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The original item was published from 10/18/2018 12:17:46 PM to 11/18/2018 12:00:07 AM.

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The Village Theater

Posted on: October 18, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Canton’s International Festival To Feature Verdi Opera Theatre of Michigan Singers

Canton’s International Festival returns to The Village Theater at Cherry Hill on Saturday, November 3, 2018, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. One of the many featured performances slated to take place at 1:30 p.m. during the International Festival is a special appearance by Soprano Ryan Blankenburg and Mezzo-Soprano Kaitlyn Wiegand, presented by the Verdi Opera Theatre of Michigan. These talented performers will be accompanied by piano collaborator Joshua Marzan.

Ryan Blankenburg, soprano, has performed in many competitions, recitals, and operas. She recently won the Verdi Opera Theatre of Michigan's Italian Songs and Arias Vocal Competition for Michigan High School students for the second year in a row. She was also the most recent winner of the Schmidt Competition in Chicago. Blankenburg has performed roles such as The Second Spirit (in Mozart's "The Magic Flute") with the Michigan Opera Theatre, and Yum Yum ( in Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Mikado") with The Michigan Opera Theatre Children's Chorus. Blankenburg, who currently resides in Rochester, Michigan, is a high school intern with the Rackham Symphony Choir.

Kaitlyn Wiegand, mezzo-soprano, a graduate of Brighton High School, is a vocal performance undergraduate pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Oakland University. Wiegand was the 2017 winner of the Marilyn S. Jones Vocal Scholarship Competition, a top ten finalist in the 2018 Ethel J. Armeling Vocal Competition, as well as the 2018 Verdi Opera Theatre's Italian Songs and Arias Vocal Competition and has attended several Michigan School Vocal Music Association solo and ensemble festivals, in which she received superior ratings. She is looking forward to her first opera production with Oakland, as Myrtle in Kurt Weil's Street Scene, opening in January 2019.

Joshua Marzan, piano collaborator, is a freelance pianist in the Southeast Michigan area. He currently works for the University of Michigan as a staff pianist, playing with instrumentalists and coaching singers at the U of M School of Music. Marzan recently played for National Medal of Arts awardee tenor George Shirley's tribute concert and also for the Verdi Opera Theatre's "Gabriele D'Annunzio and Francesco Paolo Tosti" tribute concert. Before coming to Michigan, Marzan
received a BM in Piano Performance by the Virginia Commonwealth University, and graduated last year with a DMA in Collaborative Piano from the University of Michigan under Martin Katz.

The Verdi Opera Theatre of Michigan, founded in 1988 and based in Canton, MI, is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging and supporting the development of young opera singers, and to fostering appreciation of the music of Giuseppe Verdi and other composers of opera and popular music for the theatre, for everyone's enjoyment and cultural enrichment.

Don’t miss these talented vocalists perform on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at 1:30 p.m., during Canton’s International Festival at the Village Theater at Cherry Hill, located at 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton, MI 48187. Admission to the festival is just $2 per person (cash only, please) at the door. For additional information about this year’s International Festival, which is presented by the Canton Commission for Culture, Arts & Heritage’s Multicultural Committee, visit or call 734/394-5300.

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