Jeffrey Beruan, bass, is an important emerging artist who possesses a rich, sonorous, and striking voice that moves with elegance and agility. His singing has been described as “intensely dramatic,” “melodious,” and “powerful.”
Engagements in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons included noteworthy debuts singing Polyphemus (Acis and Galatea) with Madison Opera, Ferrando (Il Trovatore) for Minnesota Concert Opera, Der Lautsprecher (Der Kaiser von Atlantis) with the New Millenium Orchestra of Chicago, and a reprise Superintendent Budd (Albert Herring) for the Green Mountain Opera Festival. He returned to Tulsa Opera to sing Pasquale in The Most Happy Fella and then to Sarasota Opera where he performed both Count Ceprano (Rigoletto) and King Morpheus in the world premier of Little Nemo in Slumberland by American composer Daron Aric Hagen. Mr. Beruan will return to Madison for a role debut as George Benton, the Prison Warden in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, also return to Sarasota for a reprise of Ferrando (Il Trovatore), and a role debut as Sarastro (The Magic Flute) for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Jeffrey Beruan is the recipient of several awards including the First Place Winner of the Northwest District National MET Council Auditions in 2007 and 2009. He was awarded the Mandelker and Harris Fund Grant by Sarasota Opera, the Outstanding Apprentice Award from Chautauqua Opera, and was honored with an Encouragement Award at the Eleanor Lieber Awards Competition. He received both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Kansas.
Blake Friedman, “Fresh Lyric Tenor” (OperaNews Online) Blake Friedman, originally from Chicago, Illinois, currently is a resident of New York City. Praised for his “climactic high notes” by Q on Stage, Mr. Friedman has proven to be a versatile performer. He is featured on the Albany Records commercial recording of John Musto’s Later the Same Evening (available on iTunes and Amazon) for his critically acclaimed portrayal of Jimmy O’Keefe and has performed on the stages of Avery Fisher Hall and The Walter Bruno Auditorium at Lincoln Center and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. He has performed with Ash Lawn Opera, Bel Canto at Caramoor, Ensemble ACWJ, Mid America Productions, The Little Opera Theatre of New York, Delaware Valley Opera, Astoria Symphony, North Duchess Symphony, Gregory Kunde Chorale, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, The Eastman School of Music and The Castleton Artist Training Seminar.
Mr. Friedman holds both a Master of Music and Professional Studies Degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he was a recipient of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Scholarship Award/Richard Rodgers Scholar and received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Eastman School of Music where he was the recipient of a Howard Hanson Scholarship. He also attended The Castleton Artist Training Seminar as the recipient of a full scholarship and is a proud alumnus of OperaWorks.
Phoenix Gayles, lyric Soprano, has her Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of South Florida studying under Dr. Warren Jaworski and Stella Zambalis. Phoenix has been seen on the mainstage in a variety of roles including Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Barbarina in Le Nozze Di Figaro and Lucinda in Into the Woods with the St Petersburg Opera Company, Adele in Die Fledermaus with the South Florida Lyric Opera and Blonde in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, Micaela in Carmen and Iphigenia in Iphingenia en Aulide with The New Century Opera Company. Phoenix was an Opera Tampa Young Artist for the 2011-2012 season and has participated in the St Petersburg Opera Company’s Emerging Artist program several times covering the roles of Susanna in Le Nozze Di Figaro, Fransquita in Carmen and Aninna in La Traviata. Ms. Gayles was a semi-finalist in the 2011 Jenny Lind Competition and the first place winner for the Suncoast Opera Guild Young Professionals Competition for 2012. Phoenix was the primary vocal and theater coach for St Catherine’s School of Fine Arts for four years and the director of the Honors College Philharmonic Choir at the University of South Florida for two years. She now teaches voice and beginning piano at My Music Skool in Centennial, CO. Ms. Gayles attended the International Vocal Arts Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia programmed by Joan Dornemann of the Metropolitan Opera Company and was met with great success. Phoenix has also been a participant for the Sherrill Milnes and Friends Voice Experience program for the last two years.
Ms. Gayles now lives in Denver Colorado where she recently won second place in the Metropolitan National Council Rocky Mountain Regional Audition and place eighth in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild’s Competition for Colorado Singers. Ms. Gayles will be appearing with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra in July 2013 and will be performing the role of Frasquita in Opera Tampa’s production of Carmen in March 2014.
