Guest Artists

Greer Grimsley
International Bass-Baritone - Master Clinician

Greer Grimsley is internationally recognized as an outstanding singing actor and one of the most prominent Wagnerian singers of our day. Continuing his reign as a leading interpreter of the god Wotan, he sang the eminent role once again this past Spring 2019 for The Metropolitan Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in the reprisal of Robert Lepage’s landmark production from 2013.  His interpretation of Wotan has also brought him to multiple esteemed international opera houses; some highlights of this include his portrayal of the role in the entirety of Der Ring des Nibelungen with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Comunale di Bologna under Gatti’s baton, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, New National Theatre Tokyo, the Nikikai Opera Foundation in Tokyo, San Francisco Opera, and for Seattle Opera in 3 complete cycles over the past decade.

 

Last summer, he made his long-awaited début at the Bayreuther Festspiele as the title role in Der fliegende Holländer and as Wotan in Die Walküre, his performance as the Dutchman praised for its “particular humanity,” subsequently returning Summer 2019 as Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde.  Other engagements this past season in addition to The Metropolitan Opera’s Ring Cycle included the title role in Der fliegende Holländer with Dallas Opera and a return to the Teatro Real in Madrid for their production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold.  Upcoming engagements this season include Wotan in Die Walküre for the Royal Opera Stockholm and Teatro Colon, his debut in the role of Iago in Otello for Pacific Symphony, Wanderer in Siegfried for the Bregenzer Festspiele, and both Mahler’s 8th Symphony and the title role in Der fliegende Holländer for the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas’ in his final performances as Music Director.  Future engagements include multiple returns to the Metropolitan Opera, and performances with Opera Oviedo, Staatsheater Stuttgart, Orchestra of the Music Makers in Singapore, the Dresden Philharmonic, and a return to San Francisco Opera.

 

His treatments of some of Wagner’s other greatest characters earned him critical acclaim both domestically and internationally.  Including the title role of Der fliegende Holländer with Seattle Opera and Ravinia Festival, under the baton of Maestro James Conlon in his final performance with the company; Telramund in Lohengrin with The Metropolitan Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Seattle Opera; Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde with the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Prague National Theatre, Royal Danish Opera, the Ópera de Bellas Artes in Mexico, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Seattle Opera; and Amfortas in Parsifal with The Metropolitan Opera.

 

Mr. Grimsley has performed one of his other signature roles, that of Jokanaan in Salome, with The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Vancouver Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Scottish National Opera, the New National Theatre in Tokyo, Ópera de Bellas Artes in Mexico, Den Jyske Opera in Denmark, and in his Dallas Opera début with Deborah Voigt in the title role. The San Francisco Chronicle exclaimed: “Bass-baritone Greer Grimsley was a thunderous and dramatically compelling Jokanaan. Grimsley invested the part with rhetorical strength and an air of moral solidity - the perfect antithesis to Salome's eroticized jitters.” 

 

Notable US engagements over the last several seasons include the role of Scarpia in Tosca with San Diego Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Portland Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Colorado, Michigan Opera Theatre, and in a return to Seattle Opera; the role of Jack Rance in La fanciullla del West with Minnesota Opera and Seattle Opera; the role of Don Pizarro in Fidelio with The Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and Portland Opera; the title role of Macbeth with Minnesota Opera, Vancouver Opera, Opera San Antonio and Opera Lyra Ottawa; Captain Balstrode in Peter Grimes and Escamillo in Carmen with The Metropolitan Opera; the Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance  for San Diego Opera; Orest in Elektra for Houston Grand Opera; the world première of Ashoka’s Dream as Canyka with Sante Fe Opera; the role of Mephistopheles in Faust with San Diego Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Arizona Opera; the role of Amonsaro in Aïda with Portland Opera; the role of Claggart in Billy Budd with Pittsburgh Opera and in his Los Angeles Opera début; and his much anticipated role début as the title role in Sweeney Todd with Vancouver Opera, which he reprised with New Orleans Opera and Glimmerglass Opera.

