Requiem

Saturday, March 19th, 2022 
5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sundin Hall, Saint Paul, MN

Monday, March 21st, 2022 
5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 
United Church of Christ, Rochester, MN

Born near Prague, Jan Dismas Zelenka became a double-bass player in the superlative orchestra of King August der Starcke in Dresden, and for a short time the interim Kapellmeister. The Missa Omnium Sanctorum is a dramatic rendering of the Requiem mass that showcases Zelenka’s lyricism, chromatic harmony, and labyrinthine turns of phrase.

Linh Kauffman, soprano
Jeffrey Brich, tenor
Suzanne Lommler, mezzo soprano
Nicholas Miguel, bass
with Grinnell Singers under the direction of John Rommereim 

REPERTOIRE

JAN DISMAS ZELENKA (1679-1745)
Missa Omnium Sanctorum

Artists

Linh Kauffman

Praised as “vocally and dramatically powerful” by the Washington Post and “radiant” by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, soprano LINH KAUFFMAN enjoys an active career in opera, oratorio, new music and recital. Her recent performances include Orff’s Carmina Burana for the Prague Choral Festival, Carmina Burana and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Minnesota Orchestra, Ariadne auf Naxos with Minnesota Opera, Handel’s Acis and Galatea for Antiqva Panamá, and appearances at Festival Musica Antica Urbino, Festival Musica Antigua Panamá, and Festival Musique en l’Île de Paris.

A prolific concert artist, Ms. Kauffman has appeared with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Akron Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Quad City Symphony, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. She has been a festival artist at the Oregon Bach Festival, soloing under Helmuth Rilling in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Haydn’s Heiligmesse and throughout a tour of Germany with Festival Ensemble Stuttgart.

Ms. Kauffman made her Latin American debut in Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus at the Teatro Nacional de Panamá. Other appearances include Esther with Lyra Baroque Orchestra, Mitridate for Metamorphosis Opera Theater, Pocahontas: Woman of Two Worlds for Duluth Festival Opera and West Side Story with Sierra Repertory Theatre.

An active chamber musician of both early and contemporary music, Kauffman has appeared with Seraphic Fire, Spire Chamber Ensemble, Consortium Carissimi, The Rose Ensemble, and Piffaro.

A native of Connecticut, Ms. Kauffman earned music degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, University of Maryland, and University of Minnesota where she completed her Doctorate and Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy. She also studied at the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall and the Salzburg Mozarteum. She teaches at Macalester College, is Associate Artistic Director of Antiqva Panamá and serves on the Artistic Committee of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble.

JEFFREY BRICH, tenor, has distinguished himself in a broad spectrum of literature, performing with versatility and ease in orchestral, opera and recital venues. His strong creative service to the University of Northern Iowa School of Music is marked by memorable performances with the UNI Lyric Theater, the Faculty Chamber Music Series, Iowa Composer’s Forum, and the Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival. Professionally, he has performed roughly twenty roles in opera and oratorio, including frequent performances of Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Mozart’s Requiem, singing with orchestras in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Peoria  and Cedar Rapids. Some of his latest endeavors include soloing in the Peoria Bach Festival, the Cedar Rapids Opera production of Strauss’ Salome, Beethoven’s 9thSymphony with the Mendocino Music Festival, and a concert version of the first act of Wagner’s Die Walkure. As a tenor in residence, Jeffrey has performed with David Aiken Production’s national tour of Amahl and the Night Visitors, and later with the Indianapolis Opera Touring Ensemble. In March 2010 he appeared as soloist in the Bethany College Messiah Festival in Lindsborg, KS, and in November in Mozart’s Requiem at Bradley University in Peoria.

Jeffrey is currently an instructor of voice at the University of Northern Iowa. He holds degrees from the University of Iowa (B.M.) and the University of Northern Iowa  (M.M.) and has earned several competitive honors.  He resides in Cedar Falls, Iowa with his wife and two children, where he also maintains a thriving private voice studio.

Mezzo-soprano SUZANNE LOMMLER is adjunct professor of voice at Simpson College. She enjoys helping others on their quest to develop a healthy singing technique and find their own voice. She is also very active as a performer. Her recent performances in Chicago with Haymarket Opera have garnered great critical acclaim. The Chicago Tribune wrote of her “dark and alluring” voice in the role of the sorceress Melissa (Handel’s Amadigi): “Lommler’s assured technique allowed her to turn on a dime from fury to pathos and back again. Her sorceress all but burned up the stage.” The Chicago Classical Review wrote: “Deploying her exceptionally pliant, crisp mezzo-soprano voice, she romped through Handel’s twisting, leaping arias like a proud lioness.” As Silvia in Haydn’s L’isola disabitata, The Chicago Tribune wrote: “displaying beautiful voice and clear projection of the Italian text…Lommler conveyed Silvia’s ingenuous charm through a perky stage manner and a warm, focused tone that was equal to the role’s wide vocal compass. Her 2017 engagements include a recital with Grammy-nominated harpsichordist Jory Vinikour at Great Lakes Baroque Festival (Milwaukee); the Haymarket Opera Company Gala in Chicago; a return to Orchestra Iowa to sing the Bach Mass in B minor; and Mahler’s Rückertlieder with the Central Iowa Symphony. A recent concert of Mozart operatic arias with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony was reviewed: “Her crystal-clear voice is ideal for highly dramatic operatic scores, and is wonderfully supple as she easily conveys her characters’ moods.” (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier). She was soloist with Orchestra Iowa in Bach’s St. John Passion. Both concerts were broadcast on Iowa Public Radio. She was also a soloist with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra in Bach’s Magnificat; and performed Bizet’s Carmen in the film Kharmen, by Jay Bolotin, Other roles include Melide in Cavalli’s Ormindo (Pittsburgh Opera); Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro,Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro (Hamburger Kammeroper, Germany); and Annio in La Clemenza di Tito (her New York City début), conducted by Julius Rudel. Other engagements include recitals at the Handel House Museum in London; Hamburg’s Opernsalon series; a concert tour of Scotland with the Edinburgh Quartet; Bach’s Magnificat with the Kansas City Symphony; Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb with the Cincinnati May Festival, conducted by James Conlon; and the Bloomington Early Music Festival. She has also worked with the Spoleto Festival (Italy), Cincinnati Opera, Portland Opera Repertory Theatre, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Garsington Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and Glyndebourne on Tour. She has been a member of the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute and the Tanglewood Institute. She received her Master’s degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music and Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

