World-renowned soprano Adrienne Danrich will perform An Evening in the Harlem Renaissance on Thursday, February 10, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. in Gorell Recital Hall, John Sutton Hall.
The concert is part of the Lively Arts’Performance Plus series, which brings touring artists from around the globe to Indiana throughout the year.
Danrich will lead the audience on a journey through the sights and sounds of the Harlem Renaissance. Presented in a documentary style, the performance will chronicle one of the most exciting times in American history for African American writers, singers, and composers. It will include recordings, pictures, and songs that were hits from the 1920s through the early 1940s, highlighting the music of Billie Holiday, Margaret Bonds, Harold Arlen, and George Gershwin, among others.
The program will bridge these decades through the premiere of four new works by New York-based composer Drew Hemenger. Set to the writings of Langston Hughes, one work will be a duet with Danrich and IUP voice professor Joseph Baunoch. Four IUP music students will also assist Danrich with the production. The performance is presented in collaboration with pianist Djordje Stevan Nesic.
The four new works are co-commissioned by the Lively Arts. Hemenger will be in attendance for the concert and, as part of the Lively Arts extensive school outreach activity, will provide a workshop for area high school students and IUP music majors engaged in composition.
Danrich made her professional debut as Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zaubeflöte with Kentucky Opera and made her San Francisco Opera stage debut as Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen. She made debuts with Sarasota Opera, Opera Pacific, and Dayton Opera as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, her Lyric Opera of San Antonio debut as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte. Most recently, she returned to the Dayton Opera stage as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.
She has also performed lead opera roles with the Lyric Opera of San Antonio, the Cincinnati Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and others. She has performed with the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Bryan Symphony, St. George’s Choral Society, Dayton Philharmonic, Northern Kentucky Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, and Cape Cod Symphony, among others.
In October 2009, Danrich performed with the Kenya Opera in various venues throughout Africa in Nairobi and Mombasa. On the concert stage, Danrich made her soloist debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall with the New England Symphonic Ensemble and her Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center debut with the Little Orchestra of New York.
Danrich, a native of St. Louis, Mo., is an alumna of Eastman School of Music and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and has several recordings to her credit, including A Tribute to William Warfield with the Eastman School of Music.
Hemenger’s works have been commissioned by distinguished artists and institutions, both here and abroad, including Madrid’s Jones-Maruri Duo and most recently by Pascal and Ami Rogé to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, titled “Four Places in New York,” for piano.
Tickets for An Evening in the Harlem Renaissance are available now at the Hadley Union Building ticket office or online. Remaining tickets may be purchased at the door beginning forty-five minutes prior to the start of the performance. Tickets are $16 for regular admission, $14 for seniors (sixty-two and older) and groups of fifteen or more, and $10 for students and children. For more information, call the Lively Arts at 724-357-2547 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This performance is presented by the Lively Arts in celebration of Black History Month and in cooperation with the IUP African American Cultural Center. Additional support for this project is being provided by the Office of Social Equity.
The Performance Plus series is funded, in part, by the IUP Student Cooperative Association, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Office of International Education, and IUP’s Liberal Studies Program.