Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for his debut opera Silent Night, Kevin Puts has been hailed as one of the most important composers of his generation. Critically acclaimed for a richly colored, harmonic, and freshly melodic musical voice that has also been described as “emotional, compelling, and relevant,” his works, which include two operas, four symphonies, and several concertos, have been commissioned, performed, and recorded by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists throughout the world.
Silent Night was premiered by Minnesota Opera in November 2011, and marked his debut in the genre of opera and vocal works. Commissioned by Minnesota Opera with a libretto by Mark Campbell, the full-length opera is based on the 2005 film Joyeux Noel. Heralded as “breathtaking” and “a stunning emotional experience”, Silent Night has since been produced and performed at Opera Philadelphia, Fort Worth Opera, Cincinnati Opera, the Wexford Opera Festival, Calgary Opera, Opera de Montreal, and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, with upcoming productions at Atlanta Opera, Opera Santa Jose, and Michigan Opera Theatre.
Acclaimed as “thrilling” and “not to be missed,” Mr. Puts' second opera, an adaptation of Richard Condon's novel The Manchurian Candidate, also commissioned by Minnesota Opera with a libretto by Mark Campbell, had its world premiere in March 2015. March 2015 also saw the world premiere of Mr. Puts’ song cycle Of All The Moons, commissioned by Carnegie Hall and performed by mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, which The New York Times called “a showcase for his craftsmanship.”
His newest orchestral work, The City, was premiered in Baltimore and New York in April 2016. Co-commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in honor of its 100th anniversary and by Carnegie Hall in honor of its 125th anniversary, the New York Times called it “captivating from the start” and The Baltimore Sun writes that Mr. Puts “never disappoints in terms of orchestral coloring…distinctive lyrical style…and passages of intense melodic fire.”
November 2016 will see international opera star Rénee Fleming and the Eastman School of Music Philharmonia performing the world premiere in New York City of a new work based on the personal letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and commissioned by the Eastman School of Music. In September 2017, Mr. Puts will premiere his first chamber opera, an adaptation of Peter Ackroyd’s gothic novel The Trial of Elizabeth Cree, which has been commissioned by Opera Philadelphia with libretto by Mark Campbell.
In August 2015, Seascapes, the first entire recording of Mr. Puts’ chamber works, was released by BCMF records through Naxos. Featuring a star-studded list of performers, it features among other works the premier recording of Seven Seascapes, commissioned by the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival.
In 2013, Mr. Puts’ Flute Concerto received its world premiere at the Cabrillo Festival with Adam Walker, Principal Flute of the London Symphony. Called “brilliant” and “a significant addition to the flute concerto repertoire,” it will soon be available on a new recording of Puts’s works performed by the Peabody Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Marin Alsop to be released on the Naxos label in 2016 and which will also include a recording of Puts' Symphony No. 2.
Also in 2013, Mr. Puts’ soaring choral works To Touch The Sky and If I Were A Swan were performed by the á capella ensemble Conspirare. A recording was released on the Harmonia Mundi label, which also includes a performance of his Symphony No. 4: From Mission San Juan, performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop. 2013 also saw the world premiere of Mr. Puts’s chamber work How Wild The Sea by the Miro Quartet, an “intensely emotional” work for string quartet and chamber orchestra, which was commissioned jointly by the University of Texas at Austin, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, City Music Cleveland, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, and the Naples Philharmonic. This premiere followed an earlier heralded and widely performed commission for the Miro Quartet, Credo, which was commissioned by Chamber Music Monterey Bay.
His other critically acclaimed works include Arcana, which was commissioned and premiered in 2009 by the string sextet Concertante; Trio-Sinfonia, commissioned by Music Accord and premiered in 2007 by the Eroica Trio; Four Airs, commissioned by the Music from Angel Fire Festival in 2004; Three Nocturnes, commissioned and premiered by the Verdehr Trio in 2004; Chorus of Lights, Mr. Puts’ first work for winds, commissioned by the University of Texas Wind Ensemble in 2003; and Einstein on Mercer Street, commissioned by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and premiered by bass-baritone Timothy Jones with Kevin Noe conducting in summer 2002.
In April 2008, Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra premiered Night, a piano concerto commissioned through the LACO's Sound Investment program. Mr. Puts has since performed the work himself as soloist during the summer of 2010 with Marin Alsop conducting the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. His Clarinet Concerto, received its premiere in 2009 with the clarinetist Bil Jackson and the Colorado Symphony conducted by Jeffrey Kahane. As the Composer-in-Residence for the Fort Worth Symphony, Mr. Puts composed a violin concerto for its concertmaster, Michael Shih, which was premiered in April 2007 with Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducting and later recorded by the orchestra. In 2007, as the American Composer-in-Residence at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, his Two Mountain Scenes was premiered by the New York Philharmonic. Later that summer, his Symphony No. 4: From Mission San Juan was premiered at the Cabrillo Festival.
Mr. Puts' 2005-2006 season included the premieres of three major orchestral works: Percussion Concerto for Orange County's Pacific Symphony and the Utah Symphony, premiered and performed by Dame Evelyn Glennie; Sinfonia Concertante for five solo instruments and orchestra for the Minnesota Orchestra; and a cello concerto, Vision, which was commissioned by the Aspen Music Festival and performed by Yo-Yo Ma in honor of David Zinman's 70th birthday. In 2004, Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony commissioned River's Rush in honor of the opening celebration of the orchestra's 125th anniversary season. Mr. Puts’ Symphony No. 3: Vespertine was commissioned though the Meet the Composer "Magnum Opus" project and premiered by the Marin Symphony Orchestra in May 2004.
