Visiting Artist SeriesPaul LaRosa, baritone; Vivien Shotwell, mezzo-soprano
The Williams College Department of Music presents mezzo soprano Vivien Shotwell and baritone Paul LaRosa, along with pianist Noah Lindquist, on Saturday, March 2, at 8 p.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the Williams College campus. This free event is open to the public.
Ms. Shotwell sings Rückert-Lieder by Gustav Mahler, based on a collection of songs by Friedrich Rückert. A song cycle in the 19th century tradition, Rückert-Lieder share a sense of melancholy and a longing for the comfort of divine love and reflect an intimate side of Mahler’s music. Vocalist Vivien Shotwell is a graduate of Williams College, Class of 2003, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma in opera performance at Yale University. She was a 2011 and 2009 Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is the 2012 recipient of the David L. Kasdon Memorial Prize for an outstanding singer in the Yale School of Music. She was born in Colorado and raised in Nova Scotia.
Mr. LaRosa sings works by Ralph Vaughan Williams from the song cycle Songs of Travel. Written at the beginning of the 20th century, the poetic and musical themes hark back to a romantic tradition. Based on poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, the songs are also strongly influenced by Vaughan Williams’s interest in folk songs. Following song composers such as Schubert and Mahler, the composer borrows from their styles, but has his own take on things. As beloved today as they were when first premiered, the Songs of Travel and its world-weary poetic voice are unforgettably beautiful. Paul LaRosa, Williams Class of 2002, has Bachelor degrees in Philosophy and English. Engagements for the 2012-13 season include a debut as Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West at the Castleton Festival under the baton of Lorin Maazel, a Cleveland Orchestra debut in a program of Copland Old American Songs led by David Alen Miller both in Cleveland and as a part of the Orchestra’s Miami Residency at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, and a return to Lyric Opera of Chicago covering Jud Fry in Oklahoma! During the 2011-12 season at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Paul LaRosa appeared as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Hermann in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Nikitich in Boris Godunov, and covered Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos as well as Ravenal in Showboat. Mr. LaRosa returned to the Chicago Opera Theatre as Boris in Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki and debuted at Central City Opera as the villainous Jud Fry in Oklahoma!
Collaborating with Ms. Shotwell and Mr. LaRosa is pianist Noah Lindquist, also a graduate of Williams College, Class of 2008.