A salute to Latin composers and singers to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month - with tributes to superstars like Pacido Domingo, Jose Carreras and Montserrat Caballe with an exhilarating dose of Zarzuela (Spanish Operetta) that will set your foot tapping, your heart racing and your nostrils flaring!
Featuring Sheronda McKee, Trisha Rivera, Gregory Schmidt, Marco Varela and Pianist Alexandria Le
Sheronda McKee, soprano, originally from Phoenix, Arizona has been appearing on stages in both the United States and Europe. Recently she finished her Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas under the guidance of Dr. Alfonse Anderson. She is currently performing with Opera Las Vegas and Opera On Tap Las Vegas. Most recent roles performed with UNLV Opera include Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Ariadne (Ariadne auf Naxos). She has also performed the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica for the International Lyric Academy during the Tuscia Opera Festival. In concert and scenes she has played Violetta (La Traviata), Nedda (I Pagliacci), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor) and others. Sheronda has been a featured soloist in Handel’s Messiah as well as Mozart’s Requiem. She has traveled to Viterbo and Tarquinia in Italy with the International Lyric Academy and Graz, with the AIMS Program (American Institute of Musical Studies) where she was an alternate in the 2010 Meistersinger Vocal Competition. Recent awards include the Pasadena Opera Guild Scholarship and the Encouragement Award from MONC (Metropolitan Opera National Council, as well as First place in NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing).
Trisha Rivera is a Mezzo Soprano based in Los Angeles, CA. Described by critics as having a “rich, velvety voice” and singing with a “power that touches your soul,” her presence on stage is captivating. Recently returned from a headlining showcase in the Middle East ending at the prestigious Sin el Fil Municipality in Beirut, Lebanon, Trisha is no stranger to the stage. Her roles include Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Prince Charming in Cendrillon, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice, and Mercedes in Carmen. She has performed worldwide, most notably in Austria at the Schlossberg Kasematten with internationally acclaimed conductor Alexander Kalajdzic, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and The Dolby Theater. Trisha earned both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance from California State University Northridge.
American tenor Gregory Schmidt combines a ringing Italianate sound with ease in the high tessitura of the Bel Canto repertoire; he is equally at home with Mozart and the French lyric repertoire. Signature roles include Edgardo, Almaviva, Don Ramiro, Don Ottavio, and Tamino. Mr. Schmidt is on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera. Last season he made his mainstage debut in the role of Arbace in Mozart’s Idomeneo, with Maestro James Levine conducting. This season he covers the role of Edmondo de Nobile in the American premier of Thomas Adés’ The Exterminating Angel, and sings the mainstage role of Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor. Gregory Schmidt made his professional debut with Washington DC Opera in the role of Count Belfiore in Mozart’s La Finta Giardinieral, returning to the Kennedy Center stage the following season as Tamino. He apprenticed with Santa Fe Opera and was a Metropolitan Opera Audition National Finalist. He performed the role of Prince Ramiro for Opera Las Vegas in last June's La Cenerentola (Cinderella).
Marco Varela was born in Mexico City where he began to study music at the Artist Development Center at Televisa Studios. When his family moved to Las Vegas, he continued his music development while obtaining a business degree from the University of Nevada. He moved to Seattle in 1996 where he began his professional career with the Seattle Opera and continued with his studies under the direction of his teachers Maryann Weltman and George Fiore. He came back to Las Vegas in 2000,and Mr. Varela produced and recorded His first CD "Trilogia” in 2007. He is an active member of AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists) and leads an active performing schedule singing recitals, concerts, special events and supporting nonprofit organizations. Mr. Varela has performed in Asia and Europe and was Invited to perform as a guest artist in the Korean soap opera “Boys over Flower” (episode 14) in 2009.
Alexandria Le enjoys a multi-faceted and unique musical career: she has been touted as a community “musical leader” (Las Vegas Review-Journal) and as “a warm, animated, outgoing, confident, hypertalented pianist whose greatest asset is her ability to communicate” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). The broad scope of her concertizing work has brought her to perform in the world's most prestigious venues, like Carnegie Hall, to the farthest-reaching places where music is needed most, like the jails of Riker's Island. Prior to her graduation of high school from the Las Vegas Academy, she garnered sixteen first-prize awards, performed live broadcast performances over KNPR-Las Vegas, and performed with three of Las Vegas' regional orchestras. Her pursuit of three degrees in piano performance took her to New York: a B.M. (Eastman School of Music), M.M. and Doctorate of Musical Arts (SUNY Stony Brook). Highly-driven and passionate about cultivating the arts in unique and interesting ways, Dr. Le returned to her hometown of Las Vegas as Founding Executive and Artistic Director for Notes with a Purpose, an award-winning nonprofit which engages youth and their parents in creative music programming. She was recently included among the first seven inductees of Las Vegas Academy of the Arts Hall of Fame.