Nordica Day, August 17, commemorates the date in 1911 when world-renowned diva, and Farmington native, Lillian Nordica, performed for the last time for the local townspeople. In 1972 Maine's Governor Curtis decreed that August 17 would be officially celebrated as Nordica Day. Nordica Day is celebrated in Farmington with a concert performed by the winner of the annual Nordica Scholarship, awarded at the annual auditions by the Maine Chapter of The National Association of Teachers of Singing. It is awarded to a student of classical singing in Maine who aspires to a career in opera. The recital is held in the same auditorium where Madam Nordica sang which now bears her name.
Ida Santos, soprano.
Ida Santos is a Senior Vocal Performance Major at USM School of Music, studying voice with Scott Wheatley, and piano with Tina Davis. She spent several years performing in with local theaters and opera groups in her home town of Concord, NH, before arriving at USM, where Ida has performed several leading roles at USM, including Anne Page (Merry Wives of Windsor), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Norina (Don Pasquale), and Cunegonde (Candide). In 2018 she was selected as a performer at the annual Honors Recital, and was a winner of the 2018 Concerto Competition at USM; In the spring of 2019, she was honored with the prestigious Lillian Nordica Memorial Scholarship, placed 2nd in the Portland Rossini Club Barbara Littlefield Vocal Scholarship, and was awarded the Eleanor Erdman and Diane Nixon Prize for Vocal Excellence. Ida currently lives in Portland, working towards Master’s Degrees in both Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting.
Sally Swallow Maxwell, soprano
Sally Swallow Maxwell is excited to return to her hometown of Farmington, Maine, where her love for singing and performing was first cultivated and nurtured. She participated in the Children's Summer Theatre Workshop with leads in productions of The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and Narnia. She was seen in Sandy River Players productions of The Mikado and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. She also sang with the Mt. Blue Voices. Sally would like to thank and acknowledge her performing arts teachers and program leaders: Holly Hudak, Pat Ray, Paula Thomas, Carol Shumway, Dennis Hayes, Karen McCann, Nancy Beacham, Patricia Haydon, Andrea Kierstead, Emily Floyd. She studied voice with Jane Parker.
Sally continued her vocal, theatre and dance training at Interlochen Summer Camp. She studied voice with Beverly Rinaldi and Deborah Cook. She won 1st place in the Maine National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition, Outstanding Performance Award at Interlochen Center for the Arts in both Operetta and Musical Theatre, an Artistic Recognition and Talent Search Merit Award, the Kennison Award for outstanding performance at Maine State Music Theatre, the Middlebury College Bucher Concerto Competition, and the honor of singing with The Kingfield Pops. She received her B.A. in Theatre and Music with honors from Middlebury College. She continues to sing as a guest soloist with symphonies and at sporting events.
Sally was based in NYC for 10 years, performing in off-Broadway and pre-Broadway musical theatre productions, touring the country with musical productions, and performing regionally in musical theatre and opera. Some highlights include: Anne (A Little Night Music) ; JennyAnyDots (Cats) ; and Princess Jasmine (Aladdin), all at Maine State Music Theatre. Also, Maria (The Sound of Music) at Just Of Broadway Productions; Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance) with The Heights Players.
Currently, Sally lives in Denver, CO where she sings with the Opera Colorado Chorus. This season, she debuted as a soloist with Opera Colorado, performing Barbarina (The Marriage of Figaro.) Additionally, she choreographed and was the dance captain in Opera Colorado's production of La Traviata. She also directs The Yuletide Carolers, a seasonal caroling company of 3 victorian caroling quartets.