An Oberlin Sinfonietta concert conducted by Timothy Weiss.
Featuring soloist Kendra Colton ’83, soprano.
Stephen Hartke: Gradus (1999)
Steven Stucky: Partita-Pastorale, After JSB (2000)
Pierre Jalbert ’89: Transcendental Windows (2000)
Richard Danielpour ’78: Sonnets to Orpheus, Book I (1992)
Kendra Colton ’83 is a versatile singer who enjoys a career of great variety. Described by Opera News as a soprano who sings “with beauty, brightness, and poise,” Colton has performed with major orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. She has performed repertoire from Monteverdi and Lully to new works specifically written for her. Colton’s career has been largely centered in the United States but she has also performed in Germany, Switzerland, England, and Spain.
A significant portion of the repertoire Colton performs is the sacred music of J.S. Bach. She has sung all of Bach’s major works and, at Emmanuel Music in Boston, nearly all of the soprano arias and duets from the cantatas. She has performed many versions of the St. Matthew Passion: with major orchestras under the batons of Helmuth Rilling and Bernard Haitink; in the highly acclaimed Jonathan Miller staging of the work at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; on tour with Santa Fe Pro Musica singing one-on-a-part; with period-instrument ensembles, and in a one-on-a-part recording for the Smithsonian label. In addition to the St. Matthew Passion she has presented many performances of the B Minor Mass, St. John Passion, Christmas Oratorio, the Magnificat, and the solo soprano cantatas.
Colton is active in new music circles as well. She has commissioned and premiered numerous works: Finite Infinity for soprano, oboe, and piano by Peter Child; Uncertainty is Beautiful for soprano and chamber orchestra by Andy Vores; and The Reckless Heart for soprano and piano by Andy Vores. She is currently collaborating with Winsor Music in a consortium to commission Crossroads, a work for soprano, oboe, and strings by John Harbison. When Harbison was composing The Great Gatsby for the Metropolitan Opera, Colton was asked to prepare the role of Daisy for the workshop recording that was made before the first Met performance. She has also performed many other chamber works by Harbison in the Boston area.
Performances in semi-staged and fully-staged opera productions include both period and modern conceptions. At the Göttingen Handel Festival she sang the role of Seleuce in Tolomeo in a Baroque setting with period instruments, Baroque gestures, and costumes. She sang the title character in Griffelkin by Lukas Foss in a semi-staged performance with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and then recorded the opera. Additional roles include Pamina from Die Zauberflöte, Cherubino from Le Nozze di Figaro, Aminta from Il Re Pastore, and Servilia from La Clemenza di Tito.
Colton is admired for her recital performances featuring art song repertoire that she loves. Performances of Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch will take place in Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts in the near future. She will record a CD of English songs including the Barber Hermit Songs and works by Ivor Gurney, Benjamin Britten, and Andy Vores. She has two art song CDs: He Brought Me Roses, a collection of songs by Joseph Marx; and Le Charme, a collection of French songs by Debussy, Fauré, Chausson, and Poulenc.
Kendra Colton currently teaches at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.
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