BRUCE EARNEST JR.
Founder of IPAI Germany, IPAI Thailand, and the IPAI New York Showcase
Bruce has produced, directed or music directed over 100 productions throughout Europe and the United States. An internationally renown specialist in musical theatre belting, he has conducted masterclasses and workshops on musical theatre and commercial singing, casting, international careers in musical theatre, opera, acting, and directing in the United States, Europe and Thailand. Bruce and has current or past students working in major productions in the UK, Europe, off Broadway, on Broadway and in national tours in the United States. He is the founder and former Program Director of Music Theatre at the University of Central Florida, Director of Musical Theatre at the University of South Dakota, Interim Associate Professor of Voice at Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Associate Guest Professor of Music Theatre at the Bavarian Theatre Academy/Hochschule in Munich, and served as Voice and Artistic Consultant for Stage Entertainment.
Currently Vice President of Advancement at the University of Mobile, Dr. Earnest consults regularly with international casting director Ralf Schaedler, is co-founder of the Ever Blue Festival, and serves as President of Mobile Opera. Dr. Earnest remains passionate about the development of young artists and their success. He is collaborating with Kirstin Chavez on a book entitled Entrepreneurship in the Arts and is the co-author of A Beginner's Acting Companion with the late Lani Harris published by Kendal Hunt.
Founder, Voice and German, Master Clinician
As a master class instructor and vocal technician specializing in musical theatre belting technique as well as operatic vocal technique, soprano Darla Earnest has worked in Austria, Germany and the United States producing students currently working in the musical theatre and classical music industries worldwide. Her students can be seen in touring productions of musicals as well as in opera houses, conservatories, universities and young artist programs around the globe. Studying under Metropolitan Opera soprano Dr. Barbara Daniels and Ms. Daniels’ former teacher, Lucille Evans, Ms. Earnest developed as an opera singer as well as securing a technique for belting that is well suited to the modern ingénue repertoire for 20th and 21st century musical theatre.
As a performer, Ms. Earnest has a diverse career that includes being a member of the vocal jazz ensemble “Voices of Liberty” at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT, as well as being the soprano soloist in EPCOT’s Italy specializing in Neopolitan songs and Italian opera arias. She has also sung numerous musical theatre and opera roles including Grace Farrell in Annie, Laura in the world premiere of Parable, the Soprano role in Trouble in Tahiti, Lead Role in Nightclub Cantata, Anna in The King and I, and The Sound of Music’s Maria, Ms. Southingham in a modern adaptation of Mozart’s Impresario, Nella in Gianni Schicchi, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Gretel in Hansel & Gretel, Edwina in Mystery on the Docks, Gasparina in La Cantarina, Maria in Monkey See, Monkey Do, Blonda in The Abduction from the Seraglio, and Drusilla in The Coronation of Poppea. Concert works to her credit are various Rodgers and Hammerstein tributes, Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass, Bach’s Jesu, Meine Freude, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, Menotti’s Steal Me, Sweet Thief. Ms. Earnest has sung as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, was the soprano soloist in the Brahms Requiem under the baton of New York Philharmonic’s Assistant Conductor, Delta David Gier and made her debut in the role of Liú in Puccini’s Turandot with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, also conducted by maestro Gier. She will be making her Mobile Opera debut as Musetta in La Boheme in 2018.
Darla has served on the voice faculties of the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater/Bayerische Theaterakademie August Everding (Conservatory for Music and Theater/Bavarian Theater Academy) and in the Prinzregententheater both in Munich, Germany. She is currently adjunct Professor at the University of Mobile teaching Musical Theatre and Classical Vocal Technique. Darla holds a Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology from Bethel University and a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Central Florida where she studied under lyric soprano Elizabeth Wrancher.
Dr. SCOTT WRIGHT
General Director Emeritus
Dr. Scott Wright, is the General & Artistic Director of Mobile Opera, a singer, conductor, composer, actor and an active supporter of the arts. For many years he has conducted theatrical productions and most recently served as Music Director/ Conductor for the LaGrange Lyric Theatre (GA), and as Resident Music Director/Conductor for the University of Mobile’s Alabama School of the Arts in opera and musical theater. He is the former conductor of the Baldwin Strings Orchestra and the Bay Area Strings Community Orchestra. He served as assistant conductor to the Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra, was principal guest conductor for the Eastern Shore Chamber Orchestra & Chorus and guest conductor for many others. As a singing actor, he has performed in more than sixty operas and operettas as well as numerous oratorio and concert presentations. He has performed as an actor in numerous roles such as Don Quixote/Cervantes in Man of La Mancha, Frederik in A Little Night Music, Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Lancelot in Camelot, Jupiter/Amphytrion in Olympus On My Mind, Emile DeBecque in South Pacific, and Rip Van Winkle in the premiere of Fred Baldwin’s musical, RIP!. Dr. Wright is an active advocate for the arts. He is a past president of the Mobile Arts Council and is a member of the International Advisory Board of IPAI.
Director of Teaching Fellowship, Voice, Master Clinician
In demand as one of the finest vocal coaches of belt, legit and classical vocal technique, Maryann Kyle has dedicated her professional life to guiding singers in their pursuit not only of exceptional singing, but also captivating performance. Kyle has extensive experience teaching, coaching, and performing opera, recitals, concerts and Broadway shows. Kyle is currently the vocal coach for Twist, a new musical by composers Tena Clark and Gary Prim, and directed by Debbie Allen, which opened in Atlanta in 2010 at the Alliance Theatre, and opened at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2011. Kyle is the creator of Maryann Kyle’s COMMAND PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP, which focuses on the integration of the voice into the total actor.
Maryann Kyle is an active performer of opera, concert, and recital repertoire, and has shared the concert stage with some of world’s greatest artists, having sung the role of Micaela in Carmen opposite internationally known mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves; performing as a guest soloist with The Miami Festival opposite famed bass-baritone William Warfield; and singing the soprano solos in Mendelssohn’s Elijah opposite baritone Timothy Noble and mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson. Kyle has appeared as a soloist on the pop music stage with famed artists Patti Labelle, Patti Austin, Dionne Warwick, Ann Nesby and Vesta Williams. Kyle’s Sondheim Cabaret will premiere in NYC at the Laurie Beechman Theatre/West Bank Café in October, 2011.
