February 11, 2019

World-renowned opera singers to perform at SIU on March 18

by Hannah Erickson

Cindy Lawrence CARBONDALE, Ill. — After appearing over 70 times with famed Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti and now considered one of America’s most exciting singing actresses, Cynthia Lawrence is set to perform at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this spring.

Mark Calkins Joining Lawrence is Lyric Opera of Chicago tenor Mark Calkins. The husband-wife duo will present a free recital of opera, art song and musical theater solos and duets at SIU’s Old Baptist Recital Hall. The performance is set for 5:00 p.m. on March 18. 

International renowned performers

With appearances in multiple elite opera companies throughout the world, including roles at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and more, Lawrence has a broad base of international performances.

She has sung on five continents and toured in countries such as Italy, Qatar, Chile, Venezuela, Germany, Norway, Malaysia, England and more. She now serves as an endowed chair and professor of voice at the University of Kentucky.

In similar fashion, Mark Calkins has performed on multiple international stages including Opera De Nantes, France; Dublin Grand Opera, Ireland; Cologne Opera, Germany; Lyric Opera of Chicago; Kentucky Opera; Minnesota Opera; and Birmingham Opera.

Well known for his portrayal of leading Rossini coloratura tenor roles, Calkins presently works as a tenured associate professor of music at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky.

Collaboration with SIU faculty

Several SIU faculty members, including David Dillard, Brittany Benningfield, Tim Fink and Jenny Choo Kirby will join the two guest performers for the recital. The performance is free and open to the public, with no prior registration needed.

For more information, contact Tim Fink, head of opera and musical theater at SIU, at tjfink@siu.edu.