A Toast to the New Year Social.jpg

Soloist: Andrew Balio, Trumpet & Rochelle Bard, Soprano

This New Year’s Eve, be ready to be stunned by one of today’s foremost young sopranos, Rochelle Bard. She is one of the most versatile singers on the world stage today, and we can’t wait for you to hear her. Andrew Balio, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s principal trumpeter, will also help us ring in the New Year, with one of the sweetest trumpet sounds ever heard.

Tuesday, December 31 | 7:00PM

Christ Church

Easton, MD

About Our Soloists


Wisconsin native, Andrew Balio was appointed as Principal Trumpet of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2001 by Yuri Temirkanov. Prior orchestral appointments include Principal Trumpet of the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta since 1994 and the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico since 1990, in addition to the Boston Philharmonic. He has also been a guest soloist with The Bergen Philharmonic of Norway. His solo debut was at age fifteen with the Milwaukee Symphony, playing the Haydn Concerto. His teachers included Charles Schlueter, Adoph Herseth, Roger Voisin and Gene Young.

As a soloist, Mr. Balio has appeared throughout Europe, South America, Japan and the United States under such conductors as Mehta, Temirkanov, Rozdestvensky, and Herbig. This past year he has given solo performances in Russia, Italy and Brazil. This coming year he will premiere a concerto being written for him by Sergey Yevtushenko at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg Russia. The 2005-2006 season saw the premier of Cuban composer Dafnis Prieto’s new work for trumpet and percussion as well as combining forces with the computer graphics department of the Maryland Institute College of Art to create a multi-media work based on Norwegian composer Ketil Hvoslef’s Tromba Solo, Toru Takemitsu’s Paths and Otto Ketting’s Intrada.

As a teacher, Mr. Balio has taught master classes regularly in Russia and Italy, the Conservatorio Nacional of Mexico as well as in Brazil, Chile, Scandanavia, Israel, Japan and the United States. He has recorded for the Sony, RCA, Angel, Phillips and Teldec labels. In 2006, he founded Futuresymphony.org, an online think tank to examine innovative ways of making symphony orchestras financially viable while preserving their artistic mission.


Soprano Rochelle Bard has been described as an ‘exquisite singing actress.' Specializing in bel canto and Verdi repertoire, Ms. Bard recently made her debut in the title role of Norma with Knoxville Opera, for which critics proclaimed her: 'beautifully constructed and achingly gorgeous delivery, at times soft as a whisper, and at others thrilling in its altitude…she carried off the dramatic contrast between the grandeur of confident matriarchal strength and the rage of a spurned woman with as much believability as can be wrung out of the role.'

2019 includes exciting role and house debuts including Abigaille in Nabucco with Sarasota Opera, the title role in Aida with Washington Opera Society at the Egyptian Embassy, and the soprano solos in Carmina Burana at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center. Recent performances include Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with Opera Tampa, the title role in Tosca with Opera Theater of Connecticut, and the title role in Maria Stuarda with Knoxville Opera. 2016/2017 season began with the ruthless Lady Macbeth in Macbeth with Opera Company of Middlebury, Micaëla in Carmen in Connecticut, the title role in Tosca with MidAtlantic Opera in NJ. For her debut as Lady Macbeth, critics expressed: 'Her voice is rich and engaging, she is a wonder...This Lord and Lady engage each other with a sparkling intimacy that makes their 'road to hell' a very exciting one.'

The 2014/15 season included her debut as the title role in Norma, as well as Leonora in Il Trovatore with Knoxville Opera, Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux with the Opera Orchestra of New York, as the cover for Ms. Mariella Devia, and the title role of Tosca with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra. She performed Violetta in La Traviata twice this season with Shreveport Opera, under the baton of Joe Illick and directed by Bill Florescu, and the Opera Company of Middlebury.  In Il Trovatore'Bard brings a genuineness and confidence to the roles she sings, and in the case of Leonora, an intelligent and complex portrayal of substance. She has a winning combination of natural dramatic ability and captiving coloratura.'

On the concert stage, Ms. Bard made her mainstage Carnegie Hall debut as the soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C and Mozart’s Vespers, and returns to Carnegie as a soloist with MidAtlantic Opera this fall. She performed a concert of arias with the Opera Orchestra of New York and maestro Eve Queler at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. She has been recognized with prestigious awards and grants from the Classical Singer Competition, Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, George London Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards (San Francisco and Boston), the Seoul International Competition, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition.  

Ms. Bard's recent performances include the four heroines Olympia/ Antonia/ Giulietta/ Stella in Les Contes d'Hoffmann with West Bay Opera, Magda in La Rondine with Opera Tampa with Maestro Anton Coppola, the title role

in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Idaho, West Bay Opera and Opera San Jose, the title role in The Merry Widow with 

Opera Tampa, Utah Festival Opera, New England Light Opera, Altamura Center for the Arts, and St. Petersburg Opera, Mary Willis in Carlisle Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree with Sugar Creek Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Utah Festival Opera, Violetta in La Traviata with Music by the Lake and Opera San Jose, Musetta in La Boheme with Sacramento Opera, Gilda in Rigoletto with Rockland Opera, Opera San Jose and Cape Cod Opera, Micaëla in Carmen with Ash Lawn Opera, and the Foreign Princess in Rusalka with Boston Lyric Opera, for which Opera News deemed her: ‘a deliciously evil enchantress.’

Previously an Artist in Residence with Opera San José, Ms. Bard performed Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. Ms. Bard was also engaged as a Studio Artist with Baltimore Opera, where she sang Giannetta in L’Elisir d’Amore, Barbarina and Countess (cover) in Le Nozze di Figaro, and covered Antonia and Giulietta in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. As a fellow at Tanglewood, Ms. Bard created the role of Juana in the world premiere opera Rage d’Amours, commissioned by the Boston Symphony.

Described as 'stunningly poignant' as Violetta in La Traviata, critics declared ‘Bard became Violetta by not only convincing acting, she incorporated the character and her joys and woes into her vocal delivery, much in the way that made Maria Callas a legend.’

As Lucia di Lammermoor, ‘Bard is equipped with every gem in the coloratura jewel-box: staccato leaps, diamond-like trills, and sculpted dynamic lines. Combine this with the insane-childlike persona and you have an entire audience holding its breath.’ The San Francisco Chronicle acclaimed, ‘Her account of the famous final mad scene was a knockout - fluid, precisely etched and marked by a haunting sense of vulnerability.’  

As the four heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann‘Bard’s transformative ability is uncanny — I had to double check the program to make sure that they were all the same woman. Her appearance, her acting and singing were adjusted, in each case resulting in an astonishing display of versatility.’

A recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Music from her alma mater, The College of the Holy Cross, and a Master’s Degree in voice from the New England Conservatory, Ms. Bard is a sought-after concert artist as well. Recent appearances include the Mozart Requiem with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Wilmington Symphony and Cambridge Symphony, Handel's Messiah with the Hartford Symphony, Rachmaninoff Vocalise, Exsultate Jubilate, Carmina Burana, Lord Nelson Mass, Elijah, Bachianas Brasileiras, Poulenc's Gloria, Beethoven's Mass in C, and the Brahms Requiem.