Sephronia is a song cycle for soprano, tenor, and piano, commissioned by Suzanne Woods and John Pickle. Drawing on ancestral stories, favorite poems, and moments in their lives, this piece serves as both a showcase of their voices and a showcase of their histories; a living memoir in sound.
Soprano Suzanne Woods has been described by the American Record Guide as a “delightful diva, spinning out golden tone; revealing fine musicality and plenty of voice to spare” and by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as possessing “consummate artistry and vocal allure.”
Ms. Woods’ recent and upcoming engagements include Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard with Mobile Opera; Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Nevada Opera; Mimi in La Bohème with Baltimore Concert Opera; an “Opera Highlights” concert with the Jefferson City Symphony; soprano soloist for Mozart’s Requiem, John Rutter’s Mass of the Children (conducted by John Rutter) and Schubert’s Mass in G with MidAmerica Productions at Carnegie Hall; soprano soloist in a gala concert for Prescott College with baritone Charles Taylor; a recital in Locust Valley, NY with tenor John Pickle; and as guest artist for Albuquerque’s renowned Church of Beethoven series.
n past seasons, Ms. Woods has appeared with Opera Southwest as Tosca, with The Little Orchestra Society as the soprano soloist for the North American premiere of Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus at New York’s Town Hall; as Micaëla in Carmen with Nevada Opera; in a recital of Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch with Baritone Boyd Mackus for the College of Wooster Recital Series; as Princess Ida with The Ohio Light Opera; as Mimi in La Bohème with Opera Southwest and Nevada Opera; as Clorinda in La Cenerentola with Nevada Opera; as the soprano soloist in Emmanuel with MidAmerica Productions at Carnegie Hall; and as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Nevada Opera.
Additionally, Ms. Woods’ promising career has included appearances as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Utah Festival Opera; as Valencienne in The Merry Widow with Nevada Opera; as Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte and as Medora (cv) in Verdi’s Il Corsaro with Sarasota Opera; as Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with The New York City Opera National Company; as Marietta in Naughty Marietta, Gabrielle in La Vie Parisienne, and Julia in Eduard Kunnëke’s Der Vetter aus Dingsda with The Ohio Light Opera; as the featured soloist in The Little Orchestra Society’s “Happy Concerts for Young People” series for her Avery Fisher Hall debut; and as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with Opera Carolina.
A gifted concert performer, Ms. Woods has appeared as the soprano soloist for the New York premiere of Nick Page’s Nursery Rhyme Cantata at Carnegie Hall; as the soprano soloist in the Poulenc Gloria with the Long Bay Symphony; in Bach’s St. John Passion with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra; as Sylvia in Victor Herbert’s Sweethearts with the Little Orchestra Society for her Alice Tully Hall debut; in Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Cobb Symphony Orchestra; in Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Gotham City Baroque Orchestra; in several “Pops” concerts with The Arkansas Symphony; and in her New York recital debut at the Göethe-Institut with Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch.
Ms. Woods has also been featured on several operetta recordings for Albany Records and Newport Classic. These include Nadina in The Chocolate Soldier by Oscar Straus; Sombra in The Arcadians by Lionel Monckton; Sylvia in Sweethearts; the title roles inEileen and Naughty Marietta all by Victor Herbert; and as a featured performer on The Art of the American Singer.
Tenor John Pickle quickly has established himself as a strong tenor, most recently for his portrayals of Erik in Der fliegende Holländer, a role he débuted with Los Angeles Opera. Of a performance as the jilted hunter with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The Kansas City Star raved, “Pickle’s emotionally wrought characterization drove this [performance] even harder home than usual.” In recent seasons, Mr. Pickle also enjoyed performances as Erik with Mobile Opera, Utah Festival Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre. Last season, Pickle joined the esteemed roster of Lyric Opera of Chicago for their production of Norma. This season, Pickle performs Cavaradossi in Tosca with Nashville Opera and Pollione in Norma with Opera Southwest. He will also sing the tenor solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with The Orchestra Now at Bard College and Verdi’s Requiem with Dayton Opera and with DCINY in Barcelona.