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Salon Radio: PREformances with Allison Charney; Viola-Tianni Bao

October 11th, 2017

Salon Radio

podcast 6, release 10-11-17



For today's Salon Radio Special Feature we are talking with Soprano Allison Charney, founder, curator and host of the unique classical concert series "PREformances with Allison Charney", about to launch its 9th season in its new home, Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center.

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Today's Salon Solo {Radio} presents actress, singer and performer Viola-Tianni Bao.


This podcast is hosted by Maureen Van Trease, presenting our guests. Salon Radio is rounded out with our Women in The Arts world bulletin highlighting news about women in all The Arts and our Salon Bulletin for upcoming week's happenings of Salonistas around the world; this week's editor is IWAS founder Heidi Russell.   This podcast was recorded at our production partner Funkadelic Studios with sound engineer Jade Zabric.



Salon Radio Special: PREformance with Allison Charney, celebrating a season of milestones...

the 9th Season of this unique classical music concert series moves to a new home: Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center; heralded by new artwork by the NY-based visual artist and director, Doug Fitch;
and grounded by a new website:
PREformances with Allison Charney moves to a new home at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center on Monday October 16, 2017 at 1PM.
PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY invites audience to experience celebrated classical musicians in “PREformances” anticipating their upcoming engagements on the world’s most prestigious stages. Acclaimed opera singer Allison Charney hosts a behind-the-scenes glimpse into top-level artists’ practices and performance, deliberately blurring the traditional barriers which exist between classical musicians and audience in concerts by providing "un-Google-able" insights into these great performers thoughts and practices.  PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY has presented over 95 of the preeminent musicians of our time. Notable appearances include those by New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, Metropolitan Opera stars William Burden and Maria Zifchak, flutist Carol WIncenc, violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, pianists Joel Fan and Navah Perlman. The series has presented new classical works by composers Michael Ching, Moshe KnollKim D. Sherman and Dina Pruzhansky. Together with Craig Ketter, PREformances’ noted collaborative pianist, soprano Allison Charney, performs on every concert. Each evening and matinee concert typically run an hour and a half, with no intermission. PREformances with Allison Charney” maintains a charitable relationship with the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania - both contributing to its cutting-edge research efforts and promoting awareness of the Basser Center’s mission of advancing the care of individuals living with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
Soprano Allison Charney, made her New York City Opera debut as Musetta in LA BOHÈME and went on to critical acclaim in opera houses across the US.  Concert appearances include performances at Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Boston Pops under the baton of NY Philharmonic music director, Alan Gilbert.  A champion of contemporary classical music, Ms. Charney has commissioned and premiered many new works, including 6 pieces written for the ARK Trio, of which she is a founding member. Ms. Charney is the founder and host of the classical concert series, PREformances with Allison Charney (now in its 9th season)  This fall, she will be the soprano soloist at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center  in "Prayer for Peace: The Power of One Voice” singing Beethoven’s NINTH SYMPHONY and Knoll’s PSALM 133. Ms. Charney is featured in the recently-released, first recording of the Pulitzer Prize nominated oratorio Choose Life, by composer Mona Lyn Reese and can be heard in a CD of American song with pianist, Benjamin Loeb, on the DSC Label. Ms. Charney is an active recitalist and master teacher and is the founder and curator of the concert series, PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude with highest honors, in Special Concentrations from Harvard University, she went on to earn two graduate degrees in music from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Charney now lives in New York City with her husband and their two sons.

On October 16 Soprano Allison Charney, with long time collaborative pianist Craig Ketter, will launch  the 2017-2018 Classical Concert Series and Debut of PREformances with Allison Charney at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center.

The matinee concert will feature ‘preformance’ appearances by special guests pianists Joel Fan and Julia Zilberquit, conductor Jason Tramm, actor Jordan Charney and violinist Kelly Hall Tompkins -

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins and soprano Allison Charney will “preform” Israeli composer Moshe Knoll's lush setting of Psalm 133. Maestro Jason Tramm will conduct veteran actor of stage and screen Jordan Charney in Schoenberg's gripping cantata "A Survivor from Warsaw" along with a special performance by the Seton Hall University Choir in anticipation of “Prayer for Peace: The Power of One Voice” classical music concert, October 27th at NJPAC.

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins will also play a suite from Fiddler on the Roof, arranged for her, that she will both perform with orchestra and record later this year. She will be accompanied by Stephen Benson, guitar; Joshua Camp, accordion and Steve Moran, bass.

Pianist Julia Zilberquit will play selections of the great Russian composers - Rachmaninoff, Scriabin and Tchaikovsky - in advance of her upcoming concerts in London and St. Petersburg.

