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Series welcomes versatile vocalist

Series welcomes versatile vocalist

Irish mezzo-soprano Naoimi Louisa O’Connell, accompanied by pianist Brent Funderburk, will perform a concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 10, in the Sharon K. Dean Recital Hall in Pittsburg State University’s McCray Hall.

Irish mezzo-soprano Naoimi Louisa O’Connell, accompanied by pianist Brent Funderburk, will perform a concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 10, in the Sharon K. Dean Recital Hall in Pittsburg State University’s McCray Hall. The concert is part of PSU’s Solo and Chamber Music Series.

O’Connell made her professional stage debut in 2012, starring on London’s West End in Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning play “Master Class” in the role of Sharon Graham, an aspiring young opera singer opposite Tyne Daly who portrayed Maria Callas.

A gifted and versatile musician, O’Connell balances her love of opera with that of art song, musical theater and popular song. Her repertoire ranges from Schumann, Strauss and Ravel to Bernstein, Gershwin and Randy Newman. This versatility led to her first prize victory at the 2011 Concert Artists Guild International competition, and at her subsequent Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall.

In addition to her upcoming performance at PSU, O’Connell’s tour schedule this season includes performances with the Cincinnati Symphony, in Brazil with the Orquestra Jovem do Estado de São Paulo, in New York and at the Spoleto Festival.

Accompanying O’Connell is pianist Brent Funderburk, a well-known recitalist and vocal coach in New York. In addition to his long-running collaboration with O’Connell, Burk has performed in many U.S. recitals and has also performed at Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space and the Ravina Festival.

This past season, Funderburk acted as pianist and musical director of “The Metropolitan Opera Rising Stars Concert Series,” giving nearly 40 performances across the U.S. with a cast of acclaimed singers.

For their Pittsburg performance, O’Connell and Funderburk will perform a variety of pieces for a program entitled "Witches, Bitches, and Women in Britches,” featuring works by composers from Mendelssohn, Wolf,  and Poulenc, to Jake Heggie and Tom Lehrer.

Tickets are $12 for the public and $8 for persons under 18 or over 65. Tickets are available in advance at the University Ticket Office, 1701 S. Homer, 620-235-4796, www.pittstate.edu/tickets, or at the door the evening of the concert.

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