Date & Time 
Friday, April 1, 2011 - 9:56am
Event Description 

What: A faculty recital with Donna Olson, Mezzo Soprano and Renee Witon, Pianist. Enjoy a night of songs about the many facets of love through the German Lieder of Schubert, the beautiful Swedish Songs of Sibelius, the English Songs of Hundley and three Arias from the Great Operas of Il Trovatore, Marriage of Figaro and Carmen.

When: Friday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Chapel, Saint Mary's College of California, 1928 St. Mary's Rd., Moraga

For more information contact: Donna Olson at or Sharon Cahill at (925) 631-4670

The event is free and open to the public-DONATIONS will be excepted as this is also a fundraiser for the scholarship fund to aid the Saint Mary's College Choral groups effort to participate in the Interkultur American International Choral Festival

News about the artists:

Donna Olson (Mezzo Soprano) is the Professor of Voice at Saint Mary's College; she teaches the Tuesday/Thursday /Friday Voice Classes and Private Instruction. Originally from Boston, she received her Music Degree from the Boston Conservatory of Music. In addition to working as a lecturer at SMC, Donna is a professional opera singer and teaches in her private studios in Oakland and Pease
Conservatory in Sacramento

Ms. Olson's most recent roles include Marcellina (Figaro) with Sacramento Opera and Mother & Grand Mother in Seymour Barab's (Little Red Riding Hood) with Merced Opera. In 2010, she sang with RuthAnn Swensen, et al on the 30th Anniversary Fund Raising Program for the Berkeley Opera. Other roles include Marcellina (Figaro) and Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte) with Mendocino Music Festival, Mary (Flying Dutchman), Mrs. Peachum (The Threepenny Opera) and Mamma Lucia (Cavalleria) with West Bay Opera, Public Opinion (Orpheus in the Underworld) with Pocket Opera and her first Verdi Requiem with Tulare County Symphony. She sang Flora (La Traviata) with Sacramento, Martinez and Nevada Opera Companies, and Mistress Quickly (Falstaff) and Magdalena (Die Meistersinger) with Berkeley Opera. Ms. Olson was a resident artist with Opera San José for two seasons and sang the roles of Meg Page (Falstaff), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Rosette (Manon, Tisbe (La Cenerentola), Siébel (Faust), and Second lady (Die Zauberflőte). In the same season she sang Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera) and a solo engagement at the Fundraiser Concert with West Bay Opera.

Renée Witon (piano) received her Bachelor of Music Degree from Alverno College (Milwaukee) and the Master of Music Degree from Catholic University of America (Washington, DC).

She has studied piano with Béla Nagy and chamber music with violinist Robert Gerle. In addition to working as a lecturer at Saint Mary's College, Renée is director of music theory for the San Francisco Girls Chorus, Assistant Director of Music at First Unitarian Church in Oakland, and maintains a private piano studio in Oakland. She has also taught at the Community Music Center in San Francisco and George Washington University in Washington, DC. While in Washington, she also worked as a music specialist at the Library of Congress.

As a solo and chamber music performer, Renée has specialized in the performance of contemporary music and has the pleasure of premiering new compositions in her work with various contemporary performance ensembles. Renée appears as co-host on KUSF radio's contemporary music showcase, "Classics Without Walls."

Renée has released a solo piano CD, Coming Home, featuring music of Brahms, Beethoven, Suk, Ravel, and her own compositions. She currently teaches piano, serves as Performing Arts Department accompanist, and recently enjoyed teaching ‘The History of Rock & Roll" at Saint Mary's College.

Maps & Directories

Mailing Address

Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
Google Map | Campus Map | PO Boxes