SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Rothfuss Family Singers will bring their popular operatic performances to Wofford College on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. in Leonard Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
The Rothfuss Family will present “A Grand Night for Singing: From Bizet to Broadway!” A 20-minute medley of the most loved and well-known operatic melodies, the Rothfuss Family takes the audience directly into an opera house for staged scenes from “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Carmen,” all sung in English.
Following a short intermission, the Rothfuss Family goes to Broadway, singing excerpts from “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Kiss Me Kate.” Then finally, they make a short stop in Vienna for highlights from Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus,” also in English.
Guy Rothfuss, his wife, Julia Kemp, and their three grown children – all professional opera singers – make up the Rothfuss Family Singers. Rothfuss and Kemp both have enjoyed opera careers in Germany, where they raised their three children. They moved back to the United States in 1994.
Rothfuss, a tenor, is a graduate of Lycoming College and studied at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. During the past 30 years, he has had more than 1,400 performances in the opera houses of Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Munich, Frankfort, Barcelona, Covent Garden in London, and Vienna. He has established himself as Europe’s premier tenor for modern operatic works, and recently appeared in Busoni’s “Dr. Faustus” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Kemp, a soprano, is a graduate of Westminster Choir College, and studied at the Curtis Institute and the Academy of the West in California, where she was among the last students of legendary soprano Lotte Lehmann. For 23 years, she was the leading soprano with the German opera houses of Kiel and Osnabruck, singing more than 1,000 performances of more than 60 different roles. Kemp is particularly known for Mozart and Strauss interpretations.
The Rothfuss children have followed in their parents’ footsteps. Kristin Rothfuss earned her master’s degree from the University of Southern California. She made her professional debut singing in the world premiere of “On Gold Mountain” in the Los Angeles Opera, and in January 2006 debuted with Opera Pacific as Zulma in “L’Italiana in Algiere.” She made her debut with Mid-America Productions at Carnegie Hall singing Vivaldi’s “Gloria” in 2005, and returned in March 2006 for Raminsh’s “Magnificat.”
Katja Rothfuss made her opera debut at age 9. She received her bachelor’s degree from Westminster Choir College and her master’s degree from the University of Southern California. She made her American professional debut in 1998 singing Mendelssohn’s “Lobgesang Symphony No. II” with the Savannah Symphony. She has toured the southeastern United States performing in numerous concerts, and has been heard frequently in recital in the New York and Philadelphia areas, as well as Los Angeles.
Bryan Rothfuss also began singing with his family from early childhood on, and performed numerous children’s roles at the City Theater of Osnabrück. He attended Susquehanna University, studying voice with Dr. Nina Tober, and after graduation moved to Vienna, where he was accepted into the voice studio of Prof. Sebastian Vittucci at the University of Music and Performing Arts. He has studied art song interpretation with Dr. Carolyn Hague since 2003, and is in the opera class of Michael Pinkerton, both at the Vienna Conservatory. He currently receives voice instruction from Carol Blaickner-Mayo.
Bryan has sung in many opera and operetta festivals throughout Austria. As part of the festivities to celebrate Mozart’s 250th birthday, he made his debut as Papageno in “The Magic Flute” with the Vienna Chamber Opera.