Here is a list of artists who have performed on our events.
American lyric-spinto soprano, Karen Anderson has received consistent praise for her operatic and concert performances. She has performed with the Lancaster Music Festival in title role of Turandot with a live National Public Radio broadcast, and with Cincinnati Opera in the role of Kitty Hart in Dead Man Walking. She triumphed in performances of Suor Angelica and Tosca to considerable acclaim with California’s Festival Opera.
is a third year vocal performance undergraduate at UCLA. This year has been his most opera filled year of his young life. In the summer of 2008, Arsenault traveled around Northern Italy singing Schaunard in Puccini’s La Boheme. His experience in Italy helped his Italian skills and gave him important performance opportunities. Upon his return to UCLA, he was cast as Figaro in the school’s production of The Marriage of Figaro. His performance was successful and opened up his eyes to his future career in Opera. In the spring, Arsenault performed in UCLA’s production of Dido and Aeneas as Aeneas. At UCLA Arsenault studies under Michael Dean. Arsenault is thrilled to make his professional Operatic debut near his hometown of Lafayette.
[mezzo-soprano] is a San Francisco native and graduate of Williams College. Ms. Baker?s music and performing career spans composition, improvisation, comedy, acting, and opera. Co-founder and creative director of Open Opera, Ms. Baker has performed the roles of Dido and Cherubino and sung at Grace Cathedral with new music composer Earl Howard. Ms. Baker recently appeared at the New Museum in New York with Dogr. Her choral composition, One, Two, Three was commissioned and performed by the International Orange Chorale. Ms. Baker studied composition and North Indian raga with W. A. Mathieu for seven years and is a voice student of Soprano Olivia Stapp.
is a DePaul University graduate who will make his professional symphony debut later this month with Northwest Indiana Symphony. With DePaul Opera Theater he sang many roles including KoKo in The Mikado and Betto in Gianni Schicchi. He has been recognized by both Chicago and San Francisco NATS and is a student of Cesar Ulloa.
is an Alameda resident who has performed at several venues in Alameda, appearing primarily in musical theater with the Alameda Civic Light Opera. Recently, he premiered two song cycles for tenor and piano by Berkeley composer Aaron Blumenfeld. It was singing with the Bracebridge Dinners in Yosemite where he returned to the opera repertoire after a twenty-year hiatus.
[Soprano]is quickly becoming a sought-after young artist for the dramatic repertoire. Recent critical successes include the title roles of Suor Angelica and Ariadne auf Naxos, both in San Francisco. Earlier this year, Megan was invited to sing in Opera Tampa?s celebrity masterclass series, where she sang for Renata Scotto. In 2009, Megan won the Arizona District Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition, which marked her first entry into that competition. More recently, Megan won second place in Fresno Musical Club?s Bell T. Ritchie Award competition. Also in 2009, Megan received a grant to study in Germany from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst. Megan holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Boston University and recently completed her Master?s at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She currently studies with Cesar Ulloa.
[Tenor] made his professional debut in 2005 with the Pittsburgh Opera as the Officer in Ariadne auf Naxos under the baton of conductor John Mauceri. He participated in the 2009 Chautauqua Opera Young Artist program where he covered the role of Spoletta (Tosca) and in 2006 participated in Cincinnati Conservatory's Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca in Lucca, Italy.
is a senior at Encinal High School, where she maintains a 4.01 GPA. She has been a proud member of the Young Musicians Program, a full scholarship honors outreach program at the University of California Berkeley, for five years, and studies with David Tigner and James Meredith. Although she has had the pleasure to participate in numerous musicals, including Seussical (Mayzie), Grease (Sandra D.), and Carousel (Nettie), Kendra is most excited to debut in her first opera, La Belle Helene (Oreste) with the Pocket Opera Company in February. She was a semifinalist in the 2008 Classical Singer Youth Division Competition in New York, and a 2nd place winner of the Pacific Musical Society's Competition in 2007. Kendra has a profound love of music, and owes all of her success to those who have supported her throughout life.
Michael Foreman is in high demand throughout the west coast. Known as a singing actor, Mr. Foreman has performed such roles as Alfredo in La traviata, Fernando in Cosi fan tutte, Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, the title role in Candide, Frederik in The Pirates of Penzance, Tony in West Side Story and many others. Recently, Mr. Foreman made his debut with Long Beach Opera singing The Rooster and The Innkeeper in Janecek's, The Cunning Little Vixen. In June, Mr. Foreman will tour with the new company, Opera Frontier, which combines opera and hip hop. Last season, Mr. Foreman sang over 150 performances of Hoffman in an outreach version of the Tales of Hoffman with Orange County Opera. Also known for his work creating roles, Mr. Foreman was part of Eric Whitacre's world premiere opera, Paradise Lost. Mr. Foreman was also engaged for the professional debut recording of PhilipWestin's new American Opera, Heartland and is currently working with composer Judy Pautlet Thibault to create the operatic musical, The Veil.
