The chaos and the delight of Cupid’s arrow are refracted in songs by Saint-Saëns, Granados, Cole Porter, Sam Cooke, and many others. This concert is the culmination of a week-long mentoring program at Caramoor for four young singers and a pianist, selected by Artistic Director Steven Blier.
Anacreon / trans. Robert Herrick: Wounded Cupid
Ned Rorem: Love
Franz Schubert: Die Liebesgötter
arr. Ludwig van Beethoven: Cupid’s Kindness
Hugo Wolf: Ganymed
Eduard Toldrà: Madre unos ojuelitos vi
Fernando Obradors: Al amor
Francis Poulenc: L’offrande
Darius Milhaud: A Cupidon
André Messager: J’ai deux amants
Max D’ollone: L’enfant Eros
Richard Strauss: Amor
Enrique Granados: Amor y odio
Carlos López Buchardo: Los puñalitos
Enrique Granados: Mañanica era
Sam Cooke: Cupid
Cole Porter: They Couldn’t Compare to You
John Dankworth: Tell Me the Truth About Love
Shan Hai, soprano
Sophia Baete, mezzo-soprano
Scott Rubén La Marca, tenor
Michael Hawk, baritone
Amber Scherer, piano
Inaugurated in the spring of 2009, Vocal Rising Stars is Caramoor’s mentoring program focusing on vocal chamber music and the art of song in recital. Singers at the advanced student and beginning professional level are invited to Caramoor to participate in an intensive week-long residency for daily coaching, rehearsals, and workshops with mentor Steven Blier and guest teaching artists.
At Caramoor, we believe that the work leading up to a performance is of equal if not of greater importance than the concert itself and will have a lasting impact on the growth and development of young artists. Vocal Rising Stars provides singers with an opportunity to form collaborative partnerships with one another, the Caramoor staff, and the coaches who also participate in the residency.
The program also includes a young pianist, who also gains experience and training in the art of vocal accompaniment, while expanding their knowledge of the repertoire. Since its inception, the program has received funding from the Terrance W. Schwab Endowment Fund for Young Vocal Artists. Created in memory of long-standing Caramoor trustee Terrance W. Schwab by his family, this endowment fund is designed to nurture and support the artistic development and careers of young vocalists outside of the operatic repertoire.
In 2012, the program was renamed the Terrance W. Schwab Vocal Rising Stars, to honor his memory and the Schwab family’s ongoing commitment to this important program. To make a contribution to the Schwab Vocal Rising Stars mentoring program or to the Terrance W. Schwab Endowment Fund for Young Vocal Artists, please contact Tracy Tajbl, VP / Chief Development Officer at 914.232.3681 or donate online at caramoor.org/support.
Steven Blier is the Artistic Director of the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), which he co-founded in 1988 with Michael Barrett. Since the Festival’s inception, he has produced more than 150 vocal recitals with repertoire spanning five centuries of art song and popular song, including commissioned works by Ned Rorem, William Bolcom, and many others. New York Magazine gave NYFOS its award for Best Classical Programming, while Opera News proclaimed Blier “the coolest dude in town.”
Blier’s recital partners have included Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Samuel Ramey, Susan Graham, Jessye Norman, Julia Bullock, and Paul Appleby, in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to La Scala. He is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School, and has been a guest teacher at the Wolf Trap Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and the San Francisco Opera Center.
Among Blier’s wide-ranging recordings are the premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles (Koch International), which won a Grammy Award; and Spanish Love Songs (Bridge Records) with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Joseph Kaiser, and Michael Barrett. His latest releases are on NYFOS Records, which released its first album (From Rags to Riches, with Stephanie Blythe and William Burden) in January of 2022.
A native New Yorker, Blier received a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in English Literature at Yale University, where he studied piano with Alexander Farkas.
A graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera, Bénédicte Jourdois is currently on music staff at
the Metropolitan Opera and on faculty at The Juilliard School.
Jourdois has performed in numerous venues in Europe and in the United States, including Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
As a coach and pianist, she has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Chicago Lyric Ryan Opera Center, Pittsburgh Opera, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Saratoga, Rice University, the Chautauqua Institution voice program, the Castleton Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Carnegie Hall’s SongStudio. She was a faculty member at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia from 2013 to 2016 and at the Manhattan School of Music from 2011 to 2018.
