Faculty concert planned at Centenary College's Hurley School of Music

SHREVEPORT, LA — Three international performers and instructors at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music will step into the spotlight for a special faculty concert in the College’s Anderson Auditorium on Sunday, April 15 at 2:00 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

Cindy Sadler, mezzo-soprano and Artist-in-Residence at the Hurley School, will be joined by tenor Nicholas Simpson and pianist Kristin Roach. Sadler, who joined Hurley as Artist-in-Residence in 2017, is an internationally known opera singer and the founder and director of Spotlight on Opera, a summer training program coming to Centenary this year. Sadler teaches private voice lessons and directs Centenary’s Singers’ Workshop class. Simpson and Roach are both current visiting artists at the Hurley School of Music, Simpson teaching master classes to Singers’ Workshop students and Roach serving as music director for the Singers’ Workshop spring production, Prince Orlovsky’s Ball. Simpson is on the faculty of Spotlight on Opera and Roach serves as music director for the program.

The concert incorporates opera and art song representing diverse cultures and topics to showcase the particular talents of the faculty artists. In addition to an excerpt from Georges Bizet’s well-known opera Carmen, the program features some rarely-heard contemporary Spanish pieces, including an aria from Daniel Catán’s gothic horror opera La hija de Rappaccini which Simpson and Roach recently performed at Alamo City Opera in San Antonio, and two of Joachim Rodrigo’s haunting Sephardic songs. Sadler and Simpson are both Wagnerian singers, so Siegfried’s iconic “Forging Song” and Fricka’s dramatic scene from Die Walkuere are on the program, giving the audience a chance to experience the vocal power and drama of these pieces in an intimate setting.

“Our program is quite eclectic,” says Sadler. “Nicholas, Kristin, and I often perform together and we mostly choose repertoire based on what we enjoy, since we feel if we’re having a good time, the audience will, too. It’s difficult to find duets for mezzo and tenor, who are usually at odds with each other in opera. So we joke that instead of love duets we usually end up doing ‘hate duets,’ and have programmed two of our favorites.”

Sadler will also perform one of her favorite song cycles, the Lieder eines fahrende Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) by Mahler, a gorgeous set of pieces that tell the story of the composer’s own unrequited love for a soprano in the opera company where he conducted. Simpson will sing John Kander’s stunning song, A Letter from Sullivan Ballou, based on a touching final love letter from a Civil War soldier to his wife.

More information about the Hurley School of Music is available at centenary.edu/hurley.

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