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Artsmash Critic Tim Smith covers classical music, theater and visual arts in Baltimore and beyond

Modell Lyric to present opera stars on new series

Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

There’s no telling when, or if, Baltimore Lyric Opera — any professional, full-scale company, for that matter — will ever return to the Modell Lyric Performing Arts Center, but there will be opera stars there this season.

A new concert series dubbed Sunday Serenades will bring three terrific American vocal artists to the venue for piano-accompanied recitals: the powerhouse mezzo Stephanie Blythe on Jan. 21; incisive soprano Patricia Racette on March 11; and dynamic baritone Nathan Gunn on May 6. All performances are at 3 p.m.

These singers are veterans of the Metropolitan Opera stage, as well as major opera houses throughout the world. They’re notable recitalists, too.

As far as I know, Blythe has not been heard in Baltimore since her memorable recital in 2006 for the Shriver Hall Concert Series. Gunn vividly sang a wide-ranging program in that hall in 2008 and returned to the area the next year for an eloquent recital of Schubert lieder at Goucher College. I don’t believe Racette has ever sung here, though certainly nearby — and to vivid effect — in Washington National Opera productions.

Tickets for Sunday Serenades go on sale Friday. Subscriptions to all three concerts are $59 to $99. Single-ticket prices are $28.50 to $48.50. (Sensibly, Modell-Lyric plans to sell seats only on the orchestra level, which will keep things more intimate.) Call 410-547-7328, or go to

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