Mr. Foreman is also a successful concert soloist. In April 2009, Mr. Foreman will sing the tenor soloist in Mozart's Requiem with the San Francisco Chorale Society; having also sung the same solo with The Cole Conservatory of Music in 2007. Mr. Foreman has also sung the tenor solo in Handel's The Messiah, both with St. John's First Presbyterian Church and Leisure World Community Church. In 2006, Mr. Foreman performed the tenor solo in Bach's Cantata #57.
Mr. Foreman has been the recipient of many awards, recently from The Leni FBland Foundation. This season, Foreman was a winner of the 2009 Pacific Musical Society as well as the henry and Maria Holt Scholarship. Last season, Mr. Foreman was a winner as well as the Audience Choice in The Long Beach Mozart Festival. Mr. Foreman has won scholarships from the music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota, both in Long Beach and Orange County. In 2007, Mr. Foreman was a finalist in Orange County's Artists of the Future. Mr. Foreman was rewarded an Encouragement Award from The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was the winner of the Nancy Hooker Memorial Scholarship.
is a noted interpreter of the 18th century coloratura bass repertoire, the Bel Canto works of Bellini and Donizetti, as well as works of contemporary composers. Formerly one of the leading operatic countertenors of his generation, he brings to his current repertoire the refinement and power demonstrated while working in the U.S. and abroad. As a countertenor, his roles included Cesare, Oberon, Orfeo, Rinaldo, Serse, Sesto, Tancredi, and the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, and many others. He appeared at San Francisco Opera (Earthrise), Opera de Monte Carlo (recital, clips aired on PBS), Berkeley Opera, the Ibla International Festival, Oakland Lyric Opera, and many others. Unanimous critical acclaim for his recent performances in Carmen (San Francisco Lyric Opera), Tosca (Festival Opera, Walnut Creek), Lucia di Lammermoor (Center Stage Opera, Los Angeles), and Romeo and Juliette (Opera San José) praise the intensity of his acting, the beauty and versatility of his voice, and his athletic physique.
His talent has been recognized in prestigious competitions, including: 2006 Pacific Musical Society Competition (Winner), 2005 East Bay Opera League Vocal Competition (Winner), 1999 Bellini International Voice Competition (Winner), 1999 Ibla Grand Prize Baroque Music Competition (Winner), recipient of the Irene Patti Swartz Encouragement Award for the 2001 Florida Grand Opera National Voice Competition, and Grantee of the Vocal Arts Foundation in San Francisco in 2002. He was also World Finalist for the Academia at Teatro alla Scala in 1999, Regional Finalist for the 2002 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the youngest candidate selected for the ORFEO 2000 World Competition of International Finalists hosted by Hannover Staatsoper.
Highlights of 2003 and 2004 seasons included the World Premiere of "Pido Silencio" by Loretta Notareschi with the Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players, Couperin's "Trois Leçons de Ténèbres", Handel's "Messiah", and Vivaldi's "Gloria" with the Baroque Musicians Guild, and a recital of virtuoso arias and cantatas by Vivaldi for MusicSources Center for Historically Informed Performance in Berkeley, California. Mr. Gordin created the lead role of Wilder in San Francisco Opera's World Premiere of "Earthrise", a role written especially for him by Pulitzer Prize-Winning composer Lewis Spratlan and librettist Constance Congdon. Classical Singer Magazine also interviewed and featured him as the Guest Artist in its February 2004 edition.
The 2005 and 2006 seasons included creating the role of Yama in the premiere of "The Myth of Kurva" for the Berkeley New Music Project's workshop and concert "Words and Music" led by American composer William Bolcom. San Francisco Classical Voice praised him for his "heroic performance" as Escamillo in "Carmen" with San Francisco Lyric Opera. He performed the role of Enrico in "Lucia di Lammermoor", gave a series of Master Classes, and appeared in a gala concert for Center Stage Opera in Los Angeles. He was also the bass soloist in Schubert's "Mass in G" and Vivaldi's "Gloria" with the San Francisco City Chorus. After wide critical praise for his performance of Angelotti in "Tosca" for Festival Opera, he returned to cover the title role in Michael Morgan's acclaimed production of "Don Giovanni". In his Opera San Jose debut, he sang the role of Count Paris in "Romeo et Juliette", followed by a gala concert for the Pacific Musical Society, and performances of Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater" with the Center Stage Opera Orchestra.
