Harlem Opera Theatre (HOT) will offer a free performance on Friday, May 24, at 5:30 p.m. in Alfred Lerner Hall to celebrate their Soprano, Laquita Mitchell, who will be joining the Houston Grand Opera Program in the fall. This is a great opportunity to introduce the Morningside Heights community to the company and to celebrate Mitchell's achievements. The program will feature Mitchell and Tenor Noah Stewart.
Harlem Opera Theatre is a non-profit organization. Their mission is two-fold: "(1) to provide performance opportunities for professional and developing gifted singers within Harlem and communities where opera is seldom performed and (2) to cultivate and expand audience appreciation for opera and classical music through creative programming."
This special performance, sponsored by Columbia's Arts Uptown Program, is open to the general public. Seating for 150 people is available on a first come, first serve basis.
About the Artists
A native of New York, Soprano Laquita Mitchell is currently a Professional Studies student at the Manhattan School of Music. In the fall of 2001 Mitchell sang the role of Madame Butterfly in the Manhattan School of Music's Opera Scenes Program.
Mitchell has been seen in several roles including, Violeta in La Traviata, Female Chorus in Briten's Rape of Lucretia with Maestro Julius Rude. She also sang the roles of Rosalinda in Die Fiedernaus, Vanessa from Samuel Barber and Vanessa in the Manhattan School of Music Opera scenes program.
Mitchell is the 2002 First Prizewinner of the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers. She is also the recipient of the Hugh Ross Award and is the 2000 Panasonic Harmony Scholar winner. This prestigious award allowed her to make her Alice Tully Hall debut with the New York Symphonic Ensemble.
Mitchell has performed extensively in Opera Scenes programs and recitals throughout Italy while attending Centro Studi Italiani language school for two summers and has worked with Maestro Ubaldo Fabbri of the Rossini Opera Festival.
Mitchell has sung in Master Classes given by Phyllis Curtino, Sherrill Milnes, Martin Katz, Martina Arroya, and Harolyn Blackwell.
Future engagements include Michaela in Carmen, and Vatellinin in Warren Jones's seminar of La Clemenza Di Tito conducted by Maestrao Zdenek Macatanis. This summer Mitchell will also perform the role of Mimi in La Boheme at the Merola Program with the San Francisco Opera.
Mitchell received a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She is currently a student of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell.
Tenor Noah Stewart hails originally from New York City. A graduate of the Juilliard School, his recent performances include Tamino in Mozart's The Magic Flute with Harmonia Virtuosi, Jesus in the Mount of Olives Oratorio, Elder Hayes in Carlyle.
Floyd's Susannah, the title role in Acis and Galatea with The Bach Society of Columbia University, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas with The Julliard Opera Theatre, Mr. Splinters in Copland's The Tenderland and Monostatos in The Magic Flute, Simon West in The World Premiere of Belladonna by Bernard Rands, Tanzmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos, with the Aspen Opera Theater Center, Bastien in Bastien and Rastienne, Vogelsang in the Impressario by Mozart with The Liederkranz Opera. Recent Awards include: First Place in the Florida Grand Opera Competition, Winner of The Palm Beach Opera Competition, The Outstanding Vocal Potential Award given by The Kurt Weill Competition, Winner of The Opera Index Award Grant and Finalist at the George London Competition.