Leigh Akin, Mezzo Soprano
Leigh Akin, Mezzo Soprano, received her Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in May of 2014 under the instruction of Tanya Kruse Ruck. She based her graduate studies around chamber and collaborative vocal music, performing as the Alto soloist of Brahms’ Zwei Gesänge and Bridge’s Three Songs for Mezzo Soprano and Viola with the Institute of Chamber Music. As a theatrical singer, Leigh has been called an "exquisite singer and actress", "dramatically energetic" and she takes great personal joy in the communicative power of music. In Fall of 2013, Leigh was awarded the "French Prize" for her performance of a French Aria while competing in the International Czech and Slovak Art Song Competition of Montreal, before which, she was the first place winner of the Concord Chamber Orchestra's Concerto Competition. Leigh performs regularly with Kalliope Vocal Arts of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Opera Theater, and is a member of the Vox 3 Vocal Collective of Chicago. Leigh has sung as the Alto soloist in works such as Bach's Magnificat, Handel's Messiah, Durufle's Requiem, and Mozart's Vesperae Solemnes. Her Opera Credits include Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte, The Albine in Thaïs and most recently La Tasse Chinoise in L'enfant et les Sortileges.
Emily Cox, Soprano
Emily Cox is a versatile performer who has been seen across the Midwest and Northern Colorado area. Ms. Cox has plentiful experience in musical theatre, opera and solo orchestral works. Her numerous roles in opera include Donna Elvira in UNC Opera's production of Don Giovanni, Despina in the Greeley Philharmonic's production of Cosi fan tutte, Nella in UNC's Gianni Schicci, Isabel in UNC's Pirates of Penzance, Contessa Almaviva in UE Opera's Le Nozze di Figaro, and Marianne in UE Opera’s Tartuffe. An enthusiastic supporter of new music, Emily was deeply involved in the world premiere of local composer Previn Hudetz's opera Salem: 1692, in correlation with the Fort Collins Art Commission and the Bas Bleu Theater. Ms Cox directed, produced and starred as Margaret Scott in this production, and was deeply honored to be a part of it. Ms. Cox holds a Masters of Music from the University of Northern Colorado and Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Evansville; she graduated from both establishments with honors. She is currently a student of Ms. Julia Faulkner.
Lauren Decker, Mezzo Soprano
Holly Flack, Soprano
Holly Flack is a coloratura soprano with a tessitura that extends to the C sharp above high C. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she holds a Bachelors degree in Vocal Performance from St. Olaf College, and a Masters degree in Vocal Performance from The University of Kentucky, where she studied with Cynthia Lawrence.
Holly has been performing in productions from a young age. Her roles include Serpetta in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, Despina in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Gretel in Offenbach’s Christopher Columbus, cover for Adele and Ida in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Peep-Bo in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, and Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute. She has also participated in productions presented by the Bel Canto Opera Festival, Astoria Opera Festival, and Operafestival di Roma. She recently made her debut at the Trentino Music Festival in Mezzano, Italy where she sang the role of the Vixen in Leos Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen.
In the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she was a 2010 winner in the Kentucky District, after receiving the 2009 Encouragement Award, a 2012 winner in the Wisconsin District, and a 2014 Encouragement Award recipient in the Iowa District. Holly currently lives in Chicago. She can be found online at www.hollyflack.com.
Kathryn Henry, Soprano
Kathryn Henry, Soprano, is a senior pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in vocal performance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, studying with Tanya Kruse Ruck. Ms.Henry recently won first place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Student Auditions in the Upper College Women category at the Wisconsin, North Central Region, and National levels of the competition. Her roles include Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Clarina in Rossini’s La cambiale di matrimonio, and most recently L’Ecureuil in Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges. In future opera scene programs, she will perform the roles of Rusalka in Dvorak’s Rusalka, Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo, Rachel in Halvey’s La Juive, and Ariadne in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. Currently, Ms.Henry is preparing for the role of Suor Angelica in UW-Milwaukee’s Opera production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica, as well as competitions and auditions throughout the 2014-2015 year.
Nathaniel Hill, Barione
Valeria Kishkunis, Soprano
Valeria Kishkunas, soprano, recently completed her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Northern Iowa where she studied with Professor Jeffrey Brich and Dr. Korey Barrett. She received an Encouragement Award at the Wisconsin district level of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2013, and she has also been a winner at the Iowa NATS Competition, as well as a finalist in the Schubert Club Competition in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 2013 Valeria had her role debut as Donna Anna (Mozart’s Don Giovanni) with the Toronto Summer Opera Workshop and has performed with the UNI Opera Ensemble most recently as Königin der Nacht (Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte) and Manja (Kálmán’s Gräfin Mariza). While at UNI, she also performed in scene concerts as Ariadne (Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos), Elisabeth (Wagner’s Tannhäuser) and Vitellia (Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito). Valeria participated in the Cedar Rapids Opera Young Artist Program for two seasons, where she performed the role of Mother in a production of Little Red Riding Hood’s Most Unusual Day. This fall she will perform Mimi (Puccini’s La Bohème) at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Valeria currently studies with Julia Faulkner.
