May 21, 2006

Photo Album: Classical Singer Convention 2006

Since Classical Singer Convention & Expo 2006 came to our own back yard in Philadelphia, it only made sense for to exhibit. We were the last minute entry and the Classical Singer Magazine management was more than accommodating to make our participation worthwhile.

We met lots of wonderful professional singers and voice teachers. Having the home court advantage, some of our colleagues, friends and current members came to our booth to say hello. Below is a photo album from the event.

My very good friend, Julian Rodescu was one of the judges in the voice completion held during the Classical Singer Convention. Julian is a basso who performs with major opera houses. He is on the faculty at both the Westminster Choir College and Swarthmore College and adjudicates many important completions including the last Walter W. Naumburg Completion in New York. Julian had but a minute to visit as he announced to me that the next day he's flying out to Italy where he runs the Florence Voice Seminar Photo: Julian Rodescu and Ghenady Meirson

Also judging the voice competition at the Classical Singer Convention was Danielle Orlando a colleague of mine at both The Curtis Institute of Music and The Academy of Vocal Arts. At both schools, Danielle serves as the master vocal coach. I have known Danielle a long time and in my view, there must be a category for a super master coach because hand down she is one. Photo: Danielle Orlando and Ghenady Meirson

Robert Driver stopped by to say hello. He was the Keynote Speaker at the Classical Singer Convention 2006. Robert Driver is the General Director of Opera Company of Philadelphia and I have known him since he came to the post in 1991. Photo: Robert Driver and Ghenady Meirson

Susan S. Ashbaker was a presenter at the Classical Singer Convention, conducting a master class on audition preparation. Susan is my colleague at The Curtis Institute of Music who is now an independent artistic advisor and opera/vocal coach. Previously, Susan spent 16 years at the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Photo: Susan S. Ashbaker and Ghenady Meirson

David Hayes is my colleague at The Curtis Institute of Music and is the Music Director of The Philadelphia Singers. David conducted a session to help Classical Singer conventioneers discover how oratorio differs from opera and how to perfect the nuances of this genre to get hired today. Photo: David Hayes and Ghenady Meirson

Susan Nowicki is my colleague at The Curtis Institute of Music. Susan was accompanying Singer Spotlight Recitals during the Classical Singer Convention. Susan was a faculty member of the Taubman and Golandsky Institutes from 1997 through 2005, and has been a guest artist/clinician for The Balanced Pianist workshop series. Photo: Susan Nowicki and Ghenady Meirson

Christine Nass has been a member for a number of years. Christine participated in the Singer Spotlight Recitals during the Classical Singer Convention. She is quite a busy musician who combines both performing and private teaching activity. This link to her Resume Events calendar updates in real-time. Photo: Christine Nass and Ghenady Meirson

Nicole Piccolomini (left) was working long hours at the booth during the Classical Singer Convention. Thanks for your help! Nicole is a recent AVA graduate who is moving to Germany on the contract with Deutsche Oper Berlin. Jessica Julin (right) stopped by to say hello. Jessica just completed her first year at The Academy of Vocal Arts. During summer 2006, she will be at the Chautauqua Music Festival. Photo: Nicole Piccolomini, Ghenady Meirson and Jessica Julin

Join I Syndicate Feed I Contact Me

Graduation of the Stars

On a personal note, I am so very proud of my students. This year the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia graduated 8 singers. This is a huge class relative to an annual student enrollment ranging 22 to 25.

It is an established pattern at AVA that 3rd and 4th year students proactively take professional engagements and get signed by agents. Five graduates were available for the graduation recital a week ago while three others were committed to professional operatic engagements.

I feel like a proud papa to have worked with all of the 2006 graduates in Russian Romances programs and the production of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. I wish them continued success.

During her four years at AVA, Ellie Dehn managed to appear on all my programs even though in the last two years it seemed I hardly saw her. Here is why, read on

James Valenti is a jet setting tenor. This season he came back to AVA to sing the Duke in Rigoletto. In 2003, James sang a couple of Tchaikovsky songs on my program at the Kimmel Center, his first Russian rep effort -- remarkable artistry. This summer, if he manages to carve out a few days off, James intends to hang with us at the roof top pool, have some pizza and relax.

Nicole Piccolomini simply wouldn’t miss participating in Russian programs. She claims that her Khovanschina audition aria has secured a number of professional engagements. In the upcoming season, Nicole is moving up to Deutsche Oper Berlin.

In the last two years, it seems I have hardly seen Jeffrey Halili since he became so busy with professional engagements. Yet, he was there and ready, emerging as a dashing Vaudemont in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta.

Many will agree that Aylin Perez is one of the more remarkable actresses working on the operatic stage today. Aylin appeared in a number of Russian recitals adding to her repertoire arias and duets from Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and The Queen of Spades.

Stephen Costello will be graduating in 2007, but since we will hardly see him, he wanted to get into this photo now. This past season, Aylin and Stephen sang a breathtaking duet from Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades, Stephen's first Russian effort.

AVA alumna, Latonia Moore came to the graduating recital to support her friends. Based in Philly, she’s hardly ever home. Read on, this explains why.

Join I Syndicate Feed I Contact Me

May 13, 2006 Exhibits at Classical Singer Convention

Visit exhibit booth #12 at Classical Singer 2006 Convention.

EXHIBIT: Booth #12
DATES: May 18-19, 2006
WHERE: Sheraton Society Hill, Philadelphia

See you there.

Join I Syndicate Feed I Contact Me