Bach Festival puts spotlight on vocals

Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

The 36th annual Sonora Bach Festival will continue with a salon concert at 6 p.m. Saturday and vocal master class at 2 p.m. Sunday, both featuring lyric coloratura soprano Robin Fisher accompanied by pianist Hatem Nadim.

The salon concert will include "Robin Song," by New York composer Sunny Knable, formerly of Sacramento, which incorporates the poetry of Emily Dickinson and received its world premiere earlier this year in San Francisco.

The program will include the writings of several other esteemed authors set to music, including John Duke, Sara Teasdale, Dorothy Reid, Langston Hughes, William Carlos Williams, James Purdy and Dorothy Parker.

The concert, "The Art of American Song," will be held at a private residence in East Sonora. Guests will enjoy casual dining with local wines at 6 p.m., with music beginning at 7:30 p.m. and desserts afterwards.

Admission is $35 and space is limited. Advance reservations are required and may be made by calling 536-6330.

The Master Class for Vocalists will be held from 2 to 5 p.m.Sunday at the Church of the 49ers in Columbia. An internationally acclaimed soloist and respected voice teacher, Fisher has taught and presented classes on a variety of subjects including singing style and performance, vocal techniques, poetry and song, and the writings of John Duke.

Fisher will help students identify vocal problems and then work to give them tools to improve their vocal production, performance techniques and musicianship.

Others may attend as observers.

The class participation fee is $25 and the observation fee is $5. For availability of space, call 536-6330.

Robin Fisher has performed to critical acclaim in such cities as Paris, Vienna, Prague, Hamburg, Chicago and Dallas. Most recently, she was featured in the solo cantata "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen" at the Bravo Bach Festival in Sacramento.

She appeared as Susanna in Mozart's "Le nozze di Figaro" with Sacramento Opera and as Pamina in "The Magic Flute" with Townsend Opera Players.

At the Mondavi Center in Davis, Fisher was the soprano soloist in "Elijah" with the UC Davis Symphony and Chorus, a featured soloist in an all-Bach concert with the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra and collaborated in a late-Renaissance program with Sex Chordae Consort of Viols.

Fisher edited "The Selected Writings of John Duke," published in 2007 by Scarecrow Press. She is currently preparing a new edition of the three-volume work, "American Art Song & American Poetry."

In 2008, Fisher was invited to perform the Dvorak "Mass in D" with the Napa Valley Chorale and a Broadway concert at the Bear Valley Music Festival.

Fisher also appeared with West Bay Opera in the title role of "The Merry Widow" and with Sacramento Opera as Frasquita in "Carmen." She joined the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra on tour performing works by Haydn and Dvorak in the cities of Munich, Prague, Vienna and Budapest.

In Mendelssohn's "Lobgesang Symphony," the Sacramento Bee found her "thrilling."

Other oratorio repertoire includes Mozart's C minor "Mass and Requiem," Haydn's "Creation," Handel's "Messiah" and Fauré's "Requiem," as well as works by Bach and Schubert.

She has recorded chamber works for flute and soprano with Laurel Zucker ("The Nightingale Sings") and a compact disc of sacred American art songs in collaboration with pianist Dalton Baldwin ("God be in my Heart").

A native of California, Fisher began her vocal studies at San Jose State University. She won both the prestigious Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship and a Rotary Foundation Award to pursue studies in Europe, and received the coveted Artist's Diploma cum laude from the University of Vienna.

She holds a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Fisher is currently associate professor of voice at California State University, Sacramento.

11882174
The Union Democrat
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