Alex Richardson, Amleto
In 2013 Mr. Richardson was seen as Romeo in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (St. Petersburg Opera), Rodolfo in La Bohème (Opera Western Reserve), The Duke in Rigoletto (Dicapo Opera at the Tilles Center), Cavaradossi in Tosca (Winter Opera Saint Louis), the Steuermann in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer (Princeton Festival), as Fenton in Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor (Boston Midsummer Opera), and Tom Buchanan in John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby (Emmanuel Music).
His performance in The Great Gatsby, reprised at the Tanglewood Festival, caused the New York Times to praise his “compelling, even sympathetic” portrayal, and the Boston Classical Review to write, “Tenor Alex Richardson gave the most vivid performance of the night, all jutting jaw and smoldering aggression as Daisy Buchanan’s husband Tom. He was aided by having some opera-size passions to play and a taut, ringing voice to match.”
Mr. Richardson has been a featured soloist at Tanglewood numerous times – most recently in the 75th Anniversary Gala Concert, which was televised on PBS’s Great Performances. Mr. Richardson also has performed the role of Vogelgesang in Act III of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under the baton of Maestro James Levine, and also the solos in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Maestro Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.
At Washington National Opera, Mr. Richardson covered the title role in Werther and performed selections on The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. For New York City Opera, he performed several scenes as part of the VOX: Contemporary American Opera Lab festival, and also covered the role of André in the American premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna.
Read more: http://www.alexrichardsontenor.com/bio.html.
Abla Lynn Hamza, Ofelia
Abla Lynn Hamza, “a genuinely beautiful soprano, warm liquescent and nimble,” is emerging as a versatile and interesting singer. She has had success singing early Verdi and bel canto roles as well as French Opera and Mozart.
Ms. Hamza recently performed the role of Giselda in Sarasota Opera’s I Lombardi to much critical acclaim having “brought down the house…during an Act IV dream sequence.” She also recently covered the title role of Giovanna in Sarasota Opera’s production of Giovanna d’Arco as well as Violetta in Sarasota’s La Traviata. She previously triumphed as Violetta in St. Petersburg Opera’s production having “enthralled the audience by Violetta’s tragic downfall.”
Ms. Hamza, who performed Clorinda in Sarasota Opera’s 2010 production of La Cenerentola and First Lady in Sarasota Opera’s Die Zauberflöte was a “standout…whose voice soared with a clear beauty that made us want to hear more from her….” In 2009, she made her debut in the role of Manon with Dell’Arte Opera as well as covering Adina in Sarasota Opera’s L’Elisir d’Amore and singing Caterina in L’amico Fritz. In 2008, She covered the role of Fiordiligi in Sarasota Opera’s Così fan tutte as well as singing the role with The Living Opera in Dallas, Texas. Ms. Hamza made her debut with the Sarasota Opera (2008) as well as the Dallas Opera (2007) in the role of Bianca in La Rondine. She has sung the role of Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with both Opera North and Opera Company of Brooklyn. She also triumphed in the role of Norina in 2006 in The Living Opera’s Don Pasquale.
Ms. Hamza has performed with several companies throughout the U.S. including Des Moines Metro Opera, El Paso Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and the Tulsa Opera. Other roles performed include Miss Silverpeal (The Impressario), Pamina, Despina, and Blanche de la Force (Dialogues of the Carmelites.) She is equally skilled in performing Art Song. She has performed several recitals in the Dallas area. In her most recent recital, “Feel the Rhythm: Songs of Latin America” with Voces Intimae, she was hailed by Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News as “having a gorgeous soprano with generous expressivity.” Ms. Hamza recently performed a solo recital, with pianist Laurent Philippe, with the Artist Series of Sarasota October 10 and 12th of 2010.
