With music by Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg, Mahler, Joseph Canteloube, Michel Legrand, and many others, this “Tour de France” program will feature four young singers and a pianist selected by Artistic Director Steven Blier for a weeklong residency at Caramoor. Assisted by Bénédicte Jourdois, and developed in collaboration with NYFOS, the week will include daily coaching, rehearsals and workshops, and culminate in this Music Room livestreamed performance exploring the wealth and breadth of French song repertoire.
Schwab Vocal Rising Stars
Nicoletta Berry, soprano
Erin Wagner, mezzo-soprano
Aaron Crouch, tenor
Samuel Kidd, baritone
Grace Francis, pianoMentors
Steven Blier, Artistic Director
Bénédicte Jourdois, Associate Director
The livestream will be available to view for 48 hours. This concert will begin at 7:00PM EST.Questions? We have a livestream guide prepared specifically for our Caramoor Members, and another guide for the general public. Following this guide will hopefully answer all of your questions, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the show! Contact the Box Office at 914.232.1252 or [email protected].
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All artists and dates are subject to change and cancellation without notice as we work closely with local health experts and officials. Please note that all performances and livestreams at Caramoor are in compliance with current New York State Regulations. Reserve Now
Steven Blier, Artistic Director, coach, piano, arrangements
Steven Blier is the Artistic Director of the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), which he co-founded in 1988 with Michael Barrett. Since the Festival’s inception, he has programmed, performed, translated, and annotated more than 140 vocal recitals with repertoire spanning the entire range of American song, art song from Schubert to Szymanowski, and popular song from early vaudeville to Lennon-McCartney. NYFOS has also made in-depth explorations of music from Spain, Latin America, Scandinavia, and Russia. New York Magazine gave NYFOS its award for Best Classical Programming, while Opera News proclaimed Blier “the coolest dude in town” and in December 2014, Musical America included him as one of 30 top industry professionals in their feature article, Profiles in Courage. During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, NYFOS launched a new video performance series called [email protected], with contributions from Lawrence Brownlee, Denyce Graves, Erin Morley, and Julia Bullock.
Blier enjoys an eminent career as an accompanist and vocal coach. His recital partners have included Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Samuel Ramey, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Susan Graham, Jessye Norman, and José van Dam, in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to La Scala. He is also on the faculty of The Juilliard School and has been active in encouraging young recitalists at summer programs, including the Wolf Trap Opera Company, the Steans Institute at Ravinia, Santa Fe Opera, and the San Francisco Opera Center. Many of his former students, including Stephanie Blythe, Joseph Kaiser, Sasha Cooke, Paul Appleby, Dina Kuznetsova, Corinne Winters, Julia Bullock, and Kate Lindsey, have gone on to be valued recital colleagues and sought-after stars on the opera and concert stage.
In keeping the traditions of American music alive, he has brought back to the stage many of the rarely heard songs of George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Kurt Weill, and Cole Porter. He has also played ragtime, blues, and stride piano evenings with John Musto. A champion of American art song, he has premiered works of John Corigliano, Paul Moravec, Ned Rorem, William Bolcom, Mark Adamo, John Musto, Richard Danielpour, Tobias Picker, Robert Beaser, Lowell Liebermann, Harold Meltzer, and Lee Hoiby, many of which were commissioned by NYFOS.
Blier’s extensive discography includes the premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles (Koch International), which won a Grammy Award; Spanish Love Songs (Bridge Records), recorded live at Caramoor with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Joseph Kaiser, and Michael Barrett; the world premiere recording of Bastianello (John Musto) and Lucrezia (William Bolcom), a double bill of one-act comic operas set to librettos by Mark Campbell; and Quiet Please, an album of jazz standards with vocalist Darius de Haas. His latest release is Canción amorosa, a CD of Spanish songs with soprano Corinne Winters. His writings on opera have been featured in Opera News and the Yale Review.
A native New Yorker, he received a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in English Literature at Yale University, where he studied piano with Alexander Farkas. He completed his musical studies in New York with Martin Isepp and Paul Jacobs.
Benedicte Jourdois, Associate Director and coach
A graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera, Bénédicte Jourdois is currently on the music staff at the Metropolitan Opera and on faculty at the Juilliard School.
Jourdois has performed in numerous venues in Europe and in the United States, including Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. As a coach and pianist, she has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Chicago Lyric Ryan Opera Center, Pittsburgh Opera, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Saratoga, Rice University, the Chautauqua Institution voice program, the Castleton Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Carnegie Hall’s SongStudio.
