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Performance: Taos Opera Institute’s Cantos de Taos Quartet

Thursday, June 22 // Muñoz Waxman Gallery // 5:30-7pm // Free

The Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe is pleased to present a free classical concert featuring the Taos Opera Institute’s Cantos de Taos Quartet in the Muñoz Waxman Gallery. A reception will follow, providing the audience the opportunity to meet the four talented singers and the Taos Opera Institute’s co-founders, Mary Jane Johnson and Linda Poetschke. The performance features four outstanding artists and is part of a month-long opera festival in northern New Mexico.

“Partnering for a second year with a recognized, broad-based cultural institution like the CCA is extremely exciting for us” said Mary Jane Johnson, co-founder and Artistic Director of the Institute and longtime soprano with the Santa Fe Opera. “Santa Fe has such a deep appreciation of the arts and we’re thrilled to bring the sounds of our Cantos de Taos Quartet to the Center.  These artists represent the future of opera.

The Quartet includes Jillian Cox, soprano; Britt Brown, mezzo soprano; Eric Barry, tenor; and Andrew Craig Brown, bass-baritone.

Jillian Cox is a versatile performer with leading roles in opera as well as in musical theatre. Operatic repertoire includes such roles as The Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Suor Angelica in Puccini's Suor Angelica, Monica in Menotti's The Medium, Sandman and Dew Fairy in Humperdink's Hansel and Gretel, and Patience in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience. Jillian has also performed roles in such musicals as Carousel (Carrie Pipperidge), South Pacific (Nellie Forbush), The Light in the Piazza (Franca), Man of LaMancha (Aldonza), The Sound of Music (Sister Margaretta), and High Hair and Jalapenos! (Original Cast), and enjoyed performances on the cabaret stages of NYC.

Jillian has toured internationally performing both classic masterworks and contemporary concert programs.  She has been a finalist in several prestigious competitions including National Arts and Letters, Classical Singer, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).

Ms. Cox completed her vocal training at The University of Texas at San Antonio under the instruction of Linda Poetschke, co-founder and Program Director of the Taos Opera Institute. Since then, she has trained with such talents as Mary Jane Johnson, Dorothy Randall, and Mary Pinto.  Jillian is a TOI Alumna of the initial 

2008 season.

            

Boston-based mezzo-soprano Britt Brown's 2016-2017 season included winning the 1st Place prize in the NATSAA recital competition for the New England Region, and the Lee Cass Award at the National Competition in Chicago. She was featured in performances with Boston Opera Collaborative, MetroWest Opera, Beth Morrison Projects, and Boston Midsummer Opera. Britt’s recent performances include Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo, Alma in Little Women, Johnna in Holland’s Naomi in the Living Room, Beppe in L'amico Fritz, and Madama Rosa in Il Campanello. Her 2016-17 season promises debuts with the Boston Lyric Opera in The Rake’s Progress and Odyssey Opera in Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg. Britt also had the pleasure of premiering Amber Vistein’s chamber opera for mezzo, electronics, and quartet, Man will not outlive the weather, at Brown University in February. Other roles performed include Second Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Bianca in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Dinah in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Countess in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Mrs. Soames in Rorem’s Our Town.

  

Ms. Brown holds a Bachelor of Music Degree with Honors from Stetson University and a Master of Music from the Boston Conservatory. She currently teaches voice and piano in the greater Boston area and is a professional alto section leader and soloist at St. Andrews's Episcopal in Wellesley, MA and Temple Sinai in Sharon, MA.

Opera News reports tenor Eric Berry performs “with a clear timbre, evenness of projections and exceptional sensitivity” and is “making an impressive mark” on opera and concert stages.”  Highlights from his 2015-16 international season consist of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with the Florentine Opera Company, the Mozart Requiem with the Israeli Opera and Jerusalem Symphony, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor for the Opera Colorado and Cassio in Otello with the Minnesota Orchestra.  Berry holds a Master of Music degree and an Artist Diploma from Yale University and is closely associated with the Beethoven Easter Festival and the Polish Radio Symphony.

Bass-baritone Andrew Craig Brown recently debuted in Alice in Wonderland with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at both the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Barbican in London, the San Francisco Opera in La Traviata and Boston’s Odyssey Opera in The Fantastic Mr. Fox.  A graduate of Yale University, Brown is equally at home on the concert stage where he has performed Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Symphony No. 9, Bach’s Magnificat and Handel’s Alexander’s Feast.

The one-hour concert will feature solos and ensemble pieces from the world’s most beloved operas and Broadway productions and will be the second Cantos de Taos appearance at the Center for Contemporary Arts.  A reception will follow the performance.

This is the Taos Opera Institute’s tenth season.  Comprised of two performing groups, the TOI Singers and the Cantos de Taos, TOI will present 17 free classical performances in Taos County and Santa Fe during June and concludes with a fundraising gala on Saturday, July 1st , 7:00 pm at the Taos Center for the Arts.   

The Singers consists of 28 aspiring undergraduate and graduate vocal students from across the country.   The Cantos is comprised of more established artists and/or TOI graduates who serve as program ambassadors and principal performers.  The Institute is a four-week intensive training program designed to bridge the gap between academia and professional careers.  TOI’s philosophy integrates technique, physical well-being and artistry.

For a complete TOI 2017 performance schedule visit www.TaosOI.org.