Simone Vigilante, Soprano
Lauded by the Asheville Citizen-Times as a “beautiful dramatic soprano capable of some awesome fireworks”, Simone Vigilante has appeared in recitals and competitions, with opera companies and orchestras, throughout the United States and Europe. Ms. Vigilante has lived in the Asheville area since 2001. While here, she has sung leading roles with The Modern American Music Project, Asheville Lyric Opera and Opera Creations, performed as soloist with the Asheville Symphony, Asheville Symphony Chorus, Asheville Choral Society, Asheville Area Piano Forum, performed on fundraisers for Hope to Home, Thrivent, WNCAP (Western North Carolina Aids Project), and serves as a regular Cantor/Soloist at St. Mary’s Church.
As one of the leading sopranos in the area, Ms. Vigilante has also been soloist with Asheville Village String Quartet, Allegro Music, the Asheville String Trio, the Asheville Symphony Chamber Players, Echo Early Music, and the Brevard Chamber Orchestra. She has also performed as a guest artist on the concert series of St. Matthias, St. Matthew’s, Blue Ridge Community College, Montreat Friends of Music, and as guest artist on the ribbon cutting ceremonies for NC Stage and the Grand Bohemian Hotel.
Ms. Vigilante’s recent performances and roles include mezzo-soprano soloist for Mozart's Requiem (March 2015, Asheville Symphony Chorus and Asheville Symphony); Bloody Mary (July 2014, Asheville Lyric Opera's South Pacific); Buttercup (March 2014, Opera Creations’ H.M.S. Pinafore); soprano soloist for Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem(November 2013, Asheville Symphony Chorus, Asheville Choral Society, and Asheville Symphony); Sister Rose (April 2013, The Modern American Music Project’s Dead Man Walking); Katisha (March 2013, OC’s The Mikado); Soprano Soloist for Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem (November 2012, Asheville Symphony Chorus and Asheville Symphony); Mother Abbess (April 2012, ALO’s The Sound of Music); Miss Silverpeal and the Queen of the Night (February 2012, OC’s Impressario and The Magic Flute); Ruth (October 2011, OC and Christ School’s Pirates of Penzance); Soprano Soloist for Dave Brubeck’s Mass: To Hope! A Celebration and Christopher Theofanidis’ The Here and Now (March 2011, Asheville Choral Society); the Duchess (February 2011, OC’s The Gondoliers); and the Witch (October 2009, ALO’s Hansel and Gretel).
Born in Rochester, New York, Ms. Vigilante attended the Eastman School of Music beginning her studies in piano. She furthered her studies in vocal performance with Dr. Marilyn Taylor at the (University of) North Carolina School of the Arts (BM 1997). Ms. Vigilante immediately continued her studies at Indiana University of Bloomington, where she worked primarily with Classical Singer Magazine’s 2010 teacher of the year Virginia Zeani (MM2000).
Besides a successful career in singing, Ms. Vigilante is a popular teacher, with studios at both UNC-Asheville and La Bella Voce Studio of Simone Vigilante in Asheville. To inquire about voice lessons contact her at: email@example.com In 2010, she became a co-founder of Opera Creations, a creative performing and teaching company that seeks to train young singers, providing them (along with local professional singers) a chance to perform on stage. Lovers of comedy and music may have seen her also as one of OC’s Dueling Sopranos or in a musical revue.
Franklin Keel, Cello
Franklin is an Asheville native who began playing the cello at the age of six. After winning Principal Cello in the Asheville Youth Orchestra, he earned a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.
When he returned to Asheville, he resumed his post in the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and co-founded the Opal String Quartet, a group that has become active across Western North Carolina both as performers and as educators.
An exacting musician, Mr. Keel is a vibrant master of his instrument with an exquisite quality of sound and stunning technique.
He is currently the Associate Principal Cello in the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, and a very active private teacher and freelancer in Asheville and Hendersonville.