Oberlin College and Conservatory

Winter Term Performance: Words Into Sound

Friday, January 27, 2017 at 8:00pm to 10:00pm

Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space
10 E. College St., Oberlin, Ohio 44074

Conservatory alumnus Joseph Mechavich '92 has gained an international reputation as a conductor, including performances of world premieres of operas by composer Jake Heggie and librettist/composer Gene Scheer. Maestro Mechavich and Mr. Scheer are in residence on campus for ten days this January mentoring Oberlin voice students in their study of scenes and arts songs from the repertoire of Heggie and Scheer. The exploration of the relationship between music and text culminates in a semi-staged performance of these works by Oberlin voice students in the first public performance in the new subterranean Birenbaum space in the lower level of the new Hotel at Oberlin.

Selections and scenes from operas by composer Jake Heggie and librettist/composer Gene Scheer 

HEGGIE   To Hell and Back
                   Three Decembers
                   Farewell, Auschwitz
                   Camille Claudel
                   Friendly Persuasions: Homage to Poulenc
                   Pieces of 9/11

SCHEER  Voices from World War II

Elise Volkmann, Jesse Mashburn, Rachel Liss, Katherine Krebs, Lexi Prat, Sarah Sims
Joe Klinger, Matthew Payne, Ryan Dearon, Daniel Rosenberg, Kyle Miller  

Joseph Mechavich currently serves as Artistic Director of the Kentucky Opera. His internationally acclaimed work has taken him to the companies of Deutsche Oper Berlin and Washington National Opera, and he has become a master of traditional repertoire as well as a recognized proponent of modern music. He has worked directly with some of America’s finest composers and librettists, and has a deep understanding of our current cultural ideas. 

Gene Scheer is a songwriter, librettist, and lyricist. He has worked closely with several of America’s premier composers including Jake Heggie, Jennifer Higdon, Steven Stucky, and Wynton Marsalis providing libretti and texts for opera, oratorio, and song cycle projects. Also a composer in his own right, Scheer has written a number of songs for the renowned vocalists Renée Fleming, Sylvia McNair, Stephanie Blythe, Jennifer Larmore, Denyce Graves, and Nathan Gunn.

Event Type

Music, Performing Arts


Academic, Contemporary Music, Opera Theater, Vocal Studies, Administrative, Winter Term, Conservatory of Music


Free and open to the public.

Contact Person

Lorraine Manz

Contact Phone Number


Contact E-mail Address


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