JR Fralick, a "vocally suave" and multifaceted solo tenor, will conduct a recital of powerful 19th century Russian arias at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in SUNY Oswego's Sheldon Hall ballroom.

With live performances of arias by such composers as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, Fralick traces the history of Russian opera in the 1800s, including composer, production, manuscripts and video segments of operatic productions. Thanks to two screens and a projectionist, the audience also can follow an English translation of the original Russian lyrics.

“JR’s talents were something I greatly admire and I jumped at the opportunity to have him visit the campus and perform,” said music faculty member Juliet Forshaw, who will host the vocalist's appearance.

Fralick’s performance is presented as part of SUNY Oswego’s Ke-Nekt Chamber Music Series, whose aim is to bridge the campus and community to diverse and culturally potent exhibitions in the arts.

Forshaw said Fralick’s talent and experience promise beautiful and powerful renditions, in Russian, of classical arias, which are songs for solo voice, typically in operas. The tenor has performed in Austria and Africa, and has lent his voice to the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and Russian Philharmonic. He has appeared in operas as well as solo recitals.

The Akron Beacon Journal recounts one of Fralick’s stellar performances as Don Ottavio in "Don Giovanni": “As Ottavio, JR Fralick was vocally suave, with a honeyed and liquid phrasing.”

Fralick, a faculty member of Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in Berea, Ohio, began his professional singing career to critical acclaim as the character Alfredo in Colorado Lyric Opera Theater’s production of "La Traviata." He frequently gives guest artist recitals at universities as well as churches. He also serves on the Governing Council of the Art Song Festival of Cleveland. Leyerle Press published his anthology, titled “Twenty Arias for Tenor.” Fralick earned his doctorate in vocal performance and pedagogy from Ohio State University.

Stimulating showcase

Oswego's Forshaw, whose doctorate is in historical musicology, has published peer-reviewed articles on Russian opera. She invited Fralick in an effort to continue the longstanding diverse and culturally stimulating musical showcases SUNY Oswego and Ke-Nekt have brought to the community.

“We want for students to be engaged with different styles and varieties of art, whether it be jazz, folk or classical performances,” Forshaw said.

Music faculty member Trevor Jorgensen, who presents the Ke-Nekt series, said Fralick's repertoire tentatively includes pieces such as Tchaikovsky's "Lensky's Arioso" from the opera "Eugene Onegin"; "Likov's Arioso" from Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Tsar's Bride" and his "Song of the Indian Guest" from "Sadko;" Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky's "Gritsko's Aria" from "Sorochintsi Fair"; and "The Prince’s Cavatina" from "Rusalka" by Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky.

Among the goals and vision of Ke-Nekt and of Artswego, the college's arts presentation organization, are to use music and the arts as a means to transcend languages and borders, and to connect audiences to new musical forms and genres.

“JR will give the campus a great performance full of beauty and passion, creating a very memorable moment for everyone,” said Forshaw.

Tickets for JR Fralick are $15 ($5 SUNY Oswego students and other students in grades K-12), and are available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 315-312-3073. People with disabilities needing assistance to attend should call 315-312-3073 in advance of the concert.

Parking is included in the price of a ticket and is available in the employee and commuter lots adjacent to and across Washington Boulevard from Sheldon Hall. For more information, visit oswego.edu/parking.

For more information about performing arts events at SUNY Oswego, visit arts.oswego.edu.