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It’s Summer In South America

February 23, 2021

Melodia sentimental (“Sentimental melody”)
by Heitor Villa-Lobos / Dora Vasconcelos

María Valdés, soprano & Steven Blier, piano

Canción de ausencia (“Song of absence”)
by Carlos López Buchardo / Gustavo Caraballo

Johnathan McCullough, baritone & Steven Blier, piano

Desdichas de mi pasión (“The misfortunes of my passion”)
by Carlos López-Buchardo / Leopoldo Lugones

Corinne Winters, soprano & Steven Blier, piano

Flor de Yumurí (“The flower of Yumurí”)
by Jorge Anckermann / Gustavo Sánchez Galarraga

César Parreño, tenor & Steven Blier, piano

O mundo é un moinho (“The world is a mill”) by Cartola

Rebecca Jo Loeb, mezzo-soprano/guitar; Steven Blier, piano; & Leonardo Granados, percussion

Libertango by Astor Piazzolla

Steven Blier and Joseph Li, piano & Silken Kelly, dancer

El sampedrino, canción pampeana (“The man from San Pedro, song of the Pampas”) by Carlos Guastavino / León Benarós

Corinne Winters, soprano & Steven Blier, piano

Fina estampa (“Fine figure”) by Chabuca Granda

Efraín Solís, baritone; Steven Blier, piano; & Leonardo Granados, percussion


Notes on the Program
by Steven Blier

Since we began our video series last September I have been intent on presenting programs that spoke to the very peculiar and challenging times we are living through. After our program last month (America, Come Home) one listener commented on the healing power of art: “Song really does the job, bless its heart.” 

The job of providing comfort and perspective grows more urgent and complex all the time, given the maze of our New Normal. But I thought what we really needed this month was a let-up from the pressure cooker of the Covid era. What better way to relax than a program of Latin American song? Most of us have not been able to travel for a year, and those who have gotten away often face quarantines and confinement on both sides of their journey. It’s been brutally cold, there is a scary deep-freeze in Texas as I write, and we’re longing for warmth. Let’s go where it is summertime right now: South America. 

We’re leading off with “Melodia sentimental,” which has become a repertory item not just for classical singers but for nearly every Brazilian musician, from the jazz/pop icon Maria Bethânia to guitar virtuoso Carlos Barbosa-Lima. This samba is written in the same key as the famous vocalise from Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas brasileiras #5—A-minor—and nearly outdoes it for sheer melodic beauty.  Villa-Lobos knew a thing or two about the soprano voice, and the tune he created is like a massage for the singer—and for the audience.

The song has an unusual origin. In 1958 MGM commissioned Villa-Lobos to write a film score for an Audrey Hepburn/Anthony Perkins movie called Green Mansions. The composer plunged in and created a dense, symphonic soundtrack. But he was working from an early and long-discarded edition of the script, and in any case Hollywood wasn’t ready for music of this sophistication. They hacked his score to pieces and inserted more conventional mood music by one of their own guys. Villa-Lobos reacted to this insult by editing his film score into a concert work for soprano, orchestra, and male chorus. He produced a recording of the piece in 1959, the last year of his life, and brought the legendary Brazilian soprano Bidú Sayão out of retirement to sing the vocal solos. It was one of his final projects.

If Villa-Lobos has remained one of Brazil’s celebrated heroes, Carlos López Buchardo (1881-1948) has become one of Argentina’s unsung heroes. In his day he was renowned not only as a composer but also an important force in music education. Buenos Aires’s conservatory bears his name. But due to the vagaries of music publishing his scores are hard to find in this country. Even our North American libraries have failed him: López Buchardo’s five operettas are in the card catalogs of the Library of Congress and UCLA—but missing from the shelves. 

I fell under his spell when I first encountered his songs on a CD by baritone Victor Torres, and have collected as many as I could get my hands on. The appeal of his music has something to do with its mixed heritage. On the one hand, the melodies and rhythmic tropes come straight from the soil of Argentina. But you can hear López Buchardo’s Parisian training in his harmonies, which carry the spice of French Impressionism. The mix of those two flavors enchants me, and they permeate the two songs on this program, “Desdichas de mi pasión” and “Canción de ausencia.” 