Specializing in belt and legit style Broadway technique, Kyle has had a tremendous success in training singers in the best and healthiest use of their voice, and in integrating the function of singing with their character and physical acting process. She maintains studios in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta. Her students include famed New York dancer Jared Grimes, Emily Hindrichs (English National Opera, Oper Frankfurt, Tanglewood, Seattle Opera), Olivia Diane Joseph (off-Broadway production of The Wiz, Suzi Bass Award Winner), Alaman Diadhiou (title role in Twist, America’s Child Tap Dance Prodigy, Oman…O Man!, Jerry Lewis telethon), Pop/R&B singer, Matthew Johnson (Twist) and Aijia Lise, (headliner at the Viper Room in Hollywood and the House of Blues on Sunset Strip, Twist).
Kyle’s coaching talents are not restricted to Broadway musicals. Her students are successful in the classical realm as well, many of whom have performed leading roles with New Orleans Opera, Seattle Opera, Oper Frankfurt, and EnglishNational Opera.
Her students have garnered numerous awards including top placements at state and regional Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. Her students have earned apprenticeships with Seattle Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, Aspen Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Ohio Light Opera, Brevard and Operafestival di Roma; many continue to pursue their studies in major conservatories and schools including Indiana University, San Francisco Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory, Oklahoma City University and New England Conservatory of Music. Kyle’s main opera roles include Mimi and Musetta in Puccini’s La Boheme Countess and Susannah in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Violetta in La Traviata, Pamina in Die Zauberflote, Lady Billows in Albert Herring, Micaela in Carmen, the title role in Floyd’s Susannah, and the Evil Queen in the world-premiere of Snow White.
Director of Music and Collaborative Piano
Pianist Michael Bunchman maintains a fulfilling schedule as a collaborative pianist and chamber musician with both singers and instrumentalists throughout the United States. He is currently on faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi as the director of the Collaborative Piano Program, where he is honored to coach, teach and guide the next generation of collaborative pianists in both vocal and instrumental repertoire. He has given masterclasses at Texas Christian University, University of Texas at El Paso, Illinois State University and the University of Albany. Prior to working at the University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Bunchman served as coordinator of Collaborative Piano at Truman State University from 2015 to 2017.
Dr. Bunchman maintains an active performance schedule outside of his work in academia. He has spent five seasons as a principal coach and pianist at the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater, as well as appointments with the Natchez Festival of Music and Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra. His many collaborations with opera companies include Santa Barbara Opera, Opera Saratoga, the Princeton Festival and El Paso Opera. Also active as a concerto soloist, Dr. Bunchman has performed with the Ridgefield Symphony, the Breckenridge Music Festival, the Antara Ensemble in New York City, the Utah Festival Opera Orchestra and the National Repertory Orchestra. He and wife, singer Jessica Medoff, have been invited to opera houses and theaters nationwide to perform their highly acclaimed cabaret show ‘The Truth About Love…and the Usual Lies”. This past summer Dr. Bunchman had the honor to be counted among the amazingly diverse and talented group of artists of A Prairie Home Companion, hosted by Garrison Keillor, on their multi-city European cruise.
Dr. Bunchman holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the Peabody Conservatory, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Collaborative Piano from the University of Texas at Austin. He spent three summers at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival. His teachers have included Anne Epperson, Rick Rowley, Marian Hahn, Joseph Kalichstein, Antoinette Perry, Adrienne Sielaff and Doris Pridonoff-Lehnert.
Director of Voice and Opera, Master Clinician
Mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chávez is considered one of the most riveting and significant young artists performing today. She is praised for her luscious and velvety tone that transcends classification, with its rich evenness in her lower register and the easy ripeness of the top. The combination of the dramatic intensity of her acting, along with her natural physical beauty, make her an arresting and unique presence on the operatic stage. During the 2010 - 11 season Ms. Chavez was heard as Maddalena in Rigoletto with The Metropolitan Opera and with the Dallas Opera, and as Carmen at the Arena di Verona in Italy and at Central City Opera. The 2011 – 2012 season includes leading the production of Dead Man Walking with Tulsa Opera, Baba the Turk in the Rake's Progress with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and Carmen with the Graz Opera, among others.
Ms. Chávez has captured attention and acclaim in her signature roles and is now known as one of the definitive Carmens of the day, a role that she has performed with great success throughout the United States, and elsewhere in the world, including in Japan, China, Taiwan, Europe, and Australia. Opera News reported that her Carmen in Graz, Austria was “the Carmen of a lifetime. With her dark, generous mezzo, earthy eroticism, volcanic spontaneity and smoldering charisma, Chavez has it all, including a superb command of French and a sense of humor.” She has also been praised for her renditions of Rosina in il Barbiere di Siviglia (San Diego Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Orlando Opera), Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte (Orlando Opera, Connecticut Opera), Cenerentola in Cenerentola (Kentucky Opera, Fresno Opera), Desideria in The Saint of Bleecker Street (Central City Opera) and Maddalena in Rigoletto (San Diego Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia).
The mezzo-soprano sang the title role of Carmen with the China National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, at The New National Theatre in Tokyo, Japan, Manitoba Opera, Opera Carolina, and Opera New Jersey all during the 2009-2010 season. During the 2008-2009 season she was Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice (Metropolitan Opera), Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Opéra de Nice, France) the title role of Carmen (Staatsoper Hannover, Germany, and with the Opera Australia on tour in Taipei), Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte (Oper Graz in Austria), Maddalena in Rigoletto (San Diego Opera), and Preziosilla in La Forza del Destino (Caramoor Festival, NY). In addition, she joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for concert performances at the Meadow Brook Music Festival and she appeared with the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival in performances of Manuel de Falla’s El Amor Brujo.
Ms. Chávez has also performed regularly on the concert stage with works such as: Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Bach’s Magnificat, and Rossini’s Stabat Mater, and will add the Bach B Minor mass to her repertoire with performances in New Mexico in the spring of 2012.
