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.
Known for his expressive voice of “liquid gold” and the “stage presence of a lion” Peruvian native José Sacin is considered one of the leading South American baritones of our time. He has performed and collaborated with the foremost figures of the opera and music world today including a nationally televised performance for Pope Benedict XVI alongside Placido Domingo at Nationals Stadium in Washington, DC; with Gregory Buchalter of the Metropolitan Opera; the Chilean soprano Veronica Villaroel; American soprano Alessandra Marc, Enrique Ricci and Will Crutchfield. He performed the world premiere of selected passages from the newly discovered version of Verdi's La Forza del Destino with Philip Gossett at the Caramoor International Festival. He has worked with the Washington National Opera, Opera de Lima, Opera Delaware, Baltimore Opera, Opera Camerata of Washington, Caramoor Opera Festival, Opera North, Choral Arts Society of Washington, Mediterranean Opera Studio, Maryland Opera Society, In Series, Opera New Hampshire, Opera NOVA, among others. Main roles include the title roles of Rigoletto, Macbeth, Gianni Schicchi and Don Giovanni, Germont (La Traviata), Tonio (Pagliacci), Alfio (Cavalleria), Figaro (Barber of Seville), Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Rodrigo (Don Carlo). Sacin has extensive appearances in Spanish Zarzuelas like El Barberillo de Lavapies, Los Gavilanes, Luisa Fernanda, La Tabernera del Puerto, El Duo de la Africana and Bohemios.
Described by the Washington Post as “imposing and promising,” tenor Patrick Cook is earning praise for his performances across the country in venues including The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Cook recently debuted with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marin Alsop in a production of Bernstein’s Candide. He has performed with opera companies throughout the Mid-Atlantic region including Annapolis Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Washington Concert Opera, and Washington National Opera. Cook appears regularly as a concert soloist performing with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Philharmonic, The Washington Chorus and the DC Wagner Society. A 2011 and 2010 DC District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, he can be heard on the American Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots as Bois-Rosé. Cook holds advanced degrees from the University of Maryland, Bard Conservatory, and The Juilliard School. Cook teaches voice at Towson University and Northern Virginia Community College.
Pianist Ju Young Lee performs actively as collaborative artist. In 2013, Lee was the finalist in the Liszt Garrison Competition as a Collaborative Artist and also received the Best Interpretation Award of American songs. As an assistant coach, she accompanied and coached for Hansel and Gretel, Cendrillon, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Street Scene, and Così fan tutte, productions of the Peabody Opera Department. Lee completed a Master of Music degree and a Graduate Performance Diploma in vocal accompanying with a full tuition scholarship as a Graduate Assistantship in Peabody Opera Department at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where she studied with Eileen Cornett. Currently, she is a rehearsal pianist at Lyric Opera Baltimore.
Award-winning violinist Alexis Meschter performs as soloist and chamber musician in the U.S. and in Europe. This season, Alexis was the winner of the William Marbury Competition at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University as well as the first prize winner of the LISMA Foundation International Competition on Long Island, NY. He has studied and performed at the Summit Music Festival in Purchase, NY, Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy, and the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute in Washington, DC. In past seasons, he has appeared with the Newark Symphony Orchestra and the Wilmington Community Orchestra. He is enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and studies with the renowned Russian violinist and teacher Victor Danchenko.
Katerina Burton, soprano, has been praised for her “distinctly rich tones” and for her versatility in the art song and operatic repertoire. Ms. Burton was most recently seen as Lola Markham in Towson University’s production of Gallantry and as the Fairy Godmother at Annapolis Opera in Cinderella: A Children’s Opera, a collaboration with Towson’s “Opera in a Can” program. Other roles include the title character of Suor Angelica at Towson and the role of Erste Dame in Towson’s 2014 production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Ms. Burton is a frequent competitor and was most recently awarded 3rd prize in Annapolis Opera’s 29th Annual Vocal competition and won 1st place in the Shirley Rabb Winston Voice Competition for the D.C. Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters. In 2015, she was a recipient of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Encouragement Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region. Ms. Burton is also a first place winner in the 2017 NATS Maryland/D.C. District competition. She recently graduated from Towson University where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, and she will be attending The Juilliard School in the fall.
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.
