American baritone Elem Eley enjoys a remarkably varied career, from opera, oratorio and recital to premieres of art song and cabaret music. The new season (2007-2008) features Carmina Burana with Richard Westenburg conducting Musica Sacra, in a concert at the Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center. That concert will include the world premiere of a yet untitled cantata by for solo baritone and orchestra, by Italian composer/conductor Alessandro Cadario. Mr. Eley also returns to the Springfield (MO) Symphony for the great Ninth (“Choral”) Symphony of Beethoven, and to Princeton Pro Musica for Mozart’s Requiem. Recitals during this year include a revisit of Schubert’s Winterreise in Princeton (with pianist J.J. Penna), and Masters of Modern American Art Song II (music of Tom Cipullo, David Eddleman and Gardner Read), with soprano D’Anna Fortunato, tenor Michael Polscer, and pianist Frank Daykin, at Symphony Space in New York City. Additionally, a new CD with Penna — Drifts and Shadows: American Song in the New Millennium — will be released in future months.
The most recent (2006-2007) season included a début with the Buffalo Philharmonic in concert performances of Daron Hagen’s opera, Shining Brow. He created the role of James Joyce in Hagen’s The Antient Concert, a one-act dramatic recital staged by the composer (libretto by Paul Muldoon), with a June performance at Symphony Space in New York City; a November, 2007, staging of the work is scheduled for the Century Association in New York. In December of ’06, Mr. Eley again sang Messiah with the Peniel Concert Choir at Avery Fisher Hall. May ’07 brought a return to Carnegie Hall, as soloist in Carmina Burana and Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht, with the St. Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by David Randolph. He revisited Vermont for Elijah with the Burlington Choral Society, and sang Donald Giovanni in PDQ Bach’s The Abduction of Figaro, with Prof. Peter Schickele narrating for the Western New York Chamber Orchestra. Previous engagements include the world première of Vera of Las Vegas, by Daron Hagen and Paul Muldoon; and appearances with the Symphony Orchestras of Charlotte, Kansas City, New Jersey, Sioux City and Springfield, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New York Chamber Ensemble, The Little Orchestra Society, Masterwork Chorus, Calvin Oratorio Society, Fairfield County Chorale, Princeton Pro Musica and others.
2005-06 included Bach’s solo Cantata 82 (“Ich habe genug”) with Musica Sacra’s Basically Bach Festival (c. Richard Westenburg) in New York City, Carmina Burana at Rowan University (c. Robert Page) and a return to Syracuse Opera, as Captain Corcoran of the HMS Pinafore (role début). Mr. Eley took the title role of Don Giovanni for his début at Operafestival di Roma, and has appeared in productions with the Opera Companies of Cincinnati, Hawaii, Shreveport and Syracuse, Athena Grand Opera, the Sylvan Opera Festival, the Center for Contemporary Opera, and Musica Europa 2001. Performances have been televised on WNET and in national syndication, with additional recording on Albany Records, Arsis Records, and MusicMasters Classics. In addition to his active performance career, Elem Eley, winner of the 1996 Joy in Singing Award, is Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey.