Julie Andrijeski | Artistic Director and Concertmaster
George Staib | Stage Director and Choreographer
Hannah De Priest | soprano, Dido
Brian Giebler | tenor, Aeneas
Michael Galvin | bass baritone, Sorceress
Andréa Walker | soprano, Belinda
staibdance | George Staib, Founder and Director
ImmerseATL | Sarah Hillmer, Founder and Director
Georgia State University Choirs | Deanna Joseph, Choirmaster
In its most ambitious project to date, the ABO presents a fully staged production of Dido and Aeneas, Henry Purcell’s beloved and timeless opera. This is a star-studded event! With its rich aesthetic layers, this opera draws the viewer into a captivating realm. Internationally renowned guest vocalists Hannah De Priest (Dido), Brian Giebler (Aeneas), Michael Galvin (Sorceress), and Andréa Walker (Belinda) bring their youthful energy to this tragic love story involving a Carthaginian queen, a Trojan hero, and a meddling Sorceress who conjures their demise.
George Staib’s superb world-renowned and Atlanta-based modern dance company staibdance adds rich and evocative storytelling to our production, alongside Sarah Hillmer’s emerging artist dance ensemble ImmerseATL.
Atlanta’s supremely talented Deanna Joseph (GSU Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities) directs a chorus of top-tier current and recent GSU graduates. The robust ABO orchestra has never been in better company!
February 2, 7:30 pm | Glenn Memorial Chapel, Atlanta
February 3, 7:30 pm | Glenn Memorial Chapel, Atlanta
February 6, 7:30 pm | Spivey Hall, Morrow
George Staib is a Professor of Practice in the Emory University Department of Theater and Dance, and is the artistic director of staibdance, a dance company dedicated to the intersections of movement, community and culture.
Staib began his dance training at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in conjunction with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, then went on to earn an MFA in dance and choreography from Temple University.
Further movement research led him to Israel, Sweden, and Italy to deepen his understanding of Gaga and release technique as well as the unbridled physicality of movement pioneers such as Iris Enez, Yasmeen Godder and Noa Wortheim. Currently his movement interests reside in blurring the line between process and performance, and he is interested in the notion of spontaneity as it relates to established material vs. improvised ideas.
As a choreographer, Staib’s primary vehicle for dance-making is through staibdance, now in its 15th year. Staib’s work is often founded upon autobiographical stories, while being dedicated to unearthing their relatability among diverse populations. Staib’s work has been commissioned across the US and abroad, and has been awarded funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Emory University Research Committee, The Latham Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The New England Foundation for the Arts, South Arts and The Vail Family Foundation.
staibdance curated and produced the first-ever Atlanta Multicultural Dance Festival, now in its second season, created a summer intensive in Sorrento, Italy, now in its 11th year and hosted a10-part podcast series titled Secret Architecture: the process of process, that features culturally based artists from across the country. In 2022 Staib served on the faculty of the American Dance Festival, staibdance toured their latest work “fence” along the eastern seaboard and work on a new piece, titled ARARAT, began and is set to premiere in 2023.
Dr. Deanna Joseph is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the Georgia State University School of Music where she conducts the University Singers and leads the master’s program in choral conducting. A recent review of her work states, “[t]he choir sings with great musicality, excellent intonation, clear diction, and a healthy and beautiful pallet of tone colors…” (The Choral Scholar).
Deanna Joseph holds conducting degrees from the Eastman School of Music. She is the founder and co-artistic director of the Atlanta Summer Conducting Institute, a conducting master class that draws conductors from across the country.
Hannah De Priest is a fearless performer of a wide range of lyric soprano repertoire. Hailed a “breakout artist” (Boston Globe) with “a voice that is theater itself” (Classique News), recent credits include her Kennedy Center debut, (Opera Lafayette, La serva padrona), European debut at the Innsbruck Early Music Festival, (Gilde, L’amazzone corsara), and multiple productions with Boston Early Music Festival. The young soprano is set for more important debuts in the 2023-24 season, including role and house debuts with Chicago Opera Theater, Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, and Haymarket Opera, among others. On the concert stage, notable upcoming and recent engagements include Handel’s Messiah with Apollo Chorus & Orchestra and Billings Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Johannes-Passion with Columbus Symphony and Elmhurst Symphony, and Handel’s Dixit Dominus with the Elgin Master Chorale & Symphony.
De Priest’s “glittering, easy soprano” (Merkur) is equally at home on the opera stage and in chamber music and she is especially renowned for her “masterful” (Olyrix) singing of Baroque repertoire. Her critically-acclaimed debut performing French baroque cantatas with Les Délices was hailed as “sensational” (Schmopera) and more engagements with the renowned ensemble have followed, including the ensemble’s debut concert at the Boston Early Music Festival. Other recent engagements include concerts with The Newberry Consort, Madison Bach Musicians, and many collaborative projects with Ars Musica Chicago. With pianist Michael Pecak, she performs song repertoire that spans centuries. Upcoming projects include an expanded program of Mozart and Beethoven works written for 18th-cent. Czech soprano Josepha Duschek, songs inspired by Shakespeare, and a recital of French and Russian songs.
