Pittsburgh Opera Young Artists to entertain Thursday Music Club | News, Sports, Jobs

WHEELING — At 11 a.m. Nov. 2, the Pittsburgh Opera Young Artists will entertain Thursday Music Club at Stifel Fine Arts Center, 1330 National Road, Wheeling.

The Progressive Bank of Wheeling is sponsoring this month’s program.

President Lynn Welsh will conduct a short business meeting and hear reports from Secretary Arlene Lawson and Treasurer Carol Couch

After the meeting, lunch will be served by member and caterer Judi Porterfield. There is a cost for lunch and you must have a reservation. To make a reservation, call Emily Mayer at 304-232-1714 by Monday morning, October 30th.

Members Phyllis Coleman and Betty Davis will greet members and guests. Sue Cain, Arlene Lawson and Suzie McCormick are in charge of table decorations.

The Study Group will meet Monday, November 13th at 1 p.m. at St. James Lutheran Church, 1409 Chapline Street, Wheeling. Lois Neitzelt will be the presenter and Suzie McCormick will be the hostess. For more information, call Betty Davis at 740-695-4374.

The Thursday Music Club Chorus, under the direction of Anita Chops and accompanist Debbie Breiding, have begun practice every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon at Elm Grove Methodist Church. They have one scheduled concert in November and three in December. For more information, call Anita Chops at 304-242-1455.

About the Pittsburgh Opera Young Artists

Shannon Jennings is a second-year Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist in 2017-18. She is scheduled to perform as Aunt Sarah/Shrink/Iraqi in The Long Walk and Giannetta in The Elixir of Love.

During her first-year as a Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist, she performed as Costanza/Richard the Lionheart and Slave/Salome. Jennings’ other recent roles include Marguerite/Faust with Annapolis Opera, Fiordiligi/CosÏ fan tutte with Opera Orlando, MimÏ/La boheme with DC Public Opera, and Josephine/H.M.S. Pinafore with Virginia Opera.

Jenning’s other residencies have included the Virginia Opera Emerging Artist Program, the Wolf Trap Opera Studio, Ash Lawn Opera, and the Mittels–chsisches Theater in Freiburg, Germany, where she started her career singing Pamina/Die Zauberflte. She has sung with the Virginia Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, the Mittels–chsische Philharmonie, and the Connecticut Valley Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Jennings was also a winner of the 2015 Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition.

Originally from Orlando, Florida, Ms. Jennings earned her B.M. in Vocal Performance at Florida State University College of Music, where her roles at Florida State University Operaincluded Atalanta/Serse, Elaine O’Neill/Later the Same Evening and First Lady/The Magic Flute.

Benjamin Taylor is a first-year Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist in 2017-18. He is scheduled to perform Sciarrone/Tosca, Brian/The Long Walk, and Captain Gardiner/Moby-D**k.

Taylor received his Master’s of Music from Boston University, where he also earned his Performer’s Certificate with Boston University’s Opera Institute. While at BU, He performed the roles of Demetrius/Midsummer Night’s Dream, Guglielmo/Cosi fan tutte, Escamillo/La Tragdie de Carmen, Prior Walter/Angels in America, Alvaro/Florencia en el Amazonas, Coyle/Owen Wingrave, and Des Grieux/Le Portrait de Manon.

For the past three summers Taylor has been a Gerdine Young Artist (2015, 2016) and Richard Gaddes Festival Artist (2017) at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis where he performed as Fiorello/The Barber of Seville, Cowardly Giant/Shalimar the Clown, and Yamadori/Madam Butterfly, and covered Figaro/Barber of Seville, Marcello/La Boheme, Musik Teacher/Ariadne auf Naxos, Sharpless/Madame Butterfly, and Lawyer Huld and various roles/The Trial. In 2016, Mr. Taylor also performed as Marcello with Crested Butte Festival, and Yamadori in Berkshire Opera’s inaugural season.

Taylor received his Bachelor’s of the Arts at Morgan State University where he sang Tom/Blue Monday with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, as well as various roles around the Maryland area. Taylor’s residency is generously sponsored by Jean Anne Hattler.

Mark Trawka, director of Musical Studies and Chorus Master. Trawka joined Pittsburgh Opera as director of Musical Studies for the prestigious Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Training Program in the 2003-04 season. In the 2006-07 season, he also took on the position of Chorus Master.

Trawka coaches and performs with the resident artists and has also accompanied renowned mezzo-soprano Marianne Cornetti in her Pittsburgh recital appearances. He has been a member of the music staff at Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera and Portland Opera (Oregon), where he was principal pianist and assistant chorus master. Mr. Trawka has served as coach/accompanist at Chautauqua Opera and at Glimmerglass Opera for many summer seasons. In the summer of 2006, he was director of the resident artist program at Berkshire Opera.

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