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Kyrie is also called Kýrie eléison and means "Lord, have mercy". It is the common name of an important prayer in Christian liturgy and a part of many liturgical rites in Eastern as well as Western Christianity.
The song Kyrie, for soprano and piano, is essentially a prayer and need for transcendental connection. It is my most recent work which expresses feelings of longing, solitude, and a helpless cry of desperation before the terrifying events of our time. Kyrie represents the idea of peace, faith, and hope that the focused spiritual energy of prayer could answer our call.

Catholic Church Column
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Natasha Bogojevic (January, 1, 1966) is award-winning and internationally acclaimed composer and pianist. She is regarded as the creator of highly original, passionate, and imaginative pieces. Her music is not possible to categorize; while deeply rooted in classical tradition she is constantly searching for different inspiration to create new, engaging, and inventive scores.

She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the National Public Radio Award in Belgrade, an Association of Composers of Serbia Annual Award, The UNESCO's IRC Prize in Paris. She bestowed the famed Joseph Jefferson Award in Chicago. Most recently her composition "Chant" was the winner of New Music Chicago and also as well as Audience Award Winner (2022), “The Émigré’s Waltz” won the Festival Expresiones Contemporaneas (Mexico City, 2020) while “The Sonority of Kafana” received “Honorable Mention” at the prestigious USA MACRO Competition. Composition “Kolo” was the “Finalist” at the NYC Contemporary Music Symposium (Columbia University, 2021).

Natasha Bogojevic has been praised for her unusual yet traditionally scored chamber ensembles, including her UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers (IRC) winning piece Formes différentes de Sonneries de la Rose+Croix for piano, prepared piano and harpsichord as well as for her music for analogue electronics, groups of female singers and movement, sacred choral and vocal pieces, multimedia synthesis of music and visual arts, symphony orchestra, various chamber ensembles, ballet and numerous scores for theatre and film. Interestingly she appeared as an actress and composer in recent film “Gray in White And Black” which is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Soprano Hilary Koolhoven has delighted audiences from the United States to Europe with her warm voice and expressive acting skills. With experience in opera, musical theatre, and recital repertoire, she has showed excellence in a wide range of roles: from the flexibility and poise of Ilia in “Idomeneo” to achieving the multi-layered and comedic personality of Margaret in ""The Light in the Piazza."" Hilary graduated from the University of Utah with a Master of Music degree and received her Bachelor of Arts from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Along with performing in university settings, she has worked with organizations such as Utah Opera, Ohio Light Opera, and the Franco-American Vocal Academy. Along with singing professionally, she works as an adjunct member of the voice faculty at Westminster College.

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Debby Cannon received her Bachelor’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy from Utah State University where she graduated as Outstanding Pianist in 2002, and participated in the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation Collaborative Artistry program.

She currently enjoys playing for the Weber State opera program, and for theater students at University of Utah.  She loves the opportunity to collaborate with other musicians for a variety of recitals and masterclasses.  She has loved taking part in Next Ensemble events, the Diva Moms, and frequent  assemblies for Arts Inc. sharing how opera works with elementary age children.  

She has received awards in multiple piano competitions including the Gwladys Comstock Piano Competition, Utah State Fair,  Federation of Music Clubs, Idaho State MTNA Yamaha and was a participant in the Junior Gina Bachauer International Solo and Inaugural Bachauer Piano Team Competition in 1996.   

She started accompanying at the age of 9 for the Eastern Idaho Regional Children’s Chorus and the Idaho Falls Youth Symphony Chorale.  After college, she was the accompanist for the San Diego Children’s Choir for several years.   She has accompanied for numerous community theater productions and honor choirs in Utah, Idaho, and California.    

             She maintains a private piano studio with 25 students in Syracuse, Utah where she resides with her husband and 3 boys.

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Holding Hands

“Fifteen Years I Have Walked the Earth” 
from The Romance of Silence

Le Roman de Silence is based on a 13th century manuscript that lay hidden for centuries. Written by Heldris of Cornwall in Old French, the text is surprisingly salient today. As an exploration of gender, identity, and expectation, Le Roman de Silence is also a love story, and adventure story, a coming-of-age story, and a fantasy story. The compositional style draws on many traditions and styles to paint a rich musical texture to vividly describe the characters and events of a far-off tale with immediate emotional resonance.Is it the same or a different sort of mystery that Shakespeare’s writing about in his Sonnet 27 – the way, when we fall in love, our whole being is overtaken by love for, maybe even obsession with, another person? How our days and nights are filled with our dreams of them. In my experience these mysteries are at least related, as they are both related to the mystery of creation, whatever is that force that puts pen to paper and pulls something out of the artist and writer they didn’t know was there.

