The Rosa Ponselle Foundation

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News Releases

February 10, 1997


Year-long celebrations of the l00th anniversary of Ponselle's birth are to be launched by The Rosa Ponselle Foundation in Baltimore with a Showcase" Concert at Goucher College's Kraushaar Theater on Saturday, March 22 featuring former winners in the Rosa Ponselle "ALL MARYLANDERS'", YOUNG NEW YORKERS'" and INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS for the Vocal Arts.

The "Showcase" Concert, which is the centerpiece of the 6th Annual Rosa Ponselle "ALL MARYLANDERS'" Competition will not only pay tribute to Ponselle's legacy to her adopted home state of Maryland, but during the program's intermission, will also pre- sent Rosa Ponselle Gold medals to the outstanding Maryland Teacher-of-the-Year, Linda Dykstra, of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and two outstanding luminaries in the world of opera--Artistic and General Director of the Virginia Opera Company, Peter Mark, and operatic biographer, music critic and PBS film producer, John Ardoin.

The intermission program will also feature a large l00th anniversary birthday cake to be served to Concert goers.

Emceeing the Concert program will be Irene Worth, of film and theater stardom. Metropolitan Opera artist, mezzo soprano Victoria Livengood, who has appeared this season in the Met's productions of Rigoletto, La Forza del Destino, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Die Walkre, will perform as the Concert's guest artist. Miss Livengood was a winner in the Rosa Ponselle INTERNATIONAL Competition for the Vocal Arts in l987. The programming and Concert preparation are by Music Director and Vice President of the Rosa Ponselle Charitable Foundation, Inc., Maestro Igor Chichagov, who was Ponselle's personal accompanist in her l954 RCA recordings and "Villa Pace" studio colleague of over 35 years.

The piano artist to accompany the performers in the "Showcase" Concert is William Lewis, the recipient of the Rosa Ponselle Gold Medal Accompanist's Award in l994.

Among the celebrated audience attendees will be composer, Thea Musgrave, author Enrico Aloi, and Metropolitan Opera Texaco Radio Broadcast and PBS film documentary producer, Michael Bronson, who, along with John Ardoin, will be producing a television film special on Rosa Ponselle.

Among the many programs to be featured during the Ponselle Centenary Year, will be the TV film special, radio broadcasts worldwide, universally featured articles in major newspapers and opera journals; audio/visual lectures with slides, films and recordings by the Foundation's President, Elayne Duke, throughout the U.S.A., Canada, England, Italy; "Showcase" Concerts in Washington, D.C., New York City and Meriden, Connecticut (Ponselle's hometown); and a postage stamp dedication in her honor. There are to be four books published in l997 by Amadeus, Northwestern Press, Vantage and Schneidereith Press; two are biographies by James A. Drake and Mary Jane Phillips-Matz, "A Pictorial Essay" by Enrico Aloi and a Celebrity Cookbook entitled, "Rosa and Friends, A Centenary Cookbook".

On the occasion of the Baltimore celebrations of Ponselle's Centenary, the public is invited to attend the audio/visual lecture on Ponselle's life, on Wednesday, March l9 at 2:00 P.M., the Rosa Ponselle "ALL MARYLANDERS'" Competition on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 20, 2l and 22 from 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. The jurors of the "ALL MARYLANDERS'" Competition are John Ardoin, Igor Chichagov, Elayne Duke, Peter Mark, Blanche Thebom and William Warfield. The "Showcase Concert" of Saturday, March 22 is offered at no charge. Ponselle had requested of the Foundation's Board of Directors, who were appointed prior to her demise, that all concerts in her name be given as a gift to "her" Baltimore at no charge to attendees.

For Concert goers wishing tickets, up to two per request will be mailed upon receipt of a self addressed stamped envelope, which may be sent to:

The Rosa Ponselle Foundation
Stevenson, Maryland 2ll53-9999

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Updated: 5/1/97
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