Jane Schoonmaker Rodgers, soprano
Soprano Jane Schoonmaker Rodgers is a versatile singer/actor, specializing in comedy, new music, and innovative recital work. Her concert, recital, and stage gigs have taken her in recent years to New York, London, Vienna, and Prague, as well as to Chicago, Detroit, Toledo, Syracuse, and other exciting destinations in the Great Lakes region.
The past few years' activities have included performances and recordings with the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, American Composers’ Alliance, Mid-American Center for Contemporary Music, Toledo Symphony, National Polish Radio Symphony, Moravian Philharmonic,and the Society for New Music.
On Sundays she sings in the professional choir at the Mariners’ Church of Detroit.
MORE EXTENSIVE DETAILS FOR RABID FANS:
For info about upcoming performances, click here.
In June 2008 Jane and Kevin Bylsma premiered Dialogue, a new chamber work for voice and piano by their Bowling Green colleague, Burton Beerman, as part of the American Composers' Alliance Festival of American Music, at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side. This was Jane's second appearance at the Festival performing one of Beerman's works, the last time having been in 2004 (at the Flea Theatre), when she presented Voices with bassist Steve Gilewski.
In October 2007 , she and Kevin Bylsma presented Philip Wharton's The Prairie Sings at the annual New Music and Art Festival of the Mid-American Center for Contemporary Music at Bowling Green State University.
New recordings available: John Ross' After a line of Theodore Roethke (on: New Music from Bowling Green, Volume 5; Albany Records) , and Ernst Levy's Symphony No. 12 with the National Polish Radio Symphony (Opus One), and Burton Beerman's Voices with bassist Steve Gilewski is available on his CD, Beerman Unplugged--Almost (Capstone Records).
In June 2007 she joined the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival at St. Hugo’s Chapel in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, with pianist James Tocco and wind players from the Detroit Symphony in a presentation of Elaine Lebenbom’s Sephardic Songs. Later that month she presented a solo recital with pianist Kevin Bylsma at the Dewitt Community Church in Dewitt, NY.
In June/July 2006 Jane soloed in the Mozart Requiem and Barber's Prayers of Kierkegaard at the Rudolfinum in Prague and the Orangerie of the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra of Olomouc (Czech Republic) and Bowling Green's University Choral Society. She also has sung in London (Holiday services at St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey) with the Canterbury Singers.
In the Midwest, she performs frequently at Ann Arbor's Kerrytown Concert House, at special Concert House events, as a regular cast member in Wine, Women, and Song, and recently as a guest recitalist on the House's own series. She is also General Director of The Ann Arbor Festival of Song, which has made itself at home at the KCH for the past 15 years.
Opera credits include roles with the Ohio Light Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Toledo Opera, Michigan Lyric Opera, Ann Arbor’s Comic Opera Guild, University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society (UMGASS), and others. A recording of her performance as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with UMGASS was recently released in the UK by Sounds On CD.
Other recent concert appearances include Brahms Requiem, Bruckner Te Deum, Mahler Symphony #2 (Resurrection), Handel Messiah, Barber Prayers of Kierkegaard and Knoxville, Summer of 1915, Mozart Coronation Mass, Requiem, and Exsultate Jubilate, Beethoven Symphony #9, Carissimi Jephte, several Bach cantatas, Poulenc and Vivaldi Glorias, Beerman Voices, and many solo recitals, with orchestras including the Toledo Symphony, International Symphony of Port Huron and Sarnia, as well as other organizations in New York, Ontario, Michigan, and Ohio.
As a stage director, Jane has mounted student scenes programs at Bowling Green and at Grand Valley State University, and staged and choreographed the Toledo Opera Summer Camp shows in 2001 (The Pirates of Penzance) and 2002 (The Mikado). At Bowling Green she has compiled, cast, designed, and directed two student cabaret shows: We're Not Sick, We're Just in Love (2005), and Art & Science: A Collaborative Cabaret (2008).
She holds degrees from the University of Michigan (M.M., D.M.A.) and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (B.M.). In spring of 2006 she was granted tenure and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of Voice at Bowling Green State University, and she has taught voice and vocal music courses at the Universities of Michigan and Toledo, at Adrian, Albion, and Spring Arbor Colleges, and at Grand Valley State University.
In 1994, with her frequent collaborator, pianist Kevin Bylsma, she co-founded the Art Fair Song Fest, which eventually gave birth to its own parent organization, The Ann Arbor Festival of Song, featuring year-round offerings of art song and vocal chamber music. Their credits as a performing duo include the American Composers' Alliance Festival of American Music, the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, the Society for New Music, the Mid-American Center for Contemporary Music, Cleveland Art Song Festival, Pro Musica of Detroit, Camphill Village of Copake, NY, and the venerable Civic Morning Musicals series at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY.
Dr. Rodgers has been a member of the professional choir and special events soloist at the historic Mariners' Church of Detroit since 1994.