Juilliard and New York Festival of Song Present "Kurt Weill's Berlin" on Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 7:30pm in Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater

Friday, Dec 07, 2018
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Featuring Singers from Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts

NEW YORK –– Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts and New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) present “Kurt Weill’s Berlin” on Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 7:30pm in Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Pianist and arranger Steven Blier, a Vocal Arts faculty member and the artistic director of NYFOS, performs with the singers from Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts.

The evening features sopranos Anneliese Klenetsky and Jaylyn Simmons; mezzo-soprano Shakèd Bar; tenor Chance Jonas-O’Toole; baritones Gregory Feldmann and Jack Kay; and bass-baritone William Socolof. Mary Birnbaum is the stage director. Jack Gulielmetti will play banjo for select songs. (The complete program follows at the end of this press release.)

Tickets at $20 ($10 for full-time students with a valid ID) are available at juilliard.edu/calendar.

About the program, Steven Blier writes "'Kurt Weill’s Berlin’ conjures up the freewheeling Weimar era with songs from Happy End, Silbersee, and Mahagonny, while sampling the riches of Berlin’s political Kabarett. Weill and his compatriots–artists like Friedrich Hollaender, Mischa Spoliansky, Kurt Tucholsky, and Hanns Eisler–wrote songs for their own turbulent times, but the issues they confronted are still with us. Their songs are as bracing and brilliant as the day they were written.”

Juilliard’s Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts was established in 2010 by the generous support of Ellen and James S. Marcus.

Meet the Artists

Jerusalem-born Shakèd Bar is a master of music student at Juilliard, where she studies with Edith Bers. Among the roles she has performed are Fiordiligi in Festival della Valle d’Itria’s Così fan tutte with Fabio Luisi; Poppea and Nerone in Monteverdi’s L'incoronazione di Poppea, Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni; and La Grande Prêtresse and Une Chasseresse in Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie. This season, Bar will be singing the soprano solo in Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall with the Cecilia Chorus of New York, and Dido in Juilliard Opera’s and Juilliard415’s Dido and Aeneas in New York, and on the opera’s tour to Europe and the Joye in Aiken Festival. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. At Juilliard, she holds the Alice Tully Scholarship, the Paola Novikova Memorial Scholarship in Voice, and the Dr. and Mrs. Gottfried Karl Duschak Scholarship.

Steven Blier is the artistic director and co-founder of the New York Festival of Song. An eminent accompanist and vocal coach, his partners have included Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, and Susan Graham. Many of his former students, including Paul Appleby, Sasha Cooke, and Julia Bullock, have gone on to be sought-after recitalists. A faculty member at Juilliard since 1992, Blier also mentors young singers at summer opera programs including Wolf Trap Opera, San Francisco Opera, and the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute. His discography includes a Grammy Award-winning recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles (Koch International); his latest is Canción amorosa: Songs of Spain (GPR) with soprano Corinne Winters. Blier received a 2014 Musical America Professionals of the Year award and Classical Singer’s first coach of the year award, in 2006.

Mary Birnbaum has staged operas in New York, across the U.S. and abroad from Latin America to Taiwan. Birnbaum is a past nominee for best newcomer at the International Opera Awards, sponsored by Opera magazine. Her New York credits include Die Zauberflöte, The Rape of Lucretia, Eugene Onegin (Juilliard); The Classical Style (Carnegie Hall, world premiere, Stucky/Denk); and several concerts with NYFOS. Selected additional credits include Kept (VA Arts Festival, world premiere, Kuster/Levad), Halka (Bard Music Festival), Giulio Cesare (Boston Baroque), collaborations with New World Symphony, the Ojai festival and Santa Fe Opera. International work includes productions at National Symphony Orchestra in Taipei, Compañía Lírica in Costa Rica, and Melbourne Opera Studio. Birnbaum has collaborated with playwrights in the Soho Rep W/D Lab, at Ars Nova, and as a New Georges Affiliated Artist.

Baritone Gregory Feldmann, a native of York, Pa., is pursuing a master of music degree at Juilliard under the guidance of Sanford Sylvan. At Juilliard, Feldmann performed the role of Ananias in Britten’s Burning Fiery Furnace as well as L’horlage Comtoise and Le Chat in a concert production of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges in Alice Tully Hall. This past summer, he was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where he sang the role of a Messenger in Verdi’s La traviata. In November, Feldmann made his Carnegie Hall debut in Handel’s Israel in Egypt with MasterVoices, conducted by Ted Sperling. At Juilliard, he holds the Helen Marshall Woodward Scholarship, the Janet Southwick Norwood Scholarship, and the Pfeiffenberger Scholarship.

