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Syracuse Opera Resident Artists

3:00pm October 10, 2010
Grace Episcopal Church
13 Court Street
Cortland, NY

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Cortland, NY

The Arts at Grace Sunday afternoon concert series opens its seventh season with a performance by Syracuse Opera's Resident Artists on Sunday, October 10, at 3 PM at Grace Episcopal Church, 13 Court Street in Cortland. Tenor Matthew Velis, soprano Debra Stanley, bass-baritone Matthew Young, and mezzo-soprano Nora Graham-Smith will sing some of their favorite arias, show tunes, and other light numbers. Christopher Turbessi will accompany the artists on the piano. The audience will meet and talk with these talented young artists at an informal reception following the concert. There is no charge for admission.

Texas native Matthew Velis recently participated in the Utah Festival Opera Company Resident Artist Program for the summer 2010 season. He has performed in a number of operas, including principal tenor roles in Die Fledermaus, Falstaff, The Marriage of Figaro, Trial by Jury, Godspell, The Bartered Bride, Gianni Schicchi, and The Impresario. Mr. Velis is a member of the National Chorale at Lincoln Center in New York City, where he currently resides.

Soprano Debra Stanley recently sang the role of Frasquita in Palm Beach Opera's 2010 production of Carmen. She was featured in Palm Beach Opera's Young Artist productions of Cosí fan tutte, Orfeo ed Euridice, and Albert Herring. Ms. Stanley portrayed Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the 2009 Aspen Music Festival, and was a winner of the Festival Voice Competition. She has performed recitals at the Ravinia and Aspen music festivals, as well as in Paris, Monte Carlo, and Berlin.

Louisiana-born bass-baritone Matthew Young is establishing himself in the United States and abroad with his powerful voice and striking stage presence. Mr. Young recently made his Fort Worth Opera debut as Masetto in Don Giovanni. In early 2010, he was a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera's National Council awards. During 2009 he sang in the Wexford Festival Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, and Chicago Opera Theater. Mr. Young will return to Fort Worth Opera in the 2011 season to portray the title role in The Mikado.

Mezzo-soprano Nora Graham-Smith recently sang the title role of Carmen with The New York Lyric Opera Theatre at Symphony Space in New York City. She has been an apprentice artist with the Cincinnati Opera, Aspen Opera, Tanglewood Institute, and the Opera Theater of Lucca, Ms. Graham-Smith has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and is the grand prize winner of the Eastman School of Music/Rochester Philharmonic League's Devarian Classical Voice Award. She is also a recipient of the prestigious Corbett-Zimmerman graduate scholarship from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.

Pianist Christopher Turbessi spent this past summer in Italy as a coach and accompanist for two collegiate vocal programs. Since 2008, Mr. Turbessi has been a graduate student assistant at the University of Michigan. He has also accompanied for Toledo Opera. In 2009, Mr. Turbessi received a fellowship to participate in Songfest in Malibu, CA. Mr. Turbessi holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Hope College and he recently completed his Master of Music in collaborative piano at the University of Michigan.

The Arts at Grace is a community outreach effort of Grace Episcopal and Holy Spirit Lutheran Church assisted by individuals, businesses, and local foundation contributors from the greater Cortland community. The series recently has been supported by the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Grants. Admission to all Arts at Grace events is free, but voluntary donations are welcome. For further information, call (607) 753-3073 during business hours.