Marysa Abbas, Mezzo-Soprano
Marysa Abbas is a Minnesotan mezzo-soprano based in Chicago. A passionate performer of new works, Ms. Abbas recently premiered the role of Mrs. Darling in the world premiere of Ross
Crean’s Lost Daughters . In Chicago, she’s performed: Grace Ansley in Roman Fever , Miss Manners in Miss Manners on Music, Virginia Woolf in Dominick Argento's From the Diary of Virginia Woolf, and the role of Trevor in the World Premiere recording of Ross Crean’s The Great God Pan. She recently performed the role of Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte , and was a young artist at Sugar Creek Opera for The Grapes of Wrath. Her Bachelor of Music is in Vocal Performance, from Viterbo University under the tutelage of
Jean Saladino. She completed her Master of Music in Opera Performance at Wichita State University, where she studied with Deborah Baxter. She’s studied privately with Jean del Santo, Karen Brunssen, and Julie Miller.
Rachel Blaustein, Soprano
Hailing from Olney, MD, Soprano Rachel Blaustein is currently in residence with the Florentine Opera Company as the soprano studio artist for the 2017-2018 season. With Florentine, Rachel will be seen as Papagena in The Magic Flute, Miss Frayne in Prince of Players, among other roles throughout the season. Earlier this year, Rachel was a studio artist with Kentucky Opera singing Peep-Bo in The Mikado and she made her debut with Fort Worth Opera in their Frontiers Showcase. In the 2015-2016 season, Rachel was a studio artist with Opera Santa Barbara and returned to Des Moines Metro Opera for her second season. Previously, Rachel was a studio artist with Chautauqua Opera and has won awards from The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as well as the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition and Partners for the Arts, Inc. She holds degrees from The Peabody Conservatory and Hofstra University.
Wesley Dunnagan, Tenor
Tenor Wesley Dunnagan has performed in the U.S and abroad. His opera appearances include Falstaff (Dr. Cajus), Così fan tutte (Ferrando), Der Schauspieldirektor (Vogelsang), Gianni Schicchi (Rinuccio), Henry Cowell’s The Commission (Jonathan), and the premiere of Giancarlo Aquilanti’s First Night at the Opera. Concert appearances include Mendelssohn’s Elijah with baritone Nathan Gunn in the title role, Handel’s Messiah, La resurrezione, and Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day, Mozart’s Great Mass K. 427, Vesperae solennes de confessore K. 339, Coronation Mass K. 317, and Missa Brevis in C-major K. 259, Haydn’s Nelsonmesse, and Copland’s The Tender Land Opera Suite. A passionate recitalist, he excels in diverse art song repertoire. A current DMA student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wesley holds degrees in German Studies and Music from Stanford University and a Master of Sacred Music from the University of Notre Dame.
Lydia Rose Eiche, Soprano
Praised for her “pinpoint security,” “handsome tone,” and “impressive purity,” the “dazzlingly appealing” Lydia Rose Eiche has sung as soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and in opera productions at the University of Wisconsin and Southern Illinois University. Her roles include Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Dalinda in Handel’s Ariodante, and the title role in John Duke’s comic one-act Captain Lovelock. In addition, she sang Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at Opera Orvieto, in Italy and the Miami Music Festival. Her awards include the John David Anello Sr. & Albert A. Silverman Memorial Scholarship from the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee, First Place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Auditions, Wisconsin and Illinois Chapters, an Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions - Wisconsin District, and First Place in the NATS National Student Auditions. Lydia is currently studying at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music with Marlee Sabo. www.lydiaroseeiche.com
Maura Grace, Soprano
Soprano Maura Grace is a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin and thrilled to return for MONC. Upon moving to New York, she most recently sang the Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflote with the Manhattan Opera Studio. Other credits include Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre: Olympia, Pinocchio; Chorus, Pagliacci, and Cavalleria Rusticana. Wichita Grand Opera: Isabel, Pirates of Penzance. OU Opera: Lauretta, Gianni Schicchi; Madame Hertz, Der Schauspieldirektor; Chorus, Eugene Onegin; Lady, The Conspirators. Drake University: Peep-Bo, The Mikado; Fredrika, A Little Night Music; Estella, West Side Story; Lois, A Chorus Line. Tuscia Opera Festival: Chorus, L’Elisir D’Amore. Ms. Grace has performed internationally throughout Italy and China. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Drake University and a Master of Music in Opera Performance from The University of Oklahoma. Ms. Grace currently studies with Dr. Robert C. White at The Juilliard School. www.mauragrace.com
Nathan Hill, Baritone
Baritone Nathaniel Hill is excited to join Florentine Opera as a Studio Artist for the 2017-2018 season, appearing in The Merry Widow, Venus & Adonis/Dido & Aeneas, The Prince of Players, and The Magic Flute. Most recently, Nathaniel performed the role of Guildenstern in the piano-vocal premier of Herschel Garfein’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at the Seagle Music Colony. Earlier this year, he performed in Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s productions of Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, and Speed Dating Tonight. Nathaniel spent three summers at the Aspen Music Festival, singing Breedley in Bolcom’s A Wedding, Grégorio in Roméo et Juliette and covering Marcello in La bohème. Nathaniel was also a Studio Artist at Madison Opera for their 2015-2016 season, appearing in La bohème, Little Women, and The Tales of Hoffmann. He received his education at Indiana University (B.M.), and Northwestern University (M.M.).
