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September 20, 2007

President Gala to feature renowned soprano Claire Vangelisti Oct. 9

The President’s Gala, a fundraiser that benefits the School of Visual and Performing Arts, will continue as one of the area’s premier art events Tuesday, Oct. 9 in the Biedenharn Recital Hall, located on University Ave.

The social hour will begin at 6:30 p.m. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m., and the event will close with an artist’s reception.

The President’s Gala will open with “French Horn Fanfare” by Jason Rinehart and James Boldin. A Ragtime Set will follow, involving music, dance and percussion pieces. Audience members will enjoy a medley from “Porgy and Bess,” while Broadway hits will receive their due measure by way of music, vocal and dance performances.

This year’s featured star will be Italian-American Claire Vangelisti, soprano and ULM’s new faculty member. She will perform songs from “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Candide.”

“She is a special talent that is strongly in demand in recital, opera and operetta productions,” said Mark Ross Clark, head of the Division of Music. “She has a luminous stage presence, and she has significant professional and teaching experience. She’s a delightful performer—very extraordinary.”

More about Vangelisti:
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Vangelisti's voice has graced both national and international stages. According to her Web site, “her international debut [in 1998] was well received in Lisbon, Portugal at the Centro Cultural de Belém where she presented a solo recital of Twentieth Century American Music. Invited to return to Lisbon in 1999, Vangelisti performed an additional solo recital and toured as concert soloist with the Orchestra Filarmonia das Beiras under the baton of Osvaldo Ferrierra, where her renderings of Mozart arias acquired extensive audience acclaim.”

In the United States, she has performed as concert soloist in many works, including Mozart's Great Mass in C Minor, Solemn Vespers and Mass in C Major, as well as Handel's Judas Maccabaeus and Messiah, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and Missa in tempori belli, Honneggar’s King David, Charpentier’s Te Deum, Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G Major, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Monteverdi’s Vespro Della Beata Vergine.

She made her American operatic debut as an apprentice with the Austin Lyric Opera Young Artist Program, where she had the opportunity to perform several cameo roles in productions such as “Rigoletto,” and “The Ballad of Baby Doe,” as well as the role of Papagena in “Die Zauberflöte.”

Vangelisti has continued her stage career as a key player in the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Austin, performing the roles of Lady Ella in “Patience,” Josephine in “H.M.S. Pinafore,” Gianetta in “The Gondoliers” and Mabel in “The Pirates of Penzance.” Vangelisti’s Mabel won a B. Iden Payne Award for “Best Actress in a Musical” as well as a nomination for “Best Actress in a Musical” Austin Critics Table Award. Additional roles performed include Marsinah in “Kismet” with the San Antonio Symphony and Gianetta in “L'Elisir d'Amore” with The Lyric Opera of San Antonio.

Vangelisti has appeared as a guest soloist with The Texas Chamber Consort, Southwest Opera, Capital City Men's Chorus, Austin Civic Chorus, Austin Civic Orchestra, Temple Civic Chorus, Temple Symphony Orchestra, Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, Austin Summer Choral Symposium, Austin Symphonic Band and the Austin Chamber Ensemble.
She “is passionate about supporting living American composers and demonstrated this commitment in the Fall of 2002 by performing a solo recital of American Twentieth Century Song in Aveiro, Portugal, including the world premiere of ‘Letting Go,’ a song cycle by composer Daron Hagen.”

Other recent engagements include three performances of Shostakovich’s Seven Romances on Poems by A. Blok with the Austin Chamber Ensemble as part of “Shostakovich 100,” a yearlong festival celebrating the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth. She also appear with the San Gabriel Chorale for their rendition of Bach’s St. Mark Passion.

Tickets are now on sale for the celebration, which benefits VAPA. Tickets cost $50 per person and may be purchased by calling (318) 342-1010.

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