Faculty Artist Series: Luther music faculty to perform recital Oct. 25

Luther College's Karen Kanakis, soprano; Eric Ashcraft, tenor; Jacob Lassetter, baritone, and Jessica Paul, piano, will perform a recital as part of Luther's Faculty Artist Series at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, in the Noble Recital Hall of the Jenson-Noble Music Hall on the Luther campus.

The recital is open to the public with no charge for admission.

The recital is a celebration of the 200th birthday of the esteemed Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi. The program includes arias, duets and trios from Verdi's works, including "Aida," "Giovanna d'Arco," "Messa di Requiem" and "La Forza del Destino."

Kanakis, Luther associate professor of music, has been hailed for her fine vocal techniques and dramatic flair. She has extensive concert experience and has performed leading operatic roles in more than 20 operas in the United States and Italy. She holds a bachelor's degree, cum laude, from Missouri State University, a master's degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and a doctoral degree from the University of North Texas. A Rotary International Scholar, she also studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Westfalen-Lippe in Detmold, Germany.

Ashcraft, adjunct faculty in music, has earned praise for his performances with the Arizona Opera Company, the symphony orchestras of New York City Opera and Opera International in Washington, D.C. He has appeared internationally with the Dublin Grand Opera and at the prestigious Wexford Festival Opera. He holds a master's degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Lassetter, assistant professor of music, maintains an active international performing career. His repertoire includes Germont in Verdi's "La Traviata," the title of roles in Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and "Le Nozze di Figaro" and Griswold in Dominick Argento's "The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe." Lassetter holds a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Louisiana State University, a master's degree from the University of North Texas and a doctoral degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Paul, professor of music, is the former principal conductor and artistic director of Dorian Opera Theatre and worked with such opera companies as the Pittsburgh Opera Theatre, Opera Theatre of Illinois, National Opera Company, Cleveland Opera Theatre, Virginia Opera Association, Lake George Opera Festival, Cedar Rapids Opera, and Pine Mountain Music Festival. She holds a bachelor's degree in piano performance from Northwestern University and a master's and doctoral degree from the University of Illinois in vocal coaching and accompanying.