Samantha Lax, Soprano
A New Jersey native, soprano Samantha Lax has received praise for her vivid character portrayals and lovely voice in contemporary opera as well as Mozart classics. Opera credits include the south Florida premiere of Dead Man Walking as Jade Boucher, Adele (Die Fledermaus), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring), Monica (The Medium), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Antonia (Les contes d’Hoffmann), and Cobweb (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Later this season, Samantha is scheduled to appear as Zweiter Knabe and cover Pamina in St. Petersburg Opera’s production of Die Zauberflöte. Samantha made her professional debut with Indianapolis Opera as Maria Bertram in Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park. While at Indianapolis Opera, she toured with the resident artist company and performed the children’s opera, Pinocchio as the Blue Fairy and wind-up doll Olympia. Samantha received her Master of Music from New England Conservatory and her Bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir College.
Mary Martin, Soprano
Known for her “brilliantly clear, highly refined soprano voice,” soprano Mary Martin is excited to participate in this year’s MONC competition. With Opera MODO: Nannetta (Falstaff), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Zerlina (Don Giovanni). She frequently performs with Michigan Opera Theater Outreach. She received BM and MM degrees from the University of Michigan. University credits include: Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Nannetta (Falstaff), Amy (Little Women), the Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), and Fire (L’Enfant et les Sortilèges). With Brevard: Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), First Spirit (Die Zauberflöte), Olympia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann). She has also sung with Central City Opera, the Midland Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Opera Theater, the Livingston Symphony Orchestra, the Michigan Pops, the Saginaw Choral Society, Victor Herbert Society, and the Community Chorus of Detroit. Her proudest credit is “The Star-Spangled Banner” for President Obama and a crowd of approximately 85,000 for the University of Michigan Commencement.
Quinn Middleman, Mezzo-Soprano
Mezzo-soprano Quinn Middleman is currently a Young Artist with Chicago Opera Theater (COT). Recent Engagements include covering Dorabella in Così fan tutte and performing Entertainer in Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace with Central City Opera, where she received the John & Ginny Starkey Award for an outstanding young artist. This year, Quinn debuts with Haymarket Opera in the role of Songe in Ariane et Bachus , sings the role of Mother in Stravinsky’s Mavra with OperaFest at Roosevelt University, and performs the role of Doris in the Chicago premiere of Kevin Puts’ Elizabeth Cree with COT. In the 2016-2017 season, Quinn appeared with COT in Le vin herbé , Fairy Queen , and The Perfect American , and performed with Long Beach Opera in Fairy Queen . She appeared in recital as a recipient of the Musician’s Club of Women Farwell Trust Award , and performed the alto solos in Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s Elijah . Quinn’s education includes the apprentice program at Central City Opera, two summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, a master’s degree from Northwestern University, Bachelor’s degrees in Oboe Performance and Vocal Arts from University of Southern California, a fellowship with SongFest@Colburn, and a summer with Aspen Music Festival. She currently studies with Judith Haddon.