Anthony Buck has over a hundred production credits as director, singer, actor, playwright, librettist, conductor, and composer. His career spans opera, musical theater, operetta, Shakespeare, audio drama, and film. A native of Utah, he has performed on stages across the US and in Europe and his works have had productions across the country as well. He holds a DMA in voice and opera and lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and three children. DOB 12/12/78

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Julia Gershkoff is a Salt Lake City-based soprano from little Rhode Island. She was recently the Soprano Resident Artist with Utah Opera. With Utah Opera, Julia has performed Micaëla in La tragédie de Carmen, Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Tina in Flight, and Kate in The Pirates of Penzance. As a soprano soloist, Julia has performed with the Utah Symphony in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Handel’s Messiah and their annual Holiday Pops concert. While recently attending Wolf Trap Opera as a Studio Artist for two summers, Julia covered La Fée in Cendrillon by Pauline Viardot, Johanna in Sweeney Todd as well as singing in the chorus of Sweeney Todd. Other roles Julia has performed include Diana/Giove as Diana in La Calisto by Cavalli and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at USC, Joan of Arc in The Maid of Orleans at the Russian Opera Workshop, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at Mark Oswald’s Summer Program. She sang her first operatic role as Servilia in La clemenza di Tito at Ithaca College.o and piano , along with  two chamber operas. 

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“Who is this Mortal” and
“Take Up Thy Destiny” from The Pierrot of the Minute

"Although ""The Pierrot of the Minute"", written in 1897 by Ernest Dowson, is a sort of allegory of fame and success, it's also a very poignant and romantic play on its own. Besides, Pierrot retains all the original features of the mask, which adds a touch of sweetness, fun and naivety to the play.  Cardinali composed this piece in the attempt to talk straight to listener's heart. Indeed, he believes the best way to approach this work is to indulge in pure romance.



Pierrot enters a glade in the park of the Petit Trianon at twilight,
led thither in obedience to a mysterious message, which bids him come to sleep one night within these precincts if he would
encounter Love. Half whimsical, half fearful, he wonders why he,
so careless, thoughtless, and gay, should now be filled with wistful longing; and in the fast-falling darkness he lies down on a couch of fern, and falls asleep.


A Moon-maiden descends the steps of the Temple of Love, and, bending over the sleeper, kisses him. He awakes and throws himself at her feet in rapt devotion, though she warns him that the kisses of the Moon are of a fatal sweetness, and that "Whoso seeks her she gathers like a flower He gives a life, and only gains an hour."


But Pierrot, reckless, demands the pure and perfect bliss, though life be the price to pay. With gay laughter and sprightly jest they learn together the lore of Love; but daybreak approaches, the birds awaken, and the Moon-maiden must leave him. Together they gaze at the coming dawn; then Pierrot, sinking back on his couch, falls softly asleep once more, and the Moon-maiden vanishes.

Bare Trees in Fog

Gabriele Cardinali is a self-taught composer born on June 30, 1976 in Rome, Italy. Gabriele began composing simple music in middle school (where he also learned to play the clarinet) as he has always been interested in the sound of objects rather than their shape or color. As classical music scores became more available via the internet and home recording equipment more affordable, he was able to gradually shift his talents to his true love of composing for orchestra.

He has recently been awarded 1st Prize in 2022 Brazosport Symphony Orchestra Composition Contest, 2nd Prize in 2022 F. Schubert Konservatorium (Wien) World Championship in Composition (Jazz and Film Music category, 1st prize not awarded) and 3rd Prize in 2021 Reno Pops Orchestra Composer's Showcase.

When he isn’t composing music, Gabriele, a graduate of computer accounting, is a senior analyst and software programmer for public accounting.

