Donnie Ray Albert, baritone
Clifton Forbis, tenor
Rick Rowley, piano
Miguel Campinho, piano
About the artists
Donnie Ray Albert is a regular guest of opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera as Germont, Los Angeles Opera as Trinity Moses in Mahagonny, Simone in A Florentine Tragedy, and as the Father in Hansel and Gretel, plus numerous appearances with Opera Pacific, Houston Grand Opera, Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Dallas Opera, Arizona Opera, Atlanta Opera, Austin Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Utah Opera, and the opera companies of New Orleans, Baltimore, Columbus, Kansas City, Omaha, Pittsburgh, and, in Canada, with the companies in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Manitoba, and Vancouver. In Europe, he has appeared at the Cologne Opera singing all Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, and Frank in Die Tote Stadt, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as the Four Villains, the Royal Opera Wallonie in Liege for Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy, the National Theater in Prague as Jack Rance, the Deutsche Opera Berlin, Lithuanian National Opera in the title role of Der Fliegende Holländer, plus the opera houses in Bordeaux, Köln, Bregenz, Milan, Mannheim and Hamburg, and in Vienna in the title role in Ernst Bloch’s Macbeth for the Vienna “Klangbogen” Festival. He has appeared in Japan with the New National Theater in Tokyo as Wotan and the Wanderer in Der Ring des Nibelungen, and in Brazil as Jochanaan in Salome in Sao Paolo.
As a concert artist, Mr. Albert has sung with the orchestras of Washington DC (National), Cologne, Southwest Florida, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Dallas, Minnesota, Seattle, St. Paul, Los Angeles, Austin, Palm Beach, Greensboro, Grant Park Music Festival, and Madison, Vienna and Linz, in Austria and in Jerusalem. He is also a resident artist with the Center for Black Music Research at Chicago’s Columbia College. In recent seasons, Mr. Albert has appeared as Rigoletto for Vancouver Opera, Amonaso in Riga, Latvia, and Phoenix, Alfio for the Orlando Opera, Iago for the Kentucky Opera, Il Giuramento for the Washington Concert Opera, Das lied von der Erde with Rhode Island Philharmonic, Elijah with the Southwest Florida Master Chorale, concerts with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the Atlanta Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra for their performance of d’Indy’s Fervaal, Nashville Symphony, the Kentucky Opera as Germont, Latvian Opera as Giorgio in I Puritani, Prague’s National Theater as the Four Villains in a new production of Les Contes d’Hoffman, and the Semper Opera in Dresden for Keith Warner’s new production of Faust, in Paris for Aida, in Riga, Latvia for Otello, Madison Opera for La Traviata, and Washington Concert Opera for Adriana Lecouvreur.
Donnie Ray Albert was born in Louisiana. He earned a Bachelor of Music Degree at Louisiana State University and a Master of Music Degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Albert may be heard on RCA’s Grammy Award and Grand Prix du Disque winning recording of Porgy and Bess, NOW’s recording of The Horse I Ride Has Wings with David Garvey on piano, EMI’s Frühlingsbegräbnis and Eine Florentinesche Tragodie by Zemlinsky conducted by James Conlon, and Simon Sargon’s A Clear Midnight on the Gasparo label.
Clifton Forbis is engaged to sing the most demanding tenor repertoire around the world, including the title roles of Samson et Dalila, Otello and Tristan und Isolde. He is a leading artist with the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Canadian Opera Company, and Teatro alla Scala. Of his performance for a new production as Tristan, Opera News said, “Clifton Forbis[‘s]…attention to detail was admirable, and he risked a rare degree of intense soft singing in Act II before rising with mighty force to the agonies of Act III . The few voices raised against him at the final curtain were unjustified: this was as thrilling a piece of tenor singing as you are likely to hear in the role today.”
Mr. Forbis has recently performed Siegmund in Die Walkure with the Canadian Opera Company, and the title role of Otello last season at Korea National Opera. Highlights of recent seasons include Tristan und Isolde with Washington National Opera, Dallas Opera, and Opéra National de Lyon; the title role of Otello in a return to Nashville Opera and in Bari, Italy; Florestan in Fidelio with Seattle Opera; Samson in Samson et Dalila with San Diego Opera; Canio in Pagliacci with New Orleans Opera; and Otello with Opera Company of Philadelphia and Deutsche Oper Berlin. On the concert stage, Mr. Forbis recently sang the role of Siegmund in performances of Act I of Die Walküre with the Dallas Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony; Otello with the BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Seattle Symphony.
Pianist Rick Rowley is a very versatile musician and has appeared extensively as a recitalist, a concerto soloist and chamber performer with an exciting list of the world’s leading musicians. The Washington Post recently wrote that he is “a communicative performer who clearly enjoys playing.” He “takes the music on its own terms and infuses it with active interpretation, tempered with understanding of its point and purpose.” The San-Antonio Express-News praised his “resplendent performance … which crackled with infectious energy” and the Austin Statesman-American has praised his “dazzling technique” and “world-class expertise,” calling one of his concerts “concerto playing at its best.” The American Record Guide praised his release of piano music of Franz Liszt saying that “Rowley’s playing is wonderful in these favorites — poetic, tender, full of grandeur.” Of his American music CD they wrote, “By all means, grab this” and recently extolled his Chopin CD writing that “the ‘Fantasy-Impromptu’ can take on all challengers.”
