Les Arts Florissants
SMU Caruth Auditorium
Les Arts Florissants, composed by Marc Antoine Charpentier in 1685, is being newly staged in full costumes with new choreography by Catherine Turocy for eight dancers and eight singers.
Anna Fredericka Popova, Soprano, is a leading soloist with professional ensembles including the Dallas Bach Society, St.Thomas Church New York, the Orchestra of New Spain, and many more. Ms. Popova has appeared on concert stages around the world, most notably with the Cervantino International Baroque Music Festival in Mexico, the International Renaissance and Baroque Music Festival in Bolivia and the Siglo de Oro Drama Festival in El Paso. Last year she also made her Nashville, TN debut as “Stella” in the new musical Chokin’ Out the Kudzu. Previous credits include the role of “Jupiter” in the New World Premier of Duron’s zarzuela “Las Nuevas Armas de Amor” and “Maddalena” in Handel’s La Resurrezzione. Opening Valentine’s Day 2016 at the City Performance Hall she will portray “Iphigenia” in the Orchestra of New Spain’s production of Nebra’s 1747 zarzuela “Iphigenia en Tracia.” You can also find Ms. Popova singing jazz/blues Friday nights at The Library in the Historic Melrose Hotel and in churches as a liturgical soloist throughout DFW. Anna is the daughter of dramatic soprano and Dallas voice teacher Charlotte Ellsaesser.
Lauded as “a lush, rich baritone” (TheatreBloom) with “a brilliant vocal range,” (DC Metro Theater Arts) Joshua Hughes has performed in opera, operetta, and musical theatre ranging from Gilbert and Sullivan to Rossini to Sondheim. He most recently appeared in Iolanthe (Lord Chancellor) with Young Victorian Theatre Company, Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Ambrogio) with Lyric Opera Baltimore, Ruddigore (Robin) with Victorian Lyric Opera Company, and Così fan tutte (Guglielmo) with Bethesda Summer Music Festival. Peabody Opera credits include Street Scene (Harry Easter), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Pasha Selim), Hansel and Gretel (Father), Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers (Apollon & Titye), and Cendrillon (Premier Ministre & Herald). Other credits include Die Zauberflöte, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, La Bohème, and A Little Night Music with Opera in the Ozarks, Gianni Schicchi and Buoso’s Ghost (Marco and Magistrate) with Bay View Music Festival, and Il Barber di Siviglia (Fiorello and Ufficiale) and A Hand of Bridge (David) at Oklahoma City University. Hughes hails from Smithville, MO and recently graduated with a Master of Music in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University where he studied with William Sharp. Hughes received his Bachelor of Music Education from Oklahoma City University where he studied with Jeffrey Picón. Photo: Michael Anderson Photography
In eighteen DFW‐based years, mezzo Katrina Burggraf‐Kledas has been humbled to sing contemporary to early music with Dallas Bach Society, Orpheus Chamber Singers, Vox Humana, Dallas Symphony, Fort Worth Civic Symphony, Orchestra of New Spain, Denton Bach Society, and DFW’s finest churches.
She lives for the energy of live performance, but has many recordings, including Vox Humana’s “Into the Night”, and multiple Orpheus, New Spain, Incarnation and UNT cooperative releases. Ms. Burggraf‐Kledas, a Colorado native and CSU grad, lives in Arlington with her husband, and has a daughter majoring in dance performance at TWU in Denton, TX.
