Soprano Amber Wagner, a 2010 George London Award Winner, and baritone Reginald Smith, Jr., who won his George London Award in 2015, make their New York recital debuts at the final program in the George London Foundation Recital Series, and the final event in the foundation’s season, on Sunday, April 2, 2017, at 4:00 pm. Alan Darling is the recital’s pianist; a reception with the artists follows the concert.
The George London Foundation for Singers, named for the great American bass-baritone, has been honoring, supporting, and presenting the finest young opera singers in the U.S. and Canada since 1971, and the recital annual series presents pairs of outstanding singers, many of whom were winners of a George London Award, the prize of the foundation’s annual vocal competition.
Amber will sing songs by Richard Strauss and Samuel Barber and “Du bist der Lenz” from Wagner’s Die Walküre. Reginald will perform Carlisle Floyd’s Pilgrimage, a solo cantata on Biblical texts; songs by Chausson; and “Nemico della patria” from Giordano’s Andrea Chénier. They will conclude the program with the duet “Ciel! Mio padre!” from Verdi’sAida. (The full program is below.)
Amber Wagner will make her debut in the role of Senta in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of The Flying Dutchmanconducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin April 25-May 12. This past December, she made her Australian debut, singing the role of Sieglinde in Opera Australia’s Die Walküre, The Guardian saying that “as the doomed twin lovers, Bradley Daley and Amber Wagner are revelatory.” After his 2015 George London Award win, Opera News said, “Reginald Smith, Jr. , has one of the most exciting baritone sounds to come along in years. His voice is ample and thrillingly dramatic.” And this past summer he appeared in La Bohème with Wolftrap Opera, eliciting praise from The Washington Post for his “playful and righteous Marcello. His resounding bass and all-star acting grounded the cast throughout.”
The George London Foundation’s 2016-17 season also included the 46th annual George London Foundation Awards Competition, at which on February 17 five singers – AaRon Blake, tenor; Michelle Bradley, soprano; Errin Duane Brooks, tenor (the George London-Kirsten Flagstad Award for a potential Wagnerian singer); Will Liverman, baritone; and Lara Secord-Haid, soprano (the George London Award for a Canadian singer) – were proclaimed the winners of the 2017 George London Awards.