Shannon De Vine, Claudio
Baritone Shannon A. De Vine opened 2013 in New York City as Gerard in Andrea Chenier under Maestro Alberto Veronesi and the Opera Orchestra of NY. Also at the beginning of 2013, this exciting, new baritone was also invited to perform as Iago in Otello at Il Teatro Verdi for his debut in Italy. He also recently performed Ceccho del Vecchio in Wagner’s opera Rienzi at the Avery Fisher Hall under Maestro Eve Queler and sung Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur also with Maestro Alberto Veronesi. He was also invited to perform Nelusko in L’Africaine with Maestro Eve Queler and The Opera Orchestra of NY also in Lincoln Center. He was invited to perform at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. for the Italian Ambassador to the United States with the New York Opera Society seen as Escamillo, Gerard in Andrea Chenier and Silvio in I Pagliacci with Maestro Emmanuel Plasson. He’s also been Scarpia in Greece with the Mid-America Productions, Leporello in Don Giovanni as well as Ford in Falstaff at the Theatre Municipal in Toulouse, France. Mr. De Vine has sung Giorgio Germont in La Traviata and Silvio in Pagliacci with the Opera Co. of Brooklyn. Also in NY he’s been Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, Iago in Otello, Valentin in Faust, Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore, Marcello in La Boheme and Captain Balstrode in Peter Grimes with One World Symphony. He has sung Michele in Il Tabarro with Vertical Players Repertory after which The NY TIMES said “After just a few hours notice Mr. De Vine stepped in and is a very impressive baritone in the role of Michele” and also wrote, “We can’t wait to see him on bigger and more important stages”. He has appeared with the Aspen Opera Theater Center as Michele in Puccini’s Il Tabarro as well as the roles of Ford in Falstaff both with Maestro Juluis Rudel and Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte with Maestro Sian Edwards. He made his Houston Grand Opera debut as Morales in Ron Daniel’s new production of Carmen under Maestro Alain Lombard. Other roles with HGO include Riolobo in Florencia en las Amazonas, Top in Copland’s The Tender Land and Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte. He joined the Tanglewood Music Center for his debut as Jose Tripaldi having been chosen specifically by the composer Osvaldo Golijov under the baton of Maestro Robert Spano in participation with world premiere opera Ainadamar.
Read more: http://shannonadevine.com/bio.asp.
Caroline Worra, Geltrude
Caroline Worra has been hailed by Opera News as “one of the finest singing actresses around” (2014). She has sung over 75 different operatic roles including more than 20 World, American, and Regional Premieres. She was internationally acclaimed for her performances of Jenny in The Mines of Sulphur, Grammy nominated CD for Best Opera Recording, and as the title role for The Greater Good; Passion of Boule de Suif, Opera News and New York Times pick for one of the top classical CDs of the year. Her third full opera recording, Glory Denied, was just released by Albany Records and is on the Washington Posts pick for the Best of 2013.
Ms. Worra has worked at over 30 opera companies across the United States including The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Boston Lyric Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Dallas Opera, Long Beach Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Madison Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, Opera Memphis, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, Urban Arias, American Lyric Theatre, American Opera Projects, and six seasons at both Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera. Caroline performed on two U.S. National Tours with San Francisco’s Merola/Western Opera Theatre singing Violetta in La Traviata and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus. She gave a debut recital at Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall) and performed on the main stage of Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist in Britten’s Spring Symphony, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Overseas she has performed as Anne True Love in The Rake’s Progress at Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily and Jenny in The Mines of Sulphur at The Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland (winner of The 2009 Best Opera of Ireland Award).
Caroline is a recipient of the Shoshana Foundation/Richard F. Gold Career Grant. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Piano and Vocal Performance from Luther College, a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from The University of Missouri in Columbia where she also recieved a Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Arts and Science, and a Doctor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Indiana University.
Matthew Curran, Spettro/Luciano
Praised for his powerfully engaging stage presence, his true bass voice of rare beauty, and the musicianship and artistry for great affect in a wide range of repertoire, Matthew Curran is an outstanding and sought after talent. Whether in concert, standard opera roles such asSarastro, Raimondo, Figaro, Colline, Frère Laurent, Daland, Sparafucile and Gremin, or in modern works like Britten’s Gloriana, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Rape of Lucretia, Hagen’s Shining Brow, Lieberman’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Tarik O’Regan’sHeart of Darkness, and Christopher Berg’s Cymbeline, his performances draw wide praise. Critics have described him as having “the voice of a poet,” and a sound “that is confident and comes with a twinkle.” “Elegantly and powerfully, the bass stole the spotlight.” “Curran sang and looked like a God.”
