On December 3rd, TRU Community Care staff and volunteers gathered at the home of Mardi and Jane Byers for an intimate concert performed by Mardi Byers, Hopi Moore-Sargent, and Larissa Gensolin. Mardi and her mother are very grateful for the services they have received from TRU.
Mardi is from Boulder and went to AZ State before traveling to Europe to begin her 22 year singing career. She currently resides in Zurich, Switzerland but has returned home to Boulder to take care of her mother, Jane. Mardi’s father was longtime music professor Charles A. “Chuck” Byers. Chuck spent several decades teaching vocal music at the University of Colorado at Boulder, leaving a legacy of a madrigal singing group now in its 44th year. According to her bio, Mardi Byers is one of the most exciting and talented artists to have emerged in recent years. Hailed by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as “world class,’ she is making her mark on international opera and concert stages including the Hamburg State Opera, Bregenz Festival, Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater, New York City Opera, and Finnish National Opera.
Her triumphant opera debut as Tosca at Theater Lübeck in 2003 earned her both critical and public acclaim, prompting invitations from leading opera houses to sing the major roles of her repertoire including Amelia in Simon Boccanegra at the Hamburg State Opera, Marie in Dmitri Tcherniakov’s celebrated production of Wozzeck with the Bolshoi Theater conducted by Teodor Currentzis, Aida at the Bregenz Festival in a Graham Vick production, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at New York City Opera, Il tabarro and Suor Angelica for New Orleans Opera, Elisabetta in Don Carlo for Theater Basel directed by Calixto Beito, Marietta in Die Tote Stadt, Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, and Prima Donna /Ariadne in a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Nürnberg State Theater, and Aida for her debut with Finnish National Opera. Mardi Byers’ further European credits include Aida under the baton of Daniele Gatti, Elisabetta in Don Carlos in both the French and Italian versions, Amelia in I Masnadieri, Marguerite in Faust, the title role in Adriana Lecouvreur, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, and Margarete in Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher. Equally at home on the concert stage Mardi Byers has performed Strauss’s Vier letzte Lieder in Hamburg, Verdi’s Requiem, and most recently sang the Beethoven Ninth Symphony for the Stuttgart Symphony’s New Year’s Concert. Recitals have taken her to San Francisco, Zurich, Munich and Salzburg, and in November 2010 she sang the Verdi Requiem in Finland’s esteemed Turku Concert Hall.
During a home visit, Mardi, an internationally known opera singer, learned that TRU staff members Hopi and Larissa are also accomplished musicians. She had the idea to put together a performance for the staff and volunteers as a way to give back and thank them for the care they have provided. TRU team members were treated to several duets with Mardi and Hopi, as well as solos performed by each artist. They performed several opera pieces as well as classical and contemporary songs. At one point, Larissa played an entire song by memory! The afternoon ended with a beautiful and touching solo by Jane Byers. It was an honor to share the talents of these beautiful ladies.
Hopi Moore-Sargent is a new nurse at TRU Community Care. She comes from a musical family and has spent many years singing and entertaining. She currently sings in a Baroque Folke Group and is also a member of the Country Swing Band, Misty Way Ramblers. The Misty Way Ramblers are made up primarily of Geology students from CU. They perform at local Barn Parties and Farm-to-Table events. Music has always been an important part of Hopi’s life, and she enjoys sharing her talent and passion with others. You can see more about her band on their Facebook Page.
Larissa Gensolin is an RN at TRU Community Care. Originally from California, Larissa has lived in Ohio, Washington and Nebraska before settling in Colorado about a year ago. In addition to caring for patients as an RN, Larissa is an accomplished pianist. She started playing at the age of two, and began formal lessons at five. Larissa minored in music in college and has performed in many concerts and competitions. Larissa is a gifted pianist and accompanied Mardi and Hopi during their performance, playing at times by memory with the need for sheet music.