When it comes to performing, Cameron University’s Dr. Christian Morren is happy to share the stage with talented vocalists and musicians. On Thursday, March 30, she has invited long-time friend Dr. Catherine McDaniel to join her for a vocal recital during which they will be accompanied by collaborative pianist Jan McDaniel, Catherine McDaniel’s husband. The performance will take place in the McCutcheon Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
“Jan was my teacher from the time I was 20 years old and is a mentor of mine,” Morren says. “Catherine has always been a friend who I love to sing with. I consider her a master teacher. I thought it would be a treat for our students and community to have them here at Cameron.”
Morren and Catherine McDaniel will perform duets from the Vivaldi Gloria and “Madame Butterfly.” Solo numbers will include McDaniel on Schumann’s “Frauenliebe und Leben,” Op. 42, with Morren soloing on Benjamin Britten’s song cycle “On this Island.”
Mezzo-soprano Catherine McDaniel has performed major operatic roles in Europe and the United States. She made her professional debut during the Festival Lyrique de Belle-Île-en-Mer, France, where she appeared as Niklaus in “Les contes d’Hoffmann” and Mercedes in “Carmen.”
Dr. McDaniel also performed the role of Clarina in Rossini’s La cambiale di matrimonio in the Teatro Accademico in Castelfranco Veneto, Italy. Among her other roles are Clarina in Rossini’s “La cambiale di matrimonio,” Hänsel in “Hänsel und Gretel,” Dorabella in “Così fan tutte,” Giulietta in “Les contes d’Hoffmann,” the mother in “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” Lola in “Cavalleria rusticana,” and the title role in “Carmen.” She has also appeared at Rose State College’s live concert series as well as repeat engagement with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s Discovery Concert Series, in addition to performances with Canterbury Choral Society and the Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra.
Prior to joining the voice faculty of Oklahoma City University’s Bass School of Music in 2008, McDaniel spent over a decade as a member of the voice faculty at Oklahoma Christian University. Her current and former students maintain active performing careers on Broadway and national tours, and in nationally renowned companies such as New York City Opera, Portland Opera and the Sarasota Opera.
She holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in voice from Stephen F. Austin State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance from the University of Oklahoma. She was a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera auditions in both the Midwest and Texas Regions and a winner of the Advanced Division of the Texoma Regional Auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. McDaniel is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, Mu Phi Epsilon, Phi Kappa Phi, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Jan McDaniel is equally at home on the podium and at the keyboard. He is in his 24th year on the faculty of the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University, where he is Professor of Vocal Coaching and a conductor of the Oklahoma City University Opera and Musical Theater Company. His 2013 production of Rossini’s “Il barbiere di Siviglia” was chosen as the Best Opera Production for Division III in the National Opera Association’s annual competition. Two of his productions won similar NOA awards in January 2017, and he has had at least one winner each year since then.
Prof. McDaniel also directs the Master of Music program in Vocal Coaching, one of the only programs of its kind in the United States – providing pianists with training in style, language, diction, and teaching techniques necessary to enter the field as successful vocal coaches of opera, art song, and musical theater.
Additionally, he serves as musical director for Oklahoma City’s Painted Sky Opera. He has appeared regularly as a guest conductor for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and has served as musical director for Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma for numerous productions.
McDaniel’s appearances as a collaborative pianist include concerts and recitals from Germany to Japan, and he was featured as harpsichord soloist in the world premiere of “Der Turmbau zu Babel” with the Northwest German Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1982 through 1985, he served as assistant conductor and vocal coach with the Detmold State Theater, the largest touring opera company in Germany.
He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Midwestern State University and a Master of Music degree in musicology from the University of North Texas.
As associate professor at CU, Morren has performed as a soloist with the Santa Fe Chorale, Santa Fe Symphony, Opera Unlimited, Oklahoma City Pops Chorale, Oklahoma City Symphony, Utah Festival Opera, Tulsa Opera, and the Wyoming Symphony. She was the featured soloist and musical director for two seasons for the “Festival of Life” music festival in Catania, Italy.
A two-time regional Metropolitan Opera auditions winner, Morren placed first in the Naftzger art song competition in Wichita, Kan., where she was recognized for her outstanding singing. Her musical distinction earned her the University of Oklahoma Dame Eva Turner Award for excellence in singing and the prestigious Benton Schmidt scholarship for performance excellence. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Cameron University, a Master of Music degree with honors from Oklahoma City University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Oklahoma.