Eric Barsness presents a concert of songs for solo voice and piano featuring world-premieres written for the occasion by five contemporary composers: Christopher Berg, David Behrman, Joe Hannan, Jill Kroesen and Frankie Mann. The respective composers will accompany Barsness in their premieres, which reflect their widely varied compositional styles. The program includes Julius Eastman’s Prelude to The Holy Presence of Joan D’Arc (1981) for unaccompanied voice, and other 20th- and 21st-century songs with Berg and Hannan on the piano.
Eric Barsness (bass vocalist) has performed a wide range of avant-garde and classical music, including the premiere performances of numerous works by David Berhman, Joe Hannan, Jill Kroesen, Frankie Mann and David Tcimpidis. His performances with the Delaware Valley Opera include the roles of Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Cosí fan Tutte, Colline in Puccini’s La bohème and General Harrison Howell in Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate. His recital repertory ranges from Henry Purcell and Franz Schubert to Noel Coward and Charles Ives. Barsness can be heard on CD in David Behrman’s My Dear Siegfried (XI Records), on DVD in Frankie Mann’s Island, and also performs the role of chef Antonin Carème in Terri Hanlon’s recent video Meringue Diplomacy.
Growing up, Barsness sang in choirs at Riverside Church and studied piano with Ellen Rust before attending Oberlin College, where he majored in dance and choreography and continued piano studies at the Oberlin Conservatory. He was a noted choreographer and dancer before he shifted his focus back to music, studying vocal technique with Richard Dorr, Erik Thorendahl, and Sharon Claveau. Eric currently studies voice with Carol Yahr. He is delighted to work as director of development for Puppies Behind Bars, a nonprofit that trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and explosive detection canines for law enforcement.