| 02 Mar 2015 | 04:27

    although mezzo-soprano tamara mumford has been associated with the metropolitan opera since graduating from its young artist program, it's another met that she'll be calling home this weekend. the 27-year-old utah native makes her first solo concert appearance at the metropolitan museum of art on saturday, march 21. mumford's recital program with her accompanist, pianist ken noda, shows off the singer's wide-ranging musical interests, from famed composers maurice ravel, joseph haydn and sergei rachmaninoff to a trio of contemporary masters: catalan xavier montsalvatge and two americans still writing beautiful music in the 21st century, william bolcom and ned rorem.

    "these are all composers that i listen to and love to sing," mumford said in a recent telephone interview. "ken and i talked about how we could arrange all of their songs in a way that would work." although the ravel, haydn and rachmaninoff selections are more familiar, it's the works by montsalvatge, bolcom and rorem that are especially close to the singer's heart. "we chose their songs because i absolutely love them," she said. "rorem's 'lordly hudson' and 'i strolled across an open field' are lovely, as are bolcom's 'cabaret songs,' especially his 'amore,' which is just so fun to do in front of an audience. "i discovered montsalvatge's 'cinco canciones negras' when i was doing my undergrad music studies at utah state, and i just knew that they would become part of my repertoire.

    any chance i get, i try and sing them, because they evoke such immediate feelings and they're simply great songs." while rehearsing for her met museum recital, mumford is also preparing for an unusually busy spring on the other side of central park. at the metropolitan opera, not only did she take part in last week's 125th anniversary gala, but she is also singing flossilde, one of the rhinemaidens, in the upcoming "ring" cycle, the tetralogy of richard wagner operas that is concluding the opera house's spring season. since wagner is not part of her usual repertoire, mumford said she was surprised to find out that she was wanted for the role. "i got a call from my manager that they wanted me to sing flossilde," she said. "and it's great to be part of this otto schenk production, so i feel that i'm part of a little history doing this role." (the production is being retired after this season.) does she find wagner's legendarily difficult music daunting to perform? "it's a good part for me to start singing wagner, since it's a little safer to sing," she said. although she has sung in england, italy and throughout the united states (including in philadelphia in may and at glimmerglass opera upstate in the summer), returning to the met opera house is always a special event for mumford. "when i got into the met young artists program, it was huge, since it allowed me to grow as an artist and a person," she said. "it's areally wonderful place, they care about me, believe in my talent and want to see me succeed."

    -- tamara mumford and pianist ken noda march 21, 7 p.m. metropolitan museum of art "accolades" young artist recital series grace rainey rogers auditorium for tickets ($30), visit