KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Faculty baritone and opera director Carl Ratner will celebrate a major birthday by presenting a recital of operatic excerpts with pianist Gunta Laukmane at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, in Western Michigan University's Dalton Center Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Ratner will be joined in a program of arias and duets of Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Wagner by special guests Barry Ross, violin and former concertmaster of the Kalamazoo Symphony, WMU faculty soprano Rhea Olivaccé and Kalamazoo's own Metropolitan Opera star, contralto Meredith Arwady. The program will focus on the characters typical for the mature baritone: Fathers, Friends, Fiends and Fools.
The concert will also serve as a sendoff for performances Ratner will be giving in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Ruse, Bulgaria, later this fall. Ratner first visited Saint Petersburg in 2010, when he received a Fulbright grant to study, teach, direct and perform at the State Conservatory where Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich all studied. In October of this year, Ratner will collaborate with soprano Victoria Evtodieva on a concert of Tchaikovsky’s vocal music. In November, Ratner will perform a program of operatic excerpts by Verdi and Wagner with full orchestra in Ruse, Bulgaria.
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