arts & entertainment
Back again for 2020, international opera singers Mary Anne Kruger and Amy Cofield will perform some of opera’s greatest arias with the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra in a pair of outdoor concerts. Diva! Opera’s Greatest Hits will be presented at 7:00 PM on Friday, November 20 in Vero Beach and Saturday, November 21 in Viera. The audience can expect an evening of grand opera during Diva! Opera’s Greatest Hits, as the sopranos come together to present works by Puccini, Verdi, Bellini, Strauss, Gounod and other master composers of the form. During SCSO drive-in concerts, musicians perform safely distanced from each other, while concert attendees are invited to set up their own seating next to their vehicles. Concert-goers may also remain in their cars and tune their radios to a live feed of the music. Through the end of the year, all Treasure Coast drive-up concerts will be performed at Pathway Church, 1105 58th Avenue in Vero Beach. Space Coast drive-up concerts will be performed at the east end of The Avenue Viera, 2261 Town Center Avenue in Melbourne. Tickets for the drive-up concerts are $10 per person or $25 per carful of adults at SpaceCoastSymphony.org or Marine Bank & Trust branches in Vero Beach and Suntree. Admission is free for ages 18 and under or with a student ID. Advance online ticket sales are encouraged, to help limit social interaction with parking attendants. For more information, call toll free to 855-252-7276 or visit SpaceCoastSymphony.org.
Space Coast Symphony Orchestra Conductor and Artistic Director, Aaron T. Collins believes Diva! Opera’s Greatest Hits will showcase opera in a way that is accessible for both newcomers and lovers of the form. The program will range from the mesmerizing bel canto of Norma to the heart-breaking drama of Tosca.
“Mary Anne and Amy wowed our audiences a year ago with two stunning performances accompanied by piano,” said Collins. “People who had never heard an aria before were mesmerized. We are happy to have these ‘divas’ back again, this time with the full orchestra.”
ABOUT THE SINGERS — American soprano Mary Anne Kruger graduated with a Master of Music degree from Indiana University where she studied voice with world-renowned voice teacher Margaret Harshaw. She then went to Germany where she established an impressive repertoire of over 40 major operatic and concert roles. Her repertoire spans in vocal range from Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) to Salome, and in stylistic range from Poppea (L’Incornazione di Poppea) to Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress), as well as some world and German premieres. Among innumerable accolades, Opernwelt called her Contessa (“Le Nozze di Figaro”) “dazzling”, and Orfeus International declared her Salome to be “worthy of the greatest houses.” She built her repertoire primarily as a member of the Hessisches Staatstheater Darmstadt, but she has performed in over 20 European theaters including the Bayerische Staatsoper- Nationaltheater in Munich, Staatstheater Stuttgart, the Latvian National Opera and Theater Basel.
Her prizes include a nomination in the category “Best Singer” in the Opernwelt Jahrbuch for her portrayal of Alcina. She was awarded the role of Donna Elvira in the Don Giovanni production at the Athens Concert Hall directed by Ruggiero Raimondi and conducted by Gustav Kühn. The “Sonderpreis der Wiener Staats-und Volksoper” at the Belvedere Competition secured for her a performance as Hanna Glawari (Die Lustige Witwe) at the Wiener Volksoper. She was also awarded a DAAD scholarship (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdient) to study at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich. She currently lives in Satellite Beach with her husband and two dogs.
Soprano, Amy Cofield, is a highly sought after performer and teacher. Praised by the New York Times for her “lovely, rich tone,” Ms. Cofield has performed to critical acclaim across the U.S. and in Italy, France, Croatia, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, England, Santo Domingo, Guam, Taiwan and Japan. Highly regarded for her technical facility, her beauty of interpretation and an arresting presence, her operatic roles have included Violetta, a role that marked her debut at Houston Grand Opera where she covered Renee Fleming’s Traviata, Cleopatra, Micaela, and Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Roanoke, Elcia (cover) in Rossini’s Moses in Egypt at New York City Opera, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Nevada Opera, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with Greensboro Light Opera (Eastern Music Festival), Violetta with Annapolis Chamber Orchestra and Chorale, Mimi, with Pro Cantus Lyric Opera (TX), Cunegonde and Susannah with Fort Worth Opera, Musetta and Pamina with Knoxville Opera, Gilda, Norina and Violetta wi Lyric Opera San Antonio, and Konstanze and Violetta with Teatro Lirico D’Europa. Recent highlights included the role of Violetta in Opera Roanoke’s production of Verdi’s La Traviata, and a world premiere in NY, performing the role of Belinda in the opera/oratorio, The Rape of the Lock (Alexander Pope), by NY composer Deborah Mason.
