Richard Wagner’s Die Feen, as part of Los Angeles Opera’s Ring Festival. Bernardo was a voice fellow at both The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara California and Opera North in New Hampshire. His singing has been recognized with awards from the the Burbank Philharmonic Hennings-Fischer Competition, the Opera Buffs, and the Zachary Vocal Competition.

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Ariel_pisturino_headshot_webSoprano ARIEL PISTURINO completed her graduate studies at the University of Southern California, where she performed with the Thornton Opera. She has appeared with the Long Beach Opera and other Southern California companies in roles from CarmenDon Giovanni, Nixon in China, and The Magic Flute. Most recently, Ariel appeared in the nationally acclaimed operatic event Hopscotch with the Los Angeles-based company The Industry, and as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Redlands Opera Theater. She was a featured soloist on the recent Delos Records releases of “Terrain of the Heart” and the opera “Home is a Harbor” by composer Mark Abel.

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gerald_seminatore

Tenor GERALD SEMINATORE is the founding Director of the Spacious Vision Song Project. He began his musical career with professional ensembles including the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival, and Emmanuel Music. Operatic engagements in the USA have included roles with the Chautauqua, Dayton, Glimmerglass, Oakland, Santa Fe, and West Bay opera companies. He made his European debut at England’s Aldeburgh Festival, and went on to become a member of the solo ensemble at the Dortmund Opera in Germany. Gerald was also a frequent guest artist at the Frankfurt am Main Opera, the Rheinland/Pfalz Theater in Kaiserslautern, and the Bremen Opera. His concert performances have included appearances with many orchestras and choral ensembles. Gerald’s singing has been recognized with numerous awards, and praised in publications such as the London Times, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice.

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Taro_portrait_cropped_web

TARO WAYAMA is a Japanese born guitarist and composer. He was the First Prize winner in the 2003 Aron Green/American String Teachers Association Guitar Competition, and the Second Prize winner in the Thailand International Guitar Competition. As a composer, Taro received the award for “Best Original Score” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards for the independent film Anne Jennings. He is an active soloist and chamber musician, and has performed in Japan, Thailand, Canada, and the USA. Taro frequently collaborates with instrumentalists and singers in presenting Classical music from the Renaissance through 20th Century, as well as venturing into Folk and World music. Taro earned both his Masters and Bachelor of Music degrees at the University of Southern California, where he studied an array of master teachers including Pepe Romero and Scott Tennant.

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RON BARNETT is the Director of Music and Sacred Arts at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale, CA. In addition to his work as an organist, choir director, and keyboard artist, Ron is active as a composer and music educator. His choral works have been published by GIA Publications and Morning Star Music Publishers. His score for A Christmas Carol (book by Barry Kornhauser) premiered at the Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA) in 2001. Since its recent commercial publication, the show has enjoyed several productions across the United States. A second show, Around the World in 80 Days (book and lyrics by Julianne Homokay) premiered at the Fulton Theatre in 2007. Ron’s new show When Butter Churns to Gold (book by Peter Welkin, lyrics by Randi Wolfe) had its 2015 premiere at the Northern Sky Theatre (Fish Creek, WI). Ron’s orchestrations include the productions of Bojangles (music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Sammy Cahn), Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus (music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum) and Treasure Island (music and lyrics by Marc Robin and Curt Dale Clark). Sound Design credits include the Off-Broadway production of All Under Heaven starring Valerie Harper as Pearl S. Buck, and Zelda and The Last Flapper, which played in Romania and Hungary as part of the ACTIV-5 International Theatre Festival.

TEARS OF GOLD @ 51 Walden

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Critically acclaimed singers Barbara Kilduff (soprano) and Gerald Seminatore (tenor) will join their voices for two performances of “Tears of Gold,” a recital of Spanish, French, and English songs and duets. Brian Moll will partner with them at the piano.

