UrbanArias at Strathmore


Back by Popular Demand!


Did you miss our hit show of Mini-Operas and Improv at IOTA last August?
Now’s your chance to see it –
Join us for a repeat performance at Strathmore!
UrbanArias presents 90 minutes of light and dark comedy:
Craigslistlieder returns, plus an UrbanArias premiere
and audience-directed improv.


FRIDAY, MARCH 22 at 8:30 p.m.


Arianna Zukerman
Melissa Wimbish
Joshua Baumgardner
Ethan Watermeier
and Tim McReynolds

Tickets are $20 in advance, and $22 at the door (CASH ONLY at the door).


UrbanArias will perform in the Mansion at Strathmore as part of their Friday Night Eclectic Series.

Seating is General Admission, and capacity is 110 – so be sure to buy in advance! Click here to learn more about Strathmore, and here for directions. Strathmore is located in Bethesda, MD. Please note that there are two distinct venues on the same property: we are performing in the Mansion at Strathmore (not the concert hall.) Strathmore is located on Metro’s Red Line at the Grosvenor/Strathmore stop, and parking is available as well.


We will present three “mini-operas” and two segments of audience-directed “Opera Improv,” in which YOU get to witness us create new opera scenes based on your suggestions. Like our show at IOTA in Arlington last August, this program is built loosely around the theme of romantic relationships, including blind dates and personals ads.

At the Statue of Venus

Text by Terrence McNally Music by Jake Heggie

Rose is a successful, single woman, somewhere north of 30, and her friends have set her up on a blind date. She plays along, and agrees to meet this guy in front of the statue of Venus at the art museum. What is she thinking as she waits? Jake Heggie, composer of Dead Man Walking, and Terrence McNally, author of Master Class, give us a funny and heart-warming portrayal of a smart, successful, and touchingly vulnerable woman as she waits for a chance at true love, while imagining the worst.

Rose – Arianna Zukerman

Piano – Tim McReynolds
Direction – Alan Paul

Adam and Eve

Text by Quincy Long Music by Patrick Soluri

Two patients in a psychiatric hospital believe they are Adam and Eve, as their doctor gently tries to guide them back to their real selves. Renowned playwright Quincy Long teams up with up-and-coming composer Patrick Soluri to provide a darkly witty reinterpretation of Genesis, complete with the Apple.

Adam – Joshua Baumgardner
Eve – Melissa Wimbish
Doctor – Ethan Watermeier

Piano – Tim McReynolds
Direction – Alan Paul

ADAM AND EVE was developed under the auspices of the Composer Librettist Development Program at American Lyric Theater in New York City.


Texts by Craigslist Advertisers Music by Gabriel Kahane

This set needs no explanation: eight of Craigslist’s most hilarious ads set to music. Gabriel Kahane’s music evokes Mahler, Bernstein, 90’s Power Ballads, and the entire set is expertly woven together. Don’t miss the outrageous cycle that got us the attention of the Huffington Post!


Melissa Wimbish
Arianna Zukerman
Joshua Baumgardner
Ethan Watermeier

Piano – Tim McReynolds

Watch composer Gabriel Kahane perform an excerpt from his work Craigslistlieder below:


Melissa Wimbish, sopranoMelissa Wimbish made her professional operatic debut as Barbarina with the Baltimore Lyric Opera in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in March 2012. She recently made her Kennedy Center recital debut as a winner of the 2011 Vocal Arts Society Discovery Recital Series and will return in March 2012 for a recital featuring songs of Barber, Schubert, Strauss and Wolf. A regular featured soloist with the Metropolitan State College of Denver Symphony Orchestra, she performed Mozart’s “Vorrei spiegarvi, O Dio!” as a concerto competition winner as well as the soprano soloist in both Orff’s Carmina Burana and David Brunner’s Ecstatic Songs. She was invited to be the soprano in the world premiere of “Venus Transiens” by composer Fran Pierson and will return in January 2012 to premiere Cherise Leiter’s Songs of Jane Austen. Opera productions include the title role in Manon with Peabody Opera, the Lyric Soprano role in Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Chesapeake Concert Opera (Blondchen cover), Die Fledermaus with Peabody Opera (Adele cover), as well as the monodrama for soprano by Poulenc, La voix humaine.

As an actress, Ms. Wimbish’s roster of theater experience boasts two “Best of Baltimore” companies including Single Carrot Theatre and Glass Mind Theatre. She premiered the role of Laura in the original one-act by Rebecca Wyrick, Newer Stranger in September 2010. This was followed by another premiere as Andy Two in Rich Espey’s original work Three Andys based on the life of Andy Warhol. She performed the role of the Cuban Singer with Single Carrot Theatre in Linus & Alora by Andrew Irons as well as Reverend Beaux in Young Jean Lee’s Church.