Anna M. Polum, Soprano
Anna Polum holds degrees from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in Music Education and Voice Performance and University of Wisconsin–Madison in Voice Performance (MM). Ms. Polum has placed 1st and 2nd at numerous NATS competitions in both Alaska and Wisconsin. She was selected as the 2014/2015 Opera Fairbanks Young Artist Apprentice by the Metropolitan Opera's conductor Gregory Buchalter and sang the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel. At UW-Madison, she performed Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro and Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw with University Opera. Last season she covered roles with Madison Opera such as Juliet in Roméo and Juliet, Chan Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and sang Papagena in the same production. She sang the Soprano Solo in Brahm’s German Requiem with the Madison Symphony Chorus & Leipzig Symphony Orchestra in the spring of 2017. This season she rejoins Madison Opera as their 2017-18 Soprano Studio Artist, singing Frasquita in Carmen and covering roles such as Micaela in Carmen, Konstanze in Die Entfürung aus dem Serail, and Florencia in Florencia en el Amazonas.
Leo Radosavljevic, Bass-Baritone
Recent Third-Prize Winner of the International Klaudia Taev Competition in Estonia, Bass-Baritone Leo Radosavljevic is making a name for himself as a unique performer in the world of opera. Born in Chicago Illinois, Leo spent his childhood playing piano and singing in the children's chorus at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where his love for opera first began. He attended Juilliard from 2007-2013, receiving both BM and MM degrees in voice under Dr. Robert C. White. While at Juilliard, he sang several operatic roles including Bottom in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Simone in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Tobia Mill in Rossini's La Cambiale di Matrimonio, and Willi Graf in the U.S. premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Kommilitonen!. Since his time at Juilliard, Leo has performed around Europe and the United States, most recently as Don Alfonso in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, and as soloist with Juilliard 415, in their west coast tour and Canadian Broadcasting Company recording of Telemann's rarely heard Die Tageszeiten. Leo currently resides in Wilmette, Illinois, and is continuing his vocal studies with Julia Faulkner.
Mikaela Schneider, Soprano
Mikaela Schneider, soprano, recently made her Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2017 singing Adele in an abridged version of Die Fledermaus with New York Lyric Opera Theatre’s Summer Program. During her time there, she also performed the role of La Fée in a concert version of Massenet’s Cendrillon. Mikaela received her undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where she performed the roles of First Spirit in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Sister Catherine in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. Mikaela sang the role of Emmie in Britten’s Albert Herring with Florentine Opera. She has sung as a soloist under the baton of the late Marvin Hamlisch in Holiday Pops concerts with the National Symphony at the John F. Kennedy Center Concert Hall, the Dallas Symphony, and the Milwaukee Symphony. Mikaela was also child soloist in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Milwaukee Symphony under Andreas Delfs.
Patrick Dean Shelton, Tenor
Emily Triebold, Mezzo-Soprano
Mezzo-Soprano Emily Triebold is a native of Middleton, Wisconsin. She holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (BM) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (MM) where she performed the roles of Meg in Little Women and Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Emily also appeared on stage in Des Moines Metro Opera's 2017 Summer Festival Season as an Apprentice Artist and as Malla in their production of A Little Night Music. In 2016, Emily was selected by composer Z. Randall Stroope as the Alto Soloist for his American Rhapsody which was performed under his baton at Carnegie Hall. Her awards include First Place in the West Central NATS Auditions, First Prize in the Great Composers Competition: Best Brahms Performance, and National Semi-finalist in the NATS Artist Awards Competition.
Katie Anderson, Soprano
Katie Anderson is a soprano from Waupaca, Wisconsin and is an active singer and teacher in the Madison, Wisconsin area. She received a BM in Voice Performance from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point where she performed numerous operatic roles, including Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Fire in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges. Katie is currently working on her Master’s in Music in Voice Performance at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, studying under Mimmi Fulmer. She was most recently seen performing the role of The Governess in the University Opera’s production of The Turn of the Screw. This Spring, she will play the role of Musetta in La bohème with UW Opera.
Matt Chastain, Baritone
Originally from Vernon, New Jersey, Matt Chastain is a baritone with a "commanding voice and presence that bodes well for an opera career" (Worcester Telegram). Since receiving a Bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Matt has relocated to Madison, Wisconsin to begin his Graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Some of Matt’s past roles include The Pirate King in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, Bob in Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief, and Sempronio in Haydn’s Der Apotheker, plus partial performances of Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Silvio in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, and Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. He was also the winner of the Rhode Island Civic Chorale & Orchestra’s 9th annual Collegiate Vocal Competition in 2016. In February 2018, Matt will be taking on the role of Marcello in Puccini’s La bohème with the UW-Madison Opera.
