Sag Harbor Song Festival Returns

to The Church for its Second Year 



Concert Dates:Friday, September 22nd | 6:30 PM Saturday, September 23rd | 6:30 PM Sunday, September 24th | 12 PM

Ticket Pricing:Individual Tickets: $75 / Festival Pass: $200 (one ticket for each of the three concerts)


Sag Harbor Song Festival at The Church, 2022,

Photo by Talena Mascali


We are thrilled to announce the return of The Church’s collaboration with the Sag Harbor Song Festival this September after an immensely successful inaugural festival in September 2022.

Sag Harbor Song Festival 2023 will feature three concerts at The Church on successive days from Friday, September 22nd – Sunday, September 24th. Six opera stars, each a musician of great talent and accomplishment, will present a program of opera, musical theater, songs, and lieder.

The 2023 Festival will again be led by Artistic Director Brad Woolbright, who is working closely with Music Director Robert Tweten, and will also feature the highly regarded pianist, John Arida. Details of the unique musical programming for each concert are set out starting on page 8 of this document.

Tickets are available now ($200 for a Festival Pass or $75 for individual tickets) and can be purchased here.


Meet the 2023 Singers 

Alaysha Fox 


Alaysha Fox, a graduate of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn- Stein Young Artist Program, where she performed the roles of the Female Chorus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and the High Priestess in Verdi’s Aida. Last season she joined the Lyric Opera of Chicago, covering the role of Élisabeth de Valois in Verdi’s Don Carlos. This season she makes her debut with Bard SummerScape, performing the role of Lady Clarence in Saint-Saëns’ rarely performed Henry VIII.

Her credits include the LA Philharmonic in Hindemith’s Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen, Opera Santa Barbara as Giorgetta in Puccini’s Il Tabarro, the title role of Fauré’s Pénélope at Opera Saratoga and The Santa Fe Opera in their recent production of Le Nozze di
Figaro. Other assignments in her repertory include First Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Lady Macbeth in Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth, Sieglinde in Die Walküre and the title of Verdi’s Aida.

Fox was the winner of the Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition, and the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition; grand finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; finalist in the Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition; finalist in the Houston Grand Opera Concert of Arias; semi-finalist in the Elizabeth Connell International Singing Competition; and winner of the Lotte Lenya Emerging Artist Award.

An alumna of the Young Artist Programs of Chautauqua Opera, Opera Saratoga and The Santa Fe Opera, and holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in music from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. More information at 


Liv Redpath


During the 2023-24 season, Liv Redpath will make debuts at the Royal Opera House singing the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, Berliner Philharmoniker performing Schoenberg’s Die Jakobsleiter under the baton of Kirill Petrenko, Metropolitan Opera singing Pamina in Julie Taymor’s production of The Magic Flute, The English Concert in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea led by Harry Bicket, San Diego Symphony with Music Director Rafael Payare to perform Mozart’s motet Exsultate, jubilate K. 165 to open their season, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France to sing Barber’s Knoxville: “Summer of 1915″ conducted by Barbara Hannigan, and Atlanta Opera as Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Redpath returns to the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest for Poulenc’s Stabat Mater led by Stéphane Denève. In the summer of 2023, she will essay the role of Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with director Peter Hall and Dalia Staseveska conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Glyndebourne Festival and sing Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at Aix en Provence with Balthazar Neumann Ensemble and Choir conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock.