Lindsey Metzger, Mezzo Soprano
Mezzo Soprano Lindsay Metzger, hails from the Chicagoland
area. She most recently finished her second summer with Des
Moines Metro Opera as an Apprentice Artist. For the 2014/2015
season, you can find Lindsay in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she
is a studio artist with the Florentine Opera. She will perform the
role of Giannetta in Florentine’s production of L’elisir d’amore in 2015. She is thrilled to be a new member of the Ryan Opera Center with the Lyric Opera of Chicago starting in the 2015/16 season. Some of her recent roles include: Flora Bervoix cover in Verdi’s La Traviata, Béatrice in Berlioz’ Béatrice et Bénédict,
Ariodante in Händel’s Ariodante, Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze
di Figaro, and Beppe in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz, and Angelina in
Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Opera in
the neighborhood. A featured soloist in Chicago, Lindsay debuted
with the Grant Park Symphony as the soprano soloist in Fauré’s
Requiem. Lindsay was recently awarded the Paul Collins
Fellowship from University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Virginia
Cooper Meier Award from the Musician’s Club of Women, and an
Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National
Caitlin Ruby Miller, Soprano
Soprano Caitlin Ruby Miller is currently under the tutelage of Julia Faulkner, teacher at the Ryan Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Caitlin graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison this spring with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Caitlin won at the Wisconsin district level of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions last year at the youngest age allowed, 21 years old. She most recently performed Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodante and received praise, "Miller was the star throughout the afternoon… a stretch of truly riveting singing.” Caitlin sang the principal role of the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro in Italy last summer under the baton of Maestro Joseph Rescigno and the direction of Candace Evans. She started her operatic career her sophomore year as Musetta in La Boheme with UW Opera. Caitlin’s additional scene and role studies include: Micaëla in Carmen Arabella in Struass’s Arabella Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito, the title role in Louise, Liu in Turandot, Manon in Massenet’s Manon, and Violetta in La Traviata. Caitlin looks forward to the next steps in pursuing her passion for opera. Learn more about her by visiting caitlinrubymiller.com.
Allison Nicholas, Soprano
Hailed as “sensitive” ( New York Times) and an “elegant… standout” ( Opera News), Canadian-American Soprano Allison Nicholas recently received her Masters in Music from the Manhattan School of Music. During her time there, she had the pleasure of performing in Hänsel ind Gretel (Sandmann), Thaïs (Crobyle) and Franz Schubert’s Die Verschwörenen (Helene). Previous role highlights include Così fan Tutte (Despina), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Tytania) and Suor Angelica (Suor Genovieffa). Allison is the recipient of the Dorothy Duff Moores Memorial Scholarship and the Jerret Memorial Scholarship for most promising vocal student. This season, Allison will be making her Chicago Debut with Chicago Fringe Opera in The Rape of Lucretia (Lucia) before appearing as a soloist with Shallaway Youth in Chorus in St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada.
Clarissa Parrish, Mezzo Soprano
Mezzo-Soprano Clarissa Parrish, a native of Sterling, Virginia, is a graduate of both Manhattan School of Music and James Madison University. Her opera credits include Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Nicklausse-cover) with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, Thaïs (Albine), Hansel and Gretel (The Witch) with Manhattan School of Music, Faust (Marthe Schwerlein) and Lucia di Lammermoor (Alisa) with Thomas Muraco’s Opera Repertory Ensemble, Die Zauberflöte (Dritte Dame) with Mittelsächsisches Theater, Hänsel und Gretel (Getrud, die Mutter) with Luray Opera Theater and The Medium (Mrs. Nolan) with James Madison University Opera Theater. Her scene work includes Albert Herring (Mum) with Manhattan School of Music, Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Nicklausse) and Carmen (Carmen) with James Madison University Opera Theater. As a concert singer, Miss Parrish has performed as a soloist in Elijah with the Theater Plauen Zwickau, Weber’s Messe in G-Dur, Messiah (Part I) and Vaughan William’s Serenade to Music (at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater) with James Madison University.
Joseph Riggenbach, Baritone
Austin Sanders, Baritone
Aaron Short, Tenor
Tenor Aaron Short, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, is a graduate of
Wichita State University and Manhattan School of Music, and will
soon begin his second year as a Studio Artist with the Florentine
Opera, where he will sing Steersman (The Flying Dutchman) and
Lockwood (Wuthering Heights) in the upcoming 2014-2015 season.