This program offers a unique opportunity to hear world class performers in a live concert of classic songs for solo and duo voices, along with some favorites you may recognize.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 @ 7:30 pm

Performing Arts Center
51 Walden St.
Concord, MA 01742

General admission, tickets available at the door (no advance sales).
$15 / $10 students, seniors.
www.51walden.org

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INTRODUCING THE ARTISTS

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Soprano Barbara Kilduff was a national winner of the Metropolitan Opera Council auditions, and went on to win first prize in the Munich International Competition and the Silver Medal in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Barbara debuted with the Bavarian, Vienna and Hamburg State Operas as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, a role she repeated in several theaters and later at the Metropolitan Opera. In the same season she appeared as Adele in Die Fledermaus, and returned the following season as Cleopatra in Julius Caesar under Trevor Pinnock, and as Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, a role she would repeat in Zurich and at La Scala. She appeared to great acclaim as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier at the Bavarian State Opera, and repeated this role in New York, San Diego, and Vienna.

Other highlights of Barbara’s career include Carmina Burana with the Saint Louis Symphony under Leonard Slatkin, and appearances with the New York Philharmonic under Sir Colin Davis, and the National Symphony of Spain under Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.

As a recitalist Barbara has appeared on many artist series in the United States, and she has also presented several master classes at universities and colleges. A native of New York, she now resides with her husband and two children in Andover, Massachusetts.

 

gerald_seminatore

New England native Gerald Seminatore began his musical career as a professional chorister in Boston’s musical scene, where he performed with ensembles including the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival Chorus, and Emmanuel Music.

American operatic appearances have included roles with the Chautauqua, Dayton, Glimmerglass,Oakland, Santa Fe, and West Bay opera companies. Gerald made his European debut at England’s Aldeburgh Fall Festival as Peter Quint in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, and went on to become a member of the solo ensemble at Germany’s Dortmund Opera, where he appeared in some twenty roles in opera and operetta. He was also a regular guest artist at the Frankfurt am Main Opera, the Pfalztheater in Kaiserslautern, and the Bremen Opera. Concert and oratorio work has included appearances with many orchestras and choral ensembles in the United States. He has appeared in more than fifty recitals in professional and university venues in the United States, England, Germany, and France.

Gerald’s performances have been praised in publications such as the London Times, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice, and recognized with awards from the MacAllister Foundation for Opera Singers and the Metropolitan Opera National Council.

 

 

 

Brian_Moll_headshot_cropped

Pianist Brian Moll maintains an active performance schedule while serving as Chair of Vocal and Keyboard Studies at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. He has given recitals around the world, appearing in such prestigious halls as Vienna’s Mozartsaal, the Haydnsaal at the Esterhazy Castle in Eisenstadt, Austria, and Tokyo’s Lilia Hall. He has also has performed as a keyboardist with Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music, and the Handel & Haydn Society. Brian has also served as Assistant Conductor for productions by the Boston Lyric Opera, Opera North, and Boston Midsummer Opera.

THE NOT QUITE PARIS CABARET (Glendale, CA)

Tecopa_windmill_2

(June 24 in Glendale, repeated in Los Angeles on June 29 for the Music@MiMoDa concert series.)

We are nowhere near the windmills of the Moulin Rough in Paris. However, we will sing a song about them, and also offer many other classic European and American selections during the “Not Quite Paris Cabaret.” In recognition of the support offered to Spacious Vision by the Worship Arts ministry at St. Mark’s, this concert will benefit the church’s partner congregation and school in Haiti.

PRACTICAL DETAILS

No presale of tickets; general admission. $20 donation is suggested, but any amount will be greatly appreciated. (Cash/check preferred.)

Table seating, cash bar with light refreshments.

The program is family friendly, but not intended for young audiences.

There is ample (free) street parking in front of the church, or in the lot behind the church off Dryden Avenue. The Parish Hall is wheelchair and walker friendly.

Scroll down to learn more about the artists.

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BernardoHeadshot3

American born lyric baritone BERNARDO BERMUDEZ started his musical education at The Conservatory of Music Juan Manuel Olivares in Caracas, Venezuela. His many operatic credits include Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Silvio in Pagliacci,  Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Vidal in Luisa Fernanda, Schicchi in Gianni Schicchi, and Morald in the North America stage premiere of Richard Wagner’s Die Feen, as part of Los Angeles Opera’s Ring Festival. Bernardo was a voice fellow at both The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara California and Opera North in New Hampshire. His singing has been recognized with awards from the the Burbank Philharmonic Hennings-Fischer Opera Competition, the Opera Buffs, and the Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition.

