American Baritone Michael Nansel is the guest artist for the next Fern Lingenfelter Artist Series on Sunday, March 4 at 4 p.m. in Mingenback Theatre on the McPherson College campus. A reception to meet the artist will be held immediately after the recital in Friendship Hall.
Nansel is an award winning singer and actor. Best-known as an opera singer, he is also an accomplished recitalist and concert artist. He has appeared frequently with the Wichita Grand Opera, most recently as Sharpless in this year’s production of “Madama Butterfly” in September.
His program, titled “Heroes, Villains, and Icons,” will feature opera selections from some of the most famous pieces in the baritone repertoire from composers such as Puccini, Verdi, and Rossini among others. He will also perform a variety of crossover musical numbers featuring opera and classical music along with selections from musicals.
Audiences will have a second chance to enjoy his music on Monday, March 5 at 7 p.m. when Nansel will perform again in Mingenback Theatre. The Cabaret style performance titled “An American Baritone…The Journey,” will feature a wide variety of music that influenced Nansel’s career along with an opportunity to speak with him during the program.
Currently, Nansel lives in the Washington, D.C. area, but previously has lived in McPherson and Wichita and is a graduate of Fort Hays State University with a degree in nursing. As a performer, Nansel has more than 70 roles to his credit. He was the Wichita Grand Opera Singer of the Year in 2012 and was the dual winner in 2003 of the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors for Outstanding lead actor in a Musical and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical. He has also twice been a member of casts nominated for Helen Hayes Awards.
Reviewers have described his voice as “rich” with “great vocal and emotional power,” and audiences will enjoy the wide variety of his repertoire ranging from Mozart to Sondheim, from Verdi to Rodgers & Hammerstein.
The Fern Lingenfelter Artist Series was established in 2016 thanks to a generous commitment to McPherson College honoring Lingenfelter. Her son, Steve Clark, chairman of Clark Investment Group in Wichita, established the fund that supports the two annual music performance events, with special emphasis on piano. Lingenfelter, an alumna of McPherson College, taught piano in McPherson for many years to both college students on campus and younger students at her studio downtown.
Although Lingenfelter passed away in 1962, her son continues to see a long-lasting influence from her lifetime of work. The fund is his way of saying thank you and to support the music and the instrument she loved.