Madeline Ehlinger, Soprano
Madeline Ehlinger is a soprano born in Spring Green, Wisconsin. She is currently living in Chicago while completing her undergraduate degree in vocal performance at DePaul University, where she has performed the roles of Rose Maurrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Poppea in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Flora in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. Madeline has also performed as the soprano soloist in several concert works, including Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Haydn’s Kleine Orgelmesse. Last spring, Madeline was the winner of DePaul’s annual Kleinman Vocal Competition. Outside of DePaul University, she has been featured as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Brahm’s Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Taliesin Choir.
Isaac Frishman, Tenor
Tenor, Isaac Frishman, debuts with Kentucky Opera this season in their productions of Ariadne auf Naxos (Brighella), Dead Man Walking (Howard Boucher), and Il barbiere di Siviglia (Count Almaviva). Isaac spent this past summer as an apprentice artist with Des Moines Metro Opera. Recent engagements include Henrik in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Pong in Puccini’s Turandot and Don Ramiro in Winter Opera St. Louis’s production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. He has also appeared as the tenor soloist in performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Cantata BWV 131, and Monteverdi’s Vespers. Isaac holds a master’s degree in vocal performance from Michigan State University.
Edward Graves, Tenor
Edward Graves, a native of Oxon Hill, Maryland, is a Studio Artist at the Florentine Opera Company. This past summer, he was a Young Artist at The Glimmerglass Festival, where he sang the role of Peter and covered the role of Robbins in Porgy and Bess and sang the role of Fred in Oklahoma! In February 2017, he made his tenor debut at Indiana University Opera Theater singing the role of Grimoaldo in a new production Handel’s Rodelinda conducted by Gary Wedow. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Towson University, where he studied with Aaron Sheehan, and a Master of Music and Performer Diploma degree from Indiana University where he studied with Patricia Havranek. Last year, he transitioned from baritone to tenor. Previous appearances with IU Opera Theater include Haly in Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, and Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly.
Meghan Hilker, Mezzo-Soprano
Ms. Hilker is a singer and teacher in the Madison, Wisconsin area. She has performed with Fresco Opera Theatre, Middleton Players Theater, and Madison Savoyards. She received her master’s from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2016 where she studied under Elizabeth Hagedorn. Currently, she is on the faculty at Rhapsody Arts Center, Inc. in Verona and Ripon College where she teaches private voice lessons. Ms. Hilker is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and received a BM in voice performance from Penn State University. In 2013, she attended the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Most recent performances include Jo March (Little Women), Dorothy Brock (42nd Street), and next Spring she will premiere the role of Third Lady in Fresco Opera Theatre’s new production, The Queen of the Night.
Luke Honeck, Tenor
Luke Honeck is a tenor from Anchorage, Alaska. He was a member of the Alaska Chamber Singers, has performed in the Anchorage Opera Chorus, and has been a soloist and choir member for the Alaska Concert Chorus’ Annual Handel’s Messiah performances. Luke also enjoys playing viola, having performed with the Anchorage Opera pit orchestra, the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, the Anchorage Civic Orchestra, and the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra. He now studies Vocal Performance at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, WI, where he has been featured as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, as Uriel in Haydn’s The Creation, and as Tenor in Phillip Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox. This fall, Luke will be starting his junior year at Lawrence and is excited to be debuting the role of Count Ory in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory.
