Crystal Theatre Gem Series Celebrates Early American Masterworks

Oct 2, 2019

Trevor Stephenson, talking about the fortepiano
Credit The Crystal Theatre

Crystal Falls, MI – The Gem of a Season series closes out in grand style on Saturday, October 11 at 7pm.  Trevor Stephenson and a quartet of outstanding vocalists perform masterworks by American composers Scott Joplin, Louis Gottschalk, Stephen Foster, Charles Ives, and Richard Rogers in their original arrangements! A grand tour from pre-Revolutionary War tunes, to the dreamy ballads of Stephen Foster, to the art-songs of Charles Ives, to the awakening energy of Ragtime, and ending with the great Broadway musicals of the 1920’s and 30’s. 

Earlier in the month this production will be film by Wisconsin Public Television.  It is scheduled to air in 2020.

Trevor Stephenson will play the Theatre’s Steinway & Sons grand piano.  He is a harpsichordist, fortepianist, and pianist. In 1990, he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Historical Performance of 18th-Century Music from Cornell University, where he studied fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson. He has served as artistic director of the Madison Bach Musicians since the group was founded in 2004. With his colleague, Norman Sheppard, he has made and refurbished a series of historical keyboard instruments ranging from Italian Renaissance harpsichords to Victorian pianos. He has released sixteen recordings on the Light & Shadow label and tours throughout the United States as performer and lecturer.

Trevor Stephenson
Credit The Crystal Theatre

Soprano Nola Richardson is rapidly making her mark as an "especially impressive" (The New York Times) young soloist and has been praised by the Washington Post for her "astonishing balance and accuracy,” “crystalline diction” and “natural-sounding ease.” Her wide repertoire spans from music of the medieval period to several world premieres, and she performs frequently throughout the United States. Some highlights of her current and past seasons include her major symphony debut as the featured soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performing BWV 51 and Scarlatti's Su le Sponde del Tebro in the program "All Baroque”; an appearance as a soloist with the Boston Pops under Keith Lockhart in "Simply Sondheim"; Handel's Messiah with the Colorado Symphony; a tour to Russia, Estonia, and Latvia performing the soprano solos in Arvo Pärt's Passio with the Yale Schola Cantorum under conductor David Hill; the premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s Carroll in Numberland (alongside soprano Dawn Upshaw) at Tanglewood; and the First Lady in Clarion Music Society’s production of Die Zauberflöte.

Mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, who sings "from inside the music with unaffected purity and sincerity" (UK Telegraph), is an active soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. Hailed for her "rich and radiant voice" (UrbanDial Milwaukee), select opera credits include Ruth, (Pirates of Penzance), Venus (Venus and Adonis), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), and Cavalier Ramiro (La finta giardiniera). She was a 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Upper-Midwest Regional Finalist, the winner of the 2014 Bel Canto Chorus Regional Artists Competition in Milwaukee, runner-up in the 2016 Schubert Club Bruce P. Carlson Scholarship Competition, and most recently in 2017 named the winner of the Houston Saengerbund Competition and placed third in the Madison Handel Aria Competition. Recognized for her excellence in Minnesota, Clara was a recipient of the prestigious 2018-2019 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Musicians administered by MacPhail Center for Music.

Scott J. Brunscheen’s “sweet and substantial lyric tenor” (Chicago Tribune) has garnered acclaim throughout the country in baroque, classical, and contemporary repertoire. His recent performances of Haydn’s L’isola disabitata, Marais’ Ariane et Bachus, and Cesti’s L’Orontea with Haymarket Opera received praise from Opera News, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and many others. Recent concert and operatic engagements have included the world premiere of Stewart Copeland’s The Invention of Morel at Chicago Opera Theater, Mozart’s Die Zauberflotewith Madison Opera, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen at Long Beach Opera, Mozart’s Requiemwith Chicago Chorale and Haydn’s The Creation at DuPage University. He has also performed in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen at Chicago Opera Theater, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and Donizetti’s La Favorite at the Caramoor Bel Canto Festival, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and The Rape of Lucretia with Chicago Fringe Opera, and Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited program.

Bass-Baritone Michael Hawes hails from Detroit, MI.  His original career path as a Trumpeter took a slight detour during his college years when he suffered a tear of the Orbicularis Oris muscle. Luckily this obstacle was only a slight setback and led Michael to explore other ways to express his artistry, hence his “dark side” as a singer. After a successful surgery, he has been fortunate to make a full recovery and continues full steam ahead as a trumpeter. Since his return, Michael has performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Chicago's Music of the Baroque Orchestra (featured as a soloist on multiple occasions), as well as with the National Symphony of Taiwan. Most recently, Michael was offered the position of Principal Trumpet of the Sun Symphony Orchestra, a new orchestral venture in Hanoi, Vietnam. Michael has on multiple occasions been a featured soloist at the Greenlake Festival of Music in Greenlake, Wisconsin, under the direction of Stephen Alltop.  During the recent season, Michael had the perform a solo recital with his father, Bass-Trombonist Randall Hawes, as part of the Detroit Chamber Winds and strings, Nite Notes, concert series.

Tickets are available at TheCrystalTheatre.org and at the box office, the Iron County Chamber of Commerce, Ben Franklin – Crystal Falls, Music Tree – Iron Mountain.  Advance tickets are also available.  Doors open one hour prior to show time.