2007 and 2008 included a concert of American Arias and Art Songs for Festival Opera, bass soloist in Tippett's "A Child of Our Time" with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus and Women Sing, and baritone soloist in "Carmina Burana" in performances with the Santa Clara Chorale, the Choral Project, and Oakland Symphony Chorus. He returned to San Francisco City Chorus for performances as bass soloist in Mendelssohn's "Die erste Walpurgisnacht" and Duruflé's "Requiem", was the Guest Star for the inaugural performance of Opera Frontier "ReMiX8", and was bass soloist in Mozart's "Requiem" with the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra. He then made his debut with the Oakland East Bay Symphony in performances of Faure's "Requiem", and his debut with the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of Bach's Cantata #82 "Ich habe genug".
More recently, he appeared as Montano in Oakland East Bay Symphony's concert performance of "Otello". Upcoming projects include work on his first solo album, to be released in late 2009, Wagner in "Faust" with Festival Opera, Concert performances with Open Opera, Enrico in "Lucia di Lammermoor" with Center Stage Opera, and a series of Master Classes for young professional singers in the Bay Area.
[Mezzo-Soprano] Lisa Houston has sung leading roles with California opera companies including West Bay Opera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Cinnabar Opera, Pacific Repertory Opera, Berkeley Opera and Golden Gate Opera. Her operatic roles include Carmen, Nicklausse in Tales of Hoffman, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Augusta in the Ballad of Baby Doe, La Principessa in Suor Angelica and Maurya in Riders to the Sea. She holds a BFA in acting from New York University and a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. She writes regularly for Classical Singer Magazine and other publications about singing and is a native of Berkeley where she teaches voice.
[baritone] is a native of California. He recently appeared with San Francisco Opera as Schelkalov in Boris Godunov, and with Opera Santa Barbara as Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore. As an apprentice artist with Santa Fe Opera, he took on the title role in Eugene Onegin on short notice to high critical acclaim. Other roles he has sung include the title role in Pélleas et Mélisande, Valentin in Faust, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, and Marcello in La Boheme. He has also worked with San Diego Opera, Washington National Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera. He is an active recitalist, and has performed in such venues as Carnegie (Weill) Hall in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Cleveland Institute of Music Art Song Festival. He is the winner of several competitions including the George London Foundation, Sullivan Foundation, and Opera Index Foundation. He has also been a finalist in the Operalia (Placido Domingo) Vocal Competition. He has studied at the Yale University Opera Program and the Music Academy of the West. Future engagements include Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte at Opera Idaho and Marcello in La Boheme with Sacramento Opera.
performed the role of the malevolent ghost Miss Jessel for Oakland Opera Theater’s 2007 “Turn of the Screw.” Other past performances include the Queen of the Night in West Bay Opera’s “Magic Flute”; Marguerite in Berkeley Opera’s “Faust”; the title role in Stravinsky’s opera/ballet “The Nightingale” for Cinnabar Opera; and Evita in Franzetti and Moscovich’s “Corpus Evita” with the San Francisco Camerata. She has performed extensively with Pocket Opera, the Lamplighters, Fairfield's North Bay Opera, and Palo Alto's West Bay Opera (Mimi, Violetta, Gilda, Manon, Lucia), and repeated the Queen for Monadnock Music Festival in New Hampshire. Solo concert appearances have included the San Francisco City Chorus and U.S. Air Force Band.
Jonathan Khuner (Conductor)
a San Francisco native, has been Artistic and Musical Director of Berkeley Opera since 1993, and has conducted over 60 productions there, including seven premieres of new works or adaptations. Most recently he was both stage and musical director for their very successful July production of The Ballad of Baby Doe. He is Assistant Conductor and prompter for the Metropolitan Opera (since 1997), and San Francisco Opera (since 1981), appearing occasionally with the Lyric Opera of Chicago also. In 1996 he prompted the Ring Cycle at the Bayreuther Festspiele with James Levine. In 1992-93 Khuner made several appearances with the New Israeli Opera, while their Resident Assistant Conductor.
[soprano] earned her master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music in the studio of Cynthia Hoffmann. At MSM Rebecca was a founding member of the One Act Opera Company, playing Herself in the New York premiere of Milton Granger’s The Proposal. She participated in Discover Opera! with the school’s Opera Outreach program, creating an original opera and performing it in public schools to educate young people about opera. She also performed in the ensembles of Béatrice et Bénédict and Die Zauberflöte. Other performance highlights include Violetta in Act II of La Traviata and Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief at the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute. She has appeared in scenes as Susannah in Le Nozze di Figaro and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Longwood Opera in Needham, MA.