Kirstin Chávez was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but spent most of her formative years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where her parents worked as English and Music teachers. She received a Bachelor of Music degree, with Honors, from New Mexico State University, and a Master of Music degree, in Performance, and the Performer’s Certificate, from the Eastman School of Music. After beginning an Artistic Residency with the Orlando Opera, Ms. Chávez won several major international competitions, including The Sullivan Foundation, The George London Foundation, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, the Opera Index Foundation, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Jensen Foundation, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (National Finalist).
Artistic Producer, IPAI Germany
Anica Binder graduated from the University of Mobile in 2010 with a BA in Theatre. Some of her show credits include, Godspell, Thoroughly Modern Mille, Joseph and the Technicoler Dreamcoat, Lend Me a Tnor, Oklahoma, etc. Following graduation she attended The International Performing Arts Institute in Kiefersfelden, Germany for Musical Theatre and then returned in 2011 for the Stage Management Program. Upon completing the program, she returned to her Alma Mater and took the position of Assistant to Dr. Bruce Earnest in the Theatre Department. In the summer of 2012 she had the opportunity once again to return to IPAI and work alongside Dr. Earnest as his assistant. It was during this program that Anica met a local by the name of Andreas Binder. On January 26, 2013, the two of them were married in Mobile, Alabama. After the wedding Anica moved to Oberaudorf, Germany where she now lives with husband Andreas and her daughter Skyler.
Since living in Germany Anica has had the privilege of continuing her work alongside Dr. Bruce Earnest with the International Performing Arts Institute as the Associate Artistic Producer, started working for Dr. Maryann Kyle, and is the Assistant Artistic Director for Everblue Social Media and Promotions.
Artistic Manager, IPAI Germany
American soprano, Stacey Trenteseaux ,made her German debut in the 2018-2019 season as Luisa in Verdi’s Luisa Miller with Münchens Kleinstes Opernhaus at Pasinger Fabrik under the direction of stage director Marcus Everding and conductor Andreas Pascal Heinzmann. She recently sang at the Semper Zwei (Semperoper Dresden) in a fun, comic opera by American composer Liam Wade, Bua verliet’s Madl (im Bierzelt): Eine Oktoberfest Oper. In Spring 2020, she will sing Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with Mississippi Opera and the Natchez Festival of Music and will appear in concert with pianist Zhaolei Xie.
Ms. Trenteseaux’s other operatic roles include Micaëla, Fiordiligi, Hanna Glawari, Suor Angleica, and First Lady. She enjoys exploring and collaborating on concert recitals both in Germany and the US. A few highlights include singing the premiere of PostSecret: A Song Cycle by award-winning Minnesota composer, Jonathan Posthuma at the 2016 New Music Composer’s Symposium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, her solo recital debut with Ellen Rissinger in Mondenschein at the Cosel Palais, Dresden in 2018, and Moonlight & Magic as part of Mississippi Opera’s Opera in the Chapel Series at St. Dominic’s Chapel in Jackson, Miss.
Stacey was a finalist and winner of various competitions including, 3rd prize for the American Prize Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial, Finalist in the Brava! Opera Theater Vocal Competition, and semi-finalist in the Antonin Dvorak International Singing Competition, 2nd place in the Voices of Mississippi International Scholarship Competition, and Winner of the 2015 William T. Gower Concert Competition,
In addition to her classical singing career, Ms. Trenteseaux offers services as an Artistic Project Manager and Consultant. She works with individual artists and arts organizations to design and realize professional artistic projects through business planning, grant writing, streamlining the production process, and developing innovative programming and curriculum. She is passionate about helping artists develop a unique platform for their vision, legacy, and unique expression.
IPAI has been an integral part of Ms. Trenteseaux’s career development. She first participated as a student artist in 2013. In 2016 she returned as an Opera Fellowship Artist and chose to stay and pursue a performance career in Germany and Europe. She has studied with internationally renowned soprano Barbara Daniels, master vocal coach Ellen Rissinger (Semperoper Dresden), Priya Pelakar (Berlin, Germany), and master teacher and pedagogue, Dr. Maryann Kyle (Mobile, Alabama). She has participated in masterclasses with Barbara Bonney, Sherrill Milnes, Richard Zeller, Alan Glassman, and Michael Sturm. Ms. Trenteseaux holds a Master’s degree in Voice Performance under Dr. Maryann Kyle from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Florida.
Honored Master Clinician, Opera
Jennifer Larmore is an American mezzo-soprano, with a wide-ranging repertoire, having begun with the coloratura roles of the Baroque and bel canto then adding music from the Romantic and Contemporary periods.
She began her career at Opera de Nice in 1986 with Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito and went on to sing at virtually every major opera house in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Paris Opera, Tokyo, Berlin Deutsche Oper, and London Covent Garden.
She is a two-time Grammy Award winner who has recorded widely for the Teldec, RCA, Harmonia Mundi, Deutsche Grammophon, Arabesque, Opera Rara, Bayer, Naive, Chandos, VAI and Cedille labels in over one hundred CDs to date as well as DVDs of “Countess Geschwitz” in Lulu, Jennifer Larmore in Performance for VAI, Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Netherlands Opera), L'Italiana in Algeri (Opera de Paris), La Belle Hélène (Hamburg State Opera), Orlando Furioso (Opera de Paris) and Jenufa (Deutsche Oper Berlin). She has recorded two charming books on tape by Kim Maerkl entitled Mozart's Magical Night with Hélène Grimaud and the Bavarian State Orchestra and The King’s Daughter with story and music for flute and string orchestra by Kim Maerkl with the flute player Natalie Schwaabe.
With her frequent collaborator Antoine Palloc, she has made many International recital tours, including appearances in Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Vietnam, Vienna, London, San Juan, Prague, Melbourne, Brussels, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon, Sao Paolo, Athens and Copenhagen, as well as all the major American venues. Symphonic repertoire plays a large role in this mezzo’s career with the works of Mahler, Schoenberg, Mozart, de Falla, Debussy, Berlioz and Barber featuring prominently. Miss Larmore has enjoyed great collaborations with world orchestras under the direction of Muti, Lopez-Cobos, Bernstein, Runnicles, Sinopoli, Masur, von Dochnanyi, Jacobs, Mackerras, Spinosi, Abbado, Barenboim, Bonynge, Maazel, Osawa, Guidarini and Hengelbrock.
