March Chamber Music Soloists

Kimberly Christie, soprano, was praised by the Washington Post for her “uninhibited movement and shining vocal abilities” as Ernestine in M. Choufleuri restera chez lui le with Bel Cantanti Opera.  Also with Bel Cantanti, Ms. Christie has performed the role of Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, which was hailed by Maurice Saylor as “one of the great joys of the opera” and her aria, “a wild ride that brought down the house.”  In fall 2012, the Baltimore Sun said of her Adelaide in Guys & Dolls with the Annapolis Chorale, “Adelaide was made irresistible by Kimberly Christie who proved triply skilled as a singer, dancer and comedienne shining in ‘Adelaide’s lament.’  She made her debut with the Annapolis Chorale earlier that year as Bonnie in Anything Goes! and had the great pleasure of performing with them again as a soloist in JS Bach’s Mass in B Minor. She recently returned to the Live Arts Maryland stage as Victoria in A Grand Night for Singing.  Ms. Christie recently sang her very first Handel’s Messiah with the Frederick Chamber Singers of Frederick, MD, and then with the Long Island Choral Society.  She has enjoyed a wonderful season as LICS’s artist-in-residence, first singing soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria followed by the Messiah and, to complete her residency, will sing Mozart’s Requiem in March.  This past December also saw Ms. Christie singing with the Kennett Symphony Orchestra as the First Place Winner of their 2012 Competition.  Of her performance a local reviewer very kindly wrote, “….this tiny soprano with the big voice has it all; she sings like an angel hitting high C with no apparent effort, and with her vocal excellence is beautiful and a superb actress, particularly while singing the amusing but difficult ‘Glitter and Be Gay’ by Leonard Bernstein.”  Other exciting engagements of the past year include performing as a soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G Major and JS Bach’s Christ lag in Todes Banden with the Advent Project of Virginia as well as revisiting the role of Nella in Gianni Schicchi with Wendy Taucher Opera Dance Theater in Martha’s Vineyard.  Other opera credits include Mary Warren in Peabody Conservatory’s production of The Crucible, Adele (cover) and Sally in Die Fledermaus with Carol Community College, Serpina in La serva padrona with the Baltimore Vocal Arts Foundation, Nella in Gianni Schicchi with Peabody Opera, Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with ConcertOPERA, Philadelphia and Clara in Offenbach’s La vie Parisienne with the Franco-American Vocal Academy (FAVA).  Ms. Christie received her Master of Music degree in vocal performance from Peabody Conservatory in May 2012, and was granted the Anita Erdman Award in Opera upon graduation.  She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Rutgers University where she received the award for outstanding vocalist.  Ms. Christie has also studied with FAVA in Excideuil, France, under tenor William Lewis, and at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel, with Metropolitan Opera coach Joan Dornemann.

Tom Magette, tenor, is a frequent performer in Live Arts Maryland productions, most recently in A Grand Night for Singing.  He also appeared as Nathan Detroit in the fall 2012 production of “Guys & Dolls.” Other roles include Billy Crocker in Anything Goes!, a role he first performed at the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre in the last century and reprised with Live Arts Maryland last season, Harold Hill in The Music Man, Lt. Cable in South Pacific, Charlie Dalrymple in both our productions of Brigadoon, Max Detweiler in The Sound of Music, the Padre in Man of La Mancha, Henrick in A Little Night Music, Motel in Fiddler on the Roof, Dickon in The Secret Garden, Merlin in Camelot, Enoch Snow in Carousel and Captain Andy in Show Boat.  He also sang the role of the Sailor in the Live Arts Maryland’s production of Dido and Aeneas.  Mr. Magette has appeared in at many area theaters, including Colonial Players and the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, where he appeared in more than 400 performances.  Among his favorite roles locally are Che in Evita, the title role in Pippin, Rooster in Annie and of course that spell-binding cymbal salesman, Mr. Hill.  He created the role of Scrooge’s nephew Fred in the original production of Colonial Player’s ever-popular production of A Christmas Carol, a show he has also music-directed.  He has served as the music director for several other local shows, including Annie, Pippin and Grease.  Mr. Magette recently joined PricewaterhouseCoopers where he manages the nuclear practice.  He and his wife Marci are soon to be grandparents, an entirely new role altogether.

