GWENDOLYN BOWERS (formerly Lentz) recently sang the roles of Ulrica
in Un Ballo in Maschera and Addie in Regina with
the Des Moines Metro Opera Company, receiving the following reviews
in Opera News: “Gwendolyn Bowers delivered a fine
Ulrica who easily plumbed the sorceress’s contralto depths,
and her imaginative,fluid characterization was mysteriously imperious.”
“Bowers morphed her menacing Ulrica into a nurturing (and
limelight-stealing) earth-mother as Addie.” These
two operas from different genres showcased her artistic versatility.
her undergraduate degree in vocal performance at the Eastman School
of Music, Gwendolyn was awarded a two-year apprenticeship with
the Houston Grand Opera and the University of Houston. She continued
to win the Metropolitan Opera Regional award, and study grants
that took her to Italy for two summers.
Madame Giulietta Simionato worked with Gwendolyn in preparation
for her concerts in Italy, and responded with “Bravas”
at the conclusion of her performance. There were additional solo
appearances in various parts of Italy, including the Pergolesi
Stabat Mater. She made her European debut as Carmen,
with performances in France, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland,
including a Paris debut at Le Salle Playel.
made her New York debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra
at the Lincoln Center under the direction of Maestro Kurt Masur.
As a result of performing El Amor Brujo by De Falla with the Saint
Louis Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Bowers was recruited by the Dallas
Opera to sing the role of Abuela from La Vida
Breve, also by Da Falla. Other orchestras that Gwendolyn had the
pleasure of collaborating with include the Rochester Philharmonic
Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Syracuse Symphony
Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Asheville
(North Carolina) Symphony Orchestra, and the York (Pennsylvania)
Symphony Orchestra. Works performed include the Mahler Third Symphony
and Songs of the Wayfarer, Brahms Alto Rhapsody, Beethoven Ninth
Symphony, Handel’s Messiah and other “Pops”
was personally selected by conductor Isaiah Jackson as the mezzo-soprano
soloist for “Scenes in the Life of a Martyr” by Undine
Smith-Moore. The work was commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra
to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
to working with opera companies and orchestras, Ms. Bowers participated
in fund-raising activities for charities and various educational
outreach endeavors. One treasured experience was singing for Archbishop
Desmond Tutu of South Africa.
An act of
kindness to a local charity took Gwendolyn to Japan for 17 days
of concerts, while help to a stranded traveler developed into
an opportunity to perform a series of recitals and a master class
in Perth, Australia.
looks forward to continuing opportunities to travel and perform,
and anticipates marvelous experiences in favorite Verdi roles