CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 15, 2002
Soprano Rachel Joselson presents 'eclectic program' with Swanson and Rhoads
Rachel Joselson, singing a program she calls "eclectic to say the least,"
will be joined by baritone Stephen Swanson and pianist Shari Rhoads for a
University of Iowa faculty recital at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 in Clapp Recital
Hall on the UI campus.
Joselson's recital will be free and open to the public.
"I couldn't seem to come up with a theme, so I just chose pieces I've
always wanted to sing," Joselson said of her program, which will include
works from the Baroque through the end of the 20th century, and operatic arias
and duets as well as art songs.
"I've always wanted to open a recital with Handel's "Piangero
la sorte mia " (from the opera "Giulio Cesare"), and now I
have the opportunity" she said. "Shari Rhoads has had the same wish
for years as well. It is standard soprano repertoire, and I've never done
After opening with Handel, Joselson will sing a group of art songs that,
like the program as a whole, encompass different languages, styles and periods,
and prove the singer's eclectic tastes: "Fiancailles pour rire,"
a cycle of songs by French composer Francis Poulenc; "September"
and "Abdendrot" by Richard Strauss; and the Iowa City premiere of
"Lean Away," "Holding Each Other" and "American Anthem"
by American composer Gene Scheer.
"I'm delighted to debut the Scheer pieces at Iowa -- the songs themselves
are not new to the scene, but to my knowledge no one has ever performed them
here," Joselson said. "Scheer is a living composer who wrote songs
mainly for baritone, specifically for Nathan Gunn. They are quite beautiful
and I look forward to introducing them. "
After intermission, Joselson will return to sing a series of operatic excerpts.
She will sing two arias, "Io sono lumile ancella" from "Adriana
Lecouvreur" by Francesco Cilea and "Ach, ich fuehl'sfrom "The
Magic Flute" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. She will close the program with
two duets assisted by Swanson, "Bei Maennern, welche Liebe fuehlen,"
again from Mozart's "Magic Flute," and "Silvio! A quest'ora"
from "I Pagliacci" by Ruggero Leoncavallo.
"Stephen Swanson and I have been discussing performing duets together
for several years, and now we both have a chance," Joselson said. "Pamina
from the 'Magic Flute' isn't necessarily a role I would sing in the theater,
but the aria and duet are pieces I've always wanted to add to my repertoire."
Before joining the School of Music faculty in the fall of 1997, Joselson
spent 13 years in Europe performing in opera and concert with theaters and
orchestras in Darmstadt, Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn, Basel, Barcelona, Bilbao,
Braunschweig, Brussels, Kiel, St. Gallen, Trier, and other cities in Germany,
Switzerland and Spain. In this country she has appeared in Atlanta, Indianapolis,
Madison, Johnson City, Tenn., New Brunswick, N.J., and Cedar Rapids.
In the 1995-96 season she had her first engagement at the Metropolitan Opera
and was engaged by London's Covent Garden for their 1992 Japan tour with Mozart's
She has performed many of the major soprano roles in the repertoire, including
Leonore in Beethoven's "Fidelio," in her most recent debut at the
1999 Gars, Austria, Summer Festival; Mimi in Puccini's "La Boheme,"
Micaela in Bizet's "Carmen," Melisande in Debussy's "Pelleas
et Melisande," Donna Elvira in Mozart's "Don Giovanni," Tosca,
Elisabetta in Verdi's Don Carlo, and Eva in Wagner's "Meistersingers
of Nuremberg," among others.
She has recorded a CD of the songs of Swiss composer Arthur Honegger, in
collaboration with pianist Rene Lecuona from the UI faculty, and was featured
in the 1998 recording of Gian Carlo Menotti's "Help! Help! The Globolinks!"
Joselson performs recitals and master classes in the United States and abroad.
Swanson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in 1994. For nearly
20 years before that date he had an active operatic career in Europe. During
that time his repertoire grew to 91 roles in opera, operetta and musicals.
He has sung on German, Austrian and Dutch radio broadcasts and has been a
featured soloist in European festivals including the Berliner Festwochen,
the Days of Contemporary Music in Dresden and the Festa Musica Pro in Assisi,
Swanson took part in the Viktor Ullman-Projekt 1998, a celebration of the
100th anniversary of the birth of a composer who died in the Nazi death camps.
Swanson sang major roles in Ullman's operas "Der zerbrochene Krug"
and "Der Kaiser von Atlantis" at performances in Europe, at the
Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and at the Martyr's Museum in Los Angeles.
Swanson has also had an extensive career as a concert singer, appearing
as featured soloist with many U.S. orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony
under Sir Georg Solti, Raphael Fruehbeck de Burgos and Margaret Hillis. He
has recorded Mendelssohn's "St. Paul" and Ullmann's "Der Kaiser
von Atlantis." Since coming to Iowa City, he has presented solo recitals,
appeared in and directed UI Opera Theater productions, and performed with
the Chamber Singers of Iowa City.
Rhoads joined the UI School of Music faculty in the fall of 2000. She earned
her degree in accompanying and has completed post-graduate studies in opera
coaching/conducting at the University of Southern California. Before arriving
at the UI she taught music history at the Musikhochschule (Music conservatory)
in Lucerne and the Conservatory of Lausanne in Switzerland. Rhoads has also
been Kapellmeister at the Lucerne Theater and conductor/coach at the opera
theater in Darmstadt, Germany. She was coach at the Barcelona and Madrid opera
Her accompanying credentials include recitals with Jose Carreras, Luis Lima
and Montserrat Caballe with whom she worked exclusively as coach/accompanist
and orchestrator. She has accompanied master classes with a number of renowned
artists including singer Gerard Souzay, cellist Lynn Harrell and violist William
Primrose, and served as staff accompanist for the Francesco Vinas (Barcelona,
Spain) and Munich International competitions.
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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