De Priest has garnered attention at numerous important competitions, recently winning 2nd Prize at the 2021 International Cesti Competition for Baroque Singing. She has been a finalist in The Handel Aria Competition (2021), Le Concours Corneille (2019), Audrey Rooney Bach Competition (2020), and the Bethlehem Bach Competition (2021). She is also a laureate of the prestigious Luminarts Cultural Foundation’s competition’s Encouragement Award (2022).
Praised for his “lovely tone and deep expressivity” by The New York Times, GRAMMY® nominated tenor Brian Giebler radiates “shine and clarity” (Opera News)in every phrase using “his high-placed tenor with great skill” (Opera Magazine). His debut solo album a lad's love garnered high praise from Gramophone, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice, and earned him his first GRAMMY® Awardnomination for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.
Highlights of Mr. Giebler’s 2023/24 season include singing Handel Messiah with the Seoul Metropolitan Chorus in South Korea, reprising the role of Matthew Shepard in Considering Matthew Shepard with Spire Chamber Ensemble, and return appearances with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra (Orff Carmina Burana), Grand Rapids Symphony (Dan Forrest Requiem), True Concord Artists (Evangelist, BachSt. John Passion), and with Clarion Music Society singing Bach B Minor Mass.
“The sweetness of Giebler's impressive high tenor” and his "expressive and elegant phrasing" (Cleveland Classical) have been heard recently as Apollo in Handel's Semele with The English Concert under Harry Bicket; Stravinsky with The Cleveland Orchestra; Adam in REV 23 at the Prototype Festival; Arnalta in Monteverdi's Poppea with Boston Baroque; Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Trinity Wall Street; Bach Cantatas with the Grand Rapids Symphonyand Handel & Haydn Society; Handel’s Messiah with Music of the Baroque (available on recording), and the Charlotte, Rhode Island, Memphis, and Virginia Symphonies; Haydn Creation with Santa Fe Pro Musica; and on stage with Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Boston Early Music Festival. Last season highlights included a tour of the Ravinia and Caramoor Festivals with Apollo’s Fire, and Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso with Mark Morris Dance Group (BAM).
American bass-baritone Michael Galvin has garnered a reputation as a “distinguished and disarming” young singer (Rochester City Newspaper). Based in Boston, Michael has joined the Boston Lyric Opera for their productions of Cavalleria Rusticana, Champion, and La Boheme. He is also a resident artist with Calliope’s Call, a Boston-based Art Song coalition. This season, Michael also performed a new work, Iphigenia, at the Kennedy Center with Real Magic and Octopus Theatrics.
An avid Baroque singer, Michael is an alumnus of the 2019 Boston Early Music Festival Young Artist Training Program, where he sang the role of Soroastro in Handel’s Orlando. Michael continues collaborations with BEMF in the 2023 festival season. Previous baroque opera credits include Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea with Eastman Opera Theatre; Plutone in Eumelio (Agazzari) with Cornell Early Music Lab; Plutone/Augure in L’Orfeo (Rossi) with Eastman Collegium Musicum. Michael sang for two years in the Eastman Collegium Musicum under the tutelage of renowned lutenist Paul O’Dette, performing various roles in Fairy Queen and King Arthur.
Michael holds a Master of Music in Voice from the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor of Music in Voice from Ithaca College. Michael continually seeks to champion the work of Queer creators in Classical Music. Through his drag persona Donatella Fermata, Michael programs operatic cabaret performances and does community engagement to amplify the voices of Queer artists in his field.
Texas native Andréa Walker is a collaborative soprano pursuing her D.M.A. in Historical Performance Practice at Case Western Reserve University. She recently graduated with a M.M. in vocal performance from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music where she studied early music, oratorio, and art song.
As an ensemble singer, Ms. Walker has performed with The Thirteen, Apollo’s Fire Singers, Houston Chamber Choir, Bach Society Houston, and the Voces8 US Scholars. As a concert soloist, her recent performance highlights include being featured with CWRU chamber ensembles and a concert of late-renaissance music with Bruce Dickey. Ms. Walker has also been featured as the soloist in a world premiere with Apollo Chamber Players, a concert of Mozart arias with Echo Orchestra of Houston, and with Masaaki Suzuki and Juilliard415 in her Lincoln Center debut.
This season (2022-2023), she joined the Yale Schola Cantorum on their German tour as a soloist in Schöpfungsmesse by Haydn and was featured as the soloist at the Norfolk Chamber Choir Festival under the direction of Simon Carrington. As a new resident of Cleveland, she is thrilled to be making both her Apollo’s Fire and CityMusic Cleveland solo debuts this season.
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