Felix Jarrar & Bea Goodwin to Stream Virtual Benefit Concert for Artist Relief Tree

By Chris Ruel

Long time collaborators pianist/composer Felix Jarrar and lyricist/librettist Bea Goodwin have announced “Looking: a Jarrar/Goodwin Benefit for Artist Relief Tree”

The event, scheduled for Thursday, January 21 at 7:00 p.m. EST features tenor Josh Kaneklides and soprano Caroline Spaeth. The performance will stream on Jarrar’s YouTube Channel and is free to watch. Donations are encouraged with 25 percent of the proceeds going to the Artist Relief Tree.

The program includes the world premiere of “Flatbush Folk Songs,” a new cycle for tenor. Inspired by the 100-word love story by The New York Times, Goodwin along with friends, actor Mikayla Petrilla, and Anna Gracie, reimagined their submissions and turned them into lyrics. These were reframed in Jarrar’s queer context.

Kaneklides will also perform “Wohnin?”, “Halt!”, and “Danksagung an den Bach,” from Schubert’s “Die schöne Müllerin,” D. 795.

Spaeth is set to sing the Boston premiere of Jarrar/Goodwin’s acapella soprano cycle about wine, “Bottled Poetry.” The cycle premiered with the No Dominion Theatre Company in the spring of 2020.

Spaeth concludes the concert with “Lady Without a Man,” Kiki Montparnasse’s aria for Jarrar/Goodwin’s jazz opera, “Tabula Rasa.” The opera premiered in 2018 at the New York Opera Fest and the prestigious Jensen Foundation recently featured the work as suggested contemporary competition repertoire.

To date, the Artist Relief Tree fund has provided financial support to nearly 1700 musicians affected by cancelations because of COVID-19.

With music described as “dreamlike” by the Boston Globe, 25-year-old Felix Jarrar is a composer/pianist whose output of approximately 95 works includes over 80 art songs, eight operas, two string quartets, and a cantata.

Stage director/librettist Bea Goodwin has worked on many stages in New York City: LaMaMa Experimental Theatre, BAM, (le) Poisson Rouge, the DiMenna Center.

Tenor John Kaneklides is known for his English language interpretation of opera and new works and has been lauded by both Opera News and BroadwayWorld. He recently made his Carnegie Hall debut performing world premieres by renowned composer, Georgia Shreve.  Along with his work as a soloist, Kaneklides is an arts advocate and sits on the Board of Directors of Artist Relief Tree as the Treasurer.

Coloratura soprano Caroline Spaeth’s 2020 season (prior to COVID-19) featured her role debut as Zerbinetta in “Ariadne auf Naxos” with the New York Opera Forum. During the COVID-19 lockdown, Spaeth has continued to share her voice co-hosting “Aperitivi: A Cocktail Hour Concert Series” with soprano Rachel Hanauer. She will appear as Madeline Usher in a virtual presentation of Felix Jarrar’s “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and as Jehudiel in Jarrar’s cantata “The Unsleeping Ones” on Sparrow Live.