And, in preparation for Open Source Music Festival, pianist Joel Fan will “preform” several new pieces by contemporary composers.

The series continues with evening concerts at Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center on Monday, November 27th and Monday, March 5th and will conclude with a final matinee concert on Monday, April 23rd.



Salon Solo {Radio}: actor, singer and performer Viola-Tianni Bao


Viola-Tianni Bao, from China, is currently a NYC based actress, singer and performer who just graduated from NYU with a Master’s degree in Performance Studies. Her versatile arts backgrounds in acting, singing, creative writing and drawing enable her to fully explore and celebrate different aspects of humanity along her life journey across the world.

Viola started acting, singing, doing pencil sketch and Chinese calligraphy since an early age, and she owns a very sentimental mentality. This always is fully revealed in her own work and performing style. However, it was the tremendous difficulties and pain she experienced in her life gave her the vision for life and arts. When she was young, Viola has suffered emotional abuse from her aunts for a long period of time, which at point significantly influenced her mind and emotion. Later on, she had an extremely hard time going through the trauma and the wound. Throughout the battle against brokenness, Viola has received the unconditional love of God and learnt how to sing for love and forgiveness, embracing the imperfections and the vulnerability, and turned all of these into her works.

Her other degree in Media & Journalism Studies enabled her to develop a well-round skill set in performing and on production side. Her documentary performance I Become My Fantasy was selected into the NYU annual GSAS Thesis Competition, in 2012, she was entitled The Best Campus Singer in Jilin University in China. Her film credits include 1988 which is a short film that will be released in late fall 2017.

The themes of her own works in the past years have focused on exploring selfness, vulnerability, shame-culture, fantasy, psychoanalysis, as well as experiencing identity mergence and divergence through the disjunction of time and space. One of her work Witness (Directed by Richard Schechner) was an experimental live performance that advocated for vulnerability, openness and fought against using shame as oppression.

To learn more about her works, please contact Viola at via 


Artist Statement:

"I would like to share with you a documentary performance I did this year as my thesis performance, which has completely changed my life as an artist and as a person. It’s called I become my fantasy. It is a 3-month-long, time and site-specific live performance in New York City.

I dreamed about living in New York since I was a kid. I have been working with everything I had to make it happen throughout the entire time. Along this journey, I have had thousands of moments when I actually “experienced” those dreamful moments in my imagination—even if they had never happened by then—everything was so real. When I was daydreaming, watching the movie with scenes…till one day I am finally made my journey here. Yay, right?

But, somehow my life moments here didn't quite feel the same as those I experienced in my fantasy. I didn’t enjoy my life as much as I thought I would – then, inspiration came: I was thinking about using some practice to change my mentality: to re-activate the excitement of the reality which I once fantasized about, and to live out my fantasy in real life moments. I call this The Bridging Acts. Bridging means to update my embodied perception in real life to the one in my fantasy. when I was able to bridge, the fantasy is being lived out! and that’s the moment you are like “Oh yeah! I am right in my dream!!!). Through a deep feeling of the world around me: images, sound, smell, touch and synesthesia, I project my current moment onto my embodied perceptual experience in my fantasy.

When the bridging moment happens, I accessed to different temporalities at the same time: me in the past and the present, me in day-dream and real life. therefore, I bridged different time and space together. Many concepts I took in this projects allowed audience to re-explore their own consumes, feelings and emotions, raising ontological questions about their own presence, exploring into the mentalities and emotions when someone is experiencing the disjunction of time and space, the dislocation and interlacement of fantasy and reality, one’s physical presence. It is about uncovering one’s consciousness and her embodiment perception during the bridging.

The media of the documentary included journaling, images and sound clips."  ~ Viola


The show coming up:

I am going to appear in Twelve Angry Women. which is a female version of the Emmy-winning performance Twelve Angry Men, written by Reginald Rose. The play was an adaption by Sherman L. Serge. It will be at New York City's Roebuck Theater at Times Square Arts Center, run between October 13th-15th. We have different cast for the show, I am in one of the 3 cast now, you can buy the ticket online.



I would like to share one quote from Ang Lee:

“The fear factor actually brings the genuineness.”


A mini poem by me:

 Title: No Caption


She lives in the picture

Quite and vigorous

She views her own elegance

Seeing him watching her,


Someone of No Importance

Sitting on the chair,

Looking herself in the frame

Smiles, and leaves.



I am still building up my own website. Please stay tuned!

Follow me on Instagram @viola_felicity, and I would like to know you and your work!