Annual Recital for Donors
Each year we invite our donors to an Opera Guild recital with an emerging operatic talent. Our 2022 Annual Recital for Donors was held at the Rochester Academy of Medicine on May 15. The audience was limited to donors, and featured Samson McCrady with special guest Jessica Moss, accompanied by Dr. E-Na Song.
May 15, 2022
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Samson McCrady is an American baritone from Tucson, Arizona. In March, 2022, Samson garnered First Place in The Metropolitan Opera Laffont Central Region and Illinois District Competitions and advanced to the National Semi-Finals on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Earlier in March, he won Second Place in the Opera Birmingham Competition, and in October ‘21 he was Third Place winner in the prestigious Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition at the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona. Recent performances include a role debut as Giorgio Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata with South Bend Lyric Opera.
As a Cafritz Young Artist of Washington National Opera from 2018-2020, Samson made numerous appearances on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, most significantly in the role of Papageno in the beloved Maurice Sendak production of The Magic Flute. Also at WNO, he appeared as Wagner in Gounod’s Faust, Sciarrone in Puccini’s Tosca, the Policeman in the world premiere of Carlos Simon’s Night Trip, and had the honor of performing in Francesca Zambello’s presentation of Menotti’s The Consul for the United States Supreme Court.
A San Francisco Opera Merola Program Young Artist in 2021, his other operatic appearances include “Pa” Zegner in Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up (Aspen Music Festival), Marchese d’Obigny in Verdi’s La Traviata (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis), and Edward G. Robinson in Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s Frida (Cincinnati Opera).
An avid cyclist, Samson has worked professionally as a bicycle mechanic and completed the 333-mile bicycle tour from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh, PA in the summer of 2020. He discovered his love of singing through his participation in the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, where he also learned fancy trick rodeo roping.
A student of internationally-renowned tenor Neil Shicoff, Samson McCrady holds a Master of Music degree from Cincinnati College-Conservatory and Bachelor of Science degree in vocal performance in 2016 from Roberts Wesleyan University.
Lyric soprano Jessica Moss has performed as soloist with the Amalfi Coast Festival in Italy, the Miami Music Festival, Northern Lights Opera, Houston Operativo, and the Peabody Conservatory Opera in leading roles including Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte, the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, and Cendrillon in Viardot’s Cendrillon; and in scenes programs as Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème, Antonia in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Nedda in Pagliacci, and the title role of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah. She was Grand Prize winner in the Charleston Symphony Young Artists Competition, First Place winner in the NATS Regional Competition, and a finalist in the Hal Leonard Art Song Competition and Civic Morning Musical Competition. An avid recitalist, she has appeared on the concert stage as soloist in the Vivaldi Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, Schubert’s Mass in G, the Pergolesi Stabat Mater, Debussy’s Proses Lyriques and the complete Italienisches Liederbuch of Hugo Wolf.
With creative skills in artistic entrepreneurship and a strong desire to contribute to her community, Jessica spent several years in Houston, TX, where she performed in operas and recitals, and gave concerts benefitting local charities, while at the same time earning a reputation as a master teacher and clinician for both beginning and advanced singers. She recently relocated to Rochester, NY, where she maintains a thriving online vocal studio and is preparing new opera repertoire for the fall ’22 audition season.
Jessica has participated in master classes led by Metropolitan Opera singers Ben Heppner, Michael Sylvester, Erie Mills, and Jonathan Beyer, and Eastman School of Music professor, Jan Opalach. She holds the M.M. degree in Vocal Performance from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where she studied with Phyllis Bryn-Julson, and a B.S. in Music Performance from Roberts Wesleyan University as a student of Constance Fee.
Dr. E-Na Song
Korean-born pianist Dr. E-Na Song has performed in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, Han Gang Grand Hall at Gang Dong Arts Center in the US, as well as in Poland and Spain. Garnering prizes in international competitions, notably American Protégé International Piano Competition and International Keyboard Odyssiad Competition in Colorado, Dr. Song has appeared as soloist performing with Torun Symphony Orchestra in Poland and Mostly Philharmonic Orchestra in her native country, South Korea.