Norma and Richard Mayer play a fiery brand of chamber music not often associated with their rare musical blend - music for unaccompanied voice and flute. They have performed to great acclaim from Russia to Germany to France to California, with points in between, with a vast repertoire encompassing early music, classical music, African-American spirituals, show tunes, and jazz. Their combined sounds manage to conjure up cathedrals and opera stages, with stops in the Elysium Fields along the way, and their operatic arrangements have been acclaimed as a groundbreaking direction in modern music.
Bill Minor, noted writer and musician, described their recent performance as "...one of the most memorable musical evenings I ever attended...a wide range of music offered that thrilled me... total animation and continuity and beauty of the high level..."
Norma and Richard were thrown together by chance in the musical cauldron of Austin, Texas in the late 1980's, where a rich brew of classical and popular music attracted international attention. Their early concerts drew upon a diverse audience, fitting for an unusual repertoire, which has expanded over the years to include their own dynamic arrangements of operatic arias, songs, and spirituals.
The glorious, award-winning voice of Norma Mayer has thrilled audiences from the Italian opera stage to the African-American church, and she is now making a name for herself in the American musical theater, as well. Critics have been ecstatic in their praise (Santa Cruz Good Times: "...remarkable opera diva...true operatic force to contend with...a unique essence, an attractive nuance that she brings to the role." Coast Weekly: "...a real find." Monterey Herald: "...splendid singer...a meltingly rich voice...").
Richard Mayer is at home in many musical genres, including classical, jazz, and pop. He was a founding member of the influential Russian rock group ZA in 1970's Leningrad, which pointed the way for the subsequent acoustic folk-jazz movement there. ZA's recordings have become an underground classic in the U.S. and Europe, too.