Biographies as Provided by the Artists
The acclaimed musician Rhiannon Giddens uses her art to excavate the past and reveal bold truths about our present. A MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, Giddens co-founded the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, and she has been nominated for six additional Grammys for her work as a soloist and collaborator. Giddens’s latest album, They’re Calling Me Home, is a twelve-track album, recorded with Turrisi in Ireland during the recent lockdown; it speaks of the longing for the comfort of home as well as the metaphorical “call home” of death, which has been a tragic reality for so many during the COVID-19 crisis.
Thomas Cannon is attracting attention as an important young singer with a unique vocal timbre, exquisite musicianship, and sensitive artistic expression. He has been recognized for his “strong and striking” stage presence and has performed with The Glimmerglass Festival, Chautauqua Opera, Santa Fe Opera, The Dallas Opera, and Music Academy of the West. He has recently appeared as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Sharpless in Madame Butterfly, Scarpia in Tosca, and was a “riveting” Escamillo in Carmen. At Fort Worth Opera, his heartfelt and moving Porgy made “time stand still” in Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess. Thomas will soon perform multiple roles in the new American opera, Fellow Travelers at Arizona Opera.
American baritone Michael Preacely is a rising star on the operatic stage and is also known for a versatile singing ability and style that allow him to cross between genres from classical repertoire to pop, contemporary, and Broadway. He has received critical acclaim for many of his performances, including Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, Scarpia in Tosca, Ford in Falstaff, Marcello in La Bohème, the High Priest in Samson and Delilah, and Porgy and Jake in Porgy and Bess. Mr. Preacely has performed with many major and regional opera houses and orchestras in the United States and abroad.
Robert Anthony Mack
A member of the critically-acclaimed Three Mo’ Tenors, Robert Anthony Mack receives glorious reviews for his powerful and sweet lyric tenor voice throughout the US and Europe. Recently, Mr. Mack sang the tenor solo in Händel’s Messiah with Moab Music Festival and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the role of Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess with Toledo Opera, Springfield Symphony, Traverse City Symphony, National Chorale, and at Margaret Island Open-Air Theatre in Budapest for their summer festival.
Angela Renée Simpson
Critics the world over have proclaimed dramatic soprano Angela Renée Simpson’s voice wonderfully powerful, fascinating, thrilling and extraordinary. One of her most significant performances was with New York City Opera in the televised broadcast “Live from Lincoln Center” as Serena in George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Ms. Simpson “came close to stopping the show…brilliant” New York Daily News, and Ms. Simpson was perhaps the “grandest moment,” said The New York Times.
Marian Anderson Award-winning soprano Indira Mahajan has sung the role of Bess in Porgy and Bess at the Teatro di San Carlo in Italy, the Washington National Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Dallas Opera, as well as European performances at the Opéra Comique, the Théâtre de Caen, the Staatsoper Hannover, Oper Frankfurt, Deutsches Theater München, Oper Leipzig, Kölner Philharmonie, and Komische Oper Berlin.
George Shirley is one of America’s most versatile tenors, in demand nationally and internationally as performer, teacher, and lecturer. He has won international recognition for appearances with the Royal Opera (Covent Garden, London), Deutsche Oper (Berlin), Teatro Colòn, (Buenos Aires), Netherlands Opera (Amsterdam), L’Opéra Monte Carlo, New York City Opera, Scottish Opera (Glasgow), Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Glyndebourne Festival, and Santa Fe Opera, among others.
Lauded by The New York Times as a “terrific singer” with a “deep, rich timbre” and the San Francisco Chronicle as an “opera powerhouse” with a “weighty and forthright” sound, Sidney Outlaw was the Grand Prize winner of the Concurso Internacional de Canto Montserrat Caballe in 2010 and continues to delight audiences in the U.S. and abroad with his rich and versatile baritone and engaging stage presence.
Mezzo-soprano, Lucia Bradford has appeared as Carmen in La Tragédie de Carmen, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, La Principessa in Suor Angelica, The Mother in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Mercedes in Carmen, Quickly in Falstaff, Dessalines in William Grant Still’s Troubled Island, Maria in Porgy and Bess and the Mother of Paul Dunbar in the premiere of The Mask in the Mirror by Richard Thompson, as well as in many new works, including Marie Leveau in Crescent City by Anne LeBaron and Miriam in Mosheh by Yoav Gal.
Chauncey Packer is an exciting American tenor who hails from southern Alabama. His recent engagements included his Metropolitan Opera debut in the roles of Sportin’ Life, Robbins, and Crabman in Porgy and Bess, soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Colour of Music Festival, concerts with the Saint-George International Music Festival and the Harrisburg Symphony, Sportin’ Life with New York Harlem’s Porgy and Bess at Teatro Regio in Torino, Italy, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Soo Theatre Project in Michigan, and Cavaradossi in Tosca and Jo the Loiterer in Virgil Thomson’s The Mother Of Us All, both with Chautauqua Opera.