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Schubert's "Der Hirt auf dem Felsen" and Rorem's "Ariel"
With Elissa Johnston, James Sullivan, & Paul Floyd
March 17, 2017

The Soprano/Clarinet duo return to Boston Court to perform one of Schubert's most beloved song cycles, as well as Ned Rorem's dramatic cycle of five poems by Sylvia Plath. Carrying on the Boston Court tradition of untraditional presentations, both works are being staged by Music@Boston Court’s artistic director, Mark Saltzman. Showtime: 8pm

Recently cited by the Chicago Tribune for the “exquisite beauty, sensitivity and precision” of her singing, soprano ELISSA JOHNSTON enjoys performing repertoire ranging from Bach, Handel and Mozart to Messiaen, Carter, Unsuk Chin and Lachenmann. This season’s performances include appearances with Jacaranda Music, singing Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2 with Quator Diotima, with the Long Beach Symphony in Mozart’s Requiem, with the Los Angeles Master Chorale in Stravinsky’s Les Noces, and a return to the chamber music series Le Salon de musiques to sing Samuel Barber’s Hermit Songs. She recently appeared with the Pacific Chorale under conductor John Alexander in Brahms’ Requiem, with the Long Beach Symphony under conductor Gemma New in Mahler’s 4th Symphony and Samuel Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915, and with the San Luis Obispo Symphony in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony. In April 2018, Elissa will appear with Pacific Symphony under Carl St. Clair in Philip Glass’ The Passion of Ramakrishna at Carnegie Hall, as part of Carnegie’s yearlong celebration of Philip Glass’ 80th birthday.

Her recent performances include Handel’s Messiah in Tokyo and Osaka with the Telemann Chamber Orchestra, Poulenc’s Gloria with Pacific Chorale, and David Lang’s the little match girl passion at the Ravinia Festival. With Southwest Chamber Music, Elissa has sung the west coast premiere of Elliott Carter’s What Are Years, and world premieres of both Ann LeBaron’s Some Things Do Not Move, and Chinary Ung’s Aura. Elissa has sung many subsequent performances of Aura, on tour in Cambodia and Vietnam with Southwest Chamber Music, with the New York New Music Ensemble at Le Poisson Rouge, as well as with Jacaranda Music and at UC San Diego. Elissa has sung Messiaen’s epic song cycle Harawi with pianist Vicki Ray at both Jacaranda Music and Piano Spheres. Particularly drawn to the music of J.S. Bach, she has recently performed Bach Cantatas 54 and 84 with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Cantatas 51 and 82 with the Long Beach Symphony, the Mass in B Minor and St Matthew Passion with the L.A. Master Chorale, and has appeared with Los Angeles based Bach’s Circle at the Oregon Bach Festival. Her orchestral engagements include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony and the San Francisco Contemporary Players.

JAMES SULLIVAN explores the versatility of the clarinet, bass clarinet, and contrabass clarinet in an expansive scope of styles and repertoire. Based in the Los Angeles area, he honed his microtonal skills studying maqam while playing for a decade with classical Arabic ensemble Kan Zaman. He premiered and recorded Ben Johnston’s Parable and has performed as a guest for Harry Partch’s Oedipus with the Partch Ensemble, where he became intimate friends with the Chromelodeon.

PAUL FLOYD is in demand as a pianist and coach in Southern California and beyond. He is on the adjunct faculty at Chapman University where he works with both the opera and keyboard collaborative arts programs. Before joining Chapman, he was a Lecturer in the vocal department of the University of California, Los Angeles. For sixteen years he served as an Assistant Conductor with Los Angeles Opera where he collaborated with some of the opera world's greatest singers and conductors, played in the opera orchestra, and was regularly featured as a lecturer at pre-performance talks. He continues to work closely with the LA Opera Education and Engagement department in many capacities. In the summers he has held similar positions with The Santa Fe Opera, the Aspen Music Festival, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, and the Astoria Festival in Oregon. He is a frequent accompanist for the Western Region finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Paul holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in addition to piano degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California where he graduated summa cum laude. His film credits include an appearance with Julie Andrews and Anna Netrebko in Princess Diaries II (Disney, 2004) and a Walt Disney Concert Hall performance with Vivica Genaux in Anthony Hopkins’ Fracture (Newline, 2007).

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