Jennifer’s repertoire has expanded to include new roles such as "Marie" in Berg's masterpiece Wozzeck, which she recently sang to great success at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. Berg is now a specialty of Miss Larmore, with her having sung “Countess Geschwitz” in Berg's Lulu at Covent Garden in the Christof Loy production with Tony Pappano, then again in Madrid. At Paris Opera Bastille she sang in the Willy Decker production and, she reprised the role yet again in a new production of William Kentridge with Lothar Zagrosek conducting for the Nederlandse Opera, and at the Rome Opera. She has also become well known for "Kostelnička Buryjovka" in Janacek's Jenůfa which she performed with Donald Runnicles at Berlin Deutsche Oper. The DVD of this production was nominated for a Grammy. She reprised her "Kostelnička" in this same production for the New National Theater in Tokyo. “Lady Macbeth” in Verdi’s opera Macbeth is a role she debuted in a striking new production of Christof Loy at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, then in the Bob Wilson production in Bologna and Reggio Emilia. Her first “Eboli” was in the French version of Don Carlos at the Caramoor Music Festival in New York, with Will Crutchfield conducting, and she sang “Jocasta” in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex at the Bard Festival. Adding to her growing list of new repertoire, Miss Larmore debuted the role of "Mère Marie" in Les dialogues des carmélites at the Caramoor Festival, New York. She went back to her roots with "Ottavia" in Monteverdi's l'Incoronazione di Poppea at the Theater an der Wien in October 2015 and returned there in December 2016 for her debut in the role of "Elvira" in Mozart's Don Giovanni.
Miss Larmore, in collaboration with the double bass player Davide Vittone, has created an ensemble called Jennifer Larmore and OpusFive. This a string quintet offering programs that are entertaining and varied with Songs and Arias, Cabaret/Operetta and Movies and Broadway. They have given concerts in Seville, Pamplona, Valencia, Las Palmas, Venice, Amiens, Olten, Aix en Provence, Dublin, and Paris. At the Magève Festival in August, 2018 they presented a World Premiere work by composer Scott Eyerly, called Creatures Great and Small on the theme of animals.
Throughout her career Jennifer Larmore has garnered awards and recognition. In 1994 Jennifer won the prestigious Richard Tucker Award. In 1996 she sang the Olympic Hymn at the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics in Atlanta. In 2002, “Madame” Larmore was awarded the Chevalier des arts et des lettres from the French government in recognition of her contributions to the world of music. In 2010 she was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in her home state of Georgia. In addition, to her many activities, travels, performances and causes, author Jennifer Larmore is working on books that will bring a wider public to the love of opera. Her new book "Una Voce" is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Lulu.com and explores the world and psychology of the performer: web site: jlarmorebook.com.
Miss Larmore is widely known for teaching and giving master classes and in 2018, she went to New York's Manhattan School of Music, Santiago, Chile, Luxembourg, Atlanta, and to the new Teatro Nuovo at Suny Purchase College, New York. She began the New Year 2019 with master classes for the Atlanta Opera and Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. In March Miss Larmore gives master classes and workshops at the École Normale and for the Philippe Jaroussky Academy in Paris.
The 2017 season saw Jennifer debut "Anna 1" in Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins for the Atlanta Opera, then return to Hamburg State Opera for the title role in La Belle Hélène. In 2018 she debuted the role of "La Dama" in Hindemith's Cardillac for the Maggio Musicale in Firenze, "Fidalma" In Il Matrimonio Segreto for Opera Köln, and "Marcellina" In Le Nozze di Figaro in Tokyo. Engagements in 2019 will include concerts in Grenoble, Olten and Magève with OpusFive and she will return to Opera Köln in the title role of a new production in her on-going collaboration with Doucet/Barbe of La Grand Duchesse de Gérolstein. In the next seasons exciting new debuts will include "Genevieve" in Pelleas et Melisande in Parma,Modena, Piacenza and "Herodias" in Salome for Atlanta Opera and at the New National Theater in Tokyo.
Musical Theatre Casting and Career Development
Ralf Schaedler is the Casting Director for Stage Entertainment and is a member of the Musical Theatre Intensives workshop faculty. With an international career as a performer, he is responsible for casting European productions for StageEntertainment including Sister Act, Wicked, Tarzan, The Buddy Holly Story and Lion King in a dozen European cities. Mr. Schaedler is member of the IPAI Advisory Board works with IPAI Artists on career development, casting and musical theatre acting.
Stage Direction and Opera, Master Clinician
Born 1963 in Hamburg
Graduate in "musical theater-direction" at the "Hochschule für Musik und Theater" Hamburg in the class of Prof. Götz Friedrich, in 1990: diploma with the production „Suor Angelica" by Giacomo Puccini Assistant director rsp. cooperation to/with Marco Arturo Marelli, Ruth Berghaus and Harry Kupfer et al. at the operas of Hamburg and Berlin Dramatic advisor in Ulm
1991/92 participant in the stage class of Achim Freyer at the Bauhaus Dessau since 1990 works as freelance opera director amongst others at theaters in Potsdam, Meiningen, Dessau, Hamburg, Prague, Linz and Vienna Most important projects: „The Bartered Bride" in Theresienstadt, „Brundibar" at the Kammeroper in Vienna and as first performance in Czech Republic Ullmanns "Der Kaiser von Atlantis" at the National Theater in Prague Temporary lectureships in Hamburg and Prague
Authored project: „Götzendämmerung" based on motifs by Friedrich Nietzsche for the Wolf-Ferrari-House in München-Ottobrunn 2002 foundation of the musical theater - "Ensemble Sturm und Klang"
2004 first project as a play director: "Kidnapping" by Dominique Caillat, premiered at the State Theater in Mainz Premieres in 2007 in Saarbrücken, Hamburg and Dessau.
Lives in Berlin and Prague.
