THOMAS BAGWELL, piano
Called by Marilyn Horne "a pioneer for his age," Thomas Bagwell is well known as a pianist in song recital and chamber music. His appearances as a collaborative pianist have taken him to such venues as New York's Carnegie Hall, London's Wigmore Hall, the Musikverein, the Concertgebouw, and numerous halls across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Japan. Thomas Bagwell's activities as a coach and teacher have led to invitations to give master classes for colleges and apprentice programs in opera companies. He was an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera for nine seasons, and has served in the same capacity for many seasons at the Washington National Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
Mr. Bagwell has partnered in recital with such singers as Marilyn Horne, Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Frederica von Stade, Andrea Rost, Kristine Jepson, James Morris, Roberta Peters, and Lucine Amara. His recital partnerships with the rising generation of singers include Elaine Alvarez, Eric Cutler, Gregory Turay, Rinat Shaham, Thomas Meglioranza, and Jesse Blumberg. In the field of chamber music, Mr. Bagwell has been a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival and has performed recitals with violinists Midori, Miranda Cuckson, and Scott St. John, with whom he made a critically acclaimed CDof works by Antonin Dvorak, now available on iTunes and on the Marquis Classics label. Miranda Cuckson and Mr. Bagwell performed the ten Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano in a three-part series at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in the spring of 2009.
Mr. Bagwell received degrees from the Mannes College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. He has studied with Warren Jones, Graham Johnson, and Edna Golandsky. After his formal studies, Mr. Bagwell pursued additional training with Elly Ameling and Rudolf Janson at the Academie Villecroze.
Mr. Bagwell organized and performed several concert series in New York at the Austrian Cultural Forum, including the complete songs of Hugo Wolf and Gustav Mahler, and surveys of the songs of Schubert, Schönberg, and Zemlinsky, in addition to many other concerts. He was co-artistic director for an Austrian Lieder festival in Washington, D.C., at the Austrian Embassy, where he has performed many times.
His recent performances have included recitals sponsored by the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, of which he is an advisory board member, featuring young singers handpicked by the foundation for their abilities as recitalists; and a series of performances and recording of a new collection of American art song called Five Borough Songbook, with such composers as Tom Cipullo, Chris Berg, Ricky Ian Gordon, Jorge Martin, and many others. Other recent performances include a concert at the Kennedy Center with soprano Elaine Alvarez, sponsored by the Vocal Arts Society; a recital of songs and piano pieces by Felix Mendelssohn and Fanny Hensel in New York (including two world premieres); and a recital with internationally known soprano Renee Fleming at the State Department in Washington, D.C., for Hillary Clinton. Other collaborations with Renee Fleming have included preparing her for her performance of Messiaen's nine-part song cycle "Poemes pour Mi" with the New York Philharmonic, an event that was broadcast live on television and radio. Mr. Bagwell is currently spearheading the 20th anniversary performance of the AIDS Quilt Songbook on World AIDS Day December 1, 2012.
As a teacher of opera and art song, Thomas Bagwell has been on the faculties of Yale University and the Mannes College of Music, where he currently teaches collaborative piano as well as classes in operatic repertoire for singers. He has taught master classes at the Santa Fe Opera, New Jersey Opera, Simpson College, and Portland State University. He was the keynote teacher at the Oregon chapter of NATS at the Lewis and Clark College in January 2008. He is a regular faculty member of the CoOPERAtive summer opera program in Princeton, New Jersey.
In addition to his music career, Thomas Bagwell is also a Pilates teacher at two Equinox gyms.
MEAGAN MILLER, soprano
Acclaimed for the expansive colors, rich tones and texture of her voice, soprano Meagan Miller is making celebrated debuts on important stages worldwide, interpreting the leading ladies of Mozart, Strauss, Verdi and Wagner. Her compelling stage presence, intelligently nuanced portrayals and varied repertoire have been applauded at such distinguished opera houses as the Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburg State Opera, New National Theatre Tokyo, Metropolitan Opera, Oper Leipzig, Opera Monte Carlo, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Volksoper Wien, Washington National Opera, and Wiener Staatsoper, among
others. Orchestral engagements have taken Ms. Miller to such venues as Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, Hong Kong‟s Cultural Center, Los Angeles‟s Hollywood Bowl, Melbourne's Hamer Hall, Minneapolis' Orchestra Hall, New York‟s Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall, Rotterdam‟s De Dolen, Scotland's Edinburgh International Festival, and Washington, DC's Kennedy Center.