We’re going to make a four-minute trip over to Cuba for a song by Jorge Anckermann (1877-1941), one the island’s most prolific composers. He wrote over 500 songs and theater pieces during his 50-year career. He got started early: at the tender age of 17 he wrote the first Cuban musical comedy, La gran rumba. Born to German musician parents, Anckermann brought a high level of sophistication and craft to the popular music of his country. You’ll hear it in the habanera “Flor de Yumurí,” whose sinuous, bel canto melody stretches uninterrupted over the song’s 32-bar span. 

Some South American composers became superstars in the U.S through the advocacy of record companies, Hollywood, or famous North American musicians. For example, the Brazilian icon Antônio Jobim became the darling of America when his LP with jazz saxophonist Stan Getz won the Grammy in 1965, leading to an album with Frank Sinatra three years later. “America thinks it needs only one, or maybe two stars, from each Latin American country,” my Spanish teacher and cultural guru Dorothy Potter Snyder recently remarked. Jobim and Astrud Gilberto filled the bill. 

Given Jobim’s primacy in the U.S., it is not remarkable that I had never heard of the Brazilian singer-songwriter Cartola (1908-1980) until Becca Jo Loeb brought him to my attention. She, in turn, had first heard about him from her make-up artist when she was performing at the Teatro Municipal in São Paulo. 

Not that it had been easy for Cartola to establish himself in his own country. He grew up very poor, and was a manual laborer for most of his life. He enjoyed some early success as a songwriter in the 1930s, but a long illness, followed by the death of his wife in the 1940s, took him off the musical map for some time. When he reemerged, his music was no longer in fashion. The tide began to turn when the journalist Sergio Porto rediscovered Cartola in the early 1950s and made a serious effort to bring him back to the public eye. It was a slow rise. By the late 1960s Cartola was once again a very popular musician, and he finally made his first LP in 1974, at the ripe age of 66. 

Cartola never received much formal education. Yet his musicianship is impeccable and his command of harmony patrician. He was also a gifted lyricist, able to express complex feelings with a rare combination of directness and poetic sensitivity. Our performance of his hit song, “O mundo é un moinho,” marks a premiere for Becca Jo, NYFOS, and me—our first Cartola song, but not our last. 

Like the Brazilian samba, Argentinean tangos had a tradition of sentimental romanticism. But in the late 1950s, Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) reinvented his country’s most famous dance, giving it a modern, urban edge. Updating the romantic tangos of Carlos Gardel, Piazzolla created music that was confrontational, pulsating with hedonistic machismo. 

Piazzolla was born near Buenos Aires, but spent his childhood on the streets of New York City where he learned to play the bandoneon, that imposing mega-accordion with an organ-like sonority. At sixteen, Piazzolla returned to Buenos Aires and took up musical studies with Alberto Ginastera (famous for his ear-crunching twelve-tone operas) before going to Paris for a stint with the doyenne of modern musical pedagogy, Nadia Boulanger. It was only after his studies with her that Piazzolla was able to find his unique musical style. Combining his classical training with his roots in tango, jazz, Argentinean folk music and cabaret songs, he fused his musical influences into a style that came to be known as nuevo tango. At first his music was not fully accepted in South America, which was wedded to the old tango tradition. But musicians in Europe and North America embraced it with enthusiasm, and soon after nuevo tango conquered the entire world. 

As a human value I have my issues with “hedonistic machismo.” But it serves as a powerfully charismatic musical engine for Piazzolla’s tangos, which are insanely pleasurable to play—and to hear. 

Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000) has been enjoying a well-deserved renaissance in recent times. He mainly limited himself to intimate compositions—songs, piano pieces, chamber music. Roughly 200 of his 500 pieces have found their way into print—and I am not alone in waiting for the emergence of his many unpublished songs. Some of his colleagues were busy embracing modernism and twelve-tone writing, while others went off to Paris to give their music a sleek European gloss. But Guastavino stayed close to his roots: Argentinean folk music and dance. With disarming honesty, he claimed that traditional harmony “had good results for Bach, Schumann, and Mozart.” For many years he lived a reclusive life just outside Buenos Aires, producing music whose grace and immediate accessibility go straight to the heart. “El sampedrino” is classic Guastavino: the lament of a lonely itinerant herder, told with the kind of simplicity that produces magic. 

