Opera singer Gustavo Halley, a bass-baritone who has performed throughout the world, will present a master class with West Virginia University voice professor and noted soprano Hope Koehler at the Creative Arts Center, Friday, Jan. 23.
The class will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A) and is free and open to the public.
An expert in the history of recorded opera, Halley recently retired as a member of the faculty of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. A native of Cuba, he was a recipient of a Faculty Research Grant for his project of arranging old Cuban songs. He portrayed Christopher Columbus in the world premiere in Milan (Italy) of Manuel deFalla’s scenic oratorio, “La Atlantida,” with Giulietta Simionato and Teresa Stratas. He has also performed major operatic roles in theaters and opera houses in Miami, Palm Beach, Birmingham, Corpus Christi, Hamburg, Innsbruck, Graz, Darmstadt, Aachen, Warsaw, Hamburg, La Scala, Milan, Amsterdam and Mexico City. He sang in Aachen, Germany, for five years with his wife, Sarah Schumann-Halley, before returning to the United States, where he has had an active performing and teaching career. He has also served on the voice faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, since 1996 and will be the presenter of the�Henry Pleasants Lecture Series program at the institute in the summer of 2015, which explores the fascinating recorded history of classical singers.
Hope Koehler is coordinator of the voice program in the WVU School of Music. She has appeared all over the United States, in Canada, Europe, Asia, and South America where she has been heard in recital, concert, and opera. Koehler has also performed in musical theater and as a soloist in oratorio and other choral orchestral works. She is a featured soloist with the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group that performs all over the world, and whose mission is to keep the American Negro Spiritual alive and vibrant. She can be heard on the CDs “The Lily of the Valley,” “The Spirit of the Holidays,” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” as well as the DVD and PBS documentary, “The Spirituals,” recorded with the American Spiritual Ensemble. In 2008, Albany Records released Koehler’s recording of John Jacob Niles songs titled “The Lass from the Low Countree,” and 2013 saw the release of her second solo CD titled “Lost Melodies,” featuring unpublished and out-of-print songs of John Jacob Niles. Koehler serves on the voice faculty of the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, as well as the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. She also serves on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.
For more information about the master class, contact the College of Creative Arts at (304) 293-4359.
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