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A Night at the Opera with Stephanie Blythe & Laquita Mitchell

Produced in collaboration with On Site Opera

Friday July 22, 2022 at 8:00 pm

Adults / $40, $65, $75, $85, $105
Children / 50% Off Select Tickets
Garden Listening / $20, Free for Members & Children

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Overview

Friday July 22, 2022 at 8:00 pm

7:00pm / Join us for a conversation with Eric Einhorn and Rachel J. Peters. 

On Site Opera presents an evening of operatic comedy and tragedy featuring international star Stephanie Blythe. In Lesson Plan, Blythe stars as an acclaimed opera diva who thinks she will be teaching a master class with trained singers at a prestigious conservatory. Instead, due to a scheduling faux pas, she takes the stage for a group of liberal arts students at a community college — a group with little singing experience or interest in what the great diva has in mind. Intercepted by an overwhelmed school administrator (Laquita Mitchell) with a side hustle as an amateur choir director, the pair clash over teaching technique, singing, and the true meaning of art. In the second half of the program, Blythe reprises her acclaimed tenor debut in the role of Don José in excerpts from Bizet’s Carmen, joined by Mitchell and Maya Lahyani for a thrilling program of arias and duets from this timeless opera arranged for two piano accompaniment. 

For those who prefer a more casual concert environment, Garden Listening tickets are $20, and are free for Members and children under 18 years old. Listen to the concert broadcast onto Friends Field (audio only) while enjoying a picnic, admiring a starry sky, or relaxing with the family. We recommend you bring your own seating for Garden Listening.


“Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe … can do anything”
– The New York Times 


Program

Rachel J. Peters: Lesson Plan (Based on Telemann’s Der Schulmeister) 
Georges Bizet: Excerpts from Carmen 

Artists

Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano (Alice Tommasso/Don José) 
Laquita Mitchell, soprano (Robinetta/Micaela) 
Maya Lahyani, mezzo-soprano (Carmen) 
Jonathan C Kelly
Candace Chien, piano
Eric Einhorn, stage director 
Junghyun Georgia Lee, costume & prop designer 


About the Artists

Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano (Alice Tommasso/Don José)

A renowned opera singer, recitalist, and cabaret artist, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is one of the most highly respected and critically acclaimed artists of her generation. Her repertoire ranges from Handel to Wagner; from French art song to contemporary and classic American song. She has performed on many of the world’s greatest stages, such as Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Paris National Opera, and the San Francisco, Chicago Lyric, and Seattle opera houses. She starred in the Metropolitan Opera’s live HD broadcasts of Orfeo ed Euridice, Il Trittico, Rodelinda, Cendrillon, and the complete Ring Cycle, and she also appeared in PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic’s performance of Carousel and her acclaimed show, We’ll Meet Again: The Songs of Kate Smith. Her recordings include her solo album, as long as there are songs (Innova), and works by Mahler, Brahms, Wagner, Handel, and Bach (Virgin Classics). Blythe was named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year in 2009, received an Opera News Award in 2007 and won the prestigious Richard Tucker Award in 1999. She is also the Artistic Director of the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar at the Crane School of Music, and in 2019 was appointed the Artistic Director of the Bard College Conservatory of Music Graduate Vocal Arts Program. 

To learn more about Stephanie Blythe, please visit her website

Laquita Mitchell, soprano (Robinetta/Micaela) 

Soprano Laquita Mitchell consistently earns acclaim on eminent international opera and concert stages worldwide. She performed the soprano soloist in the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road at Carnegie Hall with Oratorio Society of New York, which was nominated for a 2021 Grammy for Best Choral Performance.   

Mitchell’s recent performances include the title role in Tom Cipullo’s Josephine with Opera Colorado; The Promise of Living, a concert program conceived by Mitchell; Bess in Porgy and Bess with Grange Park Opera in the UK, Lithuanian State Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony; a reprisal of Sanctuary Road with the Columbus Symphony; a Gala Concert for Colorado Symphony; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer 1915 with the Augusta Symphony.   

She appeared in the New York Philharmonic’s Bandwagon concerts and the Kauffmann Music Center’s Musical Storefront series in the spring of 2021 as part of New York City’s Pop-Up Arts Revival, and she performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. During the summer of 2021, she sang the soprano soloist for the opening night concert of Classical Tahoe’s 10th Anniversary Season, as well as in Bard Music Festival’s concert performances of Nadia Boulanger and Her World

This season, engagements include Brahms’ Requiem and a Bel Canto Gala with Albany Pro Musica, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for the Memphis Symphony, The Ordering of Moses for the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, a Holiday Concert for the Princeton Symphony, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Lima Symphony Orchestra, and Sanctuary Road for Chautauqua Symphony. Mitchell will also create the role of Julie in the world premiere of Grammy Award-winner Rhiannon Giddens’ OMAR with the Spoleto Festival USA and reprise the role of Josephine for New Orleans Opera. 