Chabuca Granda (1920-1983) may never have achieved the name recognition of superstars like Antônio Jobim or Astor Piazzolla, but from her perch in Lima she became one of Peru’s most influential spokespeople. She took her local criollo music seriously, and dedicated herself to lifting the rhythms and cadences of a working-class genre out of the barrio and into the upper echelons of society. Her rhythmic dexterity can be breathtaking. In her hands, something as simple as a waltz becomes fascinating and multifaceted. Later in her life she began to dig into the complexities of Peruvian poetry and Afro-Peruvian music. Chabuca Granda’s “La flor de la canela” is the unofficial anthem of her hometown, but I melt when I hear “Fina estampa,” a two-chord song of almost dizzying sweetness. Written as a tribute to her father, the song celebrates masculine elegance and refinement—a perfect response to the pugnacious 5 o’clock shadow of Astor Piazzolla’s machismo. I couldn’t live without either of these experienced seducers. When it comes to song, after all, variety is the spice of life. 


Texts and Translations

Translations by Steven Blier

Melodia sentimental (“Sentimental melody”) [1958]
Music by Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959); poem by Dora Vasconcelos (1910-1973)

Canción de ausencia (“Song of absence”) [1942]
Music by Carlos López Buchardo (1881-1948); poem by Gustavo Caraballo (1885-1939)

Desdichas de mi pasión (“The misfortunes of my passion”) [1925]
Music by Carlos López-Buchardo (1881-1948); poem by Leopoldo Lugones (1874-1938)

Flor de Yumurí (“The flower of Yumurí”) [1936]
Music by Jorge Anckermann (1877–1941); poem by Gustavo Sánchez Galarraga (1893–1934)

O mundo é un moinho (“The world is a mill”) [1976]
Words and music by Cartola (1927-2002)

El sampedrino, canción pampeana (“The man from San Pedro, song of the Pampas”) [1968]
Music by Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000); poem by León Benarós (1915-2012)

Fina estampa (“Fine figure”) [c.1940]
Music and lyrics by Chabuca Granda (1920-1983)


About the Artists

STEVEN BLIER is the Artistic Director of the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), which he co-founded in 1988 with Michael Barrett. Since the Festival’s inception, he has programmed, performed, translated and annotated more than 140 vocal recitals with repertoire spanning the entire range of American song, art song from Schubert to Szymanowski, and popular song from early vaudeville to Lennon-McCartney. NYFOS has also made in-depth explorations of music from Spain, Latin America, Scandinavia and Russia. New York Magazine gave NYFOS its award for Best Classical Programming, while Opera News proclaimed Blier “the coolest dude in town” and in December 2014, Musical America included him as one of 30 top industry professionals in their feature article, “Profiles in Courage.”

Mr. Blier enjoys an eminent career as an accompanist and vocal coach. His recital partners have included Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Samuel Ramey, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Susan Graham, Jessye Norman, and José van Dam, in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to La Scala. He is also on the faculty of The Juilliard School and has been active in encouraging young recitalists at summer programs, including the Wolf Trap Opera Company, the Steans Institute at Ravinia, Santa Fe Opera, and the San Francisco Opera Center. Many of his former students, including Stephanie Blythe, Joseph Kaiser, Sasha Cooke, Paul Appleby, Dina Kuznetsova, Corinne Winters, Julia Bullock, and Kate Lindsey, have gone on to be valued recital colleagues and sought-after stars on the opera and concert stage.

In keeping the traditions of American music alive, he has brought back to the stage many of the rarely heard songs of George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Kurt Weill and Cole Porter. He has also played ragtime, blues and stride piano evenings with John Musto. A champion of American art song, he has premiered works of John Corigliano, Paul Moravec, Ned Rorem, William Bolcom, Mark Adamo, John Musto, Richard Danielpour, Tobias Picker, Robert Beaser, Lowell Liebermann, Harold Meltzer, and Lee Hoiby, many of which were commissioned by NYFOS.

