American soprano Jennifer Bird enjoys a busy and varied singing career in the US and Europe, having built a reputation as a charismatic, intelligent and versatile performer of more than 50 roles in opera, operetta and musical theater, as well as much of the
standard oratorio and concert literature.
As the recipient of a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship, Jennifer studied in Germany in the Opernklasse of the Hamburg Musikhochschule, where she joined the vocal studio of renowned soprano Judith Beckmann. Soon thereafter she began singing at the Landestheater Coburg and then at the Bremer Theater where she became a pillar of the soloist ensemble, singing major roles in the lyric and lyric coloratura soprano repertory and, in Coburg, twice earning the Audience Favorite Prize. Engagements followed at the Vienna Volksoper, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Theater Bonn, Theater Chemnitz, Theater Lübeck, Theater Würzburg and Theater Hagen, among others. Highlights have included the title roles in Lulu and Lucia di Lammermoor, Ann Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Marguerite in Faust, Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La traviata, Euridice in Orphée aux Enfers and Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail among many others.
Much in demand as a recitalist and concert singer, Jennifer has been the soprano soloist in The Messiah with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, in Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Bremer Philharmonic and in a Veteran’s Day concert with the US Army Band at Carnegie Hall. In 2008 Jennifer was invited to Brussels to perform with members of the Ictus Ensemble in honor of the 200th anniversary of Ricordi Publishing. She has been the featured soloist in gala concerts with the Stuttgart Philharmonic at the Stuttgart Konzerthalle and in Luxembourg with the Orchestra of the Warsaw Teatr Wielki. In 2010 she made her Alice Tully Hall debut in Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Riverside Choral Society. In 2012 Jennifer was the soprano soloist in the world premiere performances of Frank Ticheli’s Songs of Love and Life with conductor Allan McMurray. These songs have now been recorded and released on the Klavier label. Other recent concert seasons have included the soprano solos in Carmina Burana and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Midland-Odessa Symphony, Mahler’s 2nd and 4th Symphonies with the Boulder MahlerFest, Mozart arias with the Colorado Symphony, and Beethoven’s Elegischer Gesang with the Takacs Quartet. The 2015-2016 season will include Messiah with the Boulder Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem with the Midland Odessa Symphony & Chorale, a new recording of David Kirtley’s Haiku Songs of Karigane with pianist Mutsumi Moteki, and a return to Lincoln Center for Poulenc’s Gloria with the Riverside Choral Society. Jennifer has been a prizewinner in several international competitions, including First Prizes in the Sylvia Geszty Competition, Elisa Meyer Competition, and the Robert Stolz Competition. She is a member of the voice faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Mezzo-soprano Abigail Nims has established herself as a musician of integrity and versatility through performances in repertoire spanning from early Baroque to contemporary premieres. She has appeared as soloist with renowned orchestras and opera companies including the San Francisco Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, Wexford Festival Opera, New York City Opera, the São Paulo Symphony, Atlanta Opera, Boston Baroque, and Palm Beach Opera.
Ms. Nims is particularly praised for her expressive interpretations and tonal beauty in the concert repertoire. Recent performances include alto soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C Major under Michael Tilson Thomas; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Indianapolis Symphony; Bach’s St. John Passion with Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico; Falla’s Three Cornered Hat with the Colorado Music Festival; Messiah with the Baltimore Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, the Masterwork Chorus at Carnegie Hall, the Virginia Symphony, and the Colorado Bach Ensemble; second soprano soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the San Francisco Symphony; alto soloist in Bach’s Magnificat with the São Paulo Symphony; Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse, and Crumb’s Night of the Four Moons with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Teatro Municipal (Chile); Les Nuits d’été with the Adrian Symphony Orchestra; Mahler’s Rückert Lieder at the Colorado MahlerFest; Mozart’s Requiem, also Octavian in selections from Der Rosenkavalier with the Quad City Symphony; Liebeslieder Walzer at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival; and George Benjamin’s Upon Silence and Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater with the New England String Ensemble.
Highlights from opera include Veruca Salt in Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket at Wexford Festival Opera, also with Atlanta Opera; Lazuli in L’Étoile with New York City Opera; Despina in Così fan tutte with Palm Beach Opera, also with Opera Grand Rapids; Nancy in Albert Herring with Florentine Opera; Melanto in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with Boston Baroque; Second Niece in Peter Grimes with the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas; Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus with Virginia Opera; Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Opera New Jersey and Opera Grand Rapids; Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti with Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi; Zefka in Scenes of Gypsy Life (Janácek/Dvorák) with Gotham Chamber Opera; Milena in the world premiere of Martin Bresnick’s My Friend’s Story at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas; Hermia in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Princeton Festival; Meg in Little Women and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Delaware; and Tessa in The Gondoliers with Opera North.