Ms. Krouner graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a B.A. in comparative literature and Italian studies. A native of Newton, MA, Ms. Krouner has given several recitals in the Boston area and has performed with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and the Newton Symphony Orchestra.
recently sang a "pure-toned High Priestess" with the San Francisco Lyric Opera's production of Aida. As Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, the San Francisco Classical Voice said "the brightest voice and most spirited performance came from Jennie Litster"; and in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, "on the stage, Jennie Litster's big-voiced Tytania ruled."
has been a prominent singer in the San Francisco Bay Area for several years. Known for her large dramatic mezzo voice, she has appeared with opera companies that include Opera San Jose, Berkeley Opera, Golden Gate Opera, Northbay Opera, Pocket Opera, Townsend Opera, Oakland Opera Theatre and Diablo Light Opera. Some of her signature roes have been Ulrica in Ballo in Maschera, Carmen, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Principessa in Suor Angelica, Berta in Il Barbieri, Nicklausse in Hoffmann, Orlofsky in Fledermaus, the Commere in Four Saints in Three Acts as well as other supporting roles. Her most recent performance was Buttercup in HMS Pinafore with Townsend Opera. Heather also appears in concerts with Ensemble Vocalise in Las Vegas and the Bay Area and sung as the alto soloist for the Messiah with Townsend Opera, as well as Opera in the Park with Trinity Opera and Open Opera. Upcoming roles include Marcellina in Nozze di Figaro with Opera San Jose and Open Opera.
is performing with Open Opera for the first time, although she has been employing what one reviewer called her “cascading liquid voice” on concert and opera stages for many years. She was heard recently in concerts with the Pacific Youth Orchestra, Berkeley Opera, East Bay Opera League, and Goat Hall Productions. A founding member of Alameda’s own Virago Theatre Company, Eileen performed in Virago’s 2008 production of Bernstein’s Candide and 2006 production of Weill’s Threepenny Opera. Next spring she will be in Puccini’s La Boheme. Other roles performed include the title role in Les Mamelles de Tiresias, the title role of Baby Doe, Musetta, Frasquita, and Annina. Eileen also sings with the San Francisco Opera Chorus. Her concert solos include Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, and Handel’s Messiah, at Davies Symphony Hall, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Oakland Youth Orchestra, Haydn’s Theresienmesse with the UC Chamber Orchestra, and Poulenc’s Gloria with Michael Morgan conducting. Eileen can be heard as a soloist on San Francisco Symphony Chorus’ CD Voices 2000, and on a solo CD of American songs and arias. She has performed with fellow Alamedan Frederica von Stade in numerous charity events.
One of the San Francisco Bay Area's most well-rounded musicians, James Meredith conducts the country's acclaimed Sonos Handbell Ensemble. This group's nationally recognized CD's have been played throughout the US and the first was entered in three categories in the 37th Grammy Awards. The San Francisco Examiner called it "sensational." A native of North Carolina, Mr. Meredith received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Tulane University. As a solo pianist, vocal and instrumental accompanist and conductor in America, Europe and Asia, his work has brought him into contact with such artists as Elly Ameling, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Olivia Stapp, Frederica von Stade, Eleanor Steber, Gerald Moore and Dalton Baldwin, whose assistant he has been in summer masterclasses at the French Conservatory in Nice.
[baritone] came from a musical family. His father a tenor and mother a piano accompanist/teacher. At an early age he would sing along with recordings of opera singers. He studied voice and choral conducting in Clovis High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts at Fresno Pacific College and a Master of Arts at California State University, Fresno. He won the Metropolitan Opera District Auditions five times, received top prize in the Fresno District Merola Auditions, and was awarded prizes twice from the Henry Holt Memorial Scholarship. His operatic experience began with the Fresno Opera Association as a member of the chorus, then on to principal roles. He performed with Amato Opera, Henry Street Settlement Opera, and Opera Viva in Manhatten, Regina Opera in Brooklyn NY, International Music Festival at Round Top, Texas, West Bay Opera in Palo Alto, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Lamplighters in San Francisco, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Marin Opera Association, Davis Artist Series, Oakland Lyric Opera, Pippen's Pocket Opera, and Boise Opera, Idaho.
Angela Eden Moser
offers her innate musical expression to a wide range of concert and operatic repertoire. Ms. Moser's experience on the concert stage has taken her to festivals abroad and within the U.S., soloing in works such as Carl Orff's Carmina Burana; Haydn's Harmonie Mass; Vivaldi's Gloria; the Faure Requiem,, Mozart Coronation Mass, the Verdi Requiem; and the Händel Messiah at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco. Ms. Moser's operatic roles include Atalanta in Händel's Serse, Ereshkigal in The Descent of Inanna, by Marcia Burchard, and Priscilla Shermann in the original improvised I Candy, by various composers. In addition to her solo career, Ms. Moser has sung on the stage of the San Francisco Opera, lending her voice to the chorus in many productions. Ms. Moser holds a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Dominican University of California, San Rafael. Ms. Moser is also a classical flautist of twenty years, and she enjoys dabbling in composition and singing the blues.
joined the Young Musicians Program (YMP) at UC Berkeley in 2001 and studied voice with Norma Levister and Candace Johnson, and piano with Kathryn Winter. He has been a voice and piano student of James Meredith for the last four years at YMP. A winner of the Contra Costa Performing Arts Society Competition, the Junior Bach Festival, a Semi-Finalist for the National Classical Singers High School Competition and 1st Place winner of the prestigious Pacific Musical Society 2008 competition, he has had the honor of being invited to sing in several concerts with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and work with dramatic soprano Olivia Stapp. Elliott was accepted by UCSB, UC Santa Cruz, UC Riverside, Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory. He is currently a freshmen studying with Brian Stuaffenbiel and is going to make his debut as Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro at UCSC's award winning opera program.
