Introducing: Solitude Peopled
A new livestream recital series every Sunday night from M4Arts
Sunday 4/5: Rising Stars Edition
After the resounding success of our first Solitude Peopled Recital on 3/29 with Kristee Haney and Thomas Pandolfi, we are so thrilled to keep the music going with four absolutely spectacular up-and-coming artists: soprano Marlen Nahhas, mezzo-soprano Rehanna Thelwell, and pianists Thomas Morris and William Woodard. These world-class talents will build a bridge from Washington DC to your home, wherever you may be — with a gorgeous and uplifting program of Puccini, Dvořák, Heggie, and classics from the American songbook! Please join us at www.facebook.com/m4arts on Sunday at 7pm EST and use the hashtag #SolitudePeopled to share your impressions on social media.
Marlen Nahhas, recently praised for her “impassioned soprano” (San Francisco Chronicle), is currently a second year member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera. Upcoming engagements include Blanche DuBois at Arizona Opera, Mimi in La Boheme and Nancy T’ang in Nixon in China at WNO. Highlights of her 2019-2020 season include Pamina in the Emerging Artist performance of The Magic Flute at WNO and a debut at Opera Naples as Musetta in La bohème. During her first season at WNO she sang Violetta in the Emerging Artist Performance of WNO’s new production of La traviata under the direction of Francesca Zambello, Flamingo in Tesori’s The Lion, The Unicorn and Me, Queer Kid in the world premiere of Sankaram’s Taking Up Serpents, a Concert of Comedic Masterpieces under the baton of Maestro Joseph Colaneri. Additional debuts included Musetta in La bohème at Finger Lakes Opera and excerpts from La bohème with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by NSO Music Director Maestro Gianandrea Noseda. In the summer of 2018, she was a member of the Merola Opera program at the San Francisco Opera where she performed scenes from Il tabarro, Don Giovanni, Don Carlo, and La rondine in the Schwabacher and Grand Finale concerts. During the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Nahhas was a Resident Artist at Lyric Opera of Kansas City where she performed the Page in Rigoletto and covered Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. Additionally, she made her Kansas City Symphony debut singing excerpts from Le nozze di Figaro. In April 2018, Marlen was a National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and performed on the Metropolitan Opera stage. During the summers of 2016 and 2017, Marlen was an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera where her assignments included covering the title role in Tosca and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte.
A native of Houston, Texas, Marlen is a graduate of Oklahoma City University and Indiana University. While completing her studies she performed the title role in Madama Butterfly, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Violetta in La traviata.
New Jersey native mezzo-soprano Rehanna Thelwell joins the Cafritz Young Artist program for the 2019-20 season appearing as Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Woman 3 in Blue, and Annie in Porgy and Bess. Applauded for her “superb and expressive power” by the South Florida Classical Review, her collaborations have been described as a “tour de force” by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. For her most recent performances, Thelwell returned to Alaska to perform concert works with the Performing Arts Society. In October of 2018, Thelwell made her Carnegie Hall debut among the Exigence Vocal Ensemble led by Dr. Eugene Roger. In 2018, Thelwell joined Opera Theater of Saint Louis for their annual Opera Tastings and later became a part of Opera on the Go and the OTSL Artist in Residence program. As a 2018 Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theater of St. Louis she covered the role of Addie in Blitzstein’s Regina and enjoyed collaborative work with the creative minds of Patricia Racette, Ron Daniels, and Stephen Lord. Earlier in 2018, Thelwell had the immense pleasure of performing as Maria alongside Talise Trevigne and Morris Robinson in The University Musical Society’s Porgy and Bess. At the end of her Specialist Degree, she had the unique opportunity to work with composer William Bolcom for his newest opera, Dinner at Eight, and performed as the alto soloist with the University of Michigan’s Symphony Orchestra for their performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. During summer 2018, Thelwell returned to the Miami Music Festival Wagner Institute in their production of the Götterdämmerung prologue as the 2nd Norn. Previously, Thelwell had the privilege