(L-R) Dr. Anna Keiserman, Dr. Will Berman, and Lauren Frey
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) -- Raritan Valley Community College’s Arts & Design department will present a faculty concert with Dr. Will Berman (baritone) and Dr. Anna Keiserman (piano), and featuring guest soprano Lauren Frey, Saturday, April 29 at 2:00pm. The event will be held in the Welpe Theatre at the College’s Branchburg campus.
The program, which will mainly feature American art song, highlights major compositions by living women composers. Many people are familiar with the current Broadway musical, Six, which focuses on the six wives of Henry VIII. The RVCC concert will include Try Me Good King, which offers the final words of five of the six wives of Henry VIII, set to music by Libby Larsen. The visceral and human accounts offer varying perspectives on the female experience within the monarchy. The program also will include several selections inspired by the AIDS Quilt Songbook. The musical pieces offer sobering reminders of what many people have experienced, and several are told from the queer perspective. The program intends to offer a message of hope and notes the importance of reflecting on human experiences that are often marginalized.
International soprano Lauren Frey hails from Pittsburgh, PA. By the age of 23 she had already won the Southeast District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms. Frey competed as a finalist in the Anton Rubenstein Competition in Düsseldorf, Germany. She is an experienced performer of concert repertoire and most recently was the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Important recent roles for the artist include Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Violetta (La Traviata), and Foreign Princess (Rusalka). She made her international debut singing Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. This summer, Ms. Frey will be featured in a gala aria concert with Opernfest Prague performing Rusalka.
Will Berman, lyric baritone, specializes in the performance of art song. He has offered recital programs in New Jersey, New York, and Illinois, both as a solo performer and as part of an art song initiative known as The Patchwork Project. He is also an experienced performer of oratorio. Out in Jersey described Berman as “in good voice” after he was a featured soloist in Carmina Burana with Princeton Pro Musica. He recently made his role debut as Masetto in Don Giovanni with the Button-Down Opera Project.
Russian-born and New York-based pianist Anna Keiserman is known for her creative programming, expressive freedom, and singular vision. Performance credits in New York City include performing at Le Poisson Rouge, the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the Fête de La Musique at the invitation of the French-American Piano Society. Other notable venues include the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts (Toms River), the Strand Theater (Hudson Falls, NY), and Ateneu Barcelonès (Barcelona, Spain). Dr. Keiserman completed her Doctorate in Piano Performance at Rutgers University, where she earned the Elizabeth Wyckoff Durham Award for academic distinction and excellence in piano performance. In September 2020, she joined the faculty of Raritan Valley Community College as an Assistant Professor of Piano.
General admission is $15 per person; the concert is free of charge for seniors and students. A post-performance discussion with the artists will follow the concert.
Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, New Jersey.