His earlier commissions include This Noble Company, which was commissioned and premiered by the Atlanta Symphony in 2003, and Falling Dream, which was commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra/BMI Foundation and premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2002 with Dennis Russell Davies conducting the American Composers Orchestra at its 25th Anniversary Concert. Mr. Puts’ Symphony No. 2, commissioned as a result of his winning the Barlow International Orchestra Competition, was premiered by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Paavo Jarvi in 2002 and later performed by the Utah Symphony conducted by Keith Lockhart. In 2001, Millennium Canons, commissioned by the Institute for American Music, was premiered by The Boston Pops and conductor Keith Lockhart, and has subsequently received multiple performances across the U.S. and around the world. Other important early commissions came from the New York Youth Symphony, which premiered his Concerto for Everyone at Carnegie Hall in 1999; the Vermont Symphony and Ensemble Kobe (Japan), which co-commissioned Marimba Concerto featuring Makoto Nakura; and the National Symphony Orchestra, which commissioned the Fanfare Continuo for brass and organ.
In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Mr. Puts has received numerous honors and awards for composition. These include the 2015 Arts and Letters Award and the 2003 Benjamin H. Danks Award for Excellence in Orchestral Composition, both from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the Delaware Symphony Orchestra's 2015 Alfred I. duPont Composer's Award; the 2013 Eddie Medora King Award for Composition by the Butler School of Music of the University of Texas at Austin; a 2001 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship; a 2001-2002 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome; and the 1999 Barlow International Prize for Orchestral Music. In 1996, Mr. Puts was also named Composer-in-Residence of both Young Concert Artists and the California Symphony. While an undergraduate at the Eastman School of Music, Mr. Puts was awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the BMI 2001 Carlos Surinach Fund Commission; BMI's 1998 William Schuman Prize; and several grants from BMI and ASCAP.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Puts received both his Bachelor's Degree and his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the Eastman School of Music, and his Master's Degree from Yale University. From 1999 to 2005, he taught composition at The University of Texas at Austin. Since 2006, he has been a member of the Composition Faculty at the Peabody Institute, and currently is the Director of the Minnesota Orchestra Composer’s Institute.
Mark Campbell’s work as a librettist is at the forefront of this country’s contemporary opera scene. The more than twenty librettos he has written—including the five new operas he premiered in 2017—demonstrate a versatility in subject matter, style, and tone, an adeptness at creating successful work for both large and intimate venues. The names of his collaborators comprise a roster of the most eminent composers in classical music, and include three Pulitzer Prize winners.
Mark’s best-known work is Silent Night, which received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music and is one of the most frequently performed operas in recent history. After its premiere at Minnesota Opera, the work was broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances and continues to be produced by many opera companies around the country. His other successful operas include The Manchurian Candidate, The Inspector, Approaching Ali, and A Letter to East 11th Street., The Shining, Later the Same Evening, Volpone, Bastianello/Lucrezia, and As One (recently produced by Chicago Fringe Opera).
Mark has received many other prestigious prizes for his work, including a Grammy® nomination for Best Classical Recording, the first Kleban Foundation Award for Lyricist, two Richard Rodgers Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three Drama Desk nominations, a Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship, the first Dominic J. Pelliciotti Award, and a grant from the New York State Council of the Arts.
Mark is also an advocate for contemporary American opera and serves as a mentor for future generations of writers through such organizations as American Opera Projects, American Lyric Theatre, the University of Colorado's New Opera Workshop, Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative and Opera Philadelphia's Composer-in-Residence Program.
Mark’s premieres in 2017 were: Elizabeth Cree for Opera Philadelphia (Kevin Puts, composer), Dinner at Eight for Minnesota Opera (William Bolcom, composer), Some Light Emerges for Houston Grand Opera (Laura Kaminsky, composer; Kimberly Reed, co-librettist), The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare for Boston Lyric Opera (Julian Grant, composer) and The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs for Santa Fe Opera (Mason Bates, composer).
Regarded as a conductor of authority and warmth, Joseph Mechavich is known for his exceptional artistry and infectious energy which he brings to every performance as well as the personal and career-defining relationships he has forged with a number of opera companies and orchestras.
Of his Roméo et Juliette at Florida Grand Opera, the Palm Beach Artspaper extolled “One of the best things about this production is the conducting of Joseph Mechavich, who led the proceedings superbly. Tempos were beautifully judged, and the orchestra played wonderfully for him. You rarely hear this score with the kind of big-boned force with which Gounod wrote it, but Mechavich let it rip, with first rate results.”
Maestro Mechavich presided over Jake Heggie’s highly acclaimed opera, Moby-Dick, for both San Diego Opera and Calgary Opera as well as productions of The Barber of Seville for The Washington National Opera, Porgy and Bess for Deutsche Oper Berlin and Roméo et Juliette for Florida Grand Opera. Engagements for the 2013-2014 season included La bohème for Kentucky Opera, L’Incoronazione di Poppea for New England Conservatory of Music, Tosca for Dayton Opera, La traviata for The Florentine Opera and Madama Butterfly for Calgary Opera. Additional upcoming engagements for the 2014-15 season and beyond include a return to Calgary Opera for their production of Silent Night, Fidelio and A Street Car Named Desire for Kentucky Opera, a recording and performances of Wuthering Heights with Florentine Opera, Nixon in China for San Diego Opera and The Magic Flute for Opera Colorado.…
Critical acclaim abounds for Maestro Mechavich: “…Mechavich wrapped the whole performance in a kind of musically magic aura that resulted in one of the very best all-round productions ever…” Opera News (L’Elisir d’amore, Dayton Opera); “…Mechavich was in emotional sync with Gounod’s rich swelling melodies…” Sun-Sentinel (Roméo et Juliette, Florida Grand Opera). In past seasons he has conducted highly recognized productions for Calgary Opera, Utah Opera, The Aspen Music Festival, Tulsa Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Oberlin Opera Theatre, Opera Saratoga and Virginia Opera.
On the concert stage, Maestro Mechavich has appeared with the Florida Orchestra, The Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, Waterbury Symphony, Virginia Symphony and the Sarasota Orchestra. He has collaborated on ballet productions with the Orlando Ballet, Nutmeg Ballet (CT) and Sarasota Ballet.
