Saturday, March 23, 6 p.m. – Holy Cross Church, New Britain CT
Annual Concert with the New Britain Chorale
Sunday, March 24, 4 p.m. – Garde Arts Center, New London, CT
10th anniversary of the Connecticut Lyric Opera Gala Concert
The New Britain Chorale, Paderewski-Polonia Choir, CT Lyric Opera Chorus, Members of the Cappella Cantorum
Jurate Svedaite, soprano
Heather Petrie, alto
Christoper Lucier, tenor
Ryan Folley, bass
The Connecticut Virtuosi – Adrian Sylveen, conductor

Radiant Lithuanian soprano, Jurate Svedaite, has performed throughout Europe and the United States. Quickly establishing herself as a stage performer of remarkable artistry and sensitivity capable of “transfixing audiences with moments of opera magic,” in 2009/2010 Ms. Svedaite will add two contrating Verismo roles to her repertoire – Nedda in Pagliacci and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi – as well as reprising Adina in l’Elisir d’Amore. Her previous roles include Violetta in La Traviata, Mimi in La Bohème, Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Marguerite in Faust, the title role in Floyd’s Susannah, Micaela in Carmen, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Adina in l’Elisir d’Amore, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors and Valencienne in The Merry Widow. An active perfomer of sacred works and oratorios as well, her credits include Monteverde’s and Vivaldi’s Magnificats; Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Coffe and Peasant Cantatas as well as numerous sacred cantatas; Mozart’s Requiem, Exsultate Jubilate and Missa Brevis; Pergolessi’s Stabat Mater; and Faure’s Requiem. The granddaughter of one of Lithuania’s most revered composers and arrangers of traditional music, Jonas Svedas, she began performing at an early age and made her recording debut at the tender age of twelve; also at that time, she hosted several programs for children on national television. Ms. Svedaite later attended the Lithuanian Music Academy where she earned Bachelors and Masters and Degrees in Opera and Vocal Instruction. She now resides in SE Connecticut where she is on the faculty of Connecticut College and Thames Valley Music School.

Heather Petrie performs frequently with several professional choral ensembles in Manhattan, including Musica Sacra, Voices of Ascension, and Sacred Music in a Sacred Space.  Locally in Connecticut, she has been heard as soloist with Voce, CONCORA and Asylum Hill Congregational Church, as well as with various groups at Yale.  She is a founding member of the critically acclaimed treble ensemble Etherea, and is featured on both of their CDs, Hymn to the Dawn and Ceremony of Carols, released by Delos.  Heather’s discography also includes Joyful!, a gospel/jazz interpretation of the Psalms by Pete Malinverni, and Sure On This Shining Night, an album of Morten Lauridsen’s choral pieces recorded with Voce at the request of the composer.  On the opera stage, Heather has portrayed La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, the Third Lady in Die Zauberflote, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Flora in La Traviata, Larina in Eugene Onegin, Miss Todd in The Old Maid and the Thief, Baba in The Medium, and Arnalta in L’incoronazione di Poppea.  She has also toured South Korea extensively with her husband, guitarist and producer David Veslocki. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Voice from Bard College and a Master of Music in Opera Performance from SUNY Purchase Conservatory.

Tenor Christopher Lucier was featured as Il Duca in Rigoletto, Azael in L’Enfant Prodigue and Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro which Opera News declared was “consistently amusing.” Chris also portrayed Roger Doremus is Lee Hoiby’s Summer and Smoke, a performance that the New York Times hailed as a “standout.” The Albany Records recording of the performance was named by Opera News as one of the 10 best Opera Recordings of 2011. As a young artist at the Chautauqua Music Festival Chris has sung Sam Polk in Carlysle Floyd’s Susannah and most recently Judge Danforth in The Crucible by Robert Ward as well as feature roles is operas by Monteverdi, Ravel, Offenbach and Mozart. The opera-blog Parterre Box, run by New York Post critic James Jorden, says of Chris’s voice, “What you hear from him is wonderful, he has a large and beautiful lyric voice, perfectly suited for bel canto roles.” Christopher Lucier is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music’s Opera Program.

Extraordinary young vocal prodigy Ryan Foley has a wide breadth of musical experience. He won regional awards for his performance in musical theater, sang in the CMEA All-State Chorus, and performed at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Dr. Kirby Shaw. Now, at Connecticut College, he is the musical director of his a-cappella group, Co Co Beaux, is a section leader at St. James’ Episcopal Church Choir, studies voice with Jurate Svedaite-Waller, and is a frequent soloist with the college’s chamber choir. Previous opera appearances include Tosca (Sciarrone), L’Heure Espagnole (Don Inigo Gomez), and The Magic Flute.

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