Rachmaninoff Vespers Soloists

 

MGray2015Madeleine Gray, mezzo, has been lauded for her strong dramatic presentation and “big, well-focused voice” (Neue Merker) of “considerable weight and expressive coloring” (Baltimore Sun), mezzo soprano Madeleine Gray was born in New York, but for many years made her home in the United Kingdom. She is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, where awards included a major grant from the Peter Moores Foundation.

Since her return to the US, she has performed regularly  with the Washington National Opera where she made her debut as Rebecca Nurse in special performances of The Crucible, and returned for Mama Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana, The Duchess of Krakenthorp in  Fille du Regiment and to cover Flora la Traviata and The Mayor’s Wife in Jenufa. In 2015 she will join the company as a Carmelite Nun in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites.

Other recent performances include Marcellina le Nozze di Figaro with Lyric Opera Baltimore, Frugola and La Zelatrice in Puccini’s Il Trittico with Baltimore Concert Opera, the Verdi Requiem for the Annapolis Chorale and Teresa in La Sonnambula with Washington Concert Opera, Aurelia in The Chocolate Soldier at the Bard Festival, a return to Annapolis Opera to sing Marcellina in le Nozze di Figaro , The Witch in Hansel and Gretel for Opera on the James, Emilia in Otello with Opera Roanokeand Mama Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana for Toledo Opera, a role she repeated in critically-acclaimed concert performances opposite Dolora Zajick and the late Salvatore Licitra with Washington National Opera.

A favorite with the former  Baltimore Opera, her many roles with the company included, among others,  Berta in  il Barbiere di Siviglia, 4th Maid in Elektra, Marcellina le Nozze di Figaro, the Voice of Antonia’s Mother in Contes d’Hoffmann and Anna in Maria Stuarda.  She sang Marcellina le Nozze di Figaro with the newly-founded Lyric Opera Baltimore in its inaugral 2011-12 season.

Other US performances include her Avery Fisher Hall debut as alto soloist in Messiah with the National Chorale, a return to the National Cathedral Choral Society as mezzo soloist in the Mozart Requiem, performances of Messiah with the Annapolis Chorale – with whom she will sing the Verdi Requiem in 2012 – 3rd Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Columbus, and she created the role of Marie in the world premiere of Donizetti’s “lost” opera Elisabeth at the Caramoor International Festival conducted by noted bel-canto scholar Will Crutchfield.  Other roles in her wide-ranging operatic repertoire include Orfeo (Orfeo e Euridice), Geneviève (Pelleas et Melisande), Emilia (Otello), Ma Moss (The Tender Land), 3rd Lady (The Magic Flute), Mrs Herring (Albert Herring) and Baba (The Medium), a role for which she has received considerable recognition, including earning a “Pick of the Fringe” award from the Buxton Festival for her performance.

Companies with which she has performed include the Aldeburgh Festival, Annapolis Opera, Banff Festival for the Arts, ECOV, The Opera Company, Opera North, Scottish Opera, San Francisco Opera’s touring company Western Opera Theater, and many others. She is also a frequent recital and concert performer, with numerous appearances throughout Europe and the United States.  Read more about Ms. Gray here.

 

Merrill-PhotoDavid Merrill, tenor, is excited to be back with Live Arts Maryland!  He received his MM in Voice from Shenandoah Conservatory and his BM from Methodist University.  Recent musical theater roles include John Jasper in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Jean Valjean in Les Miserablés, Sir Galahad in Spamalot, Mr. Snow in Carousel and Adam/Noah in Children of Eden.  Recent opera roles include Sam in Street Scene, Camille in The Merry Widow, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Paolino in Il Matrimonio Segreto, Edwin in Trial By Jury and Alfred in Die Fledermaus.  Mr. Merrill has had the pleasure of working with Colonial Players, Woodbrook Players, Annapolis Summer Garden Theater, Victorian Lyric Opera, Central Maryland Chorale and the Calvert Memorial Hospital in past concerts.  Currently, he is the director of music and fine arts at Woods Presbyterian Church in Severna Park, MD.  Mr. Merrill would like to thank his wife and family for all their love and support.  You can read more about Mr. Merrill here.