Operatic tenor Jon Fredric West to appear at BGSU

The College of Musical Arts will host a visit by heldentenor Jon Fredric West, a 1974 BGSU graduate, as this year's Harold and Helen McMaster Endowed Professorship in Voice and Choral Studies.

Jon Fredric West
Jon Fredric West

Since earning his degree from Bowling Green, West has earned international acclaim for his portrayals of the heroic tenor roles of composer Richard Wagner and become known for his leading tenor roles as Canio in “I Pagliacci,” Florestan in “Fidelio,” Otello, and Siegfried in the Ring Cycle.

He has performed in many of the world's great opera houses—the Royal Opera Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Scala, Paris Opera and the Vienna Staatsoper—and worked with such esteemed conductors as James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle, Seiji Ozawa and Michael Tilson Thomas.

During his residency, West will perform an all-Wagner recital with pianist Kenneth Bowen at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free and open to the public, the program will feature works from “Die Walküre,” “Lohengrin,” “Siegfried” and “Tristan und Isolde.”

In a special ceremony immediately following the recital, the University will present West with an honorary doctor of music degree in recognition of his contributions to the nation's musical life.

While on campus, the talented singer also will conduct master classes with BGSU voice students. Free and open to the public, the master classes will be held from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, in Kobacker Hall.

Helen and the late Harold McMaster established the endowed professorship in spring 2000. Helen McMaster, a long-time Perrysburg resident, studied music at Defiance College and has supported the arts at BGSU for many years. In 1992 she served as honorary chair of Bowling Green's Campaign of the Arts, to which the McMasters donated $150,000.

October 2, 2006