Sing Sistah Sing! is the first work conceived and written by internationally renowned Mezzo Soprano Andrea Baker. Andrea began her operatic career with the San Francisco Opera, and now resides in Scotland. The show is both a celebration of the sound and extraordinary breadth of the African American female voice, and a heartfelt retelling of some of their most incredible life stories.
Sing Sistah Sing! brilliantly weaves together these women’s brave struggles both in the civil rights movement and in their fight for artistic freedom both at home and abroad. Some have chosen opera, jazz or blues to express themselves. Celebrated artists include Leontyne Price, Marian Anderson, Donna Summer, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday.
Andrea Baker, herself an artistic trailblazer, is the first African American to sing Fricka, Waltraute, Erda and 2nd Norn in Wagner’s great Ring Cycle in the Chinese premiere of the work at the Beijing Arts Festival, the first African American Carmen in Australia at the Sydney Opera House and the first African American to sing the role of Ortrud in the South Korean premiere of Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Daegu Opera Festival.
With Sing Sistah Sing! Andrea Baker tells her own deeply personal story and pays joyful, soulful and varied musical homage to many of the women who courageously paved the way. Andrea began to discover that their stories were also her story and that she too would continue to lay the path for the next generation.
Andrea is joined by one of two award winning pianists (based on availability) Richard Lewis of Scotland and Albert Horne of South Africa.
Described as possessing a “luscious and full-bodied tone” (Das Opernglas), British-American mezzo-soprano Andrea Baker is renowned for her distinctive voice, intense artistry, and passion. Her much heralded interpretations range from Amneris in Aida, Fricka in Die Walküre and the title role in Carmen to Mescalina in Le Grand Macabre and Nen -Nen in Dominique Legendre’s world premiere of The Bird of Night. The 2015 season saw her debut in the role of Die Amme in Die Frau Ohne Schatten. Her enthralling interpretation was hailed as an extraordinary success. Andrea Baker was described as “born to sing and act the music of Richard Strauss” (Opernetz).
Throughout her career Andrea Baker has been celebrated as a performer of great integrity, intensity, and vocal ability. Her career has taken her to a number of the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls: National Theatre Munich; Opera Bastille, Paris; Teatro alla Scala, Milan; Opera Australia, Sydney; Royal Opera Covent Garden, London; Berlin Philharmonic; Royal Albert Hall, London; Orchestra Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome; Konzerthaus, Berlin; The Barbican, London and Tokyo Opera City to name but a few. Her collaborations with conductors include, Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Richard Hickox, Antonio Pappano, Philippe Auguin, Valery Gergiev, Marin Alsop, Adam Fischer, and Sir Charles Mackerras.
Born in South Africa, Albert Horne studied conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London under Maestra Sian Edwards, where he was awarded a Masters Degree with distinction in 2007. From 2007-2014 he worked as Chorus Master and Conductor for Cape Town Opera in South Africa.
In 2012 he was Chorus Master for concert performances of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at the Philharmonie in Berlin, with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker. In addition to working with all of South Africa’s leading orchestras, he has also undertaken frequent international tours, where he guest conducted, amongst others, the Münchner Symphoniker, Orchestre Pasdeloup in Paris, the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orchestra Victoria in Melbourne, as well as the Malmö Opera Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion in Tel Aviv, the Welsh National Opera Orchestra in Cardiff and the Hessian State Orchestra in Wiesbaden.
Since the start of the 2014/2015 season, Albert Horne has been Chorus Master and Conductor at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Germany, where he conducted a new production of Bernstein’s Candide and the revival of John Dew’s acclaimed production of Madama Butterfly. During their 2016/2017 Season he will conduct a new production of Britten’s Peter Grimes, a revival of Puccini’s La Bohème, as well as a Symphony Concert.
Raised in Scotland Richard read music at Magdalen College, Oxford and Edinburgh University. After a year at the National Opera Studio he went to the Nationaltheater Mannheim where he worked on over 60 productions, both as conductor and repetiteur.
Since August 2000 Richard has worked as assistant to Adam Fischer at the Haydn festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, with the Danish Sinfonietta (on six award-winning Mozart CDs 2002 – 2008) the annual Budapest Wagner Ring Cycle’s (2006 – 2017) and at the Salzburg Festival (2005 - 2009).
Between 2007 and 2010 Richard was conductor and chorus master at Opera Queensland, making his Australian conducting debut with The Magic Flute (2008). He also gave the first Australian performance of Haydn’s L’isola disabitata (2010). He returns to conduct The Marriage of Figaro in Brisbane in 2018.
In 2012 he conducted Rusalka at La Monnaie, Brussels and La Clemenza di Tito for English Touring Opera. His creative work includes two musicals, Riot and Heart Songs, as well the libretto to Spike (Edinburgh Fringe 2006) and Opera Galactica (2001). Richard is presently composing a musical The Sunshine Ghost which will tour later this year.