Opera Exposures, the Staten Island-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to presenting concerts featuring seasoned professional musicians and young operatic artists in accessible venues at affordable prices, will present its first 2012 spiritual music recital on Sunday, April 22, at 3 PM at Saint Mark's Church, Second Avenue and 10th Street in Manhattan. Sopranos Natalie Bergeron, Krysty Swann and Cheryl Warfield will join tenor George Cornelius on the program. Baritone Anthony Turner will also present an excerpt from his program, "Poets of the Harlem Renaissance." JoNathan Kelly will be at the piano. The recital will be followed by a Reception and Dance with the cast.
Dwight Owsley, Opera Exposure's Artistic Director, will serve as narrator. Edna Greenwich, Opera Exposure's Founder and President, is the producer.
Tickets are $50 and $40 and include Reception and Dance Party with a live DJ immediately following the recital. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling 917/402-8144 or visiting the Opera Exposures official website at www.operaexposures.org. They may also be purchased at the door
Soprano Natalie Bergeron is a recent winner in the Liederkranz Wagner Division, which includes a debut at Carnegie Hall in Weill auditorium. In the 2011-2012 season, she can be seen as Maddalena opposite Marcello Giordani as Andrea Chenier with the Orchestra Toscanini of Milan as well as other concerts in New York, Memphis and her hometown of Birmingham, AL. She was recently accepted into the Evelyn Lear/Thomas Stewart Emerging Wagnerian Artists Program in Washington D.C. as well as creating the role of Blanche Germont in the premiere of Dodici Personaggi in Cerca di Voce by the renowned La Scala Maestro Bruno Rigacci. She recently performed Ines while covering Leonora in Verdi's Il Trovatore in her Opera Memphis main stage debut, and has performed Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Rosalinda in Strauss' Die Fledermaus, Lady Billows in Britten's Albert Herring, the Countess Almaviva in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Sylvianne in Lehar's The Merry Widow, Musetta in Puccini's La Bohème, and with Opera Birmingham the role of Giovanna in Verdi's Rigoletto.
George Cornelius recently made his tenor debut as Don José with Stony Hill Players in NJ, and repeated the role shortly thereafter with Pacific Opera. This Spring he returns to Stony Hill Players as Ferrando in Cosí fan tutte. A former baritone, his roles included Leporello, Giovanni, Guglielmo, Papageno, Onegin, Falke, Escamillo, Ford, Rossini's Figaro, Count Danilo and many others. George holds music degrees from Texas Christian University, University of North Texas, and University of Michigan. He has apprenticed with Fort Worth Opera, Pine Mountain Music Festival, and Utah Festival Opera.
Mezzo-soprano Krysty Swann is the recipient of the New York City Opera 2009 Richard F. Gold Career Grant and the 2008 Intermezzo Foundation Award, given by the prestigious Elardo International Opera Competition. Other recent awards include the Silver Prize with Opera Index and a Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation grant for 2006-07 and 2008-09. In the 2010-2011 season, Ms. Swann has performed Handel's Messiah with the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the role of Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with the Opera Orchestra of New York, conducted by Alberto Veronisi. She will also be covering Schwertleite in Die Walkure with the Metropolitan Opera, and she will participate in the Bregenz Festival in Austria. This past season, Ms. Swann appeared as Emilia in Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin's The Firebrand of Florence with The Collegiate Chorale conducted by Ted Sperling and an opera gala concert with Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Swan also returned to the New York City Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. Ms. Swann has also recently covered the title role of Margaret Garner in the New York premiere of Richard Danielpour's opera with New York City Opera and made her Avery Fisher Hall debut in Verdi's Requiem. Ms. Swann has also appeared with Michigan Opera Theatre and the International Vocal Arts Institute, Israel. A recent graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Ms. Swann was featured on the cover of the July 2007 issue of Opera News with acclaimed dramatic mezzo Dolora Zajick. Additionally, at Manhattan School of Music she received critical acclaim in Vaughan-Williams' Riders to the Sea and as Madame de la Haltiere in Massenet's Cendrillon.
Baritone Anthony Turner performed the lead role of Josh Gibson in scenes from The Summer King with American Opera Projects and the University of Southern Maine. This new work in progress, composed by Daniel Sonenberg, chronicles the life of the black 'Babe Ruth' of Negro League Baseball. He has appeared with Opera Ebony in a program of Negro Spirituals at The New York Historical Society. These performances are affiliated with the exhibit: New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War. Mr. Turner is also a featured soloist with YesIsAWorld in Katrina Ballads, by composer TEd Hearne, at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C.; Opera Exposures, in a program of operatic arias; The Art of the Spiritual at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Oakland, CA and the Yachats Music Festival (OR), under the auspices of Four Seasons Concerts. He has appeared as guest soloist with Boston Musica Viva in the Creation by Louis Gruenberg, the Serenade recital series (Staten Island, NY) and at the Kennedy Center in the Dance Theatre of Harlem production St. Louis Woman.