[soprano] has sung roles such as, Zerlina, Despina, Micäela, Sister Constance, Pamina, Musetta, Nannetta, Valencienne, Susanna, and Oscar, with San Francisco, Arizona, Pensacola, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Chautauqua, San Jose, Southwest, West Bay, Pacific Repertory, Festival, and Sacramento.
Nicole Raynor Rodriguez
is a junior at the prestigious Maybeck School and has been in the Young Musicians Program for 3 years. She is an accomplished violinist as well as a gloriously toned soprano. She was the first place winner of the Mondavi's Young Artist Competition in 2007.
[Bass-Baritone] is a student of Verdi Baritone Vladimir Chernov. A San Diego native, he has appeared with the Lyric Opera of San Diego and the San Diego Master Chorale. During the completion of his undergraduate degree at UCLA, Mr. Remmel appeared with the UCLA Opera Studio as Betto and Il Notaio in Gianni Schicchi, Snug the Joiner in a Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pistola in Falstaff, Tiger Brown in Die Dreigroschenoper, and most recently as Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro. He will be continuing his studies as a graduate student at the Roosevelt Chicago College of Performing Arts this fall.
grew up in Danville, CA and has her Bachelors degree from Chapman University and her Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Roberts has sung leading opera roles including: Marie in The Bartered Bride, Adina in L'elisir d'amore, Violetta in La traviata, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Giulietta in Verdi's Un Giorno di Regno. Ms. Roberts sang the roles of Frasquita in Carmen and Giovanna in Rigoletto. She performed with the Opera Pacific Chorus in Susannah, in the Opera Buffs 2009 Spring Showcase and recently in the Los Angeles Opera Education short, Tanis in America. Ms. Roberts looks forward to premiering Marie’s Orchard with Center Stage Opera in June 2010. www.adrien-roberts.com
[soprano] is an acclaimed and versatile artist who has performed extensively as a soloist in opera, operetta, concert and musical theater on the West Coast, New York, Spain and Italy. Widely praised for her “musical command,” “big, warm soprano voice and excellent sense of interpretation and characterization,” Ms. Roemer’s varied repertoire includes baroque to contemporary works.† A winner of many awards and prizes, Ms. Roemer took first place in the National Opera Association's vocal competition, and was first runner-up in the Metropolitan Opera Pacific Region auditions.
[tenor] is a graduate of Music and Art High School in New York and received a M.M. in Voice on full scholarship at Stony Brook, SUNY. He studied Italian in Florence,Italy. He has sung roles with Sacramento Opera, San Francisco Opera,San Francisco Lyric Opera,Cinnabar Opera and Pocket Opera companies. Some of his roles are Cassio, Goro, Tamino, Monastatos. He has been 1st tenor with San Francisco Opera chorus for 29 seasons. He is also on the Board of Berkeley Opera and was featured in the academy award winning documentary about Opera Singers, 'In the Shadow of the Stars'. Mr. Seigel maintains a busy schedule singing and has a voice studios in San Francisco and Oakland.
Dramatic soprano Christine Springer has sung extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Her repertoire embraces the heroines of Wagner, Verdi and Strauss. Originally from Washington State, Ms. Springer received much of her early training in New York, where she performed a variety of dramatic coloratura roles, including Marguerite in Faust, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute.
After a period of study in Munich, Germany, Ms. Springer moved into the dramatic soprano repertoire, and has subsequently been heard in the San Francisco Bay Area in the title role of North Bay Opera’s Tosca, Kostelnicka in City Opera Theatre’s Jenůfa, Brünnhilde in Golden Gate Opera’s Die Walküre, and Ortrud in a working production of Lohengrin under the baton of Maestro Kent Nagano. In critically acclaimed performances, she sang all three Brünnhildes in Berkeley Opera’s Legend of the Ring, and she will reprise these roles this summer in the much anticipated revival of that production.
Assignments as soprano soloist with orchestra have included Wesendonck Lieder with the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria, Aïda with the Oakland Youth Symphony, Die Fledermaus and Schubert’s Mass in E flat with the Solano Symphony, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Redwood Symphony.
