The spiritual depth of Morten Lauridsen’s music, paired with the stunning voices of Rod Gilfry and Carin Gilfry, in conversation with the lyric poetry of Blas Falconer and the works of California State Poet Laureate Dana Gioia will make for a thrilling venture into the radiant beauty of soul language.
The music of MORTEN LAURIDSEN occupies a permanent place in the standard vocal repertoire of the twenty-first century. His eight vocal cycles, instrumental works, art songs and series of motets are performed throughout the world and have been recorded on over two hundred CDs, including several that received GRAMMY® nominations. He served as Composer-in-Residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale from 1995-2001 and is currently Distinguished Professor of Composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. An award-winning documentary by Michael Stillwater, Shining Night – A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen, was released in 2012 (songwithoutborders.net). In 2006, Morten Lauridsen was named an “American Choral Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts. In a White House ceremony in 2007, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest artistic award in the United States, by the President of the United States “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth.”
DANA GIOIA is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia is a native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent. He received a B.A. and a M.B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. Gioia currently serves as the Poet Laureate of California.
ROD GILFRY was born and raised in Southern California. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton and a Master of Music in Vocal Arts from the University of Southern California. From 1987 to 1989 he was a member of the Frankfurt Opera ensemble, and, from 1989 to 1994, he was a member of the Zürich Opera ensemble. The two-time GRAMMY® nominee, singer and actor has performed in all the world's music capitals. He is acclaimed worldwide in opera, musicals, recitals and cabaret. He has created 11 leading roles in world premiere operas, most recently in the Brooklyn Academy of Music solo opera by David Lang, The Loser; the Houston Grand Opera in Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life; the American Repertory Theater in Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing; the Glyndebourne Festival in Brett Dean’s Hamlet; and the Zurich Opera in Christian Jost’s Rote Laterne. Other recent appearances include: Santa Fe Opera (Ariadne auf Naxos); San Francisco Opera (It’s a Wonderful Life); Phoenix Symphony (Brahms Requiem); Adelaide Festival (Dean’s Hamlet); Metropolitan Opera (The Merry Widow and Thomas Adès The Exterminating Angel); Los Angeles Opera; Brooklyn Academy of Music (Crossing); Los Angeles Master Chorale (Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Mozart’s Requiem and Shawn Kirchner's Songs of Ascent); Edinburgh Festival; Korea National Opera; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Milwaukee Symphony; NYC Mostly Mozart Festival (Cosi fan Tutte); San Francisco Symphony (The Tempest); Alabama Symphony (Beethoven 9thSymphony); Vienna Volksoper (Kismet); New York City Opera (Anna Nicole); Aix-en-Provence Festival (Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte); Quebec City Festival (The Tempest); and London Royal Opera Covent Garden (Anna Nicole). Recent recordings include Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte; Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life; Great Voices Sing John Denver; Matson’s Cooperstown; Stucky’s August 4th, 1964. Upcoming engagements include Los Angeles Opera (The Loser); Santa Fe Opera (Così fan tutte); Tanglewood; Colorado Symphony; Kennedy Center (Kevin Puts’ Letters from Georgia, with Renée Fleming); and Dutch Radio Orchestra (Dean’s Hamlet). Rod Gilfry is an Associate Professor of Vocal Arts at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles.
CARIN GILFRY, American mezzosoprano and voice actor, is an exciting and versatile performer. She has performed all over the world with companies and orchestras including New York City Opera, Le Theatre du Chatelet, The Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Phoenix Symphony, among others. In 2014, she was featured on an episode of NPR’s This American Life in a live opera written by Philip Glass and Matthew Aucoin based on the true story of the time she locked herself in a closet narrating an audiobook in a New York hotel room. As a voice actor, Ms. Gilfry has appeared in numerous national TV commercials, video games, audiobooks and product videos. She is a national spokes voice for Zulily.com and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and her commercial credits include spots for Little Tikes, Disney Toys, Duncan Hines, Country Crock, Grubhub, Chase Bank and many more. She has narrated and produced over 100 audiobooks, and has voiced characters in the video games Warframe, Heroes Charge and Heroes of Newerth. Ms. Gilfry holds a Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School, a Bachelor of Music Degree from the USC Thornton School of Music, and was a member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program at the Los Angeles Opera. She is also the proud daughter of baritone, Rod Gilfry.