Welcome to Festival Artists Online, Fort Worth Opera’s new digital platform for thrilling concerts, intimate living room performances, and fascinating discussions. Part of our reimagined 2020 fall season, this ongoing collaborative project celebrates the internationally acclaimed artists who have performed with us in recent seasons or were to join us during the 2020 Festival. In the weeks and months ahead, keep your eyes on this space as this project evolves. Follow FWO on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for all the latest announcements, as we bring you exciting artist-driven programming - conceived, curated, and brilliantly brought to life by some of the most remarkable superstars of the opera world.
FWO Lesley Resident Artist Gabrielle Gilliam Sings Puccini's "O mio babbino caro"
Soprano Gabrielle Gilliam, one of Fort Worth Opera's Lesley Resident Artists, sings Giacomo Puccini's "O mil babbino caro," from his 1918 one-act comic opera, 'Gianni Schicchi.' One of the most performed arias of the last 100 years, the aria is sung by the young Lauretta, who pleads with her father Gianni Schicchi to assist her in marrying the love of her life, Rinuccio. Dr. Charlene Lotz, FWO's Head of Music, accompanies Ms. Gilliam at the piano.
FWO Lesley Resident Artist Darius Thomas sings "It Ain't Necessarily So" from 'Porgy and Bess'
FWO Lesley Resident Artist, tenor Darius Thomas, sings Sportin' Life's aria "It Ain't Necessarily So." This famous number from The Gershwins' 'Porgy and Bess' has been covered by everyone from Aretha Franklin and Sammy Davis Jr., to Cher and Sting, but Darius brings his own fabulous flair to this iconic character, as the sly drug dealer shares his doubts about several passages in the Bible at the church picnic on Kittiwah Island in Act II of the opera.
Darius Thomas sings Salvatore Cardillo's "Core 'ngrato"
Darius Thomas, tenor FWO Green Room: Festival Artists Online FWO Lesley Resident Artist Darius Thomas sings "Core 'ngrato" a 1911 song made internationally famous by Enrico Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti, Mario Lanza, and Benjamino Gigli. Written by emigrant American composer Salvatore Cardillo and featuring lyrics by Riccardo Cordiferro (real name Alessandro Sisca), this heartfelt, dramatic piece is the only well-known standard Neapolitan song to have been written in the United States. "Ungrateful heart, you have stolen my life! It's all over and you don't think about it anymore!".
Abi Levis Sings "Mi lusinga il dolce affetto" from Handel's 'Alcina'
Abi Levis, mezzo-soprano & Charlene Lotz, piano FWO Green Room: Festival Artists Online. 2019 McCammon Voice Competition winner Abi Levis is joined remotely at the piano by FWO Head of Music Staff Charlene Lotz for a delightful rendition of Ruggiero's Act II, Scene 1 aria "Mi lusinga il dolce affetto" from 'Alcina.' Released from Alcina's spell by a magic ring, the knight comes to his senses and expresses his remorse at his behavior, for he no longer is bewitched into thinking his fiancé Bradamente is his enemy.
Abi Levis sings Mozart's "Laudamus Te" from the Great Mass in C Minor
Abi Levis sings Mozart's "Laudamus Te" from the Great Mass in C Minor; Charlene Lotz, piano. FWO Green Room: Festival Artists Online. Abi Levis is truly a force of nature on and off stage. First Place Prize Winner of the 2019 McCammon Voice Competition, she was crowned"Debut Artist of the Year" by the Joy In Singing Foundation and has been called “fearless”, “dazzling”, “impressive”, and “breathtaking”. She is joined remotely at the piano by Charlene Lotz, Head of Music and Music Director of Fort Worth Opera Children's Opera Theatre, for a joyful, smile-inducing performance of Mozart's "Laudamus Te" from the Great Mass in C minor, K. 427, taken from the 2nd movement, Gloria.
Martin Bakari Sings "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" from Charlie Parker's Yardbird.
Martin Bakari, Tenor & Nicholas Fox, Piano FWO Green Room: Festival Artists Online Daniel Schnyder's 'Charlie Parker's Yardbird' concludes with one the most poignant arias in contemporary opera, as the title character reflects on his life's work and artistic legacy as a Grammy Award-winning jazz saxophonist and composer. In this stunning closer, Martin Bakari pours his heart out singing Parker's final statement, which quotes Paul Lawrence Dunbar's poem "Sympathy" - "I know why the caged bird sings!" it's simply gorgeous.
Martin Bakari Sings "Un'aura amorosa" from Mozart's 'Così fan tutte'
Spun silver. Praised by Opera News as a "vocally charismatic" performer with a "golden tenor," Martin Bakari has continually earned critical accolades for each of his marvelous performances over the years. Here he is joined by conductor and pianist Nicholas Fox, for a tender, beautifully rendered performance of Ferrando's paeon to love, "Un'aura amorosa," from Act I of Mozart's 'Così fan tutte.'