SUNY Potsdam Alumna Stephanie Blythe Presents Kate Smith Concert on PBS, the on Campus for Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar

04.04.13

Stephanie-Blythe-Live-from-Lincoln-Center
Stephanie Blythe ’92 will be featured in an upcoming “Live from Lincoln Center” broadcast on PBS, airing on Friday, April 19 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time (Photo credit: Kevin Yatarola).

SUNY Potsdam alumna Stephanie Blythe ’92 will be featured in her acclaimed Kate Smith tribute concert on PBS’s “Live from Lincoln Center” this month.

Then, she’ll bring her performance from the Lincoln Center stage to The Crane School of Music in May, with a special benefit concert to support the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar.

Blythe presented “We’ll Meet Again: The Songs of Kate Smith” as part of the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center, which was taped in February in the prestigious Allen Room at the Time Warner Center.

PBS’s “Live from Lincoln Center” will air the concert on public television stations on Friday, April 19 at 9 p.m., Eastern Time. The broadcast, “Celebration: Stephanie Blythe Meets Kate Smith,” is hosted by Audra McDonald. Check local listings for airing and rerun times.

Blythe and her frequent collaborator Craig Terry will bring “We’ll Meet Again: The Songs of Kate Smith” to her alma mater on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m, in a special performance to benefit the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, which she co-founded.

“Her tribute to Kate Smith … is an unqualified triumph—with an emphasis on the oomph,” David Finkle wrote in the Huffington Post. “Blythe has the same friendly appeal and sense of humor Smith possessed. She exudes the same integrity and love, not only of the people for whom she's singing, but of the country in which she's singing.”

Blythe’s commanding and rich voice has captivated audiences in many of the world’s great opera houses and concert stages. This season, she performs in a new production of “Un Ballo in Maschera” as well as “Il Trovatore” and the Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera. Last August, she triumphed in “Dido and Aeneas” with the Mark Morris Dance Group during Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival. In addition to singing operatic roles, Blythe has long been a champion of American song.

Her tribute to Kate Smith, a beloved singer whose stirring and resilient voice helped to comfort and galvanize the nation during World War II, was taped during Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series in February 2013 from the Allen Room. Blythe, accompanied by Craig Terry, performs popular works famously sung during Smith’s legendary career, including “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain,” “We’ll Meet Again,” “God Bless America,” and “Look for the Silver Lining.”

The Metropolitan Opera star is the co-founder of the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, along with Executive Director Dr. Carleen Graham, a professor of opera at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. The unique program, which is in residence at the College, is a venue for emerging singers and pianists to cultivate their artistry through contemporary American art song. Now in its second season, the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar will return to Crane from May 20 to May 25.

Six singers and three pianists (ages 23-35) were selected from a competitive, national audition to work with Blythe and Music Director Alan Smith. Smith is a noted pianist, vocal coach and composer, and a member of the faculty at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and at the Tanglewood Music Center. Rounding out the team is Associate Director Audrey Saccone ’12, a recent SUNY Potsdam graduate who is currently digital and social media manager at OPERA America in New York City.

On Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m., Blythe will be joined by her frequent collaborator, Craig Terry, to perform “We’ll Meet Again: The Songs of Kate Smith,” in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.

Tickets for “We’ll Meet Again” are $25 for the general public and $20 for SUNY Potsdam faculty, staff and students. All proceeds will benefit the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar. Contact the Community Performance Series Box Office at (315) 267-2277 or visit www.cpspotsdam.org to purchase tickets. Tickets may also be purchased at Northern Music & Video in downtown Potsdam.

Other seminar events that are free and open to the public include two masterclasses with Blythe and Smith working with the Fall Island participants, on Thursday May 23 and Friday, May 24. The public masterclasses will both be held from 10 a.m. to noon in Snell Theater. 

“The Music of Alan Louis Smith,” a lecture-recital featuring the composer and the seminar participants, will be offered on Thursday, May 23 at 7 p.m. in the Ralph Wakefield Recital Hall.

A culminating recital featuring the seminar participants will be held on Saturday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Snell Theater. These events are free, educational and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

About the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar:

Now in its second season, the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar provides a venue for emerging professional singers and collaborative pianists to hone their love of art song and the collaborative experience. Led by Metropolitan Opera star Stephanie Blythe as Artistic Director, and Music Director Alan Smith, along with Executive Director Carleen Graham and Associate Director Audrey Saccone, the seminar has invited six singers and three pianists to Potsdam, N.Y., for a week of intimate and intensive study. All music performed will feature an American composer.

To learn more about the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, visit www.fallisland.org.

About The Crane School of Music:

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.