Posted by Aurora University on October 29, 2013
The eighth season of the Celebrating Arts and Ideas series continues with a performance by soprano Michelle Areyzaga on Saturday, November 2, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. in Crimi Auditorium in the Institute for Collaboration at 1347 Prairie St., Aurora, Ill. The concert is free and open to the public.
As a diverse and coveted singer, Areyzaga’s musical origins are in Chicago where she is much in demand among highly regarded companies, as well as throughout the United States and Europe. She has sung most recently with New York City Opera in her debut (“Orpheus-Telemann”) and has appeared with Chicago Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s In the Neighborhoods programs, Grant Park Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Chicago Light Opera Works, Chicago Chamber Opera, Chicago Master Singers, Apollo Chorus, Camerata Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center.
Areyzaga’s operatic roles have included Cunegonde, “Candide”; Adina, “L’elisir d’amore;” Sandman and Dew Fairy, “Hänsel und Gretel”; Despina, “Così fan tutte”; Zerlina, “Don Giovanni”; Pamina, “Die Zauberflöte”; Susanna, “Le nozze di Figaro”: Lauretta, “Gianni Schicchi”: Musetta, “La bohème”; and Casilda in “The Gondoliers.” She also has championed the works of Bernstein through numerous orchestral engagements with several symphonies and orchestras throughout the country.
As a recorded artist, she has performed song cycles by Gwyneth Walker on “The Sun Is Love.” Other recordings include “Songs from Spoon River” by Lita Grier and “The Small Hours,” songs by William Ferris. She has sung numerous times in both live and programmed broadcasts on Chicago’s classical music radio station WFMT.
Areyzaga received a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Roosevelt University with honors and was a member of Ravinia’s Steans Institute for Young Artists. In addition she has been a member of the OperaWorks Summer Intensive Program in L.A. and a member of Chicago Opera Theater’s Debut Artist Series.
Accompanying Areyzaga on piano will be William Billingham. He is an assistant conductor at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, working with many of the world’s leading opera singers and conductors. As a member of the music staff since 1995, Billingham has assisted in the preparation of more than 70 productions, playing for rehearsals, coaching singers, conducting offstage musicians, and performing on the organ in the loft and harpsichord in the pit. Billingham has also worked as a coach/accompanist for several music festivals, orchestras and opera companies. He earned a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the Oberlin Conservatory, a Master of Music in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in accompanying from the University of Southern California.
The Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame is partnering with Aurora University to host this event.
About Aurora University
Aurora University is an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning, annually educating more than 4,800 degree-seeking students at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. More than 600 students annually participate in the university’s 20 NCAA Division III athletics programs. In addition to its main campus in Aurora, Ill., AU offers programs online, at its George Williams College campus in Williams Bay, Wis., and the Woodstock Center in downtown Woodstock, Ill. Learn more at aurora.edu.