Guest artists Anna Hersey (UW-Oshkosh) and Alan Johnson (University of Miami) will present a recital of songs by Grieg and Sibelius.
About the Performers
Hailed by critics as a “force of nature,” soprano Anna Hersey enjoys performing a wide range of vocal repertoire. A native of Minnesota, Hersey has performed throughout the United States and Europe, appearing with Palm Beach Opera, Florida Chamber Orchestra, Hispanic-American Lyric Theater, Skylark Opera, The Minnesota Opera, and Theatre de la Jeune Lune (at Berkeley Repertory Theater), among others. She gave her first performance at the MacPhail Honors Recital in 1992 at age eleven.
Past roles include Dew Fairy/Sandman (Hansel and Gretel), Contessa in Theatre de la Jeune Lune’s Mozart/Beaumarchais adaptation Figaro at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (nominated for Best Ensemble by the Bay Area Critics Circle), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Mag (Richard Wargo’s Ballymore), Despina (Cosí fan tutte), Concepción (L’heure Espagnole), La Princesse (L’Enfant et les sortileges), Frasquita (Carmen), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Fiona (Brigadoon), and Joanna (Godspell).
A two-time Schubert Club Competition finalist, Dr. Hersey was also awarded second prize in the Thursday Musical Young Artist Competition and performed with the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra as winner of their concerto competition. Additionally, she was a national semi-finalist in the Florida Grand Opera Competition, the Classical Singer Competition, and the NATS Artist Awards, receiving the Karl Trump Award from the NATS Foundation. She has performed in master classes with notable artists such as Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Jennifer Larmore, Marianne Hirsti, and Håkan Hagegård.
A noted expert on Scandinavian vocal literature and diction, Dr. Hersey was a Fulbright Scholar at the Kungliga Musikhögskolan (Royal College of Music) in Stockholm, where she collaborated with pianist Matti Hirvonen. Dr. Hersey also conducted research at Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium (Royal Danish Academy of Music) and Københavns Universitet (University of Copenhagen), thanks to a post-doctoral fellowship from the American Scandinavian Foundation. She has presented her research on Scandinavian repertoire and diction at the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the University of Copenhagen Center for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use, the International Congress of Voice Teachers, and the Yale Conference on Baltic and Scandinavian Studies. Dr. Hersey’s articles on Swedish and Danish diction and song repertoire were recently published in the Journal of Singing, VOICEPrints, and The Opera Journal. Her translations and transcriptions have been published by Plangere and by Carnegie Hall. Her first book, Scandinavian Art Song: A Guide to Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish Diction and Repertoire was released by Rowman & Littlefield in September 2016.
Hersey performs recitals of Scandinavian music throughout the United States, with the goal of bringing this rarely-heard repertoire to a wider audience. Performances and master classes have been sponsored by Finlandia Foundation, American Scandinavian Foundation, and Sons of Norway.
An active pedagogue, Hersey completed the Vocal Pedagogy Certificate at the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Professor Clifton Ware. She is an active member of professional organizations in her discipline, serving on the Credentialing/Specialization Committee for the Pan-American Vocology Association, and presenting regularly at regional, national, and international conferences. She is a recent alumna of the NATS Intern Program, and was awarded the 2015 Vocal Pedagogy Award from the NATS Foundation to support her attendance at Johan Sundberg’s voice science seminar at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (Royal College of Technology).
Hersey holds master’s degrees in performance and musicology from the University of Minnesota, and pursued advanced studies at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy with acclaimed soprano Raina Kabaivanska. She earned a doctorate from the University of Miami, where she was a Smathers Fellow. Hersey has taught at Iowa State University, Barry University, Broward College, the University of Miami, and Eastern New Mexico University. She is Assistant Professor of Voice at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She was recently named editor-in-chief of VoicePRINTS, the peer-reviewed journal of the New York Singing Teachers Association, and lecture-recitals editor for the College Music Symposium.
Pianist Alan Johnson has collaborated with singers holding national and international engagements in concert and opera since 1985. As music director, conductor, pianist, vocal coach, and new opera advocate – he has prepared, performed, and premiered many of the most notable and progressive works in opera, music theater, and dance since 1986. His work has garnered Bessie, Drama Desk, Jefferson, and Obie Awards, including an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Music Direction and a Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding Music Direction of The Sound of a Voice and Hotel of Dreams, two one-act operas premieres by Philip Glass and David Henry Hwang.
He has conducted performances at venues across the United States including the American Repertory Theater, American Music Theater Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center, New York Shakespeare Festival, Opera Delaware, A Contemporary Theater – Seattle, Court Theater – University of Chicago, Jacobs Pillow, Joyce Theater, Long Wharf Theater, McCarter Theater, Spoleto Festival USA and Italy, Pittsburgh Opera Theater, and many others.
Since 2008, Alan has held the position of Music Director at the John Duffy Institute for New Opera at the Virginia Arts Festival. Recent projects include a 2016 Rockefeller Residency in Bellagio, Italy, a 2016-17 University of Miami Provost Research Award, and recitals in New York, Alabama, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Iowa. He holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Miami and a Master of Music in Vocal Coaching and Accompanying from the University of Illinois, having studied with legendary pianists Ivan Davis and John Wustman. Alan was the 2012 recipient of the Phillip and Patricia Frost Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship at the University of Miami, where he is Professor of Music.