David Merrill, tenor, is grateful for this opportunity to sing with the Annapolis Chorale.  He received his Masters in Voice from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA, and his Bachelors in Music from Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC.  His recent roles include Sam in the opera Street Scene, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Camille in The Merry Widow, Edwin in Trial By Jury, Alexis in The Sorcerer and Lamar in Godspell.   Mr. Merrill teaches middle school music and works with the technology team at Severn School in Severna Park.  He would like to dedicate these performances to his influential mother, his wonderful girlfriend, his family and his brother and father, who have both touched the face of God.

 

 

Elizabeth Merrill, mezzo soprano, has been praised for her “vibrant presence” in The Baltimore Sun and is known for her versatility across genres, from Early Music to standard repertoire to contemporary composition. A native of St. Louis, MO, she began her music studies at a young age while singing with the Saint Louis Children’s Choir, and since then, she has performed in everything from opera to oratorio, chamber music, solo recitals, and church choirs on both the East Coast and in the Midwest.  Most recently, Ms. Merrill “succeeded marvelously” (Boston Classical Review) in the role of Oronta in Cavalli’s Artemisia with Helios Early Opera.  In 2012, Ms. Merrill sang the role of Clori in Musica Nuova’s pastiche production of Monteverdi’s Il Ballo delle Ingrate, and the role of Sesto in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto, (Timothy Nelson dir.), for which she was praised for her “vivid vocalism” in The Baltimore Sun. Other past roles include the 2nd Knabe in Die Zauberflo?te (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), Gerina in A. Scarlatti’s La Principessa Fedele, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, Senator Patrick Leahy in The Gonzales Cantata by Melissa Dunphy, and Ve?nus in Rameau’s Adonis. Ms. Merrill has performed with Maryland Concert Opera, The Amherst Early Music Festival, American Opera Theater, The Figaro Project, Concerto delle Donne, hexaCollective, The Federal Hill Parlor Series, Vivre Musicale, The Baltimore Baroque Band, Intermezzo: The New England Chamber Opera Series, the Hammond Performing Arts Series, and Union Avenue Opera. Ms. Merrill received Master’s degrees in both vocal performance and Early Music voice performance from the Peabody Conservatory in 2011, and she fulfilled the requirements of Peabody’s Graduate Performance Diploma program in 2012. She completed her undergraduate music studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she received honors for her performance thesis of Claude Debussy’s Ariettes oublie?es, and also received the Billings Performance Award in Music. Other honors include The Eugene L. Cox Graduate Fellowship for research or study of Medieval and Renaissance history and culture and Pi Kappa Lambda. Ms. Merrill currently lives in Baltimore, MD.

Caitlin Vincent, soprano, is a native of Seattle, Washington.  She made her international debut in 2007 as Amour in Clérambault’s solo cantata “Amour piqué par une abeille” at Le Mois Molière in Versailles, France. A classically-trained ballet dancer, Ms. Vincent holds degrees from Harvard University and the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with William Sharp and Ah Hong.  Recent roles include February’s A Grand Night for Singing and Sarah Brown in Guys & Dolls, both with Live Arts Maryland, Zerlina in Who Killed Don Giovanni? and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with The Figaro Project, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas with Opera AACC, the Dew Fairy/Sandman in Hansel and Gretel with Peabody Opera Theater, Sister Constance in The Dialogues of the Carmelites with Dunster House Opera, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Lowell House Opera.  In April 2011, Ms. Vincent premiered the role of Janey in Paul Mathews’ opera Piecing it Apart, a performance for which she was described as a “standout” by sequenza21.com.  Equally praised for her interpretations of concert repertoire, Ms. Vincent has performed with the Annapolis Chorale, Central Maryland Chorale, Maryland Choral Society, Harford Choral Society, and Evergreen Philharmonic in such works as Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Bach’s Cantata 51, Mendelssohn’s “Lobgesang,” Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Mozart’s “Exsultate, jubilate,” and Vivaldi’s Magnificat.  She has received first place honors from both MD/DC/VA and Pacific Northwest chapters of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Vocal Competition, as well as the George Woodhead Prize for Voice and two Peabody Career Development Grants.  Upcoming performances include Eve in Haydn’s The Creation with the Central Maryland Chorale and the role of Jackie Kennedy in the world premiere of Joshua Bornfield’s Camelot Requiem with The Figaro Project.

