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Shapiro named music director

The Opera Company of Middlebury announces the appointment of Mark Shapiro as music director for its June production of "The Barber of Seville."

"With his extensive background in choral and orchestral music," said OCM artistic director Douglas Anderson, "he'll bring all of the musical elements together. I know he's going to coax great performances out of both the singers and the orchestra."

Shapiro will lead members of the Burlington Chamber Orchestra in four performances of the Rossini comedy scheduled for Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, June 5, 7, 9, and 11. Performances will be at 8 p.m. with the Sunday performance at 2 p.m. at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury.

Shapiro is director of choral activities at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University and Director of the Conducting Program at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris. He has been a longtime faculty member at Mannes College The New School of Music. A summa cum laude graduate of Yale University, Shapiro holds diplomas in orchestra conducting from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris and the Peabody Conservatory. With Cantori New York, Shapiro has made three commercially-released CDs, one of which, Frank Martin's oratorio Le Vin Herb , was awarded Editor's Choice in Opera News Magazine and the highest rating.

The Opera Company of Middlebury will hold its First Annual Festival of Music Friday, May 22-June 2. The Festival begins with a "Meet the Singers" event on May 22 at the Middlebury Inn at which the six principal soloists will be introduced and sing their favorite arias. Start time is 5 p.m.

The Metropolitan Opera's D.H. broadcast of The Audition, a feature length documentary of their national council auditions and hosted by Rene Fleming, will be shown Wednesday, May 27.

The Burlington Chamber Orchestra with music director Michael Hopkins, will present a concert Friday, May 29, featuring the winner of their Young Artists Solo Competition.

Concluding this year's Festival will be OCM's sixth production, The Barber of Seville, which will be directed by Douglas Anderson. The cast will include Meredith Ziegler, Jonathan Blalock, and Stephanos Tsirakoglou.

Pre-performance talks, free for all ticket holders, will be given one hour before curtain time at the Memorial Baptist Church opposite the Town Hall Theater on South Pleasant Street.

Further information and tickets for all events are on sale at www.ocmvermont.org and at the Town Hall Theater box office, 382-9222.

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