New Year’s Concerts Dec. 31, 2010 & Jan. 1, 2011

Fri. 12/31/2010, 6 p.m. – Trinity-On-Main, New Britain
(A Champaign reception will follow the New Britain concert from 7:30 to 9 PM)
Sunday, 01/02/2011, 4 PM The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Old Saybrook, CT

In Program:
Johann Strauss Jr.: Overture to “Der Zigeunerbaron”, “Perpetum Mobile”
Puccini (from “La Boheme”): “Che gelida manina”, “Sì, mi chiamano Mimì”, “O soave fanciulla”
Verdi: Excerpts from Traviata
Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47
Tchaikovsky (from “Onegin”): Lensky Aria
Johann Strauss Jr.: “An der schönen blauen Donau”, Op. 314 (At the Beautiful Blue Danube)

Soloists:
Brunilda Myftaraj, violin (Albania)
Jurate Svedaite, soprano (Lithania)
Michael Wade Lee , tenor

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Albanian violin prodigy Brunilda Myftaraj has drawn enthusiastic accolades from audiences as well as critical acclaim for her masterful musicianship in her native Albania, as well as Italy, Greece, France, Marocco, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and in the United States. She has been praised recently by the New London Day critic as an “especially fine and beautiful player”.

In the United States She has performed as soloist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra of which she is now a concertmistress, and presented recitals at the Piano and Friends Chamber Music series in Tucson Arizona, Mostly Mozart series in Napa Valley, the Schubert Club in Minneapolis and more.  She has been featured on radio stations in NY, CT and MA.

The first prize winner of the Van Rooy competition, Emerson Quartet competition she was also a and semifinalist and participant in prestigious competitions such as the Young Artist Guild in NY, Indianapolis International Violin Competition and the Lipizer Competition in Gorizia, Italy.

Ms. Myftaraj graduated with the Highest Honors from the renowned Conservatory of Fine Arts in Tirana, and has studied throughout Europe and the United States.  Her teachers have included, Proletare Skenderi, Piero Faulli of the Quartetto Italiano, Alberto Lissy, Phil Setzer, Eugene Drucker, Rafael Druian and Renato Bonacini.

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Possesssing a vocal artistry and stage presence capable of transfixing audiences with “moments of opera magic,” Lithuanian soprano, Jūratė Švedaitė, has performed throughout Europe and the United States with the Lithuanian National Chamber Orchestra, the European Baroque Festival Opera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Kaunas Chamber Orchestra, Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian National Ensemble “Lietuva,” and Mystic River Chorale, among others.  Her previous roles include Violetta in La Traviata, Mimi in La Bohème, Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Nedda in Pagliacci, Micaela in Carmen and the title role in Floyd’s Susanhah.

An active perfomer of sacred works and oratorios as well, her credits include Monteverdi’s and Vivaldi’s Magnificats; Bach’s Mass in B minor, Christmas Oratorio and numerous sacred cantatas; Mozart’s Requiem, Exsultate Jubilate, Solemn Vespers andMissa Brevis; Pergolessi’s Stabat Mater, Brahm’s Ein Deutsches Requiem and Faure’sRequiem.

Ms. Švedaitė attended the Lithuanian Music Academy where she earned Bachelors and Masters and Degrees in Opera Performance and Vocal Instruction. She now resides in SE Connecticut where she is on the faculty of Connecticut College and Thames Valley Music School.

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Critics hail American tenor, Michael Wade Lee, as “that rarity among operatic tenors, a really good-looking, virile, well-built and gifted thespian with a wide-ranging voice to match.” He made his international debut in 2007 to great acclaim with the Greek National Opera, singing Don José Carmen with Denyce Graves. He has since performed with Staatstheater Mainz (Germany), San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera Productions (Ireland), San Antonio Opera, New York City Opera, Glyndebourne Opera Festival (UK), Opera Theatre of St Louis, Musica Viva (Hong Kong), Chautauqua Opera, El Paso Opera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Raylynmor Opera, Opera in the Heights, Dicapo Opera, Chelsea Opera, and others. His many roles include B F Pinkerton Madama Butterfly, DukeRigoletto, Rodolfo La Bohème, Don José Carmen, Cavaradossi Tosca, Turiddu Cavalleria Rusticana, Nemorino L’elisir D’amore, The Prince Rusalka, Tamino Die Zauberflӧte, the Male Chorus The Rape Of Lucretia, Grivet Thérèse Raquin, and Froh Das Rheingold.

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