Mezzo-soprano Leah Summers and pianist Charis Dimaris will perform an intimate Liederabend for the Washington University Department of Music in Arts & Sciences at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, in Holmes Lounge.
Mezzo-soprano Leah Summers
Literally translated as “evening of song,” Liederabend is a German term referring to a recital given by a singer and pianist, particularly of works by 19th-century Austrian or German composers.
The program will open with a set of five “dialogue” lieder by Franz Schubert (1797-1828). These begin with Seligkeit (“Bliss”) (1816), based on text by Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hölty, followed by Die Männer sind méchant (“All Men Are Rogues”) (1828), based on text by Johann Gabriel Seidl.
Also on the program will be An Silvia (“Who is Silvia”) (1826), from William Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and two settings of poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Heidenröslein (“Wild Rose”) (1815) and Der Musensohn (“The Son of the Muses”) (1822).
The program will continue with Kindertotenlieder (“Songs on the Death of Children”) by Gustav Mahler (1860-1911). Written in 1905, this cycle of five songs is based on poems by Friedrich Rückert.
Next up, following a brief intermission, will be the four Lieder der Mignon (1849) by Robert Schumann (1810-56), based on Goethe’s novel Wilhelm Meister.
Concluding the performance will be Zigeunermelodien (“Gypsy Songs”) (1880) by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904). Written in 1880, this seven-song cycle is based on poems by the Czech writer Adolf Heyduk — who translated his own work into German — and includes the composer’s much loved Als die alte Mutter (“Songs My Mother Taught Me”).
The concert is free and open to the public. Holmes Lounge is located in Ridgley Hall, on the west side of Brookings Quadrangle, near the intersection of Brookings and Hoyt drives. The program is sponsored in association with the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures in Arts & Sciences.
For more information, call (314) 935-5566 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summers has appeared extensively on opera and concert stages throughout the United States and abroad. She is a frequent presence at the New York City Opera, where her roles have included Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, the Page in Strauss’ Salome, Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
Summers has appeared in leading roles with the Vienna Staatsoper (where she made her debut as Grimgerde in Wagner’s Die Walküre), as well as with Opera Colorado, Dallas Opera, New Jersey Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Berkshire Opera, Opera Naples and Opera Orchestra of New York.
She has performed with the New York Chamber Orchestra, the Ensemble Musica Sacra in Salzburg/Austria and the Naples Philharmonic, among many others. Recently she was featured on the Bridge Records recording of art songs by Stephan Volpe and as soloist with the Dallas Symphony in Mahler’s 8th Symphony on the Delos label.
Summers holds degrees from the University of Miami, The Manhattan School of Music and the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna (where she studied on a Fulbright scholarship), and is a graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center in New York.
She has received grants from the Vienna Staatsoper and the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation and was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Summer Festival as well as a member of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program.
Dimaras has presented solo recitals, collaborated in chamber music concerts, and been featured as soloist with orchestras throughout Europe, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, Canada and the United States.
He has recorded works by Franck, Bartok, Prokofiev and Stravinsky, among others. His latest CD, featuring piano works by contemporary Greek composers Dimitri Mitropoulos and Yorgos Sicilianos, will be released this fall.
Dimaris won first prizes at the Conferenza Musicale Mediterannea piano competition in Palermo, the Holland Music Sessions chamber music contest at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Artists International and Joy in Singing chamber music contests in New York.
Additional honors include the British Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Award, the Alexandros S. Onasis Beneficiary Foundation Scholarship, and the International Richard-Wagner-Foundation Scholarship.
Dimaras holds degrees in piano performance from the Royal College of Music in London and from New York’s Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, as well as a master’s in orchestral conducting from Bard College.
He is associate professor of piano and collaborative studies at Ithaca College. He recently has appeared as guest conductor with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra of the Greek National Opera, among others.