Felix Jarrar to Debut ‘The Jarrar Trio’ with Virtual Boston Premiere of ‘The Ulster County Songbook’

By Chris Ruel

Composer/pianist Felix Jarrar has announced his first 2021 concert with the virtual Boston premiere of his song cycle, “The Ulster County Songbook” on January 15 at 7:30 p.m. EST.

“The Ulster County Songbook” will showcase the composer’s new ensemble, The Jarrar Trio, comprising Jarrar, tenor Fran Daniel Laucerica, and baritone Gray Leiper.

Besides writing the music for “Songbook,” Jarrar served as the work’s lyricist, recounting in his own words the devastating effects a toxic individual can have on a person’s life. Jarrar’s text explores pain, emotional hardship, and owning mental illness in this highly personal work.

The song cycle’s world premiere occurred at Jarrar’s alma mater, Vermont’s Marlboro College, in March 2020. Excerpts were also performed and recorded at Carnegie Hall in 2019.

The concert will live stream on Sparrow Live.

Jarrar is a composer/pianist who has performed at such venues as  as Symphony Space, (le) poisson rouge, BAM’s Fisher Hillman Studio and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. His works have been performed internationally by artists from the Metropolitan Opera, the Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, and the duo Unassisted Fold.

Cuban-American tenor Laucerica has performed with ​Wolf Trap Opera​, the Grammy-award winning new music ensemble, ​The Crossing​, and ​Odyssey Opera​ among others. He has also premiered pieces such as David Lang’s “a house”,​ Samuel Carl Adams’s ​“Light readings” ​and Omar Najmi’s “​Enla ardiente oscuridad.​”

Boston-based baritone, Gray Leiper was a Semi-finalist for the 2020 Camille Coloratura Awards and a Finalist in the 2018 FAVA Gran Concours Vocal Competition. Recent credits include Malatesta (“Don Pasquale”), Un Uffiziale (“Maria, regina d’Inghilterra”) with Odyssey Opera, and Papageno (“Die Zauberflöte”) with Lyric Opera Studio Weimar.