Mahler Symphony No. 2: “Resurrection” – Program Notes
Ukrainian-born soprano Antonina Chehovska was recently named the winner of several prestigious awards: First Prize winner of the Gerda Lissner International Competition, Grand Prize winner of the Leonie Rysanek Award with the George London Foundation after which the New York Times declared her as one of the“top choices” for her “heartfelt” Letter Scene from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin; Grand Prize winner of the Cooper-Bing Competition, the Schuyler Foundation Career Bridges Grant, Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship, Grand Prize winner of the Czech and Slovak International Voice Competition, and twice the winner of the Michigan District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. During the 2015-2016 season, Ms. Chehovska made her New York City recital debut at Opera America’s National Opera Center. In concert she performed Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Ravel's Shéhérazade with the Dexter Symphony Orchestra, and will perform Mahler's Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) with the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Chehovska will also appear in recital with pianist, Liza Stepanova at the Festival of American Liszt Society in California.
In 2013, Ms. Chehovska made her professional debut on the concert stage singing Mozart’s Requiem with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra. She made her international professional debut singing Dvořak’s Stabat Mater with the Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, and presented a recital at the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava by special invitation. During the 2014-2015 season, Ms. Chehovska appeared as soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, Verdi’s Manzoni Requiem with the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra in historic Hill Auditorium, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Kent Philharmonic Orchestra. In recital she performed on the stage of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as part of their pre-concert recital series during the Tchaikovsky Festival, and was a featured soloist in Shostakovich’s Seven Verses for Soprano, Violin, Cello, and Piano with members of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra at the Toledo Museum of Art. Ms. Chehovska was the winner of the University of Michigan Friends of Opera Competition and the University of Michigan Concerto Competition, which granted her a performance of Strauss’s Vier letzte Lieder with the University Symphony Orchestra.
As a student at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance Ms. Chehovska appeared as Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking (Jake Heggie), in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos (Strauss), Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and La Contessa in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. She holds two Master’s Degrees in Performance (Voice) and Conducting from the University of Michigan. She is an alumna of Grand Rapids Community College and summer programs such as International Vocal Arts Institute in New York City & Montreal, Quebec; Songfest in Los Angeles, where she was the Marc & Eva Stern Fellow; Oberlin in Italy, where she starred in the title role of Puccini’s Suor Angelica; the Moravian Master Class in Czech Republic; and Si parla, Si canta in Italy.
Venezuelan-American mezzo-soprano Cybele Gouverneur has been hailed as “A statuesque, doe-eyed beauty who bears a passing resemblance to the young Ava Gardner” and with a voice “large, velvety” and “marked by rich, dusky tones (with) high extensions.”
In the 2013 -2014 season Ms Gouverneur makes the role debut of Dulcinée in Don Quichotte with Festival Opera and returns to the title role ofCarmen with Livermore Valley Opera, CA.
The 2011 – 2012 season brought her return to San Francisco Opera for the new Francesca Zambello production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen as Schwertleite (Die Walküre) and Mercedes in Carmen and the major role debuts of Dalila in Samson et Dalila and Amneris in Aida with West Bay Opera.
Ms Gouverneur,“whose chocolate-rich voice has been impressing audiences...” made her San Francisco Opera debut alongside Natalie Dessay in the 2008 summer in Graham Vick's production of Lucia di Lammermoor. In the 2008-2009 season, she took on the title role in the 25th Anniversary production of Bizet's Carmen for Opera San José, where, as Principal Artist in Residence from 2007-2009, she sang the roles of Charlotte (Werther), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Olga (Eugene Onegin), and Dorabella (Cosí fan tutte).
In the concert hall Ms. Gouverneur, has performed with a number of orchestras, including La Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar de la Juventud in Caracas, Venezuela; the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra; and the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. She has performed such works as Verdi'sRequiem, Mozart's Requiem, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and Dvorak'sMass in D Minor.
Her commanding stage presence and consummate artistry have been evident in such roles as Cherubino (Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro); Giasone (Cavalli’s Il Giasone); Filippyevna (Tchaikovsky’sEugene Onegin), Proserpine (Marc-Antoine Charpentier's La Descente D'Orphée aux Enfers) with Collegium Musicum and Ars Lyrica of Houston; and other roles such as the title role in Massenet's Chérubin; Minsk Woman in Jonathan Dove's Flight; and Cherubino in John Corgliano's The Ghosts of Versaille. Other engagements include performances with Orchestra X of Houston featuring Prof. Peter Schickele and as well as covering Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice) with Caramoor Music Festival.
Ms. Gouverneur is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music and the University of Houston - Moores School of Music