The current season includes debuts and return engagements. Making his Wagner debut, he sings Daland in Der Fliegender Holländer under the baton of Steven White with Opera Roanoke. He will debut with Opera Memphis as Colline in La Bohème in the fall and return in the spring as Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia. In concert, for a second consecutive year he will join the Long Island Choral Society for Handel’s Messiah and return to the Jacksonville Symphony to reprise the famous Ode to Joy in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and singLodovico in Verdi’s Otello conducted by Fabio Mechetti in his final opera as music director. In the spring, he makes his Hawaii Opera Theatre debut as Angelotti in Tosca.
Last season he debuted with the Saint Louis Symphony as Sarastro in a family performance of The Magic Flute. The role of Colline in La Bohème brought him to both Opera Grand Rapids and Jacksonville Symphony, where he later returned as Bass Soloist in Beethoven’sSymphony No. 9. In Lucia di Lammermoor with Baltimore Concert Opera, “Matthew Curran, as Raimondo, summoned a rich, smooth sound and shaped the music with stylish power,” wrote Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun. He also appeared as Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figarowith El Paso Opera, Masetto in Don Giovanni with the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice, Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata with Lyric Opera of Virginia, and sang in Duluth Festival Opera’s Night at the Opera. The season was capped off by creating the role of Helmut Langeschlangein the new opera by Gordon Beeferman, The Enchanted Organ: A Porn Opera.
Other notable credits include appearances with Atlanta Opera as Colline in La Bohème, Seattle Opera as Zaretzky in Eugene Onegin, Skagit Opera as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, New York City Opera, covering the role of Inspector Watts in Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon and also singing in a number of new works over the years as part of their Vox Opera Lab Concerts. He has performed Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro, andPistola in Falstaff for Opera New Jersey. He sang Mat of the Mint in The Beggar’s Opera with the Castleton Festival in performances conducted by Lorin Maazel. Concert appearances include Symphony Silicon Valley as soloist in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, American Symphony Orchestra as a soloist in Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, La Chef de la Flotte in Bérénice at Carnegie Hall, and Penvald in Fervaal by Vincent D’Indy at Avery Fisher Hall, and highly praised interpretations of the bass solos from Handel’s Messiah with the Garden State Philharmonic and others.
An eager performer and advocate of new works, Mr. Curran was particularly honored to be chosen by composer Daron Hagen to sing Edwin Cheney in Shining Brow, which was recorded live with the Buffalo Philharmonic under JoAnn Falletta and released on the Naxos label. He sang Basil in Lowell Lieberman’s The Picture of Dorian Gray with Center City Opera Theater and has also enjoyed a long association with American Opera Projects, appearing in numerous works in development as well as being a resident singer for their Composer and The Voice workshop for three seasons.
A cum laude graduate of the Loyola University New Orleans School of Music, he received his Master’s degree at the prestigious Indiana University School of Music where he worked with notable conductors Imre Palló and David Effron as Count Waldner in Arabella and theDoctor in Wozzeck. He subsequently joined Seattle Opera’s young artist program where he sang Colline in La Bohème, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola and Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin on the main stage. Following Seattle he furthered his training at the International Opera Studio in Zurich, where he sang Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Macrobio in Rossini’s La Pietra del Paragone, and Max Hammer in Der Musikfeind along with numerous smaller roles on the main stage along side many of the world’s top names. He has performed with Seattle Opera, Zürich Opera, Opera New Jersey, New Orleans Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Chautauqua Opera, Central City Opera, El Paso Opera, Skagit Opera, Washington East Opera, and Opera Company of Brooklyn, among others.
Jeffrey Grayson Gates, Poliono/First Gravedigger
Baritone Jeffrey Grayson Gates is a Texas native whose captivating, artful performances have won the admiration of audiences and critics across the United States. He was hailed by The Baltimore Sun as having “vocal spark” as well as a “thundering presence” by DC Metro Theater Arts for his recent performance as Don Giovanni at the Lyric Opera Baltimore. Among his widespread repertoire of operatic roles, performance highlights include: Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Mr. Gedge in Albert Herring, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia, Germont in La Traviata, Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, Horace Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus. In addition to opera and musical theater, Mr. Gates has extensive experience on the concert stage. He has appeared as a soloist with orchestras across the United States, performing works including Händel’s Messiah, Carmina Burana, and the requiems of Brahms, Mozart, Fauré, and Duruflé. Mr. Gates was a Regional Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in both in Mid-West and Mid-Atlantic regions, and a winner of the Vocal Arts DC Young Artists Competition, the Naftzger Young Artist Auditions, and The Stephen Dickson Encouragement Award. Mr. Gates received a Bachelor of Music degree from Oklahoma City University and a Graduate Performance Diploma in Voice from the Peabody Conservatory. He has previously performed as a young artist with Central City Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Light Opera Oklahoma. Upcoming engagements include Happy in La fanciulla del West with Kentucky Opera and Baritone Soloist in Händel’s Messiah with Harford Choral Society. For more information, please visit www.JeffreyGatesBaritone.com.