Mr. Short spent the summer of 2014 at The Santa Fe Opera as an
Apprentice Artist, covering and singing the role of First Prisoner in
Fidelio. He has also been a Young Artist with Chautauqua Opera,
Wolf Trap Opera, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, and Opera in the
Ozarks. At Manhattan School, Aaron sang Bégearss (The Ghosts of
Versailles), Nicias (Thaïs), and Jimmy Mahoney (Aufstieg und Fall
der Stadt Mahagonny), for which the New York Times praised him for
his "simultaneously subtle and shattering performance." Other opera
credits include Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Don Ottavio (Don
Giovanni), Des Grieux (Manon) and the title roles in Faust and Albert
Herring. He was the recipient of the Singer of the Year award at the
NATS Regional Competition (2010), a two-time finalist at the Naftzger
Young Artist Competition sponsored by the Wichita Symphony
Orchestra, and was recently granted an Encouragement Award at the
Milwaukee District Met Competition.
Dana Vetter, Soprano
Nicolas J. Ward, Baritone
Baritone Nicholas Ward has been hailed as a performer of “engaging, commanding ease” and “noteworthy drama,” (annarbor.com). The young performer is quickly becoming known for his versatility, swift comic timing, and his warm and expressive voice.
This past summer, Nicholas was an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera in Colorado. He performed the role of Boy 2 in Trouble in Tahiti and covered the roles of Owen Hart in Dead Man Walking and Uncle Max in The Sound of Music. Prior to his apprenticeship, he was a member of Toledo Opera’s Resident Artist Program, appearing as Ko-Ko in The Mikado as a part of the Opera on Wheels tour. He is a passionate stage performer in both opera and musical theater. Recent role engagements include the Backwoodsman in Show Boat, Il Conte in Le Nozze di Figaro, Mr. Jones in Street Scene, and the Usher in Trial By Jury. Current season highlights include appearances with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus, a touring production of Beauty and the Beast with Opera for the Young, and the bass solo in the Mozart Coronation Mass with the Rochester Symphony in Michigan.
Nicholas is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Cincinnati-CCM. He has been distinguished as an award winner from the Opera Guild of Dayton, FAVA’s Grand Concours de Chant, Central City Opera, and the Ohio District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He has also participated in the young artist programs of Opera Saratoga and the Seagle Music Colony. He is a native of Pontiac, Michigan and happily makes his home in Chicago, Illinois.
Curtis Bannister, Tenor
Katherine Carroll, Mezzo Soprano
Jonathan Dauermann, Bass
Jonathan Dauermann is a rising performer whose singing career has already taken him around the world. This past summer, he made his Canadian debut with the Opera on the Avalon festival in St. John’s, Newfoundland as Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Later, he debuted with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble appearing as Bardolf in Salieri’s Falstaff and covering Banco in Verdi’s Macbeth. Earlier this season, he appeared with Regina Opera as Sparafucile in Rigoletto (where critics praised him as having “subterranean notes. His resonant basso… [was] perfect.”) and made debuts with Bronx Opera, Utopia Opera, and enCANTA Collective. A graduate of San Francisco State University, Mr. Dauermann was honored as a Hood Recipient, the highest graduating honor bestowed by the school; Mr. Dauermann has also studied at the Trossingen Hochschule für Musik in Germany. Future performances include his debut with the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera as Alcindoro in La Boheme, his return to Regina Opera as Tom in Un ballo in maschera, and his role debut as Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the New York Opera Forum. For further information on Mr. Dauermann’s engagements, please visit www.jonathandauermann.com.
Kaleigh Rae Gamaché, Soprano
Zachary Eric Glaeser, Tenor
Rachel Eve Holmes, Soprano
Rachel Eve Holmes is an exciting young soprano, recently described as, "expressive and subtle, with a stunning instrument." (Cap Times) A Georgia native, Holmes' performing career has taken her to Bruges, Belgium; Shanghai, China; Novafeltria, Italy, as well as all over the United States.
Rachel Eve has performed with Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Opera Fort Collins, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Intermezzo Festival, Opera for the Young, La Musica Lirica, Loveland Opera Theatre, Fort Collins Symphony, Fresco Opera Theatre, The Ralph Opera Center, and The New England Conservatory Undergraduate Opera Studio. Favorite Roles include Rosina, Frasquita, Pamina, Susanna, Marzeline, Beth March, L'Enfant, Papagena, and Mimi.
Career highlights include singing Beth March in Mark Adamo's Little Women in Belgium, a European Premiere in which Adamo assisted with the production; performing at Carnegie Hall as a result of winning the Associated Music Teachers of New York's Weill Hall Young Musicians Concert competition, as well as being named winner of the Wisconsin Public Radio's Neale Silva Competition, a distinction which lead to her performing in recital twice on WPR, as well as in recital at the Green Lake Music Festival.
