ARTIST SPOTLIGHT Chrissy Amon & Robert Byrens

Opera Grand Rapids welcomes Chrissy Amon and Robert Byrens for A Cabaret Unleashed—an evening of cabaret favorites, including some surprises! Do not miss this collaboration between two of our local gifted artists!

November 14, 2019 | 7:30 PM | Betty Van Andel Opera Center

TICKETS $30
Buy online or by calling the Box Office: 616.451.2741

 

These collaborators first became acquainted when Chrissy studied with Robert as a GVSU music student in 2005. Since then, Chrissy has mostly performed on opera stages across the USA but has always had an affinity for Broadway and cabaret music. Her work as a singing actor propelled her twice to the finals of the international Lotte Lenya competition hosted by the Kurt Weill Foundation in New York. After her return to the Grand Rapids area, she and Robert partnered as spirited collaborators, presenting concerts throughout our community. Since most opera patrons would recognize Robert as the most masterful of classical musicians (and 25-year rehearsal pianist for Opera Grand Rapids), it will be a treat to hear him unleashed! He was, after all, the star of his high school rock band.


CHRISSY AMON

Where are you originally from?
I am a born and raised Grand Rapidian! I lived in Ohio and Tennessee for a number of years, but now Grand Rapids is home once again.

What are your hobbies when not performing?
I love going on hikes, doing crossword puzzles in the hammock, attempting to grow vegetables, and playing with my little nephews.

What is your favorite thing about performing opera?
The storytelling. No matter how many times one has performed a role, there is always more to discover about the character in the music and in the libretto. Every coach, conductor, and stage director can help you find something fresh and exciting in the music that you hadn’t considered before.

What other performances/plan do you have scheduled for this season?
I just began working toward a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Michigan, so I look forward to several engagements in Ann Arbor this year, including the role of Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. I’ll also be joining the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra as a soloist in the Messiah this holiday season.


ROBERT BYRENS

Where are you originally from?
I was born in Saginaw, MI in 1960 and have lived most of my life in our beautiful state. I spent my early years in Battle Creek and later moved on to Olivet and Kalamazoo, moving to Grand Rapids in 1990. I also lived in Princeton, NJ while attending the American Boychoir School in the early 70’s.

What are your hobbies when not performing?
One of my favorite hobbies is gardening with my husband Jerrod. We have a large lot and enjoy adding new gardens and landscaping in general. We also love to go hiking and for bike rides. Other passions include collecting art and traveling.

What is your favorite thing about performing opera?
I love the solitary moments of preparing opera scores at the piano before coming together with all of the other artists and production staff to present great masterworks.

What other performances/plan do you have scheduled for this season?
I have several beautiful chamber music programs in the works for this fall. I will be joining cellist Nancy Steltmann (my musical partner in Il Duo Lyrico) for several area recitals. Additionally, violist Leslie Van Becker and I will be presenting several programs at the GRAM, Park Church, and on the series Free@3 in Holland.

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