Liana Guberman, New York born soprano, has her Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College The New School, a Master of Music from SUNY Purchase College Conservatory and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music from Boston University. She attended the Castleton Artist Training Program (2012), “Si parla, Si canta” (2010), the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden bei Wien, Austria to study German Lieder (2008), the Chautauqua Institution Voice Program (2007), the Westminster Conservatory Florence Voice Seminar (2006), and Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute (2004 and 2005). Liana’s recent roles include Parasha in Stravinsky’s opera bouffe Mavra, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Thérèse in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. In 2011 and 2012, Liana performed as a soloist with the Fairfield County Chorale in Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust Part III and a Purcell Celebration concert with the Hudson Valley Singers, with conductor Eugene Sirotkine. Liana is a 2013 Jensen Foundation and 2013 Gerda Lissner Competition Grant winner, a 2010 and 2013 Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges Grant winner, and a finalist in the 2013 Arkadi Opera Idol Competition, the 2013 New York Lyric Opera Competition, and the 2013 NJ Verismo Opera Competition. This summer Liana will participate in the NYSOS (New York Summer Opera Scenes) program with Joshua Greene and Carol Yahr.
Shelley Jackson, soprano, has just completed her first year as a Resident Artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelpia. Already at this prestigious institution, she sang Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Pedro in Don Quichotte, and Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, for which she was described as “unusually charming” (Philadelphia Inquirer). In summer 2013 she joins the Apprentice Singers Program of The Santa Fe Opera, where she will sing Iza in The Grande Duchess de Gerolstein and cover Albina in La donna del lago.
In 2013, Shelley won the Bertha Koempel Award from the Liederkranz Foundation, grants from the Licia Albanese- Puccini and Career Bridges Foundations, an encouragement award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, and a was New England Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Her previous awards include the Nicolai Ghiaurov scholarship from Centro Universale di Bel Canto, second place in the Russell Wonderlich Competition, a Young Singer’s Foundation scholarship, and the Bel Canto Institute Performance award. She has also won two Career Grants and the George Woodhead and Azalia H. Thomas Prizes from Peabody, and a Dean’s Grant, Academic Internship, and the Morton C. Meyers Scholarship from Temple University.
Ms. Jackson is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University with a BM in Vocal Performance, where she sang the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. She spent two years of vocal study and repertoire preparation with Mirella Freni at Centro Universale di Bel Canto (CUBEC) in Modena, Italy. Her previous teachers include Medea Namoradze and Benita Valente, and she currently studies with William Stone.
Rebecca Krynski, hailed by the New York Times as a “vibrant soprano…with a secure, appealing sound and eye-opening volume,” and Opera News as “a voluminous, steel-edged soprano,” Rebecca Krynski recently received her Professional Studies Certificate at the Manhattan School of Music, where she studies with Ashley Putnam. Last year, Ms. Krynski completed her Masters degree at MSM, during which she received the Mae Zenke Orvis Scholarship in Opera Studies, and upon commencement, received the 2012 Richard F. Gold Career Grant. Performances with MSM Opera Theatre include the title role in Massenet’s THAÏS, John Corigliano’s THE GHOSTS OF VERSIALLES (Rosina), COSÌ FAN TUTTE (Fiordiligi), & LA VIDA BREVE (Salud). Ms. Krynski also sang the role of Alice Ford in Verdi’s FALSTAFF in Thomas Muraco’s Opera Repertory Ensemble, and was a participant of Warren Jones’ Singer’s Seminar.
This summer, Ms. Krynski returns to Des Moines Metro Opera to sing 5th Maid in Strauss’ ELEKTRA, and cover Ellen Orford in PETER GRIMES. Next fall, she joins Minnesota Opera as a Resident Artist for their 2013-2014 season.
Abigail Levis, named “Debut Artist of the Year” by the Joy in Singing Foundation, lyric mezzo-soprano is emerging as one of the most exciting young singers of today. The New York Times hailed her for her “lithe-voice in her performance at the morgan Library in “First Songs”, a showcase of world premieres with soprano Dawn Upshaw. The Boston Musical Intelligencer praised her for her “dramatic style” and “high level of technical ability” in her performance in Israel in Egypt with the Handel and Haydn Society in Symphony Hall. She is currently a resident artist with Utah Opera.
As a professional singer, Ms. Levis has appeared as a soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra, Hubbard Hall Opera, Utah Opera, The Crested Butte Music Festival, Ars Lyrica Houston, and the New York Opera Exchange in addition to the Handel and Haydn Society. She is also the winner of several competitions, including the 2010 University of Houston Concerto Competition, the 2010 National Orpheus Vocal Competition, the 2011 Five Towns Music Competition in Long Island, and the 2011 Young Texas Artist competition.
A native of Portland, Maine, Ms. Levis holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. She is also a recent graduate of the Vocal Arts program at the Bard College Conservatory where she studied with Edith Bers and Dawn Upshaw.
Keenan McCarter, baritone, is well-known for the dramatism and athleticism that he brings to the stage. He made his professional operatic debut with Southern Illinois Summer Music Festival in 2012 as the Duke of Verona in Roméo et Juliet. Other operatic roles include: Dr. Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro, Orgon in Tartuffe, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Escamillo in Carmen, Schaunard in La Bohéme, Papageno in The Magic Flute, and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.
