Debuting as Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s “magnetic” Bess in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess this past February, soprano Lori Celeste Hicks is only begun to leave her mark on the world of classical music. Ms. Hicks has “completely amazed everyone with her beautiful voice and warm personality.” She will continue performances of Porgy and Bess with El Paso Opera in March of 2010. An active recitalist and concert performer she will sing the Verdi Requiem with the Jackson Michigan Symphony Orchestra. She sang a recital in Detroit in September at the Westminster Church and will perform a recital at Claflin University. In addition to this she will take part in an African Women’s Composer’s Forum at the University of Dayton.The 08/09 season brought many engagements such as the Verdi Requiem with the Holland Symphony Orchestra, Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Arbor Opera Theater, “A tribute to Black Pioneers in Music” Gala Concert in Denver, Colorado singing alongside tenor George Shirley in Act IV of Otello, along with a Holiday Concert at the Lincoln Center Library. Ms. Hicks closed the season with another concert in Verdi Requiem in Detroit, MI , and several recitals also in Michigan, Colorado , and Ohio . Internationally, Lori Hicks was featured in concerts and recitals throughout Italy and France , as well as starring in the role of “Alice Ford” in Verdi’s Falstaff under the baton of Maestro Joseph Rescigno. A frequent performer in the Midwest area, Lori has starred in title roles such as “Mimi” in La Boheme, “Fiordiligi” in Così fan tutte, “Rosalinda” in Die Fledermaus, "Laetitia" in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, and the world-premiere of James P. Johnson’s jazz opera Dreamy Kid. Ms. Hicks’ concert work has included Verdi’s Requiem, Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël, Bach Magnificat, Vivaldi Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, and the Wesendonck Lieder by Richard Wagner. A native of Detroit , Michigan , Lori holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor , a Masters of Music from Bowling Green State University in Ohio , and a Bachelors of Music Education from Kentucky State University . She currently serves on the voice faculty of Claflin University in South Carolina.