Young Artists give Artsongs a cabaret beginning

Tatiana Ogan_web


The Chautauqua Opera Company’s “Artsongs in the Afternoon” series will open with a tribute to the dazzling dramatic tradition of cabaret.

At 4:15 p.m. today, the three singers performing in the Hall of Christ will welcome the audience to the show with Cabaret’s “Wilkommen.”

The decision to render a partially comical performance was not taken lightly. Cree Carrico, Tatiana Ogan and Clayton Brown, the trio of Young Artists performing today, spent the longest time deciding on their program, despite the fact that they are the first group to perform.

The concert’s theme may be “Caberet,” but this will not confine the range of performances. Carico, Ogan and Brown will perform a mixture of cabaret-style and traditional operatic arrangements. Audience members can expect a diverse selection of songs, with four languages — French, Spanish, German and English — represented.

Clayton Brown_web


Among the program are Astor Piazzolla’s vocal arrangements of two poems by Argentine literary giant Jorge Luis Borges. The poems, “Jacinto Chiclana” and “Alguien le dice al Tango,” were created by Piazzolla for a vocalist who could skillfully improvise a melody from the original instrumental arrangement.

In other words, Brown will be performing a world-class tango of his own devise.

Brown, a baritone, will also be performing a duet with Carrico, a soprano who graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. The two have performed together in the past, most notably in the Manhattan School of Music’s The Ghost of Versailles, directed by Jay Lesenger, Chautauqua Opera’s artistic and general director.

Cree Carrico_web


Carrico will also sing with Ogan, a mezzo. The women will perform two selections from Felix Mendelssohn’s Op. 63. Following these songs, Ogan will perform two compositions by Arnold Schoenberg, “Gigerlette” and “Jedem das Seine.” Both songs come from Schoenberg’s collection of cabaret songs, “Brettl-Lieder.”

Ogan came from a slightly different background than her peers. When an injury forced her to temporarily relinquish her love of running, Ogan took up singing at the University of Oklahoma. Fortunately for the Institution’s opera fans, she found her place onstage, and now has a powerful commitment to singing and acting.