Next generation’s opera virtuosos come to Beaver Creek, Jan. 18 |

Next generation’s opera virtuosos come to Beaver Creek, Jan. 18

Daily staff report
D’Ana Lombard, soprano.
Special to the Daily |

If you go …

What: Rising Stars of the Opera.

When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek.

Cost: $58 for adults, $10 for students.

More information: Tickets are available now at the VPAC box office, by calling 970-845-8497 or at

BEAVER CREEK — The Vilar Performing Arts Center will welcome patrons to an evening of operatic virtuosity on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. as The Richard Tucker Music Foundation presents Rising Stars of the Opera. The evening offers a rare opportunity to experience young artists on the cusp of extraordinary careers. The vocalists bring opera to life by presenting excerpts from world-class productions.

The Richard Tucker Music Foundation honors the artistic legacy of the great American tenor through support of American opera singers and by bringing opera into the community. The nonprofit cultural organization’s Rising Stars of the Opera concert features four young singers who have been recognized by the foundation as among the leading opera singers of the next generation.

In a concert of opera’s most beloved arias, duets and ensembles and composers, the artists will bring their highly trained voices to the audience. Some sample pieces from this evening’s program include the aria “Ah mes amis” from “The Daughter of the Regiment,” by Gaetano Donizetti; “Flower Duet” from “Madame Butterfly” by Giacomo Puccini and the quartet “Bella figlia di amore,” from “Rigoletto,” by Giuseppe Verdi.

About the performers

• D’Ana Lombard, soprano — Lombard was featured as Rosina in Wolf Trap Opera’s 2015 production of “The Ghosts of Versailles.” She recently completed her second season as a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, where her 2015-’16 assignments included covering the title roles in “Rusalka” and “Tosca” and Tatiana in “Eugene Onegin.” She also was a 2012-’14 member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera.

Previous performances include Iris in Lee Hoiby’s “The Tempest,” the Mother in “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” the title role in “Suor Angelica” and Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni.” Awards include first prize in Houston Grand Opera’s 2014 Eleanor McCollum Competition Concert of Arias, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Rohatyn Great Promise Award, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Encouragement Award, the Gerda Lissner Foundation Encouragement Award and the Marcello Giordani Foundation Award in memory of Sergio Franchi. She is a graduate of Mannes College.

• J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano: In the 2016-’17 season, Bridges will make debuts at San Francisco Opera and Bavarian State Opera as Bersi in “Andrea Chenier,” at Los Angeles Opera as Nefertiti in “Akhnaten” and at Vancouver Opera as Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking.”

She will additionally be featured as a soloist at the Marilyn Horne Song Celebration at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, at the Festival de Torroella de Montgri, with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” with the Louisville Orchestra and in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, both with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Farewell to Christoph Eschenbach concert with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

• Jack Swanson, tenor: Swanson, Stillwater, Minnesota, native, has a distinctive high lyric voice and is known for singing the acrobatic arias of Gioachino Rossini and the legato melodies of Donizetti. Swanson is the competition winner and recipient of several awards, including first place in Florida Grand Opera’s Young Patroness Competition, The San Antonio Music Club Competition, The National Opera Association Competition and The Hal Leonard Art Song Competition.

Swanson twice received The Richard Tucker Memorial award from the Santa Fe Opera. He was a finalist in both Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum competition and Fort Worth Opera’s McCammon Competition. Recently, he was featured on National Public Radio’s Young Artist in Residence program, “Performance Today.”

• Steven Labrie, baritone: A native of Dallas, LaBrie’s 2016-’17 season features performances of Figaro in “Il Barbiere de Siviglia” with Opera Hong Kong, Marcello in “La Boheme” with Opera Omaha and the Count in “Le Nozze di Figaro” with North Carolina Opera. In concert, he will be heard in “Carmina Burana” with the San Antonio Symphony.

LaBrie has received numerous awards and honors, including a 2016 Top Prize Award and a 2013 Encouragement Grant from the George London Music Foundation, second place from the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, as well as the Judges Award with the Opera Index Competition. In 2010, he was an encouragement award winner in Washington, D.C., for the Metropolitan Opera National Council.

• Adam Nielsen, pianist: Nielsen’s 2016-’17 season includes the premiere of a new song cycle by Jonathan Dawe at Carnegie Hall with baritone Davone Tines, Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto in Utah, a recital at Ravinia’s Martin Theater with bass Ryan Speedo Green, a recital with mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford in Connecticut and a return to Opera Theater of St. Louis as a member of the music staff.

Nielsen is also an official pianist for the MET National Council semifinals held on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera and the Dallas Opera Guild Competition held at the Winspear Opera House. He is a member of the vocal arts faculty at the Juilliard School in New York.

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