Jennifer Rowley Gala





FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 (7:15 PM), 2019 at the Valentine Theatre


Spend a gala evening featuring Metropolitan Opera soprano and Toledo Opera favorite Jennifer Rowley. 

Gala Dinner in Grand Lobby and Concert - $250

Cocktails begin at 6 PM

Concert begins at 7:15 PM

Dinner begins at 8:30 PM

Concert only - $100

Sponsorship tables begin at $3,000 (Call 419.255.7464 for more information)




Jennifer Rowley, Soprano

Soprano Jennifer Rowley is acclaimed worldwide for her unforgettable voice and remarkable stage presence, singing a richly varied repertoire that includes many of opera’s greatest heroines. In the 2019/20 season, Ms. Rowley adds two Verdi roles to her growing list of repertoire, and she makes two highly anticipated house debuts: first at the National Theatre Prague as Amelia in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, and then at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona in the title role of Verdi’s Aida. She returns to the Metropolitan Opera to reprise two of her signature Puccini roles: the title role of Tosca, and Musetta (La bohème). She also sings Tosca for Opera San Antonio, making her house debut, and ends her season making her greatly anticipated house and role debut at Opera Australia as Elizabeth I from Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux. In future seasons, she will make debuts at The Dallas Opera, Opernhaus Zürich, and Opéra de Marseille. On the concert stage, Jennifer returns to Fort Worth Opera for a concert with pianist Joe Illick, joined by New York City Opera baritone Raymond Diaz. She then sings a recital with Opera Naples, part of their “Opera Stars Concert” series and returns to the Salisbury Symphony as the featured artists in their “Opera Fireworks” Gala Concert. An avid mentor to young artists, Ms. Rowley will lead masterclasses at SUNY Potsdam, and she returns to her alma mater, Baldwin Wallace University for her second residency, where she will she teach BW students in masterclasses and lessons, and will also present a solo recital.
Ms. Rowley's performance is made possible by a collaboration with BGSU College of Musical Arts.

Raymond Diaz, baritone

Baritone and Speech Language Pathologist Raymond Diaz is thrilled to be joining his wife in concert this season. His past roles include Prospero (The Tempest), Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Escamillo (Carmen), Tonio (I Pagliacci), as well as the titular roles of Rigoletto, Gianni Schicchi, and Don Giovanni. He has sung with New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Utah Opera, DiCapo Opera, in addition to the Verbier Festival and with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has been awarded top prizes from numerous competitions, including the Bel Canto Foundation, the Heinz Rehfuss Awards, the Mario Lanza Institute, the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. Raymond recently turned his passion and knowledge of singing to studying science. In 2017 he earned a Master of Science from Bowling Green State University. While in attendance, he collaborated with distinguished voice scientist Dr. Ronald Scherer and Jennifer Rowley to create a study that took objective measurements of acoustic, aerodynamic, and electroglottographic phenomena in contrasting interpretations of phrases from the canon of Western Opera, as sung by an elite performer. (One of the studied passages will be performed this evening in the duet from Il Trovatore.) He presented his research to a distinguished panel of the world’s top ENT’s and Speech Pathologists at the 2019 48th Annual Voice Symposium in Philadelphia.


Kevin Bylsma, Piano

With more than two decades experience as a vocal coach, collaborative pianist, choral conductor, and organist, Kevin J. Bylsma is a musician of impressive depth and ability, well known for his work in opera, art song, and oratorio. A longtime member of the Toledo Opera staff as Head of Music Preparation and Chorus Master, Kevin was formerly Music Director of the Department of Community Programs for the Michigan Opera Theatre and vocal coach, accompanist, and chorus master for OPERA! Lenawee. In recitals and master classes, he has collaborated with the great American singers Samuel Ramey, Diane Soviero, Marilyn Horne, Michelle De Young, and Irina Mishura. He is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Ann Arbor Festival of Song, and his solo piano performances and collaborative work have been featured on WTGE’s Live from FM91 program. Dedicated to the education and training of the next generation of operatic talent, Mr. Bylsma is Instructor of Opera and repetiteur at Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts, responsible for vocal coaching and serving as a collaborative pianist for the school’s large body of young singers. Mr. Bylsma also serves on the artistic staff of OperaWorks, an intensive opera training program, based in Los Angeles, CA. and he is the Associate Organist of the historic Mariner’s Church of Detroit.

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