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Holiday Classics at Paul Nigra Center for the Arts

December 19 @ 7:00 pm


Presented by Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts, the Caroga Lake Music Festival musicians returns for a special Holiday Concert!

Program to include selections from Handel’s Messiah and Holiday favorites!

Tickets – Click Here to Purchase Tickets
General Admission $10
Cash Bar: Beer/Wine

Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 7:00pm
Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts
2736 New York 30Gloversville, NY, 12078

Caroga Arts Ensemble
Kyle Barrett Price, director
Abigail Fischer, soprano
Jason Slayden, tenor

Borodin: String Quartet No.2 (Mvmt I, II)
Grieg: String Quartet No.1 (Mvmt II, IV)
Tchaikovsky: Quartet No. 1 (Mvmt II)
Piazzolla: Winter from The Four Seasons
Vivaldi: Winter from The Four Seasons
Handel: Songs from Messiah
O Holy Night
Holiday Jazz and Pop tunes

Abigail Fischer, soprano

“With her dramatic tumble of red hair and cello-mello voice, Ms. Fischer sings with a passionate restraint that has no equal in her generation. You didn’t want her to stop.” So said Zachary Woolf from the New York Times after Abigail Fischer’s performance of George Benjamin with St. Luke’s Orchestra at the New York Philharmonic Bienniel in 2014.

Versatile vocalist Abigail Fischer has made a vibrant career soloing with ensembles such as the Kansas City Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Rhode Island Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Boston Baroque, and Mercury Orchestra Houston. With the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Fischer performed semi-staged versions of Strauss’ Salome and Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Missy Mazzoli’s first opera, Song from the Uproar, written for her and the NOW Ensemble, is a one-woman show that has been seen at Los Angeles Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and this 2017 summer at Cincinnati Opera.

Known for her “serenely captivating” work in opera, “and disarming intimacy,” (NY Times) Ms. Fischer performed two daring alternative productions of Carmen in Boulder, Colorado and Rockport, Maine this past summer. This 2016-2017 season, Ms. Fischer reprised the one-woman show Toshio Hosakawa’s The Raven in Bolzano, Italy for her Italian stage debut.

Ms. Fischer has sung the title role in Rape of Lucretia with Opera Memphis, has premiered Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking with American Opera Projects, has sung Cenerentola with Union Avenue (in Italian) and Salt Marsh Opera (in English), and Angels in America with LA Philharmonic. One of her favorite pieces is Lieberson’s Neruda Songs, which she performed with the Columbus Symphony.

Other recent premieres at the “suddenly indispensable” Prototype Festival have included Mrs. X.E. in Du Yun/Royce Vavrek’s Angel’s Bone (which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Musical Composition) and The Mother in Stefan Weisman/David Cote’s Scarlet Ibis. With Gotham Chamber Opera, Ms. Fischer performed Testo in Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Eva in Martinu’s Comedy on the Bridge.

In early music, she has worked with American Bach Soloists in programs of Vivaldi Gloria, Handel La Resurrezione, Porpora De Profundis, and Bach Magnificat; Rebel Baroque Orchestra with Mozart Mass in C and Handel Messiah; Duke Chapel Choir with Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Handel Messiah; and Early Music New York and Mercury Houston’s programs of Vivaldi motets. At Carnegie Hall with the New York Choral Society in February 2017, Ms. Fischer reprised her role as soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, which she first performed and recorded with Boston Baroque.

Originally trained as a cellist, Ms. Fischer has worked often as a chamber musician, from Musicians of Marlboro Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, to St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, performing works such as John Harbison’s Crossroads and Respigghi’s Il Tramonto. She has premiered Elliot Carter’s Mad Regales and Bernard Rand’s Walcott Songs at Tanglewood Music Festival, numerous John Zorn chamber works all over the world, including Lincoln Center Festival, and Nico Muhly’s Elements of Style, also at Lincoln Center.

Recordings of Ms. Fischer’s includes the operas Song from the Uproar (Missy Mazzoli), The Judgement of Midas (Kamran Ince); the oratorios Haydn Lord Nelson Mass (Boston Baroque), Katrina Ballads (Ted Hearne); and the chamber works Mothertongue (Nico Muhly), The Quality of Mercy (Patrick Castillo), and numerous works of John Zorn.