She is currently pursuing her Graduate Performance Diploma in Chamber Music at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University where she is the proud recipient of the Douglas and Hilda Perl Goodwin Endowed Scholarship Fund for Opera.

An international artist in demand for concert and opera performances, Arianna Zukerman is also an avid chamber musician, and regularly collaborates with some of today’s foremost chamber players. The Washington Post has stated , “Arianna Zukerman possesses a remarkable voice…” . Ms. Zukerman’s latest CD is the January 2013 critically acclaimed Naxos recording of James Whitbourn’s oratorio, Annelies, the first major choral setting of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, in which Ms. Zukerman is the featured soloist. Of her performance, The Guardian (UK) praised, “Arianna Zukerman sings with subdued beauty.” Upcoming spring 2013 appearances include the New Dominion Chorale, concerts with the Royal Philharmonic in the UK. and a concert performance of Annelies at Chicago’s Harris Theatre.

Joshua Baumgardner, tenorTenor Joshua Baumgardner is a native of Abingdon, Virginia. Joshua recieved his B.M. in Vocal Performance at James Madison University under the tutelage of Dr. John Little, and an M.M. in Vocal Performance at Florida State University where he studied with soprano Shirley Close. In 2011 Joshua won FSU’s prestigious Hannah Beaulieu Graduate Vocal Competition. Joshua has performed a variety of well known operatic roles such as Lensky in Eugene Onegin, Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Ferrando in Mozart’’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Camille de Rossilon in Lehar’s The Merry Widow, as well as The Englishman in Ibert’s Angelique. Joshua has also had the great honor of perfoming several scenes as Lenny in Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men at a benefit for the composer.

In 2010 Joshua made his European debut singing the role of Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberfloete at the Mittelsaechsisches Theater in Freiberg, Germany. Mr. Baumgardner also stepped in on short notice to sing several performances of The Armored Man in the same production after the house tenor became ill.

Baritone Ethan Watermeier most recently performed the “Adult Men” in Spring Awakening at Olney Theatre Center, where he previously appeared as Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors. Last season, Watermeier performed in Shakespeare Theatre’s staged reading of Brecht’s The Life of Galileo as well as the leading role of Gil in UrbanArias’ DC premiere of The Filthy Habit. Other favorite credits include the Broadway National Tour of Les Misérables (Javert), Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Aspen Music Festival. An active new works performer, Watermeier has premiered compositions by Mark Adamo, Tom Cipullo, Ricky Ian Gordon, Jake Heggie, John Musto, and Rachel Portman and was winner of the 2002 Kurt Weill International Competition. Watermeier is currently on the Voice Faculty at American University and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing, and the artist roster of Sing for Hope.

Timothy McReynolds, pianoPursuing a career that embraces art song, opera, chamber music, and cabaret, pianist R. Timothy McReynolds is also active as a teacher and vocal coach. He is a member of the Voice/Opera faculty of the University of Maryland, School of Music, and the former Music Director of Towson University’s Music for the Stage. He has participated as vocal coach/pianist for the Washington National Opera’s Opera Institute and the Aspen Music Festival. He was Instructor of Piano at American University in Washington, D.C. and Loyola University of Maryland, where he remains as pianist for the Vocal Masterclass Series.

He has toured internationally in concerts, cabarets, and masterclasses in Mexico, Germany, and Austria, as well as across the United States. He also performed in recital with acclaimed bass-baritone, the late William Warfield. He has been heard with, among others, Linda Mabbs, Francois Loup, Isabel Leonard, Timothy Mix, Danielle Talamantes, and Colleen Daly. The Washington Post hails him as the, “perceptive accompanist”, the Baltimore Sun, an “excellent pianist”, while the website Classical Journal proclaims him as the “brilliant accompanist” in a recital with mezzo-soprano, Delores Ziegler. He continues his close association with the Washington (D.C.) Vocal Arts Society and their Discovery Recital Series. Recent concert venues include the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, D.C., the Maryland Arts Festival in Baltimore, a state tour of Maryland with the Annapolis Symphony, the Egyptian Embassy Concert Series in Vienna, Austria, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Dr. McReynolds received his B.M. from Indiana University, M.M. from the University of Michigan, and completed his D.M.A. at the University of Maryland. His teachers have included Edward Auer, Martin Katz, Robert McCoy and Rita Sloan. He has participated or served as pianist for the masterclasses of John Wustman, Margo Garret, Steven Blier, Brian Zeger, Suzanne Mentzer, Vinson Cole, Vivica Genaux, William Bolcom, John Musto and Richard Hundley. He recently recorded a CD to be released in 2012 of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin with tenor Bryce Westervelt. Another CD recording with the chamber music group, Greenbrook Ensemble will also be released in 2012. His recent concert schedule includes venues in New York, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Vermont, and Pennsylvania.