Katelyn MacIntyre, Soprano
As a blind vocalist and speaker, Katelyn MacIntyre enjoys sharing her inspirational life story and dynamic music with all audiences. Studying with Maria Spacagna for her Master of Music in Vocal Performance at Carnegie Mellon University, she premiered the opera Cold Hands with CMU and Pittsburgh Opera, soloed with the AIMS Festival Orchestra around Austria, and covered the soprano solos of Mozart’s Requiem with Maestro Manfred Honeck and the CMU Philharmonic. She has performed numerous operatic roles including The Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), Beth (Little Women)¸ and Monica (The Medium). She has soloed as a soprano at such notable venues as Tokyo Billboard Live! Japan sponsored by Fox International, the Völkerkundemuseum Heidelberg, Germany, the Kennedy Center, DC, and all across North America. Katelyn received the 2012-13 Presser Scholar Award, won the VSAarts International Young Soloists Award, and has garnered top prizes and scholarships in the US and Canada. www.katelynmac.com
Lindsay Metzger, Mezzo-Soprano
Cody Monta, Baritone
Cody Monta’ is a native of the Washington, DC metropolitan area. He’s a recent graduate of the Professional Artist Certificate program at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. His roles there included Emilio in Nino Rota's Il cappello di paglia di Firenze, Escamillo in Peter Brooks La Tragédie de Carmen and Figaro in their touring children's opera, Siggy's Fantastic Plan. This 17/18 season, Cody will debut with The Colour of Music Festival in Charleston, SC as the bass soloist in Haydn's Missa in Angustiis. In the 16/17 season, Cody debuted the newly composed role of Douglas Freeman in the world premiere of Stomping Grounds, a piece by Victor Simonson and Paige Hernandez that blends hip-hop, spoken word, and opera at the Glimmerglass Festival. He was also featured as the baritone voice in Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar with Chicago Fringe Opera. And joined Opera Philadelphia as a chorister in their production of Puccini’s Turandot. Cody earned his Masters in Voice from Northwestern University and Bachelor’s from New England Conservatory of Music. When Cody isn't performing, he enjoys reading and training in crossfit. He is currently freelancing in Chicago where he lives with his wife, Brandi and dog, Thriller. www.codymonta.com
Ashley Puenner, Mezzo-Soprano
Austin Sanders, Baritone
Austin Sanders, baritone, is from Onalaska, Wisconsin. He attended Viterbo University, where he performed the roles of Ko-Ko in The Mikado, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Polypheme in Acis and Galatea, Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro, Dr. Gregg in Gallantry, and Don Annibale in Il Campanello di notte. He is a student of Dan Johnson-Wilmot. In NATS National Student Auditions he placed first in the Advanced/Graduate Men’s Category at the recent Summer Workshop in Boulder, Colorado. At the 2016 Bruce Carlson Scholarship Competition of the Schubert Club in St. Paul MN, Austin won the second place award in the advanced voice category. He placed second at the Classical Singer Competition in Chicago this past May. At the NATS Artists Awards competition held in October, he placed second. Last year he moved on to the regional round from the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions in Wisconsin.
Karen Autumn Schriesheim, Soprano
Soprano Karen Autumn Schriesheim grew up in Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan. She now resides in Germany, making appearances in Europe, the United Kingdom and the Windy City as a recitalist and soloist regularly. Upcoming engagements include participating in the semi-final of the Mary Trueman Art Song Voca Competition 207/18 as well as recitals in Madison, Hanover and London. The 2016/17 season saw Miss Schriesheim as Suor Genovieffa in the Berlin Opera Academy 2017 production of Suor Angelica; in recital at Michaels Kirche in Sachrang, Germany; as a soloist in the inaugural Berlin Song Festival in Berlin and in the Granados Centennial Concert Series at Milton Court in London; as well as various engagements with orchestras in Chicago. Her operatic repertoire includes Pamina (Die Zauberflöte- Mozart), Despina (Cosí fan tutte- Mozart), Zerlina (Don Giovanni- Mozart), Ännchen (Der Freischütz- Weber) and Nanetta (Falstaff- Verdi) A student of Helen Donath, Miss Schriesheim recently graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she studied with Yvonne Kenny. While at the Guildhall School, she was a finalist in the Schubert Competition and worked regularly with Linnhe Robertson and Eugene Asti. Miss Schriesheim has sung in masterclasses with Martin Katz, Caroline Dowdle, Edith Wiens and Susan McCullough, and was previously a young artist under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival.
Aidan Smerud, Bass-Baritone
Having performed in the US and abroad, Bass-Baritone Aidan Smerud is excited to be back in Wisconsin. Originally from La Crosse, Wisconsin, Aidan most recently performed the roles of Marquis d’Obigni in La Traviata and Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro with Amarillo Opera. He is a graduate of the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, where he achieved his Master of Music degree in 2015. His other performing credits include Opera Saratoga: Bartolo - Le nozze di Figaro; chorus - Il Postino, The Witches of Venice, Dido and Aeneas and La cenerentola. Opera Iowa: Alidoro - La cenerentola; The Troll - The Billy Goats Gruff. University of Houston: Gianni Schicchi - Gianni Schicchi; Dr. Dulcamara - L’elisir d’amore; Dr. Miracle - Les contes d’Hoffmann; Rucker Lattimore - Cold Sassy Tree; Don Basilio - Il barbiere di Siviglia; Nonancourt - Il cappello di paglia di Firenze. Ohio Light Opera: Pirate King - Pirates of Penzance.
Ann Toomey, Soprano
Dana Vetter, Soprano