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Midsummer Mozart Festival Chamber Players
July 11, 2023
Midsummer Mozart Festival Chamber Players

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Bastien und Bastienne, a comic opera

Brooklyn Snow, Soprano, Bastienne

Matthew Greenblatt, Tenor, Bastien

Kirk Eichelberger, Bass, Colas

Paul Schrage, Piano

Bastien und Bastienne-libretto

Soprano Brooklyn Snow is a rising international artist who has already in her young career accrued multiple performances to her credit in both Europe and the United States. Most recently she returned to Union Avenue Opera to sing all three heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. While there in 2019, she received an Outstanding Achievement in Opera award nomination for her performance of Cunegonde in Candide. In July, she debuted with Opera Santa Barbara as Woglinde in Das Rheingold. As a Chrisman Studio Artist with OSB, Ms. Snow performed a monodrama by Jake Heggie entitled At The Statue of Venus, covered the role of Norina in Don Paquale, and performed in outdoor concerts around Santa Barbara. In 2020, Ms. Snow was a finalist in Eugene Opera’s Diva Cage Match Competition and a featured soprano for their virtual New Year’s Eve Gala Concert. She sang her first Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Opera Bend in 2019 and will reprise the role with The Southern Illinois Music Festival in 2022. Ms. Snow will debut at Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist for Choirs of America’s Emerging Artists Series in 2022.

The 2017–2018 season witnessed Ms. Snow return for her second consecutive year of residence with Palm Beach Opera, as an inaugural member of the company’s newly implemented Apprentice Artists Program. Her responsibilities included performing Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro (family performance) and covering Susanna, as well as performing First Sheep and covering Cunegonde in Candide. Additionally, Ms. Snow appeared in Palm Beach Opera’s Boca Museum and Opera on the Waterfront concerts, as well as presenting an hour-long solo art song recital accompanied by Maestro Gregory Ritchey as part of the company’s Singspiel Series at Royal Poinciana Chapel. During her initial season as an Apprentice Artist with the company (2016–2017), Ms. Snow performed Isabel in the family performance of The Pirates of Penzance, covered Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, the Page in Rigoletto, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and study-covered Gilda in Rigoletto. She made her official Palm Beach Opera debut in the company’s December 2016 Opera on the Waterfront concert.

Additional appearances in the 2017–2018 season include Ms. Snow’s participation in the Portland Art Museum’s opening gala concert and her debut with the Northwest Indiana Symphony on the concert program Showboat and Showtunes, a program she reprised with the New Philharmonic in the autumn of 2018. In October 2018, Ms. Snow appeared as a guest soloist in the Clayton Piano Festival’s Americans in Paris concert program, and in March 2019, Ms. Snow made her Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Hall debut as Papagena in The Magic Flute.

Ms. Snow’s credits as an emerging artist include her Apprentice Artist residency during Teatro Nuovo‘s 2018 opening season, where she took on the roles of Ilia in Idomeneo and Servilla in La Clemenza di Tito, performing them in excerpt form along with other Mozart scenes, and her Young Artist residency with Mexico’s Opera Maya 2018 Canto de Júbilo edition. As a Bel Canto Apprentice Artist with the Caramoor Festival in 2017, she performed Arditi’s coloratura showpiece “Il bacio” as part of the Festival’s Canzonetta sull’aria concert in the Spanish Courtyard. During the summer of 2016, Ms. Snow made her debut with Opera Saratoga as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro and performed the role of the Fairy in Philip Glass’ opera-ballet for children, The Witches of Venice. Ms. Snow has also fulfilled young artist residencies with Salzburg’s historic Mozarteum Akademie, the Castleton Festival, and SongFest. As a young artist with the Castleton Festival, she had the honor of preparing excerpts from Le nozze di Figaro (as Susanna) and La bohème (as Musetta) with the late Lorin Maazel and performing under the baton of the Metropolitan Opera’s Bradley Moore.

Ms. Snow’s exceptional promise has been recognized by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions on several occasions, including as an Encouragement Award Winner (Oregon District) in 2017, a Finalist (Central Region) in 2015, and as the  2014 Midwest Region District Winner. She also earned the top honors prize in the Mozarteum’s concluding Preisträgerkonzert.

Ms. Snow received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University (IU) as a scholarship recipient from the National Society of Arts and Letters. As a member of the IU Opera Theater, she performed the Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel, Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri, Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Lisette in La Rondine. Further performances include Despina in Così fan tutte with Blooming Voce and the role of Rainbow Crow in the premiere of Chappell Kingsland’s The Firebringers for the outreach program Reimagining Opera for Kids (ROK). Ms. Snow received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance. As an undergraduate, she performed as a soloist in the Pergolesi Stabat Mater under the direction of Matthew Halls and performed at the Oregon Bach Festival. Further concert performances include solo appearances with the Indiana Opera Chorus and the University of Oregon Chamber Choir.

A native of Port Washington, New York, Tenor Matthew Greenblatt is excited to be joining the Midsummer Mozart Festival in the role of Bastien. Most recently, Mr. Greenblatt made his debut as Fabrizio Naccarelli in the Light in the Piazza with Opera Santa Barbara. During the 2022-23 season, Mr. Greenblatt sang the role of Tony in West Side Story with both the Northwest Indiana Symphony and New Philharmonic Orchestra in Chicago. Additionally, he covered the role of Fenton in Falstaff with Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, covered the role of Jupiter in Opera Santa Barbara’s production of Semele, and made his Carnegie Hall debut as a featured soloist alongside his wife, soprano Brooklyn Snow, in the Choirs of America Emerging Artist Series.