In 2010, Maestro Mechavich was named Principal Conductor of Kentucky Opera. Previously, he held the position of Principal Conductor for Opera Birmingham from 2004-2010, Director of Music for Orlando Opera from 1998-2000 and Cover Conductor for The Santa Fe Opera from 2004-2007. A native of Long Lake, Minnesota, he studied at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the Yale University School of Music.
Michael Shell's "visionary" and "masterful storytelling" (Opera News) is steadily leading him to be one of the most sought after directors in the United States. His "thoughtful and detailed score study" (Opera Today) is shown in character development and relationships onstage as well as the complete visual world he creates.
Shell has directed productions for Atlanta Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Opera Omaha, Opera San Jose, Opera Tampa, Opera North, Virginia Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. He made his international directing debut at the Wexford Festival Opera in 2010 with a production of Winners, by American composer Richard Wargo and returned the next fall to direct Double Trouble – Trouble in Tahiti & The Telephone. He has written and directed three cabarets, including All About Love and The Glamorous Life - A group therapy session for Opera Singers, both for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
Shell holds a BM and MM in Music/Vocal Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He was a Corbett Scholar at The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, as well as studying Acting and Scene Study on a school awarded scholarship at the internationally renowned H.B. Studios in NYC. He has been a guest faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Florida State University and Webster University,St. Louis, teaching Opera Workshop and directing Undergraduate Opera Workshop performances. In addition he has been guest director at The A.J.Fletcher Opera Institute, Oklahoma University and is a frequent guest director at Indiana University.
A winner of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 2015 George London Award, 2015 Elizabeth Connell prize for aspiring dramatic sopranos, and recipient of a 2015 Sara Tucker Study Grant, soprano Julie Adams has been praised by the New York Times for possessing a voice that is “rich, full and slightly earthy in an expressive way.” The 2017 – 2018 season sees Ms. Adams return to San Francisco Opera as a guest artist in Francesca Zambello’s production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, singing Freia in Das Rheingold and Gerhilde in Die Walküre. Additional engagements include her house and role debut as Countess in The Marriage of Figaro at Michigan Opera Theatre, conducted by Stephen Lord and her house debut at Opera Idaho as Blanche in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire.
In the 2016 – 2017 season Ms. Adams returned to San Francisco Opera as Mimi in La Bohème, conducted by Carlo Montanaro, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Kristina in Makropulos Case, and covering Princess Jia in the world premiere of Dream of the Red Chamber. She also appeared as both Mimi in La Bohème and Anna Sørensen in Silent Night with Opera San Jose, of which Opera Today exclaimed “her rich, creamy, agile soprano was of the highest quality, the kind that prompts excited “who-is-she?” intermission chatter (and beyond).”
Highlights at San Francisco Opera include covering both Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the title role in Jenůfa, and singing First Lady in the Jun Kanako production of The Magic Flute, and Cesira in the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s La Ciociara. Highlights at other companies include her role debut as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire as part of the 2014 Merola Opera Program, Lia in Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Pamina in The Magic Flute at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and Magnolia Hawks in Show Boat and Rose in Street Scene with the Oakland East Bay Symphony. Additional roles include Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Blanche in Les Dialogues des Carmélites, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
On the recital stage Ms. Adams was featured as part of the Schwabacher Debut Recital series with John Churchwell, which the San Francisco Chronicle praised her “combination of plush tone and seeming effortless vocal power.”
Orchestral works include Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Contra Costa Wind Symphony, and a chamber concert with San Francisco Opera musicians as part of SF Opera Lab’s Chamberworks Concerts, with repertoire including Morgen! by Strauss, Previn’s Vocalise, Eternamente by Ponchielli, and Chausson’s Chanson Perpetuelle. Haydn’s Mass in C Major with Oakland East Bay Symphony, Brahm's Requiem and Vivaldi’s Gloria with Ventura College Orchestra, and a set of five Joseph Marx Lieder with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra.
A native of Burbank, California, Ms. Adams holds both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she was awarded the Phyllis C Wattis Memorial Scholarship.
Tenor Andrew Bidlack, a graduate of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Adler Fellowship, begins the 2014-15 season with a return to San Francisco Opera covering both Don Ramiro in La cenerentola and Emilio in Händel’s Partenope. Following this he will head to Dallas Opera to create the role of Rob Hall in Joby Talbot’s Everest, a new opera depicting the tragic disaster on Mt. Everest in 1996. An invitation from Greensboro Symphony takes him to North Carolina for Haydn’s Creation and he continues to Palm Beach Opera to sing Tonio in The Daughter of the Regiment.
Andrew returns to Dallas Opera in the Spring to sing the role of Almerik in Tchaikovsky’s rarely done Lolanta, and later goes to Bozeman to join Intermountain Opera for the role of Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. The summer will see him at Cincinnati Opera to sing Irving in Ricky Ian Gordon’s new opera, Morning Star.
The 2013-2014 season began with the New York Opera Society in a gala concert at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. He joined the cast of Die tote Stadt as Graf Albert at Dallas Opera, and made his role debut as Don Ramiro (La cenerentola) with Omaha Opera. He repeated La cenerentola at Intermountain Opera Bozeman, and later returned to Dallas for a recital at the Dallas Museum of Art with soprano Ava Pine. The summer saw him as Anatol in Vanessa and the title role in Romberg’s The Student Prince at the Utah Festival Opera.
His engagements in the 2012-2013 season included his role debut as Rodrigo in Rossini’s Otello with Opera Southwest, the tenor solos in Händel’s Messiah with The Lexington Philharmonic and a return to Florida Grand Opera as Tamino (The Magic Flute). He then appeared at Carnegie Hall and made his debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as the Young Collector in their production of A Streetcar Named Desire starring Renée Fleming. He finished the season performing Beppe in Donizetti’s rarely performed opera Rita with Rochester Lyric Opera.