Rolando Sanz, Laerte
Praised by Opera News for his “warm, strong, highly promising tenor”, Rolando Sanz is thrilling audiences with his impeccable technique and musical depth, as well as his “[vocal] color and heartfelt interpretations” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). In the 2014-2015 season, he will return to Florentine Opera as Nemorino in L’elisir d’Amore, join Baltimore Concert Opera for the U.S. premiere of Franco Faccio’s Amleto, and make his Virginia Opera debut as Alfredo in La traviata.
Rolando has honed his Italianate tenor of “considerable color and strength” (Baltimore Sun) with roles including Alfredo with Florentine Opera and Pacific Symphony, Boris in Kát’a Kabanová with Spoleto Festival USA, Rodolfo in La bohème with Palm Beach Opera and Opera Idaho, Paolo in Rachmaninov’s Francesca da Rimini with the Princeton Festival, Arminio in I masnadieri with Washington Concert Opera, Pinkerton (cov) in Madame Butterfly with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Duca di Mantua in Rigoletto with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and Annapolis Opera.
Rolando has displayed his consummate musicianship in concert and oratorio works at the Washington National Cathedral, Aspen Music Festival, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. He is also a strong ambassador of the art song recital. As a resident artist at Songfest, Rolando collaborated with Martin Katz, Graham Johnson, and composer John Harbison. In an upcoming season, he will return to Carnegie Hall to perform the world premiere of a song cycle by composer Ezra Laderman and former United States poet-laureate Robert Pinsky.
Rolando has been a prizewinner in the Florida Grand Opera/Young Patronesses of the Opera Voice Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Aspen Music Festival Vocal Concerto Competition, and the XIII International Voice Competition in Trujillo, Peru. Most recently, he was awarded the Grand Prize, Conductor Award, and Audience Choice Award at the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, 1st place at the Florida Suncoast Opera Guild Competition, and 1st prize at the Marie E. Crump Vocal Competition.
Rolando is passionately involved with the musical landscape of the Mid-Atlantic region. He serves as Artistic Director of Young Artists of America, an organization he co-founded with his brother, conductor Kristofer Sanz. YAA was created to provide talented young musicians with exceptional opportunities to be mentored by professional artists, culminating in fully orchestrated performances of large-scale works of opera, musical theater, and oratorio. This fall, he will perform as featured soloist in the Maryland State Art Council’s Star-Spangled Spectacular to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Rolando is also proud to have represented his hometown while performing the National Anthem for the nationally televised opening series of the Baltimore Orioles in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Rolando is a proud graduate of the Yale University School of Music.
Eric Bash, Orazio
Eric Bash is a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music where he received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Vocal Performance. Mr. Bash also served 4 years active duty and was honorably discharged from the United States Navy. He has performed with companies throughout the country including Lyric Opera of Baltimore, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Festival di Lucca, and Converse Opera Theater. His favorite roles include Gianni Schicchi and Spinelloccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro. Eric last appeared with the Baltimore Concert Opera as Angelotti in Tosca. He now lives in Philadelphia, PA.
Thank you to his family and friends for his love of music and entertaining.