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Ariel_pisturino_headshot_webSoprano ARIEL PISTURINO completed her graduate studies at the University of Southern California, where she performed with the Thornton Opera. She has appeared with the Long Beach Opera and other Southern California companies in roles from CarmenDon Giovanni, Nixon in China, and The Magic Flute. Most recently, Ariel appeared in the nationally acclaimed operatic event Hopscotch with the Los Angeles-based company The Industry, and as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Redlands Opera Theater. Ariel is a co-founder of the Chamber Opera Players of Los Angeles (COPOLA), and a frequent collaborator in performances of new works. She was a featured soloist on the recent Delos Records releases of “Terrain of the Heart” and the opera “Home is a Harbor” by composer Mark Abel.

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gerald_seminatore

Tenor GERALD SEMINATORE is the founding Director of the Spacious Vision Song Project. He began his musical career with professional ensembles including the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival, and Emmanuel Music. Operatic engagements in the USA have included roles with the Chautauqua, Dayton, Glimmerglass, Oakland, Santa Fe, and West Bay opera companies. He made his European debut at England’s Aldeburgh Festival, and went on to become a member of the solo ensemble at the Dortmund Opera in Germany. Gerald was also a frequent guest artist at the Frankfurt am Main Opera, the Rheinland/Pfalz Theater in Kaiserslautern, and the Bremen Opera. His concert performances have included appearances with many orchestras and choral ensembles. Gerald’s singing has been recognized with numerous awards, and praised in publications such as the London Times, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice.

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Taro_portrait_cropped_web

TARO WAYAMA is a Japanese born guitarist and composer. He was the First Prize winner in the 2003 Aron Green/American String Teachers Association Guitar Competition, and the Second Prize winner in the Thailand International Guitar Competition. As a composer, Taro received the award for “Best Original Score” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards for the independent film Anne Jennings. He is an active soloist and chamber musician, and has performed in Japan, Thailand, Canada, and the USA. Taro frequently collaborates with instrumentalists and singers in presenting Classical music from the Renaissance through 20th Century, as well as venturing into Folk and World music. Taro earned both his Masters and Bachelor of Music degrees at the University of Southern California, where he studied an array of master teachers including Pepe Romero and Scott Tennant.

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RON BARNETT is the Director of Music and Sacred Arts at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale, CA. In addition to his work as an organist, choir director, and keyboard artist, Ron is active as a composer and music educator. His choral works have been published by GIA Publications and Morning Star Music Publishers. His score for A Christmas Carol (book by Barry Kornhauser) premiered at the Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA) in 2001. Since its recent commercial publication, the show has enjoyed several productions across the United States. A second show, Around the World in 80 Days (book and lyrics by Julianne Homokay) premiered at the Fulton Theatre in 2007. Ron’s new show When Butter Churns to Gold (book by Peter Welkin, lyrics by Randi Wolfe) had its 2015 premiere at the Northern Sky Theatre (Fish Creek, WI). Ron’s orchestrations include the productions of Bojangles (music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Sammy Cahn), Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus (music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum) and Treasure Island (music and lyrics by Marc Robin and Curt Dale Clark). Sound Design credits include the Off-Broadway production of All Under Heaven starring Valerie Harper as Pearl S. Buck, and Zelda and The Last Flapper, which played in Romania and Hungary as part of the ACTIV-5 International Theatre Festival.

Noble House Concert on April 23

Gerald_Taro_portrait_PPC_1Upcoming Concert!

Sat. April 23, 7:30
Noble House Concerts
5705 Noble Ave., Van Nuys, CA, 91411
(818) 780-5979

Selections from “Love’s Guitar” with Taro Wayama (guitarist) and Gerald Seminatore (tenor). Songs by Benjamin Britten, Claudio Monteverdi, and Joaquin Rodrigo, with additional solo selections played by Taro and guitarist Thomas Foster.

General admission. $15 donation requested, pay what you can.

SAKURA SONGS was a great success!