of sharing the stage with soprano Christine Georke and bass-baritone Alan Held for their rendition of “The Ride of the Valkyries”. Thelwell also took part of OperaMODO’s 2016-2017 season as Mistress Quickly in Verdi’s Falstaff and Florence Pike in Britten’s Albert Herring. During that time, Ms. Thelwell was invited to sing with the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra for their performance of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky in Anchorage, Alaska. Thelwell was actively involved with the University of Michigan Opera Theatre and Northern Arizona University Opera Theatre where she performed the roles of Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera, La Principessa in Suor Angelica, Cornelia in Giulio Cesare, Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Ježibaba in Rusalka. Thelwell also had the opportunity to premiere the San Francisco opera workshop production of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber as Lady Wang. Thelwell began her professional music studies in 2009 at Northern Arizona University under the instruction of Deborah Raymond. She holds both a Master’s and Specialist degree from the University of Michigan where she was a student of Nadine Washington and Daniel Washington. She has also had the pleasure of working with Kathleen Kelly, Timothy Cheek, Martin Katz, Jerry Blackstone, Eugene Rogers, and Kenneth Kiesler. Ms. Thelwell will return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for their 2019 season as Giovanna in Rigoletto and Ruby in their newly commissioned opera, Fire Shut Up in my Bones.
Atlanta-native pianist and vocal coach Thomas Morris is a member of Washington National Opera’s Cafritz Young Artist Program. In WNO’s 2019-2020 season he was an Assistant Conductor for The Magic Flute. He spent the summer of 2018 as an apprentice coach at the Merola Opera Program. He has worked as a staff pianist and coach at the Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, the Harrower Summer Opera Workshop, and the Castleton Festival, and he spent three summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School in the collaborative piano and opera coaching programs. Morris received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University, where he studied piano and composition. As part of this degree, he spent a semester in Vienna, Austria, where he studied German language, opera, and Lieder. Morris recently graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with a master degree, studying under Warren Jones.
William Woodard is a pianist/vocal coach with Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera. William recently graduated from the Manhattan School of Music where he studied under the tutelage of Warren Jones with the Jensen Scholarship for Opera Accompanying. Previously, William attended Vanderbilt University where he was a Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholar and studied under Amy Dorfman. William made his Carnegie Hall debut in the winter of 2019 while participating in Renée Fleming’s SongStudio at Carnegie Hall. This season, he makes his Kennedy Center debut as an assistant conductor for Washington National Opera’s production of Don Giovanni. He has also participated in music festivals such as the Merola Opera Program, the Aspen Music Festival, SongFest, Bowdoin International Chamber Music Festival and AIMS in Graz where he was awarded the Outstanding Lieder Pianist Prize. He is excited to join the team at Wolf Trap this summer!
Sunday 3/29: Kristee Haney & Thomas Pandolfi
We are thrilled to present our first livestream recital from M4Arts as part of the Solitude Peopled Series with mezzo-soprano Kristee Haney and pianist Thomas Pandolfi. These world-class talents will build a bridge from our Steinway Gallery in Washington DC to your home, wherever you may be — with a stunning and playful program of Hahn, Debussy, Chopin, Sondheim, Bernstein, and more! Please join us at www.facebook.com/m4arts on Sunday at 7pm EST and use the hashtag #SolitudePeopled to share your impressions on social media.
Praised as “darkly seductive” with a “smooth, rich tone,” mezzo-soprano Kristee Haney is quickly proving herself as an exciting young talent to watch. Her expansive and versatile repertoire encompasses everything from core baroque and romantic roles, to cutting edge contemporary operas.
Ms. Haney recently joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for productions of Janáček’s Jenůfa and Massenet’s Werther. She also performed with the New York City Opera for North American and European tours of Bizet’s Carmen and in the American premiere of Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain as Mrs. Beers.
