UCA alumna Kristin Lewis returns as Artist in Residence

Internationally known soprano and UCA alumna Kristin Lewis returns to campus to perform and teach with UCA’s Spring 2009 Artists in Residence Program on Feb. 26-27 and Mar. 2.

“It is important that those (students) who strive for the same things that she has achieved can see the example of someone who, a decade ago, was sitting in the same classroom in which they are sitting, practicing in the same practice rooms in which they are practicing, and performing on the same recital hall stage on which they are performing,” said Dr. Martha Antolik, the faculty sponsor of the residency.

Lewis’ university performance will be after her January debut with Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, during which she sang the title role in Verdi’s Aida under the baton of Maestro Daniel Oren. Her roles have gained international attention for her vocal performances.

Lewis will begin her residency by teaching an opera master class with an open forum Feb. 26 at 1:40 p.m. in Snow Fine Arts Center Recital Hall. The event is open to the public. Her next appearance will be a mini-concert of Italian arias and African-American spirituals for Conway High East Campus for vocal students Feb. 27 at 1:30 p.m. She will be accompanied by UCA piano major Teodora Adhzarova.”It is my pleasure to see one of our former music students return for a three-day residency,” Antolik said. “It is so important that our music students here at UCA have young successful role models to whom they can relate.”

The residency will end with Lewis’ final public performance March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Reynolds Performance Hall. Stephen Carey, principal coach and chorus master for Opera Memphis, will accompany. She will sing arias of Puccini and Verdi. The UCA Concert Choir will assist her in an aria from Rossini’s Stabat Mater for chorus and soprano and will join her in a Puccini aria from Edgar. Associate Professor of Music Robert Holden will perform a duet from Aida. The second half of the program will include selected spirituals featuring Lewis and the UCA Concert Choir.

Lewis will offer three days of education based upon her international sources of opera music. Last season she also sang leading roles with Opera de Lyon (France), Savonlinna Festival (Finland), Semperoper Dresden (Germany), Concerthaus Wien (Austria), Muenster Opera (Germany) and Opera Bilbao (Spain) among others. She currently works with conductors Bruno Bartoletti, Stephan Lano, Omer Meir Wellber, Paolo Bisanti, Williams Eddins, Jun Maerkel, and William Fred Scott, among others.

While a student at UCA, Lewis sang several roles with the Opera Workshop, including Musetta in La Boheme and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. She also was a member of the UCA Concert Choir and sang solos with the choir on a tour trip to Italy. Lewis participated in the Knoxville Opera Young Artist