Rachel Eve is also a champion of the musical theatre genre, and loves "crossing over" whenever she possibly can! Recent roles include Cosette (Les Miserables) and Charlotte (A Little Night Music) with Four Seasons Theatre, Tzeitel (Fiddler on the Roof) with Children's Theater Madison, Linda Porter (Red, Hot, & Cole) with Madison Theatre Guild (for which she received a nomination from the Bartell Theatre Awards for Best Actress in a Musical) and most recently Luisa (The Fantasticks) with Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh.
Andrew Kroes, Bass-Baritone
Anna Laurenzo, Mezzo Soprano
Ms. Laurenzo joins Madison Opera as a Studio Artist for the 2014-15 season. There, she will sing in the ensemble, cover Mrs. Lovett and Beggar Woman (Sweeney Todd), and cover Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia).
Other upcoming performances include a September appearance with Madison Symphony and Madison Opera in the American Kaleidoscope concert, as well as a March company debut with Haymarket Opera Company as Pedrillo in Telemann's Don Quixote.
In 2014, Ms. Laurenzo was named a finalist in the Schubert Club Competition in St. Paul, MN, and received an Artist Grant from the organization. She joined Minneapolis company Metamorphosis Opera Theater for their inaugural production as Farnace (Mitridate, re di Ponto). In two seasons as a Young Artist at Seagle Music Colony, she was seen in the roles of as Isabella in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri, Mrs. Jones (Street Scene), Filipyevna (Eugene Onegin), and covered Olga (Eugene Onegin).
Anna is a graduate of the Master's Vocal Performance program at Florida State University. There, she was seen in the mainstage performances as Loma Williams in Carlisle Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree and Olga (Eugene Onegin). Ms. Laurenzo received her B.M. in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Andrew Marks Maughan, Tenor
Julianne Grace Park, Soprano
Julianne Grace Olson, a soprano from the foothills of Mt. Baker, Washington, has made appearances worldwide as an opera singer. Miss Olson’s stages range from the United Nations in NYC, to Banquets of the Ambassadors of Kosovo, Albania, and Kyrgyzstan, to a solo tour in China (including a performance for the former Prime Minister), to The Mezzo International Television Competition in Hungary. In 2015, she will do a duet tour in South Korea and will also appear as a guest soloist with the Abu Dhabi National Orchestra.
In NYC, Julianne enjoyed performing Cho-Cho Son in Madame Butterfly, Mimi in La Boheme and understudied Musetta at Lincoln Center, Rose Theater. Some other roles/partial roles include Tatiana, Violetta, Pamina, Sung Ba, and Antonia in Tales of Hoffman.
This winter, Julianne is excited to join the roster with Lyric Opera Unlimited in the world premiere of The Property! Julianne served for 2 years as a project leader with Sing for Hope NYC and her outreach in music extends to villages in Malawi and Mozambique, Africa with World View International. Julianne holds three degrees from Boston Conservatory, New Jersey City University, and Indiana University. Privately, she studies with Kevin and Heidi Grant Murphy.
Ted Pickell, Baritone
Emily Roach, Soprano
Alexandra Schiano, Soprano
Catheryne Shuman, Soprano
Pablo Siqueiros, Baritone
Clarisse Tobia, Soprano
Clarisse Tobia, soprano, recently graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance where she studied with Dr. Sam Scifres. Her roles while at Wesleyan included Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Miss Titmouse in Penhorwood's Too Many Sopranos, and Rosalinde in Strauss' Die Fledermaus. Miss Tobia is also a talented composer and has premiered many works regionally. She is currently interning with Fresco Opera Theatre in Madison, WI, where she made her professional debut this summer in the world premiere of Convenience. She is currently studying with Dr. Melanie Cain in preparation for graduate auditions and future engagements.
Alexander York, Baritone
Baritone Alexander York, from Muskego, Wisconsin, is just beginning his master’s degree at Northwestern University under the tutelage of W. Stephen Smith. He is a graduate of the studio of Steven Paul Spears at Lawrence University, where he sang Sid in Britten’s Albert Herring, Harry Easter in Weill’s Street Scene, and Cinderella’s Prince in Sondheim’s Into the Woods. York has attended the Oberlin in Italy summer program as a Concert Artist and the Aspen Opera Theatre Center, where he appeared as Papageno in several scenes programs and covered the role of Maximillian in Bernstein’s Candide. Most recently, he sang the role of Belcore in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore in Novafeltria, Italy at the La musica lirica program. York has been seen masterclass with Maestro Alberto Zedda, Joan Patenaud-Yarnell, Dale Duesing, and Lucy Shelton. This year at Northwestern, York will be making the Chicago debut of Joseph DeRocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, as well as playing the character of Artemis Overtop in a modern take on Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor.