Rhapsody

Saturday, April 6, 2024 • 7:30 p.m.
Shorecrest Performing Arts Center (15343 25th Ave NE, Shoreline)

Harmonia Orchestra & Chorus
William White, conductor
Joseph Vaz, piano
Ellaina Lewis, soprano
Melissa Plagemann, mezzo-soprano
Brendan Tuohy, tenor
Zachary Lenox, baritone


Program

Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990)
Candide Overture

George Gershwin (1898–1937)
Rhapsody in Blue

— intermission —

William C. White (*1983)
Cassandra [world premiere]


About the Concert

An all-American program with a dramatic flair, this concert promises to be one of the most lively, toe-tapping events of the season!


Guest Artists

Joseph Vaz

A “performer of complex repertoire” (Isle of Wight Arts League Creative Voice), pianist Joseph Vaz has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Canada, Austria and Italy, in venues from Carnegie Hall to the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna. Born in Faro, Portugal, Mr. Vaz now lives in New York and studies at the CUNY Graduate Center with the renowned pianist and pedagogue Julian Martin. He is a laureate of several national and international competitions since 2012, with recent performances at the Seattle International Piano Competition, Robert Beardsley Piano Prize Competition and the West Virginia International Piano Competition.

Mr. Vaz frequently performs at international festivals, including recent appearances at the Internationale Sommerakademie in Reichenau, Orford Music Academy, Bowdoin Music Festival and Chautauqua Piano Institute. He has played for several acclaimed artists and pedagogues, including Byron Janis, Jerome Lowenthal, Jon Nakamatsu, John Perry and Natalya Antonova. His orchestral debut came with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra in 2015, and he has also performed as soloist with the Seven Hills Sinfonietta and other orchestral ensembles.

An active collaborative pianist, Mr. Vaz has worked with a diverse array of musicians in chamber music and with multiple orchestras and choirs for operas and concert programs. He is a proponent of new music, working closely with several composers on pieces for world premieres. Interested in many genres, he enjoys working in contemporary music ensembles, musical theater and popular music. Outside of music, Mr. Vaz holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in French from Indiana University, and can be found on the 6 train with his nose in a book.


Ellaina Lewis

Soprano Ellaina Lewis demonstrates an extensive range of vocal and dramatic ability. Originally from Washington, D.C., she now makes her home in Seattle. In addition to Seattle Opera, where she sang the role of Strawberry Woman in Porgy and Bess, she has performed with Puget Sound Opera, Tacoma Opera, Seattle Choral Company, Everett Philharmonic, Sammamish Symphony, ArtsWest, Northwest New Works Festival, Ladies Musical Club, Cascade Symphony and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Ms. Lewis has sung Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata, Amina in Bellini’s La Sonnambula, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, the title role in Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha, Erzulie in Flaherty’s Once on This Island, Pamina in The Magic Flute and Gertrude in Hansel and Gretel. Concert engagements include Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5. Ms. Lewis often blends her love of singing and her passion for dance, collaborating with S.D. Prism Dance Theater and contributing vocal improvisations as dancers interpret the choreography of Sonia Dawkins. Among her premieres are the title role in Sally Hemings (an opera and film production by Garrett Fisher) and the role of Simona in Night Flight with Book-It Repertory Theatre.


Melissa Plagemann

Mezzo-soprano Melissa Plagemann has been praised by audiences and the press for her “clear, burnished voice” and “mezzo rich with an alto’s strength and a soprano’s shining top edge” (Tacoma News Tribune). She enjoys a busy and vibrant performing schedule throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. This season she sings the U.S. premiere of Tyler Futrell’s Stabat Mater with the Seattle Chamber Orchestra. Recent opera roles for Ms. Plagemann include Nicklausse (Tales of Hoffmann), the witch and the mother in Hansel and Gretel, Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), and both the second and third ladies in Mozart’s Magic Flute. She holds degrees in music from the University of Victoria and Indiana University at Bloomington, teaches on the faculties of Pacific Lutheran University and Western Washington University, and is a managing diva with Opera On Tap Seattle and a teaching artist with Seattle Opera.


Brendan Tuohy

Tenor Brendan Tuohy has been praised by The Cincinnati Post for his “big, bold tenor edged with silver,” and he continues to move audiences both in the U.S. and overseas. Recent appearances include Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore with Tacoma Opera, David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion with Eugene Opera, and the role of Rent-a-Cop in the world premiere of Evan Mack’s Yeltsin in Texas. In 2018 he returned to the Grant Park Music Festival to sing Haydn’s Theresienmesse, following a 2017 performance of Beethoven’s Ninth. Other engagements have included Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince with Opera Theater Oregon, Haydn’s The Seasons and Handel’s Messiah with Harmonia, Britten’s War Requiem at the University of Washington, and the iSing International Music Festival in Suzhou, China. He has performed on the opera stage at Eugene Opera, City Opera Bellevue, Vashon Opera and Berlin Opera Academy, and in concert with the Oregon Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Pacific MusicWorks and Symphony Tacoma. Mr. Tuohy completed his academic training at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a master’s degree in vocal performance. In 2008, he had the honor of singing and competing in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Semi-Finals in New York City.


Zachary Lenox

Praised for “a broad, resonant baritone that is exquisitely controlled throughout his entire range,” Zachary Lenox has performed across North America, including the roles of Silvio (Pagliacci), Marcello (La Bohème), Marullo (Rigoletto), Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Guglielmo and Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Father (Hansel and Gretel), Sid (Albert Herring), Gianni Schicchi and Betto (Gianni Schicchi), and Dick Deadeye (H.M.S. Pinafore). He has appeared with Portland Opera, Opera Parallèle, Pacific Music Works, Cascadia Chamber Opera, Portland Summerfest, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Portland Concert Opera, Eugene Concert Choir, Bravo Northwest and the Astoria Music Festival. Concert appearances include Handel’s Messiah, Samson and Judas Maccabeus, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Schubert’s Mass in G, the Mozart, Verdi and Fauré Requiems, Orff’s Carmina Burana and many works of J.S. Bach, including both the role of Jesus and the baritone arias (the latter on short notice) in the St. Matthew Passion with Harmonia. His engagements this season include Beethoven’s Ninth with the Oregon Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with Harmonia, and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with Festival Chorale Oregon.