Recent successes include Tonio (The Daughter of the Regiment) with PORTopera, as well as his Asian debut singing Damon (Acis and Galatea) with the Macau International Music Festival. He joined the roster of The Lyric Opera of Chicago for their production of Ariadne auf Naxos, and was featured as the tenor soloist in Carmina Burana with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Andreas Delfs. He finished the season with performances of Sandy in Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse at The Dallas Opera for the inception of their Chamber Opera Series.
Highlights of previous seasons include his New York City Opera debut as Baron Lummer in Strauss’ Intermezzo, concert performances as Gomatz (Zaide) with Musica Angelica and his return to Florida Grand Opera as Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni). He sang Count Almaviva (The Barber of Seville) at Florida Grand Opera, covers of Emilio in Händel’s Partenope at New York City Opera, as well as several performances of Nemorino (Elixir of Love) with Empire State Lyric Theater. In 2010 he made is South American debut as Oronte (Alcina) at Teatro Municipal de Santiago in Chile. At the Spoleto Festival in Italy, he appeared as A Guest in The Saint of Bleecker Street, which was recorded and released on the Chandos label.
A 2007 Merola Opera Program participant, Mr. Bidlack created the role of Charles Carter in the world premiere of Thomas Pasatieri’s The Hotel Casablanca. Later as an Adler Fellow, Mr. Bidlack made is San Francisco Opera debut in The Little Prince and went on to appear as Odoardo (Ariodante), Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Graf Albert (Die Tote Stadt), The Simpleton (Boris Godunov), Pedrillo (The Abduction from the Seraglio), Gastone (La traviata), and Ruiz (Il trovatore).
A frequent interpreter of new works by some of today’s most significant composers, Mr. Bidlack sang Ishmael in a workshop production of Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick with the San Francisco Opera and later workshopped the role of Tancreid in John Musto’s new opera The Inspector at Wolf Trap Opera.
Concert performances include the tenor solos in Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Mozart’s Requiem; he made his Carnegie Hall debut singing role of The Evangelist and the tenor solos in Bach’s Weihnachts Oratorium.
Selected by Florida Grand Opera, Mr. Bidlack was the recipient of the 2009-2010 Gilbert Artist Award, given to a former Young Artist who returned to sing a principle role in a main-stage production.
Baritone Joseph Lattanzi is gaining notice for his “robust vocalism,” “unmistakable charisma,” and “undeniable star potential.” This summer, Mr. Lattanzi will lead the world premiere cast of Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers at Cincinnati Opera after appearing with Jake Heggie in Opera America’s Creators in Concert series, previewing Fellow Travelers at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, and soloing in Carmina Burana with the Reno Philharmonic and at the Christ (Crystal) Cathedral.
During the 2015/16 season he joined Arizona Opera for performances as Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas, Moralès and Dancaïre in Carmen, and Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni. Lattanzi’s 2014/15 season began with a return home to debut with The Atlanta Opera as Yamadori in Madama Butterfly and included workshopping Jake Heggie’s new opera Great Scott, revisiting Fellow Travelers at the Opera America National Opera Center, soloing in Carmina Burana with the Chicago Sinfonietta, and performing Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. The 2013/14 season included his return to Seattle Opera in The Consul, a debut season with Cincinnati Opera in three roles, and an exciting international debut in Benjamin Britten's War Requiem with the Orchestra e Coro Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. Recently, Lattanzi garnered acclaim for his performances of Il Conte in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro led by Xian Zhang at San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program.
Equally at home in standard and new repertoire, Lattanzi has created roles in workshops of operas by Gregory Spears (Fellow Travelers), Jake Heggie (Great Scott), Daniel Catán (Meet John Doe), and Clint Borzoni (The Copper Queen). In the 2011/12 season, Mr. Lattanzi was recognized by Opera News Magazine for his "fresh, bright baritone voice" as Moralès in Bizet’s Carmen with Seattle Opera. As a member of Seattle Opera's Young Artist Program, he also performed the roles of Dr. Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and Albert in Massenet’s Werther.
Other stage credits include the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Papageno (The Magic Flute), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), and Man With a Shoe Sample Kit (Postcard from Morocco). The Mableton, GA native has studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). In addition to two summers at the Merola Opera Program, he has participated in programs at the Brevard Music Center and the Chautauqua Institute Voice Program.
Bass-baritone Kyle Albertson is renowned not only for his versatile voice, confidence, and style, but also for his ability to bring a character to life on stage. Recently, he has been making a foray into the works of Wagner, with a house début at Lyric Opera of Chicago for their production of Das Rheingold, plus role and house débuts as Donner in Minnesota Opera’s first production of Das Rheingold, in which he also covered Wotan. This season, Mr. Albertson will cover Wotan in San Francisco Opera’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen. Mr. Albertson will also sing Porthos in Les Trois Mousquetaires with Phoenicia Festival, JP Morgan in the world première of Tesla with SoBe Arts, DeGuiche in Cyrano with Opera Carolina, and Sam in Trouble in Tahiti with Opera Parallel at SFJazz.
Last season saw Mr. Albertson performing the roles of Lieutenant Horstmayer in Silent Night with Opera San José, Magnifico in La Cenerentola with El Paso Opera, and DeGuiche in Cyrano with Michigan Opera Theatre as well as a large number of débuts, including a role début of Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at Northern Lights Music Festival. Of his recent role début as Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Fort Worth Opera, The Dallas Morning News raved: “With a drop-dead gorgeous bass-baritone, Kyle Albertson is younger than the usual Dr. Bartolo, but he’s no less delightful an object of mockery. When he turns on his falsetto to demonstrate an aria from his youth, he sounds like the famously out-of-tune Florence Foster Jenkins.”
