Bel Canto Boot Camp: April Sunday Matinées - Guild Hall
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Bel Canto Boot Camp
April Sunday Matinées

Bel Canto Boot Camp: Audiophile Society
Event Category:
Sunday, April 11
3:00 pm
Sundays, April 4–25 at 3pm

Registration: Pay What You Can: Series ($35 – $140) OR Single Session ($5 – $35)
FREE for Opera Donors



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For the past three months, every Sunday at 3 o’clock dozens of singers and lovers of singing from across the world have met to listen topically curated recordings from the past 120 years. Inspired by the success of its Audiophile Society, Bel Canto Boot Camp (BCBC) has expanded their program and collaboration with Guild Hall in a new series, Sunday Matinées. 

Sunday Matinée’s is a weekly salon series exploring the ways in which we listen, react, and connect with opera and the vocal arts. Led by Rachelle Jonck and Derrick Goff, BCBC cofounders, and Steven Tharp, curator of Audiophile Society and expert on all things recorded, we will learn together what to listen for in historical recordings, and where the technology needs our ears and minds to “fill in” what might not be there. The sessions heavily use the chat feature on zoom, allowing participants to “pass notes” in real time while the music is happening. At a BCBC session, we do not have to wait till intermission to share our thoughts and excitement about what we hear! 

The April series includes a special three-part opera news lecture titledOpera in the Papers,” facilitated by guest artist, Dr. David Ekstrum and Judith Malafronte. 


An Operatic Easer, Cavalleria Rusticana: Sunday, April 4
Audiophile Society presents its first curated listening of an entire opera- Mascagni’s beloved opera, set on Easter morning.  

Opera in the Papers, Part I: Sunday, April 11
A look at opera criticism in print paired with listening to the critiqued singers and their performances. Facilitated by guest artist, Dr. David Ekstrum and Judith Malafronte 

Opera in the Papers, Part II: Sunday, April 18 

Opera in the Papers, Part III: April 25 

  • Rachelle Jonck

    Rachelle Jonck

    Rachelle Jonck is a South Africa-born coach/pianist/conductor based in New York City. She is the Principal Coach of Teatro Nuovo and teaches at Westminster Choir College. Above all these her first love is her private coaching studio. While her main field of study is bel canto, she often explores the wider applications of its principles in other styles and languages. Last summer she led Rossini’s La gazza ladra at the Rose Theater from the fortepiano as part of Teatro Nuovo’s 2019 season. She received an honorable mention in the Conducting Category of the Annual Excellence in Opera Awards (aka a Freddie). She was amazed that she made it onto quite the illustrious list of conductors while sitting down and not conducting. She is technologically challenged so this entire endeavor is basically a miracle brought about by an amazing team of people – she can take no credit for anything making it all the way from her brain to computer and phone screens around the globe! If she is not busy with Bel Canto Boot Camp she is doing Kinstretch® or cooking her way through her favorite cookbooks.

  • Derrick Goff

    Derrick Goff is an alumnus of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and will return to the MET music staff as an Assistant Chorusmaster next season.  Derrick has recently accompanied art song recitals at the Bruno Walter Auditorium in New York and at Caramoor. He has enjoyed many years of collaboration with Rachelle and Will Crutchfield at Teatro Nuovo, a continuation of the young artist program of Bel Canto at Caramoor, where he is resident as a coach, chorusmaster, and Italian teacher. Despite mostly now being paid to play the piano, he holds degrees in organ and voice from Westminster Choir College. Derrick is always looking for something new to learn about a foreign language (сейчас он хочет говорить по-русски) and can often be found with an alarmingly large iced coffee struggling to finish the NYTimes crossword. 

  • Steven Tharp

    Steven Tharp

    Missouri-born tenor Steven Tharp’s operatic credits include performances with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Netherlands Opera, among many other houses. Handel and Mozart are well represented in Mr. Tharp’s repertoire of more than 60 operatic parts, and his keen interest in 18th- and early 19th-century opera has led to many roles in operas of Gluck, Haydn, Scarlatti, Conti, and others. In concert, Mr. Tharp has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra, among others. His concert repertoire includes the Bach, Mozart, Handel, and Haydn masterpieces of the 18th and 19th century and extends to Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder, the Verdi Requiem, and Britten’s War Requiem. A dedicated song recitalist, Mr. Tharp has appeared at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 92nd Street Y, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, venues in Europe, Japan, and South America. His interest in musical theater and cabaret led to his appearance in 3 Tenors in Search of an Act in a sold-out run at Don’t Tell Mama in New York. Steven has recorded for Decca, Delos, Newport, Albany and Naxos, earning a Grammy Award nomination. He has also served as stage director for the Manhattan School of Music and for Caramoor. He lives in Columbia, Missouri with his adorable Westie, Hector, and is Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Missouri. 