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Following “Sakura Songs” on March 13 at Centenary United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, the artists posed for a group photo. (L-R) David Lee Ruest, violinist / Taro Wayama, guitarist / Gerald Seminatore, tenor / Marisa De Silva, soprano / Izumi Kashiwagi, pianist. We had an appreciative and enthusiastic audience, and this program was an auspicious beginning for Izumi’s new concert series at the church.

PROGRAM

SCHUBERT “An die Musik” and “Mein!”
RODRIGO “Coplas del pastor enamorado,” “Adela,” and “En Jerez de la frontera”
(Taro and Gerald)

PIAZZOLLA “Bordel-1900” from Histoire du Tango
TRAD. “Danny Boy”
(Taro and David)

TAKI “Kojo no Tsuki” (荒城の月)
HIRAI “Nara-yama” (平城山)
NAKADA “Sakura Yokocho” (さくら横ちょう)
(Izumi and Gerald)

IPPO TSUBOI
Blue smoke is flowing in Lento (煙の青い lento もながれ)
I. Spring
II. Village Girl
III. Summer
IV. Dispirited Autumn
V. January on the Iwate Light Railway
(Izumi and Marisa; this was a joint commission from the composer)

BURLEIGH “Deep River”
KOHN “On the Other Shore”
COPLAND “Zion’s Walls”
(Izumi and Gerald)

WEBBER “Pie Jesu”
(Izumi, Marisa, Gerald)

Details about the next Spacious Vision program will be announced in early April.

 

SAKURA SONGS–Introducing the Artists

We are pleased to share information about the impressive roster of artists for SAKURA SONGS on March 13 at the Centenary United Methodist Church in Los Angeles. They are introduced here in alphabetical order.

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Marisa De Silva headshotSoprano MARISA DE SILVA is active as a performer, voice teacher, and Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique. Marisa grew up in Japan and has been singing Japanese songs her entire life. Her rendition of “Hana wa saku” — a song dedicated to the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami — has reached nearly half a million views on YouTube. An avid recitalist, she has given recitals in Italy, Spain, France, the USA, and Japan. Marisa has also spent several summers in Spain studying with Teresa Berganza, and performing songs from the Castilian, Latin American, and Catalan song repertoires. She is currently a student in Early Music Performance at the University of Southern California, and teaches at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
 

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Izumi_photo_croppedPianist IZUMI KASHIWAGI started playing the piano at the age of five. She attended California State University in Long Beach, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance. She continued her studies with Kevin Fitz-Gerald at the USC Thornton School of Music, where she earned both the Masters and Doctoral degrees in Keyboard Collaborative Arts. Izumi has been both a student and performer at festivals such as the Aspen and the Quartet Festival in Boulder, CO. She has worked as a collaborative pianist with many singers, including at SongFest in Los Angeles in 2014. As a chamber musician, Izumi has played with several professional instrumentalists, including violinist Charles Castleman and Los Angeles Philharmonic cellist Peter Stumpf. Izumi is on the staff of the Centenary United Methodist Church, and also teaches at Vanguard University.

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Violinist David Lee Ruest was born in South Korea and grew up in New York City. After earning his Bachelor’s degree at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, he came to California to become a member of the Santa Barbara Symphony. He then went on to graduate study at UCLA, where he earned his Master’s degree. As an orchestral violinist, David has also performed with the Harrisburg, Annapolis, Baltimore, New West, and Long Beach Symphonies. He also plays the viola and is active as a private teacher in both instruments.
 
 

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Taso_headshot_BWTenor GERALD SEMINATORE is the director of the Spacious Vision Song Project. He began his musical career with professional ensembles including the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival, and Emmanuel Music. Operatic engagements in the USA have included roles with the Chautauqua, Dayton, Glimmerglass, Oakland, Santa Fe, and West Bay opera companies. Gerald made his European debut at England’s Aldeburgh Festival, and went on to become a member of the solo ensemble at the Dortmund Opera in Germany. He was also a frequent guest artist at the Frankfurt am Main Opera, the Rheinland/Pfalz Theater in Kaiserslautern, and the Bremen Opera. His concert performances have included appearances with many orchestras and choral ensembles. Gerald’s singing has been recognized with numerous awards, and praised in publications such as the London Times, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice. Gerald has taught at several colleges and universities in Southern California, and traveled extensively as a master class teacher in the United States and in Europe.