She was a faculty member at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia from 2013 to 2016 and at the Manhattan School of Music from 2011 to 2018.
Born in Paris, Jourdois holds degrees from the Conservatoire National de Region de Saint-Maur, the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Lyon, Mannes College, and the Juilliard School.
Nicoletta Berry, soprano
Nicoletta Berry is a dynamic performer passionate about the art of storytelling. Berry is pursuing her Master of Music at The Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School. This season, she will be performing the role of Clizia in Handel’s Teseo with the Juilliard Opera, and she will perform on the recital stage in Juilliard’s Liederabend series. She has performed the role of Tytania in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Chautauqua Institution, where she has also performed Kathie in Romberg’s The Student Prince, and Flora in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw.
Berry is also passionate about bringing composers from diverse backgrounds to the forefront. She was the Co-artistic Director of Hear Them Now: Works by Composers from the African Diaspora, which premiered online in August 2020. Berry completed her undergraduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music.
Erin Wagner, mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano Erin Wagner is from El Paso, TX, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Darrell Babidge.
She is passionate about the performance of art song, chamber music, new music, and opera that represent diverse and modern perspectives. Upcoming engagements include SongStudio with Renée Fleming and Carnegie Hall, Brian Zeger’s Songfest, Pierre Vallet’s Liederabend, Saengerbund Awards Finals, Naumburg Vocal Competition, Das Lied International Song Competition, 2021 Young Concert Artist Semifinals, and Renée Fleming’s Artist Program at Aspen Music Festival.
Aaron Crouch, tenor
Aaron Crouch, a native of Bowie, Maryland, is a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Some of Crouch’s roles at Curtis include Prunier in Puccini’s La Rondine, Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, and Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Crouch was a Gold Medalist at the YoungArts Foundation in 2017. He also received First Place in the 2017 Sue Goetz Ross Competition, as well as First Place in the 2017 Classical Singer Vocal Competition. In December of 2018, Crouch was awarded an encouragement award from the Premiere Opera International Vocal Competition. He also received an Emerging Artist Award from Opera Index in 2019.
In past summers, Crouch has attended the Chautauqua Institute where he performed the role of Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. In 2019, he was a young artist at The Glimmerglass Festival where he debuted the role of The Son in the world premiere of Jeanine Tesori’s opera Blue.
Samuel Kidd, baritone
Samuel Kidd, baritone, is a second-year master’s student studying vocal performance at the College Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati, under the instruction of William McGraw. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Freda Herseth.
Last season at CCM, Kidd performed the roles of Krušina in The Bartered Bride and the title role in the workshop production of Falstaff. He was also involved in several operas at the University of Michigan as Friar Laurence in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Dr. Talbot in Balcom’s Dinner at Eight, and Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In summer 2020, Kidd was a studio artist with Wolf Trap Opera, performing in their studio spotlight scenes. The two prior summers, he was a vocal fellow at the Music Academy of the West. In 2019, he performed the roles of Ethan/Owens in Cold Mountain by Jennifer Higdon, as well as the bass solos in Pulcinella by Stravinsky under the baton of Thomas Adès. In 2018, he performed the role of Jazz Trio in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, as well as in the chorus of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.
Grace Francis, piano
New Zealander Grace Francis is a student of Dr. Lydia Brown at The Juilliard School, where she began a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano (Vocal) last fall. She is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship and a Fulbright General Graduate Award.
At Juilliard, Francis is a Diversity Advocate, Gluck Community Service Fellow, and Student Congress representative. Since beginning her studies she has been a winner of Juilliard’s Vocal Arts Honors Recital (2019) with soprano Jessica Niles, and performed with bass-baritone William Socolof for his winning performances in the Young Concert Artists competition (2020).
Francis received her Bachelor of Music (First Class Honors) in 2014 under Rae de Lisle at the University of Auckland, making professional concerto debuts as both pianist and harpsichordist during her studies. She has also performed in Canada and across Europe.
Before arriving in the U.S., she worked as a répétiteur for New Zealand Opera, National Aria contest, and as Assistant Director of GALS (Gay and Lesbian Singers). For nine years she was a mentor and educator with youth organizations including Opera Factory and the Auckland Youth Choir, performing in Carnegie Hall in 2016 and the Australian International Music Festival in 2019.
Sunday , March 21 , 3:00pm