L'anima del filosofo ossia Orfeo ed Euridice - Joseph Haydn
Don Giovanni - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Cosi fan tutte - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozarts Figaro - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Sturm und Klang stage
Don Giovanni and the woman in black - Mozart/Willaschek, Sturm und Klang stage
The elixir of love - Gaetano Donizetti
The Bartered Bride - Bedrich Smetana
Der Kaiser von Atlantis - Viktor Ullmann
Brundíbar - Hans Krása
Hansel and Gretel - Engelbert Humperdinck
Madame Butterfly - Giacomo Puccini
La Bohéme - Giacomo Puccini
Tosca - Giacomo Puccini
Faust - Charles Gounod
The flying Dutchman - Richard Wagner
Einstein - Paul Dessau
Upcoming: Dr.Popels fiese Falle - Moritz Eggert - Hamburg State Opera The Wildschütz - Albert Lortzing - State Theater Saarbrücken Dido and Aeneas - Henry Purcell - Anhaltisches Theater Dessau
Guest Artist in Residence, Voice and Opera Master Clinician
A native of Midland, TX, Luretta Bybee has sung with numerous opera companies and orchestras in the United States and abroad. She is particularly known for her Carmen, having sung the Bizet heroine throughout the United States and Europe and in the world tour of Peter Brook’s adaptation, La Tragedie de Carmen. Of her New York City Opera performances, Anthony Tommasini of The New York Timeswrote: “Bybee brings a dusky-colored, vibrant voice to the role. This was a strongly sung and engaging portrayal.” Also a noted Rossini singer, she has sung the title role in L’Italiana in Algeri with Oper der Stadt Koln, the Santander Festival, and with New York City Opera. Recent roles have included the title role in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia with the Opera de Montreal, Dame Quickly in Seattle Opera’s Falstaff, Falliero in Rossini’s Bianca e Falliero in Miami for its North American debut, Fricka in Wagner’s Das Rheingold, in New Orleans, Paula in Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas and Waltraute and First Norn in Wagner’s Ring in Seattle.
Bybee’s concert work has included the world premiere of the reduced orchestral version of Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest at the 92nd Street Y that she reprised with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra and Seiji Ozawa on the Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert at Tanglewood. She has also sung Verdi's Requiem and Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall as well as additional Messiah performances with the Seattle, Colorado, and Houston Symphonies, as well as Beethoven’s 9th with both Seattle and San Antonio Symphonies this year. She can be heard on the recording of Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning with Gloria dei Cantores and as Joanna in Carly Simon’s opera, Romulus Hunt with Angel Records. She can now be heard on Seattle Opera’s newly released recording of Wagner’s RING CYCLE.
In 2010, she premiered the role of Amanda in Daron Hagen’s Amelia with the Seattle Opera, and made her foray into Musical Theater in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music as Madame Armfeldt at the Pine Mountain Music Festival.
Last year she went to Opera Charlotte for Mary in Der Fliegende Hollander, debuted the role of the Stepmother in Massenet’s Cendrillon with the New Orleans Opera and returned to Seattle for Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Upcoming engagements include Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with the Vancouver Opera and at the Glimmerglass Festival and Mary in Der Fliegende Hollanderwith Seattle Opera
Ms. Bybee has been privileged to serve on the faculties of the University of Michigan, Aspen Music Festival, and has served as both Chair of Opera Studies and Chair of Vocal Arts at the New England Conservatory of Music. She is currently Associate Professor of voice at Loyola University in New Orleans and continues to teach voice at NEC. She has served several times as judge for the MONC auditions, along with many other vocal competitions.
Voice and Opera
Dramatic tenor Tyler Smith has appeared in numerous operatic and concert performances throughout the United States, Europe, and South America. Most recently he was seen as Canio in the Mobile Opera production of I Pagliacci and Tamino In Louisiana Opera’s production of Die Zauberflöte. He also performed the role of Howard Boucher in New Orleans Opera’s critically acclaimed production of Dead Man Walking. Other appearances with Louisiana Opera include Rodolfo in La bohéme and Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana. For Opéra Louisiane he has performed the roles of Siegmund and Siegfried in a production of The Ring: a two-hour reduction created by Michael Borowitz. For his performance as Eléazar in a highlights concert of La Juive, he won The Big Easy Award in New Orleans for Best Community Opera in 2013.
Other recent roles include Canio for New Orleans Opera and The Southern Opera & Musical Theatre’s productions of I Pagliacci as well as Maxwell in Pensacola Opera’s world premiere of The Widow’s Lantern. For his debut as Canio with New Orleans Opera, Mr. Smith stepped in with six hours notice for an ailing colleague. Opera News deemed his performance a “heroic job…[a] powerful voice and was remarkably in touch with the drama.” For Des Moines Metro Opera, he has covered the roles of Max in Der Freischütz, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Otello in Otello and Riccardo in The Masked Ball. Other roles performed include Don Jose in Carmen, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Max in Der Freischütz, Boris in Katya Kabanova, the title role in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann, Florestan in Fidelio, and Belfiore in Argento’s Casanovas Homecoming (released on the Newport Classics label). In 2001 he made his Houston Grand Opera Debut as Carlson in Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men (released on the Albany label). Future engagements include leading roles in Verdi’s Macbeth, Susannah, and Die Fledermaus.
Mr. Smith is currently Extraordinary Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Voice Studies at Loyola University of New Orleans. He received his doctorate in Vocal Performance from the University Houston’s Moores School of Music. He holds a Masters of Music from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Bachelor of Music from Southeastern Louisiana University. Some of his teachers have included, Scharmal Schrock, David Holley, Joseph Evans, and Bill Shuman.
Stage Direction, Acting, Director Fellowship Coordinator
Eric Gibson is a stage director residing in Flagstaff, Arizona who feels equal comfort with opera and musical theatre, with a particular passion for educating young singers.
Gibson is the Director of Lyric Theatre at Northern Arizona University where he has staged productions of Signor Deluso, Il Campanello, Dido & Aeneas, Kiss me, Kate, Trouble in Tahiti, The Pirates of Penzance, The Magic Flute and the world premiere of Judith Cloud’s Beethoven’s Slippers.