Ms. Nims’ recordings include the role of Melanto in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with Boston Baroque (Linn Records), Veruca Salt in Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket with Atlanta Opera (Albany Records), and Martin Bresnick’s song cycle “Falling,” featured on the compilation album Every Thing Must Go (Albany Records). Her awards from distinguished organizations and institutions include second prize in the 2007 Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Competition, the Anna Case MacKay Memorial Award from Santa Fe Opera, an honorable mention in the 2006 American Bach Society Competition, recipient of the 2007 Dean’s Prize from Yale School of Music, and finalist in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation.
Ms. Nims holds degrees from Yale School of Music, Westminster Choir College, and Ohio Wesleyan University. She was a Virginia Adams Fellow at the Carmel Bach Festival in 2009, an Apprentice Artist at Santa Fe Opera in 2007 and 2008, and a Young Artist with Opera North in 2005. Additionally, she has participated in the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria; the Austrian-American Mozart Academy; and the Austria-Illinois Exchange Program in Vienna. Ms. Nims is a member of the voice faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Performing extensively in oratorio, concert and recital, tenor Karl Dent has sustained a successful career of engagements, singing a broad span of vocal repertoire. He has often received generous acclaim for his interpretations of the Evangelist role in the J. S. Bach St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion. For a ten-year period, Mr. Dent performed with famed choral conductor, the late Robert Shaw. Under Mr. Shaw’s direction, he made his 1991 New York Philharmonic debut in Mozart’s Grand Mass in C minor, and his Carnegie Hall debut in 1993 as soloist in the Berlioz Requiem. In addition, his collaboration with Mr. Shaw has enabled appearances with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, St. Louis, San Francisco, Dallas, San Diego, Baltimore, Houston, Cleveland, Honolulu, and the National Symphony of Washington, D.C.
Dent has made return engagements with numerous symphony organizations. Recent engagements include performances with the Dallas Symphony, Seattle Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society, Flagstaff Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Austin Symphony, Missoula Symphony, and the Rundfunks Sinfonie Orchester of Berlin, Germany. Mr. Dent has performed in recent seasons with such eminent conductors as Andrew Litton, Gerard Schwarz, Hans Graf, and Claus Peter Flor.
Mr. Dent was the tenor soloist in the world premiere of Menotti’s For the Death of Orpheus for tenor, chorus, and orchestra, commissioned and performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Mr. Dent has appeared as soloist at major music festivals, including the Tanglewood Music Festival, Cincinnati May Festival, The Vail Valley Festival, the Stoney Brook Bach Aria Festival, the Round Top Early Music Festival, the New Texas Festival, and the Victoria Bach Festival.
Karl Dent has numerous recording credits on the TELARC label. In addition, he received the Grammy® Award as principal soloist on the Best Choral Recording for 1997 for Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, and is also tenor soloist on the Rachmaninoff Vespers with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers which was awarded Best Technical Recording for 1990. In addition, Mr. Dent can be heard on the NAXOS and CLARION recording labels.
A resident of Lubbock, Mr. Dent is in his 22nd year on the music faculty at Texas Tech University, as Professor of Voice and Co-chair of the Voice Area. He maintains a full voice studio, and many of his former students are singing all over the world in venues such as Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vienna State Oper, Stuttgart Oper, Santa Fe Opera, on Broadway, and with numerous symphony and choral organizations.
Curtis Streetman, bass, is part of a new generation of versatile artists that strives to perform a rich and excitingly varied repertoire. Streetman’s interpretive gifts have been presented in some of the world’s major concert halls and opera houses.
Streetman has sung the major bass roles in Le Nozze di Figaro (Figaro), Die Zauberflötte(Sarastro), La Boheme (Colline), Don Giovanni (Leporello), Rigoletto (Sparafucile) as well as leads in Verdi, Handel and Rossini operas. Operatic performances include appearances at The Salzburg Festival, as well as opera houses in Vienna, Bilbau, Dortmund, Halle, Naples, and Victoria. Recent operatic debuts include performances in Geneva, Basel, and at The Theatre Champs-Elyseée in Paris.
Festival appearances include Tanglewood, Ravinia, The Hong Kong Arts Festival,The Boston Early Music Festival, The Halle Handel Festival, and The San Juan Arts Festival. Mr. Streetman was featured in a Canadian tour of Bach’s St. John Passion., with Les Violons du Roi, and was featured in a tour of the United States with the Rebel ensemble, in a program featuring German baroque music.
Other performances include appearances at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and at Vienna’s Musikverein in performances of Handel’s Radamisto. He made his Kennedy Center debut with The National Symphony in performances of Handel’s Messiah, and performed Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethe’s Faust , with The Cleveland Orchestra. Streetman has also appeared with The San Diego Symphony, in performances of Mozart’s Requiem.
Recording credits include Monteverdi’s Vespers for Musical Heritage Society, Castelnuovo-Tedesko’s Romanciero Gitano for New World Classics, CharpentierChristmas Cantatas for Naxos, and Handel’s Riccardo Primo on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.
Mr. Streetman performed the role of Christus in Sir Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed fully staged production of The Saint Matthew Passion, produced by The Brooklyn Academy of Music, and performed the title role of Lalo’s Le Roi d’Ys, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, with The American Symphony Orchestra.