Additional recent operatic engagements include performances with The Metropolitan Opera as Masetto in Don Giovanni and for productions of Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, Dialogues des carmélites, The Merry Widow, and two productions of Manon; with Houston Grand Opera he performed the role of Sacristan in Tosca and Mr. Rodriguez in Past the Checkpoints; with Atlanta Opera, the Sergeant of Police in Pirates of Penzance; a Dallas Opera début as Zuniga in Carmen; Lyndon B. Johnson in the workshop of David T. Little’s opera JFK with Fort Worth Opera; a role début as the title role of Sweeney Todd with Syracuse Opera; the role of Rucker Lattimore in Cold Sassy Tree with Sugar Creek Opera Festival; and the roles of the Prison Warden in Dead Man Walking, Hobson in Peter Grimes, and the Duke in Roméo et Juliette all with Des Moines Metro Opera.
A sought-after concert artist, a few recent highlights of his concert career include a solo in Bruckner’s Te Deum with Houston Symphony; the bass solo in Verdi’s Requiem with The Händel Society of Dartmouth; Händel’s Messiah with Boise Philharmonic; Papageno in Boston Youth Symphony’s concert performance of Die Zauberflöte at Symphony Hall; a Carnegie Hall début in Rutter’s Mass of the Children and excerpts from Messiah; and a concert version of Der Rosenkavalier with Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony.
Earlier in his career, he made his début as Lescaut in Manon Lescaut with Opera Grand Rapids; his début with Austin Lyric Opera as Count Monterone in Rigoletto; and appeared with Glimmerglass Opera as Gus O’Neill in John Musto’s Later the Same Evening, in productions of Cherubini’s opéra comique Médée, and in the world première of A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck. Mr. Albertson enjoys a strong relationship with Chicago Opera Theater, having performed Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Henry Kissinger in Nixon in China, lauded by The Chicago Sun Times and The Chicago Tribune for his “watchful” and “effective” portrayal.
As an Apprentice Artist at Santa Fe Opera for two seasons, he appeared in productions of Les contes d’Hoffmann, La traviata, Le nozze di Figaro, Gluck’s Alceste, and the world première of Paul Moravec’s The Letter. Mr. Albertson is a graduate of the Resident Artist Program at Minnesota Opera. During his time there, he performed in Un ballo in maschera, L’italiana in Algeri, Roméo et Juliette, Les contes d’Hoffmann, Le nozze di Figaro, La donna del lago, and Lakmé, to which critics hailed “Kyle Albertson made an imposing Nilakantha, bringing life to a character that is barely two-dimensional.” With the Merola Opera Program, Mr. Albertson sang the role of Geronimo in Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto and as a member of the Aspen Opera Theater Center, Mr. Albertson performed Escamillo in Carmen, Besso in Giasone, Harašta in The Cunning Little Vixen, and Count Monterone in Rigoletto.
Mr. Albertson won Second Place in The Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, was a Finalist in the George London Foundation Competition, a Finalist in the Marcello Giordani Competition, a Finalist in the Liederkranz Competition, and a National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He holds a Master of Music degree from DePaul University where he studied with world renowned mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Northern Iowa where he studied with David Smalley. He is currently in the studio of Dr. Steven King.
In the spring of 2015, baritone Ricardo Rivera — who was a semi-finalist in the Met Opera National Council Auditions — made major debuts at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and San Diego Opera in the world premiere of El Pasado Nunca Se Termina, directed by Broadway and opera director Leonard Foglia, in the leading role of Acalán.
Upcoming engagements for Mr. Rivera, in the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 seasons, include performances with Opera San José as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor and as Lieutenant Audebert in Kevin Put’s Pulitzer Prize–winning opera Silent Night; as Escamillo in Carmen with El Paso Opera; of the Baritone Solos in both Des Knaben Wunderhorn and Fauré’s Requiem with the Pioneer Valley Symphony; and as Uncle John in Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath with Sugar Creek Opera.
Operatic performance highlights, of recent past seasons, include: Orsini in Rienzi and Mathieu in Andrea Chenier with the Opera Orchestra of NY in Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall; Moralès and Escamillo (cover) in Stephen Wadsworth's new production of Carmen, Thomas Martin and the Hotel Managers in the world premiere of Theodore Morrison's Oscar, and Germont (cover) in La traviata at Santa Fe Opera; Marcello in La bohème and Escamillo in Carmen with El Paso Opera; Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with the Opera Company of Middlebury; Thomas Martin and the Hotel Managers in Oscar with Opera Philadelphia; Le chat in L’enfant et les sortilèges and Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi at the Castleton Festival with the late conductor Lorin Maazel; Moralès in Carmen and Fiorello/L'Ufficiale in The Barber of Seville with Opera North; Ashby in La fanciulla del West with Knoxville Opera; and Corifeo in Jorge Liderman's opera Antigona Furiosa in Chicago with Contempo and members of the multi-Grammy Award–winning ensemble eighth blackbird.
Concert performance highlights include his Alice Tully Hall debut in an Eve Queler and Friends Concert with Eve Queler at the piano and his Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center debut in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Gala with Eve Queler conducting the Opera Orchestra of NY. Concert performance highlights of standard repertoire include the baritone solos in: Ein deutsches Requiem with both The New York Choral Society and The Westchester Chorale Society; Carmina Burana with Monmouth Civic Chorus; and Bach’s “Coffee Cantata” at the White Mountains Music Festival.
Mr. Rivera is a graduate of Mannes College the New School for Music where his B.M. M.M. and PDPL were conferred. As a Mannes Opera Young Artist, he performed the title role in Don Giovanni, Ford in Falstaff, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, and Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas. At Mannes, he was mentored by Met Opera conductor and Music Director at The Glimmerglass Festival, Joseph Colaneri and the great, late American mezzo-soprano Regina Resnik.
Mr. Rivera was an apprentice singer with Santa Fe Opera, a young artist with Opera North, and an Eva and Marc Stern Fellow at SongFest where he coached with Martin Katz, Graham Johnson, and composer Lori Laitman on her music. As an apprentice artist at Chautauqua Opera, he covered Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor; performed the Sergeant and covered Lescaut in Manon Lescaut; and performed in two concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.
