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Mezzo Soprano Laura Atkinson
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Mezzo-Soprano Aims to Break MTV Mold

Posted on Monday, November 16, 2009 [7:37 AM]
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Call her Laura Atkinson, operatic tour guide and MTV rebel.
 
The Yale-trained mezzo-soprano plans to take her listeners on an operatic journey around the world Friday night at Lindsey Wilson College.
 
She will perform 7 p.m. CT Friday, Nov. 20, in the Lindsey Wilson W.W. Slider Humanities Center Recital Hall. The recital -- which is part of the 2009-10 Lindsey Wilson Cultural Affairs Series -- is free and open to the public.
 
Atkinson's goal is "to expand the horizons of both the community and students in order to show that there are more diverse musical genres in the world than those given to us by the radio and television," said her younger sister, Molly, who is a Lindsey Wilson senior.
Laura also seeks to break the MTV mold, in the community and on college campuses, Molly said.
 
The arrangements Atkinson will perform will include spirituals and Broadway musicals, along with more traditional opera fare from around the world.
 
"Spirituals came from slavery," Molly said. "It's important for not only the immediate community but the country as a whole to connect with the past as much as possible."
The Broadway musical songs "allow people to escape from the reality of life and believe in something better for themselves and others," Molly said.
Laura earned a bachelor of music education degree with concentration in voice from Maryville (Tenn.) College, and she is a recent graduate of Yale's master of music degree program in vocal performance. While a student at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale, she studied with the American lyric tenor, James Taylor. Upon graduation from the institute, she was awarded the inaugural Margot Fassler Award for the Excellence in Performance of Sacred Music.
 
She toured Bach's B-Minor Mass throughout China and South Korea. With the Yale Baroque Opera Project, she sang the lead role of Medea in Cavalli's Il Giasone, for which she received favorable review in The New Yorker.
Friday night will be a departure for Laura Atkinson. For one, she will sing in English rather than one of the romance languages.
"As a singer it is somewhat rare that I get to perform in English -- I sing more often in Latin, German or Italian," she said. "I am from Kentucky, and love our musical heritage, so I decided to do a recital that would highlight some contemporary settings of folk music from this region and from across America. I will be singing songs by composers who are famous in the music world for their own compositions, but who have set some of these traditional folksongs and spirituals in an intricate and beautiful way."
Molly is philosophical about her sister's work.
"If she's able to reach just one member of the community or student body and open their eyes to a wider world of musical influences, then she will have achieved one of the goals of the cultural event series," she said.
The Atkinson sisters grew up in Louisville, Ky. For Molly, having a sister in the spotlight has influenced her to pursue her own love of music and singing. She is president this year of the Lindsey Wilson Singers and is a member of the Lindsey Wilson Concert Choir.
Friday evening's recital will also be something of a reunion for the Atkinson sisters. Molly said she doesn't get to see her sister as often as she would like because Laura is pursuing a singing career in venues across America and Europe.
"I'm excited to see my sister; so we can spend some time together," Molly said. "She hasn't met all of my friends or been to campus since she helped me move in freshman year."
Mezzo-soprano Laura Atkinson will perform 7 p.m. CT Friday, Nov. 20, in the Lindsey Wilson College W.W. Slider Humanities Center Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Cultural Affairs Chair Phil Hanna at hannap@lindsey.edu or (270) 384-8250.

Laura Atkinson Bach Mass

Laura Atkinson rehearses Bach's B-Minor Mass before a performance in Seoul, South Korea.

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Call her Laura Atkinson, operatic tour guide and MTV rebel.

The Yale-trained mezzo-soprano plans to take her listeners on an operatic journey around the world Friday night at Lindsey Wilson College.

She will perform 7 p.m. CT Friday, Nov. 20, in the Lindsey Wilson W.W. Slider Humanities Center Recital Hall. The recital -- which is part of the 2009-10 Lindsey Wilson Cultural Affairs Series -- is free and open to the public.

Atkinson's goal is "to expand the horizons of both the community and students in order to show that there are more diverse musical genres in the world than those given to us by the radio and television," said her younger sister, Molly, who is a Lindsey Wilson senior.

Laura also seeks to break the MTV mold, in the community and on college campuses, Molly said.

 The arrangements Atkinson will perform will include spirituals and Broadway musicals, along with more traditional opera fare from around the world.

 "Spirituals came from slavery," Molly said. "It's important for not only the immediate community but the country as a whole to connect with the past as much as possible."

The Broadway musical songs "allow people to escape from the reality of life and believe in something better for themselves and others," Molly said.

Laura earned a bachelor of music education degree with concentration in voice from Maryville (Tenn.) College, and she is a recent graduate of Yale's master of music degree program in vocal performance. While a student at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale, she studied with the American lyric tenor, James Taylor. Upon graduation from the institute, she was awarded the inaugural Margot Fassler Award for the Excellence in Performance of Sacred Music.

 She toured Bach's B-Minor Mass throughout China and South Korea. With the Yale Baroque Opera Project, she sang the lead role of Medea in Cavalli's Il Giasone, for which she received favorable review in The New Yorker.

Friday night will be a departure for Laura Atkinson. For one, she will sing in English rather than one of the romance languages.

"As a singer it is somewhat rare that I get to perform in English -- I sing more often in Latin, German or Italian," she said. "I am from Kentucky, and love our musical heritage, so I decided to do a recital that would highlight some contemporary settings of folk music from this region and from across America. I will be singing songs by composers who are famous in the music world for their own compositions, but who have set some of these traditional folksongs and spirituals in an intricate and beautiful way."

Molly is philosophical about her sister's work.

"If she's able to reach just one member of the community or student body and open their eyes to a wider world of musical influences, then she will have achieved one of the goals of the cultural event series," she said.

The Atkinson sisters grew up in Louisville, Ky. For Molly, having a sister in the spotlight has influenced her to pursue her own love of music and singing. She is president this year of the Lindsey Wilson Singers and is a member of the Lindsey Wilson Concert Choir.

Friday evening's recital will also be something of a reunion for the Atkinson sisters. Molly said she doesn't get to see her sister as often as she would like because Laura is pursuing a singing career in venues across America and Europe.

"I'm excited to see my sister; so we can spend some time together," Molly said. "She hasn't met all of my friends or been to campus since she helped me move in freshman year."

Mezzo-soprano Laura Atkinson will perform 7 p.m. CT Friday, Nov. 20, in the Lindsey Wilson College W.W. Slider Humanities Center Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Cultural Affairs Chair Phil Hanna at hannap@lindsey.edu or (270) 384-8250.

 

 

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