Known for her extensive vocal range, mezzo-soprano Elise Christina Jenkins has charmed audiences in repertoire ranging from opera and art song to operetta. Most recently, she joined The In Series for their Operetta Wonderland: The Magic of Victor Herbert. A frequent performer with Opera NOVA, she sang the role of Tisbe in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Monisha in Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha, and in various outreach programs and recitals. Other operatic roles include Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, and Maman in L'enfant et les sortilèges, as well as the partial role of Waltraute in Wagner’s Die Walküre and La Badessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica with the JMU’s German Opera Experience in Freiberg. Elise made her Italian debut in the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival in Mairoi performing scenes from Mozart’s Così fan tutte and she later returned to Italy to sing Madre Maria in Francis Poulenc’s I dialoghi delle Carmelitane for La Musica Lirica’s International Music Festival in Novafeltria. As an oratorio soloist, Elise was invited to sing Handel’s Messiah at the Korean United Methodist Church of Koinonia for their Christmas Eve service with chamber orchestra under the baton of Dr. In Dal Choi. She received her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from George Mason University and she currently studies with Mr. Russell Penney. Elise cantors regularly at Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria, VA.
Mezzo-soprano Christianne Rushton has delighted audiences with her engaging presence and versatility on both the operatic and concert stages. Dr. Rushton is a first prize winner of the Canadian National Music Festival, a prize winner at the prestigious Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, a two-time grant recipient from the Canada Council for the Performing Arts, and a winner of the Canada Council’s Bernard Diamant Prize in Voice. In recital, she has been a guest artist for the Royal Society of Canada, toured with Debut Atlantic, performed at the Indian River Festival, recorded with the Canadian Chamber Choir, sung with Baltimore Musicales and debuted at New York’s Alice Tully Hall. Highlights of Christianne’s numerous operatic roles have included Orpheus in Orpheus ed Euridice (Opera Nova Scotia), the title role in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (Juilliard Opera Center), Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (Opera North), and Filotete in the North American premiere and Italian revival (Spoleto) of Handel’s Oreste (Juilliard Opera Center). Christianne is Associate Professor at Acadia University where she is head of vocal studies and Director of the School of Music. She is a graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center at The Juilliard School and completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from SUNY Stony Brook. She recently received an Emerging Leader Award, from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) for her innovation and success teaching voice. Dr. Rushton is President of two arts organizations on the East Coast; President of the Canadian Atlantic Provinces chapter of NATS, and the President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Provincial Music Festivals. As well as being active as an adjudicator, pedagogue, workshop clinician and performer across the country, she is a proud mom to two very busy boys, nine and six.
Mezzo-soprano Christine Thomas has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel called her voice “an amazing instrument.” The Washington Post said, “her voice is lovely and her stage presence is natural and full of vitality." Recent performances include Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Mrs. Paroo in Music Man and Mother Abbess in Sound of Music. In October 2015, she made her NYC debut in scenes from On The Town, Candide and Wonderful Town in a tribute concert entitled Bernstein Remembered. She is an alto soloist at Cathedral of Mary our Queen and at Temple Oheb Shalom in Baltimore. On recordings, Ms. Thomas may be heard on Mark Brymer's “Christmas Suite” with Milwaukee Children' s Choir, “Flight Box” with Present Music, "Cinq Poèmes de Tristan Tzara" with pianist Milton Peckarsky on the CD La Clé de L'Horizon and on comedian/singer Joel Kopischke’s CD, I Got Yule, Babe. Ms. Thomas received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory. She is on the voice faculty at Howard Community College and Oldfields School and teaches privately at her home in Roland Park.
Elizabeth Sarian, mezzo-soprano, is known for her unique vocal timbre, sensitive artistry, and refreshing sense of humor. She is currently a Master’s student studying at Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. Originally from Long Island, New York, Elizabeth is a recent graduate of Hofstra University, where she earned her B.S. in Music Performance. In November of 2015, Elizabeth was seen performing the role of Mae Jones in Peabody Opera's production of Street Scene at the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric in Baltimore. Elizabeth is also singing the role of 3rd lady in Peabody’s Outreach production of Magic Flute, Papageno! Previous opera credits include the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Mathurine in Gluck’s L’ivrogne corrige, Marie in Schubert’s Die Verschworenen, and Melissa in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida. Elizabeth has also studied at several summer festivals such as the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute, Oyster Bay Music Festival, and mostly recently, Songfest, where Elizabeth performed in master classes with renowned artists John Aler, Susanne Mentzer, and Ann Murray.
Mezzo-soprano Kyle Engler has been praised for her extreme versatility in both opera and chamber music. The Baltimore Sun has called her “a virtuoso of a high order” and “dramatic and visceral.” On the operatic stage, she has sung the roles of the Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul with Washington Opera, Charlotte in Werther, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, Mercedes in Carmen, Indiana Elliott in The Mother of Us All, and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, among others. Engler performed to great reviews when cast by Placido Domingo in the role of Lydia Dudley in Washington National Opera’s premier production of Democracy, An American Comedy by Scott Wheeler. She was also invited to perform in Augusta Read-Thomas’ opera Ligeia, commissioned and conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich, at the Recontres musicales d’Évian in Évian, France. She has been featured with several orchestras throughout North America performing works such as Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Elgar’s Sea Pictures, Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’Été, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. Engler is a member of the Morpheus Trio along with pianist Daniel Lau and hornist Larry Williams and Director of Vocal Studies at McDaniel College.
Catrin Rowenna Davies, mezzo-soprano, is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales. In addition, she holds an honors degree in history from McGill University, Montreal, and a master's degree in Women's Studies from Oxford University. Ms. Davies specializes in Welsh repertoire and three times has won the first prize at the North American Festival of Wales. She has also competed at the National Festival in Wales, winning the mezzo-soprano competition in 2012. With regards to opera, she has performed roles with Baltimore Opera, Lyric Opera of Cleveland, Annapolis Opera, Live Arts Maryland, Young Victorian Theatre Company, and Baltimore Concert Opera. Favorite roles include: Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, the Fairy Queen in Iolanthe, Phoebe in Yeomen of the Guard, Pitti Sing in The Mikado, Meg in Little Women, and Carmen in Carmen, which she performed in 2014 after coaching with renowned mezzo-soprano, Denyce Graves. As an oratorio soloist, she has been seen with Annapolis Chorale, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Prince William Symphony Orchestra, and Peabody Symphony Orchestra. She is also a member of Lyric Opera Baltimore’s educational program. Ms. Davies is an avid recitalist, and is also in demand for straight theater, musical theater, and cabarets.
Mezzo-soprano Erica Convery is already recognized nationally as a major young talent, both in concerts and in operatic performances. Audiences recently heard Ms. Convery as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with Berks Opera Workshop, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with Maryland Lyric Opera, Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos with The Singer's Theater of Washington and as Dorothee in Cendrillon with Bel Cantanti Opera. Other upcoming engagements include Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro with Carroll Opera Theatre in August 2015 and Alto Soloist in Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore and Regina Coeli with the Harford Choral Society. Ms. Convery resides in Baltimore, Maryland.