 

Mr. Grimsley has enjoyed quite a fruitful career in highly esteemed opera houses around the world. Some highlights of his previous international engagements include Scarpia in Tosca in Germany with Deutsche Oper Berlin and Oper der Stadt Köln, in Oslo with Den Norske Opera, with the Stadttheatre Basel in Switzerland, and in Japan at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center; Don Pizarro in Fidelio with The Scottish Opera and Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Portugal; the title role of Don Giovanni with the Stadttheatre Basel in Switzerland; New Israeli Opera as the Villians in Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Royal Danish Opera as Mandryka in Arabella; Ópera de Caracas in Venezuela as Amonsaro in Aïda; the role of Richard Lionheart in Der Templer und die Jüdin with Wexford Festival; and the role of Mephistopheles in Faust in Oviedo, Spain.  Mr. Grimsley first came to international attention as Escamillo in the Peter Brook production of La Tragédie de Carmen, which he has sung in in over 15 productions around the world, including his Italian debuts at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto and the Teatro Comunale di Bologna.

 

An active concert artist, some favorite concert engagements include Verdi’s Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony at Carnegie Hall; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Seattle Symphony and San Antonio Symphony; the High Priest in Samson et Dalila with Washington Concert Opera and Atlanta Symphony; Scarpia in Tosca with Deborah Voight and the Minnesota Orchestra; and Don Pizarro in Fidelio with the Saint Louis Symphony and in his New York Philharmonic début with conductor Kurt Masur at the inaugural season of the Lincoln Center Festival.

JENNIFER LARMORE

International Mezzo Soprano - Master Clinician

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. 

BARBARA DANIELS
International Soprano - Guest Clinician, 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.

Oresta CYBRIWSKY
Pianist - Coach, German Lied, Guest Glinician

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.

http://www.oresta-cybriwsky.de

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. www.oresta-cybriwsky.de

Dr. SCOTT WRIGHT
General Artistic Director Mobile Opera - IPAI General Director Emeritus, Guest Judge, Master Clinician

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.

RALF SCHAEDLER

Casting Director, Stage Entertainment Germany - Musical Theatre Auditions & Career Development, Master Clinician

Ralf Schädler 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. Schädler is member of the IPAI Advisory Board works with IPAI Artists on career development, casting and musical theatre acting.

Gudrun Bär
German Soprano, Feldenkrais Specialist - Coach, Master Clinician, German Lied

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. www.gudrun-baer.de

Stefan Tilch

Intendant Landestheater Niederbayern, Passau, Germany - Guest Judge, Master Clinician

German stage director and filmmaker, Stefan Tilch studied theater, musicology and Italian philology in Munich. From 1995 to 2002 he was the director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. Since August 2002 he has been director of the Landestheater Niederbayern (Lower Bavaria) State Theater that include theaters in Landshut, Passau and Straubing. His stage directing work has appeared at Munich Bayrische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera), Dortmund, Heidenheim, and at the Operanfestival auf Gut Immling, among others. 

His interpretations of Handel's Acis and Galatea in the Munich Cuvilles Theater in the 2001/02 season as well as his production  of Mozart's Don Giovanni and Ricardo Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini for the Südostbayerische Städtetheater (Southeast Bavarian City Theater) at the  Fürstbischöflichen Opernhaus in Passau attracted critical acclaim. 

Herr Tilch is also considered the discoverer of lost or rarely played works including those by Francesca da Rimini and pieces by the Italian author Gabriele D'Annunzio. In 2003, he staged his own new translation into German La città morta (Die tote Stadt /The Dead City) at the Stadttheater Landshut. In his endeavor to raise the artistic quality of a relatively small house, he has also brought well-known directors, stage and costume designers to Passau and Landshut, such as Jonathan Lunn (J. Offenbach: Orpheus in der Unterwelt ) and Ultz (Mozart: The Magic Flute). 

As a screenwriter he worked on the films Pain au chocolat (1999) and Prélude (1996).