She balanced her love of performing for the benefit of uplifting and healing the human spirit (both US and abroad) with homeschooling her daughter. Now an empty nester, she expands her horizons. In early 2016, she was honored to record on the soundtrack of the video game “That Dragon, Cancer” (Numinous Games), a true chance to heal with music. She also leads “yoga for musicians” classes for all ages, and is looking forward to many more expansive musical adventures. Photo: Abi Poe
Nicholas Garza, countertenor, studied at University of Texas at Arlington as a Vocal Performance major with Jing Ling-Tam and David Grogan. Originally from Harlingen, Texas, Nicholas was a four-year Texas All-State Mixed Choir member, an Outstanding Soloist for Texas State Solo Ensemble, and a Competition winner in Classical Voice/Tenor at the 2010 NFAA YoungARTS. He has performed with Mountainside Baroque in Maryland as the Tenor soloist for the Telemann oratorio Der Tod Jesu and also was alto soloist for the Big Moose Bach Festival in New Hampshire. He worked with noted singer and conductor Simon Carrington as a singing fellow at the 2011 and 2012 Norfolk Chamber Music Festival of Yale University. He performs with many professional groups around the Metroplex including the Dallas Bach Society, Orpheus Chamber Singers, Orchestra of New Spain, the Fort Worth Opera Chorus and Christ the King Catholic Church. He has been called a “stand-out soloist” by the Dallas Morning News and has been hailed for his “appealing tenor, sinewy in the lower register, sweetly soft-edged on high.”
A native of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, soprano Camille Ortiz-Lafont is equally at ease on the opera and concert stages, having performed both in the USA and abroad in places like Italy, Spain, Germany, Greece, Ghana, and Mexico. Ms. Ortiz-Lafont is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at University of NorthTexas as a Teaching Fellow under the tutelage of Prof. Molly Fillmore, where she has performed several recitals, has appeared as Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, and was a finalist in the 2015 Concerto Competition. Other roles performed include Violetta, Gilda, Musetta, Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia, Blondchen, Oscar, Fire/Nightingale, Frasquita, Adina, Norina, Zerlina, Susanna, Olympia, and Gretel. During the summer of 2014, Ms. Ortiz-Lafont was seen in her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist for Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living; the soprano soloist in John Rutter’s Mass of the Children under Rutter’s baton and Gilda (cover) in Rigoletto for the Greek Opera Studio with the Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece; and Musetta in La bohème as well as art song concerts for the Berlin Opera Studio in Germany. She is the winner of the Gerda Lissner Foundation Encouragement Award (2008) and a finalist in both the Liederkranz competition, lieder division (2009), and the Sergei and Olga Koussevitzky Young Artists Competition (2010). While living in New York City, she performed extensively with the Zipoli Ensemble, given to the performance of the Latin American baroque. This summer Ms. OrtizLafont appeared as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Belinda in Dido and Aeneas for the Fillmore Opera Studio. She is a graduate of both Manhattan School of Music (Masters) and Oral Roberts University (Bachelors). Les arts florissants marks her debut with the Dallas Bach Society.
Rebecca Choate Beasley, soprano, has established herself as a performer of remarkable range and ability, singing opera, oratorio, art song and chamber music. Her opera roles have included Climene in L’Egisto, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, La Statue in Pygmalion, the title role in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, and Cloris in Zéphyre with Concert Royal and the New York Baroque Dance Company. A specialist in early music, Rebecca has performed with such groups as Concert Royal, Dallas Bach Society, the Orchestra of New Spain, Catacoustic Consort and Mercury Baroque, and at festivals throughout the United States. As a concert soloist she has performed oratorios under the direction of Helmuth Rilling and Graeme Jenkins, and was invited to perform Jake Heggie’s song cycle The Deepest Desire: Four Meditations on Love as a part of the composer’s residency at the University of North Texas. Her discography includes Lee Johnson’s Every Matter Under Heaven: An American Oratorio performed with the Russian National Orchestra, and Rameau’s Pygmalion with Concert Royal. Rebecca holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas, and has served on the faculties of Tusculum College and Belmont University.
Patrick J. Gnage studied voice at the Eastman School of Music and holds two degrees in Voice Performance and Literature. Mr. Gnage has been featured as soloist in all of the major oratorios of J.S. Bach, as well as the oratorios and choral works of Handel, Monteverdi, Carissimi, Mozart, Vaughan Williams, and Duruflé, performing with such ensembles as The Publick Musick, Orchestra of New Spain, Rochester Bach Festival Chorus, Concert Royale, and the Dallas Bach Society. Having sung the role of La Discorde with Concert Royale and The New York Baroque Dance Company in New York City and at Princeton in 2002, and again in 2004 in Hunter, NY, and in Connecticut and in Dallas, Patrick is happy to reprise the part this evening. Patrick can be heard on recordings released by Naxos American Classics and Sonabilis.