Gibson served as the director of education for Tulsa Opera for three seasons and as artistic director of LOOK Musical Theatre in Tulsa where he directed original productions of Guys and Dolls, Die Fledermaus, The Pirates of Penzanze, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Ernest in Love, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado, Naughty Marietta, Iolanthe, The Merry Widow, I Do! I Do!, South Pacific, The Sorcerer, Sweeney Todd, The Music Man, Trial by Jury, Candide, Into the Woods, My Fair Lady, The Gondoliers, Patience, Kiss me, Kate, The Boy Friend, The Light in the Piazza, Trouble in Tahiti, Evita, Gypsy, Avenue Q, Hello, Dolly!, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Side by Side by Sondheim. Two of these operettas, The Mikado and The Sorcerer, were co-productions with the OK Mozart International Festival in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Guest appearances to universities, directing original productions, include Die Fledermaus and Albert Herring for Bowling Green State University, The Toy Shop and Little Red Riding Hood for The University of Central Oklahoma, Dido and Aeneas, Gallantry and Signor Deluso for Baylor University, where he served as director of the opera program, and The Old Main and the Thief and Trial by Jury for The University of Kansas.
Professional engagements include staging productions of Die Fledermaus, Madame Butterfly and The Pirates of Penzance for Fargo-Moorhead Opera, The Barber of Seville for Opera Tampa and Mobile Opera, The Mikado and HMS Pinafore for Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, and L'Italiana in Algeri for Winter Opera.
Gibson received a bachelor of music education degree at the University of Michigan and his masters in the stage direction of opera from Indiana University. An avid pianist since his very early years, Gibson feels equal comfort both in the classical and Broadway styles and accompanies many of his artists at special events and cabarets.
Gibson has taught acting at the AIMS program in Graz, Austria for several seasons and is director of scenes for the Kashu-do Opera Studios in Harnosand, Sweden. Upcoming engagements include The Light in the Piazza at Northern Arizona University and Cosi fan tutte for Varna International in Bulgaria. His production of Die Zauberflöte recently won first prize in the National Opera Association production competition.
Jessica Medoff is breaking down barriers, showing her multi-dimensional talents and emotional depth as an actress of stage and screen. She is praised as a performer who, “skillfully employs her trademark vocal versatility to wring out every drop of emotion…”(Harold Journal), and is sought after throughout the United States for her impressive vocal background and dramatic commitment. Lauded for her diversity as singing actor, she is continually engaged in an impressive array of roles, both comedic and dramatic, among performing arts companies and producers spanning film, television, theatre, and opera.
Her most recent musical theater engagements include Aldonza in Man of La Mancha with both the Arizona Broadway Theater and Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater, a “wonderfully played” Desirée in A Little Night Music with The Princeton Festival, Heidi in [title of show] for which she was nominated as best actress in a musical by Broadway World - Nashville, Mayzie La Bird in Seussical and Nettie Fowler in Carousel with Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater. She spent the summer on the high seas with Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion as a cast member during the shows annual cruise to the Netherlands, Scotland and Norway.
She and her husband pianist Michael Bunchman are creators of two original cabarets, The Truth About Love…and the Usual Lies and Gershwin and Beyond. Critics and audiences alike have raved about their “seamless collaboration” and in a review of The Truth About Love Jon Sobel of blogcritics says “If Jessica Medoff does not have a fan club, someone should start one”.
Jessica holds two degrees in Classical Vocal Performance. Favorite operatic roles include Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Giulietta in Verdi’s Un Giorno di Regno, and Marguerite in Faust. On the concert stage she has twice been honored to sing the soloist in the Faure Requiem in Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. Incredibly active as a POPS soloist she has had the opportunity to star with many orchestras including New Haven Symphony, Ridgefield Symphony, Breckenridge Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival with Maestro David Zinman, and the Las Cruces Symphony.
As an actress Jessica originated the roles of Paula Strasberg, Louella Parsons, and Jackie Kennedy in the world première of a revealing new play Marilee and Baby Lamb: The Assassination of an American Goddess written by Tony Award winner Mark Medoff (Children of a Lesser God). Starring in a new movie The Heart Outright, recently released on Amazon, Medoff takes on the role of Angel Childress. Her vulnerable and heart warming performance has been heralded as “impeccable”. She also recently starred as Helen in the short film The Wall in the Garden, a groundbreaking sci-fi mystery.
Dance and Movement, Director Fellowship Coordinator
Christopher Niess is pleased to return to IPAI this summer. His creative work spans over 200 productions in musical theatre, dance and devised work; as director, choreographer, actor, dancer, performance artist or movement coach throughout the U.S., and in Canada, Germany and Scotland. He has received meritorious citations from the Kennedy Center-American College Theatre Festival for directing and choreography for his work on The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein, Reeling, Trevor, Scapin, Lend Me A Tenor, and Marisol. He co-directed, with Artistic Director Jim Helsinger, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby as well as served as an associate director for West Side Story and The Hound of the Baskervilles for the Orlando Shakespeare Theater.
Mr. Niess has served as Chair/Artistic Director for the University of Central Florida Department of Theatre, Artistic Director for the Great Lakes Festival Ballet and Ballet Theatre Ohio. Directing and choreographic credits cover a diverse roster including Godspell (Balhaus, Rosenheim – featuring a cast from the U.S., Netherlands and Slovenia), Grease, Urinetown, West Side Story, Camelot, Working, Babes in Arms, Bye Bye Birdie, Waiting for Godot, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, Equus, and As It Is In Heaven. Dance choreography has included productions of Giselle, The Firebird, Aurora’s Wedding, a full-length Alice in Wonderland with commissioned score, and many contemporary works as well.
Niess has performed for companies including the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Cleveland Play House, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Porthouse Theatre, the Berkshire Ballet, the Tennessee Festival Ballet, and the Lexington Ballet; danced a good share of the classical repertoire and noted as a "memorably fine-scaled" performer by critic Jennifer Dunning (NYTimes); acted in productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, King Lear, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Country Wife, Proof, To Kill A Mockingbird, as Richard in a Suzuki-style Richard III, and Off-Off Broadway in Tap Shoes.
His current research interest includes creating movement for Street of Crocodiles, a devised imagining of the work of Polish artistic icon Bruno Schultz during World War II. His work with movement for actors and dancers has been presented at national and international conferences, and led to publishing Essence to Action: An Actor’s Developmental Journey into Process, and a contribution to Playing with Theory in Theatre Practice (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2012).
