David Ronis Appointed as University Opera’s Permanent Director

Good afternoon. Our last newsletter of the academic year contains good news. We’ll see you again in August!

David Ronis Appointed as University Opera’s Permanent Director

The UW-Madison School of Music is pleased to announce that David Ronis, interim University Opera director since 2014, has been selected as the program’s permanent director following a nationally competitive search.

“We are delighted to have hired someone with such wide-ranging experience and expertise, as well as a proven commitment to music education in the 21st century,” said Susan C. Cook, director of the school of music, adding that Ronis also plans to collaborate with other programs on campus and beyond.

David_Ronis. Image by Luke DeLalio.

The position is endowed, and was initiated with a pledge of $500,000 from Dr. Charles Bishop, CEO of Opko Health’s Renal Division of Miami, Florida. The pledge was in memory of his wife, Karen K. Bishop, who died of cancer in January 2015. Karen Bishop was a successful businesswoman who, after her diagnosis, returned to school for a master’s degree in opera and a doctoral degree in voice, both at UW-Madison.

Dr. Bishop’s gift was matched dollar for dollar with John and Tashia Morgridge’s matching gift for faculty support, making the professorship a reality. It was further bolstered by overwhelming support by the community’s opera lovers and friends.

Ronis will become the inaugural Karen K. Bishop Director of University Opera and will assume his position in the fall.

David Ronis came to UW-Madison as interim director in 2014 following the retirement of William Farlow. Prior to coming here, Ronis was a faculty member at the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College/CUNY, where he directed the opera studio and co-founded the Baroque Opera Workshop, and at Hofstra University, where he taught voice and diction. Four of his productions have won awards in the National Opera Association’s Opera Production Competition, most recently his 2014 UW-Madison staging of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring. This marked the first time that University Opera has won a national award.

Ronis also has taught at La Lingua della Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy, the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute, and the Maryland Summer Center for the Arts. He has presented master classes and workshops across the country, coaching singers on acting and audition skills. As a performer, he has appeared in opera productions in Europe, Asia and the United States, in concert at Carnegie, Avery Fisher, and Alice Tully Halls, toured the U.S. with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and worked in film and television commercials.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the fine students and terrific colleagues at UW-Madison, ” Ronis said, adding that his plans include continued emphasis on the theatrical aspects of both traditional and contemporary operatic repertory and exploring additional partnerships with campus and community organizations.

“We are so very grateful to Charles Bishop for helping ensure the future health and stability of our opera program. Karen was a remarkable student, and this professorship recognizes her many talents as well as her commitment to the School of Music and the opera program,” added Professor Cook.

Ronis will be only the third director of University Opera. The program began informally in 1958, with Karlos Moser formally appointed as director in 1961. He served until 1998 and was replaced by William Farlow, who retired in 2014.

 

Advertisements

Courtyard Concerts Caught on Video, Commencement News, “Jewish Archive” review, Community Music Lessons spring recital

News and Events from the School of Music – May 4, 2016. Next issue: stories about our students!

Commencement Countdown

Please join us for Commencement 2016 on Friday, May 13, 2:30-4:30 PM at Music Hall! We’ll hold our commencement, awards and hooding ceremony for all degree recipients: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral. Guests will include Susan Zaeske, Associate Academic Dean of the Arts and Humanities; alumna Dr. Yi-Lan Niu, DMA, voice professor at St. Norbert College in De Pere; and retiring associate director, Professor Janet Jensen, who will serve as master of ceremonies. We’ll feature live music from our students and a reception. New this year: Empire Photography will be on hand taking personal photographs of every graduate.

2015 commencement photographs by Michael R. Anderson.

General UW-Madison Commencement Information: https://commencement.wisc.edu/


Courtyard Concerts: Always a delight to passersby

Despite much-too-chilly weather, Sound Out Loud, a student-led contemporary music ensemble, played its inaugural concert on April 29, performing Steve Reich’s monumental “Music For 18 Musicians.” As of May 4, our post on Facebook had reached 2,240 viewers!

The UW Concert Band (Spring) with Mike Leckrone
Last year’s courtyard UW Concert Band performance was rained out, but this year’s was disrupted only by a few blowing sheets of music! Way to go, Band!


“Performing the Jewish Archive” concert earns respect from audience, reviewer

Madison Magazine’s “Classically Speaking” blogger Greg Hettsmanberger attended Monday’s concert of “Performing the Jewish Archive” at the First Unitarian Society, and writes: “An audience of significant size and extraordinary concentration experienced more than a concert. For as we absorbed—or in some cases were battered by, enraptured or flat-out awed—by the music of Schoenberg (as arranged by Webern), Korngold and Bloch, an overarching thought occurred to me: In focused festival events such as these, particularly in the context of artists who paid the price of exile or with their own lives, audience members come with heightened expectations. And the players come with an even sharper sense of purpose, layered onto, as it were, their own creative passion; when the synergy begins to work in the concert venue, the result transcends far beyond the usual ‘I liked that piece’ or ‘They sure played that one well.'”
Read the entire review: Madison Magazine “Classically Speaking” PJA Review
There’s two more days of events. Learn more here: http://www.music.wisc.edu/performing-the-jewish-archive-may-2016-events/


Youth musicians on stage at Community Music Lessons recital

CML ended its year with a joyous recital! We thank all our participants, our teachers, and coordinator Samantha Sinai for making this happen. Registration for summer classes starts at the end of May. Learn more here: http://www.music.wisc.edu/cml/

Community Music Lessons Recital, Spring 2016. Pictured (from left to right): Yunkyung Hong with piano student Shabnam Qader, violinist Bobby Henkelmann with teacher Isidora Miranda, violinist Andrew Ochoa with teacher Keisuke Yamamoto. Picture taken by Mr. Henkelmann.
Community Music Lessons Recital, Spring 2016. Pictured (from left to right): Yunkyung Hong with piano student Shabnam Qader, violinist Bobby Henkelmann with teacher Isidora Miranda, violinist Andrew Ochoa with teacher Keisuke Yamamoto. Picture taken by Mr. Henkelmann.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faculty News: Marc Vallon

Student News: Hayden Victor

The School of Music offers a smorgasbord of performances each year; we invite you to visit our website and click on our events calendar. We also publish a season brochure that is mailed every August.


You received this newsletter because you either signed up at join-somnews@lists.wisc.edu or directly at this blog. You can also follow us on our very active Facebook page and hear our music on our SoundCloud page.