NICHOLAS MIGUEL is active as a baritone soloist and chorister, having created a reputation as a versatile and intelligent singer in diverse genres. Miguel currently sings with the professional choirs GRAMMY-nominated True Concord in Tucson, AZ and CORO in Indianola, IA. Recently, he sang with Morten Lauridsen at the Green Lake Festival of Music, and Helmuth Rilling in the Weimar Bach Cantata Academy. A regular soloist in Iowa, Miguel’s concert appearances include Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard, J. S. Bach’s BWV 129, 131, 34, 18, 172, 82, 4, 140, 74, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Theresienmesse, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C minor, Durufle’s Requiem, Pärt’s Passio, Handel’s Esther and Messiah, and Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers. Miguel is also known for his engaging stage presence in recitals and in operatic productions. Stage credits include Don Alhambra in The Gondoliers, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, Sir Joseph in HMS Pinafore, and Comte Capulet in Romeo et Juliette.

In 2018, Miguel received his DMA in voice performance from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he also received his MA in 2013. He received his BM with Distinction from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN in 2010. Miguel’s dissertation on an influential Venezuelan composer, The Art Songs of Modesta Bor (1926-1998), demonstrates Miguel’s fluency in various academic disciplines including musicology, music theory, and phonetics. At UI, Miguel also served as an award-winning Teaching Assistant for the renowned vocologist, Ingo Titze. 

Dr. Miguel teaches full time as an Adjunct Music Associate at Grinnell College, one of the nation’s leading undergraduate liberal arts colleges, in Grinnell, IA, where he has worked since 2014. His passion for effective and informed pedagogy has left him in high demand as a teacher of Classical, Musical Theater, and Contemporary Commercial voice. During the summer, Dr. Miguel teaches as an Adjunct Instructor at Simpson College for the Three-Summer Masters in Choral Conducting Program. There he has taught Lyric Diction, Vocal Pedagogy in the Choral Setting, and Applied Voice since 2019.

Miguel is also a composer/arranger of art song, choral music, and jazz; an amateur piano accompanist, and an dilettante jazz pianist. He can be heard playing on his most recent composition “We Will Not Forget” on the album A Hero’s Journey by the saxophonist Jeff Miguel. He enjoys learning the guitar, collecting bikes, acquiring foreign languages, helping his wife with her florist business Friendly Bee Flower Farm, and spending time with his three children.

JOHN ROMMEREIM is Blanche Johnson Professor of Music at Grinnell College, where he conducts the Grinnell Singers and the Grinnell Oratorio Society, and teaches composition. His choral works have been performed by distinguished ensembles across the U.S., including Magnum Chorum, the Princeton Singers, VocalEssence, Voces Novae, Roomful of Teeth, and The Rose Ensemble, for whom he served as 2008-09 composer-in-residence. The New York Times praised the “richly expressive” character of his work for voice and piano, Into the Still Hollow (2006).  In addition to his numerous choral works, Dr. Rommereim has composed a chamber opera, songs, electronic music, and works for piano, organ, guitar, flute, saxophone quartet, brass quintet, and string quartet. He also regularly performs improvisatory music as a pianist together with jazz saxophonist Mark Laver (sample recording) . In 2014, his chamber opera Rheingold (video trailer) was premiered in Taipei and performed for capacity crowds; this work, a collaboration with Craig Quintero and his Riverbed Theatre Company, was part of a unique commission project by the Taiwan Ministry of Culture for new works designed to reexamine and re-envision each of Wagner’s four Ring operas.

Rommereim’s choral/orchestral work Utopia (2000) was premiered with the Prague Radio Orchestra and the Grinnell Singers, and his choral cycle Convivencia (2006) (audio sample), a six-movement work for choir, string quartet, and harp, based on ancient love poetry from Jewish, Islamic, and Christian traditions, was premiered by Voces Novae, of Bloomington, Indiana, at a special event co-sponsored by Jewish, Muslim, and Christian organizations. He is the recipient of commissions and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Composers Forum, the Iowa Choral Directors Association, the Iowa Composers Forum, and the Iowa Arts Council. He is the 2006 winner of the  Welcome Christmas carol contest sponsored by VocalEssence.

He has conducted the Grinnell Singers on concert tours across the U.S., and in Estonia, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. The ensemble has been invited to perform at two regional ACDA conventions. The Grinnell Singers have recorded Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, (sample track) as well as a CD with Jonathan Dove’s The Passing of the Year as its centerpiece (sample track). One of the ensemble’s trademarks is Thomas Tallis’s 40-voice motet, Spem in alium, (sample recording) which they have performed in six different seasons

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