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Taro_portrait_cropped_webTARO WAYAMA is a Japanese born guitarist and composer. He was the First Prize winner in the 2003 Aron Green/American String Teachers Association Guitar Competition, and the Second Prize winner in the Thailand International Guitar Competition. As a composer, Taro received the award for “Best Original Score” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards for the independent film Anne Jennings. He is an active soloist and a chamber musician, and has performed in Japan, Thailand, Canada, and the USA. Taro frequently collaborates with instrumentalists and singers in presenting Classical music from the Renaissance through 20th Century, as well as venturing into Folk and World music. Taro earned both his Masters and Bachelor of Music degrees at the University of Southern California, where he studied guitar and composition with Pepe Romero, William Kannengiser, James Smith, Brian Head, and Scott Tennant.

 

New Year’s Greeting–Britten’s “A New Year Carol”

220px-Ilex_aquifoliumOn this last day of 2015, here is an audio excerpt from our 2014 program Carols Rare and Bright. “A New Year Carol” is from Benjamin Britten’s Friday Afternoons (op.7), a collection of songs written for the students of Clive House School in Prestatyn, Wales, where the composer’s brother was Headmaster.

The text relates a Welsh custom of sprinkling people and the doorways with water newly drawn from a well. The words “Levy dew” may be derived from the Old English levedy (“lady”), or from the French Levez à Dieu (“Raise to God”), which alludes to the elevation of the host during the Eucharist. (This would explain the water and the wine in the words that follow.) The “seven bright gold wires” represent the strings of a golden harp, presumably played by an angelic chorus that also includes shining bugles. The “Fair Maid” is medieval personification of the Virgin Mary. The East and West doorways are both literal and metaphorical.

Here are the lyrics, followed by the link to the recording.

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“New Year Carol” (Walter de la Mare)

Here we bring new water from the well so clear,
For to worship God with, this happy New Year.

Chorus (after each verse):
Sing levy-dew, sing levy-dew, the water and the wine,
The seven bright gold wires and the bugles that do shine.

Sing reign of Fair Maid, with gold upon her toe;
Open you the West Door and turn the Old Year go.

Sing reign of Fair Maid, with gold upon her chin;
Open you the East Door and let the New Year in.

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Click here for this live performance on SoundCloud of “A New Year Carol.” The singers are Ariel Pisturino and Anthony Moreno, with Krystof Van Grysperre at the piano.

We wish all of our visitors and friends a very happy and musical New Year!

 

 

SONGS FOR THE NATIVITY Program Information

TIME: Sunday, Dec. 20, 4:00 pm
VENUE: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1020 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA

PROGRAM: Something a little different than arrangements or covers of the same handful of classics. We will present rarely heard holiday-themed songs and arias by J.S. Bach, Benjamin Britten, Michael Head, Joaquin Rodrigo, Peter Warlock, Ralph Vaughn Williams and others, as well as Spanish villancicos, carols by Alfred Burt, and a few American standards for audience participation! The ambience of historic St. Mark’s Church provides a superb and intimate setting for this unusual program, performed by three acclaimed singers, a pianist, and a guitarist.

TICKETS: There is no pre-sale of tickets. General admission / open seating by donation. $20 is suggested, but any amount will be greatly appreciated. Cash preferred, checks accepted.

There is ample (free) street parking in front of the church, or in the lot behind the church off Dryden Ave. The church is wheelchair and walker friendly.

Scroll down to learn more about the artists. We hope to greet you personally at the concert!

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gerald_seminatore

Tenor GERALD SEMINATORE is the director of the Spacious Vision Song Project. He began his musical career with professional ensembles including the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival, and Emmanuel Music. Operatic engagements in the USA have included roles with the Chautauqua, Dayton, Glimmerglass, Oakland, Santa Fe, and West Bay opera companies. He made his European debut at England’s Aldeburgh Festival, and went on to become a member of the solo ensemble at the Dortmund Opera in Germany. Gerald was also a frequent guest artist at the Frankfurt am Main Opera, the Rheinland/Pfalz Theater in Kaiserslautern, and the Bremen Opera. His concert performances have included appearances with many orchestras and choral ensembles. Gerald’s singing has been recognized with numerous awards, and praised in publications such as the London Times, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice.