He also has been working in the area of health & wellness for the performing artist, presenting or collaborating with Nemours Childrens Hospital, UCF Medical Center, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Niess also manages a Health & Wellness class for Music and Theatre students at the UCF School of Performing Arts, where he teaches acting and stage movement – having designed the movement sequence for the MFA Acting program and the BFA Acting track. Niess has been fortunate to have taught students who have gone on to perform on Broadway, regional theatre and internationally.
Mr. Oglesby was praised by Charles Ward from the Houston Chronicle as “a fearless tenor with great voice” for his portrayal of Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri. His extensive list of operatic roles include Camp Williams in Cold Sassy Tree, Uncle Vezzinet in the Italian Straw Hat, Governor in Candide, Basilio in La Nozze di Figaro, Borsa in Rigoletto and Gherrado in Gianni Schicchi. As a concert soloist Mr. Oglesby has performed the tenor solos in Carmina Burana and Mozart’s Requiem under the direction of internationally acclaimed conductor and composer Z. Randall Stroope. For these performances Dr. Stroope praised Mr. Oglesby saying “His lyric tenor voice carries quite easily above an orchestra and he brings a unique artistry to his performances. His musicianship and work with conductors is second to none” Mr. Oglesby also enjoys performing with the West Texas A&M University Orchestra where he has performed the role of Obadiah in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, as well as the tenor solos in Carmina Burana and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. In 2017 Mr. Oglesby performed with the Texas All-State Mixed Choir as the invited Tenor Soloist in the Lord Nelson Mass. In recital, Mr. Oglesby recently performed Schumann’s Dichterliebe at Lycoming College in 2018 an in 2017 presented for the Song Collaborators Consortia, along with composer Dr. BJ Brooks, on Dr. Brooks composition on the Goethe texts of the Harper Songs. In 2008 Mr. Oglesby was selected as one of twelve to participate in the prestigious National Association of Teachers of Singing intern program. During his time as an intern Mr. Oglesby participated in a documentary highlighting the Future Artist/Teachers of the next generation. Mr. Oglesby can be heard on the Premier Recording of Dominic Argento’s Casanova’s Homecoming on the Newport Classics Label.
As a teacher of singing, Mr. Oglesby’s current and former students have performed on Broadway, and regional opera companies as well as National and International Tours. In competition, Mr. Oglesby’s students have won on regional and national levels.
Mr. Oglesby currently is the Coordinator of Vocal Studies at West Texas A&M University School of Music. Along with teaching at WTAMU he is also a sought after Master Class instructor, most recently, being invited to Houston Baptist University and Oklahoma State University as a Master Class Instructor as well as an Artist in Residence with Lycoming College in April 2018. As an adjudicator, Mr. Oglesby has adjudicated the National Prelims for National Association of Teachers of Singing in 2017 and 2018 as well as many semi-final and finals for regional NATS conferences. Mr. Oglesby has previously served as one of six Teaching Fellows with the International Performing Arts Institute in Kiefersfelden, Germany.
Mr. Oglesby earned his B Mus. from the University of Houston and an MA in vocal performance from West Texas A&M University. Mr. Oglesby has studied voice with Mr. Joseph Evans, Dr. Robert Hansen and Mila Gibson.
Master Clinician, Pianist
The Ukrainian-American pianist began her multifaceted career with the Gregg Smith Singers during her studies as piano major at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, collaborating with contemporary American composers and recording their music, concertizing extensively throughout the USA and Asia. After a two year grant specializing in Art Song by Prof. Konrad Richter in Stuttgart, vocal coaching and accompanying followed as adjunct professorships at various European universities as well as at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz. In 2002 she joined the staff at the Bavarian Theater Academy August Everding in Munich, her extensive repertoire and intuitive competence in various musical genres being highly valued in both opera and musical theatre departments. Ms. Cybriwsky is pianist for master classes, i.e. with Brigitte Fassbaender, Sylvia Geszty, Christa Ludwig, Neil Semer etc.. As a soloist, Lied- and instrumental accompanist, she has shared her long-standing, successful concert experience on five continents in numerous CD recordings, which confirm her excellent reputation as an internationally renowned pianist.
Die Ukrainische-Amerikanerin begann ihre vielseitige Karriere mit den Gregg Smith Singers mitten in ihrer Ausbildung als Solopianistin, wirkte bei zahlreichen Aufnahmen zeitgenössischer amerikanischen Musik, sowie mehreren Konzertreisen durch U.S.A. und Asien mit. Nach zwei Jahren Liedklasse von Prof. Konrad Richter in Stuttgart folgten Lehraufträge für Korrepetition an einigen Hochschulen wie auch am Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz. In 2002 wechselte sie zu der Bayerischen Theaterakademie August Everding, wo sie als Solorepetitorin in den Sparten, Musiktheater (Oper) und Musical Theatre ihre umfangreichen Repertoire- und Stilkenntnisse optimal einsetzen kann. Frau Cybriwsky ist Pianistin für viele Meisterkurse, u.a. von Kammersängerinnen Brigitte Fassbaender, Sylvia Geszty, Christa Ludwig und Neil Semer u.A. Als Solistin, Lied- und Instrumentalbegleiterin bringt sie ihre langjährige, erfolgreiche Konzerterfahrung auf fünf Kontinenten in zahlreichen CD-Einspielungen ein, die ihren hervorragenden Ruf als international gefragte Pianistin bestätigen.
Guest Artist, Clinician, and Coach
Master teacher, clinician, pedagogue, and Feldenkrais specialist Gudrun Bär has been the director of her own institute STUDIO GUDRUN BÄR in Weimar, Germany since 2002. She works predominantly with professional singers, instrumentalists, and conductors offering private lessons, seminars and masterclasses. Alongside regular Feldenkrais and holistic singing workshops, she hosts a special advanced training program for voice teachers, pedagogues, speech therapists, and musicians called “Netzwerk G”: a seminar cycle comprised of four successive weekend seminars focused on functional voice training, perception, application, and holistic practice in a safe environment where students experiment, build and refine their teaching strategies, tools, and language. Each seminar experience also opens a forum for exchanging ideas and personal experiences with music colleagues.