Jack Gulielmetti is a composer and guitar player. His works have been performed by groups such as the New York Philharmonic, JACK Quartet, Matt Boehler, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Synchronicity and Shouthouse. As a guitar player growing up in New York City, Gulielmetti has had the fortune to work with many groups of different genres around the city, playing everything from jazz and classical to electronic, hip-hop, funk, and everything in between. He has studied guitar with artists including Julian Lage, Nels Cline, Mike Moreno and Greg Howe. Gulielmetti is working on a project under the name JMG that features original music sung and performed by himself that is to be released throughout 2019. He is in his fifth year in an accelerated five-year BM/MM program at Juilliard studying composition with Robert Beaser and guitar with Mark Delpriora. 

Tenor Chance Jonas-O’Toole is a first-year master’s student at Juilliard studying with Sanford Sylvan. Originally from Dallas, he has lived in New York the past four years completing his bachelor’s degree at Juilliard. Last season, he performed multiple roles with Juilliard, including Nebuchadnezzar in Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace, conducted by Mark Shapiro, and Mercure in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie, conducted by Stephen Stubbs. He has completed two consecutive fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Center. At Juilliard, he holds the Mildred H. Kellogg Scholarship, the Arthur B. Barber Scholarship, and the Anna Case Mackay Scholarship.

Baritone Jack Kay, a native of Detroit, is a fourth-year undergraduate Vocal Arts student at Juilliard, studying with Robert C. White. Most recently, Kay performed the role of John Styx in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld at Juilliard. Other notable performances include Anthony in Sweeney Todd at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Fabrizio in Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza at Seagle Music Colony, Courtier in Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace at Juilliard, as well as a member of the Juilliard Vocal Arts Cabaret. Kay is the recipient of the first prize in the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition in Musical Theater. He holds the Bernice Cingolani Scholarship, the Ronald Freed Scholarship, and a Juilliard Opera Scholarship.

Soprano Anneliese Klenetsky is a second-year master’s student at Juilliard under the tutelage of Sanford Sylvan. She was recently the soloist in the New York premiere of A Sibyl by James Primosch at MoMA, led by Joel Sachs. She collaborated with Juilliard415 and Vox Luminis on Handel’s Laudate pueri Dominum. Recent opera repertoire includes The Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Amaranta in Haydn’s La fedeltà premiata, and La bergère/Un Pâtre in Ravel's L’enfant et les sortilèges. She has sung numerous world premieres, including Jonathan Dawe’s Oroborium with New Juilliard Ensemble, Theo Chandler's Songs for Brooches with the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, and Jake Landau’s Les danseuses de Pigalle at New York Live Arts. She holds the Allen and Judy Brick Freedman Scholarship and the RisëStevens Scholarship.

Jaylyn Simmons, from Baltimore, is an undergraduate at Juilliard, studying with Sanford Sylvan. Simmons was a soloist in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, and she has shared the stage with conductor and composer John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra. Simmons has been a featured soloist at the Kennedy Center and has been a part of the cast of Hairspray as Little Inez with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Strathmore Performing Arts Center. She was a 2016 YoungArts Voice Finalist. This past summer, she attended Classic Lyric Arts with Glenn Morton in France where she gave eight concerts and participated in a master class with conductor Gaspard Brecourt and tenor Stéphane Sénéchal. At Juilliard, she holds the Mary E. Birsh Scholarship, the Pauline and Arthur Feibush Memorial Scholarship, and an Alice Tully Scholarship.

A native of White Plains, bass-baritone William Socolof started his vocal and musical training at the Interlochen Arts Academy, in Michigan. As a vocal fellow at Tanglewood Music Festival (2017/18), he appeared in “Sondheim on Sondheim” with The Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart, concerts of Bach Cantatas conducted by John Harbison, and premieres of new works by Michael Gandolfi and Nico Muhly. Socolof made his operatic debut at Juilliard in the school’s 2016 production of La fedeltà premiata by Haydn as Melibeo, and he continues to be an active participant in showcases and recitals at Juilliard.  Other operatic performances include Die Sprecher (Die Zauberflöte) at the Chautauqua Institution and Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) at Oberlin in Italy. Socolof is now pursuing his master of music degree in Vocal Arts at Juilliard under the tutelage of Sanford Sylvan. He hold a Toulmin Foundation Scholarship.

