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Opera Programs To Feature Renowned Singer, Famous Scenes

March 27, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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SHSU’s opera program will be front-and-center during a master class featuring a renowned performer and the semiannual workshop, which will integrate video.

The SHSU Opera Workshop will go “incognito,” presenting a series of scenes in which one or more characters are in disguise, on Friday and Saturday (March 30-31), at 7:30 p.m. each evening in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

“Opera Incognito” will feature scenes from “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Don Giovanni,” “Die Fledermaus,” “Cosi fan tutte” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

This year’s workshop will include a film noir set design by Jeffrey Lindquist and Carolyn Barton, the program will also be integrating the work of SHSU student filmmaker Samuel Sanchez, Jr., into the opera scenes, according to Opera Workshop director Rebecca Grimes.

Alan DornakOn Wednesday (March 28), Metropolitan Opera countertenor and SHSU alumnus Alan Dornak will spend the day working with students for a public master class from noon to 1 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall and from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in Music Building Room 202.

“Dornak has an impressive career as an opera singer, and we consider it a real privilege to be able to host him,” Grimes said.

Dornack earned his bachelor’s degree from SHSU in 1996.

He has since been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “an impressive new countertenor on the scene” and by Classics Today for “using his big countertenor voice with authority and accuracy.”

Dornak’s engagements in California, New York, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Spain and Brazil, have established him as an artist of international critical acclaim. He joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in 2006-07.

His standard countertenor repertoire includes such performances as Oberon in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and the title role of “Giulio Cesare.” He has appeared with the Berliner Kammeroper, and at the Dresden Music Festival where he was praised for his “powerful voice” (Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten) in his performance. He has also performed with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and in numerous touring performances of Meder’s “Die beständige Argenia,” which inspired a German television documentary, “Behind the Scenes with a Countertenor.”

Among his various recordings, Dornak has gained critical acclaim and earned special recognition from Klassik Heute for his “beautiful voice” and “exemplary” performance in the 2004 recording of J.K. Kerll’s “Missa Nigra,” released by Oehmsclassic. Recordings of Dornak are broadcast on a regular basis throughout the world.

He first began to pursue his career as a countertenor after singing the role of the Spirit in “Dido and Aeneas” with the Brandenburg State Theater. After being awarded a grant by the Horst and Gretl Will Foundation, Dornak furthered his studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden, where he received two advanced degrees in vocal performance.

Tickets for the Opera Workshop performances are $17 for general admission, $14 for senior citizens, and $5 for students. The master classes are free and open to the public.

For more information, or for tickets, call the GPAC Box Office at 936.294.2339



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