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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Free Tenors For You Concert at Historic Fifth Street School

Everyone is invited to enjoy the holiday Tenors For You Concert on Saturday, December 19, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth St. Admission is free. Classically trained tenors Michael Rodrigues, Mark Thomsen, Marco Varela and Dr. Alfonse Anderson will present two hours of Christmas favorites, accompanied by Barbara Riske and a few other guest performers. Call 229-3515 for more information.

Michael Rodrigues, is originally from the San Francisco Bay area and has studied Music Performance and Opera at UNLV. Rodrigues has performed in numerous productions with the UNLV Opera Theater and Southern Nevada Opera Association, and most recently as guest soloist for the National Energy Education Development Ceremonies, Department of the Interior, in Washington D.C. Rodrigues is the current principal of Sue H. Morrow Elementary School in the Clark County School District and is well known as the "singing principal" by students and teachers, with whom he often performs.

Mark Thomsen, has performed with major opera companies across the world in many title roles, including the Metropolitan Opera of New York. A native of Minnesota, Thomsen received his master's degree in Applied Voice from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., then went on to spend several years performing with the Houston Opera. Under the guidance of Beverly Sills, he performed many title roles at the New York City Opera. At the conclusion of his first year in New York, he received the New York City Opera Debut Artist of the Year award.

Marco Varela was born in Mexico City, where he began his classical studies at the artist development center in Televisa Studios. Varela continued his classical training at UNLV while obtaining a degree in business. Since then, he has sung with Opera Las Vegas, Nevada Opera Theater, Nevada Lyric Opera, and the Seattle Opera. He won a national talent contest on television and was a finalist at the 2001 Anna Maria di Panni Bel Canto Competition held in Los Angeles. Varela has performed in numerous concerts, most recently as the tenor soloist in Haydn’s “Creation” produced by the Henderson Civic Orchestra.

Dr. Alfonse Anderson is an associate professor of Voice at UNLV and has performed in operas, recitals and concerts for more than 35 years. Dr. Anderson has performed in concert and oratorio with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., as well as with many notable opera companies and symphonies in the United States and throughout the world.

Barbara Riske will accompany the tenors. Educated in Manitoba and Ontario, Canada, Riske performed and recorded as a piano soloist with orchestras worldwide before moving to Las Vegas in 1996, where she became a member of the UNLV music and dance faculty. She has played with several groups locally, including the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Nevada Chamber Symphony, Nevada Ballet Theater, Opera Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Flute Club, the Las Vegas Music Festival, the Las Vegas Woodwind Quintet, and the Sierra Winds, in addition to performing chamber concerts throughout the United States.

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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