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Lieder, Melodies, and More

Colleen Marcello

Soprano Colleen Marcello makes her Friends of Vienna debut

The Friends of Vienna are looking forward to the appearance of soprano Colleen Marcello and her accompanist pianist Roland E. Martin on March 10, at 3:30pm, at the Unity Church (1243 Delaware Avenue). Her program will feature sets of songs by Henry Purcell, lieder by Mozart, and French mélodies by Debussy, as well as a selection of opera arias.

As an experienced interpreter of the Broadway musical tradition, Marcello says, “Art song is very much like musical theater repertoire in that both genres use music and text to tell a story. While most operatic arias are vehicles for glamorized vocals, art song is intimate and directly tied to the poetry, and I have always felt at ease singing art song.”

Marcello developed her quick study skills during her career as an honors scholar at the University at Buffalo, going on to earn a master’s degree from Westminster Choir College. Returning to Buffalo after more than a decade of performing Off-Broadway, Marcello has quickly established herself as one of the area’s most sought-after sopranos.

After her return to Buffalo, Marcello developed a vocal node that hampered her singing, so a family friend suggested that she study with the mezzo-soprano Genia Las, who had performed at Milan’s fabled La Scala opera house. “That was the best suggestion ever,” says Marcello. “Miss Las was able to find a warm, lyric soprano sound that I never knew I had. Under her tutelage, I was able to sing Puccini and Verdi with ease, and thanks to her I have been able to sing opera and concert repertoire with confidence, and I now sing far more classical music.”

Marcello demonstrated her consummate command of bel canto singing technique, along with her dramatic ability, in her vivid portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in Opera Sacra’s powerful production of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda last November, before being featured as a soloist in the BPO Chorus’s Messiah. For the BPO, Marcello has been the featured soloist in the role of Maria in West Side Story and she has also appeared under the baton of the late Marvin Hamlisch. For Opera Sacra, she originated the role of Nora in the premiere of Roland Martin’s drama in music, Riders to the Sea, and garnered critical praise in the title role of Suor Angelica.

Tickets are $10, $6 for students. For tickets and more information, visit www.friendsofvienna.org.

Music in Buffalo’s Historic Places

“Music in Buffalo’s Historic Places,” an innovative new classical music series, will make its debut on Saturday, March 10 at 7:30pm, in the ultra-modern Greatbatch Pavilion of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House Complex. Grammy-nominated violinist Jesse Mills joins UB faculty members pianist Eric Huebner, cellist Jonathan Golove, and violinist Veronique Mathieu, along with guest violist Virginia Barron, in a program that provides a musical context for Wright’s early prairie-style masterpiece.

Eric Huebener came up with the idea for the series, but he says, “I worked with Brian Carter from UB’s School of Architecture and Planning as well as my fellow UB Department of Music faculty member David Felder, who is director of the Center for 21st Century Music, in creating the two programs we are presenting this season. Growing up in Los Angeles, I was aware of a popular series called ‘Chamber Music in Historic Sites.’ So, I must credit that as well for providing the original inspiration for this series.

“Music in Buffalo’s Historic Places is unique in that our concerts are presented in public buildings that are central to civic life in Buffalo,” he says. “This is a concept Professor Carter articulated in our initial meeting and that I think guides the series. The concerts are important statements not only about Buffalo’s distinguished history, accompanied with a brief pre-concert discussion of the architecture, but also serve as important settings for connection and collaboration between UB faculty and Buffalo-based musicians as well as prominent visiting artists. The music is chosen with the location in mind, and the idea is that the visual and acoustic properties of the space will impart a certain character to the musical presentation that would be missing in a more generic concert hall setting. A primary goal is that the architecture should enhance the musical experience and vice-versa.

“Finally, the series fits into the mission of the Center for 21st Century Music—bringing the work of University at Buffalo faculty into the local community.”

Mills and Huebener will perform two sonatas for violin and piano, Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata, and the Sonata No. 4, by the iconoclastic American composer Charles Ives, while Mills will be joined by Mathieu, Barron and Golove for a performance of Dvorak’s “American” string quartet. Concert attendees are invited to take part in a mini-tour of the Martin House, 6:30-7:15pm, with a reception following the performance. Reservations are required, as the evening is sure to be a sell-out.

Tickets are $15 and $20. For more information, call 856-3858 or visit www.darwinmartinhouse.org.

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