About New York Festival of Song

Now celebrating its 31st season, New York Festival of Song is dedicated to creating intimate song concerts of great beauty and originality. Weaving music, poetry, history, and humor into evening of compelling theater, NYFOS fosters community among artists and audiences. Founded by pianists Michael Barrett and Steven Blier in 1988, NYFOS continues to produce NYFOS Mainstage, its flagship series of thematic song programs, drawing together rarely heard songs of all kinds, overriding traditional distinctions between classical and popular performance genres, and exploring the character and language of other cultures. Since its founding, NYFOS has particularly celebrated the wide spectrum of American music. In 2010 NYFOS launched NYFOS Next, a concert series for new songs, hosted by guest composers in intimate venues. With an emphasis on spontaneity, novelty, and collaboration, NYFOS Next offers today’s song composers a forum to create a program of their work alongside that of their peers, students, and mentors. NYFOS is also passionate about nurturing the artistry and careers of young artists and through its NYFOS Emerging Artists program has developed professional training residencies around the country. These intensive programs train young artists in programming and translation, presentation and production, and research and musical style. NYFOS’ concert series, touring programs, radio broadcasts, recordings, and educational activities continue to spark new interest in the creative possibilities of the song program and have inspired the creation of thematic vocal series around the world.

Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts

One of America’s most prestigious programs for educating singers, Juilliard’s Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts offers young artists programs tailored to their talents and needs. From bachelor and master of music degrees to an advanced Artist Diploma in Opera Studies, Juilliard provides frequent performance opportunities featuring singers in its own recital halls, on Lincoln Center’s stages, and around New York City. Juilliard Opera has presented numerous premieres of new operas as well as works from the standard repertoire.

Juilliard graduates may be heard in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world; diverse alumni artists include well-known performers such as Leontyne Price, Renée Fleming, Risë Stevens, Tatiana Troyanos, Simon Estes, and Shirley Verrett. Recent alumni include Isabel Leonard, Susanna Phillips, Paul Appleby, Erin Morley, Sasha Cooke, and Julia Bullock.

# # #


Complete Program Listing:

Juilliard and New York Festival of Song Present

“Kurt Weill’s Berlin”

Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 7:30pm in Peter Jay Sharp Theater

Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Juilliard


Anneliese Klenetsky and Jaylyn Simmons, sopranos

Shakèd Bar, mezzo-soprano

Chance Jonas-O’Toole, tenor

Gregory Feldmann and Jack Kay, baritones

William Socolof, bass-baritone

Steven Blier, pianist, arranger, and artistic director of NYFOS

Mary Birnbaum, stage director

Jack Gulielmetti, banjo

Marianne Barrett, German language preparation

Nikolay Verevkin, rehearsal pianist



Kurt WEILL: Berlin im Licht (1928)

The Company


Friedrich HOLLÄNDER: Wenn der alte Motor wieder tackt (1919)              

Shakèd Bar and Gregory Feldmann


Olaf BIENERT: Augen in der Großstadt (1956)

Jack Kay


HOLLÄNDER: Tritt mir bloß nicht auf die Schuh                   

Anneliese Klenetsky



Kurt TUCHOLSKY: Sleepless Lady  (late 1920s)    

Shakèd Bar


Rudolf NELSON: Peter, Peter (1929)

William Socolof


BIENERT: That (1930)                                                                                                                     

Shakèd Bar, Anneliese Klenetsky, Jaylyn Simmons


HOLLÄNDER: Oh Just Suppose (1928)                                                     

Anneliese Klenetsky, Jaylyn Simmons, Jack Kay



WEILL: The Shopgirls’ Duet

Shakèd Bar and Jaylyn Simmons


The Lottery Agent’s Tango

Chance Jonas-O’Toole


Caesar’s Death

Gregory Feldmann and The Company





WEILL: Bilbao-Song         

Shakèd Bar, Gregory Feldmann, William Socolof


Sailor’s Tango

Jack Kay


Der Song von Mandelay

Chance Jonas-O’Toole, William Socolof, and Gentlemen



Hanns EISLER: There’s Nothing Quite Like Money (1934)                               

William Socolof


BIENERT: Song of Indifference (1931)                                                                    

Jaylyn Simmons


WEILL: Nanna’s Lied (1939)         

Anneliese Klenetsky



BIENERT: Parc Monceau (1924)                                                                                 

Chance Jonas-O’Toole


WEILL: Wie lange noch? (1944)                                                                                  

Shakèd Bar


EISLER: Der Graben (1926)                                                                          

Gregory Feldmann


WEILL: From Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (1930)

Denn wie man sich bettet, so liegt man

The Company



New York Festival of Song and Juilliard Singers
Juilliard and New York Festival of Song Present "Kurt Weill's Berlin" on Thursday, January 23, 2019, at 7:30pm in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater (photo by Michael DiVito)