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Danielle Woerner: Singer
In staged works, Danielle has sung principal roles in operas and musical theater productions (Rigoletto, Carmen, Die Zauberfloete, Dido & Aeneas, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Gianni Schicchi, The Impresario, The Gypsy Baron, The Most Happy Fella, Follies, Into the Woods and more) with the Amato, Brooklyn Lyric and Delaware Valley Opera Companies, NYCA, the Gilbert & Sullivan Musical Theatre Company, and the Rhinebeck and Shandaken Theatrical Societies. The singer-actress received high marks for her realization of the role of student Sharon Graham in Terrence McNally's play Master Class, based on Maria Callas's master classes at Juilliard, in a May 2001 run of the Tony Award-winning play at Poughkeepsie's Cunneeen-Hackett Theater.
Danielle's work with living composers is a special calling. Several have written pieces expressly for her. She has given first performances of music by John Cage, Arsenio Girón, Philip Glass, Edith Gutierrez, Daron Hagen, Stefania de Kenessey, Otto Luening, Barry O'Neal, Robert Starer, Enrique Ubieta, and many others, including Beethoven's contemporary, Ferdinando Paer.
During her highly successful fall 2000 semester as Artist in Residence at Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge, NY, Danielle gave a concert, "Voices of the Valley," that featured music of living Hudson Valley composers Robert Baksa, James Fitzwilliam, Aurora Northland, Richard Olsen, Peter Schickele, Alan Shulman and Robert Starer. Composer/pianists Schickele, Northland and Fitzwilliam accompanied her in their own pieces. That program, also performed on a new-music series at the Pleshakov Music Center in Hudson, NY, was later recorded in the studio for the Voices of the Valley CD on Albany Records (Troy 877, released November 2006).
In 1999, her first full-length solo CD was issued on the Parnassus Records label (PACD 96012): She Walks in Beauty: Soprano Danielle Woerner Sings Chamber Music and Songs of Otto Luening and Robert Starer. The disk features supporting performances by pianists Robert Starer (his only commercially available recording as a performer) and Sylvia Buccelli, flutists Patricia Spencer and Marcia Gates, clarinetist Jean Kopperud, cellist Susan Seligman, and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String Quartet. She is also the voice of Margaret Reed, a principal role, on the 2003 original studio cast album of Forlorn Hope: The Donner Party Musical, by composer/lyricist Michael Bitterman.
Collaborations with Manhattan-based chamber groups have brought Danielle together with The Risorgimento Project (specializing in music of the Italian salon tradition), the Laurentian String Quartet, and new-music ensembles the Da Capo Chamber Players, Composers Concordance, Gamelan Son of Lion, and North-South-Consonance. In opera and oratorio/orchestra appearances, she's worked with conductors including Harold Farberman, Randall Craig Fleischer, Luis Garcia-Renart, Barbara Pickhardt, Harold Rosenbaum, Martin Rutishauser, Johannes Somary and Ignace Strasfogel. Standing ovations greeted concerts throughout Spain in July 2007, where she was featured as soloist on tour with Rosenbaum.
In the Hudson Valley, she's heard in return solo engagements with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Ars Choralis, Camerata Chorale/Ulster Choral Society, SUNY New Paltz College-Community Chorus, Taghkanic Chorale and other ensembles. She has appeared on concert series including Maverick Concerts (Woodstock), the Grand Montgomery Chamber Music Series (Montgomery), the Hudson Valley BachFest (Cornwall), Lunch 'n' Listen (Poughkeepsie), Saugerties Pro Musica, and Concerts on the Hill (Hopewell). In October 2004, she and pianist-composer James Fitzwilliam gave a recital called “For Your Ears Only: Music for the Heart and Hearth,” on the inaugural season of the Trail Mix Music Festival in Olivebridge, NY; they frequently perform together on Hudson Valley recital series. The following summer, Danielle gave two celebrated performances at the Maverick Concert Hall of Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasilieras No.5, in its arrangement for soprano and eight cellos. It was among the many performances she's given that are consistently included in critics' year-end roundups of the year's best musical events in the Valley.
After moving to the Maine coast in 2014, she became a co-founder of the chamber group Smokin' Baroque, as well as giving solo recitals on series at Schoodic Arts for All (Winter Harbor) and the Eastport Performing Arts Center.
Far from being all seriousness, Danielle enjoys doing comedy with the likes of performance poet-musicians Mikhail Horowitz and Gilles Malkine. As one of the co-creator/performers of A Sixties Cabaret, she joins other cabaret, pop and rock musicians in an entertaining, enlightening look at a revolutionary decade. She writes her own songs, some of which mine a humorous vein. And she enjoyed playing three gongs at a time (sometimes while singing Balinese songs too) when she was part of the Balinese gong kebyar gamelan Giri Mekar, an Indonesian percussion orchestra founded by Steve Reich & Musicians drummer Garry Kvistad. “I miss the gamelan,” says Danielle, who had to give it up when evenings got too busy with rehearsals and teaching. “It was my musical meditation, sitting there inside my little cage of gongs. And I didn’t have to be perfect—just on time!”
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