4:00 PM16:00

Guest Soloist - New Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Mac Performance Hall, DuPage, IL (map)
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Kirk Muspratt, conductor
Broadcast live on 98.7FM - WFMT

Chicago Tribune Preview : 
"Audience members will welcome in 2014 with a festive program of waltzes, polkas and other light classics by Johann Strauss Jr., Josef Strauss and others, along with favorite opera arias sung by Ryan Opera Center soprano Emily Birsan."


- John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, Dec. 17, 2013

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7:30 PM19:30

Recitalist - "A Night with Soprano Emily Birsan"

Middleton Community Orchestra

"Soprano Emily Birsan was guest soloist, always a blessing for any concert. This talented young woman is surely on the brink of a major career breakthrough. I have followed her singing since her days as an MA student at the UW School of Music, and each time she has seemed to mature more and more as an artist."

"Birsan's contribution was a group of three very different opera arias. For each one, she aimed not only for beauty of sound but for a projection of character and situation. She was appropriately sober and pensive in an aria from Mozart's La clemenza di Tito -- part of a role she will sing in full in the coming production at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She was all flirtatious coquette in Adele's "laughing" song from Strauss's Die Fledermaus. Above all, in the long and demanding "mad scene" from Donizetti'sLucia di Lammermoor, she not only poured out sounds of wonderful beauty and power, but captured the anguish of the demented heroine with moving pathos. What an impressive Madison product she is!"

- John W. Barker, Isthmus  12/24/2013

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to Nov 30

FLOWER MAIDEN - Wagner's Parsifal

New Production - Director John Caird

"The supporting roles of unnamed knights, esquires and Flower Maidens were taken with admirable care and commitment by various past and present members of the Ryan Opera Center. "

- John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, Nov. 2013

"The Knights, Esquires and Flower Maidens were a notably well-blended and richly sung ensemble, composed of former and present Ryan Center young artists (John Irvin, Richard Ollarsaba, Angela Mannino, J’nai Bridges, Matthew DiBattista, Adam Bonanni, Emily Birsan, Tracy Cantin, Kiri Deonarine and Laura Wilde)."

- Lawrence A. Johnson Chicago Classical Review,  Nov. 10, 2013

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to Jul 31

Soloist - Ravinia Festival

Elliot Carter's "A Mirror on Which to Dwell", RAVINIA
with Ensemble Dal Niente   

"So, too, did Birsan trace the jagged intervals of Carter's six settings of Elizabeth Bishop poems with amazing clarity of diction, accuracy of intonation and fineness of expression, this despite the welter of splintery, mandarin instrumental detail that surrounded her. "A Mirror on Which to Dwell" also was a U.S. bicentennial commission; more dissimilar pieces than the Carter and Bernstein would be hard to imagine. But Thursday's performers made the rough places wondrously plain, and this music also galvanized one's attention. It proved a fitting homage to Carter, one of America's most distinguished composers, who died in November, at 103. Too bad Ravinia isn't doing much more Carter this summer."

 - John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, July 2013

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to Jun 30

Soloist - STACKED DECK Back Dancing and Dynamite Festival

Frank Martin: Sonnets to Cassandra for soprano, flute, viola, and cello
The story of Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, and Johannes Brahms told through songs, instrumental works, letters, and diary entries, the Songs of Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, and Johannes Brahms.

"...when Birsan’s Clara sang “Now you have hurt me for the first time” after her beloved Robert had died, was there a dry eye in the house? Not where I sat – and I doubt where many others sat too."

- The Well-Tempered Ear  June 20, 2013

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6:30 PM18:30

VIOLETTA - Rising Stars Concert

"Likewise, Emily Birsan was compelling as Violetta in two excerpts from La Traviata’s second-act duet with Germont (here sung by Joseph Lim) and, later in the program, the familiar “Sempre libera” from the first act (with John Irvin offstage as Alfredo). Birsan’s voice and stage presence fit the role, and in the second-act duet, she gradually opened her sound to match Violetta’s—a clearly audible dramatic turn."


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