Jonathan Wagstaff, lyric baritone, performs extensively in both the Mid-Atlantic region and the United Kingdom. His recent operatic roles include ‘Tiresie’ in Rameau’s Naïs as a Britten-Pears Young Artist at the Aldeburgh Festival, ‘Count’ in Le nozze di Figaro (The Sage Young Artists, UK), and ‘Guglielmo’ in Cosi fan tutte. Over the last few years Mr. Wagstaff has won a number of awards including 1st place for ‘Advanced College Men’ in the 2012 NATS Competition, Mid-Atlantic Region.  He has sung as soloist on a number of recordings and broadcasts.  Notable television and radio appearances include solos for a live performance of J.S. Bach’s Magnificat on EWTN on Christmas Eve 2012, singing the English national anthem on ITV1 for HRH the Prince of Wales in a celebration for his 60th birthday in November 2008, and on BBC Radio 3 as a soloist for a program of renaissance Portuguese sacred works.  Mr. Wagstaff grew up near London singing with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain before moving on to Oxford University in 2002 to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees in Musicology with medieval music scholar Margaret Bent. He has held choral awards at The Queen’s College, Oxford, Chelmsford Cathedral, and Wells Cathedral (UK). Over the past 10 years, he has worked with a number of renowned conductors and coaches including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir David Willcocks and Graham Johnson.  He is currently in the final year of his Master of Music in Voice at the Peabody Institute, Baltimore in the studio of Steven Rainbolt, where he is the recipient of the Richard Goodlake Memorial Scholarship, and works as a professional chorister with the Choir of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC.

Larry Molinaro, organist, has devoted a substantial part of his career to the study and performance of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.  His interpretation of the music of Bach has won praise from critics and audiences alike for being innovative, thoughtful, informative and “a model of its kind” (Washington Post). Following a recent solo performance with the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra and Chorus, The Capital wrote, “Molinaro opened the program with a spectacularly rousing performance of Bach…There were times when one would swear there had to be another person at the organ, too: two hands and two feet couldn’t have struck all those notes and produced all that marvelous sound.”  Of Mr. Molinaro’s recreation of Felix Mendelssohn’s famous Bach recital at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig in 1840, the Washington Post wrote that “…the organist’s propulsive, immaculately articulated playing revved the evening to a thrilling conclusion.” Of his performances of the works of other composers, critics have written about his “graceful agility” (Baltimore Sun), and for his ability to be “both instructive and entertaining” (The Capital).  As organist and harpsichordist with the regional Live Arts Maryland program, Mr. Molinaro regularly presents concerts of the music of J.S. Bach, including “Dance, Dance Revelation” (2012) focused on dance forms in the music of Bach, and a concert cycle, “Dialogues” (2011), which featured the first volume of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (1722) and included compositions by other composers, such as Mattheson and Kuhnau, that influenced the creation of Bach’s volume. During the 2008-2009 Live Arts Maryland season, Mr. Molinaro showcased the four volumes of Bach’s encyclopedic, four-volume Clavier-Übung series, juxtaposing works by Couperin, Vivaldi, Kuhnau, Froberger and Frescobaldi that served as models for Bach’s monumental publication.  Mr. Molinaro earned the Artist’s Diploma in organ performance from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and continued his studies at Yale University’s School of Music where he was Frank Bozyan Scholar for Organ.  He studied improvisation in Paris with composer Naji Hakim and the keyboard works of J.S. Bach with Bach specialist Edward Aldwell.  He is the organist and harpsichordist for Live Arts Maryland, which includes the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra and Annapolis Chorale.  He has served as director of music at Grace Church, Georgetown (DC) and as parish organist at historic St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis, MD.