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Emily Hansen is an American soprano native of Houston, Texas. In High School she was a member of the Houston Grand Opera Bauer Family Vocal Studio where she portrayed the role of Tanya Smithers in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A House Without a Christmas Tree. Emily has participated in masterclasses with international recognized singers such as Jamie Barton, Stephanie Blythe and Jennifer Larmore. Emily has participated in several summer programs including the Utah Vocal Arts Academy, International Performing Arts Institute and Chicago Summer Opera. Emily recently graduated this past Fall from the University of Utah with her Honors Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance where she studied under Kirstin Chávez. Emily is currently pursuing a Music Entrepreneurship Certificate from the University of Utah. Recently, Emily did a role study of Marie from La fille du régiment by Donizetti with Utah Opera. Emily is the social media manager for Opera Contempo and serves on the board.

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“July Midnight”
“Long Island Sound”
from 32 American Art Songs   

Over the past several years, I have been compiling song settings that feature the poetry of classic American poets. With our country seeming more divided than ever, these songs have recently gained a deeper meaning. To promote a greater appreciation for this place we call home, I have endeavored to celebrate nostalgic poetry and iconic poets through the art of song. These song settings explore the intimate expressions, diverse experiences, and characteristic observances of bygone American poets whose words have made an enormous contribution to our cultural identity.

The music of Jeremiah Evans (B. 1978) has been heard in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. As a native of Dallas Texas, he began piano lessons at an early age. In 1996 he graduated from Dallas' acclaimed Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. As a young student, he studied at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute as well as the International Summer Festival Institute at Round-Top. His piano teachers have included David Karp and William Westney. He also studied composition with Mary Jeanne van Appledorn at Texas Tech University.

​His music has been performed at the 16th London New Wind Festival, South Africa's National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, by the San Francisco Bay Area's Sounds New Contemporary Ensemble, and New York City's Locrian Chamber Players. His music has also been performed by the African American Composer Initiative in Palo Alto CA; on faculty/guest artist recitals at the "American Roots" Concert Series at Haverford College in PA; the University of Nevada, Reno; the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach; Concordia College in Bronxville, NY; the 25th Conference of the African American Art Song Alliance in Irvine CA; the 64th National Conference of the College Music Society in Rochester NY, Riverside Convention Center/Eastman School of Music; and at the 51st Conference of the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

His art songs are included in the African Diaspora Music Project which presents a listing of recommended repertoire for singers who wish to enter the George Shirley Vocal Competition at the University of Michigan. His April Rain Song was also a winning composition in the 2021 Call for Scores, "I, Too Sing America", Calliope's Call in Boston MA. His Three Inventions for piano solo was named a finalist in the New York City Contemporary Music Symposium at Columbia University (Bowery Trio), 2021 Call for Scores. His Shimmy from Three Burlesque Sketches for oboe solo was selected as a winning score for the 2021 Call for Scores (micro- commission, month of July), reNew Music in Reno NV. His music has also been broadcasted on Radio Arts Indonesia.

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Lennika Wright, mezzo soprano, holds a Masters of Music from the University of Utah, and sings with the Utah Opera chorus. She is a regular soloist with the Black Rock Philharmonic and Deseret Experimental Opera, and enjoys the challenge of performing music in unusual locations. Lennika dabbles in the occasional soloing for metal albums, enjoys singing classic rock karaoke, and annoying her cat while practicing arias that are too high for her range.

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“Heart Snatcher”

This piece written according to the poem of Roumi, 13th century Persian poet.

This poem is about Love and feelings of falling in love.


Mahdis Golzar Kashani was born in 1984 in Tehran. At the age of six she began piano lesson. Because of the unstable social and political atmosphere in Iran Mahdis majored in electronic engineering in 2009. But meanwhile she studied music with different masters. She learned musicianship from Haynoush Makarian and Tamara Dolidze, and she learned theoretical materials and composition from Mehran Rohani. Then she took the entrance examination and entered Sooreh Art University in Tehran and mastered in composition in 2012.

She has presented her works in the US and several European countries including Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, England and Ukraine. She has also had performances in Latin American countries and East Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia. And she has managed to obtain residency as a musician and a researcher in various European countries several times. She has also won a number of precious awards from the US, England and Ukraine, Italy, Mexico. Of her other achievements we can mention the commissions from Luca School of Arts, campus Lemmensinstituut (Belgium), Young Soloist of Belgium National Symphony Orchestra (NOB)(Belgium), and 4020 Festival (Austria), Meloslogos Festival (Germany), Hermes ensemble (Belgium), Heidelberg Festival (2017,2021), Babylon Orchestra, (Germany). Hypercube ensemble (USA), Oxford Lieder Festival (England), Hope Ensemble (France), SIPA festival (Indonesia).

