DePauw grads reunited for Greencastle Music Festival performance

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Greencastle Summer Music Festival continues Wednesday in Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church with "Reunited -- A Night of Musical Memories" featuring soprano Amy Elaine Hayes and tenor Steven Linville.

Hayes and Linville, both alumni of the DePauw University School of Music, now sing professionally. Their program features a variety of songs by British and American composers. Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. program in the air-conditioned comfort of the Gobin Church sanctuary is free, as are all events in the festival.

"This concert truly exemplifies the 'friends making music for friends' mission of the festival," stressed Eric Edberg, professor of music at DePauw and founder/director of the festival. "Amy and Steven have been great friends since their student days, and bring an infectious enthusiasm and sense of entertainment along with their wonderful training."

Hayes, founder of the Intimate Opera company in Indianapolis, looks forward to the Greencastle appearance.

"It's a real treat for Greencastle to get a sneak preview since we rarely perform scenes ahead of time," she said. "Our show 'The Witch of the Place' is a one-woman show based on the character Miss Havisham from Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations.' It's unlike anything I've ever done before. While she's a disturbing character, she's also quite funny and by far the most interesting character I've ever played. These are just a few of the pieces that I will be performing.

"This concert bring together some of my musical favorites from Marc Blitzstein's song 'Stay in My Arms,' which is a great traditional musical theatre piece to a lyrical aria, 'Down You Go,' with a fresh and hilarious tone from Jonathan Dove's opera 'Flight' (if you've seen the movie "The Terminal" with Tom Hanks, then you basically know the plot). I also have the chance to perform a scene from the opera we are producing for the 2013 IndyFringe Festival in August," Hayes said.

Other works include, "Glitter and be Gay" from Leonard Bernstein's "Candide," the song cycle "Despite and Still" by Samuel Barber, and the aria "I never travel without one ... a hand mirror" by Dominick Argento from his opera "Postcard from Morocco."

Linville, meanwhile, says the concert is a chance to perform some of the works he loves best.

"I've fallen in love with every piece on this recital at some point -- music from 'The Tender Land' that I first learned at DePauw in 2003; Britten's 'On This Island' that I originally learned for my first master's recital at IU; and 'New York Lights,' an aria that I perform any time I can. Of course, a selection of my favorites would not be complete without some musical theatre -- especially pieces from 'The Secret Garden and Company'

"It's very exciting to be performing in Greencastle again, as well as to be returning to Gobin after four years," Linville added. "I'm equally excited to share this music with everyone and to reunite with all of the friends in the Greencastle community who I don't get to connect with regularly."

Linville is an active soloist, conductor and director and has performed in a variety of roles, including Don Basilio ("Le Nozze di Figaro"), Gherardo ("Gianni Schicchi"), Pluto ("Orpheus in the Underworld"), Monostatos ("The Magic Flute"), Ivan ("Die Fledermaus") and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in the world premiere of Bernard Rands' opera "Vincent."

He has also performed as a concert soloist, including selections from Mozart's "Requiem," Handel's "Messiah" and Haydn's "Lord Nelson Mass." Steven was previously a member of the Indianapolis Opera Chorus and performer in the Indianapolis-based opera company "The Steele Project."

The Greencastle Summer Music Festival brings the community together with friends making music for friends. Free concerts, supported by donations, are staged every Wednesday through Aug. 21 at Gobin.

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