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Mezzo soprano Christie Connolley recently completed a concert tour of Kansas, featured on Kansas Public Radio, the tour aimed to bring classical music to underserved communities throughout rural Kansas.
Ms. Connolley made her international operatic debut in 2009 singing Third Lady in in Die Zauberflöte at the Seoul International Opera Festival in Korea. Other roles performed include the title role in The Rape of Lucretia, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, and Desiree in A Little Night Music. Ms. Connolley garnered the following praise for her portrayal of Dame Quickly in Falstaff, “The best performance is that of Christie Connolley… Connolley’s singing is not only tonally poignant but also powerful and very clear. Her adaptation of Dame Quickly brings out the rumor-mongering, clever, and capricious traits of the character.”
For three seasons, Ms. Connolley was selected as a member of the Opera Fort Collins Apprentice Artists where she covered the role of Mimi in La Bohème and performed Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana opposite Cynthia Lawrence and Charles Taylor. She was chosen to participate in Orvieto Musica – Festival of Art Song, where she gave several chamber performances throughout Orvieto, Italy. Ms. Connolley’s other performing credits include the Alto Soloist in Brahms’s Liebeslieder in Colorado State University’s Concert Series in collaboration with East China Normal University and several solo recitals.
Ms. Connolley holds a Master of Music from Colorado State University where she was the recipient of the Colorado State University Fellowship, a Graduate Teaching Assistantship and the Opera Pronto Scholarship. She earned a Bachelor of Music from Metropolitan State University of Denver where she was the recipient of the Beverly Fernald Scholarship, Denver Lyric Opera Guild Scholarship and Metro’s Music Talent Award. Ms. Connolley undertook doctoral coursework at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
In addition to singing, Ms. Connolley is also the Music Editor of Uptempo Magazine and is the co-founder and director of Operagasm.com, an e-magazine that presents a cutting edge national perspective on current events, news, reviews, interviews, fashion and editorial contributions regarding opera and classical music. Ms. Connolley’s other interests include international travel, outdoor activities, politics, art and fashion.
Praised by The New York Times for her “stylish singing” and by The Boulder Daily Camera as “simply incredible…the highlight of the entire evening,” soprano Melissa Wimbish is quickly garnering recognition for her artistry, technical prowess, and captivating stage presence.
During the 2013/14 season, Ms. Wimbish will perform the role of the History Teacher in the highly anticipated NYC-premiere of Paul’s Case by composer Gregory Spears and directed by Kevin Newbury. With Opera AACC, she will debut the role of Micaëla in George Bizet’s Carmen followed by another debut with American Modern Ensemble in Robert Paterson’s Ghost Theater. Alongside pianist and composer Tom Cipullo, she will appear in recitals presented by Urban Arias at Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Wimbish recently made her charming Lyric Opera Baltimore debut as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro of which The Baltimore Sun praised her “bright voice” and “knack for animating phrases” while Opera News noted her “promising soprano.” Her interpretation of modern music has led her to several world-premiere opportunities including yet another debut with D.C.’s National Philharmonic as the teenage anti-Semite, Christine in Janice Hamer’s Lost Childhood. Additional operatic roles include the Soprano in Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, Jackie Kennedy’s closest advisor, Nancy Tuckerman in Joshua Bornfield’s Camelot Requiem, Eve in Patrick Soluri’s Adam and Eve, Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), Manon (Manon), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Blöndchen (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Cunegonde (Candide), and one of her signature roles as Elle in Poulenc’s monodrama for soprano, La voix humaine.
A winner of the Vocal Arts Society Discovery Recital Series, Ms. Wimbish made her Kennedy Center recital debut in 2011. She was honored as a finalist in the 2013 International Liszt-Garrision competition and awarded Best Interpretation of American Song. In 2014, she was the grand-prize winner of the NATS Artist Award (NATSAA) and the Franco-American Vocal Academy Prize for excellence in the interpretation of French repertoire. Other victories include the Denver Philharmonic Concerto Competition (2012) and the Kennett Square Symphony Competition (2011).