A graduate of Eastman School of Music (MM), and Vassar College (BA), Lorenzo di Medici in Florence, Italy (Certificate in Italian language and literature), Ms. Fischer also traversed the summer scenes of Tanglewood Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Songfest, and the Chautauqua Voice Program, among others.

Jason Slayden, tenor

Tenor Jason Slayden has been celebrated for the warmth and beauty of his voice, as well as demonstrating “considerable subtlety as an actor”. The 2016-2017 season included Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra with Pacific Opera Victoria, Pinkerton in * Madama Butterfly* with Annapolis Opera, Jimmy Ogle in Later the Same Evening with Opera Memphis, and Christian in Cyrano with Michigan Opera Theatre. The 2017-2018 season sees him as Ruggero in La rondine with Opera San Jose and his return to Pacific Opera Victoria as Rodolfo in La bohème.

The 2015-2016 season for Mr. Slayden included his debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Tybalt and the cover of Roméo in Roméo et Juliette, Virginia Opera as Rodolfo in La bohème, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre as Alfredo in La traviata, Opera Santa Barbara as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Don José in The Tragedy of Carmen with the Colorado Music Festival, and Pinkerton with the Berkshire Opera Festival.

In the 2014-2015 season, he debuted with Gotham Chamber Opera in their double bill of Bohuslav Martinů’s Alexandre Bis and Veselohra na Mostĕ (Comedy on the Bridge), returned to Arizona Opera to as the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto and the Jacksonville Symphony for Handel’s Messiah, and made debuts with Florida Grand Opera as Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Austin Lyric Opera as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Ash Lawn Opera as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. Other recent engagements include several Verdi role debuts, including il Duca di Mantua in Rigoletto with Opera Memphis, Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra with Kentucky Opera, and Cassio in Otello for Nashville Opera as well as Rodolfo for Arizona Opera’s La bohème, hailed by the press as “impeccably expressive.” In concert, he has performed with the Jacksonville Symphony in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, the Dayton Philharmonic for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and with L’Opéra de Montreal for A Verdi Celebration. For Verdi’s Requiem with the Portland Symphonic Choir critics said, “Slayden supplied a heroic tenor that was remarkably expressive and supported with terrific stamina. His “Ingemisco teamquam reus” beautifully forged power with lyricism.”

The 2012-13 season marked Jason’s international debut, which attracted much critical acclaim. As Rodolfo in Vancouver Opera’s La bohème, critics praised him as a “heartfelt, note-perfect tenor,” and said, “His ‘Che gelida manina’ was refreshingly realistic…and was dramatically as well as musically interesting.” Prior to that he was a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, where he performed Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, a recital with pianist Steven Blier, and the tenor solo in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Symphony Orchestra. Additional engagements for the 2012-2013 season included his debut with Minnesota Opera in Thomas’s Hamlet as Laerte and a return to Des Moines Metro Opera to premiere his first Roméo in Roméo et Juliette.

Mr. Slayden joined the Seattle Opera as a Young Artist for the 2011-2012 season, where he made his main stage debut as Uldino in Verdi’s Atilla. In the Young Artist program, he sang the title role in Massenet’s Werther and Ernesto in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. In 2011, Jason won the Gerda Lissner Foundation First Prize, a George London Foundation encouragement award, and was a Metropolitan Opera National council semi-finalist. That same year, Mr. Slayden returned to the Santa Fe Opera as a principal artist to sing the role of Andres in Berg’s Wozzeck and, at the last minute, stepped in to sing two performances of La bohème as Rodolfo. He was an apprentice artist at Santa Fe in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, where he was awarded the Donald Gramm Memorial Award and the Richard Tucker Memorial Award for apprentices. In addition, Mr. Slayden has been awarded both the Sullivan Foundation Career Grant and the Catherine Filene Shouse Career Development Grant.

In concert, Mr. Slayden has also performed as a soloist with the Dayton Philharmonic in Rossini’s Stabat Mater, the Seattle Youth Symphony in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Utah Symphony Orchestra in Roméo et Juliette by Hector Berlioz, Concert: Nova in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Musica Sacra Cincinnati in the Gounod Messe Solennelle de Saint-Cecile.


Paul Nigra Center for the Creative Arts


Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts
2736 New York 30
Gloversville, NY 12078 United States
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