A 45 minute concert of songs by Leonard Bernstein in Celebration of his 100th Birthday, with compositions visiting a myriad of musical genres: Broadway, opera, art song, and jazz! Soprano Amy Owens and pianist James Lesniak will present a unique evening of music by Leonard Bernstein including well-known favorites, arias from his operas, delightful unpublished works and concluding with a special, audience birthday celebration! Ms. Owens recently presented a special Bernstein centennial concert at the Library of Congress, and returns to Santa Fe Opera this summer to cover Cunegonde in the company premiere of Candide.
Soprano Amy Owens, from Brookfield, Wisconsin, returns to Santa Fe Opera this season to cover the Cunegonde Candide. This past year she was a soloist in Carmina Burana with the National Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Omaha Symphony. Recent roles include Florestine in On Site Opera’s La mère coupable, Oscar Un Ballo in Maschera with Livermore Valley Opera, and Little Stone in the Lincoln Center Workshop of Eurydice. She has been a young artist at Wolf Trap Opera, Utah Opera, and Central City Opera, and holds a MM from Rice University. Awards: Sullivan Foundation, George London Foundation, MONCA.
A native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, James Lesniak joined the Pittsburgh Opera music staff in 2006. After initial studies with Sheila Wiesztort, he received his Bachelor’s and Master’sdegrees at Indiana University, where he studied with pianists Menahem Pressler, Karen Shaw, and Evelyne Brancart. His university credits include music staff work for Mississippi State University and the Indiana University Opera Theatre. Further studies included an apprenticeship with the Domingo-CafritzYoung Artist Program at Washington National Opera for two seasons, where he gave his stage debut in the non-singing/piano playing role of Lazinski in Fedora at the Kennedy Center, accompanying Placido Domingo in the opera. In addition, James has served on the coaching staff of Brevard Music Center, Glimmerglass Opera, Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, and the National Symphony. James has been an official pianist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and also made his conducting debut in 2017 with Pittsburgh Opera’s production of composer Laura Kaminsky’s As One. For the summer months, James frequently returns to the music staff of the prestigious Santa Fe Opera, where recently, he served as Musical Director for their Winter Concert Tour.