In a review of Mr. Rivera's performance in Sophia Gubaidulina's Perception with multi-Grammy Award–winning ensembles eighth blackbird and the Pacifica Quartet, the Chicago Tribune declared him "amazingly precise of musical and verbal gesture." In continuation of his commitment to the vitality of contemporary music, Mr. Rivera performed Steven Stucky's Four poems of A.R. Ammons with the FLUX Quartet, the world premiere of Reinaldo Moya's Soliquio en las olas with the Arts Symphony Orchestra, and the world premiere of Aaron Dai's Con furia with the Chelsea Symphony. 21st-century operatic roles which have been composed for and have been performed by Mr. Rivera include leading roles in Robert Cuckson's A Night of Pity and Horace: a Portrait, Christopher Park's Phaedra and Hippolytus, Alexander Berezowsky's The Nine Billion Names of God, and Andrew McManus's Killing the Goat.
Mr. Rivera won 1st Prize in the Eastern Region of the 2012 Met Opera National Council Auditions (MONC) which led him to the semi-finals of that competition. He received two awards upon graduating from Mannes College: the Richard F. Gold Career Grant in 2008 and the Michael Sisca Opera Award in 2012. He was awarded 3rd Prize in the Gerda Lissner Competition, a Career Grant from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition, 1st and Audience Prizes in the NY Lyric Opera Competition, and Encouragement Awards from the Opera Index, Career Bridges, and Connecticut Opera Guild Competitions.
Bille Bruley, tenor, hails from Montgomery, Texas and is a recent graduate of the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied under Carol Vaness. He completed studies in Vocal Performance at Baylor University in 2014. The 2017/18 season will have Bille returning to Virginia Opera to complete his second year as an Emerging Artist. He will be singing several roles and performances with the company, including First Philistine in Samson et Dalila, Trin in La fanciulla del West, Flute in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor. He will also be joining the Baltimore Choral Arts as tenor soloist for Handel's Dixit Dominus under the baton of newly appointed Music Director, Anthony Blake Clark. The 2016/17 season found Bille singing the Father in The Seven Deadly Sins with Virginia Opera, singing the title role in Britten's Peter Grimes with Indiana University Opera Theater, and as tenor soloist in Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass under the baton of Joseph Flummerfelt. He was also the tenor soloist in another Haydn work, his Schopfungmesse in Indianapolis, before he joined the Winona Oratorio Chorus and Orchestra for a performance of Operatic and Oratorio favorites. Bille traveled to Michigan to be a Guest Artist with the Pine Mountain Music Festival right before returning to Central City Opera for performances as King Nebuchadnezzar in Britten's The Burning Fiery Furnace.
In the summer of 2016, He joined the Young Artist Program at the Glimmerglass Festival singing Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd and Giles Corey in The Crucible, while covering the role of Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd. He also sang Ferrando in Indiana University's Così fan tutte, had an appearance at the American Choral Director’s Association Regional Conference in Chicago with Indiana University's contemporary new music choral ensemble, NOTUS, sang a solo recital representing Indiana University at The John F. Kennedy Center, and summer engagements with The Glimmerglass Festival. In the 2015 season, Bille was an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera, singing The Tempter in Britten's The Prodigal Son, Gastone in Verdi's La Traviata, and covering the role of Sancho in Leigh's Man of La Mancha. He was awarded the Iris Henwood Richards Memorial Award by the Central City Opera House Association. Bille was also named Grand Prize Winner at The Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in Houston, TX, and was a Regional Finalist at the MONC Gulf Coast Regional Finals in 2014.
Mr. Bruley has participated in summer training and young artist programs, including most recently the Central City Opera as a member of the esteemed Bonfils-Stanton Young Artist Program. As a Studio Artist in 2014, he sang roles in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and participated in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, and Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. At the conclusion of the season, Mr. Bruley was awarded the Central City Opera Studio Artist Award. Other programs include the 2012 and 2013 Opera in the Ozarks Festival in Eureka Springs, AR. As an Apprentice Artist, he portrayed the roles of Frederic in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, and Goro in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. For his portrayal of Frederic, he was voted Best Leading Male Role by members of the company, faculty, and staff.
During his time at Baylor, Bille was a valued member of the Baylor Opera Theater, winning the Most Outstanding Baylor Opera Theater Member Award in 2012, and performing numerous roles such as The Defendant (Trial By Jury), Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw), Chevalier de la Force (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Donald Hopewell (Gallantry), and Basilio (he Marriage of Figaro), just to name a few. He also won the Thomas Stewart Award for Vocal Excellence from the Baylor University School of Music.
Mr. Bruley has participated in many state, regional, and national competitions, including most recently The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as mentioned previously, the Texoma NATS Competition where he won Second Place, and the MTNA State, Regional, and National Competitions where he won First Place, First Place, and Third Place, respectively. He was a finalist in the prestigious 2014 Dallas Opera Vocal Guild Competition, as well as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Lois Alba Aria Competition. He has also been a featured Soloist or Performer with many orchestras, symphonies, and ensembles in Texas, including The Waco Symphony, The Fort Worth Baroque Society, and The Texas Baroque Ensemble.
Bille currently resides between Norfolk, Virginia and Houston, Texas.
American tenor Brent Reilly Turner has been critically acclaimed across the United States. Turner’s appearances in opera, concert and recital have been characterized as having a full, dramatic timbre, energetic personality and unique honesty.
In 2015, Turner received 1st place honors at the 2nd Annual James Toland Competition in Oakland, CA. He also was named the Grand Prize winner at the 2015 New Jersey State Opera Competition held in Clifton, NJ. Turner received 3rd place honors at the 2015 National Opera Association Vocal Competition and was also awarded a coveted study grant from the Wagner Society of New York, recognizing him as an up-and-coming heldentenor.
Last year, Turner received the Grand Prize at the 2014 Peter Elvins Vocal Competition and the Grand Prize at the 2014 Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition hosted by Shreveport Opera. Turner received 2nd place honors at the 2014 Dallas Opera Guild Competition, and 3rd place in the 2014 Irma M. Cooper Competition hosted by Opera Columbus. Turner also took 1st place in the 2013 Orpheus Vocal Competition and 1st place in the 2013 Florida Suncoast Opera Guild Competition. Turner was an encouragement award recipient in the Wagner Division of the 2014 Gerda Lissner Vocal Competition in New York City.