Jessica Albrecht, BM University of Maryland, is currently pursuing a Masters of Music at the Peabody Institute in the studio of Alan Stepansky, former New York Philharmonic cellist. She performs regularly with Perfect Harmony String Ensemble and the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra, hailed by the Washington Post as “the premier American ragtime ensemble.” Albrecht is a founding member of Ensemble Deburau, a contemporary chamber ensemble based in College Park. She has performed at prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Albrecht is a Finalist in the Arts of the merit-based Maryland Distinguished Scholarship, the 2013 recipient of the highly selective Clifford Arnold Bernsen Memorial Scholarship Fund, and was recently awarded the Tretter Award in chamber music. She teaches private cello lessons in the College Park area as well as freelances throughout D.C. and Baltimore.
Joseph Regan is a successful singer and voice teacher based in the Mid-Atlantic region making appearances throughout the east coast. A specialist in French Mélodie, Mr. Regan is a deft interpreter of this exquisite art form and is frequently engaged around the region to perform in this capacity. Joseph can be seen on the opera stage where he has performed the roles of Fenton from Verdi’s Falstaff, Tamino from Mozart’s Magic Flute, Jenik from Smetana’s Bartered Bride and many more. Mr. Regan is also an accomplished performer of musical theatre. He has performed Henrik in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Nicely-Nicely Johnson from Loesser’s Guys and Dolls, and has performed a number of cabaret and recital programs dedicated to the style. Additionally, Mr. Regan is well known for his work in the field of oratorio. He has sung Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Rossini, and is particularly notable for his expertise singing Bach. He has performed the St. John Passion solos on multiple occasions and has performed more than a dozen of Bach’s Cantatas. Mr. Regan is also a highly sought after ensemble singer and sings regularly with top choral groups in the region, with whom he has toured much of the Eastern seaboard.
Virginia-born bass-baritone Daryl Yoder was raised in southern Africa and received hismusical training at the Oberlin Conservatory and Boston University. Highlights of recent seasons include concert appearances with the baroque ensemble Three Notch’d Road at Shenandoah University’s Bach-Handel Festival, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with Third Practice, Membra Jesu Nostri of Buxtehude at Emmanuel Church in Baltimore, and the D.C. premiere of Louis Andriessen’s opera/oratorio La Commedia with the Great Noise Ensemble. On the opera stage, he debuted with Bel Cantanti Opera as Elviro in Serse (Handel) and returned to Opera Lancaster’s production of Amahl and the Night Visitors for a second season as Balthazar. This past spring he created the role of Frank Spearman in Frances Pollock’s acclaimed new opera Stinney. He has also been seen as Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore), Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof), Micha (The Bartered Bride), Betto (Gianni Schicchi), and Daniel Webster (The Mother of Us All) in addition to roles in The Marriage of Figaro, The Barber of Seville, La Clemenza di Tito, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado and more. His concert performances include the solos in the Requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Fauré and Duruflé, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle as well as many smaller works. A lover of art song, his recital programs range from the great cycles of Schubert and Schumann to Chabrier, Finzi and Mussorgsky.
Tenor George Wilkerson, Jr. hails from Wilmington, Delaware and was born into a large family of jazz musicians. While singing has always been an important part of his life, he was initially trained as a percussionist. It was during his undergraduate studies that he began concentrating on voice performance. He has extensive experience in opera and musical theater; most notably, performing the roles of Beppe in I Pagliacci, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Bill in A Hand of Bridge, Professor Bhaer in Little Women: The Musical, Chauvelin in The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Jake in Side Show. In addition to being a performer, Mr. Wilkerson thoroughly enjoys his careers as a voice teacher, conductor, and director and has taught band, choir, applied voice, and drama for over ten years. He holds the Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and the Master of Arts degree in Music (Voice) from Morgan State University. He is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice Performance from the Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia under the tutelage of Dr. Byron Jones.
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.
