The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will continue this season’s Collegiate Series with a Faculty Voice Concert Recital by West Virginia University’s division of voice on Tuesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. The performance will take place in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The Collegiate Series is free and the public is invited to attend.
The recital will include songs from operas, musicals and spirituals. Tunes to be performed include such favorites as “Vissi d’arte” from Tosca by Giacomo Puccini; “Toi! Vous!” “Oui! C’est Moi!” from Manon by Jules Massenet; “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” from State Fair; “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific; “Lord, How Come Me Here” by Eveyln Simpson-Currenton and “Walk Together Children” by Moses Hogan, among others.
Faculty members in the concert are Hope Koehler, William Koehler, Nicholas Perna, Mandy Spivak and Robert Thieme. Hope Koehler, soprano and assistant professor of voice, has appeared with many opera companies and orchestras throughout the country. She has appeared in the title roles of Tosca, Carmen, and Fidelio. She also is a regular performer and featured soloist with the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group that performers all over the world and whose mission is to keep the American Negro Spiritual alive and vibrant.
William Koehler, bass and adjunct professor of voice, has performed in many operas including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Boheme, and Magic Flute. He also performs as a recitalist and is a member of the American Spiritual Ensemble. William has musical theater credits as well including Feste, the fool, in Twelfth Night and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls. In addition, he has been a stage and musical director for theatrical productions and gives workshops on speech and diction for the singer and stage performer.
Perna, tenor and assistant professor of voice, has performed as the Prince in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, the Accuser in Bright Sheng’s Madame Mao, and leading roles in Rigoletto, Die Fledermaus and The Merry Widow, among others. On the concert stage, he made his debut in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Other concert appearances include solo work in Handel’s Messiah, Shubert’s Mass in G and Mass in C and Bach’s Cantata 140, to name a few.
Spivak, soprano and adjunct professor of voice, has found success in concert as well as on the operatic stage. She performed in Handel’s Saul, Schubert’s Mass in C, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and solo work in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Bach’s Cantata 140, and Mozart’s Coronation Mass. Operatic roles include Love Simpson in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree, Minnie in Wage of Sin, Miss Lavish in Robert Nelson’s opera A Room with a View, and leading roles in The Merry Widow and The Old Maid and the Thief.
Thieme, accompanist, director of the WVU Opera Theatre and professor and vocal coordinator, has directed the Opera Theatre since 1985 and became coordinator of vocal studies in 1996. His experience includes conducting and staging opera, operetta and musical theater productions. He has been the principal keyboardist with the Wheeling Symphony and has worked on operatic productions with the West Virginia and Corpus Christi Symphonies. In 2003, Thieme was appointed co-artistic director of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, a summer training program for vocalists, pianists and instrumentalists. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of the National Opera Association (NOA) and as editor of the NOA’s Opera Journal.
For more information about the WVU Faculty Voice Concert Recital or the Collegiate Series, contact Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner for the Division, at (304) 558-0220, or call (304) 558-0162 in the evenings.
The Collegiate Series consists of performances and lectures by students and faculty from colleges and universities across the state. First Lady Gayle Manchin hosts the program.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.