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Head-Fi Users Get 25% Off The Spanish Poems On HDtracks With Code HEADFIPOEMS

The Girl From Guatemala
Sonnet No.5
The Romance of Love

 

Composer David Chesky's newest EP, The Spanish Poems  represent  David's fusion of Latin rhythms with modern classical harmonies.  Written for soprano and orchestra, these most challenging vocal works are effortlessly performed by the versatile Maureen McKay who sings with a gorgeous tone, great clarity, expression and virtuosity.
 
The first work “Poem No. 9" (also known as “The Girl from Guatemala”) has a text by the Cuban poet Jose Marti. A lyrical seductive dance builds into a fiery end as our heroine dies from love.  A text by the Spanish poet Garcilaso De la Vega is the basis for “Sonata No. 5".  This song is a slow mysterious ballad with a middle section transforming into a brisk dance which then returns to the original ballad.  “The Romance of Love” is based on the words of an unknown Spanish poet. This song is a fast exciting uptempo dance that features a dazzling display of vocalism from Ms. McKay.

 

Soprano, Maureen McKay, is praised and celebrated for her silvery soprano and dynamic character portrayals.

 

As a previous member of the ensemble at the Komische Oper Berlin, McKay sang leading roles in the premieres of several new productions. She has frequently returned to the company for guest reprisals of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte- the production where she originated the role in 2012 with Barrie Kosky and "1927".  She also sang the premiere performances of Blanche in Calixto Bieito's production of Dialogues des carmélites, Gretel in Reinhard von der Thannen's production of Hänsel und Gretel, and Marzelline in Benedikt von Peter's production of Fidelio. Also with the company she was featured in Andreas Homoki's productions as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier and Musetta La bohème, as well as Susanna in Barrie Kosky's production of Le nozze di Figaro, and Norina in Jetske Mijnssen's Don Pasquale production. McKay sang Mozart’s Requiem in performances conducted by music director, Henrik Nánási, and she returned as a guest to reprise the role of Elisa in a concert performance of Il re pastore lead by Maestro Christian Curnyn.

 

McKay's previous and future engagements include performances of Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel with The Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opera Philadelphia, Portland Opera, and Tulsa Opera, Léïla in Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles Seattle Opera, Nannetta in Falstaff with the Saito Kinen Festival and San Diego Opera, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Washington National Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Edinburgh International Festival, The Bolshoi Theatre, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Portland Opera, and Opera Colorado, Anne Trulove in The Rake's Progress with Portland Opera, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Opera Cleveland, a return to the Opera Philadelphia for Eurydice in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, Lightfoot McLendon in Cold Sassy Tree and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with The Atlanta Opera, Lilla in Una cosa rara and Elisa in Il re pastore with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Zerlina in Don Giovanni with New Orleans Opera, Despina in Così fan tutte, Caroline Gaines in Richard Danielpour's Margaret Garner with New York City Opera, Musetta in La bohème with Opera Omaha, Norina in Don Pasquale with Anchorage Opera, Lisa in La sonnambula with Washington Concert Opera, and Laurey in Oklahoma! with Central City Opera. She joined Seiji Ozawa for the Dew Fairy and the Sandman in Hänsel und Gretel in his Ongaku-juku Opera Project throughout Japan and made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte conducted by Leonard Slatkin at the Hollywood Bowl.

 

On the concert stage, McKay's past and future performances comprise of several collaborations with the celebrated Maestro Fabio Luisi including Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with The Cleveland Orchestra and China National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra, Händel's Messias with The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Choir and Orchestra of Teatro Carlo Felice in Génova. She has also made appearances in Schmidt’s Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln with the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Mozart’s Requiem and Debussy’s La demoiselle élue with the Utah Symphony, a program of Viennese music by Lehár and Johann Strauss with the Saint Louis Symphony, Carmina Burana with the National Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Utah Symphony, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Barber's Prayers of Kierkegaard with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Grieg’s Peer Gynt with the Oregon Symphony and Louis Andriessen’s The New Math(s) with the Seattle Chamber Players. With Seattle’s Music of Remembrance, she premiered Lori Laitman’s song cycle I Never Saw Another Butterfly for soprano and clarinet and sang Aninku in Tony Kushner’s adaptation of Hans Krasa’s Brundibár; a recording including both Brundibár and Laitman’s song cycle is available on the Naxos label. She also performed Simon Sargon’s song cycle, Shema, with Music of Remembrance. Ms. McKay joined Judith Clurman for The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Festival at the Mozarteum in Salzburg to perform a program of Rogers and Hammerstein classics.

 

Ms. McKay is a former member of Seattle Opera's Young Artists Program and was a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera Company, where she sang Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Ismene in Telemann’s Orpheus, and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She earned her Bachelor of Music at Columbus State University in Georgia (summa cum laude) and her Master of Music at The Ohio State University.