First-of-its-Kind Wagner Intensive Program Brings Renowned Artists to BW
Helping singers with big voices channel their talent into big opportunities, Baldwin Wallace University's Conservatory of Music is breaking ground with another first in offering its Wagner Intensive, a week-long series of master classes and performance sessions being offered on campus July 23-30.
Top Wagner singers and teachers Jane Eaglen and Timothy Mussard, both faculty members at BW, are leading the Intensive as co-artistic directors. Also serving as coach/conductors are Eric Weimer and William Vendice, and guest master class artist mezzo soprano Nancy Maultsby.
With sessions open to the public, the program enables spectators to hear the rich harmonies of German composer/conductor Richard Wagner and see BW's impressive newly renovated Conservatory of Music.
Rare opportunity for vocalists
Designed to help launch the careers of singers beginning to explore the Wagnerian repertoire, the Intensive offers participants opportunities to participate in private lessons, repertoire coachings, scene study, German language study, staging rehearsals and master classes. A selective group of 11 vocalists having impressive national credentials will be participating in the program.
"To our knowledge, there is no other program like it in the country," believes Mussard. He went on to say that singers often have to find private tutors to help them build the endurance and vocal strength needed for Wagner's operas.
"It is very unusual to have two Wagnerian artists of international status on the voice faculty of a mid-sized liberal arts school," he continued. "That speaks to the caliber of talent offered through BW's Conservatory of Music.
"Jane [Eaglen] and I developed this program to help young singers in their 30s who have the potential to singer Wagner," he continued. "At this time, the demand for singers trained in Wagner is greater than the supply. In fact, it is the only area in opera where the supply is less than the demand."
Bringing renowned professionals to campus
BW’s Wagner Intensive is being led by singers, teachers and conductors who bring decades of international experience and acclaim to the sessions.
Eaglen (soprano) has one of the most formidable reputations in the opera world today. Her roles include Isolde (for the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Teatro Liceu Barcelona, Lyric Opera of Chicago and in Puerto Rico); Norma (for the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Ravenna Festival with Maestro Muti, and the Bastille); and Brunnhilde (performed in Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Milan, New York, Oslo and UK).
Mussard, recognized as one of America's most distinguished Heldentenors, has performed internationally in roles such as Herod in Salome, Erik in Der Fliegender Hollander, Florestan in Fidelio, Radames in Aida, Siegfried in Der Ring Des Nibelungen, Lohengrin in Lohengrin and more.
Weimer has established himself as one of the pre-eminent coach/assistant conductors in the international opera world. A scholar and performer, he has worked for the past 12 seasons with Lyric Opera of Chicago and has written Opera seria and the Evolution of Classical Style.
Likewise, Vendice has had a successful career as a conductor. He was head of music staff and chorus master at Los Angeles Opera from 1995 to 2007. Prior to his return to his native California, Maestro Vendice was a member of the conducting staff at the Metropolitan Opera.
Maultsby is a mezzo soprano whose operatic career has included a wide range of roles in some of the world’s most prestigious houses. Her unique vocal timbre and insightful musicianship allow her to pursue a repertoire extending from the operas of Monteverdi and Handel to recent works by John Adams.
Exciting opportunity open to the public
"For singers with big voices to sing with other singers with big voices is rare," said Eaglen. "I think the final concerts will be very exciting. It's a chance for the public to hear some new voices and some amazing music."
BW's Wagner Intensive received support from the Wagner Society of Northern California and Wagner Society of Ohio. The sessions free and open to the public include:
Public Master Class #1
Tuesday, July 26, 7:30 pm
Presenter - Jane Eaglen, soprano
Public Master Class #2
Wednesday, July 27, 7:30 pm
Presenter – Nancy Maultsby, mezzo soprano
Public Master Class #3
Thursday, July 28, 7:30 pm
Presenter – Timothy Mussard, tenor
Saturday, July 30, 2:00 & 6:00 pm
Semi-staged Wagner scenes
All master classes are being held on campus in the new Boesel Musical Arts Center’s Kadel Music Hall, 49 Seminary St., Berea. The 2 pm and 6 pm final performances will include different repertoire and will be held at Kleist Center for Art & Drama, 95 E. Bagley Rd., Berea.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no tickets. For more information, call the Conservatory of Music at (440) 826-2365.