Mr. Blier’s extensive discography includes the premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles (Koch International), which won a Grammy Award; Spanish Love Songs (Bridge Records), recorded live at the Caramoor International Music Festival with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Joseph Kaiser, and Michael Barrett; the world premiere recording of Bastianello (John Musto) and Lucrezia (William Bolcom), a double bill of one-act comic operas set to librettos by Mark Campbell; and Quiet Please, an album of jazz standards with vocalist Darius de Haas. His latest release is Canción amorosa, a CD of Spanish songs with soprano Corinne Winters.

His writings on opera have been featured in Opera News and the Yale Review. A native New Yorker, he received a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in English Literature at Yale University, where he studied piano with Alexander Farkas. He completed his musical studies in New York with Martin Isepp and Paul Jacobs.

LEONARDO GRANADOS, Venezuelan percussionist and singer born in the region of Tachira, Venezuela. Leonardo comes from a family of classical musicians where he was highly exposed to popular South American music. He has extensive experience performing the styles of boleros and tango, as a percussionist and singer. He has performed with artists such as: Amelita Baltar, Pablo Zinger, Ryota Komatsu, Paquito D’Rivera, Edward Simon, Steven Blier, Pedro Giraudo, Janis Siegel, Carlos Capacho, Marco Granados, Simon Diaz, among others. His most recent recording as a lead singer under Sony Japan, 2013 Live at Tokyo Opera House, the Maria de Buenos Aires Operita by Astor Piazzolla, performed by the Tokyo Tango Dectet under the direction of Ryota Komatsu.

From Denver, Colorado, SILKEN KELLY began her classical ballet training at the Academy of Colorado Ballet. She attended summer intensives at the Harid Conservatory and American Ballet Theatre. As a full-scholarship student, she attended the School of American Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Ballet West. She joined the Houston Ballet’s second company for two years, and later the main company, touring nationally and internationally. Since relocating to New York in 2015, Silken joined Dance Theatre of Harlem for a season, has performed with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, danced with Cleveland Ballet as a principal, and many other project based companies in New York. She is currently dancing with Sweetbird Production’s Rock the Ballet, touring all throughout Europe. Silken also has founded Contingent Ballet, a company dedicated to continuing to provide opportunities for creative professionals, and bringing ballet to non-traditional audiences.

Seattle native JOSEPH LI has played and coached for Houston Grand Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Arizona Opera, Minnesota Opera, The Shepherd School of Music, and Aspen Opera Theater. He performs regularly for the New York Festival of Song and Wolf Trap Opera’s “Vocal Colors” series, and conducted the first studio recording of Philip Glass’ chamber opera “The Fall of the House of Usher” with the Inscape Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Li joined the faculty of Baylor University in 2016.

REBECCA JO LOEB began her 2019/20 season at the Teatro Municipal Sao Paolo reprising her role as Lumee in the Pulitzer Prize winning opera 
p r i s m which was also released on Decca Gold and various roles in a concert version of Weill’s Der Silversee and Blitzstein’s No for an Answer. She then debuted with the Oldenburgische Staatsballet singing as the soloist in VANITAS by Sciarrino. Engagements cancelled included p r i s m at the Kennedy Center, Bach St. John’s Passion with the Florida Orchestra, Garderobiere/Gymnasiast in Lulu with the Cleveland Orchestra and The Metropolitan Opera, and The Dutchess in Weill’s The Firebrand of Florence at Tanglewood. Future seasons include debuts at the Spoleto Festival and Opera Philadelphia in world premieres and directing Die Fledermausin

Last season, Rebecca debuted with Los Angeles Opera and The Prototype Festival, a return to the Deutsche Oper Berlin for Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with Donald Runnicles conducting, Mercedes in Carmen, Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte and New York Festival of Song to reprise Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles on tour. Ms. Loeb spent five seasons in the ensembles of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Hamburgische Staatsoper, in which her performances included Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Siebel in Faust, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. Other engagements included Flora in La traviata at The Metropolitan Opera; Oper Köln as The Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen; Dutch National Opera and Teatro Municipal de Santiago as Eine Theater Garderoberie/Gymnasiast/ein Groom in Lulu; Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as the Second Angel and Marie in the world premiere of Benjamin’s Written on Skin; and Theater Freiburg as Susan in Weill’s Love Life.

