FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(September 2, 2014 – DENVER, CO) – Following a sold-out summer European tour, Erica Papillion-Posey, mezzo-soprano and Clayton G. Williams, baritone will perform their blockbuster concert series, Souls of the Soil, for Denver audiences.
The duo will present Souls of the Soil, a program that has been enjoyed by audiences throughout the United States and Europe this autumn in Denver. The concert will include opera arias, art songs, African American spirituals, jazz, and musical theatre selections accompanied by pianists, Mila Startsev and Andrew Sharp.
“Souls of the Soil made its debut in Denver earlier this year and it was thrilling and well received,” Clayton G. Williams commented. “I am excited to be invited back to such a wonderful city to perform amazing classic opera arias and the gems of American music, spirituals and musical theatre. ”
King Baptist Church will host the first of two Colorado performances on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 6:00pm at 3370 Ivy Street, Denver, Colorado 80207. E.J. Hairston, president of Dynamic Images by the Hairston Group will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies during the concert. Tickets are available for $35, and discounted tickets are available for students aged 13-18 for $15, which includes as artists meet and greet reception following the performance. Tickets may be purchased at: http://www.epapillionposey.com/purchase-tickets/ or by calling 303-388—3248.
Grand by Design Inc. will host the final Denver performance of Souls of the Soil at the Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 6:00pm at 1500 Dayton, Denver, CO 80247. Jeannie Davis, a member of the Grand Design Inc. board of directors will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies during the concert. Grand Design Inc. is dedicated to preserving primarily performing arts of African Americans, yet inclusive of other cultural performing arts; to provide entertainment and raise awareness of the public and an appreciation by the public through performances, concerts, presentations, visual arts exhibits and cultural awareness training for the benefit of the residents of Aurora and the metropolitan area. The concert will serve as a fundraiser for the Boettcher Boys and Girls Club of Aurora. Tickets will be available starting on Monday, September 15 for $50 VIP, $25 General Admission and discounted tickets available for students ages 13- 18 for $15 at http://www.epapillionposey.com/purchase-tickets/ or by calling 303-752-0546.
Erica Papillion-Posey, a long-time Colorado resident explains, “I always welcome the opportunity to sing in my community, a community that has embraced me, first, from a personal space. They know me not just as an artist, but also in spirit. So sharing my talent, my voice, this music, at home, is always a gratifying experience.”
A complete list of future engagements featuring Souls of the Soil follows:
Michigan Comprehensive Service Network “Souls of the Soil”
King at the Opera presents “Souls of the Soil”
Grand by Design at the Opera presents “Souls of the Soil”
Lake Charles, Louisiana
St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church presents “Souls of the Soil”
About Souls of the Soil
Souls of the Soil: An American Recital Series is a collaboration featuring professional classical/opera singers: Erica Papillion-Posey, mezzo-soprano of Denver, Colorado and Clayton G. Williams, baritone of Manhattan, New York. After meeting, in 2011, during an opera festival in Siena, Italy these two artists have forged a wonderful, lasting friendship but share a love and devotion to the classical arts, which has propelled them into this endearing project- Souls of the Soil.
With rich, diverse backgrounds and cultures to pull from, Souls of the Soil is a musical concert offering two moving, powerful programs of arias from celebrated operas, sacred and secular art songs, beloved African American spirituals, memorable musical theatre selections and heart-warming jazz standards.
With previous and current schedules spanning the United States to Europe and beyond, Souls of the Soil has performed in some of the most breathtaking concert halls, opera houses, cathedrals, churches and private recital salons.
About Erica Papillion-Posey
In 2013, mezzo-soprano Erica Papillion-Posey made her professional North American debut in what has become her signature role of Carmen, where she, “…. captured Carmen’s slinky sexiness, radiating allure and trouble… She had the vocal power to sing a soft, seductive “Habanera” in a hall-filling, rounded voice, lingering over the phrases as the men in the square watched. She snapped off the Spanish-style ornaments of the “Seguidilla”, and was especially compelling in the lower register, where Carmen’s sultriness comes through…” [South Florida Classical Review]. After being hailed as, “… the best Carmen this city has seen in decades” [El Nuovo Herald] the Miami Lyric Opera has engaged Ms. Papillion-Posey for another performance of Carmen in November 2014.
