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B-Sides Art Song Collective From billboard to bach

Contact: bsidesartsongcollective@gmail.com

Our mission is to draw audiences of both established classical music fans and newcomers alike. We engage our audiences through innovative programing that draws a lineage from classical song to contemporary commercial music (CCM).

"Schumann was honored, as were Eichendorff and Heine, because the spirit of piano/vocal duets was perfectly interpreted as was the poetic message throughout. I haven't heard such nuanced performances of Schumann lieder in years." -Joanne Bollinger, audience member
The elegance of a recital. The irreverence of a punk show.

We believe that there is a correlation between the appreciation of art and the understanding of art, and to that end we strive to engage both of these audiences to explore the form of Art Song through humor, rarely performed classical works, and the inclusion of CCM alongside music from the Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century eras. Our concerts are presented in equal parts at traditional recital settings and accessible venues such as breweries, cafés, and pop-up house concerts. No matter the amount of exposure to Art Song, the vast majority of people are aware of the conventions of a recital. Our mission is to find the alternative to those conventions, and provide a B-Side experience in repertoire, location, and accessibility in order to allow varied audiences to feel inclusion, curiosity, and ownership over the ever-evolving art form that is Art Song.

"This organization is so passionate about the work they put out and put together. The concerts are always prepared and professional but not stuffy." -Sarah Johnson, audience member
Co-Founder Justin Anthony Spenner at Alitteration is Sexy
"Mario and Justin have a great stage presence as well as fantastic voices...there was a happy vibe, helped by Mario and Justin’s gentle, gracious manner. A friendly, peaceful evening with lovely music." -Charlie Wallace, audience member

Completed Concerts: Double Kreissed (Hamline Methodist Church, St. Paul, MN), Heinekenn (Pine Mountain Music Festival, Houghton, MI), Alliteration is Sexy (Barely Bros. Records, St. Paul, MN

Projected concerts: Le(hár) all your love on me (Operetta and ABBA)- September, The Birds and the Bees (Songs about Sex)- February, The Franz (Franz: Schubert, Abt, Liszt, and Ferdinand)-April, Mahlen with Mahler (Wine and painting with Mahler Lieder)- June

Alliteration is Sexy, Barely Brothers Records

Patricia Kent, Soprano

Justin Anthony Spenner, Guitar

Georgia Jacobson, Mezzo-Soprano

Alex Ritchie, Baritone

Staff: Mario Ángel Pérez, Co-Founder, Co-Artistic Director, Marketing and Media

Mario Ángel Pérez is a Minnesota-based tenor. This season, Mario Ángel performed Remendado (Carmen) at the Pine Mountain Music Festival and the First Priest (Die Zauberflöte) with Lakes Area Music Festival. Previous roles include a cover of Emporer Altoum (Turandot) at Cedar Rapids Opera, and Gran Sacerdote (Idomeneo), Gherardo (Gianni Schicchi), and First Priest (Die Zauberflöte) at the University of Minnesota. Mario Ángel has also been seen in many productions with Minnesota Opera as a member of their professional ensemble. As an avid recitalist, he has performed in Adam Guettel’s Myths and Hymns at the MacPhail Center, Schumann's Liederkreis, op. 39 at Hamline University’s Sundin Hall and with the Pine Mountain Music Festival, and Die Schöne Müllerin at the University of Minnesota. Mario Ángel studied Mozart arias with Helen and Klaus Donath through the Internationale Sommerakademie at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and has performed for the Austrian Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Wolfgang Waldner, at the Center for Austrian Studies 40th anniversary celebration at the University of Minnesota. Currently, he resides in Saint Paul and studies under Victoria Vargas. He received his BM and MM at the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Adriana Zabala.

Justin Anthony Spenner, Co-Founder, Co-Artistic Director, Artist and Venue Relations

Justin Anthony Spenner is a Minneapolis-based Baritone known for his artistic honesty and engaging versatility. At home with Schubert as he is with Stockhausen, he has made impacts on the Twin Cities music community through performances of Die Winterreise at Nautilus Music-Theater (“Best Classical Concert of the Week”- Star Tribune), as well as successful premieres with the 113 Composers Collective. His education derives from the University of Minnesota (MM, Philip Zawisza, Rusty and Burt Cohen Fellow), UW-Stevens Point (BM, Dr. Dennis Willhoit, Susan Bender), and training from the inaugural season of the Mill City Summer Opera Studio Artists Program, as well as the Source Song Festival. Justin Anthony Spenner is a 2016 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant recipient. Justin has received such praise as “A standout” by the Twin Cities Arts Reader, and “Breathtaking” by the Shepherd Express for his work on the stage. Recent Opera and Music Theater credits include Second Priest and Second Man-in-armor (Die Zauberflöte) with Lakes Area Music Festival, Morales and Dancaïro (Carmen) with Pine Mountain Music Festival, Billy Bigelow (Carousel) and Harold Hill (The Music Man) with The American Gothic Performing Arts Festival, Marullo (Rigoletto) with Really Spicy Opera Company, and Melisso (Alcina adaptation) with Mixed Precipitation. As a concert soloist, he has enjoyed performances with The Northstar Consort (Urtecht Te Deum/Jubilate Deo), Dakota Valley Symphony (In Terra Pax), South Metro Chorale (Ein Deutsches Requiem), and Shepard of the Lake Lutheran Church (The Crucifixion, The Messiah), as well as various recital programs throughout the state. An avid educator, Justin has stayed involved in the introduction of opera to young audiences throughout his career. In addition to being a Studio and Cover artist for Mill City Summer Opera, he was also a Teaching Artist for three seasons. He has sung the roles of Wolf (Little Red’s Big Adventure) and Wolfgang (The Three Little Pigs) for The American Gothic Performing Arts Festival, and Sea King (Rusalka) with the Lyric Opera of the North’s travelling component, Little Opera of the North.

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