In concert Rebecca has performed with the Hamburg Ballet in Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St. John Passion and with the CPE Bach Chor as soloist in Bach’s St. Mark Passion and The Jenny and Johnny Project at both the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau and the Brecht Festival in Augsburg. She joined James Conlon in a concert performance of Mahagonny Songspiel at the Ravinia Festival and sang Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with the New York City Ballet, Bach’s Mass in B minor at Carnegie Hall, and made her Alice Tully Hall debut singing Bolcom’s acclaimed Cabaret Songs.

Baritone JOHNATHAN MCCULLOUGH recently made his directorial debut with Opera Philadelphia filming his production of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs in which he also sang the role of the protagonist. He recently made his UK and West End debut singing Il Conte in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro directed by Joe Hill-Gibbons at English National Opera. He was set to make his company and role debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper singing the role of Faber in Tippett’s The Knot Garden which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having won First Prize in the 2019 Gerda Lissner Foundation Song competition singing Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, he looks forward to more opportunities singing Lieder and song in the near future. This past season Johnathan was selected by Renée Fleming to take part in the Weill Institute Song Studio at Carnegie Hall where he performed in concert. Operatic credits include Figaro (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), J. Robert Oppenheimer (Doctor Atomic), Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), and Belcore (L’elisir d’amore) among others. 

A native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, tenor CÉSAR ANDRÉS PARREÑO started his voice studies with Ecuador’s most renowned opera singer; Soprano Beatriz Parra at Colegio de Artes Maria Callas. Soon after, Parreño won first place in the International Classical Music Competition Young Talents in Cuenca, Ecuador. That same year, he sang as a soloist with the University of Cuenca Orchestra and with Guayaquil’s Symphonic Orchestra. Parreño was also invited to the first and second international classical singing festival, Ciudad Santiago de Guayaquil. In the summer of 2019, Parreño performed his debut role as Lysander in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in Chautauqua, New York. In early 2020, Parreño made his Peter Jay Sharp Theater debut in NYFOS@Juilliard’s Cubans in Paris. Parreño is a coordinator in Fundacion Cultural Armonia, an Ecuadorian non-profit organization that aims to promote educational and socio-cultural projects in the arts. In 2021, Parreño will be covering Nemorino in Juilliard’s production of L’elisir d’amore by Gaetano Donizetti. Cesar Andres Parreño is a senior of his Bachelor of Music at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Dr. Robert White, where he is the first Ecuadorian to ever attend the prestigious institution.

The San Francisco Chronicle exclaims, “For theatrical charisma and musical bravado, it would be hard to top the performance of baritone EFRAÍN SOLÍS.” He is a graduate of the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship where he sang his first performances of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Dandini in La cenerentola, Schaunard in La bohème, Silvano in Un ballo in maschera, Sciarrone in Tosca, and Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly. In the 2020-21 season, he joins Opera San Jose and Florida Grand Opera as Charlie in Heggie’s Three Decembers and Utah Opera as Escamillo in La tragédie de Carmen. Future engagements include Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera San Jose and a return to Opera Southwest, originally scheduled for this season. Last season, he returned to Utah Opera as Lieutenant Audebert in Puts’ Silent Night and Virginia Opera as Di Cosimo in Catán’s Il postino. His debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as the Peasant in Schönberg’s Gurrelieder and return to the role of Schaunard in La bohème with Fort Worth Opera were unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent seasons he joined Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, and El Paso Opera as Mark in Martinez’s Cruzar la cara de la luna, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with Utah Opera, Opera Carolina, Virginia Opera, and Toledo Opera, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Memphis and Livermore Valley Opera, Slook in La cambiale di matrimonio with Nicholas McGegan conducting Philharmonia Baroque, El Payador in Piazzola’s Maria de Buenos Aires with Opera Southwest, Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande and Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox with West Edge Opera, Fiesque in Maria di Rohan with Washington Concert Opera, Gaspar in Rita with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and Dick in Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock with Opera Saratoga.

He is an alumnus of the prestigious Merola Opera Program in association with San Francisco Opera, at which he sang Junius in The Rape of Lucretia and covered Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. A former member of Opera Santa Barbara’s Studio Artist Program, in 2013, he was a Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a finalist in Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Competition. He holds a Master of Music from San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music from Chapman University, with a Minor in Spanish and Latin American Literature.