MICHAEL Gehrke

Professor of Voice, Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar Germany - Guest Clinician

Michael Gehrke has enjoyed a very prolific career as a tenor having sung operatic roles and concerts all across Germany and throughout Europe. His students have appeared in productions in the Middle East, North Africa, China, and South America in theaters such as Deutsch Oper Berlin, Oper Köln, Opera Leipzig, German National Theater Weimar, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Landestheater Salzburg, Staatsoper Vienna, Oper Zürich, Chinese National Theater Beijing, and Korean National Opera in Seoul. He has sung extensively in concert tours in Brazil, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Austria, Switzerland and Spain as well as recorded numerous radio and CD projects.  His most influential teachers include the likes of Arleen Auger, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, and Pawel Lissizian. For the last 20 years Herr Gehrke has expanded himself as a voice pedagogue in his own right, currently passionating passing on the values, skills, and experience he has learned to young artists at the renowned Hochschule for Musik (University of Music) Franz Liszt in Weimar, the oldest school for opera singers. His students have been seen performing in such important festivals and houses as: Bayreuth Festival, BBC PROMS, the Dresden Musikfestspiele, Carnegie Hall, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, and the Salzburger Festspiele.

DAWN PIERCE
Soprano - Master Clinician, Coach, 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.

Kathryn Frady
Soprano - Executive Artistic Director and Founder of Marble City Opera

Kathryn Frady is the Executive Artistic Director and Founder of Marble City Opera. The company’s mission is to cultivate a new following for opera by producing authentic, thought provoking, and innovative performances of contemporary and traditional works utilizing found spaces and other non-traditional venues thereby creating a more intimate and accessible atmosphere for its audience. 

 

With Marble City Opera Kathryn has envisioned and brought to life 26 fully staged productions since 2013; including twelve premieres, and two in the works. In 2016 Kathryn was named one of ten Women in Knoxville who make a difference by The Knoxville Mercury. Since 2013 Marble City Opera has won the most memorable opera performance of Knoxville on several occasions; in 2014 for the World Premiere of Amelia Lost, in 2017 for their production of La Traviata, and in 2019 for their production of Suor Angelica. Marble City Opera continues to receive outstanding reviews and is reaching a new and growing audience. 

 

Kathryn Frady has been widely praised for her vocal range and dramatic talent. Kathryn continues to create dynamic and vivid characters, thrilling audiences and critics alike throughout the United States and Europe. Recent credits include roles with New Orleans Opera, Opera Carolina, Knoxville Opera, Cleveland Opera Theatre, Wichita Grand Opera, the Helena Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Marble City Opera, Opera West!, Opera in the City Festival, London, England; The Mediterranean Opera Festival, The Pierre Cardin Theatre in Paris, Diversita Opera Company in Dallas, and the National Opera Center in New York City. Upcoming performances include Tosca with Marble City Opera, Mrs. Nolan in The Medium with New Orleans Opera, and Alice Ford in Falstaff with Diversita Opera Company in Atlanta.

 

Kathryn’s performance of La Traviata with Marble City Opera was named "Most Memorable Operatic Performance of 2017 by Arts Knoxville, which noted that Kathryn's voice possessed "the silky subtlety and delicacy to contrast with the requisite power the role demands.  Her performance was dramatically personal and intensely musically satisfying.” Of her most recent performance of Poulenc’s The Human Voice, Arts Knoxville noted “Frady’s brilliance as a soprano capable of riveting the audience’s attention - in vocal depth, in lyrical beauty, and in a marvelously conceived ebb and flow of posture and attitude - was as rewarding as it gets in theater.” TN Today called the same performance “nothing short of a tour de force.”

 

A passionate advocate and prolific performer of modern operatic repertoire, Frady has been honored to perform two leading roles in World Premier productions of Griffin Candey's operas. Frady performed the role of Kate in Griffin Candey's Sweets By Kate and Jo in Candey's Follow Suit. Kathryn’s performance of Amelia in the World Premier of Larry Delinger’s opera Amelia Lost, was named “Most Memorable Operatic Performance of 2014.” Arts Knoxville called the performance “a sensational theatre experience.” Kathryn has also reprised the role in Cleveland, New York, and London. The composer has since dedicated the opera to Frady.

 

International credits include Violetta in La Traviata, and the title role in Suor Angelica with the Mediterranean Opera Festival, Antonia in The of Man of La Mancha with Theatre des Varietes, Lucy in the World Premier of Duke Ellington’s The Beggar’s Holiday at Espace Pierre Cardin in Paris, and a performance with Concerti del C.O.S.I. Opera Festival in Goriano Sicoli, Italy.

