UGA Presents is bringing the Bel Canto Trio to Athens on Feb. 14 for a 7:30 p.m. performance in Hodgson Concert Hall. The trio of rising opera stars will pay tribute to the original Bel Canto Trio of the 1940s with a program showcasing opera’s most popular arias, duets and trios.
Over a 10-month period from July 1947 to May 1948, Mario Lanza, George London and Frances Yeend toured the U.S., Canada and Mexico as the Bel Canto Trio. The trio’s demanding repertoire proved extremely popular with audiences and critics alike, and it was at this time that Lanza’s career was launched into stardom.
The new Bel Canto Trio features soprano Julie Adams, tenor Joshua Guerrero and bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee with music director Christopher Allen. The trio will perform the original program from the 1947-1948 North American tour with selections from Rigoletto, Faust, La traviata, Manon Lescaut, La bohème, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Die Zauberflöte, Tosca and more.
Adams is a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the George London Award and the Elizabeth Connell Prize for aspiring dramatic sopranos. A former Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera, she most recently returned to San Francisco Opera for Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, singing Freia in Das Rheingold and Gerhilde in Die Walküre, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
Guerrero is a Grammy Award winner for his recording of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles with the Los Angeles Opera. In recent seasons, he has appeared with Washington National Opera as Alfredo in a new production of La traviata, with Houston Grand Opera as Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas and with the Canadian Opera Company as Rodolfo in La bohème and the Duke in Rigoletto.
Brownlee is a first prize winner of the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, winner of the Zarzuela Prize at Operalia and a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions grand prize winner. In the 2016-2017 season, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Salome, conducted by Johannes Debus.
Allen, a conductor and pianist, is the 2017 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award recipient and has been praised by Opera News magazine as “one of the fastest-rising podium stars in North America.” Allen is also an award-winning pianist who has played at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Tickets for the Bel Canto Trio start at $35 and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center box office, online at pac.uga.edu or by calling 706-542-4400. A limited number of discounted tickets are available to current UGA students for $10 with a valid UGA ID (limit one ticket per student).
A pre-performance talk will be given by Theresa Chafin, a graduate of the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. The talk begins at 6:45 p.m. in Ramsey Concert Hall and is open to the public.