The Ithaca College School of Music’s annual celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. will feature American soprano Marlissa Hudson performing selections from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” The MLK Day Concert will take place on Monday, Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in Ford Hall. It is free and open to the public.
Described as a “superb lyric coloratura” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Hudson is at home both on the operatic and concert stage. She made her professional debut as a student, performing “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess” with the Baltimore Symphony Pops Orchestra under the baton of Marvin Hamlisch. She later performed the role of Bess in an entire production by Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis. She was acclaimed in her role as Zerbinetta in Strauss’s “Ariadne auf Naxos,” which she performed with Washington, D.C.’s Summer Opera Theatre Company. Her performances earned glowing reviews in both the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun, which described her as “an endearing Zerbinetta … [who] nailed the pyrotechnic aria, ‘Grossmachtige Prinzessin,’ in bright, sure tones.”
As a concert soloist, Hudson has collaborated with such esteemed organizations as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Civic Orchestra, National Philharmonic Orchestra, Prince George’s Philharmonic, and Choralis. Recitals are a definitive niche for Hudson, and she has performed as a featured recitalist across the continental U.S. and St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The program is directed by School of Music faculty members Janet Galvan and Baruch Whitehead. It will also feature performances by the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra as well as faculty and students, along with the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, a group dedicated to the preservation of the Negro Spiritual.