Born in Paris, Jourdois holds degrees from the Conservatoire National de Region de Saint-Maur, the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Lyon, Mannes College, and The Juilliard School.
Shan Hai, a native of Beijing, China, is garnering international attention, praised for her “remarkably accomplished vocalism with bright, accurate coloratura runs and genuine trills” (Opera News). Hai makes her debut with NYFOS this season after attending the prestigious Merola Opera Program at the San Francisco Opera, performing excerpts from Ambroise Thomas’ Hamlet as Ophélie and Mozart’s Don Giovanni as Zerlina. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and the Chautauqua Opera Conservatory, her operatic repertoire also includes Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Le Feu in Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges, and Romilda in Handel’s Xerxes. Hai won first place in the Ades Vocal Competition, the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition with the MSM Symphonic Orchestra, and prizes from Opera Index, the Gerda Lissner Lieder/Song Competition, and the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition.
Mezzo-soprano Sophia Baete, from Louisville, Kentucky, is a fourth year undergraduate Vocal Arts Student at The Juilliard School, where she studies under Darrell Babidge. Baete has attended intensive programs including Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist’s Vocal Academy, the Chautauqua Institution, and Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute. She received First Place at the Schmidt Undergraduate Vocal Competition in both lower and upper divisions. Most recently, Baete has been seen on stage as Signora Guidotti in Juilliard Opera’s I due timidi, as a Resident Artist with New York Festival of Song, and as La Suora Zelatrice in Juilliard Opera’s Suor Angelica. She is a delighted member of the Denyce Graves Foundation Shared Voices Program. She is honored to have been selected as a 2024 Gerdine Young Artist at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and she is also immensely proud to be a Jerome L. Greene Fellow at The Juilliard School.
Scott Rubén La Marca is a tenor based in New York City. His recent operatic roles have included Ismael in Jimmy López Bellido’s Bel Canto and Trojan Man in Mozart’s Idomeneo, both performed at the Aspen Music Festival. This past December, he made his role debut as Contino Belfiore in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera, with musical direction led by Djordje Nesic, at the Manhattan School of Music. This spring, he will make his role debut as ein soldat in Der Kaiser von Atlantis by Viktor Ullmann.
His other credits include the Italian man in Angélique by Jacques Ibert with Manhattan School of Music’s Opera Theater, under the baton of Pierre Vallet and the stage direction of John de los Santos. He has also performed as Liverotto in New Amsterdam Opera’s production of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia; Gastone in Verdi’s La Traviata with The Lighthouse Opera Company; and Camille in Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow with Queens College Opera.
Michael Hawk is a Resident Artist at Seattle Opera and former Young Artist at Los Angeles Opera. His repertoire spans both the dramatic and comedic roles of Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and contemporary composers alike. Hawk has performed with many world-renown singers including Bryn Terfel, Susan Graham, Greer Grimsley, Quinn Kelsey, Erin Morley, Angela Meade, and many more, on the stages of Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and the Aspen Music Festival. This summer he will perform the roles of Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Big Jule in Guys and Dolls with Opera Saratoga. Next season at Seattle Opera, Hawk will sing Silvio in the opening night production of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Der Sprecher in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and he will cover the roles of Sacristan and Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca.
Amber Scherer is a Korean-German pianist and educator. In May 2021, she graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory with degrees in psychology and piano performance. Currently, she is pursuing a master’s degree in Collaborative Piano at The Juilliard School, studying with Jonathon Feldman and Lydia Brown. Scherer is a recipient of the 2022 Segal Education Award from the U.S. Department of Education. Most recently, she worked as staff pianist and assistant coach at Chautauqua Institution and Harpa International Music Festivals. She has attended various programs on fellowship, including SongFest, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, and The Cleveland Orchestra’s Kent-Blossom Music Festival. She hopes to expand access to arts education while she continues to study music therapy and develop her career as a performing artist.
Presented in collaboration with New York Festival of Song / Steven Blier, Artistic Director
Caramoor’s Terrance W. Schwab Vocal Rising Stars program is made possible by generous support from the Terrance W. Schwab Endowment Fund for Young Vocal Artists.