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Ariel_pisturino_headshot_webSoprano ARIEL PISTURINO  completed her graduate studies at the University of Southern California, where she performed with the Thornton Opera. She has since performed with the Long Beach Opera and other regional opera companies, in roles from CarmenDon Giovanni, Nixon in China, and The Magic Flute. Most recently, Ariel appeared in the nationally acclaimed operatic event Hopscotch with the Los Angeles-based company The Industry. Upcoming roles include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Redlands Opera Theater. Ariel is a co-founder of the Chamber Opera Players of Los Angeles (COPOLA), and a frequent collaborator in performances of new works. She was a featured soloist on the Delos Records release “Terrain of the Heart” by composer Mark Abel, released in 2014.

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E_Scott_Levin_headshotBass-Baritone E. SCOTT LEVIN completed graduate studies at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He began his singing career in St. Louis, where he sang in over twenty productions with Union Avenue Opera. Since moving to Los Angeles, Scott has performed regularly with the Pacific Opera Project, and also appeared with Long Beach Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Celestial Opera, Center Stage Opera, and the Redlands Opera Theater. This season he made his debut as the Sacristan in Tosca with the Townsend/Fresno Opera, and his Los Angeles Opera “Off-Grand” debut as Babayan (Bartolo) in Figaro 90210! Most recently, Scott had his Los Angeles Opera main stage debut as Dr. Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi, starring Placido Domingo and directed by Woody Allen. Scott is also the co-founder of Chamber Opera Players of LA (COPOLA).

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Taro_portrait_cropped_webTARO WAYAMA is a Japanese born guitarist and composer. He was the First Prize winner in the 2003 Aron Green/American String Teachers Association Guitar Competition, and the Second Prize winner in the Thailand International Guitar Competition. As a composer, Taro received the award for “Best Original Score” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards for the independent film Anne Jennings. He is an active soloist and a chamber musician, and has performed in Japan, Thailand, Canada, and the USA. Taro frequently collaborates with instrumentalists and singers in presenting Classical music from the Renaissance through 20th Century, as well as venturing into Folk and World music. Taro earned both his Masters and Bachelor of Music degrees at the University of Southern California, where he studied with Pepe Romero, William Kannengiser, James Smith, Brian Head, and Scott Tennant.

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RON BARNETT is the Director of Music and Sacred Arts at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
In addition to his work as an organist, choir director, and keyboard artist, Ron is active as a composer and music educator. His choral works have been published by GIA Publications and Morning Star Music Publishers. His score for A Christmas Carol (book by Fulton Barry Kornhauser) premiered at the Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA) in 2001. Since its recent commercial publication, the show has enjoyed several productions across the United States. A second show, Around the World in 80 Days (book and lyrics by Julianne Homokay) premiered at the Fulton Theatre in 2007. Ron’s new show When Butter Churns to Gold (book by Peter Welkin, lyrics by Randi Wolfe) had its 2015 premiere at the Northern Sky Theatre (Fish Creek, WI). Ron has also scored over two dozen shows for regional children’s theatre, some of which have toured nationally, been performed at the Producer’s Association of Children’s Theatre in NYC and the Kennedy Center in Washington, and been nominated for TCG awards. Ron’s orchestrations include the world premiere productions of Bojangles (music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Sammy Cahn), Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus (music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum) and Treasure Island (music and lyrics by Marc Robin and Curt Dale Clark). Sound Design credits include the Off-Broadway production of All Under Heaven starring Valerie Harper as Pearl S. Buck, and Zelda and The Last Flapper, which has played in Romania and Hungary as part of an ACTIV-5 international theatre festival.

Concert film: Gerald Seminatore and Taro Wayama perform songs of John Dowland

On their April 2015 concert at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, guitarist Taro Wayama and tenor Gerald Seminatore opened the program with three “ayres” by English lutenist John Dowland (1563-1626). These songs from the twilight of the Elizabethan era are wonderfully expressive examples of the conventions of courtly love in art music.

Gerald_Taro_portrait_PPC_1Awake, sweet love
Flow my tears
Can she excuse my wrongs?

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