TENOR DANIEL RODRIGUEZ
RETURNS TO NEW YORK IN
“CHELSEA OPERA presents...A Valentine Homecoming”
After several years living in New Zealand and touring internationally, “the singing policeman”, Daniel Rodriguez, has returned to New York City and will present a concert to benefit Chelsea Opera at Christ & St. Stephen’s Church (120 West 69th Street, between Broadway and Columbus, NYC), on Sunday, February 13 at 3:00 p.m. The program will also feature soprano Marla Kavanaugh and mezzo soprano Leonarda Priore with Kelly Horsted accompanying on an eclectic program of inspirational songs, standards, musical theater and selections from favorite operas.
Tickets are $25 (general admission) and $15 (seniors/students), or $30 and $20 at the door. Visit: http://www.chelseaopera.org/events.html or call 1-866-811-4111 for tickets. Christ & St. Stephen’s is fully wheelchair accessible. T his production is supported, in part, by the Friends of Chelsea Opera. For more information, visit www.ChelseaOpera.org or call .
Daniel Rodriguez, also known as the “America’s tenor”, is the New York City cop who helped bring the country an uplifting spirit of promise and hope with his stirring rendition of “God Bless America” after the September 11th terrorist attacks. At 16, he presented his first recital at Carnegie Hall; at 17, he was billed as the “17-year-old Baritone.” At age 19, he put music aside to raise his family, going to work to make ends meet. He worked at the post office and then as a police officer in the New York City Police Department. It was in uniform that local New York audiences began to discover his voice and his passion for the music he sang.
Before long, then- New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani helped set up an audition with Placido Domingo. As a result, Mr. Rodriguez studied with Maestro Domingo and the staff at the Young Artists Program in Washington National Opera (DC) for a year and half. Since then, he has performed at the 2002 Winter Olympics, a PBS Memorial Day concert in Washington, D.C., the Tournament of Roses Parade, the 2004 Republican National Convention, at President Bush’s “Celebration of Freedom” Inauguration concert, and on television’s “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Larry King Live,” “Live with Regis and Kelly” and “Oprah.” He has released three successful albums and has a fourth underway.
However, it was with Chelsea Opera that he made his long dreamed-for opera debut as Canio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, in 2006 about which New York Times writer, Anthony Tommasini wrote (June 9, 2006): “Mr. Rodriguez has a real voice: beefy, husky, with baritonal colorings. He threw himself into his portrayal…provided plenty of the full-bodied singing and raw emotion essential to Leoncavallo’s late-19 th-century Italian style”. Since then, Mr. Rodriguez has added the role of Turiddu in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana (Granite State Opera) and returns to Chelsea Opera in June 2012 for his first Lt. Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
Also on the February 13 th program is soprano Marla Kavanaugh, a New Zealand native who has toured extensively with Mr. Rodriguez. Ms. Kavanaugh has been performing since she was a child, often sharing the stage with her twin sister and has performed leading roles in opera and musical theatre all over the U.S. and abroad at such venues as Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco’s Pocket Opera, New Zealand Opera, and Summer Stage ~ Central Park. She has won critics’ awards for her singing and was chosen to sing in the prestigious Pacific Music Festival, with the Sapporo Symphony, Japan. She has just returned from presenting a benefit concert for the families of the victims of the Pike River Mine in the South Island of New Zealand, close to where she was born.
Rounding out the program will be mezzo soprano Leonarda Priore, a co-founder of Chelsea Opera. While pleased to be half of the duo that has formed and continues to develop the important mission of Chelsea Opera, she still actively pursues her career as a singer/performer. Her roles include Augusta Tabor (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana), La Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), the title role in Carmen, Witch (Hänsel & Gretel), Katisha (Mikado), Lady Jane (Patience), Dame Quickly (Falstaff), Maddalena (Rigoletto), and Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro) with numerous U.S. regional companies. Her musical theater/Off Broadway credits include Nettie (Carousel), Mother Abbess (Sound of Music), Fanny Brice (Funny Girl), Mother/Grandmother (Little Red Riding Hood) and Suzuki/Billie Holiday (Hospice) with the Aulis Theater. She has performed at Carnegie and Weill Recital Halls, and appeared with Centre Symphony, Five Towns Symphony, New Amsterdam Symphony, and with the Staten Island Philharmonic.
Chelsea Opera is a professional company presenting fully staged operas with chamber orchestra and chorus. Now in its seventh year, the company provides an important venue for professional singers to advance their artistry while making opera attractive, affordable and accessible to a broad spectrum of the community. The company is also committed to providing opportunities for young people to learn about and become interested in opera either as a source of entertainment or future employment.
Formed in 2004 by Lynne Hayden-Findlay and Leonarda Priore, the company has produced Cavalleria Rusticana, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Pagliacci, Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, The Ballad of Baby Doe, The Scarf and The Bear (two one-acts based on Chekhov texts) and this past June, Puccini’s Suor Angelica which was the company’s inaugural production and celebrated the 5 th anniversary. It’s up-dated production of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors and its 1930 setting of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro brought high accolades from audiences and singers alike. Most recently, Allan Kozinn of The New York Times called Chelsea Opera “enterprising” for its “affecting production” of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied which has garnered national attention.
Chelsea Opera, a WNYC-FM *STAR* Incentive recipient, has enjoyed tremendous support from The Bettina Baruch Foundation, The NYU Community Fund, the Banfi Winery Foundation, the Joyce Dutka Foundation, the Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation, Meet the Composer, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts and hundreds of individuals. JetBlue Airways is “the official airline” of Chelsea Opera.