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Grammy-Winning Soprano Reneé Fleming to Lead Master Class

Fleming to coach four Bienen School voice and opera stars of the future on Oct. 27

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Four-time Grammy Award-winning soprano Renée Fleming will lead a master class featuring four promising Northwestern University voice and opera program students.

This is the inaugural event in the Robert M. and Maya L. Tichio Vocal Master Class Series, funded by an anonymous donor and member of the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music Advisory Board. This new series honors two new members of the school's Advisory Board.

Hosted by the University’s Bienen School of Music and open to the public, Fleming’s Monday, Oct. 27 master class will take place at 11:30 a.m. in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive on the University’s Evanston campus. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

Fleming most recently received the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo. In 2013, she was awarded a National Medal of Arts. In February 2014, she became the first classical artist ever to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

Her 2014-15 season includes performances of Strauss’ “Capriccio” and a 60th anniversary concert at Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Richard Strauss Festival at Germany’s Semperoper Dresden, Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and a recital tour throughout the East Coast. Fleming is currently curating the creation of a world-premiere opera based on Ann Patchett’s best-selling book “Bel Canto” for Lyric Opera’s 2015-16 season.

Featured Bienen School student performers on Oct. 27 will be:

• Soprano Ashley Mann, a second-year master’s student studying with Sunny Joy Langton. Mann will perform “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta” from Puccini’s opera “La Rondine.”

• Baritone Nathaniel Hill, a second-year master’s student studying with W. Stephen Smith and Alan Darling. Hill will perform “Ah! per sempre” from Bellini’s “I puritani.”

• Mezzo-soprano Quinn Middleman, a first-year master’s student studying with W. Stephen Smith. Middleman will perform “Tu, preparati a morire” from Handel’s “Ariodante.”

• Baritone Ted Pickell, a first-year master’s student studying with W. Stephen Smith. Pickell will perform “Hai gia vinta la causa” from Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro.”

• Soprano and first-year master’s student Emily Barnash and mezzo-soprano and second-year master’s student Stephanie Feigenbaum have been selected as alternates.

The students will be accompanied by Bienen School faculty member and pianist Alan Darling. Darling, a lecturer of voice and opera, has performed recitals throughout Europe, Canada and the United States with artists Isabel Bayrakdarian, Nicole Cabell, Elizabeth Futral, Amanda Majeski and others. In addition to his work as a vocal coach and accompanist at the Bienen School, he is a member of the music staff of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center.

Parking for the event is available in the F lot parking structure and the new Visitors Center garage south of Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Parking passes may be purchased at the Parking Services Office located in the Visitors Center garage or at the Ticket Office located in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. To purchase tickets, call 847-467-4000 or visit For more information, call 847-491-5441 or visit