First Wednesday

A free public lecture and presentation series

organized by the King Library Special Collections

Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies

May 4, 2016 7:00 p.m.
King Library Schiro Room 550
Free but seating is limited

Beethoven in Love
with SJSU School of Music faculty

Layna Chianakas, mezzo-soprano
Joseph Frank, tenor
Sharon Brook, piano

performing a selection of Beethoven's love songs
including Vier Arietten und ein Duett, Opus 82,
and An die ferne Geliebte, Opus 98


Layna ChianakasNow in her seventh year as Associate Professor of Voice, Voice Area Coordinator and Director of Opera Theatre at San Jose State University, Greek-American mezzo-soprano,  Layna Chianakas, has been hailed as "the type of singer that makes one remember why to go to the opera." Her versatility as a singing-actor has aided her in the portrayal of many leading opera roles including Carmen in Carmen, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Angelina in La Cenerentola, Sesto in Giulio Cesare, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, The Woman in Poulenc's La Voix Humaine, the title role in La Perichole and countless Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro. Ms. Chianakas has extensive experience and much success in the recital forum.  She spent three years touring with The Songs of Franz Schubert Concert Series performing over 100 recitals, accompanied by world-renowned coach and accompanist John Wustman.  She was named Artistic Ambassador of the United States, performing recitals for some of the foremost diplomats of our country and giving master classes in Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala, British Guyana and Jamaica.  She has performed on the mid-day public radio broadcast of the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series, in Chicago, IL, the Krannert Center SundaySalon Series in Champaign, IL, and a number of recital series throughout Germany. 

Joe FrankA specialist in the lyric character tenor repertoire, Joseph Frank made his San Francisco Opera debut in 1974 and since then has garnered acclaim in over 80 roles performing with leading opera companies of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Washington, San Diego, London, Paris, and many more. Mr. Frank opened the 2011-2012 San Francisco Opera Season as Altoum in Puccini’s Turandot. Other recent engagements include Salomefor the San Diego Opera, Turandotfor Hawaii Opera and the Austin Lyric Opera, Monsieur Triquet in Eugene Onegin for the Pittsburgh Opera and Horace AdamsPeter Grimesfor San Diego opera. In the premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s revised The Grapes of Wrath Frank was Grampa Joad for the Pittsburgh Opera. Mr. Frank received a Bachelor and Masters of Music as well as the coveted Performers Certificate from Indiana University and an Opera Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music. Currently, he teaches applied voice and art in the Faculty Early Retirement Program at San Jose State University. Future engagements include Turandot for Pittsburgh Opera. 

A New Jersey native, Sharon Brook received her BA from Cornell University, where she studied with Malcolm Bilson, and her MFA in Piano Performance from Pennsylvania State University, where she studied with Steven Smith. She is Senior Staff Accompanist at San José State University as well as Lecturer in music, teaching introductory music, applied piano, and piano proficiency. She also directs the collaborative piano program. For the past eight years, she has co-produced a television interview series, Crescendo, on Cable Channels 27 and 73 in Santa Cruz County.