2012 holiday concerts planned around New Mexico

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The Santa Fe Opera’s holiday concerts, “Arias, Carols and Songs,” return to Roswell, Santa Fe and Albuquerque in December.  Soprano Mary-Jane Lee and tenor Matthew Grills, both former apprentices, will perform a program of classical and sacred works as well as music of the season.
Flutist Valerie Potter and members of Young Voices, the Opera’s program for high school students, will join them. Baritone Alex Harden, who has been a member of Young Voices for the past three years, will sing the hymn “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need.” He is from Tijeras. Kirt Pavitt is the pianist for all three performances.
The Roswell performance of “Arias, Carols and Songs” will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Anderson Museum. The Santa Fe performance is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at Cristo Rey Catholic Church.
The Albuquerque concert Dec. 16 will take place in a new venue, Simms Auditorium on the campus of the Albuquerque Academy, at 3 p.m.
The concerts are free and everyone is welcome. Seating is on a first-come first-served basis and the doors open one-half hour before each performance.
Lee was an apprentice in 2011 and 2012. She received her bachelor’s degree from Utah State University and a master’s degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.
She has performed Roselinda in “Die Fledermaus” with Wichita Grand Opera; the Countess in “The Marriage of Figaro” and Musetta in “La Boheme” with the Aspen Opera Theatre Center.
Grills, an apprentice last summer, was a winner of the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He holds a master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music.
A first-year resident artist with the Portland Opera, Grills sings Goffredo in “Rinaldo and Spoletta” in Tosca, during the company’s current season. In April, he gives a recital in the Terrace Theatre at the Kennedy Center, presented by Vocal Arts D.C. and The Washington Performing Arts Society.
Additionally, he makes his San Francisco Opera debut next summer as Nathaniel in “The Tales of Hoffmann.”
Pavitt has distinguished himself as soloist, accompanist and musical collaborator.
He has played for many of America’s singers and instrumentalists and has performed in London’s Wigmore Hall, Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls in New York, plus numerous cities throughout the United States and Europe.
He has served as pianist and music director in the Education Department at Opera Theatre of St. Louis and his longtime affiliation with The Santa Fe Opera culminated in a full-time appointment as music associate in 2002.
Potter is an associate professor of flute at the University of New Mexico. She served as the principal flutist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra from 1993-2011 and currently holds the same position with the New Mexico Philharmonic.
Potter has performed with orchestras throughout the United States, including the Cincinnati Symphony, Detroit Symphony and San Francisco Symphony, and has played in The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra on numerous occasions.