  • Dave Ekstrum

    Dave Ekstrum studied music theory and composition at Ouachita Baptist University (B.M.) and Baylor University before making the transition from baritone to tenor and becoming a professional singer. Early professional chorus work at Houston Grand Opera and New York City Opera led to solo engagements at the Caramoor Festival, Sarasota Opera, Opera in the Heights, and Cincinnati Opera. His operatic roles include Canio, Pollione, Idomeneo, Florestan, Macduff, Don José, Max, Samson and last, but not least…Siegmund. Awards and prizes include Second Prize in the Liederkranz Foundation Awards for Voice (Wagnerian Division) and a study grant from the New York Wagner Society. He holds an M.M. in vocal performance from CCM and a D.M.A. from the University of North Texas. He currently teaches voice at Southern Arkansas University. When not singing, teaching singing or conducting a choir, Dave is an avid reader and movie buff.  He also enjoys spicy food, superhero TV shows, and spending time at the beach. 

  • Judith Malafronte

    Judith Malafronte has appeared as mezzo-soprano soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, St. Louis Symphony, and Mark Morris Dance Group, as well as opera companies in Europe and oratorio societies and early music groups throughout the United States. As a vocal coach and continuo player, she has given master classes in Europe and Asia, and she maintains an active private voice studio in New York City. 
    Malafronte taught for 15 years at Yale University, having created undergraduate courses on Shakespeare and Music, Literature and Opera, and The Material Culture of Music. In addition, she taught graduate level courses in historical performance, oratorio repertoire, and the music of Handel, and provided vocal instruction to choral conducting majors. She curated and produced concerts and theater projects in collaboration with Yale’s museums, libraries, professional schools, and social clubs, and led the Yale Collegium Singers for six years. She continues to give popular courses on opera for Yale Alumni College and the Yale University Women’s Organization 
    Malafronte earned degrees from Vassar College and Stanford University, and studied in Paris with Mlle. Nadia Boulanger and in Milan with Giulietta Simionato as a Fulbright scholar. She has recorded for major labels in a broad range of repertoire, from medieval chant to contemporary music, and writes regularly for online and print outlets including Opera News, Early Music America Magazine, The Classical Review, and Parterre Box. 

Event Sponsors

Education Programming supported by The Patti Kenner Arts Education Fellowship, Lucy and Steven Cookson, The Hearthland Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, and funding from the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Endowment Fund, and The Melville Straus Family Endowment

All Musical Programming supported in part by The Ellen and James S. Marcus Endowment for Musical Programming
The Met Opera simulcasts at Guild Hall are made possible in part through the generosity of: 
Grand Tier: Dr. Ralph Gibson, in memory of Andy Jacobyansky, who generously shared his passion, knowledge and support for the opera, The Ellen and James S. Marcus Endowment for Musical Programming, Howie and Louise Phanstiel, The East Hampton Star, and Norbert Weissberg, in memory of his brother, Dr. Joseph H. Weissberg, a Wagner scholar 
Dress Circle: Maureen Bluedorn, Norma Giorgetti in memory of Mary-Anne Szabaga, Barbara Horgan, Patti Kenner, Alex Laughlin, David Seeler and Ngaere Macray, Maryam K. Seley, and Irene and Sidney Silverman 
Balcony Circle: Gabrielle Bamberger, Harriet Edwards, Jeannette and H. Peter Kriendler Charitable Trust, Laughlin Memorial Library, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Osborne, Stephen F. Patterson in memory of George W. Stewart, Veronica Stephens, Mary Stone, Sandra Thorn, Peter Van Hattum in memory of Harold Simmons 
Family Circle (*Gold): Carolyn and Gioacchino Balducci, Arlene Bujese and Marcel Bally*, Ann and George Davis, Robert F. Luckey*, Pamela and Robert Lund, Marcia Previti and Peter Gumpel*, Cornelia and Lawrence Randolph, Debbie and Alex Walter*, and Jane Wood 
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