September 23, 2010
Shirley Close, a soprano who is well-known as a recitalist of song literature from the 18th to 21st centuries, will present a guest recital at OBU on Thursday, Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Raley Chapel's Yarborough Auditorium. The public is invited to attend.
The recital will feature musical selections by composers such as Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, H.H.A. Beach, Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Cole Porter, and George and Ira Gershwin arranged by Marc Lewis and Seth Weinstein.
Close was born in Oklahoma to parents who were both pastors. Music was a large part of the family life, and she sang in church for the first time at 2 years of age. She was captivated by singing and pursued the study of voice at Olivet Nazarene University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in music, and the University of Southern California, where she earned a master's degree in voice.
She serves as associate professor of voice at Florida State University in Tallahassee. She performs regularly at Florida State University on faculty recitals, with the University Symphony Orchestra and with the Tallahassee Symphony. In October, she will perform "Dich, theure Halle" from Wagner's "Tannhäuser" for the first concert of the University Symphony to re-open Ruby Diamond Auditorium in Tallahassee.
Since 2009, she has maintained a voice studio in New York City where her students rank as some of the highest level of active performers in the country.
Close was honored in 2003 as the recipient of the Maggie Sloan Crawford Award given by Olivet Nazarene University to women who have excelled professionally and who are role models to young women. Other recipients have been Sandra Day O'Connor and Elizabeth Dole. In 2010, Olivet honored her with the distinguished Alumni Award, called the "O" Award.
She has performed opera, concerts and oratorio for 30 years in Europe, America and Asia. Highlights of her operatic career include performances at the Bavarian State Opera (Munich), Cologne Opera, Bayreuth Festival, Staatsoper Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Salzburg, National Theater of Mannheim, Opera du Rhin (Strasbourg), Opera de Nantes and Opera de Nice, as well as with the opera companies of Washington, D.C., Dallas, Atlanta, Mobile, Glimmerglass in Cooperstown, N.Y., and many others. She presented "Isolde" at the Seattle Opera, "Brünnhilde" at the Chicago Lyric Opera, and "Kostelnicka" in "Jenufa" at the San Francisco Opera and at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan (Ozawa). Additional favorite roles she has performed include "Kundry," "Ortrud," "Tosca," "Elizabeth and Venus," "Santuzza" and "La Gioconda," among others. She has sung under many renowned conductors including Ricardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim, Wolfgang Sawallisch, James Conlon, Pinchas Steinberg, Michel Plasson, John Nelson, Dennis Russell Davies, Julius Rudel, Michael Gielen, Sir David Willcocks, Louis Langrée, David Atherton and others.
The audience is invited to a reception following the recital.