The Birthday Club with Dan Chouinard feat. Vern Sutton

The Birthday Club with Dan Chouinard feat. Vern Sutton

Sun · July 30, 2017

7:00 pm

$12.00 - $37.00

Off Sale

Dan Chouinard brings in a stellar guest singer to toast the music birthdays and anniversaries of the month. Some familiar, some not, all worth celebrating. A relaxed and unpredictable evening of conversation and music and a dose of history, singing along optional.

Dan Chouinard
Dan Chouinard
For three decades Dan Chouinard has been pianist and accordionist of choice for a who’s who of Twin Cities performers, an enabler of community singalongs and a writer of hit shows for public radio, concert hall and theatrical stage.

The list of regular Twin Cities colleagues includes Maria Jette, Prudence Johnson, Peter Ostroushko, Kevin Kling, Ann Reed, the Rose Ensemble and Philip Brunelle and Vocalessence. He’s appeared all across the upper Midwest and turned up often on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.

As a writer and host he’s often asked to create special live programs for Minnesota Public Radio, the MN Historical Society, the Rose Ensemble and others. His show Civil War Homecoming played at the Fitzgerald Theater in April 2015, was broadcast statewide on MPR and continues to be shown on Twin Cities Public Television. His stage musical Steerage Song toured throughout Minnesota in 2013, a show co-authored with Peter Rothstein about the Ellis Island era of immigration to the US, as portrayed in folk songs, newspaper clippings and Tin Pan Alley tunes. In 2014 his show Cafe Europa, about bicycling with an accordion from Naples to Normandy in search of Minnesota WWII stories, was broadcast and televised statewide.

In 1994 he created an acclaimed radio series The Singer’s Voice, broadcast live Sunday nights from the Dakota Jazz Club, then in St. Paul, hosting song-spiked conversation from the piano with a different singer each week, over 200 in the six years of the show’s tenure.

His essays have been published in Minnesota Monthly, Saint John’s Magazine, the Minnesota Orchestra’s Showcase magazine and in the Minneapolis StarTribune.

He’s traveled extensively in France and Italy, with bicycle and without, and has presented French and Italian sing-alongs at the Alliance Française in Minneapolis. He spent the last months of summer 2015 working in Italy on an independent Hollywood film, Smitten!, to be released early next year.

He’s a musical consultant and concert organizer at the progressive St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community in South Minneapolis, and leads monthly community sing-alongs in downtown Minneapolis and St. Anthony Park.

He grew up in a big musical family near Lindstrom MN, attended St. John’s University in Collegeville MN and spent four years as a teacher of French and Italian as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota.
Vern Sutton
Vern Sutton
Vern Sutton is an American operatic tenor, opera director, and academic. A founding member of the Minnesota Opera, he has created roles in the world premieres of several contemporary operas with that company; including works composed for his voice by Dominick Argento, Libby Larsen, Eric Stokes, Conrad Susa, and Robert Ward. He was also a regularly featured singer on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion for three decades, beginning with its first broadcast in 1974.

From 2002 to 2005 he was director of Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point. For 36 years he taught on the voice faculty and for 30 years he directed the opera program of the music school at the University of Minnesota.

Raised in Oklahoma City, Sutton earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Austin College in 1960 where he was a voice student of Ethel Rader and Bruce Lunkley. He then pursued graduate studies in musicology at the University of Minnesota (UM) where he earned both a M.A. in Music and Doctorate of Music. At the UM he studied voice with Roy Schuessler, and later studied singing at the Rome Opera House with Luigi Ricci through a Fulbright scholarship in 1966–1967.

While a student at the UM, Sutton created the role of the Lord in the world premiere of Argento's Christopher Sly at the Scott Hall Theater on 31 May 1963. That same year he began performing with the newly formed Minnesota Opera. His performances with the company have included roles in several world premieres, including Argento's The Masque of Angels (1964), Argento's The Revelation of Saint John the Divine (1967), Argento's Postcard from Morocco (1971), Susa's Transformations (1973), Susa's Black River (1975), Argento's The Voyage of Edgar Allen Poe (1976), Argento's Water Bird Talk (1977), Hiram Titus' Rosina (1978), Ward's Hedda Gabler (1978), Stokes' The Jealous Cellist (1979), Lars Johan Werle's Animalen (1985), and Argento's Casanova's Homecoming (1985) among others.

Sutton also performed as a guest artist with several American opera companies. In 1971 he made his debut at the San Francisco Spring Opera in the title role [Faust Counter Faust]. He returned their in 1973 to sing Mr. Owen in Postcard from Morocco. Other companies he has performed leading roles with include the Houston Grand Opera and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

In 1967 Sutton joined the voice faculty of the University of Minnesota where he served as the long time director of the opera program until his retirement in 2003. During this time he also served as the director of the music school from 1991 to 1998.
Venue Information:
The Dunsmore Room at Crooners
6161 Hwy 65 NE
Minneapolis, MN, 55432