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Songs of Haiti Featured At Maplewood Cultural Center Saturday May 17, 2008

Global Heritage Theater Arts Project presents Art Songs of Haiti at the Burgdorff Cultural Cernter in Maplewood, NJ on Saturday May 17, 2008 at 8:00 PM.

Jean Ronald Lafond

The Burgdorff Cultural Center is located at 10 Durand Road, Maplewood, NJ 07040. Tickets are $25.00 [order now]

About the Show
Be inspired by the unique classical Art Songs movement of the Haïtian Diaspora performed by internationally renowned opera soloist, conductor, director and composer, Jean Ronald LaFond. Some of the most remarkable composition by Haitian composers are the classical songs, called Art Songs or melodies. The songs cover nearly a century of composition in a tradition that goes back to the early 19th century and represent the multi-faceted culture that is Haiti.

Jean-Ronald LaFond began his career as a baritone. He has appeared with many orchestras and opera theaters internationally, among them, Michigan Opera Theater, Delaware Opera, Sakai Opera, Intermountain Opera, Rheinland-Pfalz Philharmonie, Orquesta Nacional de Cuba, Kalamazoo Symphony, Salt Lake City Symphony, Bozeman Symphony, Greater Lansing Symphony, etc. He has appeared as Almaviva, Giovanni and Leporello, Guglielmo and Don Alfonso, Papageno, Belcore, Escamillo, Scarpia, Germont, Ford, Gianni Schicchi and Jake, among others. He appeared with the Berlin International Opera as Don Giovanni, Almaviva and Macbeth. He has appeared as soloist in Bach’s Passions, Magnificat and B minor Mass, Requiems by Mozart, Fauré, Duruflé, and Brahms, Handel’s Messiah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Haydn’s Creation and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to name a few. He is currently a dramatic tenor and will make his debut in this new repertoire as Canio in Pagliacci in October 2008.
A consummate recitalist, Jean-Ronald LaFond has performed over 300 song programs in 9 languages covering the standard Lieder and mélodies repertoire as well as the Latin American and Caribbean art song, which reflects his culture heritage. He has presented recitals in the Americas, Europe and Asia, with such partners as Dalton Baldwin, the late Glenn Parker, Mutsumi Moteki, Lillian Questel, Akemi Masuko and Julie Nishimura, among others. Performance engagements this season will take him back to Japan for his 7th recital tour, Europe for concerts, and various engagements across the U.S.
Equally at home in straight and musical theater, LaFond has played lead roles in A Camden Christmas Carol, Man of La Mancha, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Quilt, Forty Carats and Some Winter Games, and supporting roles in countless other works ranging from Moliere to Shakespeare.
A passionate vocal pedagogue, LaFond has a solid grasp of vocal acoustics and anatomy and utilizes this knowledge to shed light on the proven precepts of the traditional schools of singing and theatrical vocal production. Formerly on the faculties of several Universities, LaFond now holds master classes and teaches privately in NYC, Japan and Berlin and in his home in Millville, New Jersey. Jean-Ronald LaFond holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and the Masters of Music degrees from the University of Michigan and the Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College. Additionally, LaFond studied orchestral conducting under Gustav Meier, and composition under Leslie Bassett and William Albright. He most recently led the Clifford Brown Festival Jazz Orchestra in Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts. As a stage director his most recent projects include Don Giovanni and Macbeth for Berlin International Opera.

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