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Fall concerts by soprano Laura Enslin feature new music by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Ward

October 29, 2008

SU News Services
(315) 443-3784

SU News Services

Soprano Laura Enslin, a faculty member in the musical theater program of Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts, will give multiple performances of a new piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Robert Ward throughout November and December. All performances are free and open to the public. For more information, call (315) 443-3403.

As part of the dedication of SU's Life Sciences Complex, Enslin will premiere Ward's "In Praise of Science." The eight-minute piece, adapted from a 19th-century poem by Anne C. Lynch, features the SU Brass Ensemble (SUBE) and members of the SU Singers, all directed by James T. Spencer. The premiere takes place Friday, Nov. 7, at 3:30 p.m. in The Milton Atrium of the Life Sciences Complex. The work was commissioned for Enslin and SUBE by SU's College of Arts and Sciences. She will be joined by the composer for an open dress rehearsal of the piece on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in The Milton Atrium and for a lecture-recital of his music on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.

Regarded as one of the United States' leading postwar composers, Ward has composed eight operas, seven symphonies, and dozens of arts songs and choral pieces. He is best known for "The Crucible," which won a Pulitzer Prize and almost single-handedly gave rise to American opera, as well as for his Second Symphony, which was championed by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Enslin will reprise "In Praise of Science" with SUBE on Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. at the United Church of Fayetteville (310 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville).

Enslin will also perform the piece for voice and piano in a recital on Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse (109 Waring Road, Syracuse). The program includes arias by Puccini, Bellini and Richard Strauss; various Broadway selections; and a lengthy set of pieces by another postwar American composer, Hubbard Miller, featuring bass and WCNY radio personality Bruce Paulsen. The following day at 2:30 p.m., she will perform the Miller set at the Blue Frog Coffeehouse (64 Main St., Cortland), as part of Cortland Music's semi- annual Classical Music Festival. The pianist for both recitals is Marina Gorelaya, staff pianist for VPA's Department of Drama and for the SUNY College at Cortland's Performing Arts Department.

Described as the "perfect vessel of beautiful singing" (The Buffalo News), Enslin is one of Central New York's up and coming artists. She recently performed the title role of "Hansel and Gretel" with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the roles of Adele and Nedda in the Rochester Opera Factory's productions of "Die Fledermaus" and "I Pagliacci," respectively, where she was singled out for her "plush, velvety voice and unfailing sensitivity" (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle). An active oratorio and orchestral soloist, she has performed the music of Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mozart, in addition to Mahler's Fourth Symphony. In 2007, Enslin made her Canadian debut, performing the title role of "Molly Brant" by Augusta Cecconi-Bates. Other recent premieres include Kazuaki Tanahashi's "Peace Poems," commissioned by the Society for New Music, as well as Jing Jing Luo's "How Silent It Is" and Kevin Nitsch's "The Beginning," both commissioned by The Commission Project.

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