On both opera and concert stages, soprano Thea Tullman Moore has delighted audiences with her “crystalline voice and natural stage presence” (Wall Street Journal). She has sung roles with Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Festival of New Jersey, and Central City Opera, and has been heard in recital at the Ravinia Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Académie musicale de Villecroze in Provence. As part of the Monteverdi series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, she sang the role of La Musica in Orfeo and was praised by the Chicago Tribune for her “shining vocal grace.” She performed the title role in Seymour Barab’s The Betrothal of Becky Brown at The Actors Institute of New York, The Assistant in Richard Wilson’s Æthelred the Unready at New York City’s Merkin Concert Hall, and the role of Jenny in Phil Hagemann’s Roman Fever at Lincoln Center. Other roles include Poppea in The Coronation of Poppea, Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia, Mademoiselle Silberklang in The Impressario, and Flora in The Turn of the Screw. Thea has been a featured soloist in a number of major oratorio works, including Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Schubert’s Mass in G, Rutter’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. A native of Chicago, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College and received her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She is the founder and executive director of Baltimore Musicales.
American baritone Jason Buckwalter is known for his “super-sized characters” (The Sybaritic Singer) and “theatrical fire” (Baltimore City Paper). A native of Landenberg, Pennsylvania, Jason now lives in Baltimore and performs throughout Maryland, Virginia, D.C., Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Equally comfortable in opera, musical theater, oratorio, and song repertoire, he has performed with a wide variety of companies including the Washington National Opera, Maryland Opera, Baltimore Concert Opera, Annapolis Chorale, Young Victorian Theatre Company, and The Figaro Project. Operatic roles include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Schaunard and Marcello in La bohème, and Frank and Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus. Jason performs regularly with Maryland Opera's outreach program, bringing opera to elementary school students and classic musical theater and American standards to senior centers throughout Maryland.
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.
“Soprano Jessica Satava lent great beauty and intensity of feeling to her performance.” (The Baltimore Sun, 2015) Ms. Satava has appeared as both Lauretta and Nella in Gianni Schicchi, La Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro, Musetta in La bohème, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Inez in Il Trovatore, Voce dal Cielo in Don Carlo, Julie in Carousel, Laurey in Oklahoma!, Polly in The Threepenny Opera, and as Mimí and Micaëla in concert performances of La bohème and Carmen. She has appeared with orchestra as the soprano soloist in Górecki’s Symphony No. 3, Rutter’s Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, Bruckner’s Te Deum, Handel’s Messiah, Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s St. John Passion, Mass in B minor and Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1, and Meine Seel erhebt den Herren, BWV 10. The 2017-18 season will include a return to the soprano solos in Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem for both LiveArts MD and the Maryland Choral Society, Bach’s Mass in B minor, and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with her husband Joseph Satava as piano soloist with The Annapolis Chorale and Chamber Orchestra.
Tenor Aaron Halevy began his study of opera in 2009 when he participated in the Laboratori di Ricerca e di Perfezionamento Musicale, in the Tuscan mountains of Italy, where he studied Bel Canto technique with renowned soprano, Antonella Banaudi. In spring of 2013 he left a career in politics to sing Pinkerton in his professional debut in Bel Cantanti's production of Madama Butterfly. This has been followed by the role of Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus; Tanzenmeister/Scaramuccio in Singer's Theater of Washington's production of Ariadne Auf Naxos; Beppe in Maryland Lyric Opera's production of Pagliacci; as well as the roles of Aegisth/Junger Deiner in Manhattan Opera Studio's production of Elektra. In 2014 Aaron joined the Opera Singer's Initiative, based out of New York City, which has brought him concert performances at Lincoln Center and other venues in the greater Manhattan area. Aaron's 2015 roles include Don Ottavio with DC's In Series in their production of Don Giovanni; and Benedict in Sterling Opera's Béatrice et Bénédict.
Baritone Rob McGinness has been praised by the Baltimore Sun for his “impressive singing . . . well-supported tone and supple phrasing.” This season Rob is looking forward to both his Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall solo debuts. His season will also include performances with New York’s PROTOTYPE Festival, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and Washington National Opera. Often featured portraying opera’s “bad boy,” Rob’s operatic credits include the title roles in Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni, as well as Marcello in La bohème. He has also sung Enrico in Lucia, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, a performance lauded for a “bright baritone and winning jitteriness” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. As a featured soloist, Rob has performed Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, the Duruflé Requiem with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, and the Brahms Requiem with Portsmouth Pro Musica. Other concert credits include Carmina Burana with Columbia Pro Cantare and Schubert’s Mass in G with Concert Artists of Baltimore, where Rob’s performance was lauded by the Baltimore Sun’s Tim Smith for its “poetic warmth.” Next season Rob is thrilled to be joining Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio, performing multiple roles including Schaunard in La bohème and Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos.