The WAMA 2017 Summer Music Festival offers a respite from the summer heat with refreshing evenings of world class music inside the Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre of Wildwood Park for the Arts. The premier musicians of four concerts perform for the public in conjunction with guest artist master classes and instruction for the Wildwood Academy of Music & the Arts (WAMA).
Now in its fourth year, WAMA provides youth in Arkansas access to the highest standards in music and arts education. With primary emphasis on instrumental and vocal music, WAMA also provides opportunities to explore multiple artistic genres, from visual and culinary arts to literary arts and musical theatre. Through orchestral, large and small ensemble, and solo experiences, students receive training and performance opportunities supported by professional faculty. To learn more about WAMA, visit http://www.wildwoodpark.org/education/wildwood-academy-of-music-the-arts/. Sessions are held June 12 through July 21.
On Tuesday, June 13, share in the rare opportunity to hear Kiril Laskarov perform with a Stradivarius violin. Laskarov, returning in 2017 as a strings instructor for WAMA, is currently in his 18th season as Concertmaster of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. A native of Bulgaria, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State Academy of Music in Sofia and a Master’s degree from Southern Illinois University. Laskarov has appeared as a soloist with the Arkansas Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Southern Illinois Symphony, Abilene (TX) Philharmonic, Symphony Irvine (CA) and Texarkana (TX) Symphony.
On Thursday, June 22, hear Joo Won Kang, a remarkable young baritone known for his stellar performances in America’s most famous opera houses. Joo Won Kang a native of South Korea is consistently establishing himself as one of the most talented baritones today, both with audience and critics. Highlights of Mr. Kang’s 2016-2017 season include his debut at the Wexford Festival, Ireland where he sang the leading role of Corrado in Donizetti’s Maria de Rudenz with great success. Of his performance, Opera News Magazine called his “…The standout voice of this year’s festival…” He will sing the role of Chou-Enlai in John Adam’s Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by the composer. This summer he sings Germont in La Traviata with PORT opera, and in the fall he returns to San Francisco Opera to sing Ping in Turandot, which opens their new season. Additional upcoming debuts include Arizona Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Thursday, June 29, Kelly Singer, one of Arkansas’ finest young singers, will share why she’s known for lyric coloratura. Having won first place – twice – in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the Arkansas District, Ms. Singer has performed with Praeclara, University City Symphony Orchestra, Cherokee Symphony Orchestra, and has served as section leader for Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock. At Wildwood, audiences have seen her in roles in The Music Man, The Pirates of Penzance, and Dracula Unearthed. A graduate of UA Little Rock under the auspices of Diane Kesling and Bevan Keating, Singer is a WAMA faculty member and will also continue auditioning across the U.S. this summer.
Thursday, July 13, provides a fun-filled evening for the entire family when The Fourth Wall Ensemble takes the stage, and the seats, and the wings of the Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre. This award-winning hybrid arts group turned the fruits of their conservatory studies into hysterical and high-energy performances.