She has tackled and mastered a range of musical genres, from classical to film music and background music. She experimented with different ensemble such as solo, camber, orchestral vocal pieces and opera

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Nahal Falahatimarvast is a first-year Bachelor student of Music in Vocal Performances at the University of Utah. She is studying under direction of Professor Kirstin Chávez and is a member of school of music Chamber Choir. She performed in the UMEA 2023 in Saint George Utah with the Chamber Choir. She has been performing in different countries including Iran, Sri Lanka and the United States. Her most recent performances are Carmina Burana, Les Miserable and A Christmas Carol.

With the hope of singing as a profession, she spends most of her time practicing vocal techniques. In addition to music, Nahal is passionate about watching movies, cooking, camping and going onto adventures. 

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 “Have You Got a Brook?”
"Nothing Gold Can Stay" 

Song of St. Clare

Toward Eternity is a set of 4 songs based on poems of Emily Dickinson, touching on the themes of mortality (or immortality) and death. 

Nelson has been involved in music since the earliest days of his childhood. One of his earliest memories is of standing in front of a hi-fi speaker that was taller than he was and “conducting” along with Moussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, cranked up to 11.
Nelson began playing music at age 7 and creating his own music soon after that. He has been composing art songs and choral music since the 1990s. He has recently taken that to another level, pursuing a degree in composition from the University of Utah. In addition to composing, Nelson has been a vocalist for the past 35 years, singing in over 80 productions with Utah Opera Company, as well as singing a number of roles and performing as vocal soloist with other companies in the greater Salt Lake City area.

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Evie is a transgender woman from Salt Lake City and is so excited for the opportunity to work with Opera Contempo and NEXT Ensemble! She has been seen on podiums all over the Salt Lake valley, most notably as the Assistant Conductor for the Westminster Chamber Singers, and Westminster Opera Studio. She has conducted scenes concerts at Westminster College, as well as assisted in their productions of The Elixir of Love by Donizetti, and La Boheme by Puccini.


Equally comfortable on stage, Evie is a sought-after choral artist and bass-baritone who sings frequently with Utah Symphony Chorus and Utopia Early Music. In 2021 Evie graduated with her Master of Music in Vocal Chamber Music from the University of Redlands under the direction of Christopher Gabbitas. She hopes to continue her education at the doctoral level soon!

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“Clara’s Song” from Haber’s Law

This aria constitutes the opening scene of Haber's Law, a chamber opera with libretto by poet Don Bogen. The opera tells the true story of Fritz Haber, Nobel Prize-winning chemist, savior of humanity through his invention of a process to fix nitrogen, which massively increased agricultural yields, and inventor of chemical weapons during World War I. Clara, his wife, was the first German woman to earn the PhD degree in chemistry on her own, and a pacifist who was appalled at her husband's activities, which she considered a prostitution of science.


After Fritz's first successful chemical attack, at Ypres, Belgium, in 1915, Clara failed to convince him to abandon chemical weapons, and took her own life using his newly issued service revolver. In this scene, on the night of Clara's suicide, she explains why she is driven to this extreme. The rest of Act 1 is told in flashback, and the act ends with Clara's suicide. Ironically, Germany betrayed Fritz, after the Nazi takeover in 1933, due to his (and Clara's) Jewish descent. Fritz died in exile in 1934; subsequently, the Nazis used his last invention, a cyanide crystal renamed Zyklon B, to murder millions including his and Clara's relatives. The opera received its partial, unstaged premiere at the Operation Opera Festival at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington, in 2022.

As a US Army officer, physician, and instructor in the medical management of chemical casualties courses taught by the Army for 16 years, I had the honor of teaching this story to over 16,000 students on three continents. I always felt that the story cried out for operatic treatment, not only because of its inherent drama, but also because the issues Clara Haber's story raises are sadly contemporary. Among those questions are the relationship of the scientist to his government, the proper definition of patriotism, how to integrate women into previously all-male spaces, and how to avoid judging people by their race, ethnicity, or religion.