Ms. Springer is the winner of numerous competitions and awards, among them the Meistersinger Competition in Graz, Austria and The Wagner Society of Northern California’s Career Encouragement Grant.
was born in New York City. A graduate of Wagner College, she was a two-time winner of the Fulbright Award for opera study and theater performance in Rome, Italy. First engaged professionally at the age of 24 at the Berlin Deutshe oper, she become on the of the world's major dramatic sopranos, singing Prima Donna roles in all the major opera houses of the world, and with many important symphony orchestras. Her challenging repertoire extended from the early Italian bel canto works of Bellini and Donizetti to those of Puccini, Verde, Wagner, Strauss, and contemporary composers. She has performed as leading lady opposite Domingo, Ramey, Capuccilli, Bruson, Pons and with conductors Maazel, Giulini, Levine, M. Shostakovich, Pritchard, Sinopoli, Sawallisch, and Rudel, and in the productions of such renowned stage directors as Serban, Zefferelli, Mansouri, Ponnelle, Friedrich, Pizzi, Menotti and Del Monaco. Her performances have taken her to over eighty international theatres, amongst them those in the major capitals of the world, Vienna (Volksoper and Stattsoper), Berlin, Rome, Paris, Madrid, London (Covent Garden), Tokyo, Seoul, Washington D.C., Prague, and also the opera houses of New York (City Opera and The Metropolitan Opera), Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Bilbao, Melbourne, Toronto, Montreal, Munich, Hamburg, Buenos Aires (the Colon), Naples, Venice, and Milano (La Scala). She has also performed in large venues such as the Arena di Verona, the Nimes Arena, and in the ancient amphitheaters of Taormina, Lyon, and Macerata, as well as in the sports Arenas of Bercy (Paris) and Zurich. MS. Stapp was renowned for her interpretations of Norma, Elektra, Lady Macbeth, Tosca, Medea, Anna Bolena and Turandot, was acclaimed for her rich vocalism and powerful dramatic interpretations. Upon retiring from the stage her home in the Bay Area she became Artistic Director of Festival Opera, Walnut Creek. During her six year tenure, she elevated this small company to a high level of excellence, and was successful in fund raising and community outreach.
Ellen St. Thomas
is an expressive lyric soprano who enjoys performing, teaching, conducting and directing. She was recently the soprano soloist in the San Francisco City Chorus' performance of Elijah by Mendelssohn. Her live opera performances with local opera companies such as West Bay Opera, Livermore Opera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Mission Opera and The Marin Summer Music Festival include: The Countess, The Marriage of Figaro, First Lady The Magic Flute, Anna Gomez The Consul, Rosalinda Die Fledermaus, Mimi La Boheme, Miss Jessel Turn of the Screw, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni, Jenufa and Mayor's Wife Jenufa, Micaela Carmen, Pretzel Girl in Shostakovich's, The Nose and the Madam in Pasatieri's La Divina. Other oratorio and concert performances include the Mendelssohn's Paulus for the San Francisco City Chorus, Brahms Requiem, The Rutter Requiem, Faure's Requiem, Mozart's Requiem and a performance of Schubert's "Auf dem Strom" with the Avenue of the Winds Ensemble in San Francisco. Ms. St. Thomas sang the world premiere of "Small Children, With No Ice-Cream Cones" Ed Dierauf (composer), Bernard Weiner (poet) for The Marsh's political cabaret program Progressive Muse Poetry! Music! Comedy! Resistance! Opera directing credits include La Boheme and Rachmaninoff's, Aleko for the Russian Center. Ellen can be heard on the CD soundtrack for the PBS program "Classical Stretch". Ellen's contribution to the world of animation includes speaking and singing the voice of an opera singer in cartoon episodes of Madeline and Inspector Gadget for Dic Entertainment. Ms. St. Thomas has a private voice studio and teaches voice at the Alameda School of Music. She has taught Kodaly elementary music and led several youth choruses for the Mountain View School District. Ms. St. Thomas conducts the adult choir for Lake Park United Methodist Church in Oakland. Other career highlights include Senior TV Producer Director Fairfax County Public Schools and Licensing Director, Sega of America.
will be attending Oberlin Conservatory this Fall. He is a recent graduate of Rodriguez High School in Fairfield, California He has always been a young man with a mission; winning talent competitions at an early age; performing at state fairs and community events; receiving the Performer Of The Year Award (2007) for the Strive For More Music Showcase; and most recently becoming a member of the selective and prestigious Young Musician's Program at UC Berkeley. Mr. Taylor Thompson, a past student Ambassador for the Academic TalentSearch program at Cal State Sacramento (CSUS), holds a 3.5 GPA and is the current and last years RHS Idol (Rodriquez High School) winner. Taylor was recently awarded a scholarship from P.A.S. (Performing Arts Society). Taylor can also be found in the Who’s Who, among American High School Student for 2007 -2008, and 2008-2009.
The accomplishment Taylor’s family is most proud of is his versatility. Recently Taylor, who is a member of YMP, Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley, performed three Opera Musical Theatre Recitals. This year he performed at the annual Black History and Scholarship Recipient program at Downs Memorial United Methodist Church.