Mr. Turner's Wagnerian repertoire includes roles such as Siegmund in Die Walkure, the title role of Lohengrin, Erik in Der Fliedende Hollander, and Froh/Loge in Das Rheingold. Other roles include Max in von Weber's Der Freischutz, Bacchus in R. Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, Florestan in Beethoven's Fidelio, Don Jose in Bizet's Carmen, Sam Polk in Floyd's Susannah, and Einsenstein in J. Strauss' Die Fledermaus.
Mr. Turner has participated with several major Young Artist and Apprentice Programs including Santa Fe Opera, Utah Opera, Tulsa Opera, Ash lawn Opera, Opera North, Opera Saratoga, Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Brevard Music Center, and V.O.I.C.Experience
Turner holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Stetson University and a Master of Music from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Though born in Singapore, Turner was raised in Oviedo, FL and considers himself a native Central Floridian.
American baritone, Jarrett Logan Porter, is second year Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist at Arizona Opera, and in the 2018/19 season will appear as Guglielmo in Cosí fan tutte, as Father Palmer in Kevin Puts' Pulitzer Prize winning opera Silent Night, as Antonio and the cover to il Conte Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, and Baron Douphol in La Traviata. In the 2017/18 season, he was seen as the title role in Hercules vs Vampires, as Sciarrone in Tosca, as Fiorello in The Barber of Seville, and as Maximilian/Captain in Candide. He joins The Santa Fe Opera in 2018 as a member of the company's Apprentice Program, singing Der Perückenmacher in Ariadne auf Naxos, and covering Maximilian/Captain in Candide. In Spring of 2018, he joins pianist Taylor Hutchinson in recital to present the duo's first full length Winterreise at Katzin Hall: Arizona State University. Jarrett has recently appeared as a Young Artist with The Glimmerglass Festival as Sam in Oklahoma!, and in Francesca Zambello's new production of Donizetti's rarely performed opera, The Siege of Calais.
As a passionate interpreter of new music, Porter was seen as Joses in San Francisco Opera's World Premiere of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Mark Adamo, and in 2016 as The Narcisisstic Ogre in the American Premiere of Philip Glass' The Witches of Venice at Opera Saratoga, where Opera News lauded him for his "imposing baritone." Later that season, Porter worked as part of the workshop premiere of Mason Bates' The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs for The Santa Fe Opera, and later he went on to make his American Lyric Theatre debut, creating the role of Tom in Theo Popov's and Tony Asaro’s concert premiere of The Halloween Tree at Merkin Hall in New York City. In 2017, he was the recipient of the inaugural Pankonin Art Song Award for his collaboration with composer Matthew Boehler and librettist Tony Asaro to create the new song-cycle: Passed, and has appeared in performance with Jake Heggie at the German Consulate of San Francisco in a program of Heggie’s newest endeavors, including selections from his chamber opera, Out of Darkness.
In January of 2017, Jarrett was a fellow at SongFest at the Hidden Valley Music Festival under the mentorship of Sir Thomas Allen and Graham Johnson. Alongside narration from Mr. Allen and Mr. Johnson, he made his National Public Radio debut with selections from Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise.
He is the 2017 Winner of the Pacific Music Society Competition, the Ellie Silver Award Winner at the 2017 Holt Competition, and the First Prize Winner of the inaugural Esther C. Weill Competition. Other role engagements have included the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, Le Chevalier des Grieux in Massenet’s Le Portrait de Manon, Sid in Albert Herring, Harry Easter in Street Scene, and Morales in Carmen. Porter is an Alumni of Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy (2014), and holds a BM from the Eastman School of Music (2015), and an MM from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2017) where he was a James Schwabacher Fellow. He is a student of César Ulloa.
American baritone Chad Sloan is recognized as much for his warm, elegant vocalism as he is for deft interpretations of diverse characters. In the 2012-2013, Chad performed Carmina Burana with Columbia Pro Cantare, Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium with Louisville Choral Arts Society, Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzer at Twickenham Music Festival, Britten’s War Requiem at Lawrence Conservatory and as baritone soloist in performances of Mozart, Beethoven and Bach with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. He also debuted with Opera Memphis in Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking. Performances for the 2013-2014 season include Carmina Burana with Fox Valley Symphony, Adario in Rameau’s Les Sauvages with Bourbon Baroque, joining the Louisville Orchestra for Portrait of Robert Schumann and an appearance with Eighth Blackbird.
In the 2011-2012 season, Mr. Sloan reprised his Prosdocimo in Rossini’s Il turco in Italia with Tacoma Opera, performed with the Lexington Philharmonic in Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem,Anchorage Opera as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music and joined Dayton Opera and the Bar Harbor Music Festival as Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette. He also covered the title role of Willy Wonka inThe Golden Ticket with Atlanta Opera and the role of Pluto in Telemann’s Orpheus for the New York City Opera. In the previous season, he returned to Kentucky Opera to debut his Belcore in Elexir of Love, to Utah Opera for John Brooke in Little Women and debuted with the Bar Harbor Music Festival as Figaro in The Barber of Seville.
A frequent collaborator of composer Ben Moore, he recently premiered his new song cycle, Ode to a Nightingale, in New York. Other recent performances include his portrayal of Herman in Moore’s new opera Enemies, A Love Story for Kentucky Opera, Papageno in The Magic Flute with the Atlanta Ballet, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro for Tacoma Opera, and Clyde Griffiths in the West Coast Premiere of An American Tragedy by Tobias Picker.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, Mr. Sloan is an active recitalist who recently performed a program responding to an installation of French Impressionism at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York. He has performed in concert with Steven Blier at Wolf Trap Opera in a program entitled The Pursuit of Love, and recently offered the world premiere of Kenji Bunch’s Dream Songs at Carnegie Hall.
