The 39th season of the Verdi Chorus continues with the Fox Singers, presented by the Verdi Chorus and the Sahm Family Foundation, in A Serenade To Music for one night only at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica on February 25, at 7:30pm. Led by Founding Artistic Director Anne Marie Ketchum, the Fox Singers comprise the professional ensemble of the Verdi Chorus, which is the only choral group in Southern California that focuses primarily on the dramatic and diverse music for opera chorus. This program, celebrating classical vocal music through art songs and arias, will feature the music of Vaughan Williams, Debussy, Fauré, Copland, and sequences from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Puccini’s Tosca, La rondine and more!
The Fox Singers demonstrate the mission of the Verdi Chorus to provide performance opportunities to young professional singers, and these fourteen highly promising singers, named in memory of long-time Chorus and Board member Walter Fox, not only serve as section leaders and rehearsal coaches for the Verdi Chorus, but also have opportunities to perform as featured singers in performances, and perform on occasion independently of the full Chorus. They are sopranos Tiffany Ho, Christina Kushnik, Megan McDonald, and Dina Murphy; mezzo-sopranos Alexandra Bass, Amelia DeCoster, Rachel Labovitch, and Ariana Stultz; tenors César Ballardo, Elias Berezin, and Joseph Gárate; baritone Jamie Sanderson; and basses David Peterson and Esteban Rivas.
The Fox Singers have been presented at several venues in Southern California including the Annenberg Beach House, The Broad Stage, the Huntington Library, and the Nixon Library.
Director Anne Marie Ketchum says, “ It’s so exciting to be presenting the Fox singers in their return to live performance after their highly successful online concerts over the past two years. The Fox Singers are a very special group of exceptionally talented young professional singers. As the Founding Artistic Director of the Verdi Chorus, it is so important to me to not only nurture and foster the love of opera for both the community and the Verdi Chorus as a whole, but to also curate the next generation of operatic professionals. This time, we are celebrating classical vocal music through art songs and arias, some familiar and some not, but all thought-provoking, beautiful melodies.”
Ketchum contines, “The first half of A Serenade To Music will be dedicated to art songs, which unlike arias, are intimate works that stand on their own with voice and piano, much as what one would experience at a soirée. Arias, in contrast, are part of a larger operatic work, and reveal the progression of the relationships among the characters involved. To use a poem and a novel as a metaphor, the art song would be the poem, free standing and intimate in nature, while the aria would be the novel in terms of size and scope.
Our program will also include Vaughn Williams’ Serenade To Music, a piece written for 16 solo singers to a text from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. For me, it is a total joy to have this caliber of young professionals to work with. I have the freedom to choose great and inspiring pieces of music from the world of art song as well as opera.”
A Serenade To Music will be presented one night only on Saturday, February 25 at 7:30 pm at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica, located at 1220 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Tickets are now available for purchase at www.verdichorus.org. Priority seating is available for $40, general admission is $30, seniors are $25, and students aged 25 and under with a valid ID are $10.