A dynamic community of singers in Berkeley, California

Dr. Paul Flight, Artistic Director

Picture of Paul Flight Noted conductor and countertenor Paul Flight has been Artistic Director of Chora Nova since its inception in 2006. For many seasons he was principal conductor of the Madison Early Music Festival (Wisconsin), where he directed masterworks by Bach, Telemann, Vivaldi, Purcell, Dufay and Guerrero. He has twice been a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, directing the University's top choral ensembles. He conducted an operatic double-bill production of Gustav Holsts Savitri and Darius Milhauds Les malheurs d'Orphe at Mills College, and there he also directed the special concert in celebration of the launch of Professor Nalini Ghumans new book, Resonances of the Raj: India in the English Musical Imagination with his Schola Cantorum San Francsico, a fine professional chamber choir. He is currently Visiting Associate Professor of Music at UC Santa Cruz, where he directs the University Chamber Singers.

Flight is in his ninth season as Artistic Director of the California Bach Society which specializes in historically informed performances of Baroque and Renaissance music. Under his leadership, the California Bach Society has become a prospector of Baroque gold. Its concerts have brought forth exquisite, rarely heard works by forgotten masters from the lost frontier, to the delight of its audiences."

He received his doctorate from Indiana University, where he studied conducting with Robert Porco. His research focused on the Venetian composer Giovanni Croce (1557-1609) and he has recorded a program featuring the music of Croce for Harmonia, a nationally syndicated radio show. He has appeared as a guest on three of KALW radios performing arts programs My Favorite Things, Voice Box, and Open Air and has lectured on music history and musical form as a visiting professor at Mills College.

An accomplished singer, Dr. Flight performs opera and oratorio internationally, most recently making his Edinburgh International Festival debut with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in John Adams' El Nio. He has performed the first and the third countertenor roles (Balthazar and Gaspar) in this work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Den Norske Opera in Oslo, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, at Chicagos Ravinia Festival, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has sung the central countertenor solo in Leonard Bernsteins Chichester Psalms with the Cleveland Orchestra and at the Cincinnati May Festival. In 2004 he sang the title role in the highly acclaimed Oakland Opera Theater production of Philip Glass Akhnaten, Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle describing his singing as pure and regal. He sang the US premiere of Unsuk Chins Cantatrix Sopranica with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and has also performed it with the Berkeley Symphony under Kent Nagano.

Dr. Flights interpretations of 18th-century operatic and concert repertoire have also been critically acclaimed: he has sung the title role in Handels Solomon, the role of Montezuma in Karl Heinrich Grauns Montezuma and Dardano in Handels Amadigi di Gaula. Last season he was one of the tenor soloists in Monteverdis Vespers of 1610 with California Bach Society, and his singing of the alto arias in Bachs St. John Passion with the same ensemble earned praise for the power of his attractive voice and flawless technique which was fully equal to the florid passages and long phrases. He will perform the Bachs B Minor Mass this summer at Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo. A versatile artist, he performed with Sting in his Songs from the Labyrinth concerts at Los Angeles Disney Hall in January 2007. He has sung in many outstanding professional ensembles including Theatre of Voices, Pomerium Musices, and the Waverly Consort. Dr. Flight has recorded for the Dorian, Harmonia Mundi, and Glissando labels.