Between 1995 and 2004, Gudrun also held a teaching position at the University of Music Saar and worked as a guest professor at the Universities of Music in Hamburg and Cologne. She has studied Music Kinesiology with Rosina Sonnenschmidt, Terlussollogie with Romeo Alavi-Kia, Functional Voice Training with Gisela Rohmert and in 2014 completed Jerry Karzen’s four-year Feldenkrais training at Artem International in Chiemsee.
As a singing teacher, Gudrun has performed as a soloist in Europe, the United States, and Israel under conductors and festivals such as Thomas Krämer, Michael Schneider, Max Pommer, Kurt Masur, the Musiksommer Rheinland-Pfalz, the Rheingau Musikfestival, the Karlskirchen-Festival, and the Mendelssohn-Festival Tel Aviv among others. She has also collaborated with pianists Daniel Heide, Liviu Petcu, and Prof. Tatevik Mokatsian to present solo concerts and recitals in Germany.
Besides her work in the STUDIO GUDRUN BÄR, she is regularly invited to present master classes throughout Germany and Switzerland and currently serves as a guest vocal coach for the Junges Ensemble at the Semperoper Dresden.
IPAI Advisory Board
The internationally celebrated, Ohio born and educated, soprano began her career in Innsbruck, Austria with three roles, Fiordiligi, Rosalinde, and Violetta, which accompanied her through the ensemble years to Kassel, Köln, and in the case of the last two protagonists, to the New York Metropolitan Opera. Though she is probably best known in the beginning of her career for her interpretation of Musetta in "La Boheme", a role she recorded for Deutsche Grammaphon with Leonard Bernstein shortly before his death; she became just as well known internationally for other Puccini characterizations, such as Manon Lescaut, which she sang for the first time in the Kölner premier Production, at the Hamburger Staasoper, Wiener Staatsoper, and in the Robert Carsen premiere production for the Bastille Opera in Paris. Giorgetta debut followed in the Willi Decker realisation of "Il Trittico" conducted by James Conlon as well as the Harry Kupfer Production with Gerd Albrecht in Hamburg for German television. She undertook Tosca, which she sang for the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Seattle, Cincinnati, Köln, and Sydney Operas. But especially her portrayal of Minnie in "La Fanciulla del West", sung for the first time in the new Giancarlo del Monaco production for the Metropolitan Opera with Placido Domingo, Sherrill Milnes, and Leonard Slatkin, became her favorite Puccini role. The MET Production was filmed live by Deutschegrammphon and is available as DVD .
Never willing to compartmentalize herself as a singer devoted only to Puccini or other Verissmo composers, she instead maintained a rewardingly varied repertoire—including even early musical theater roles such as Aldonza ("Man from La Mancha") or Anita ("West Side Story") and muscial theater evenings for Austrian television with Dr. Marcel Prawy and baritone Sherrill Milnes. However, encouraged early on, especially in Köln by Sir John Pritchard in the famous Ponnelle Mozart Cycle, she sang Illia, Pamina, Fiordiligi, and Elvira. This opportunity kept her classic enough to tackle the title role in Michael Hampe’s filmed version of Handel’s "Aggrippina", "La Traviata" at the Metropolitan Opera and Wiener Staatsoper---her first Marenka’s at the Chicago Lyric Opera in the Elijia Mojinski production; then her first "Jenufa" with Leonie Rysanek; followed by "Die Vier Letzten Lieder", as preparation for her first Marshallin. Then came the new production of "Fidelio" in Bonn, her first Leonore; also her first Senta with James Morris; and the title role of Magda in the new Chicago Lyric Opera production of Menotti’s "The Consul." The French repertoire served her well, though she sang few Michaela’s and Massenet Manon’s; she has continued to sing Marguerite in "Faust," last performed for live broadcast with Samuel Ramey, Neil Shicoff, and Charles Dutoit at the Metropolitan Opera. To round out her American hertiage, she undertook the roles of Mama Rose in the musical "Gypsy" in May 2000 and Dolly Levy in "Hello Dolly", at the request of, and to be directed by Frau Kammersängerin Brigitte Fassbaender in her first season as Opera Director in Innsbruck. Barbara then happily closed the chapter on her stage career and is now teaching voice at the Salzburg Mozarteum (Innsbruck branch) and the Tirol Landeskonservatorium.
Barbara has been married since 1976 to Karl Wiedner, french hornist with the Innsbruck Symphony Orchestra. Their daughter, Alexandra, has finished her graduate violin studies at the Frankfurt Hochschule für Musik and plays not only in the Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestras, but is a standing member of the Mainzer Kammer-, Freiburger Bach-Orchestras, and the Marini Consortium.
IPAI Advisory Board
Mezzo-soprano Dawn Pierce is a native of Olean, New York, and currently an assistant professor of voice at Ithaca College. Praised as both an exceptional performer and an empowering teacher, Ms. Pierce is devoted to promoting a deeper understanding of artistry and self-expression. Reviewers laud her as “vocally impressive and dramatically convincing,” while students describe her teaching as “creative,” “energetic,” and “inspiring.”
On the operatic stage, she recently performed Olga in Eugene Onegin with Opera Carolina, Marthe in Faust withLyric Opera Baltimore, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with Opera Tampa, and Madelon and Bersi in Andrea Chenier with Nashville Opera. This summer she will sing the title role inCarmen at the Southern Illinois Music Festival. She earned a Performing Artist Certificate and a Master's in Opera Performance from the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute and holds Bachelor's degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Ithaca College. In her free time,Dawn enjoys making jewelry, reading, dancing, pilates, and weight training.
IPAI Founder and Vice President for Advancement
University of Mobile
Founder, Berkshire Opera Company
Lee, MA and Palm Beach, FL
Ithaca College School of Music
Casting Director, Stage Entertainment
Mobile Opera Mobile, AL
Tom Langkau is a retired Vocational Rehabilition CounselorManager by education. His background in the Arts includes being a Founder/Executive Director/Producer for a California Theatre Company, Board Chairman of a public access television station, Grant writer, fund raiser, originator of a Community Foundation, member of university theater department advisory board and producer of 2 plays at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He has been involved with IPAI since it's first planning meeting in Bavaria and followed it's development thru the years.