Past highlights on the operatic stage include the title role in Bizet’s Carmen with the New York City Opera, The Fox in Portman’s The Little Prince with Tulsa Opera, the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon and Handel’s Giulio Cesare at the Siena Music Festival and Trentino Music Festival respectively, and performances with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Flora in La Traviata, Second Lady in The Magic Flute, and Second Secretary to Mao in Nixon in China among others. She has also appeared as Maddalena in Rigoletto with Union Avenue Opera, and as Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible with Rimrock Opera.
In addition to her extensive and versatile operatic engagements, Ms. Haney also enjoys a busy concert and crossover career. On the concert stage, she has made Carnegie Hall appearances as the alto soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Corigliano’s Fern Hill, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. As an oratorio soloist, she has appeared with the New York City Chamber Orchestra, Boston Early Music Festival, Kansas City Baroque Consortium, the Spoleto Festival USA, and Orpheus Chamber Singers among others. Oratorio performance highlights include such works as Duruflé's Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria; Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater; Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Magnificat, as well as Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Messiah.
Equally at home in musical theatre, Ms. Haney has made strong impressions on critics and audiences alike as Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd), Maria (The Sound of Music), and Countess Charlotte Malcolm (A Little Night Music). While a Vocal Fellow at the Music Academy of the West she worked with legendary comedienne Carol Burnett, performing selections from Sondheim's Company.
Ms. Haney is an alumna of the Young Artist Program with Lyric Opera of Kansas City where she performed in productions of The Rake’s Progress, Trouble in Tahiti, Norma, and Così fan tutte. She currently resides in New York City.
Thomas Pandolfi is one of the leading pianists of our time, hailed a “phenomenon.” He began his career early onwhile at The Juilliard School (BM & MM)where the young prodigy caught the influential ear of Vladimir Horowitz,who would become his mentor, and legendary composer, Morton Gould. Since then he has been an audience favorite,selling out the world’s most prestigious stages, includingLincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Strathmore,TheKennedy Center, Kiev Opera House, Bucharest’s Romanian Athenaeum, London’s Cadogan Hall, and many others.DC MetroArts calls him, “exhilarating... arare mix of technical accuracy and cool confidence.” “His artistry andtechnique were simply astonishing,” said theMetropolitan Arts Reviews.TheWashington Postboastedhe is a “masterof both the grand gesture and the sensual line... Pandolfi's large-scale pianism seemed under tight controlyetin noway muted the passion of his performance... projected with an exquisite sense of lyrical gesture.”“A standout amongtoday's young pianists... His virtuosity and strength... might have had some believing that Liszt himself had takenover the keyboard,” said theAsheville Citizen-Times.“The mastery of the scores, the precision of the playing, and thefinesse of the expression were all simply spectacular. It was a truly bravura performance, both in the virtuosic and inthe reflective pieces, yet one completely withoutgratuitous exaggerated display,” acclaimedThe Boston MusicalIntelligencer.In addition to beingrecognizedas one of the greatest interpreters ofthePolish masters such as Chopin,Paderewski,and Godowsky, this versatile pianist has received accoladesfrom everything from Bach to Gershwin, with MortonGould saying, “It’s the finest performance of Gershwin I have heard since the composer himself.” His original andvirtuosic transcriptions of popular works, such as West Side Story and Phantom of the Opera, are one-of-kind, jaw-dropping, and dramatic encores that keep audiences of all ages returning to his performances again and again.Mr. Pandolfi is a Steinway Artist and will begin recording forSteinway Spiriolater this year. Mr. Pandolfi’sperformances have been broadcast by PBS,WETA (Washington, DC),WQXR (NYC),WRCJ(Detroit),DCN TV(China), The Sound (DC), and many others worldwide. During his 2019-2020 season, he will complete a 20-statetour of the USA, his fourth tour in China, third tour ofthe UK, and seventh tour of Romania and Moldova.Born in Washington, DC into a musical family, Pandolfi began his studies with his father and continued on withprinciple teachersSasha Gorodnitzki , Adele Marcus, Gyorgy Sandor. He holds a BM and MM from The JuilliardSchool.Maestro Pandolfi is available for recitals, concertos, and masterclasses.