David L. Tigner
[bass-baritone] is a soloist of great versatility who is familiar to audiences across the nation. Over the last thirty years he has delighted audiences with his impressive voice and musicality in addition to being a highly sought after vocal instructor. In the Bay Area , he has performed with the San Francisco Symphony in the role of Porgy in Porgy and Bess and the Narrator in Gershwin's Blue Monday. Mr. Tigner has performed extensively as a soloist in oratorios such as the Brahms’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to name a few. He sang with the Oakland and Sacramento Symphonies in Handel’s Messiah, San Francisco Bach Festival in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion, and the San Francisco Ballet in Pulcinella and Balanchine’s interpretation of Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles. Mr. Tigner sang Bach's Mass in B Minor for the Scola Cantorum with Douglas Lawrence conducting. Mr. Tigner made his debut with the London Philharmonic in a program of Mozart concert arias and was the bass soloist in Verdi’s Requiem at Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall with the Manhattan Philharmonic. Other Carnegie Hall recitals include the premiere of Five Songs for a Summer Evening for Bass, String Bass and piano commissioned by David Tigner written by Donald Dennitson. Mr. Tigner also performed Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Verdi’s Requiem with the London Symphony Orchestra. On the operatic stage, Mr. Tigner has sung with the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Spring Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera and the San Diego Opera center. His numerous opera roles include the title role in Don Pasquale, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, Daland in The Flying Dutchman, Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Noye in Noye’s Fludde, as well as leading roles in Aida and Gordon Getty’s Plump Jack. Mr. Tigner has appeared in a number of premieres, including the critically acclaimed Northern California premiere of Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio, Andrew Imbrei’s Prometheus Bound, Ralph Shapey’s Trilogy of Songs, and Undine Smith- Moore’s Scenes in the Life of a Martyr. Mr. Tigner received his education from Pacific University and San Francisco State University. He received First Prize in the America California Symphony Competition , as well as awards from the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Chicago Lyric Opera, and the Sullivan Foundation. He has studied with Boris Goldovsky, Tito Capobianco, Burt Lancaster. Robert McCracken, Martial Singher, Mary Cobb Hill, Elizabeth Swartzkopf and Janet Parlova. Further, his multi-faceted career as a musical director and voice instructor has influenced rhythm and blues artists and opera singers alike. Mr. Tigner was music director of the Legacy Jubilee Arts institute, a non-traditional school for music in the Africa American Community. He was conductor of Voices of Legacy a group that sang African American folk music. He was a vocal clinician to many Bay Area choirs and vocal ensembles such as Streets Sounds. He has been a guest lecturer at Stanford and is an instructor at UC Berkeley with the Young Musician’s Program where he influences the lives of up and coming talented young singers.
Lisa van der Ploeg
Danish American Mezzo-Soprano Lisa van der Ploeg has been hailed for her rich, lustrous tone and electrifying stage presence. Whether as Juno in Semele, Amneris in Aida, or Maria in McTeague, Ms. van der Ploeg captivates audiences. She “delivered a glorious performance in the starring role as Santuzza” in the opera Cavalleria Rusticana.
Her first professional appearances included performances with Maestro Raymond Leppard and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in the Barber of Seville and the Three Cornered Hat, and since that time, she has established herself as an artist of great range and depth in both opera and concert.
Ms. van der Ploeg’s affiliations with Intermountain Opera in Montana, Utah Festival Opera, Stockton Opera, and others demand her repeat appearances. In the summer of 2008 she assumed the role of Amneris with Utah Festival Opera where she previously sang the role of Suzuki to much acclaim. She has also established herself as an interpretor of Handel operas, having performed the title roles in Giulio Cesare and Orlando, Amastre in Xerxes, Juno in Semele and Ottone in Agrippina.
She made her West Coast debut with the San Francisco Opera Center in the title role of Carmen in the Merola Opera Program and toured nationally with the Western Opera Theater. With the Opera Center she also sang the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, and Natura in La Calisto. In Korea, she sang the role of Julia in the contemporary chamber opera Bardos with the Seoul Contemporary Opera Company.
Ms. van der Ploeg’s extensive concert activity includes Mahler’s 3rd Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, and Bach’s B minor Mass. A graduate of the University of the Pacific and Indiana University, Ms. van der Ploeg was a prizewinner in the Ellen Faull Gordon Competition and a three-time MET regional finalist.
