Alumna, opera singer to make first joint performance on campus

Correction: Frederica “Flicka” von Stade was the featured performer at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

The opera singer said she can’t play the piano. The pianist professed her inability to sing opera. Together, however, their long-lasting friendship has given the duet the ability to travel the world.

World renowned mezzo-soprano opera singer Frederica “Flicka” von Stade and TCU alumna Laurana Rice Mitchelmore prepared for their first concert in Texas at the Renaissance Worthington Hotel in downtown Fort Worth on Monday, and will put on a concert tonight benefiting the School of Music in Ed Landreth Hall.

Mitchelmoreand von Stade have toured on both coasts of the United States, as well as in Spain, France, Ireland and Monaco.

While von Stade has been recorded more than 60 times, the opera singer was quick to praise Mitchelmore.

“One of the things that is so evident with Laurana is her amazing devotion to music,” von Stade said. “She is always just so happy, and it is evident in her music.”

Mitchelmore, a ’61 graduate who grew up in Plano, attended the Juilliard School in New York as well as the Vienna Academy of Music and Performing Arts. She has only performed at TCU one other time, in 1973. This will be von Stade’s first performance in Texas.

“‘Flicka’ is playing this concert for the benefit of TCU, which is so incredibly generous.” Mitchelmore said. “I’ve never made it to a homecoming, so this is very special.”

A native of New Jersey, von Stade graduated from Mannes College of Music in New York City. The institute changed names in 1989 to Mannes College The New School for Music. Since then, she has recorded complete operas, solo recital programs and crossover albums.

In 2002, Mitchelmore was the featured performer at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and has performed with opera icons Luciano Pavarotti and Renata Tabaldi.

“Singing makes people happy,” she said. “Being able to perform with some of the greatest opera singers in the world has been wonderful.”

Together again, the two said they plan on giving a good show.

“It’s a slightly lighter program than usual,” von Stade said. “So the kids don’t need to be afraid.”

Tickets for the concert range from $35 to $75 and all proceeds will benefit the School of Music.

Chandler Smith, developmental director of fine arts, said this concert is significant for the school.

“Von Stade is one of the premier opera singers in the world,” Smith said. “To have her here is a huge honor.”

For Your Info

When: 7:30 p.m. today
Where: Ed Landreth Auditorium
Tickets: $30 to $75 online at