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Weekend Life

Berwyn concert series to present operatic vocalist, pianist

Michelle Areyzaga
Michelle Areyzaga

BERWYN – Project 88, the free Berwyn concert series showcasing acclaimed musicians from around the globe, continues its second season at 6 p.m. June 15 with a performance by soprano Michelle Areyzaga and pianist Dana Brown.

They will play works by Leonard Bernstein, Gwyneth Walker, Wayland Rogers and other composers at Unity Lutheran Church, 6720 W. 31st St.

The concert is the fourth in the second annual True Unity Concert Series, which runs through November. Project 88 also includes the weeklong Lucile Evans Music Festival from Nov. 18 to 23 and Into the Musical World: Concerts for Youth, a yearlong series of daytime performances for local students. The project is spearheaded by founding artistic director Elider DiPaula, an Argentine concert pianist currently teaching and performing in the United States.

Brown, chairman of the music faculty and associate professor of opera and vocal coaching at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, has performed at the Ravinia Festival, Tanglewood Festival, Light Opera Works, Chicago Cultural Center and the Chicago Humanities Festival, as well as on WFMT radio. He has played for lessons and master classes with opera icon Renee Fleming and Sir Andrew Davis at the Lyric Opera.

Areyzaga has performed in leading roles with Chicago Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s In the Neighborhoods programs, Opera Birmingham, Ravinia Festival and Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México. She made her European concert debut as soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G Minor at England’s York Minster Cathedral. In Paris, she soloed with the orchestra of London’s Royal Academy of Music.

Project 88’s season continues as follows. All concerts begin at 6 p.m. at Unity Lutheran.

• Sept. 7: Brazilian pianist Laura Umbelino performs solo pieces, then joins DiPaula to play a series of works for piano four-hands, all written by the living Brazilian composer Ronaldo Miranda

• Sept. 28: DiPaula performs works by Heitor Villa-Lobos in honor of the 60th anniversary of his death

• Oct. 19: Grammy-awarded baritone Kevin McMillan and pianist Gabriel Dobner perform song cycles by Schumann on poems by Heinrich Heine

• Nov. 9: Violinists Stefan Hersh and Agnieszka Likos, violist Sixto Franco, cellist Patrycja Likos and pianist DiPaula perform piano quintets by César Franck and Dmitri Shostakovich

For information about the concert series, visit project88berwyn.org or call 708-788-4132.

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