Hailed by Opera News Magazine as "superb", and "show-stealing", baritone Igor Vieira made his professional debut in his native Rio de Janeiro at age 17 singing the role of "Le Dancaïre" in Bizet"s Carmen. Subsequent roles have included Junius in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia, the title role as well as Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Ford in Verdi's Falstaff, Lescaut in Puccini's Manon Lescaut, and most recently the title role in Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande. Mr. Vieira has sung over 60 different operatic roles ranging from the Baroque to World Premiers, with such companies as the Teatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro, the Amazonian Opera Festival, The Belém Opera Festival, Opera du Villecroze (France,) Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Theater of Philadelphia, Teatro Barakaldo (Spain,) West Bay Opera, Berkeley Opera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Fremont Opera, Rimrock Opera, Festival Opera/Walnut Creek, Oakland Opera Theater, Teatro Sao Pedro (Brazil,) Belcantanti Opera, Pocket Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Sacramento Opera and Opera San Luis Obispo. In June of 2010, Mr. Vieira will have the honor of making his San Francisco Opera debut in the role of Happy in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West, being the very first male Brazilian singer ever to perform with that company. Mr. Vieira is a world finalist of the 1995 Luciano Pavarotti Voice Competition in Philadelphia, a recipient of the Margareth Tudor Award (Princeton) for two consecutive years and the Kaplan Foundation Award (Kansas City) for outstanding artistry, as well as Second Place on the East Bay Opera League Voice Competition in 2006 and a semi-finalist of the Competizione d'Opera in Dresden - Germany in 2008. n the concert and oratorio fields, Mr. Vieira has performed the baritone soloist parts in Handel's "Messiah" with the Rutherford's Symphony in Vermont, Fauré's "Requiem" with the Orchestre du Provence in Villecroze, France, Orff's "Carmina Burana" with the National Symphony in Bogotá - Colombia and the Marin Symphony in California, Mozart's Requiem with Silicon Valley Symphony and Mozart's C minor Mass and Saint-Saens's Christmas Oratorio with the Master Works Chorale in Redwood City - California. Mr. Vieira holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from the Westminster Choir College in Princeton - New Jersey, and a Masters Degree in Voice Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. While in Kansas City, Mr. Vieira was a member of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City Young Artists Program, singing over 12 different productions with that company.
[soprano] won international attention and acclaim for her debut CD, “The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld and Other Fresh American Art Songs.” The title song cycle, by composer and pianist Bryant Kong, uses as its lyrics the exact words of the Secretary of Defense, to highly humorous effect. The CD has been featured on CNN, NPR, the BBC, German and Japanese television, and more worldwide. The corresponding concert tour, the "Weapons of Mass Distraction Tour," concluded with the election of President Obama. A champion of new works, she created the role of The Statue of Liberty in “Red, White and Blue” and the role of Fatso (a dog) in “Cindy Lou”, both new operas by Susan Asbjornson with the Contemporary Opera of Los Angeles. She created the roles of Acacia and Serena in the new opera “The Tree,” an opera that addresses urban sprawl. She is currently playing the Queen of Hearts in the Guild Opera’s school touring production of “Alice in Wonderland” by Los Angeles composer Robert Chauls, in which she is delighted to frighten little children with her “Off with her Head” aria. She created the role of Prudentia, the Virtue, in “Woman in the Wall” by O-Lan Jones, and sang the role of Mistress Quickly in Gordon Getty's opera, "Plump Jack." As a concert artist, Ms. Wall recently sang the soprano solo in Beethoven’s Ninth with the Valley Symphony. She was the featured singer on a national tour of the Sonos Handbell Ensemble, singing the new piece "Hell's Belles" by Libby Larsen, composed for the ensemble, in addition to pieces by Ginistera and de Falla and Ladino songs by Yzekiel Braun. Her most recent art song recital, “Love, War and Politics” was performed at the Goethe Institute of Los Angeles with pianist Yazmine Fleming. Conventional roles include Donna Elvira in “Don Giovanni,” the title role in "Coronation of Poppea" by Monteverdi, the Witch and the Mother in “Hansel and Gretel,” and Giulietta in “Tales of Hoffman.”
Chun Mei Wilson
Chun Mei Wilson has been active as a collaborative pianist in the Bay Area since 1988. As a vocal accompanist and coach, Ms. Wilson has played for San Francisco Opera, Festival Opera, North Bay Opera, and Martinez Opera. Ms. Wilson has coached mezzo-soprano Frederica Von Stade for several years. Ms. Wilson maintains her own studio in Concord.
tenor and stage director, originally from Lousiana who after serving in the United States Air Force relocated to Los Angeles, starting with major roles in companies such as Opera Pacific and graduating to the San Francisco Opera stage. "After retiring from the San Francisc Opera, I found that there wasn't a sufficient suppy of classical music of opera productions to meet the needs of communities. I found that there are many who are very interested in this form of art and became dedicated to providing professional productions with experienced artists who love what they do." Fred co-founded the San Francisco Lyric Opera which he directed for seven years then joined the California Opera Summer festival over the past years in his dual roles as both critically acclaimed dramtic tenor and talented stage director. He is currently performing in Rigoletto and Lucia di Lamermoor for Verismo Opera, a company he founded.