Recent engagements have included the Bayerische Staatsoper, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Komische Oper Berlin, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bregenzer Festspiele, Seattle Symphony, The Santa Fe Opera, Cleveland Orchestra, La Monnaie/De Munt, and she has collaborated with conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Fabio Luisi, Vasily Petrenko, Vladimir Jurowski, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Alain Altinoglu, Alan Gilbert, William Christie, Emmanuel Villaume, Barbara Hannigan, Lothar Koenigs, and Christophe Rousset. information at


Jennifer Johnson Cano


Jennifer Johnson Cano has garnered critical acclaim for committed performances of both new and standard repertoire. In response to her performance as Virginia Woolf in The Hours with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera

News praised her “impressive tone and dead-on pitch throughout a wide range, and a fierce command of words,” calling her “a matchless interpreter of contemporary opera.” The New York Times noted her “mellow sobriety — and, in Woolf’s darkest moments, stricken intensity.” As

Offred in Poul Ruders’s The Handmaid’s Tale, she was lauded by the Times as “towering…restless, powerful, profound; she is as formidable as this astonishingly demanding role deserves.” With more than 100 performances on the stage at The Metropolitan Opera, her most recent roles have included Nicklausse, Emilia, Hansel, and Meg Page.

Her debut recital recording with pianist Christopher Cano, Unaffected: Live from the Savannah Voice Festival, was recorded live and unedited. Recent recordings include a live performance of Beethoven 9 with Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony and Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 Jeremiah with Marin Alsop, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. More information at


Jack Swanson


In the 2023-2024 season, Mr. Swanson makes major debuts with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola, the Houston Grand Opera as Fenton in Falstaff and returns to the Norwegian Opera for Ferrando in Così Fan Tutte and Don Ramiro. He will perform in a recital in Montreal with John Arida. Future engagements include debuts at the Metropolitan Opera and the Staatsoper Hamburg and a return to the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, all in leading roles.

Last season Jack Swanson premiered the title role in Paola Prestini’s Edward Tulane with the Minnesota Opera, made debuts with the Austin Opera as Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the Utah Opera as Tonio in La Fille du Régiment and the Atlanta Opera as the title role
in Candide. In concert, the tenor joined the Houston Symphony for Mozart’s Requiem with Itzhak Perlman conducting and performed in a recital with Matinee Musicale in Duluth, MN. More information at


Zachary Nelson


Zachary Nelson studied vocal performance at The Catholic University of America, and later the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. His 2022-2023 season includes role debuts as Alberich in Das Rheingold with Atlanta Opera, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with the Lubbock Symphony and Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with Florentine Opera and Opera San Antonio. He also sang the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni with North Carolina Opera, and further ahead, makes returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago and Santa Fe Opera. During the 2021-2022 season, Zachary was engaged with Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of L’Elisir d’Amore, sang Marcello in La Bohème with both New Orleans Opera and the Jacksonville Symphony, and made his role debut as the title role in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with Des Moines Metro Opera.

Zachary Nelson was an ensemble member at Semperoper Dresden, where roles included Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Marcello in La Bohème, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Guglielmo in a new production of Così Fan Tutte. He has sung a number of roles for Santa Fe Opera, including the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, and Marcello in La Bohème. More information at 


Brandon Cedel


American bass-baritone Brandon Cedel is a recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and was an ensemble member of Oper Frankfurt from 2016-2019.

Highlights in his 2022/23 season include Dan Brown in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of The Hours; a revival of the title role in Hercules at Karlsruhe Handel Festival; the title role in Don Giovanni for Atlanta Opera, and a return to the Glyndebourne Festival to sing “Bottom” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. On the concert platform, he sings “Levite” in a tour of Solomon with the English Concert under Harry Bicket and in the St. Matthew Passion with “Music of the Baroque” under Dame Jane Glover.

Recent appearances include the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro for the Glyndebourne Festival; the title role in Hercules for the Karlsruhe Handel Festival; Dan Brown in the world premiere of The Hours with the Philadelphia Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Zuniga in Carmen for the Chicago Opera Theater; Masetto in Don Giovanni for the Metropolitan Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Leporello in Don Giovanni and Argante in Rinaldo for the Glyndebourne Festival; Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia for the Boston Lyric Opera; the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro for Opera Philadelphia and the Stuttgart Staatsoper and Colline in La Bohème and Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia for the Canadian Opera Company.