Composer Jonathan Newmark, born New York City in 1953, pianist, violist, and conductor, received his MM in composition from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2015. His teachers have included Joel Hoffman, Douglas Knehans, and Michael Fiday, at CCM, as well as Jonathan Kolm, Gloria Wilson Swisher, and James McVoy. He has participated at the Chamber Music Conference at Bennington, VT since 1981 and worked there with composers including Allen Shawn, Martin Bresnick, Daniel Strong Godfrey, Kurt Rohde, Paul Moravec, Chen Yi, Pierre Jalbert, Jesse Jones, Scott Wheeler, and Ted Hearne. His works have premiered at the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, Charlotte New Music Festival, Connecticut Summerfest, nief-norf summer festival, International Trombone Festival, and Walden School’s Creative Musicians’ Retreat. His bass clarinet trio Secret Atop the Bluff won the Juventas New Music score competition at the Boston New Music Festival in 2017. A CD of four chamber works was released in 2009 on the Music Unlimited label. His string quartet appears on a 2019 CD by the Altius Quartet; his piano sonata appears on a 2019 CD by British pianist Martin Jones. His chamber opera Haber’s Law received its workshop premiere at the Operation Opera festival in Spokane, Washington in 2022. His works are published by TrevCo Varner and WaveFront Music.

A 1974 graduate of Harvard College, he earned his MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1978. He is a board-certified neurologist, staff neurologist at the Washington DC VA Medical Center, full professor of neurology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, retired Colonel, US Army Medical Corps, former Chemical Casualty Care Consultant to the Army Surgeon General, senior medical consultant to the National Institutes of Health, and one of the nation’s leading authorities on medical response to chemical warfare and terrorism. In 2022 he was appointed by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin to a second four-year term on the Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel of Virginia. He lives in Burke, Virginia.

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“The Memory of Old Things”

The Memory of Old Things sets a poem by Jay St. Flono. The short but poignant text reflects nostalgically on memories of family and home, while also expressing resigned acknowledgment of the events and details lost to time. The song was written for Mario Diaz-Moresco as part of The American Opera Project’s Composers & the Voice program, where it was workshopped in winter 2020.

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Jessica Rudman’s music inspires empathy for contemporary social issues through stories of myth, magic, and the modern world. Described as a “new music ninja” by the Hartford Advocate, she blends lyrical melodies and dramatic narrative structures with sensual harmony and vibrant color to draw listeners into the world she has created. Her works for the concert hall and stage often differ in musical language with the common thread always being expressivity. She believes that the ability to evoke an emotional response in one’s audience is of extreme importance in our current social, economic, and political environment.

Rudman’s music has been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Arditti Quartet, Riot Ensemble, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, the Omaha Symphony's Chamber Orchestra, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, and others. Honors include winning the Riot Ensemble’s Commissioning Competition, the Boston Metro Opera’s Advocacy Award, the NewMusic@ECU Orchestra Composition Competition, and IAWM’s Libby Larsen Prize. Rudman was a 2019 Connecticut Artist Fellow and a 2019-21 Fellow in the American Opera Project’s Composers & the Voice program.

Rudman is an Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at the University of Utah. She has previously taught at The Hartt School, Central Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, and Baruch College. Rudman holds degrees from the CUNY Graduate Center, The Hartt School, and the University of Virginia. Her main teachers include Tania León, Gilda Lyons, Larry Alan Smith, Robert Carl, and Stephen Gryc. (, b. 1982)

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Curtain Dance

“The Finding”

Song of St. Clare

Written for the 2014 Artsong Lab in Vancouver, The Finding is an Artsong for soprano and piano based on the evocative poem of the same name, by Vancouver poet Meharoona Ghani. I set the text in a five part form, similar to the form of the poem. Each section is different rhythmically, as I attempted to portray the contrast between the meditative and the active, the act of soul searching and dancing.

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Named one of CBC Music’s Top “30 under 30” Canadian Classical Musicians, Dr. Roydon Tse is an award-winning composer and educator based in Toronto. His orchestral music has been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and others across the globe. Currently a teaching artist for the Canadian Opera Company and was a 2020-21 NextGen composer with the Toronto Symphony. 

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