Amy’s busy concert schedule has included performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Brahms’ Requiem with the U.S. Naval Academy, Orff’s Carmina Burana with Virginia Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Einhorn’s Voices of Light, Haydn’s Creation and Handel’s Messiah with Annapolis Chamber Orchestra and Chorale, Ravel’s Sheherazade with Garden State Philharmonic and Norfolk Chamber Consort, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and St. Paul Oratorio, Haydn’s The Seasons, Bach’s St. John Passion, Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus and Beethoven’s Mass in C with Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society and in works including Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C Minor, to Handel’s Messiah and Brahms’ Requiem with Garden State Philharmonic and Fort Wayne Philharmonic. In addition Amy has appeared with Opera Camerata of Washington, Norfolk Chamber Consort, Virginia Arts Festival, Festival Chamber Music in recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and with The Masterwork Chorus (NJ) in Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall. Recent highlights included a return to SNMAS for Mendelssohn’s Elijah, to Roanoke Symphony Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah, and a debut with Tulsa Symphony performing Brahms’ Requiem. In addition, Amy performed recitals in Maine and Virginia, Handel’s Messiah with Annapolis Chorale and Chamber Orchestra, Haydn’s Creation with Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, and Mozart’s Grand Mass in C Minor with Tucson Masterworks Chorale.
In 2019, Amy made her debut with Space Coast Symphony as a soloist on their Broadway concert: One Singular Sensation. She returned for Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 in the 2019-20 season. She also debuted with the Brevard Symphony Chorus and Orchestra for Bach’s B Minor Mass and will return for Handel’s Messiah. Upcoming engagements include recitals, a debut with Opera Orlando performing the role of Minnie in their Opera on the Town production of The Girl of the Golden West, a return to Roanoke Symphony Orchestra for Mozart’s Requiem and to Opera Roanoke for the role of Blanche in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire.
ABOUT THE SPACE COAST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA— The SCSO is a lively and passionate Central Florida orchestra comprised of professional musicians, music educators and mentored amateurs of exceptional ability. The Orchestra was formed by Conductor and Artistic Director Aaron T. Collins with a two-fold mission: to provide mentoring and performance opportunities for Florida’s finest young musicians as well as to provide professional concerts at genuinely affordable prices. The ultimate goal of the organization is to help ensure the symphonic tradition for the enjoyment of future generations.
37-year old Aaron T. Collins is garnering recognition for his achievements. LEAD Brevard named the ambitious Collins one of their “4 under 40” Young Professionals, the youngest-ever recipient of the honor. Space Coast Business magazine listed him as one of Brevard’s “100 Most Admired Businesspeople.” Collins is a past recipient of the Richard A. Stark Award for cultural leadership from the Cultural Council of Indian River County. Through his personal involvement with more than a dozen performing arts groups, pioneering reciprocal ad program and social media cross promotions, Collins has gained a reputation for generosity; championing other arts organizations throughout Central Florida for the cultural enrichment of the community.
Due to COVID-19, the symphony will be performing outdoor “drive-in” concerts through the end of December, 2020. School-aged children 18 years and under are admitted free of charge, as are college students with a valid ID. In keeping with their mission, the symphony provides a unique Symphony for Everyone ticketing program, a “pay-what-you-can” option designed to provide substantially discounted admission to any Space Coast Symphony concert. Relying on a non-traditional orchestra model and a slim budget, the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra is one of only 19 U.S. orchestras to perform year-round. In addition to maintaining the Space Coast Symphony JAZZ Orchestra and Space Coast Symphony Wind Orchestra, the non-profit organization also has a youth orchestra and provides numerous separate and free ensemble performances. More information about the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming concerts, ticket sales, venues, directions and sponsorship opportunities is available at SpaceCoastSymphony.org by calling toll free (855) 252-7276.