The Albany Ensemble Performing at
Bush Memorial Hall, Russell Sage College, Troy, New York.
Mimi ONeill and the Albany Ensemble
performing a scene from Verdi's La Traviata.
The Ensemble is dedicated to a high level of artistry, community involvement and the sharing of beautiful music from the world's great musical traditions.
Inspiration for The Ensemble by Mimi O'Neill
The idea of the Albany Ensemble grew out of an inspiration I had. Though I reside in Albany, I travel a lot singing or presenting workshops in European countries and in the U.S. After some reflection, it occurred to me that I was surrounded by very talented and capable singers right here in my own studio in Albany. Why not gather them together, offer them the opportunity to participate in something new and exciting - and see what happened? The Albany Ensemble was born.
As I gathered the singers together, we became more and more a musical company, a form that originated right out of the nineteenth century; a company of singers, led by a teacher. In the 1800's the great singer and voice teacher, Manuel Garcia, trained and traveled with his best students including his family members (great singers in their own right) to present operas, scenes, and concerts throughout Europe. The troupe later traveled to South America and Mexico, where they en-countered extraordinary adventures. The defining characteristic of Manual Garcia's troupe was that the teacher sang with the students - the group became a community, a company of fellow performers.
The experience over these years of the Albany Ensemble speaks to this same dynamic - a great group of singers gathered as friends and fellow travelers in the pursuit of artistic achievement, dedicated to excellence, performing with their whole hearts and souls the music that they love.
John Garafalo ~ tenor, Christine Heslin Benincasa (Powers) ~ soprano, Karen Geddes Davenport ~ soprano,
Megen Gebert (Wilson) ~ mezzo soprano, Edvardo Parra ~ tenor, Andrea Schulz (Wilcox) ~ soprano,
Stan Simkins ~ tenor, Tracy A. Solarek ~ mezzo soprano, Tom Torebka ~ bass baritone, Kate Voce ~ soprano
The Albany Ensemble performed several times at Bush Memorial Hall at Russell Sage College, in Troy, New York, The Egg, in Albany, New York, and at St. Joseph's Hall, The College of St. Rose, Albany, New York.