His many roles for Oper Frankfurt include Masetto; Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte; Lieutenant Ratcliffe in Billy Budd; Argante; Ariodate in Xerxes; Cesare Angelotti in Tosca; Brander in La Damnation de Faust and Achior in Mozart’s La Betulia Liberata. More information at 


Meet the 2023 Directors and the Festival Pianist

Brad Woolbright

Artistic DirectorFollowing receipt of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dance from Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville), Brad Woolbright interned at The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, leading to an invitation to spend a summer at The Santa Fe Opera. Woolbright retired from The Santa Fe Opera in December 2020, following 43 years with the Company, the last several serving as Director of Artistic Administration. During his tenure at Santa Fe he was involved in the presentation of over 40 American and World Premieres, including the GRAMMY® nominated recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain and the GRAMMY® Award Winning Best Opera Recording of Mason Bates and Mark Campbell’s opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. He has served as a judge of numerous vocal competitions, including the Richard Tucker Award and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.


Robert Tweten

Music Director

Robert Tweten has performed extensively as both a pianist and conductor throughout the USA and Canada. Tweten currently holds the positions of Head of Music Staff for The Santa Fe Opera, and Music Director of Graduate Opera Studies for the New England Conservatory. During his tenure with The Santa Fe Opera, Tweten has been on the podium for six productions, most recently stepping in during the 2022 season for three performances of Falstaff. He has collaborated with various companies including Utah Opera/Symphony; Lyric Opera of Chicago; Calgary Opera; Vancouver Opera; Florentine Opera; Opera San Antonio; Kentucky Opera; Edmonton Opera; Dayton Opera; Austin Lyric Opera; Tulsa Opera; and Sarasota Opera. In 2022/2023 Tweten conducted the North American premiere of Roberto Scarcella Perino’s Furiosus, performed for Die Zauberflöte and L’Arbore di Diana at NEC, and The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs with Utah Opera, and curating the programs and performing recitals for Performance Santa Fe’s 2023 Festival of Song. Robert is thrilled to act as Musical Director for Sag Harbor Song Festival 2023 after being part of its successful inaugural season. More information at 


John Arida

Festival pianist

Pianist and coach John Arida has been praised as “an ardent accompanist… catching fire in the accompaniments and in the solo piece” (The Washington Post.) The Philadelphia Inquirer heralded his interpretative prowess, proclaiming that “Arida was the great source illuminating text” and that his “…touch was just right.” Notable venues include Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, the Aspen Music
Festival and Tanglewood. Arida’s 2023/2024 season includes recital appearances with Julia Bullock, Isabel Leonard, Samantha Hankey, Jack Swanson and a tour with American Modern Opera Company performing Christian Reif’s arrangement of John Adams’ El Niño.

John has recorded two albums with frequent collaborator mezzo-soprano Megan Marino. Their most recent album It’s You I Like was released on Lexicon Classics. Arida has held fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival and the Music Academy of the West. He holds a master’s degree in collaborative piano from The Juilliard School and a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from SUNY Purchase. While maintaining a private studio in New York City, John is currently a full-time faculty member in the Vocal Arts division at the Juilliard School.



The Sag Harbor Song Festival, the vision of Lena Kaplan, made its successful debut in September 2022, in collaboration with The Church. Under the artistic helm of Brad Woolbright, who served for 43 years at the Santa Fe Opera, the festival welcomes audiences into a unique and special “salon” setting of brilliant music in three performances on consecutive days.

For more information please visit


The Church was established in 2019 by artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik. Housed in a deconsecrated 19th-century church, its doors were opened in April 2021. Our mission is to foster creativity and to honor the living history of Sag Harbor as a maker village. The East End represents an exceptional artistic legacy, spanning the practices of Indigenous art of several centuries ago, Abstract Expressionists of the mid 20th Century, and the many celebrated writers, makers, musicians, and visual artists of the recent past and current moment. Core programming includes visual art exhibitions, concerts and events, educational programming, workshops, lectures, and an artist’s residency.

48 MadisonStreet, 

Sag Harbor, NY, 11963



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