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High Peaks Opera Studio to present recital of American opera and song

ESSEX - High Peaks Opera Studio presents "Preachers & Politicians! American Opera and Song," a program featuring a smattering of arias from some of the best-known American operas, sprinkled liberally (or conservatively, depending on your politics) with American song.

The program features Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone George Cordes and Tri-Cities Opera pianist Elizabeth Cordes and includes music by such iconic American composers as Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Carlisle Floyd, Ned Rorem, and Douglas Moore.

Audience members will have a choice of three venues to hear this concert: Sunday, Aug. 22, at 8 p.m. at Beth Joseph Synagogue in Tupper Lake as part of the synagogue's summer concert series; Thursday, Aug. 26, at 11:30 a.m. at Essex Community Church in Essex, in a shortened version as part of Essex Community Concerts; and again Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Calvary United Methodist Church in Long Lake as part of the Long Lake Friends of Music concert series. Donations are being requested at the door for all three concerts.

For more information, go to www.highpeaksopera.org or www.essexcommunityconcerts.org, or send an e-mail to highpeaksoperastudio@verizon.net.

George Cordes performed as a principal artist for six seasons with New York City Opera, where he appeared in consecutive Live from Lincoln Center telecasts on PBS. He also sang on the Metropolitan Opera roster for four seasons, appearing in Rigoletto, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly. During a 17-year career, he has performed throughout North America and in Japan, including more than 70 roles in opera, operetta, and musical theater. He moved to Tupper Lake in 2006 with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children, where they started High Peaks Opera Studio. He teaches music in Saranac Lake and was music director for the high school's 2010 production of Li'l Abner.

Since 2006, pianist Elizabeth Cordes has been choral-music teacher at Tupper Lake Middle/High School and directed productions of Bye, Bye Birdie, The Boy Friend, Seussical: The Musical, and, most recently, Annie. Before moving to Tupper Lake, she spent seven years with Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, as accompanist, coach, and director of the education-outreach program. Elizabeth also spent six seasons as accompanist with Ohio Light Opera and four years as coach/accompanist for opera and musical theater at the University of Akron School of Music.

Elizabeth and George recently performed in revues featuring the music of Rodgers and Hart and Rodgers and Hammerstein as part of the Evenings Under the Stars series in Hingham, Mass.

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