An accomplished recitalist and noted interpreter of new music, Ms. Miller‟s numerous recital credits include Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall, Zankel Hall, the Austrian Cultural Forum, the George London Foundation, the Kosciuszko Foundation, Merkin Concert Hall, the Morgan Library, the Walter Reade Theater, Salzburg's Schloss Leopoldskron, the New York Wagner Society, and the Chrysler Museum. She has premiered numerous works written specifically for her voice, including Libby Larsen's Try Me Good King: The Last Words of the Wives of Henry VIII and Robert Beaser's Four Poems of Emily Dickinson, as well as works by Thomas Cipullo, Christopher Berg, Niccolo Athens and Russell Platt.
A National Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Miller's numerous awards include the 2010 Robert Launch Memorial Award from the Wagner Society of New York; first prize, the 2010 Gerda Lissner Competition; the 2008 George London Foundation Vienna Prize; the 2008 George London/Kirsten Flagstad Award sponsored by the New York Community Trust; First Prize in the Liederkranz Foundation Competition and a Richard Tucker Music Foundation Study Grant, among others. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Ms. Miller has completed residencies with the Marilyn Horne Foundation, Ravinia's Stean's Institute, and the Wolf Trap Foundation, blending outreach and performance. Ms. Miller resides on the East Coast in the United States, and when abroad, in Vienna, Austria.
ALEX RICHARDSON, tenor
American tenor Alex Richardson is increasingly in-demand as a leading tenor in opera companies around the world.
His performance in The Great Gatsby, reprised at the Tanglewood Festival, caused the New York Times to praise his “compelling, even sympathetic” portrayal, and the Boston Classical Review to write, “Tenor Alex Richardson gave the most vivid performance of the night, all jutting jaw and smoldering aggression as Daisy Buchanan's husband Tom. He was aided by having some opera-size passions to play and a taut, ringing voice to match.”
Mr. Richardson has been a featured soloist at Tanglewood numerous times – most recently in the 75th Anniversary Gala Concert, which was televised on PBS's Great Performances. Mr. Richardson also has performed the role of Vogelgesang in Act III of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under the baton of Maestro James Levine, and also the solos in Stravinsky's Pulcinella with Maestro Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.
At Washington National Opera, Mr. Richardson covered the title role in Werther and performed selections on The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage. For New York City Opera, he performed several scenes as part of the VOX: Contemporary American Opera Lab festival, and also covered the role of André in the American premiere of Rufus Wainwright's Prima Donna.
Other favorites roles include Alfredo in La Traviata and the Duke in Rigoletto (Festival Lyrique-en-mer/Festival de Belle-Île, France), Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi (Princeton Festival), Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (Fort Worth Symphony), Fenton in Falstaff and Will Tweedy in Carlisle Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree (Amarillo Opera), Alfred in Die Fledermaus and Camille in The Merry Widow (Opera Southwest), and Fatty the Bookkeeper in Kurt Weill's The Rise and Fall of the City at Mahagonny (Tanglewood).
Mr. Richardson performed in the world premiere of the Five Borough Songbook at the Five Borough Music Festival in New York (with a subsequent album release on the GPR Records label). In Regina Resnik Presents: Colors of the Diaspora, he performed examples of classical songs on Jewish themes by composers such as Shostakovich, Schubert, Massenet, Glinka, and Balakirev (DVD release on VAI).
Other concert and oratorio repertoire includes solos in the Verdi Requiem, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C Minor, Handel's Messiah, Bach's Mass in B Minor and Evangelist in the St. John Passion, Stravinsky's Les Noces, Puccini's Gloria, Orff's Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn's Elijah and Hymn of Praise, and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. Concert venue appearances include Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Trinity Church and the Austrian Cultural Forum.
Originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, Mr. Richardson holds degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Manhattan School of Music. He participated in young artist programs at Central City Opera, The Santa Fe Opera (two seasons), and Tanglewood Music Center under the direction of James Levine (two seasons). Mr. Richardson has been honored by several competitions including the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, the Laureen Butler Competition of El Paso Opera (first place), and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (two-time regional prize winner).