Alan Paul PhotoAlan Paul is the Associate Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company. At STC he has directed The Boys From Syracuse, the Free-for-All production of Twelfth Night, and numerous galas and special events. At STC he has also assistant-directed 13 shows for Michael Kahn, David Muse, Rebecca Taichman, Gale Edwards, Mary Zimmerman, Jonathan Munby, and Maria Aitken. Other directing credits include I Am My Own Wife at Signature Theatre, Man of La Mancha at Catholic University, numerous productions for the Source Festival, and regional productions of Richard II and Six Degrees of Separation. He has directed readings for Arena Stage, The Studio Theatre, The Phillips Collection, Georgetown University, The Goethe Institut, and The National Academy of Sciences. Alan has also worked as a musical director and conductor at many Chicago theatres. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.

Patrick Soluri is a NYC based composer specializing in dramatic music for orchestra, ballet, opera, film & TV. This includes five commissioned ballet scores, (Staatsballet Berlin, Dances Patrelle and CVYB); numerous operatic works including a showcase by New York City Opera, a series of short comic operas that have premiered every year since 2009 at Carnegie Hall, and performances by Fort Worth Opera, Nevada Opera, Vienne en Voix Festival (France), RTB, and JUVENTAS. The one-act opera Embedded, commissioned by American Lyric Theater, recently won the “Frontiers” competition at Fort Worth Opera. He’s also worked on numerous film and TV projects including the Emmy winning Wonderpets, and worked with Sean Lennon on the film score for Alter Egos. His music has been featured on various shows on TLC, Logo and Discovery in the US and Europe, including America’s Got Talent. More info at: www.patricksoluri.com

Jake Heggie is the American composer of the operas Moby-Dick, Dead Man Walking, Three Decembers, To Hell and Back, For a Look or a Touch, Another Sunrise, and At the Statue of Venus. He has also composed more than 250 songs, as well as concerti, chamber music, choral and orchestral works. His songs, song cycles and operas are championed internationally by some of the most celebrated singers of our time, including Isabel Bayrakdarian, Stephen Costello, Joyce DiDonato, Nathan Gunn, Susan Graham, Ben Heppner, Jonathan Lemalu, Jay Hunter Morris, Patti LuPone, Robert Orth, Kiri Te Kanawa, Morgan Smith, Frederica von Stade, Talise Trevigne, and Bryn Terfel, to name a few. The operas — most of them created with the distinguished writers Terrence McNally and Gene Scheer — have been produced internationally on five continents. Since its San Francisco premiere in 2000, Dead Man Walking has received more than 200 international performances. Moby-Dick will be telecast on Great Performances in the fall of 2013 and is set to receive its East Coast premiere in February 2014 by the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Since its 2010 world premiere at The Dallas Opera, Moby-Dick has also been produced by San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, State Opera of South Australia, and Calgary Opera. Upcoming projects include Great Scott (libretto and story by McNally) for The Dallas Opera’s 2015/16 season; plus works commissioned by Music of Remembrance, Houston Grand Opera, Pacific Chorale, Pittsburgh Symphony and the Ravinia Festival. www.jakeheggie.com

Gabriel Kahane is a songwriter, singer, pianist, composer, devoted amateur cook, guitarist, and occasional banjo player. This year, he made his recital debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in a program devoted to his music. As a songwriter, he’s released two albums, most recently the critically acclaimed Where are the Arms, hailed by the New York Times for its “extravagant poise and emotional intelligence”. As a composer of concert works, Kahane has been commissioned by, among others, Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, The Caramoor Festival, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom Gabriel tours this coming spring performing a new song cycle about the WPA. Other appearances this season include performances of his orchestral song cycle Crane Palimpsest with the Alabama and Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphonies, a recital with Timo Andres at the Library of Congress, and a two-night stand at Ann Arbor’s UMS with the new music ensemble yMusic. Equally at home in divergent musical realms, Gabriel has performed or recorded with artists ranging from Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Chris Thile, and Brad Mehldau to Jeremy Denk, Alisa Weilerstein, and composer/conductor John Adams.