A lecture-recital about Benjamin Britten and the Second World War will feature members of the WVU music faculty, including tenor Nicholas Perna, assistant professor of voice, and Robert Thieme, professor of music and head of the vocal studies program, Wednesday, Dec. 2, at the Creative Arts Center.

Perna’s wife, soprano Mandy Spivak, currently adjunct professor of voice at WVU and at West Virginia Wesleyan, will also be featured on the program, along with the University Choir, conducted by Kathleen Shannon. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (Room 200A) and is free and open to the public.

According to Perna, the lecture-recital will focus on the effects of World War II on the textual choices of the vocal music of Britten.

The program will include an excerpt from Britten’s “War Requiem,” as well as other selections that include “Before Life and After,” “Let the Florid Music Praise,” “Since She Whom I Loved,” and “Now the Great Bear and Pleiades” from “Peter Grimes.”

Perna holds a bachelor of music degree in voice and a doctorate in vocal pedagogy and performance from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, as well as a master of music in voice from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music. He previously served on the faculty of New World School of the Arts and Miami Dade College. Since the summer of 2005 he has served as voice faculty and production director of the Cultural American Music Program in Marathon, Fla., where he also serves as artistic director.

Thieme is director of WVU Opera Theatre and has also worked as a collaborative artist with singers and instrumentalists throughout the United States and in Europe. He is also co-artistic director of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, a summer training program for vocalists, pianists and instrumentalists.

Spivak, a native of Miami, received a bachelor of music degree from the University of Miami and a master of music from the University of Houston. She also holds a doctorate in vocal performance from the University of Miami.

For more information, contact the College of Creative Arts at (304) 293-4841, Ext. 3108.


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CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
304-293-4841 ext. 3108, Charlene.Lattea@mail.wvu.edu