Alumni, soprano, and winner of the Rotary International Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in Manchester, England, Nicole Kenley, will be the guest recitalist in a free concert this Friday at Hardin-Simmons University.
Kenley, a 1997 graduate (summa cum laude) of Hardin-Simmons University, has performed extensively in the United States and Europe in operas, concerts, and recitals. She has also performed for such dignitaries as the President of Ireland.
She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Hardin-Simmons University, and her Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where she was the recipient of the Richard Tucker Award for Opera.
During her studies at Eastman, she took a year's sabbatical to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, made possible by the scholarship from the Rotary International Foundation.
Kenley has performed a wide range of roles on the operatic stage, including Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte and Clara in Pasatieri's Signor Deluso with the Eastman Opera Theatre. Other performances include the Mayoress in Royal Northern's production of Jenufa, title roles in Carmen and Dido and Aeneas, Augusta in The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Florence in Albert Herring. In addition, she has been a regional finalist in the prestigious MacAllister Awards and the NATSAA competition. She most recently appeared with Sugar Land Opera as Julia Child in Lee Hoiby's one-woman opera, Bon Appetit. She has performed with the Houston Grand Opera Chorus and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society and is frequently engaged as a soloist with local performing organizations and regularly presents solo and collaborative recitals.
Nicole is a champion of new music and has commissioned and premiered many new works. In 2008, she performed the Texas premiere of Nicholas Omiccioli's Three Poems of Emily Dickinson at the Society of Composers Regional Conference. In 2005, she created the role of Maye in the world premiere performance of Daniel Sigmon and Edward Crowell's opera, Larkspur, performed in a collaborative production of Abilene Collegiate Opera and Lake House Opera, the latter for which she served as artistic director.
Kenley is the co-founder and artistic director for the Imperial Performing Arts and Sugar Land Opera, and helped to found the first professional theatre space in Fort Bend County, The Imperial Theatre. She has directed multiple productions for Sugar Land Opera, including The Imperial Theatre's inaugural production of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, Mozart's The Impresario, the US premiere of Howard Blake's The Station, and Sigmon/Crowell's What's Your Soup?. She has also directed opera scenes for the Eastman Opera Theatre as well as mainstage productions of Camelot and a Rodgers and Hammerstein review for Cy-Fair College.
Nicole has taught on the voice faculty at Sam Houston State University and currently teaches voice at Houston Baptist University. Kenley is a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing and Sigma Alpha Iota.
“The Expanse of a Dream” concert is themed as an evening of songs about dreams and love by Mozart, Debussy, and Berg.
The concert is Friday, January 24, 2014, 7:30 p.m. in the Woodward-Dellis Recital Hall, part of the Lee Hemphill Music Complex, 2426 Cedar Street, on the HSU campus.