American Composers Orchestra

About the Artists


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Carol Vaness

Carol VanessAmerican soprano Carol Vaness' illustrious career has encompassed regular appearances at all the world's major opera houses, collaborations with today's foremost conductors in operatic and symphonic repertoire, a distinguished ca1talogue of recordings, and frequent television broadcasts in Europe and North America. Her interpretations of Mozart's dramatic heroines (Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte, Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Elettra in Idomeneo, and Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito) have been hailed as definitive in virtually every important theater in the world. The scope and range of her voice and dramatic prowess have allowed her to command a repertoire of exceptional breadth and versatility. In recent seasons Vaness has become internationally identified with the role of Floria Tosca. Since her first appearances in this role in a new production in Paris, she has appeared as the Roman Diva at virtually every major operatic capitol.

Ms. Vaness was born in San Diego, California, where she also completed her musical studies. She made her professional debut as Vitellia for San Francisco Spring Opera and has been acknowledged as the world's leading interpreter of this role. Ms. Vaness has regularly appeared at such opera houses as the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Deutsche Opera Berlin, Vienna State Opera, and Paris Opera. Her distinguished discography includes Tosca with the Philadelphia Orchestra (Philips); two recordings of Don Giovanni, the first singing Donna Anna and the second Donna Elvira (both Angel/EMI); and Iphigenie en Tauride from La Scala (Sony Classical). Most recently released are a recording of Idomeneo led by James Levine for Deutsche Grammophon and an album of Diva Scenes for BMG/RCA Victor Red Seal.


Louis Otey

Louis OteyA major stage personality noted for his incisive and provocative interpretations, baritone Louis Otey has performed with leading theaters throughout the world. Notable roles he has performed include the title role in Don Giovanni with Houston Grand Opera, Escamillo in Carmen at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden - a performance that was televised worldwide and commercially available.

A frequent leading artist at New York City Opera, Mr. Otey has performed there most recently as the title role in Rigoletto. Engagements this season include a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore with Portland Opera, Arthur in Le Roi Arthus at the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels, and Escamillo in a concert performance of Carmen with the Israeli Philharmonic. Mr. Otey can be heard as John Sorel in Menotti's The Consul with Chandos and on a recording of Tom Pasatieri's adaptation of The Three Sisters.


Neil Rosenshein

Neil RosensheinThe versatile American tenor Neil Rosenshein is known equally for his memorable stage portrayals and his thoughtful musicianship. He has captured critical and popular acclaim throughout the world and appears with equal success on the opera stage and in concert halls in repertoire by composers from the Baroque to the twentieth century.

In recent seasons Mr. Rosenshein has sung Herod in Salome with the Milwaukee Symphony, and Tikhon in Katya Kabanova with Houston Grand Opera. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Alfredo in La traviata, initiating a relationship which has brought numerous re-engagements. In 1991 he appeared as Léon in the Met's world premiere of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles.

A much sought-after orchestral soloist, Neil Rosenshein has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as the symphonies of Dallas, San Francisco, Houston, and Atlanta. With the Indianapolis Symphony under John Nelson, Mr. Rosenshein recorded Loeffler's Five Irish Fantasies for New World Records. He is heard on a recording of The Creation with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He also appears on the Deutsche Grammophon recording of Bernstein's Songfest. His television appearances include a performance of the title role of Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex with the Concertgebouw under Haitink and the PBS Great Performances presentation of Dallas Opera's world-premiere of Dominick Argento's The Aspern Papers.


Arthur Woodley

Arthur WoodleyAmerican bass Arthur Woodley has been acclaimed for his performances in both opera and concert. This season, Mr. Woodley was seen in Un Ballo in Maschera at the Pittsburgh Opera, and as Porgy in a concert version of Porgy and Bess with the Baltimore Symphony. His most recent opera engagements have included Mustafa in L'Italiana in Algeri with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Capellio in Capuletti e i Montecchi with the Minnesota Opera, Pietro in Simon Boccanegra with the Dallas Opera, and Sam in Un Ballo in Maschera with the Seattle Opera.

Mr. Woodley has a distinguished history with the role of Porgy in Porgy and Bess. He recently appeared in new productions of the opera with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Indianapolis Opera. He has also portrayed the role with the Opera Colorado, the Bregenz Festival, and the Catfish Row Opera Company of Charleston, South Carolina, in a gala celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opera's debut.

On the concert platform last season, Mr. Woodley was heard in the world premiere of God, Mississippi, and Medgar Evers with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Other recent engagements include Mahler's Symphony No. 8 (recorded for DELOS), a concert performance of Fidelio with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Saul in Kurt Weill's The Eternal Road at New York's Avery Fisher Hall, and Elijah, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Missa Solemnis, and Dvorak's Stabat Mater in Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Woodley's upcoming engagements include returns to the Dallas Opera, the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Seattle Opera.

Elizabeth Batton

Elizabeth BattonOne of the most promising young singers essaying the operatic repertoire, Elizabeth Batton was a grand winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition for the year 2000 and the first recipient of the Alton E. Peters Award. In addition, she was a winner of the 2001 Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition, a semi-finalist in the Placido Domingo Operalia Competition, and a finalist in the 2002 Loren Zachary Competition.

This season, Ms. Batton will be joining Pittsburgh Opera as Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Indianapolis Opera for her first Charlotte in Werther. Future engagements include Hermia with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with the Macau International Music Festival.

