An evening of poetry in song featuring two widely-acclaimed classical artists will be presented as the fifth concert of this season’s Chamber Music Series.
Guest Portland, Ore. artists Laurie Hungerford Flint, soprano and Rodney Menn, piano, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island in Freeland. Their program, “Wing, Find Air,” celebrates the ability of music to heighten the experience of poetry and includes well-known French mélodie by Debussy, Fauré and Poulenc and ravishing songs by two living American composers: Lori Laitman and Gwyneth Walker.
Their music sets the poetry of e. e. cummings, Emily Dickinson, Robert Browning, Jelaluddin Rumi, Louise de Vilmorin and Paul Verlaine. A brief pre-concert lecture about the songs by Eileen Soskin, a well-known Whidbey Island resident, speaker and performer, will open the concert.
Hungerford Flint is an active singer, arts advocate and teacher. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in voice from the Peabody Conservatory of Music where she was a scholarship student of Phyllis Bryn-Julson and Ruth Drucker. She has performed as soloist with numerous symphonies, opera companies, and choral organizations in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area, and was a member of the Towson University voice faculty from 2001-2008. In 2010 she moved from Maryland to Portland where she continues to sing, teach, and participate in numerous projects directed towards increasing public access to live classical music.
Menn has specialized in accompanying and coaching classical singers for more than 35 years. A student of coach-accompanist Harold Heiberg and vocal pedagogue and researcher John Large, he has presented recitals with hundreds of singers throughout the United States and Europe. He has worked as pianist and coach for Portland Opera, Dallas Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Augusta Opera, Boise Opera, Portland Summerfest, Astoria Music Festival, Concert Opera of Manhattan, Newport (R.I.) Music Festival, and Westchester Lyric Festival. His varied musical activities have included serving as assistant conductor of Portland’s Columbia Symphony, teaching voice at George Fox University, and teaching classes (Foreign Dictions for Singers, Opera Workshop, Song Literature) at Portland State University. He was the official accompanist for the Oregon District Metropolitan Opera Auditions for the past 21 years.
Tickets cost $20 ($10 for students) and are available at Moonraker Books in Langley, Habitat for Humanity in Freeland, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and at the door.