By DENISE M. BARAN–UNLAND
Agne G returns to the Rialto Square Theatre stage to headline concert
As many times as 16-year-old Agne Giedraityte has performed and competed vocally in the United States and Europe last eight years, she can’t help feeling nervous.
But when the Lithuanian-born Agne G, as she is known professionally, starts to sing, the emotion of the music makes all nervousness vanish. “When I sing, I feel whatever is written, all the emotions tied to the lyrics and the music,” Agne said. “It’s very freeing to be able to express myself through the music. I cannot put it into words. It’s euphoric, kind of, because it is so beautiful.”
Agne G, a classically trained soprano who’s performed at Carnegie Hall, appeared on NBC Television and spontaneously shared the stage with David Foster at Ravinia, will perform once again at the Rialto Square Theatre on Nov. 19 at “A Very Rialto Christmas,” the first of many holiday events the Rialto Square Theatre will offer this year.
“Again,” because Agne has performed on the Rialto stage several times, starting when she was 11 and competed twice in the former Rialto Idol Jr. competition. “I think the first time I sang ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again’ and I got second place,” Agne of Downers Grove said. “And the second time I was 12 and I sang, ‘Time to Say Good-bye’ and I got first place.'”
Agne said she also sang with The Priests when the group performed at the Rialto. She will soon release her first Christmas album “Merry Christmas from my Heart.” She previously released “Dream – Never Let Go Of Your Dreams” and participated in the “Getting to Know You” collaboration CD by Tre Principesse. Agne currently takes lessons with Rachel Olsen, who also sings with the Chicago Symphony Choir, Agne said. Although Agne was always “a little shy,” Agne also loved singing and dancing from her earliest years. She began taking vocal lessons when she was 8 with a teacher from Lithuania. Six months into the lessons, the teacher recommended Agne start competing, so Agne did, Agne said.
“I got third place by the judge’s vote and first place by the audience vote,” Agne said. “It was really exciting for just starting out. It opened my eyes to what the possibilities could be.” She’s since won a number of singing competitions, including Baltic Voice 2013, The Sinfonetta Bel Canto’s competition, the International Music for Kids 2016 Competition in Romania and American Protégé, where Agne sang at Carnegie Hall in New York, according to a news release from the Rialto Square Theatre.
“That was a big milestone,” Agne said. “I think I was 13. Agne performs concerts throughout the year, with the holidays and the summer being her busy seasons. Her goal, naturally, is to make singing her full-time career.
But right now, Agne is still reveling at the unexpected opportunity to share the stage with David Foster at Ravinia in July. Agne said she was enjoying the concert when Foster suddenly asked if anyone would like to sing for 30 seconds.
Agne said she thought to herself, ‘Oh, my God, this is not happening!” and began waving her hands in the hair. She said Foster pointed at her, so she started to sing, “Time to Say Goodbye,” which is one of her most favorite songs to perform.
“He said, ‘Just a second. I know that song,'” Agne said. “He took me to the stage to sing with him while he played the piano. It was so amazing. I was trying not to cry.” Agne said attendees at the Nov. 19 event can expect a “nice Christmasy holiday experience.”
The event will include performances by the Cathedral Children’s Choir, the Joliet All City Choir, and special appearances by Michelle Gliottoni Rodriguez (soprano), Holly Keenon (violinist), and Kyle Minett (bass/baritone), according to the news release.
“I think this concert will be very personable,” Agne said. ” And warm and welcoming.”
WHAT: “A Very Rialto Christmas: A Family Concert Excperience”
WHEN: Nov. 19. Doors open 5:30 p.m., tree lighting 6 p.m.; organ concert 6:30 p.m.; concert 7 p.m.
WHERE: Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St. Joliet
TICKETS: $15 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under
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