Dr. Louise Toppin,
The Life and Spirituals of Hall Johnson
Louise Toppin, has received critical acclaim for her operatic,orchestral, and oratorio performances in the United States, Europe, Czech Republic, Sweden,Uruguay, Scotland, China, England, New Zealand, the Carribean, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Bermuda, Japan and Spain.
She has appeared in recital on many concert series including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center. Orchestral appearances include: the Norrköping Symphony (Sweden), the Czech National Symphony, Mälmo Symphony Orchestra, (Sweden), Tokyo City Orchestra (Japan), The Montevideo Philharmonic (Uruguay), the Scotland Festival Orchestra (Aberdeen, Scotland), the Honolulu, Toledo, Canton, North Carolina, Charlotte, Lafayette, Erie Chamber and Raleigh Chamber Symphony Orchestras, The Bach Aria Group, Phoenix Bach Consort, and the Washington DC Bach Consort with conductors such as: Paul Freeman, Richard Aulden Clark, Justin Brown, James Meena, Vladmir Ashkenazy and Gearhart Zimmerman.
Her opera roles include: the title role in the world premiere of the opera Luyala by William Banfield, Treemonisha in Scott Joplin's Treemonisha, Mary in William Grant Still’s Highway One, Maria in the world premier of Joel Feigin’s opera Twelfth Night, The Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute, Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Clara in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Ms. Toppin most recently was contracted to sing Clara in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess for Baltimore Opera, Opera Carolina and Piedmont Opera companies.
For Joanne Rile Artist Management, she tours in "Gershwin on Broadway" with pianist Leon Bates and Robert Sims. She has recorded seventeen compact disks of American Music including: Songs of Illumination, (Centaur Records), Ah love, but a day (Albany), Paul Freeman Introduces... Vol. II and Witness (Albany) with the Czech National Symphony, William Grant Still’s opera Highway One (Visionary Records), He’ll Bring it to Pass (Albany Records), Heart on the Wall with the Dvorak Symphony Orchestra (Albany Records), the recording for A Hall Johnson Collection published by Carl Fisher and due for release Spring 2017, La Saison des Fleurs (music for soprano and fortepiano).
2015-16 performances include the 150th celebration of the ratification of the 13th amendment for Congress and President Obama at the U.S. Capitol, a performance in Havana, Cuba for at the new U.S. Ambassador’s residence and with the women’s orchestra, Chatauqua Institute and the opening of the Smithsonian’s African American Heritage Museum last month.
Since 2010, she has been on the summer faculties of The Baltimore Summer Opera Workshop (Baltimore, MD), The Vocal Course for The National Conservatory (Bogota, Colombia), The Amalfi Coast Music Festival (Maiori, Italy) and the Accra Symphony Operatic Course (Accra, Ghana).
She serves on several boards including the North Carolina Arts Council, the National Association of Negro Musicians and she is the Director of the non-profit organization, Videmus and the administrator for the George Shirley Vocal Competition in Michigan. www.videmus.org and georgeshirleycompetition.org.
She studied with George Shirley, Phyllis Bryn Julson, Reri Grist and was a fellow at theBritten Aldeburgh Festival studying with Joan Sutherland, Richard Boyngne and Elly Ameling.
She is currently the Kappa Kappa Gamma Distinguished University Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Please visit her website at www.louisetoppin.com