Brandon Morales, Bass-Baritone, has performed with opera companies all over the US - stretching from the Pacific northwest’s Portland Opera to Virginia Opera on the East coast. Morales has recently completed two years with Virginia Opera’s Heardon Foundation Emerging Artist’s Program with highlights including Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jose Castro/Billy Jackrabbit in La Fanciulla del West, and the Mother in Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins.
A graduate of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, he has been highly active in the Ohio area performing with Dayton Opera, NANO Works, Cincinnati Chamber Opera, Queen City Chamber Opera, Cincinnati College-Conservatory, Cincinnati Opera, participated in Toledo Opera’s Resident Artist program, and performed the roles of Friedrich von Telramund in Lohengrin and the Dutchman in Die Fliegende Holländer in concert with the Wagner Society of Cincinnati, where he is a part of their blooming Wagner studio. A native of San Antonio, TX, Morales currently enjoys the vagabond life of performing, but misses his faithful cat, Elsie.
Praised by the Washington Post as having a voice of "unearthly power," The Houston Press as being a "blow away singer," and the San Jose Mercury News as a "natural comic actor," American bass, Nathan Stark, has performed on operatic, concert and recital stages throughout the United States, Europe and China.
Hailing from Hughson, California, Mr. Stark has performed with opera houses throughout the United States, including the Metropolitan Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Dayton Opera, Atlanta Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Virginia Opera and Arizona Opera, to name a few. Some of his noted operatic roles have included Mustafà in L'Italiana in Algeri, both Don Basilio and Don Bartolo in il Barbiere di Siviglia, both Leporello and il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, both Monterone and Sparafucile in Rigoletto, both Zuniga & Escamillo in Carmen, Colline in La Boheme, Banco in Macbeth and Bottom in A Midsummer's Night Dream. Equally comfortable on concert stage, he has performed concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, Canton Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Holland Symphony Orchestra and the Modesto Symphony Orchestra.
In the 2017-18 season, Mr. Stark makes company debuts as Banco in Verid's Macbeth with Opera San Antonio, Don Basilio in Rossini's il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Santa Barbara, The Judge in An American Solider with Opera Saint Louis, Colline in Puccini's La Boheme with Opera Orlando, Rocco in Beethoven's Fidelio with Boston Baroque, and returns to Opera San Jose for the United States premiere of Alma Deutscher's Cinderella. On the concert stage, he will also be performing the bass solos for the Verdi Requiem with the Dayton Philharmonic,Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Greenville Symphony.
Mr. Stark has given recitals throughout the United States and Germany, concerts at the Great Wall of China, the U.S. Colombian Embassy, U.S. French Embassy, the U.S. Austrian Embassy and the Washington National Cathedral. In 2005 he was chosen to be the featured soloist forthe nationally televised opening ceremonies of the Air Force One exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Library for former First Ladies, Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan, members of the United States Senate and Congress, and for, then President of the United States, George W. Bush
Mr. Stark has been a recipient of several vocal awards including the 2010 Fort Worth Opera Marguerite McCammon Competition, the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition, the Brentwood Artist of Tomorrow Competition, the Sun Valley Opera Competition, the Westwood Vocal Competition, the Burbank Aria Competition, first place winner of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Corbett Scholarship Opera Competition, the Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition, the Pasadena Opera Guild Competition, the Opera Buffs Competition, first place winner of the Classical Singers Association Vocal Competition in Los Angeles, and was the 2006 district winner of the Metropolitan Opera Vocal Competition, San Diego District.
He holds degrees in vocal & opera performance from California State University, Long Beach (B.M. & M.M.) and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (A.D.) His voice teachers have included Dr. Lewis Woodward, Dr. Cherrie Llewellyn, Ms. Shigemi Matsumoto, Ms. Marilyn Horne and Mr. Kenneth Shaw.
Originally from Vermont, Mezzo-Soprano Katherine Beck has been recognized for her unique timbre and honest performances throughout the east and west coasts in opera, concert, recital work and more. She has been applauded for her “Frederica von Stade-like shimmer” and “florid musicality” (The Daily Trojan) throughout her education and professional careers.
Having recently won Third Prize in the Met Council Audition's Western Region on January 14th 2018, Beck is continuing her work as a young artist with Opera Colorado in Denver, Colorado. During her time throughout the 2017/18 season, she will perform the title role in Cinderella in Opera Colorado’s outreach production. On the mainstage, she will premiere the role of Lisette in Gerald Cohen’s Steal A Pencil For Me. She will also perform the role of Meg Page in Falstaff in May.
Last June, Beck made her debut at Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops Orchestra in the world premiere of James Lapine’s Sondheim on Sondheim for symphony orchestra alongside four Tony-nominated artists, conducted by Keith Lockhart. She spent the remainder of the summer in Lenox, Massachusetts as a Vocal Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. Following Tanglewood, Beck returned to Los Angeles to perform the role of Mercedes in Carmen alongside Kelley O’Connor, Charles Castronovo and Rod Gilfry, conducted by Brent McMunn.
Favorite recent opera credits include the title role in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict and Sesto in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito, both at USC Thornton. Beck also received applause in the Pittsburgh media for another “Sesto” in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto with Pittsburgh Festival Opera in 2016.
Some of Beck’s most memorable concert work includes singing in recital alongside Stephanie Blythe and a performance of Respighi’s Il tramonto both at the Tanglewood Music Center, the mezzo solos Mozart’s Requiem with Scripps College and Orchestra in Claremont CA, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Williams College in Williamstown Massachusetts, and multiple solo performances in Los Angeles with USC Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and more. Other favorite recital work includes two recitals with dear friend, pianist and repiteteur, Jasper Jimenez.
Beck received her MM in Vocal Arts at USC Thornton with a Teaching Assistantship, during which she gained invaluable experience in private vocal instruction. She received her BM in Vocal Performance at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam in upstate New York.