Gretchen Farrar & Francisco Roldan to Perform at Harbor Conservatory

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to present soprano Gretchen Farrar and guitarist Francisco Roldán in a recital on Saturday, November 13 at 12:00 noon in the Third Floor Theater. The duo will perform works by Britten, Brower, Dowland, Cordero, Albeniz, Lorca and Sor. Admission is free. The Conservatory’s Guest Artist Recital Series is made possible with support from the Music Program of the New York State Council on the Arts.

Gretchen Farrar is a versatile singer with diverse repertoire in both concert and opera.  The Münchner Merkur described her 2009 performance of American songs with Elysium-Between Two Continents in Germany as “technically more than brilliant… an overall elegant tightrope-walk between charming entertainment and profound quality…” The New York Times noted her “passionate and shapely performance” of Ernesto Cordero’s songs with guitarist Francisco Roldán at the 2008 Mannes Guitar Festival.  Gretchen most recently collaborated with guitarist Francisco Roldán on a CD of songs in Spanish and English released early this Fall.  She frequently performs works from Spain and the Americas in and around New York City with Francisco and pianist Alexander A. Wu.

In the contemporary realm, Ms. Farrar has performed chamber music with New Music New York, including works by Gleaves, Glass and Warde.  She has offered songs by Copland, Hundley and Swenson with pianist LeAnn Overton at Merkin Hall.  Gretchen has commissioned works by composers Rebecca Oswald and Lily Barmor Rose. On the opera stage, Gretchen most recently sang Soeur Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites with Hudson Opera Theatre.  Other credits include Anchorage Opera, Eugene Opera, Belleayre Festival Opera, Opera at Florham, Dicapo Opera, and National Lyric Opera.  Some of her roles have included Micaela, Serpina, Susanna, and Despina.

The Colombian-born guitarist, Francisco Roldán, has been entertaining audiences since his early years at the Mannes College of Music. He received annual scholarships and attained the Master’s Degree in Performance from the Mannes College of Music. He subsequently supplemented his studies by playing in master-classes for Manuel Barrueco, Sharon Isbin, David Russell, and Paul O’Dette. In the spring of 1993 he gave a solo New York debut recital at the Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall that launched his career as a soloist.

Francisco Roldán has performed throughout the USA at Merkin Concert Hall, Alice Tully Hall Weill Recital Hall and CAMI Hall in New York, the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, Harmony Hall in Maryland, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Milwaukee, for the Philadelphia Guitar Society, the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, the Puffin Gallery, the Colombian Consulates in New York and in Boston, the Smithsonian Library in Washington, D.C., the Museum of the City of New York, Round Top Music Festival, the Spanish Institute, Gracie Mansion, the Americas Society, and various universities and libraries. He has also played in Bogotá, Colombia and in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His first CD of solo music, titled “Latin Guitar” (in which he interprets the music of Barrios, Lauro, and which contains the World Premiere recording of the Dominican composer Rafael Landestoy’s complete works for guitar), was released in 2003. In 2005 he released his second CD titled “Almost All Bach” in which he interprets the music of J.S. Bach and D. Scarlatti. Francisco Roldán is currently on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music Extension and Preparatory Divisions and at Lehman College, City University of New York.

Nina Gale Olson
Director of External Affairs

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