Benjamin Bliss Makes MET Opera Debut

Also a member of Los Angeles Opera’s Young Artist Program, tenor Benjamin Bliss made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Vogelgesang in “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,” with Maestro Levine in the pit, in November and December 2014. In April 2014, Benjamin entered the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation’s Annual International Vocal Competition in New York City, where he won the top prize – the Rose Braverman Trust Prize. The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation’s Annual International Vocal Competition is regarded as a major American competition, requiring the highest standard of vocal performance. Since 1974, this fine organization has given awards to hundreds of young singers, many of whom have since risen to international stardom.

 

Master Classes by David Roode

In 2013, grant recipient and trombonist David Roode returned to Memphis from London to hold a series of free master classes at Memphis area high schools and colleges. IFS assisted with a $2,000 grant. David, accompanied by his wife, pianist Mika Komuro, found the students to be especially curious about life outside the USA. David states that moving abroad was a life-changing experience for him, and he is passionate about sharing the benefits of international exchange.

We recently produced a Musicale in New York City at the Union Club on East 69th Street. Tasty hors d'oeuvres, lucious cocktails and a special program of gorgeous music featuring three of our talented Grant Recipiants.

Our Musicale was held on Feb 23, 2016 and was hosted by Arthur Reynolds and Betty Gates with Performances by Zsolt Bognar Pianist, Christina Parsons Mezzo-Soprano and Michelle Trovato, Soprano.

What an exciting evening as we welcomed a diverse audience of Art Patrons and friends of the IFS to this magical and intimate performance in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable. Pianist Zolt Bognar performed a selection of pieces by Edvard Grieg and followed up with a showpiece by Schubert. Our singers, Christina and Michelle performed both Art Song and Aria in a perfect acoustic environment to fully experience these voices up close and personal. Zolt accompanied them both and showed that he is not only a gifted soloist but has a unique ability to accompany a singer and provide a perfect balance and support for their performance. All three of our grant recipients spoke about how the IFS grant had made it possible for them to further their careers.

We look forward to the next opportunity we have to present the talents of the Artists that we have supported with our grants.