Archive for February, 2014

East Coast Concerts with Betany Coffland

Betany Coffland, mezzo-soprano

Betany Coffland, mezzo-soprano

I met Betany Coffland at the New England Conservatory when we were both undergraduates.  She went by Dahlberg and I was just Caplan.  As a classical guitarist I was required to take choir as a large ensemble, which was conducted by the late Tamara Brooks, who was sublime in her music making and inspirational abilities, though I definitely didn’t feel that way on those early rehearsal days.  For Betany and I, the choir was our only time making music together during our years in school together, and it was shared with 70+ other singers/composers/guitarists/pianists.  All said, we hung out a bit, had friends in common and enjoyed contemporary music.  I do recall hearing her sing El Amor Brujo by  Manuel De Falla with full orchestra, one of my favorite pieces, which she rocked; I knew she would go far.

After undergrad at NEC she moved to NYC to attend Julliard, traveled around the world, including a stint in Prague, and then landed at Opera San Jose for four years in Northern California.  Needless to say the accolades kept coming in, all of which she deserved.  She now lives in a beautiful old house in Petaluma with her husband and a pair of cats.  I didn’t know any of her post-NEC life, but thanks to FB we caught up quickly.

In September of 2013, Betany joined me on two concerts during my Hwy 101 Tour in Chico and Petaluma, California, singing two songs by Joaquin Rodrigo.  For some, time is not so nice, but for Betany her vocal maturity and musical abilities opened my ears and reminded me why I love collaboration:  all seems possible in such a world of beauty!

After the concerts we quickly started planning our next concerts: EAST and WEST COASTS 2014!
We created:  Passion and Thought in Song

Betany & Aaron PR Flier

Betany & Aaron

Themes of love, loss and life are explored through music of the English Renaissance and Baroque by John Dowland and G.F. Handel, the French romantic Reynaldo Hahn, the Spanish nationalists Manuel de Falla and Joaquin Rodrigo and the more contemporary Englishman, Benjamin Britten.

Today, the vocal recital is mainly heard by connoisseurs, vocal students and professionals, not by general society, which needs to change.  We decided to create a program of music that we found intellectually stimulating, artistically fulfilling and appealing to general audiences.  We also looked to bring it to many venues in and around Greater Boston, not just formal classical venues.



For this, our first tour together, we organized 7 public concerts (click on the map for an expanded window):

Passion and Thought in Song East Coast Tour Map

Passion and Thought in Song Boston Area Tour Map

Saturday, Feb. 22, 8pm
Boston – Greater Boston House Concerts • Reserve HERE

Friday, Feb. 28, 8pm
Newburyport – Firehouse Center for the Arts

Sunday, March 2, 3pm
Natick – Morse Institute Library

Tuesday, March 4, 7:30pm
Cambridge – Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church

Friday, March 7, 8pm
Hampton, CT – Longmeadow House Concerts

Sunday, March 9, 4pm
Wellfleet – Wellfleet Public Library

We are looking forward to an amazing couple of weeks and we hope that you will join us!


**Check out for program and biographical information, east and west coast concerts and booking inquires.