During the 2020-21 season, Mr. Greenblatt was in residence with Opera Santa Barbara as a Chrisman Studio Artist. He was also a featured Tenor Soloist for Eugene Opera’s Virtual New Year’s Eve Gala Concert. Prior to his training with Opera Santa Barbara, Mr. Greenblatt spent two seasons as an Apprentice Artist with Palm Beach Opera where he covered the roles of Frederic in Pirates of Penzance, and Candide in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. Mr. Greenblatt has been a finalist in the New York International Vocal Competition, The Saltworks Opera Competition, and a Semi-finalist in the Opera Index Competition. He received his BM in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan, and his MM from Mannes in New York.

Bass Kirk Eichelberger has been praised for “commanding the stage at every turn” (San Francisco Chronicle) and for his “resonant bass and riveting stage presence” (Dayton City Paper). Recent engagements include Alidoro in La Cenerentola with Opéra de Montréal, Zuniga in Carmen for the Spokane Symphony and Opera Coeur d’Alene, Commendatore in Don Giovanni for the Edmonton Opera and Manitoba Opera, Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville for the Livermore Valley Opera, and the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera engaged him for Abraham in Flames.

Kirk’s 2022/2023 season has included a return to Manitoba Opera for Alidoro in La Cenerentola, Angelotti in Tosca for Livermore Valley Opera, Sarastro with the Santa Rosa Symphony, Hunding in Wagner’s Die Walküre and Fafner in Siegfried for Tundi Productions. The 2021/2022 season saw Kirk join Livermore Valley Opera for Verdi’s Otello and Tundi Productions for both Wagner’s Die Walküre and Der Rheingold. In the Fall of 2021, he performed the role of The Commentator in Solo Opera’s production of Scalia v. Ginsberg.

Further credits include The Emperor in Tan Dun’s Tea and Don Fernando in Fidelio with Opera Company of Philadelphia, Mephistophélès in Faust with Opera Grand Rapids, Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Vancouver Opera, and Ferrando in Il Trovatore with both Opera Manitoba and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Kirk made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Prokofiev’s The Gambler.

Kirk has sung The Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffman with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the title role in Le nozze di Figaro for Opera Memphis, and Alidoro in La Cenerentola with Sacramento Opera. On stage with the Festival Opera of Walnut Creek, Kirk has performed Timur in Turandot, and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Concert engagements include Mendelssohn’s Elijah, as well as Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Deutsches Requiem, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Haydn’s Creation, Pärt’s Litany, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Kodály’s Budavári Te Deum and Einhorn’s Voices of Light. A regular recitalist with Lieder Alive in the Bay Area, Mr. Eichelberger has performed Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Brahm’s Vier ernste Gesänge, Strauss’ Rückert-Lieder and Wolf’s Michelangelo-Lieder.

Mr. Eichelberger was a national finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and also the MacAllister Awards for Opera Singers. He holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois.

Conductor and pianist Paul Schrage appears frequently throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and the United States, leading from the podium as well as performing as a solo and chamber artist. He currently serves as Music Director of the Midsummer Mozart Festival, as well as Music Director of Symphonia Caritas, a professional orchestra that provides benefit concerts in partnership with other non-profits. Most recently, Paul was named a finalist in the Music Director position with Symphony of the Redwoods and will guest conduct that orchestra in the spring of 2023. In addition, after jumping in at the last minute to guest conduct the San Francisco Civic Symphony he was asked to serve as Principal Guest Conductor for the 2022-23 season. Previously, Paul served as Interim Music Director of the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra during the 2019-2020 season. Guest Conductor appearances include the Veridian Symphony, Merced Symphony, San Francisco Civic Symphony, San Francisco Academy Orchestra, Nova Vista Symphony, and Sonoma County Philharmonic, among others.

As a pianist, Paul has performed in recitals, with orchestras, and in jazz settings across the United States, Europe, Brazil, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has performed in such diverse venues as the INSAP Festival in Chicago, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the main square in Warsaw, Casa Huey Barbosa in Rio de Janeiro, and with the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste of Kinshasa. Equally at home in the classical and improvisational realms, he frequently performs half classical, half jazz recitals. Artists he has performed with include harpsichordist Jory Vinikour, conductors David Ramadanoff, Armand Diangienda, and Elena Sharkova, trombonist and composer Bobby Brookmeyer, drummers Louis Bellson and Steve Smith, guitarist Gary Wittner, violinists Ian Swensen and Robin Hansen, and singers Christina Major, Kindra Scharich, and Nathan Granner. Paul has strong relationships with living composers and has performed world premieres of works by Ingrid Stozel, Rubin Zahra, Eric Choate, and Paul Davies, among others. He was the Pianist-in-Residence of the Contemporary American Music Project, where he frequently collaborated with musical theorist and historian Cameron Logan.

Combining his artistic endeavors with extensive experience as an impresario, Paul founded Symphonia Caritas in 2015 and has since partnered with numerous non-profit organizations such as Swords to Plowshares and the Gubbio Project, raising over $100,000 in proceeds that go directly to the partner organizations. In addition to serving as Music Director for the Midsummer Mozart Festival, Paul assists with vital organizational components including fundraising campaigns and providing guidance on programming and concert production.

Released in 2004, Paul’s first solo album showcased the music of Mozart, Liszt, and Copland, as well as original compositions and jazz selections. With the jazz trio the Sideways Trio he released “In Defense of Our Dreams”, alongside drummer Jeff Hanson and bassist Doug Pohorski, featuring arrangements of rock songs, classical works, and original compositions. Paul has served on the piano faculties of Foothill College, Vandercook College of Music, and the International Summer Jazz Academy.