The Parisian Mozart
Exploring the Music and Influences of Jacques Offenbach
Redfern Arts Center
at Keene State College
16 October 2022, 3:00pm
Don't miss our concert exploration of the music and influences of French composer, Jacques Offenbach. The concert will feature four singers with piano. Concert will be held at Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College. Beret optional.
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Admission free for Keene State students
Meet the Performers
Amy Maude Helfer (Mezzo-Soprano)
Hometown: Cheshire CT
Amy Maude Helfer, mezzo-soprano, is gaining attention as a versatile singing actor of opera, operetta, and musical theatre, especially noted for her comedic timing and "gorgeous voice." She is delighted to make her role and company debut at Raylynmor!
Opera/oratorio: Rosina (Barber of Seville) at New York City Opera, Carmen at Narnia Festival, Dinah (Trouble in Tahiti) at Boheme Opera-NJ, Baba (Rake's Progress) with String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Vera (Consul) and Nancy (Albert Herring) at Bronx Opera, Berta (Barber) and Mercédès at Opera Theater of CT, Cherubino and Artist-in-Residence at Dayton Opera, Cenerentola at Quisisana, Hansel with Boston Lyric Opera–New England, alto soloist (Haydn Lord Nelson Mass; Stroope American Rhapsody) at Carnegie Hall.
Operetta/musical theatre: Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd) at Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Phoebe (Yeomen of the Guard) at Winter Opera St. Louis, Ruth (Pirates) at Utopia Opera. NY G&S Players: Iolanthe, Phoebe, Tessa (Gondoliers), Angela and Saphir (Patience), Melissa (Princess Ida), over 45 performances as Pitti-Sing (Mikado) and over 85 performances as Kate (Pirates) in NYC and on national tours.
Upcoming: Petra (A Little Night Music) at Union Avenue Opera, Witch (Hansel and Gretel) at Opera Theater of CT. Lotte Lenya Competition semifinalist. NYC/CT-based.
Francesca Federico (Soprano)
Hailed as having a voice of “such strong presence and beauty of tone that she left one longing for more.” (Opera News), soprano Francesca Federico was born in Paris, and lives in New York City. She was a 2021 Fulbright Scholar for the Arts, and recently completed a performance residency at the Irish World Academy in Limerick, Ireland, focusing on the origins of Irish traditional music in 20th century English-language art song.
Upcoming engagements include a return to the Teatro Nuovo bel canto festival to cover Anna in Rossini’s Maometto Secondo; soloist with Raylynmor Opera in their concert The Parisian Mozart: Exploring the Music and Influences of Jacques Offenbach, and performing Ravel’s Chansons Madécasses and the premiere of Clarice Jensen’s Enheduanna with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Engagements in the 2021-22 season include Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Raylynmor Opera; Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen with Salt Marsh Opera; La Donna in Zandonai’s Giulietta e Romeo with Teatro Grattacielo, and Sor Andrea in the East Coast premiere of Carla Lucero’s Juana with dell’Arte Opera. In concert, she was Soprano Soloist in Bach’s Magnificat and Britten’s Ceremony of Carols with Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. She is also Lyric Soprano Soloist in the upcoming short film Reverie, with music composed by Brian K. Bowers, and also appeared on Clarice Jensen’s upcoming album Esthesis.
She made her European debut in 2020 with Wexford Festival Opera, performing the role of Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff in their inaugural Young Artist division, the Wexford Factory. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she appeared with the Children’s Philharmonic of New Jersey, as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and was named a finalist in the Vermont Vocal competition and The American Prize competition.
Highlights of her 2018-19 season included her debut at the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center with the Teatro Nuovo bel canto festival under the baton of Maestro Will Crutchfield, where she covered the role of Ninetta in Rossini’s La gazza ladra, and joined their production of Bellini’s La Straniera; a company debut with Bronx Opera, performing the role of Anna Gomez in Menotti’s The Consul, and being named the winner of a 2018 opera grant from the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, as well as being a finalist for a Career Bridges grant.
In the 2017-18 season, Francesca created the role of “Lyric Soprano/Naftalina” in the world premiere of Constantin Basica’s Knot an Opera!, with the Fresh Squeezed Opera Company. She was also the Soprano Soloist in the world premiere of Brad Balliett’s multidisciplinary opera The Universal Drum, and an Artist Fellow with the Art Song Preservation Society Festival, specializing in French repertoire.
Ms. Federico received a Masters in Voice at the Mannes School of Music, where she studied with Bonnie Hamilton. She completed her undergraduate degree at New York University, where she majored in Global Politics. She currently studies with Mark Schnaible in New York.
Bryan Murray (Baritone)
Forthcoming and recent engagements include Priest/Fisherman in Saariaho’s Only The Sound Remains at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Venice Bienniale, and Strasbourg Festival Musica, and Ben Upthegrove in Menotti’s The Telephone for Pittsburgh Festival Opera.
Bryan recently completed a one year contract with Deutsche Oper Berlin as a Stipendiat, performing comprimario roles during the 2018/19 season including Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Moralès in Carmen, and Marullo in Rigoletto.
He obtained a Master of Musical Arts degree in opera performance from Yale University’s School of Music under the tutelage of Richard Cross and Doris Yarick-Cross. He received an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music degree from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of the Arts degree from Stony Brook University.
