Released February 14, 2003

FACULTY SOPRANO PAYS HOMAGE TO LEONTYNE PRICE

Long Beach -- A faculty soprano at The University of Southern Mississippi will present "A Tribute to Leontyne Price" Feb. 27 at Southern Miss's Gulf Park campus.

The performance – by Dr. Mary Ann Kyle in the first spring event of the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Ambassador Series – begins at 7 p.m. in the Advanced Education Center Auditorium on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. It is free and open to the public.

Price has been an inspiration to Kyle, assistant professor of voice in the Southern Miss School of Music, since Kyle, at the age of 17, first heard the famous opera star from Mississippi sing with William Warfield in "Porgy and Bess."

"I have chosen to honor Ms. Price as an American treasure and one of Mississippi's most honored citizens," Kyle said. "I also have chosen music that reflects different elements of her performance career."

In 2001 Kyle visited with the Laurel native during Price's last visit to her home state. The two sopranos talked about Price's childhood memories, including Price's ballet debut in white tennis shoes and a tutu. Kyle said the evening was an unforgettable journey into her hero's life.

Jewel Tucker, longtime administrative secretary to the president at Southern Miss, will join Kyle in the program as narrator.

"There will be stories and anecdotes from Ms. Price's life and career that Jewel

Tucker will narrate," Kyle said. "I am honored that she is going to take part in my recital."

Pianist Theresa Sanchez, a faculty member at Jones County Junior College and past president of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association, will collaborate with Kyle. Also joining the program are bass baritone Andrew Mark Webb and the Southern Opera and Music Theatre chorus, a Southern Miss ensemble that Kyle directs.

"I have included selections on my program that (Price) performed during her Carnegie Hall recital debut in 1969," Kyle said. "There also are selections from the American Negro Spiritual repertoire, a favorite of hers. She often referred to spirituals as the ‘American art song.'"

Other program selections include two pieces from Samuel Barber's "Hermit Songs" – ones that Price herself premiered with Barber as her accompanist – and several arias from some of Price's most celebrated opera roles. They include "Tacea la notte" from Il Trovatore, "Porgy and Bess," "La Forza del Destino," "Carmen" and "Tosca."

There will be five more performances in the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Ambassador Series this spring.

The Velvet Duo Violin and Piano Recital will perform at 7 p.m. on March 28 at St. Paul's Catholic Church, 140 East Beach Blvd., Pass Christian.

Brazilian Percussion Carnival, featuring the Southern Miss Percussion Ensemble with guest performer/composer Ney Rosaura, will begin at 7 p.m. on March 31 at the Advanced Education Center Auditorium on the Gulf Park campus.

Salut d' Amour, featuring violinist Alexandre Brussilovsky and Sanchez on piano, will start at 7 p.m. on April 1 in the Advanced Education Center Auditorium on the

Gulf Park campus.

Seascapes, a multimedia musical tribute to the Seven Seas, will begin 7 p.m. on April 8 at the Southern Miss College of Marine Science's Scott Auditorium in Biloxi.

The Stretto String Quartet will round out the Ambassador Series for the spring, with a performance beginning at 7 p.m. on May 6 at the First Baptist Church, 902 Live Oak Ave., in Pascagoula.

All of the performances are free and open to the public.

The Ambassador Series began last October with three musical events and features six this spring. For more information on "A Tribute to Leontyne Price" and the Ambassador Series, contact Jay Dean at (601) 266-4035.

 

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July 9, 2003 11:02 AM

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