Travis Lucas, Marcello/Sacerdote
A native of Philadelphia, this will be Travis Lucas’ debut with Baltimore ConcertOpera. He has been singing primarily with Concert Opera of Philadelphia since 2011. While with this company he has performed the role of Morales in Bizet’s Carmen, the role of Silvano in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera and the roles of Matthieu and Roucher in Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chenier. He won his division in the NATS competition in the fall of 2010. He has performed with the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra performing the work of Mozart’s Requiem. He has graduated from Elizabethtown College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music in May of 2011. While studying at Elizabethtown he has performed in Urinetown the Musical as Bobby Strong, Cabaret, and has performed as a lead in the world premiere opera of Les Madres de la Plaza which one of his professors wrote in 2007. He also has performed as a baritone soloist in Faure’s requiem. In the summer of 2013 he has performed the roles of Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro, Johann in Werther, and Prince Yamadori in Madame Butterfly with Delaware Valley Opera Company. This past year he has been singing in the chorus of OperaDelaware performing the works of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles. He currently is studying with Ms. Diana Borgia-Petro.
Anthony Barrese, Conductor
Anthony Barrese has earned accolades as both a composer and a conductor. He is the recipient of the 2007 Georg Solti Foundation U.S. award for young conductors. His original works have won numerous awards, and he is regularly engaged by opera companies in North America and Italy.
Currently Mr. Barrese works as a freelance composer and conductor. He has led several productions with Sarasota Opera (Lakmé, Le nozze di Figaro, Hansel and Gretel), and with Opera Southwest (Le nozze di Figaro, Die Fledermaus, La cenerentola) where he is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor. He was the Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Opera in 2006-2007 and returned there as Guest Conductor for a production of Tosca in 2008.
In November 2008 Mr. Barrese conducted a new production of Turandot in Ascoli Piceno’s historic Teatro Ventidio Basso, with a cast that included Nicola Martinucci as Calaf. He also made his French debut conducting Turandot at the Opéra de Massy.
In recent seasons Mr. Barrese made debuts with Boston Lyric Opera (Don Giovanni), Mercury Opera, Edmonton (Il tabarro) and DePaul Opera Theater (Ned Rorem’s Our Town).
Mr. Barrese is the recipient of numerous composition awards including a N.E.C. Contemporary Ensemble Composition Competition Award for his Madrigale a 3 voci femminili, and two B.M.I. Student Composers Awards. As a musicologist, Mr. Barrese rediscovered, prepared, and edited the critical edition of Franco Faccio’s opera Amleto, in conjunction with Casa Ricordi.
He made his operatic conducting debut in Milan with La bohème and recorded Roberto Andreoni’s quattro luci sul lago with ”I Solisti della Scala” (a chamber group made up of the first chair musicians of the La Scala Philharmonic) for broadcast on Italian National Radio (RAI 3).
In the 2012-2013 season Mr. Barrese conducted Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera North, and Rossini’s Otello with the American staged premiere of the finale lieto at Opera Southwest. He also returned to Dallas Opera for a production of Bizet’s Dr. Miracle, and made his Opera Theatre of St. Louis debut with Smetana’s The Kiss.
Michael Dauphinais, Pianist
Michael Dauphinais has been hailed in the press as “a marvelous collaborative pianist” (ITEA Journal), and has garnered praise for his “superbly realized continuo” (Arizona Republic) as well as his live renditions of orchestral reductions: “pianist Michael Dauphinais enables one to forget the lack of an orchestra almost immediately” (Newark Star-Ledger). His versatility has led to collaborations with several opera companies in the U.S. including Arizona Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Southwest, Kentucky Opera, Opera in the Ozarks and New Jersey Opera Theatre, and he has served as the music director for the young artists’ Ensemble at San Diego Opera. He has also performed duo, chamber, choral and vocal repertoire throughout the U.S., Mexico, Ireland and Austria. Dauphinais has also served as a staff pianist for both regional and international conferences held by ITEA (International Tuba Euphonium Association) as well as the American Institute for Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.
