ELEM ELEY
 
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ELEM ELEY enjoys a remarkably varied career, from opera, oratorio and recital to premières of contemporary vocal music. He appears on five recent recordings, two of them released by Albany Records—including a solo album (with pianist, JJ Penna), Drifts and Shadows: American Song for the New Millennium. A review appearing in Journal of Singing declares, “No matter what technical and expressive hurdles these songs present, Eley surmounts them with conviction and assurance...What they [Eley and Penna] achieve here is truly profound." The CD featuring Lieder of Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf and Frank Martin, was released on Centaur Records, entitled Der Geist spricht/The Spirit Speaks. Critic Phil Muse (Audio Visual Club of Atlanta) praises the duo: "To put across a dire-foreboding program such as this requires the utmost in intelligence and interpretive insight. Elem Eley and J.J. Penna possess both, plus the technical powers to do justice to awesome settings of awesome literary texts." The most recent disc, Lenoriana (Affetto Recordings), is praised in the Journal of Singing"This generous disk is yet another memorable collaboration between baritone Elem Eley and pianist J.J. Penna...[Eley's] essential tone remains exceptionally handsome and his artistry is as eloquent as ever. J.J. Penna remains an absolute marvel at the piano, and even the most difficult of these songs seem to pose no serious problems for him. What is most impressive of all is the flawless sense of ensemble between these two musicians as they confront the plethora of challenges posed by these works."

In Vienna, Mr. Eley sang Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch (with soprano Faith Esham and Penna) in a 2011 recital at the Schubert Geburtshaus. He has coached extensively there with both Walter Moore and Norman Shetler (also with Robert Holl, Carolyn Hague and Joëlle Bouffa). Additionally during his 2011 leave in Vienna, he taught a master class to students at Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität. More recently, Eley and Penna presented a guest recital and master class at Indiana University. Recitals and master classes in fall of 2012 were hosted by LaGrange College and by Columbus State University. He rejoined conductor Allan Birney and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia/Camerata Singers in 2012 for Messiah, and appeared with the Harvard (MA) Pro Musica in December 2014, with Bach's Weihnachts-Oratorium.

Mr. Eley has performed in leading concert and recital venues, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and other New York City venues. He has appeared with the Symphony Orchestras of Buffalo, Charlotte, Kansas City, New Jersey, Sioux City, Springfield and Syracuse, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, The Little Orchestra Society, Princeton Pro Musica, and many other presenting groups. He sang the title role of Don Giovanni for his debut at the Operafestival di Roma and appeared in productions with the opera companies of Cincinnati, Hawaii, Shreveport and Syracuse, Athena Grand Opera, the Sylvan Opera Festival, the Center for Contemporary Opera and Musica Europa 2001.

Recent seasons featured a return to Avery Fisher Hall as soloist in Messiah with the Peniel Concert Choir, Carmina Burana and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Springfield (MO) Symphony, recitals at Berry College and Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and a performance on the Joy in Singing Anniversary Gala at Merkin Concert Hall. Winner of the 1996 Joy in Singing Award, Elem Eley is Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. He is also founder/director of the summer program, Vienna: Language of Lieder, dually focused on preparation, coaching and performance of Lieder and language study, annually conducted in the City of Music.