WMU News

Faculty Artist Series features baritone Carl Ratner

Oct. 24, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The second performance of the 2003­04 Faculty Artist Series at Western Michigan University features baritone Carl Ratner with guest artist and pianist Gunta Laukmane, Monday, Nov. 3, at 8:15 p.m. in the Dalton Center Recital Hall.

Presented by the Donald P. Bullock Performance Institute in the WMU School of Music, Ratner and Laukmane will perform a recital inspired by Paul Verlaine's famous poem "Clair de lune." The program, titled "Masques and Bergamasques," will present songs and arias evoking either masked events or those persons behind the masks. The repertoire will include works by Purcell, Mozart, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Fauré, and Noel Coward. Tickets are $10 general admission and are available at the door and though Miller Auditorium. Students and senior citizens will be charged $5 admission.

Baritone Carl Ratner's career includes more than two decades as an opera director, performer, private coach, and vocal instructor. As a baritone, Mr. Ratner has appeared in both opera and recital. Opera Canada reviewer Richard Covello wrote, "His performance as Puccini's Gianni Schicchi was a delight--charming, indeed lovable, and nicely sung, too!"

Currently a candidate for the Doctor of Music degree in voice at Northwestern University, his education also includes an internship in opera production at The Juilliard School.

Ratner is director of opera in the WMU School of Music, where he teaches voice and opera. His opera stage directing career includes 15 years as artistic director of Chicago Opera Theater and Chamber Opera Chicago. During this time he presented critically acclaimed new productions of the repertoire's major works as well as the premiere of Lawrence Rapchak's "The Life Work of Juan Diaz," based on the Ray Bradbury short story, for which Ratner also adapted the libretto.

Ratner has assisted directors at international opera houses including Covent Garden in London, the Metropolitan Opera, Munich Opera, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, and the Spoleto Festival in Italy, where he worked with eminent composer Gian Carlo Menotti. Ratner's professional experiences extend beyond the realm of directing. He has served as an educator at Northwestern University and Northeastern Illinois University, and program director for the apprentice program of the Sarasota Opera.

Media contact: Kevin West, 269 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400