Sing With Spirit!
April 23, 2015
Last winter I founded the vocal ensemble Cantare Con Spirito, a professional ensemble comprised of talented friends from diverse backgrounds. The group was formed after hearing a program of Brahms’ quartets on the Vermont Public Radio Classical station. This coincided with an article I read earlier that same day asserting that to young Americans classical music has become irrelevant. I wanted to change that. That evening I called colleagues in Maine, Boston and New York City and proposed the idea of going on tour to perform an all-Brahms program. To my delight and astonishment they agreed. Cantare Con Spirito (Sing with Spirit) was born. The group went on to perform a successful tour at Vermont and New Hampshire venues last spring. “Our mission is to sing the music we love with the people we love in the places we love."
This year we are thrilled to present An Evening of Opera and Spirituals in collaboration with ArtisTree Community Arts Center & Gallery May 29 and 30 at 7:30PM. The audience is invited to a pre-performance reception at 6:00PM on Friday May 29. Both events will be at ArtisTree Community Arts Center & Gallery.
My classical musical background began at the age of 10 while singing with the GAMAC Boys’ Choir and continued at Anderson University. This year the group will perform: Soave il Vento (Cosi Fan Tutte) by Mozart, Bella Figlia Dell’Amore (Rigoletto) by Giuseppe Verdi, Au fond du temple saint (Les pêcheurs de perles) by George Bizet, Brindisi (La Traviata), by Giuseppe Verdi, Old Time Religion, arranged by Moses Hogan, Ain’t Got Time To Die, words and music by Hall Johnson, Swing Low, Swing Chariot arranged by Moses Hogan, and Ride on King Jesus, arranged by H.T. Burleigh.
Music Director and pianist Michael S. Caldwell, also a classically trained baritone, originally hails from West Fairfield, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Hartt School of Music, he has performed both as a pianist and a singer and currently lives and works in Teaneck, NJ in his home-based private coaching studio. Highlights of his career include appearances with the Associate Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera in productions ranging from Glück's Orfeo to Wagner's Lohengrin. He also worked as a studio coach/accompanist with several of New York's top voice teachers, ranging from Joanna Levy to Mark Oswald, and has toured Japan as the piano half of a piano/violin recital tour with violinist Kaori Hasegawa.
For me, this is about singing music I love with the people I love and sharing it with this amazing community. This year we have expanded the ensemble from four singers to eight. I will sing baritone and joining me will be Jasmine Thomas of Brooklyn, NY, soprano; Alexandra Smith of Manhattan, soprano; Tesia Kwarteng who studies and performs in Manhattan, mezzo soprano; Margaret Hunton of Lebanon, NH, mezzo soprano; Metropolitan Opera singer Marco Jordao, tenor; Ken Alston of Baltimore, Maryland, tenor; Barry Robinson of Manhattan, baritone; and Michael Caldwell of Teaneck, NJ, Music Director and pianist.