Stuart’s Opera House Hosts Presentation of ‘Songs of Love and Life’

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Stuart’s Opera House will welcome local talents Debra Rentz (soprano), Emely Phelps (piano), and Dawn Wohn (violin) to Stuart’s Opera House for a virtual performance on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 7 p.m.! Read the full program and read more about the artists below.

Please note that the stream will be available to watch free of charge at, but donations to Stuart’s Opera House are welcomed and encouraged.

Five Hebrew Love Songs for soprano, violin, and piano, Eric Whitacre
(poems by Hila Plitmann)
1. Temuná
2. Kalá kallá
3. Lárov
4. Éyze shéleg
5. Rakút

Siete Canciones Populares Expañolas, Manuel de Falla
(Seven Spanish Folk Songs)
1. El Paño Moruno
2. Seguidilla Murciana
3. Asturiana
4. Jota
5. Nana
6. Canción
7. Polo

The Sun is Love, Gwyneth Walker
(poems by Jelaluddin Rumi)
1. Circling the Sun
2. Quietness
3. Flirtation: Light and Wine and Pomegranate Flowers
4. The Sunrise Ruby
5. Dualities
a. insomnias
b. meetings
c. mirrors
d. stones
6. A Waterbird

Songs of Love

Debra Rentz, soprano, is Chair of the Voice Division at Ohio University. She received her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and Music History from Illinois State University and a Master of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Illinois. Rentz has performed extensively in opera, operetta, oratorio, recital, and orchestral concerts. She has been featured as a soloist in numerous oratorios, including Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Mass in Time of War, Bach’s B Minor Mass, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Operatic roles include Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La Traviata, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Pamina and First Lady in Die Zauberflöte and Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos. In addition, Debra has considerable experience performing Gilbert and Sullivan. Other operetta performances include the American stage premiere of Emmerich Kalman’s Duchess of Chicago with Chicago Light Opera and Josephine in Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore on board the USS Constitution in collaboration with the U.S. Navy and The Boston Academy of Music. Debra lives in Athens, Ohio with her husband John and their two sons, Sam and Jacob.


Pianist Emely Phelps enjoys a multifaceted career as a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. Praised by the Boston Globe for her “fleet, energetic, and bright-toned” playing, Emely is currently Artist-Teacher of Piano at Ohio University, where she teaches applied piano, chamber music, and keyboard repertoire, and also directs the graduate collaborative piano degree program. Emely made her solo orchestral debut with the National Symphony Orchestra as the grand prizewinner of their Young Soloists Competition, and has since been a featured soloist with the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, Little River Symphony, McLean Symphony, and the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. A finalist for the 2019 Pro Musicis International Award, she recently presented solo recitals in Ohio, Washington, Boston, and New York and will be in residence at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts in March. From 2008-2016, Emely was the pianist of Trio Cleonice, with whom she performed in more than 15 states, toured Europe, won second prize at the Schoenfeld International String Competition, and served as the Graduate Piano Trio-in-Residence at New England Conservatory. Emely recently received her doctoral degree from Stony Brook University, where she studied with Christina Dahl, and also holds a BM and MM from Juilliard.

Praised as having “warmth and crystal-clear tone” by Whole Note Magazine, violinist Dawn Dongeun Wohn, has performed in concert halls in North and South America, Asia and Europe including Carnegie Weill Hall, Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center and the National Theater in Taiwan. As a soloist, she has performed with orchestras such as the Korean Broadcasting Symphony, Daejeon Philharmonic and the Aspen Conducting Orchestra. Her debut album featuring diverse works by female composers, Perspectives was recently featured by Spotify, Apple Music as well as the New York Times article “5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Violin”.

Dawn began her musical studies at The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division as a full scholarship student of the renowned pedagogue Dorothy DeLay and continued her undergraduate studies at Juilliard with Hyo Kang. She pursued a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma at Yale University and completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University under the direction of Philip Setzer of the Emerson Quartet.

As an active chamber musician, Dawn has performed at IMS Prussia Cove in the U.K, Music@Menlo, Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea, and The Banff Centre. Notable collaborations include members of the Emerson Quartet, Miami String Quartet, Afiara String Quartet, Colin Carr, Roberto Plano and Christina Dahl. As a teacher, she has given masterclasses at numerous institutions such as NYU, Kansas University and Ithaca University, and has been on faculty at festivals such as the Rocky Ridge Music Festival, Academie Anglicorde in France, International Music Festival of the Adriatic in Italy, and Festival de Febrero in Mexico.

Currently, Dawn holds the position of String Division Chair, Associate Professor of Violin at Ohio University’s School of Music and Associate Concertmaster of Harrisburg Symphony. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband Jay, infant son Jasper, and their dog Wolfie.