An advocate of contemporary music and multi-disciplinary collaboration, Mr. Dauphinais has played music by John Cage with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and has also collaborated with choreographer Yanira Castro, Art.If.Act Dance Project and ACME (Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble). He has performed recent premieres of works for piano and live electronics by Stephan Moore and John King, and he recently played an evening of Moore’s works at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He has also been featured in symposiums at The University of Arizona celebrating the music of Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Olivier Messiaen, George Crumb, Bela Bartók and Robert Beaser. Mr. Dauphinais’s most recent collaborative project, the site-specific dance and sound installation Wilderness with sound artist/composer Stephan Moore and choreographer Yanira Castro and company, premiered at the 2010 Filament Festival at EMPAC (Troy, NY); further performances have taken place at Vanderbilt University, Franklin and Marshall College (PA), and at The Invisible Dog Art Center (Brooklyn, NY). He has also collaborated with Moore and Castro in Paradis, the first site-specific dance installation ever performed in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Michael Dauphinais earned degrees in music from Western Michigan University (BM) and Arizona State University (MM and DMA); his teachers have included Andrew Campbell, Eckart Sellheim, Sylvia Roederer and Phyllis Rappeport. He currently serves on the music faculty at The University of Arizona where he teaches solo and collaborative piano, and is the vocal coach for UA Opera Theater; he is also Head Vocal Coach at Opera in the Ozarks as well as Principal Pianist and Vocal Coach at Opera Southwest. Mr. Dauphinais can be heard on the Mark Records Classical label with tubist Kelly Thomas.
James Harp, Chorus Master
James Harp is well known in the Baltimore area as a pianist, organist, stage director, singer, composer, lecturer, writer and conductor. He began his musical career at age 7 as a church soloist, and has concertized in Italy, France, Greece, Israel, the Bahamas, and extensively throughout his native Southern United States. Among his more unusual musical experiences include singing “My Old Kentucky Home” as a soloist on National Television at the 1981 Kentucky Derby, coaching Lily Tomlin in arias from Aida for an Emmy-nominated “Homicide” segment, and nearly drowning after falling backwards into the Sea of Galilee while conducting madrigals.
He is the Artistic Director of Lyric Opera Baltimore, a new grand opera company for Baltimore being supported by the Lyric Opera House, where he oversees opera productions in the theatre as well as directs a significant program of education/outreach programs. He is also heavily involved in pursuing and nurturing partnerships and collaborations with arts organizations both locally and nationally in order to sustain the art forms of opera and music for perpetuity.
He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He was the Artistic Administrator of the Baltimore Opera Company beginning in 1989 and was the Chorus Master since 1993. Since 1983 he has served as organist for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and since 1987 has been the Cantor (Organist/Choirmaster) for Baltimore’s historic St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, where he also serves as Artistic Director of the St. Cecilia Society Concert Series. He formerly served as Music Director of the Baltimore Men’s Chorus from 1989-1995 and was the accompanist for the Baltimore Symphony Chorus from 1982-1999. He is very proud to be the Principal Accompanist and Chorus Master for Baltimore Concert Opera since Spring of 2009.
Knowledgeable in many areas of music, he has lectured extensively on opera in many venues, including the Towson Arts Festival, the Maryland Opera Society, the Biblical Archaeology Society, and the Joy of Opera Series. He is on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Continuing Education. Successful as a writer of operatic children’s programs, he and his work Puppets & Pagliacci were featured on a PBS documentary. His reworking and staging of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, changed from Florence, Italy in 1299 to Florence, Alabama, in 1929 and retitled The Tale of Johnnie S. Kickey, has been well received and performed in several regional opera companies and universities. He has served on several national advisory boards as a consultant and advocate for arts agencies.
As a stage director he has directed many operas for Artscape, Baltimore’s summer festival of the arts, including The Medum, Too Many Sopranos, Slow Dusk, and Beauty and the Beast. He has directed The Sorcerer, HMS Pinafore, The Gondoliers, Iolanthe and The Pirates of Penzance with the Young Victorian Opera Company. He has also staged operas at Anne Arundel Community College, where his version of The Elixer of Love, transplanted to Tennessee during Prohibition, was well received, as well as his productions of The Magic Flute and Die Fledermaus.
Sought after as an orchestral musician and accompanist, he has been featured as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in works ranging from Saint-Saens Organ Symphony to Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. He has appeared as continuo (harpsichord/organ) soloist with many local orchestral and choral groups, where his informed and histrionic realizations of baroque figured bass have won acclaim. Accompanist to many local singers, many of whom feature his own compositions, he has also accompanied such artists as Leontyne Price, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Licia Albanese, Anna Moffo, Chris Merritt, Lucine Amara, and Paul Plishka.
An aficionado of gardening, theology, genealogy and all things Victorian, he lives in the Bolton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore with his three gregarious pugs, Vivian, Jewell, and Woodrow.