Firefly Classics presents Ibidunni Ojikutu and Rebecca Jordan Mañalac Concert
Name: Firefly Classics presents Ibidunni Ojikutu and Rebecca Jordan Mañalac Concert
Date: February 4, 2017
Time: 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM PST
The Jansen Art Center is pleased to present the first Firefly Classics concert of the season featuring Soprano Ibidunni Ojikutu and Pianist Rebecca Jordan Mañalac on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 7:30pm. The Firefly Classics series features classical music performances held in the beautiful Chamber Hall, which seats 100 people and features a Schimmel concert grand piano, providing an intimate setting for the community to engage in live music experiences. Ojikutu and Mañalac collaborate to present “Songs From the American Experience.” This multi-faceted program celebrates the music of American composers, featuring Samuel Barber, George Gershwin, Moses Hogan, Nkeiru Okoye, Rogers & Hammerstein, and more. New works join old favorites, opera mingles with jazz, and spirituals meet musicals in a journey that takes us from Appalachia to the Midwest, from the deep South to Philadelphia. These songs express the hopes and fears, loves and labors of a diverse people coming together to build a country that can be home for all. A frequent performer in the Pacific Northwest, Soprano Ibidunni Ojikutu is known for having a strong foundation in traditional and contemporary repertoire and has studied extensively in both areas. Ojikutu made her Seattle Opera debut as Strawberry Woman in their 2011 production of Porgy and Bess. “Opera News” said of her performance, “Ibidunni Ojikutu’s turn as Strawberry Woman was as charming as the lilt in her voice.” Recent credits include “High Priestess” and “Aida” covers with Skagit Opera’s 2014 production of Aida, as well as “Marcellina” in the Bellevue Ballet and Opera's inaugural production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Ojikutu created the role of Sally Hemings in Garrett Fisher’s new opera Monticello Wakes. The opera, about the relationship between Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson, had its debut in the fall of 2015 at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. In her collaborative work, Ojikutu performed in a concert series with Stephanie Anne Johnson and David Christopher Horton featuring works that have made an impact on African American culture. Ibidunni Ojikutu is a two time Fellow of the CoOPERAtive Young Artist Program in Princeton, New Jersey. While at CoOPERAtive, she was soprano soloist for Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. Ms.Ojikutu was also chosen to perform in masterclasses given by coaches from prestigious houses including The Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper). Rebecca Jordan Mañalac is a native of Brier, Washington, and began playing the piano at the age of five. In high school she supplemented her musical education with weekend classes and studying chamber music at the Academy of Music Northwest. Rebecca earned her bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of Washington, studying with Patricia Michaelian. She obtained her master’s degree in piano performance from Loyola University (New Orleans), where she studied with Dr. John Murphy. Mañalac has performed in masterclasses with musicians such as Alexander Korsantia, Logan Skelton, Edmund Battersby, Nelita True, and the Eroica Trio. She has appeared as soloist with the Academy Chamber Orchestra, the University of Puget Sound Orchestra, and the Loyola Symphony Orchestra. Mañalac has also performed live on KING FM 98.1, Seattle’s classical radio station. Mañalac’s many awards include silver and gold medals in the MusicFest Northwest Competition; and won the University of Puget Sound Concerto Competition (2004) and the Loyola University New Orleans Concerto Competition (2011). Currently serving as President of the Bellingham Music Teachers Association (BMTA), Mañalac has experience working with students and musicians of all ages and skill levels. Rebecca is the Staff Accompanist at Western Washington University and choir pianist for the Trinity Lutheran Church choir. Tickets for this concert are $25 and can be purchased at the Gallery Shop at the Jansen Art Center or online at www.jansenartcenter.org. Firefly Classics 3-Concert Series tickets for the are available for $65.