L.A. Gospel Jubilee, which is presented every third Sunday of each month at the Mount Olive Lutheran Church is Santa Monica, will feature lyric coloratura soprano Meloni Matthews in “Spiritual, Spiritual, Spiritual” on January 15 at 5 p.m.
Matthews will perform classical Negro spirituals, contemporary spirituals, arias from Handel’s “Messiah” and other classcal works, as well as spirituals written by Duke Ellington.
She has performed throughout the United States, Canada and Germany, doing operas, musicals, recitals and concerts.
Born in South Carolina, Matthews sang in her church choir and was a flutist in her high school orchestra. She received a Bachelors of Arts degree in Drama from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and continued her education in New York where she prepared for her Masters Degree in Dance and Dance Education at Columbia University Teachers College.
She also studied dance with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and Dance Theatre of Harlem, and was a soloist with the Hudson Theatre Repertory Ballet Theatre under the direction of Joel Harrison.
Ony when Matthews ended her career as a dancer did she decide to sing professionally.
She began with a solo performance at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with the Little Orchestra Society /Metropolitan Singers – Greek Chorale Society, and went on to appear in “Porgy and Bess” at the Oper des Westens in Berlin, Germany, and “Die Meistersinger von Nuernburg” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Admission to the Gospel Jubilee is free.
She recently appeared as the Queen of the Night with the Teatro Lirico D’Europa production of “The Magic Flute” and was Artist-in-Residence at the Natchez Opera Festival. She has also toured with the Tony award winning production of “Showboat.”