In December 2019 Bryan won the first prize in the finals of the Talents of the World competition in New York, and a few days later took first prize in the Premiere Opera Foundation and NIYOP 2019 International Vocal Competition. He is also the grand prize winner of Heida Hermann’s International Voice Competition, the third prize winner in Mirjam Helin’s International Singing Competition, the winner of the “Sachi Liebergesell” award from the Opera Index Competition, a finalist in the Eastern Region of the Met Council auditions, and the winner of an Encouragement Grant from the Premiere Opera International Voice Competition.
On the concert stage, Bryan has sung the baritone/bass solo in works such as John Rutter’s Mass of the Children with the Orchestra of Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bernstein’s Opening Prayer with Marin Alsop conducting the Yale Philharmonia, Fauré Requiem with the Jacksonville symphony, Handel’s Messiah with the New Haven Symphony, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Yale Symphony, and in the world premiere of Transfiguration by Robert Kyr with the Yale Camerata.
In May 2020, Bryan sings the baritone solo in Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle with the Cathedral Choral Society in Washington DC.
Omar Najmi (Tenor)
Praised for his “clarion, luxuriously Italianate voice, tenor Omar Najmi enjoys a versatile career in opera and concert. A regular favorite at the Boston Lyric Opera, Omar has been featured in over fifteen of their productions including appearances as Nick in The Handmaid’s Tale, Vanya Kudrjas in Katya Kabanova, Beppe in Pagliacci, Goro in the Madama Butterfly process, Reverend Harrington in Lizzie Borden, and more. He recently made his European debut creating the title role in the world-premiere of Joseph Summer’s Hamlet with Bulgaria’s State Opera Ruse. Omar’s many other operatic appearances have included: Rodolfo in La Boheme and Tito in La Clemenza di Tito (Opera Steamboat), Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor (student matinée), and Joe in La Fanciulla del West (Opera Colorado), Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Arbace in Idomeneo, and Camille de Rossilon in The Merry Widow (Opera NEO), Bill in Flight, and Laurie in Little Women (Opera Fayetteville), El Gobernador in La Reina (American Lyric Theatre), Aufidio in Lucio Silla (Odyssey Opera), Sumeida in Sumeida’s Song (Opera Maine) and many more. He has additionally performed with Chautauqua Opera, Opera Saratoga, Annapolis Opera, Opera North, Opera Providence, MassOpera, and Boston Opera Collaborative.
Omar made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2018 as the tenor soloist in Mark Hayes’ Gloria . He has since returned as the tenor soloist in Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living, and as a featured soloist in Talents of the World Inc.’s Caruso Tribute Concert. His additional concert repertoire includes Bach’s Magnificat, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Missa Solemnis, Mass in C, and Choral Fantasy, Britten’s Serenade for tenor, horn, and strings, Handel’s Messiah, and Dixit Dominus, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, and Die Erste Walpurgisnacht, Mozart’s Requiem, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, and Petite Messe Solennelle, and Verdi’s Requiem. Omar is the recipient of the Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellowship from Emmanuel Music, the Stephen Shrestinian Award from Boston Lyric Opera, and the Harold Norblom Award from Opera Colorado. He has been a prizewinner from the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and the Talents of the World International Voice Competition.
Omar is also active as a composer - he premiered his first opera En la ardiente oscuridad in 2019, and his newest opera This is not that dawn received a workshop performance in 2022. During the 2020/2021 season, Omar was brought on as Boston Lyric Opera's first ever Emerging Composer. During his time with BLO, Omar composed and premiered his song cycle my name is Alondra, settings of poetry by Boston's Youth Poet Laureate, Alondra Bobadilla.
Omar holds a M.M. from Boston University, and a B.M. from Ithaca College.
Vladimir Odinokikh (Pianist)
Vladimir Odinokikh began lessons at an early age and received training at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory and Gnessin Institute of Moscow where he earned both Bachelors and Masters degrees, also the Artist Diploma. In the earlier years of his career, he participated and won prizes in numerous collaborative competitions including the Tchaikovsky, David Oistrach, and Henry Schering competitions; also the Russia National Competition and Chamber Music Competition of Soviet Composers.
Sought out for his collaborative expertise and sight-reading ability, Vladimir also participated in the first Rachmaninov International Piano Competition, The International Ponce-Scriabin Festival, and the first Bach Festival in Peru, as well as the Isadora Duncan Festival in London, England.
Prior to coming to the US, Mr. Odinokikh performed for over a decade with Rosconcert and the Moscow Philharmonic organization, and has concertized in the concert halls of Europe and South America. He premiered works by noted composer Alfred Schnittke, and recorded for radio and television in the former USSR, Mexico and, later, in the United States.
In addition to current college appointments with Keene State College, as collaborative pianist, and Franklin Pierce University as piano teacher, Mr. Odinokikh has taught at the Ippolitov-Ivanov College of Music in Moscow, the Alicia Urreta Center for the Arts in Mexico City and the Conservatorio de las Rosas in Morelios, Mexico.
Several of Vladimir’s students have won competitions, including Keene’s Miles Walter.
More Recently, Mr. Odinokikh has served as a Faculty Artist for Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music and has been a featured soloist on several occasions with the Keene Chorale, where he also serves as rehearsal pianist.
Mr. Odinokikh has worked with the Raylynmor Opera in the past as both rehearsal pianist and accompanist.
In addition to teaching duties, Vladimir is active as collaborative pianist and concert pianist, with several concerts and master classes presented in recent years in Worcester, MA. He has lived in the Keene area since 2001 and maintains a private teaching studio in Keene.
You can view some of the concert halls around the world in which Vladimir has performed (and other details of his career) at: http://www.vladimirodinokikh.com/