Stephanie Weiss, assistant professor of voice in the ASU School of Music, recently released her first solo and duo recording, “Sacred & Profane: Duo Au Courant Performs Song Cycles of Daron Hagen” with “duo au courant” partner, pianist Christina Wright-Ivanova.
“We enjoyed working together and began to find our niche in new works with living composers, so we decided to become an official duo,” said Weiss. “We selected the name ‘duo au courant’ because of our commitment to singing current music and about current topics.”
Weiss and Wright-Ivanova first met in 2011 at the American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, when they performed Daniel Brewbaker’s "I Carry Your Heart" for its European premiere. They worked together again a few years later when they were both on faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and asked by composer Virko Baley to sing some songs by Daron Hagen, an award-winning composer, librettist, stage director, conductor, collaborative pianist and essayist. Hagen’s music is performed worldwide by the most prestigious orchestras, ensembles and soloists, and he is the recipient of the 2015 American Academy of Arts and Letters' Academy Award for "the artist who has achieved his singular voice."
“We were struck by the originality and beauty of Hagen’s writing, and he enjoyed our sound and artistry,” said Weiss. “He asked us to sing his other cycles, including premiering a song cycle he wrote in 1989, ‘A Handful of Days’. This led us to our all-Hagen recording, which was also produced by Hagen on Albany Records.”
Duo au courant’s recording features three of Hagen’s song cycles performed by Weiss and Wright-Ivanova — “Vegetable Verselets,” “Jaik's Songs” and “A Handful of Days.”
Weiss, a mezzo-soprano, is a regular guest at Deutsche Oper Berlin and has performed at numerous European opera houses such as Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Oper Köln, Oper Leipzig, Oper Frankfurt, Stadttheater Bern, Oper Dortmund, Oper Köln, and the San Diego Opera. She has performed in concert with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall, the Lviv Philharmonic (Ukraine) and with the Singakademie Potsdam. Weiss has also served on the faculty of the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy in Sulmona, Italy, and has been on the voice faculty at AIMS in Graz since 2010.
Wright-Ivanova, a faculty member at Keene State College in New Hampshire, has performed throughout the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, China and South America.
Duo au courant will present the Arizona premiere of “Jiak’s Songs,” which they also presented as a world premiere at UNLV in 2017. The duo will also perform Dominick Argento's “From the Diary of Virginia Woolf,” staged by Stephanie Sadownik, School of Music doctoral student.
Duo au courant
Katzin Concert Hall