Her abilities as a versatile young artist have earned a number of performance engagements both on and off the opera stage. An equally compelling stage actress, her resume includes a healthy roster of theater experience. Featured roles include Andy Two in the premiere of Rich Espey’s original play, Three Andys, based on the life of Andy Warhol, the Cuban Singer in Linus & Alora by Andrew Irons, for which she composed original music, and Reverend Beaux in Young Jean Lee’s drama, Church.
She has appeared in master classes with Marilyn Horne, Thomas Hampson, William Matteuzzi, Francois Loup, Judith Christin, and Curt Peterson. Fortunate to study with world-renowned soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson, she completed her Graduate Performance Diploma in Chamber Music at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and was a proud recipient of the Douglas and Hilda Perl Goodwin Endowed Scholarship Fund for Opera. Ms. Wimbish is represented by Mirshak Artists Management.
Learn more at www.melissawimbish.com.
TERRENCE VON BÜLOW
“Mr. von Bülow was simply the most amazing tenor ever to perform at Carnegie Hall (a room in the Ogallala, Nebraska Convention Center). His debut recital showed the breadth of his wide-ranging vocal abilities, starting with Ecco ridente in cielo from Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and closing with Inbrunst im Herzen from Wagner’s Tannhauser. He sang both very loud and less loud, very slow and much faster (while it seems his pianist was even faster). Although he is the only opera singer that I have ever seen in person, I have seen another really great opera singer, Jackie Evancho on America’s Got Talent and he seemed equivalently good as her.”
Those are the latest vibrant words of praise for up and coming German-American tenor Terrence von Bülow. Although Mr. von Bülow is a native son of Mobile, Alabama he can trace his heritage back to his father’s grandfather, Herr Otto von Bülow, who was authentically German. Thus, the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, and Wagner are coursing through his veins.
Mr. von Bülow began singing before he could even walk. As a child prodigy he was endowed with a creamy golden hued tenor that became the voice of Georgia-based store Mattress Mania, whose commercials were beamed into living rooms statewide.
As Mr. von Bülow’s career took off and he was became in global demand, he sacrificed the opportunity to attend college, choosing instead to travel with his mother Tawny von Bülow who is also his voice teacher, vocal coach, repetiteur, dramatic and movement coach. In recognition of her son’s overwhelming talent and the need for a quality Southern performing arts training program, Tawny founded the prominent young artist program – Young Operatic Artists of Georgia Studio Program Training Institute, which proved to be a star vehicle for Mr. von Bülow. During his tenure at YOAGSPTI, Mr. von Bülow appeared in the title role of the following mainstage productions: Aida, Dido and Aeneas, Giulio Cesare, Orfeo ed Euridice, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflote, Nabucco, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Norma, Don Pasquale, Gianni Schicchi, Rigoletto, Turandot, Don Carlos, Falstaff, Pagliacci, Tosca, Otello, Madama Butterfly, Don Giovanni, Fidelio, Der Freischutz, Faust, Lohengrin, Cenerentola, The Turn of the Screw, Pagliacci, Tristan und Isolde, La Boheme, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Les Contes d’Hoffman, Salome, Hansel undo Gretel, Un Ballo in Maschera, Der Rosenkavalier, Ariadne auf Naxos, La Wally, Jenufa, Cavalleria Rusticana, Les Troyens, Manon, Carmen, Macbeth, Pelleas et Melisande, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Bartered Bride, Boris Godunov, La Traviata, Romeo et Juliette, Eugene Onegin, The Rake’s Progress, Cosi fan Tutte, Bluebeard’s Castle, Peter Grimes, Wozzeck, and Porgy and Bess.
Mr. von Bülow also won first place in several prominent vocal competitions including the Young Operatic Artists of Georgia Studio Program Training Institute Grand Opera Talent Gala Competition for an unprecedented five years in a row. He also received an honorable mention in the high school NATS final competition.
When not singing Mr. von Bülow enjoys DJ dance remixes of top forty hits (especially Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston), he tries to adhere to a low-carb diet and lives with his partner Serge and there two Dachshund’s Dolce & Gabbana in New York City.