To learn more about Laquita Mitchell, please visit her website.

Maya Lahyani, mezzo-soprano (Carmen) 

Hailed as “a voice to die for [combined] with acting ability, beauty, and stage presence,” Israeli mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani is quickly becoming one of today’s most sought-after international singers.  

This season, Lahyani performs Dorothée in Laurent Pelly’s production of Cinderella at the Metropolitan Opera. She also makes her return in the title role in Carmen at both Arizona Opera and Minnesota Opera. In 2019 – 20, Lahyani returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Rosette in Laurent Pelly’s production of Manon and to Israeli Opera as Sister Helen in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. She was also scheduled to sing Tisbe in La Cenerentola at the Metropolitan Opera, and in concert, join the Philadelphia Orchestra as Second Maid in Elektra and the London Symphony Orchestra for Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, under the baton of Alan Gilbert.  

Highlights of Lahyani’s past seasons include performances as Carmen at both Opera Las Vegas and PORTopera; the Page in Atom Egoyan’s production of Salome in her house debut at Canadian Opera Company; Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto at the Hollywood Bowl, with Gustavo Dudamel leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte at Dallas Opera; and Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel at Opera Fairbanks.  

Lahyani was a 2010 grand finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a 2008 finalist in the Joy in Singing Competition. She has been awarded scholarships by the San Francisco Foundation, the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, the Ronen Foundation, and the Israeli Vocal Arts Institute. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music from the Mannes School of Music in New York. 

To learn more about Maya Lahyani, please visit her web site

Candace Chien, piano

 Lauded for her “particularly lovely” playing and “boundless creativity,” collaborative pianist Candace Chien is an active performer and teacher in the New York City area. The 2021 – 22 concert season includes appearances at Kimmel Center Perelman Hall and Academy of Music, Five Boroughs Music Festival, collaborations with Fresh Squeezed Opera and Opera On Ta, and she continues her role as pianist for On Site Opera. Chien is also Music for Autism’s Spotlight Artist of 2022, advocating for neurodiverse classical music experiences. 

Chien regularly performs in a violin-piano duo — the Alighieri Duo — with her husband. Her chamber music performances have taken her all over the East coast of the United States, Canada, and Sweden. She has performed chamber music with members of the New York Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, and Huntsville Symphony.  

Chien is a graduate of The Juilliard School, studying with Jonathan Feldman and Margo Garrett. She received her Master’s degree in piano performance at the Manhattan School of Music under the guidance of Jeffery Cohen, and she earned her Bachelor’s degree in piano performance and music education at Temple University under Professor Harvey Wedeen.  

In her spare time between private teaching, Juilliard, and concertizing, one can also find this pianist in her kitchen. Her personal connection to music and food can be seen in Season Four of a Food Network television show, Cooks Versus Cons, in the episode “Fry, Fry Again!”. 

To learn more about Candace Chien, please visit her website

Eric Einhorn, stage director

 Eric Einhorn (he/him) is the co-founding General & Artistic Director of On Site Opera, the country’s only opera company dedicated to site-specific productions. His immersive, site-specific productions have performed to sold-out houses and critical acclaim since the company’s founding. Einhorn has created partnerships with venues and institutions throughout New York City that range from community gardens, historic homes, restaurants, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has also forged partnerships with social service and educational organizations to further involve the community in the creation and impact of On Site’s productions. Einhorn has become an industry-recognized leader in site-specific opera, often speaking at conferences and teaching masterclasses. He has also spearheaded a technology initiative with the company that has led to the world’s first use of Google Glass for supertitles, as well as the implementation of a mobile app for supertitles and digital programs. 

As a stage director, Einhorn has directed at many of the country’s leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Florentine Opera, Austin Opera, Utah Opera, and Michigan Opera Theater. 

To learn more about Eric Einhorn, visit www.sempreartists.com/eric-einhorn

Junghyun Georgia Lee, costume & prop designer 

Junghyun Georgia Lee (she/her) is a Korean-born NYC based designer. She has designed for Ma-Yi, Public, Soho Rep, The Play Co., Alley Theatre, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Huntington Theatre Company, Indiana Repertory Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Alliance, and Children’s Theatre Company. She is a member of New Neighborhood, and she received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale School of Drama.  

To learn more about Junghyun Georgia Lee, please visit her website

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