American soprano MARIA VALDES was recently described as a “first-rate singing actress and a perfectly charming Gilda” (New York Times). During the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Valdés returned to Atlanta Opera as Cristina Kahlo in Frida and Younger Alyce in Glory Denied (COVID). During the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Valdés was slated to return to Houston Grand Opera to sing the role of Amy in the world premiere of The Snowy Day (COVID) and during the winter of 2021, Ms. Valdés will make her Hawaii Opera Theater debut as Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.

During the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Valdés’ engagements included a debut with Atlanta Opera as Doris Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, a company debut with Washington Concert Opera for their Opera Outside series and a return to Phoenix Symphony for performances of Handel’s Messiah. Ms. Valdés also recently made a company and role debut as Violetta in La traviata at Gulfshore Opera, her Rochester Philharmonic debut, reprising the role of Despina in Così fan tutte and debuted with West Edge Opera as Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice. In the concert realm, Ms. Valdés recently debuted with Virginia Symphony as the soprano soloist in Messiah, the Brooklyn Art Song Society singing Chants d’Auvergne by Joseph Canteloube, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra singing Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughn Williams and Bach Cantata No. 29. “Wir danken dir, Gott” andthe Mobile Symphony as the soprano soloist in Ein deutsches Requiem.

Also an accomplished recitalist, Ms. Valdés has appeared in concert with Martin Katz, and made her New York recital debut with NYFOS performing with Steven Blier and Michael Barrett in Compositora, a recital of female Latin American composers. She also attended the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival which included several concert appearances and Ms. Valdés can be heard singing Mendelssohn’s “Hear my prayer” on the album Evening Hymn released by Gothic Records and acclaimed in the American Record Guide. An award-winner in the regional Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Ms. Valdés is also the winner of the top prize at the Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is the recipient of a Shoshana Foundation Grant.

Acclaimed by The New York Times as “an outstanding actress, as well as a singer of extraordinary grace and finesse,” soprano CORINNE WINTERS has sung over twenty-five leading roles at major opera houses around the world. Recent performances include the title role in both Moniuszko’s Halka at Theater an der Wien and Katya Kabanova at Seattle Opera, Rachel in La Juive and Desdemona in Otello at Opera Vlaanderen, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin at Michigan Opera Theatre and Arizona Opera, Leïla in The Pearl Fishers at Santa Fe Opera, Magda in La rondine at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Mimi in La bohème at Washington National Opera, Arizona Opera, and English National Opera, and Liù in Turandot with the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar de Venezuela under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. Corinne has brought her Violetta, praised by The Guardian as “a wonderful combination of feistiness and fragility, sung with unflagging intensity,” to audiences around the world – at Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Theater Basel, Opera Australia, San Diego Opera, Seattle Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, English National Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, and Opera Hong Kong. Future engagements include debuts in Brussels, Geneva, and Salzburg.

On the concert stage, Corinne has appeared as soprano soloist in a European tour of Verdi’s Requiem led by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Les nuits d’été with Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, and Bachianas Brasileiras with True Concord. She joined tenor Matthew Polenzani in recital for the George London Foundation, where she was praised by Opera News as “a striking brunette who manages to be simultaneously gamine and seductress, reveal[ing] an arresting, uniquely plum-colored soprano that could pass for mezzo in the middle but explodes with vibrant color on top.” She has also appeared in recital with the New York Festival of Song, Tucson Desert Song Festival, and Vocal Arts DC, showcasing Spanish song repertoire from her debut album, Canción amorosa.



Thank you to everyone who made this program possible

Leonardo Granados
Silken Kelly
Joseph Li
Rebecca Jo Loeb
Johnathan McCullough
César Parreño
Efraín Solís
María Valdés
Corinne Winters


Steven Blier, pianist and host

Jonathan Estabrooks, video production

The NYFOS administration
Steven Blier, Artistic Director
Charles McKay, Managing Director
Claire Molloy, Deputy Director

NYFOS’s Board of Directors
Richard A. Rosen, Chairman
Robert D. Krinsky, Treasurer
Philip K. Howard
Philip Kalikman
Karen Koch
Judith Goetz Sanger
Peter Thall

and, especially, our NYFOS@Home series supporters

New York Festival of Song • One Penn Plaza • #6108 • New York, NY 10119 • 646-230-8380 • info@nyfos.org