Revolutionary Women in the Berkshires!

Close Encounters With Music: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman!

I am thrilled to be part of a woman’s “Quilt” with my piece “REMEMBER THE LADIES” with words penned by Abigail Adams. This concert weaves the words and music of great women composers like Joan Tower, Thea Musgrave, Amy Beach, Judith Zaimont, Clara Schumann and more!

Patricia Leonard (16)

Saturday, June 10 at 6pm |Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center – Great Barrington, MA

Click here for more information: The Women’s Quilt

 

Opera Premiere Afterglow!

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The July 2, 2016 premiere of my new opera My Dearest Friend was a magical day for sure! The outdoor performance was presented at the actual grounds of President John Adams and his wife Abigail; Peacefield – the Adams Family estate in Quincy, MA made for an almost supernatural backdrop for my opera. Thoughtfully directed by Tony Award nominee Maureen Brennan, soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer did an outstanding job as “Abigail,” and Charles Taylor made for an authentic and emotional “John Adams.” Led by spectacular conductor Sean Newhouse, the orchestra was comprised of Boston’s  top caliber of professional musicians. Colonial costumes were provided by Kim Welborn.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for the 400+ audience members, young and old, who came to Peacefield to enjoy this historic and patriotic opera. Adams National Historical Park’s Deputy Superintendent Caroline Keinath made opening remarks before the opera, and asked the audience to raise their hands if it was their first time visiting Peacefield. Most of the audience raised their hands. It was a wonderful moment for Caroline to have so many newcomers to the Adams Family home! Caroline then spoke about John and Abigail’s critical roles in the American Revolution and their personal sacrifices; her moving speech certainly inspired a new crop of tourists to Peacefield!

I am excited to report that My Dearest Friend will have a future life in 2017, so please stay tuned for more details!

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The development of My Dearest Friend received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Partial funding for this free live event was provided by the Recording Industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund.

Historic Opera Premiere on July 2, 2016!

Saturday, July 2, 2016 was a magical day indeed! The Boston weather was sunny with a warm breeze, so perfect for an outdoor opera concert.

At 2PM at Peace field, part of Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, almost 500 people gathered on Beale Lawn to share in the world premiere based on the passionate and poignant letters exchanged between John and Abigail Adams – from their courtship, to events surrounding the American Revolution to Abigail’a death.

At times throughout the performance, the atmosphere was almost paranormal; John (Charles Taylor, Baritone) and Abigail (Wendy Bryn Harmer, soprano) were singing of domestic life in Braintree (now Quincy) as audiences were entreanched in this very history. From the stage, we all could see the Adamses’ Old House on the hill in the distance. It made the story ever more real because the opera was taking place where these two people actually lived! And it was as if John and Abigail were there, waiting patiently for all of us to arrive and to hear their love story.

It was my distinct honor to bring these extraordinary people to life through music, and it is my hope that a new historical movement will create a greater awareness for the Adams family and their proper place in history!

The development of My Dearest Friend received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Partial funding for this free live event was provided by the Recording Industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund.

Save the Date!

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Sean Newhouse, conductor | Wendy Bryn Harmer, soprano | Charles Taylor, baritone

July 2, 2016 | Peace field at 2PM Quincy, MA 
Opera Premiere of MY DEAREST FRIEND

As one of the greatest American love stories, this one-act opera covers the life, love and personal sacrifices of Founding Father and Second U.S. President John Adams and his formidable wife, Abigail.

FREE for the general public in celebration of the National Parks Services’ 100th anniversary and our Nation’s Independence Day celebrations!

The development of My Dearest Friend received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.