Opera Saratoga has announced the first performance events as the start to the company’s 60th Anniversary Season. On Thursday, November 19, in partner with Caffe Lena, Opera Saratoga will launch AMERICA SINGS, a monthly concert series featuring diverse, internationally acclaimed artists.
The series looks to amplify the voices of artists from racial groups historically underrepresented on the concert stage and features a wide array of classical, jazz, and popular music. “Our focus on BIPOC artists in this series is one of our first steps in a multi-pronged plan to address diversity and equity not only in our programming at Opera Saratoga, but in the organization as a whole,” explained Lawrence Edelson, Opera Saratoga’s Artist and General Director.
All AMERICA SINGS concerts in this series will be live streamed to the public for free, but viewers are encouraged to contributee through a virtual tip jar. All tips received will be split equally between Opera Saratoga and the artists, providing much-needed support to the artists impacted by the shutdown.
Mezzo soprano Deborah Nansteel, who was featured in Opera Saratoga’s 2018 production of The Consul, will open the series on Thursday, November 19th at 7pm with pianist Giovanni Reggioli. This first concert will feature music by George Gershwin, Billy Strayhorn, Richard Rogers, Erroll Garner, Richard Wagner, and William Bolcom, along with a selection of traditional spirituals.
The December concert will take place on Wednesday, December 30th at 7pm, and will feature soprano Brandie Sutton with pianist and composer Damien Sneed, both debuting with the company at the turn of the new year. The series will continue through the 2021, with additional concerts to be announced early next year
“The onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the racial awakening that has been taking place across the country, and the polarizing political climate leading up to the election has energized artists. While many singers have not been able to perform for live audiences due to the pandemic, they are engaged and craving the opportunity to share the transformative power of song and the intersection between music and what is happening in our country with audiences. I have not programmed this series, other than to invite an incredible group of artists to join us in Saratoga Springs. Rather, I have asked each artist to curate their own concert – to share music with us that speaks to how they are feeling about America today. I cannot wait to hear what each artist brings to us as they share their personal experience and perspective through the power of their incredible voices.”