Following sold out performances in Louisiana and Colorado, Ms. Papillion-Posey most recently embarked on a European recital tour entitled Souls of the Soil in collaboration with baritone, Clayton Graves Williams. The overwhelming popularity of the program, which features an eclectic array of American music, compelled the duo to schedule additional performances throughout Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, and New York during 2014.
In 2010, Ms. Papillion-Posey made her international operatic debut as Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica at the Tuscia Opera Festival, under the baton of maestro Stefano Vignati. The demand for her “wonderful voice… full of grace and sensuality” [El Nuevo Herald] and her fierce commitment to character keeps European audiences coming back for more. Memorable European performances include the title role of Carmen, the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte both with the Tuscia Opera Festival, Annina in La Traviata with Teatro Kizmet Opera, and Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with Siena Opera.
Stateside, Ms. Papillion-Posey’s notable roles include her portrayal of Princess Akara in the world premiere of The Lady or the Tiger, an adaptation of Frank Stockton’s beloved short story by composers Cherise Leiter and Leanna Kirchoff. Ms. Papillion-Posey’s “purely exciting and rich voice” [Arte & Musica Magazine] was also featured as Baba in The Medium, Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte, and in the title role in The Rape of Lucretia.
A prolific concert artist and recitalist, Ms. Papillion-Posey’s repertoire includes performances of Handel’s Messiah,Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater under the direction of Timothy Léon in Tarquinia, Civita di Bagnoregio, Castilione, Capranica and Ronciglione in addition to several solo recitals.
Last year, Ms. Papillion-Posey was named a Continuo Arts, Milton Cross Young Artists Winner after being named the organization’s Rising Star Young Artists Winner in 2012. Other accolades and awards include first and second place winner of the Vocal Arts Competition of Colorado, respectively in 2005 and 2006, International Lyric Academy of Rome e Viterbo Award, AMICI of Denver Scholarship, Dante Alighieri Music Scholarship Competition, Jeff Bradley Music Scholarship Fund, E. Stoddard Young Endowment Scholarship, Stratton Faulhaber Scholarship, Coulter Norbloom Scholarship Grant and Joseph Docksey Career Development Fund Award.
Ms. Papillion-Posey earned a Master of Music degree and Advanced Certificate in Vocal Performance (both with honors and distinction) from the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music. She also holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She currently studies with renowned mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry.
Learn more about Erica at www.ericapapillion-posey.com.
About Clayton G. Williams
Baritone, Clayton G. Williams freshly returned from a European recital tour, Souls of the Soil in collaboration with mezzo-soprano, Erica Papillion-Posey. The overwhelming popularity of the program, which features an eclectic array of American music, compelled the duo to schedule additional performances throughout Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, and New York throughout 2014.
Williams’ most recent operatic role was Porgy in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at the Siena Summer Music Festival. Other roles include Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, and Bunthrone in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience. Concert and oratorio credits include the Baritone Soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Bizet’s Agnus Dei, and Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C, K. 220.
As a versatile musician, Williams is also a prolific musical theatre performer most recently featured as Jorell in an Irving Berlin revue entitled Coming to America at the Manhattan School of Music Voice Festival. Other credits include Broadway Babies, which was comprised of scenes from Gershwin’s Shall We Dance, and Musilda, a musical parody based on Ronald Dahl’s beloved book.
Williams has been recognized with the Emerging Talent Award in the Lotte Lenya Competition and was also a recipient of the Brazeal W. Dennard Scholarship, Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholarships, and a regional winner of the NBA Gold-Standard Scholarship during its inaugural year, and is a member of the Mu Beta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, Inc.
A Detroit native, Williams attended the Detroit School of the Fine and Performing Arts and earned a Bachelor of the Arts in Music from Winston-Salem State University. Williams holds a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music. He currently studies with Dr. Gregory Hopkins.
Learn more about Clayton G. Williams at: www.claytongwilliams.com
Press release available in .pdf: Erica Papillion-Posey and Clayton G. Williams to Perform Souls of the Soil in Denver