 

On the other side of the stage Kathryn has worked with The Living Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Toledo Opera, Knoxville Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, New Orleans Opera, Amarillo Opera, North Carolina Opera, the University of North Texas, Indiana University, and the University of Tennessee.

 

Kathryn directed the world premiere of Larry Delinger's Shadowlight, which Arts Knoxville called "A Stunning Celebration of the Art and Life of Beauford Delaney" in a "marvelously immersive" production. Other recent credits include productions of Dido and Aeneas at Baldwin Wallace University, Beneath Suspicion at Marble City Opera, Cold Sassy Tree at Amarillo Opera, Tosca at North Carolina Opera, Barber of Seville and L’elisir d’amore for Wichita Grand Opera, Barber of Seville for Knoxville Opera, H.M.S. Pinafore for The Living Opera, and new opera works at Cleveland Opera Theater. International credits include work on Carmen for Opera Africa in Pretoria and Johannesburg, Amelia Lost with the Opera in the City Festival in London; and L’elisir d’amore for the Centre for Opera Studies in Sulmona, Italy.

 

​Kathryn holds a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas, where she learned skills in all areas of opera, including performance, stage management and directing.

Jay DEAN
Artistic Director of Mississippi Opera

Opera has always been part of Jay Dean’s career. This special world of music has given him the opportunity to conduct performances with such eminent operatic artists as Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Denyce Graves, Roberta Peters, and many more. He has conducted productions for Opera Mississippi since 2004, and became its Artistic Director in 2010. In addition to his position with Opera Mississippi, he is the Director of the School of Music at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Considered a musical ambassador for Mississippi, Dean received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin. He came to The University of Southern Mississippi in 1988, and was the Director of Orchestral Activities for the USM Symphony Orchestra for thirty years (1988-2018). During his tenure as director, the orchestra rose to enjoy an international reputation that enhanced not only the university, but also the state and region. His recruiting efforts turned this organization into a multinational conglomerate that included students from many different countries. The orchestra became known for “Bringing the World to Mississippi.”

He has produced and conducted concerts with internationally known classical music icons such as Itzhak Perlman, Yo-yo Ma, Sir James Galway, Joshua Bell, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Manuel Barrueco, John Browning, Christopher Parkening, Edgar Meyer, and many more. In addition to classical artists, he has also produced and conducted performances with major popular artists such as Doc Severinsen, The Pointer Sisters, Patti La Belle, Dionne Warwick, Patti Austin, Linda Eder, Sandy Patty, Mac McAnally, and Ricky Skaggs. His work as an orchestral conductor has reached many orchestras in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. Dean’s skills as a producer and artistic manager enable him to work music in a much broader context; he is the Founding Artistic Director of Festival South and the Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Concert Association. He was also the Artistic Director of the Natchez Festival of Music from 2011 until 2019.

In 2009, he and the USM Symphony Orchestra received the Governor’s Award for Leadership in the Arts. During his time as Artistic Director, Opera Mississippi also received a Governor’s Award for Artistic Excellence in 2017. His other awards and recognitions include receiving the Hub Award, the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association’s Leadership in the Arts award, the Excellence for Global Arts and Culture Award from the Mississippi World Trade Center, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Southern Mississippi Research Council, two Joint Resolutions from the Mississippi State Legislature, and induction into the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Hall of Fame.

Jay Dean affirms that his central mission “is to provide life-changing experiences for the artists that work with him and raise the quality of life in the state of which he is a part.

Joe Hernandez
Owner and Designer for JMG Media

Joe is the owner and designer for JMH Media. Joe started his company in 2018 after he recognized a need in his industry. Having a website designed and managed can be costly and he knew there had to be another way for artists, small businesses and nonprofits to secure an engaging website and brand without breaking the bank. Joe strives to offer his services at a cost that is reasonable while providing a product that visually engages someone as soon as they encounter the materials or website he and his team have created. Joe holds a an M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Southern Mississippi and a B.A. in Theatre Performance from the University of Mobile. His clients include, Broadway Producers, nationally recognized opera companies, various small businesses and artists from all over the world.