Ms. Batton, born in Indianapolis, received her Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music, and completed her undergraduate degree at Millikin University in Illinois. She now resides in New York City where she studies with Ira Siff and coaches with Liora Maurer.

Margaret Thompson

Margaret ThompsonThe New York mezzo-soprano Margaret Thompson, described as a singer with "captivating depths of expression and cultivated, elegant singing" made her Wagnerian debut as one of the Valkyries in Madrid, Spain in 2003.

Ms. Thompson recently made her US debut as Anna in Kurt Weill's Die Bürgschaft at the Spoleto Festival. The first complete recording of this opera was produced at the Festival under the direction of Julius Rudel and was released April 2000 by EMI Classics.

Ms. Thompson was chosen by Christa Ludwig to receive the Tirolian Academy First Prize and was nominated as Best Young Singer in the 1999 Operwelt Yearbook. She began her career in the opera houses of Germany where she sang over 60 operatic and oratorio roles and has expanded into such rarities as Nastassja in the world premiere of Thomas Blomenkamp's The Idiot in 2001, the title role in the first German premiere of Theo Loevendie's Esmée which was recently released on CD, and Margareta in Schumann's Genoveva.

Matthew Burns
Agrippa; Alexas (Cleoptatra's Attendant); Fourth Guard; Soldier II
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Recent engagements: Masetto in Don Giovanni for New York City Opera; Marquis in La traviata for New York City Opera; Roderigo in Gloria: A Pigtale for Aspen Opera Theatre

Peter Couchman
Hometown: Gettysburg, PA
Recent engagements: Zalzal in Chabrier's L'Étoile for New York City Opera (debut); Nemesis in Schumann's Manfred Symphony for the American Symphony Orchestra; Die Fledermaus and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in Tulsa

Richard Lippold
Thidias; Second Guard; Maecanas; Soldier I
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Recent engagements: Schaunard in La Bohème for Chattanooga Opera and Opera Waco; Baritone Soloist in Carmina Burana at Carnegie Hall (solo debut) with the Netherlands Youth Symphony; Lucius Harney in Stephen Paulus' Summer for New York's Center for
Contemporary Opera

Jonathan Goodman
Antony's Guard
Franklin Square, NY
Recent engagements: Publicist in Richard Wilson's Aethelred the Unready for American Symphony Orchestra; title role in Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex and Mozart's Requiem at Alice Tully Hall

Andrew Martens
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Third Guard; Guardsman; Antony's Guard
Recent engagements: Alvaro in Alzira at Carnegie Hall; Outstanding Artist Recital at Symphony Center, Chicago; Swallow in Peter Grimes for Tanglewood

Douglas Purcell
A Soldier of Caesar; Antony's Guards
Hometown: Farmingdale, NY
Recent engagements: Patacha in Emmanuel Chabrier's L'Étoile for New York City Opera; Heinrich Schütz's The Birth of Jesus Christ for EOS Orchestra; Samuel Barber's Hermit Songs for solo recital on Music at St. Alban's concert series

Mark Rehnstrom
Kane, Pennsylvania
A Rustic
Recent engagements: Bass solos in Handel's Messiah for Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall; Astrologer in Daniel and the Lions for Ensemble for Early Music; Lennie in Carlisle Floyd's Of Mice and Men for the Cleveland Opera

James Archie Worley
Eros; A Messenger; Senator
Hometown: Winder, GA
Recent engagements: Handel's Messiah for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra; Brahms' Neue Liebeslieder Waltzer for the Mark Morris Dance Group; Prokofiev's War and Peace for the Metropolitan Opera.


The New York Concert Singers

Founded in 1988 by Music Director and Conductor Judith Clurman, the New York Concert Singers is an innovative professional ensemble that performs as a chamber chorus, full chorus, a cappella group or quartet. The ensemble's versatile repertoire extends from Renaissance music to the works of today's most prominent composers, among them Leonard Bernstein, William Bolcom, John Corigliano, David Diamond, Philip Glass, Aaron Jay Kernis, Libby Larsen, Arvo Pärt, Ned Rorem, Stephen Paulus, Augusta Read Thomas, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Many of these artists have composed pieces especially for the Concert Singers.

The New York Concert Singers has been featured in an hour-long special on NBC-TV, as well as on the David Letterman Show, and on radio programs for NPR, WNYC and WQXR. They are the recipients of the ASCAP/Chorus America Award. Recordings by the Concert Singers on Delos and New World are currently available, including their most recent CD, "A Season's Promise."

Conductor Judith Clurman is renowned for her vision, artistry and versatility. Long recognized for her vital role as a virtuoso in the field of choral music, she serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School as Director of Choral Activities. Ms. Clurman is the founder and Director of The New York Concert Singers and Director of Choral Activities for the TodiMusicFest.Ms. Clurman's ensembles have appeared at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic, Mostly Mozart and Great Performers, at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the Boston Symphony, American Composers Orchestra and the New York Pops, as well as in appearances throughout the United States and Europe. She has appeared as guest conductor at the Bravo:Vail Music Festival, with members of the Virginia Symphony, and with the Orchestra of St. Luke's. Ms. Clurman's master classes and choral workshops have taken place at Cambridge University, Eton College, the Janacek Academy in the Czech Republic, Universitá di Ancona, Italy and at the Zimriya in Israel.





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Febraury 24, 2003