In the past Mr. Rowley has appeared as a conductor and in the dual role of conductor/soloist; in this latter capacity his performances of Mozart concertos have been particularly recognized. He has also taken part in concerts on period instruments, performing as harpsichordist with the Texas Bach Aria Group and on fortepiano with the Texas Baroque Ensemble. At various times Mr. Rowley has served in lectureship positions at the University of Texas in Austin and is again currently holding that position, in which he works with pianists, vocalists and chamber music groups. He was the music lecturer/performer for the prestigious Houston Series for three years and his programs were among the most popular in the Series’ history. He is also highly admired as a teacher in master classes and has often worked with pianists, instrumentalists and actor/singers in that framework.
Mr. Rowley has recorded, produced and written liner notes for a number of compact discs; his solo recordings feature repertoire by Liszt, Guion, Chopin, Mompou, Granados, Barber, Gershwin, Cumming and Copland. He has recorded chamber music with cellist Peter Rejto; flutist Marianne Gedigian; and clarinetist Patricia Shands. Recently he contributed performances to new discs of music by American composers Kathryn Mishell and Kent Kennan. A CD of songs by Strauss, Turina, Smith and Ward with soprano, Cheryl Parrish, is now in current release. For several years Mr. Rowley maintained a busy career in the theater and is a veteran of nearly fifty productions as actor, musical director and director. His first performances were for children’s theater at Zachary Scott in Austin and he has also worked for several theaters in Houston, the Point Theater in Ingram and the remarkable Unity Theatre in Brenham. He made his directorial debut with a production of The Belle of Amherst for the Unity Theater where he also directed a new play based on letters of George Sand and Gustave Flaubert. He was the sound designer and composer for songs and incidental music for a play based on “The Firebird” legend for Stages Theater in Houston. He most recently appeared in a highly praised performance as Frank in Brian Friel’s Molly Sweeney. Three years ago Mr. Rowley became a founding member of Plum Pianos, a thriving company which rebuilds and restores pianos and other keyboard instruments.
Portuguese pianist Miguel Campinho has established himself as a passionate advocate for Portuguese piano music. He has played the US premieres of several compositions by Portuguese pianist-composer Eurico Tomás de Lima (1908–1989), and in 2013 the Numérica label released his world premiere recording of this composer's complete Sonatas and Sonatinas for piano. He has also presented works by Carlos Seixas (1704–1742), João Domingos Bomtempo (1775–1842), José Viana da Mota (1868–1948), Óscar da Silva (1870–1958), Armando José Fernandes (1906–1983), and Fernando Lopes Graça (1906–1994). His doctoral essay, titled "Óscar da Silva (1870–1958): Life and Solo Piano Works," established the first chronological catalogue of this composer's solo piano works. In 2015, the State of Connecticut and the Portuguese American Leadership Council of the United States presented Miguel Campinho with certificates of recognition and accomplishment for his work promoting Portuguese culture, arts, and heritage.
Dr. Campinho is a prizewinner in several piano competitions in Portugal, such as the Maria Campina in Faro (1st prize in 2000, 2nd prize in 1999), the Prémio Juventude Musical Portuguesa in Lisbon (2nd prize, 1995), and the Prémio RDP Jovens Músicos (2nd prize, Chamber Music, 1996). In 2002 he won the Paranov Competition, at the Hartt School. He took 3rd prize in the 2004 CSMTA Young Artists Competition, and Mention of Honor in the 2004 Ricard Viñes International Competition, in Spain.
He has performed, in solo and chamber music appearances, in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and the USA. He played as soloist with the Orquestra Sinfonieta, under Omri Hadari, the Orquestra do Norte, under Ferreira Lobo, and the Hartt Symphony Orchestra, under Christopher Zimmerman.
Miguel Campinho holds Master of Music, Artist Diploma, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in piano performance from The Hartt School, University of Hartford, Connecticut, USA. He was awarded full scholarship and included in the roster of the 20/20 Honors Chamber Music Program for part of his studies at Hartt, where he received guidance from Prof. Luiz de Moura Castro. He has also played in masterclasses with renowned pianists and teachers, such as Helena Sá e Costa, Vitalij Margulis, Sequeira Costa, Dmitri Bashkirov, Martin Hughes, Klaus Hellwig, Jerome Lowenthal, Jörg Demus, and Michele Campanella. He is a recipient of scholarships and awards from the following institutions: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Instituto Politécnico do Porto, Erasmus/Socrates Project, University of Hartford, Musical Club of Hartford (Evelyn B. Storrs Scholarship). Miguel Campinho was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda and is a member of the American Liszt Society.