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Battle of the Basses

John Cheek and Michael Riley face off in a vocal operatic battle to end all vocal operatic battles! Join us at 4 pm on Sunday the 13 of Novemeber in the Barn. Bob Kopelson will be their accompaniest.

All the three men have had accomplished careers singing and playing around the work. 

An hour of singing and then a "Meet the Artist" session.

Join us for an afternoon of Opera!!!!

John Cheek, Bass-Baritone

John Cheek made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in 1977 and has since appeared in more than 370 performances there including the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro both at Lincoln Center and on tour in Japan. In that same year he also made his debut at Tanglewood, singing the Haydn Lord Nelson Mass conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Most recently at the Met, he received critical praise for his portrayal of Dansker in Billy Budd. At the New York City Opera, he sang three title roles in one season, Mefistofele, Attila, and the world premiere of Jay Reise’s Rasputin. In Europe he sang with the Paris Opera, The Finnish National Opera, Opera de Nice, the Monnaie Opera in Brussels, The Bregenzer Festspiel, The Berlin Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Southwest German Radio, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, The London Promenade Concerts, The Salzburg Festival, and the Stockholm Royal Philharmonic. As an oratorio and concert singer, he has performed with every major symphony orchestra in North America. In May of 2016 he returned to the Cincinnati May Festival for his 16th season performing the Mozart C Minor Mass and Verdi’s Otello. In August he sang Bonze in Madame Butterfly in the newly formed Berkshire Opera Festival.

Michael Riley, Bass-Baritone

Michael Riley, bass-baritone, has performed more than 150 roles with opera companies and orchestras across the U.S. and Canada, and with conductors including Robert Shaw and Margaret Hillis. He debuted with the NY Philharmonic in 1983 in the US premiere of Janacek's From the House of the Dead under Rafael Kubelik, and sang Melchior at Lincoln Center in Amahl and the Night Visitors, directed by Gian-Carlo Menotti. He was Mozart's Figaro and Don Giovanni at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, during six seasons with the Minnesota Opera Company. As a frequent guest of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, his roles have ranged from Mephistopheles in Faust to Pooh-Bah in The Mikado. Riley performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival, in addition to the Marlboro and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festivals, and on the Chamber Music Series of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He soloed at Carnegie Hall with Dennis Russell Davies and the American Composers’ Orchestra in 1999. He sang Telemann's Schoolmaster Cantata with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony in 2005. Since 2000, Riley has appeared with the Opera Company of Philadelphia in Salome, The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, and in the East Coast premiere of Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner. Riley is featured on the CD Burning With the Muse, the music of Curt Cacioppo, critically praised for his “assured and expressive” performance. Riley took a supporting role in the New York Philharmonic’s 2010 production of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre with Music Director, Alan Gilbert. He is a busy freelancer in New York, and spent the last six seasons at Bard’s SummerScape and Music Festival, performing in operas and concerts.

Robert Kopelson, Pianist

Robert Kopelson has appeared as piano soloist, collaborator, chamber musician and conductor across four continents for nearly five decades. He has worked with such distinguished musicians as Itzhak Perlman, Dorothy DeLay, Janos Starker, Cho-Liang Lin and Tito Gobbi. He has recorded for a number of labels, and has been an assisting artist with programs such as the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Festival. Mr. Kopelson has been on the faculties of New York and Syracuse Universities, and has given master classes at the Yale and Juilliard Schools of Music, among others. He is currently on faculty at the Manhattan School of Music.

Earlier Event: November 12
Stephen Bennett and Friends
Later Event: November 17