Harpist Nanette Felix and soprano Gale Ketteler are the featured musicians at Mendelssohn’s “Music on Main … Classically Inspired” series Thursday, Jan. 9, at 5:30 p.m. The performance will be at Mendelssohn’s historic Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., Rockford.
“Music on Main … Classically Inspired” is a series designed to bring the audience an hour-long, classically-inspired concert, performed in a relaxed, comfortable “house concert” setting, complete with complimentary refreshments.
Presented the second Thursday of each month, the concert is a wonderful way to musically ease into the weekend. This performance will feature some surprising and fun solos and duets. Nanette really enjoys entertaining her listeners with selections you are sure to recognize, including movie theme songs, blues, folk and a pinch of classical. Gale’s lyrical voice includes several languages and a smidge of yodel.
Nanette Felix is a vivacious and charming performer. Her repertoire encompasses a variety of classical, popular, jazz, and rock & roll literature. She grew up in River Forest, Ill., and began taking harp lessons at age 10. She attended Indiana University’s School of Music and studied with Chicago Lyric Opera’s harpist Elizabeth Cifani. During this period, she played with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (the training orchestra for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) and was coached by Edward Druzinsky.
Felix has achieved recognition not only for her performances as principal harpist for the Dubuque (Iowa) and Rockford symphony orchestras, but also for her appearances with other prominent orchestras, including the Peoria Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, Indianapolis Civic Symphony, The Chattanooga Opera Association, and the Quad City Symphony. Other intriguing performances have been with rock and roll legends Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, The Moody Blues, Ray Charles, Doc Severinsen and recently performed the music of Styx with Dennis DeYoung Live with a Symphony Orchestra Midwest Tour.
Travelers to Galena, Ill., have enjoyed Felix’s exceptional talents at the Eagle Ridge Inn and Resort. The lilting glissandi beloved by aficionados of harp music and the awesome percussive effects she achieves delight the listening diners. Felix’s “performances cum commentary” have made her highly sought-after.
A lyric coloratura, Gale Ketteler studied music at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and received a double degree in vocal performance and communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was a national finalist in the 1994 Bel Canto Foundation competition and studied with Martina Arroyo and Giorgio Tozzi. Her professional performances with Madison Opera include the High Priestess in Aida, plus roles in Gianni Schicchi, Candide and the world premiere of Daron Hagen’s Shining Brow, an opera about Frank Lloyd Wright. She also appeared as Adina on tour with Opera for the Young in The Elixir of Love, has debuted with the Madison Symphony, and in Haydn’s Creation with the Beloit Janesville Symphony. Rockford audiences have enjoyed her solo performances in Mendelssohn PAC operas, Handel’s Messiah, with Rockford Concert Band in Sinnissippi Park and Rockford Symphony Orchestra.
Admission to the Jan. 9 event at Mendelssohn is $10 for adults, $5 for students up to age 25. Reservations are not required, but tickets may be purchased online at www.mendelssohnpac.org, by calling (815) 964-9713 or at the door. All seating is first come, first serve.
From the Jan. 8-14, 2014, issue