Sharla Nafziger, soprano

Ms. Nafziger’s engagements for the 2010-2011 season include a return to the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival for Mozart’s Mass in C-, and Menotti’s The Telephone, and a return engagement to the Winter Park Bach Festival Society for St. John Passion.  She makes her debut with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, and will appear again with the Argento Ensemble at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York City in Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Sierra’s Cancionero Sefardi, and Beat Furrer’s Invocation 6.  She will appear in a joint recital with pianist Thomas Bagwell on the St. Andrews Series in NYC, featuring songs of William Flanagan and Richard Hundley.  With the Hawthorne Symphony (NJ) she will sing the role of Marzelline in Beethoven’s Fidelio.  The 2009-2010 season saw her return to NYC’s Voices of Ascension singing Faure’s Requiem.  She was also presented in recital by the Moravian Music Foundation.  Last fall the foundation released a solo disc featuring Sharla, with the Winter Park Bach Festival Society, entitled “Loveliest Immanuel”.

Engagements for the 2008-2009 season included debuts with the Houston Symphony for Messiah and later in the season both Vivaldi Gloria and Bach Magnificat, New Jersey Symphony for a series New Year’s Concerts, and with the Fort Worth Symphony for Poulenc’s Gloria.  A regular guest of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, she returned for Nielson’s  Hymnus Amoris, as well as to record another disc of Moravian music.  She also returned to the Huntsville Symphony (AL) to sing Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass.  In New York City her appearances included Messiah at Avery Fisher Hall with the Peniel Concert Choir, and Handel’s Esther with Amor Artis.  In June 2009 she appeared as Papagena with New York City Opera as part of the NYC’s River to River Festival.

Engagements for 2007-2008 included her Kennedy Center debut in John Adam’s El Niño with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, and debuts with the symphony orchestras of Vancouver (Beethoven Symphony #9), Colorado (Vivaldi Gloria), Monterey (Messiah)  and Huntsville (AL, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier).  She returned to the Winnipeg Symphony to sing Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, to Carnegie Hall to sing Rutter’s Requiem, to the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park for Creation and St. Matthew Passion, as well as Bach’s B Minor Mass with Voices of Ascension in NYC. She also returned to New York City Opera’s Vox for two roles in the composers’ showcase of new American works. She appeared twice with the Argento Ensemble in NYC, at the Austrian Cultural Forum singing the North American premiere of Beat Furrer’s Invocation #6, and at the Italian Institute in Berio’s O King.  She also appeared at Merkin Hall with Elaine Comparone and the Queen’s Chamber Band in the premiere of Always in Place by Hanna Levy.

Recent seasons include Messiah at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of New York, the National Philharmonic Orchestra (MD) and the Pensacola Symphony. She gave the orchestral premiere of Larry Nelson’s Seven Clay Songs with Orchestra 2001 in Philadelphia and sang the role of Niki de St. Phalle in Scott Wheeler’s opera The Contruction of Boston with The Boston Cecilia.  She appeared at New York City Opera as Frasquita and Juliette (Die Tote Stadt), and premiered of Kieren MacMillan’s Drunken Moon, and Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire in a staged production with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. At Carnegie Hall in the spring of 2005 she sang the role of Amore opposite contralto Eva Podles in a concert performance of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Other recent appearances include the Florida West Coast Symphony,  the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Elora Festival, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Mendelssohn Choir of Toronto, Amadeus Choir of Toronto, Pro Coro Canada,  Voices of Ascension (NYC), the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall, and the orchestras of Edmonton, Calgary, Kingston, Windsor, and Stamford (CT).  

She can be heard on the Naxos Label in a live recording of Scott Wheeler’s opera The Construction of Boston (role of Niki de St. Phalle), and  Lully’s Ballet Music for the Sun King with the Aradia Ensemble.  On the Telarc label she is heard as Die Erste Elfe in Strauss’ Die Agytische Helena with the American Symphony Orchestra, and Albany Records in Nelson’s Seven Clay Songs.  Other recordings include Music of the Moravians with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, and Drunken Moon (MacMillan) with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. She is also featured on the ERM Media label in the premiere of Boaz Tarsi’s Concerto for Soprano and Orchestra, with the Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ms. Nafziger made her New York recital debut at Merkin Hall in 2001 as the winner of the Joy in Singing Competition, and was a prizewinner in the Connecticut Opera Guild Vocal Competition, the Liederkranz Foundation Competition and the Oratorio Society of New York’s annual solo competition.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree from University of Toronto and completed her Master’s degree in voice performance at Manhattan School of Music.  Her teachers have included Carol Forte in Toronto, and Patricia Misslin, Cornelius Reid and Ellen Shade in New York City. 

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