Mr. McCarter has made solo appearances with Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Southern Great Lakes Symphony Orchestra, Southern Illinois Summer Music Festival, American Chamber Opera, Candid Concert Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Opera in the Neighborhood.
Award highlights include second and third place 2008 winner of the Alabama State University Honors Competition, 2010 third place and 2011 second place winner in the Southern Illinois Young Artist Organization Vocal Competition and and Opera Idol of Chicago finalist, and The Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges 2013.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Mr. McCarter completed has Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at Southern Illinois University. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance at Alabama State University. Mr. McCarter is scheduled to join the 2013 Sherrill Milnes Voice Studio for intense vocal studies.
Johnathan McCullough, is a 21 year old baritone studying voice with Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, in the opera program of Mikael Eliasen at the Curtis Institute of Music. He has performed with Los Angeles Opera’s Cathedral Project, singing the role of the Nobleman in The Festival Play of Daniel in 2012 and 2010 under the baton of Maestro James Conlon. He is singing the role of Papageno (The Magic Flute) at Opera on the Avalon (Summer 2013). He performed the role of Papageno at Curtis, as well as the roles of Apollo (Apollo e Dafne), Wagner (Faust) and the Gendarme (Les Mamelles de Tirésias). John sang Reverend Monroe in the workshop production of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at Curtis, in conjunction with Opera Philadelphia. Other roles include Fiorello (Il barbiere de Siviglia) and Antonio (Le nozze di Figaro) with Center Stage Opera in California. John has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School playing the role of A-Rab (West Side Story). He will return to sing Maximillian in Candide (Summer 2013). He has appeared as a guest soloist in Nuestra Musica at The Broad Stage in L.A., in The American Songbook Concert with John Musto in Raitt Hall, in a concert of Ellington, Weill, Arlen, and Porter songs in Harris Hall, as well as performances at the Hawaii Performing Arts and Bear Valley Music Festivals. John was part of the 2012 Young Artists Vocal Academy at Houston Grand Opera, and he performed in several productions with LA Opera’s Education and Community Programs division of LA Opera. John was a 2012 George London Competition Encouragement Award winner, a winner of the 2013 Bev Sellers Memorial Scholarship, the winner of the LA Music Center’s 2010 Spotlight Award, and a 4 year scholarship recipient for the Cerritos Friends of the Arts in California. Johnathan is honored to become part of the Career Bridges family.
Courtney Miller, award winning Mezzo-Soprano, is often sought for collaboration and has been praised for “possessing a delicacy and diction very appealing, and the strength to bring it home” (The Chautauquan Daily). Ms. Miller is embarking on a recital tour this June through New England. She will be joining Virginia Opera as a Resident Artist for this 2013-14 season. There, she will sing Meg Page in Falstaff, Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Mercédès in Carmen while covering Carmen, Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos while covering the Komponist, and covering the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd. A New England Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Ms. Miller has twice been the recipient of the Rislov Foundation Award for her “excellence and promise as a classical musician,” and is a current Career Bridges Grant recipient. This spring of 2013 Ms. Miller sang the role of Sister Helen in the New England premier of Dead Man Walking. After a successful summer with Chautauqua Opera in 2011, Ms. Miller returned as an Apprentice Artist in 2012. She sang the role of Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor as well as multiple concerts with orchestra. She starred in a Ravel double-bill as the title role in L’enfant et les sortilèges and Concepción in L’heure Espagnole. Susan Miron of The Arts Fuse wrote, “The role of Concepción is a marvelous piece of work, seemingly made to be sung by Courtney Miller, who was hilarious fanning herself while keeping three men on her seductive string as her husband was out regulating the municipal clocks.”
Additional career highlights include Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Nancy in Albert Herring, and the title role in Iolanthe. Ms. Miller was applauded for her interpretation of Iolanthe: “Simply stunning. Beautiful voice, tall, willowy frame, exceptional dramatic abilities, pretty looks – she had it all. At each of the two performances I attended, Miss Miller’s ‘He loves…’ gave me chills” (GASBAG Review by Daniel Florip). She has sung with Boston Lyric Opera, Ohio Light Opera, Seagle Music Colony, and Juventas New Music Ensemble. A Wisconsin native, Ms. Miller holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Boston Conservatory.
Andrew Paulson, baritone, is a native of Great Falls, VA. He graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance with Honors Magna Cum Laude from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree at Florida State University. At Florida State, he performed the role of Clayton McAllister in Carlyle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree in collaboration with the composer this spring. He also performed selections of Henrich Schütz’s Symphoniae Sacrae and Mache Dich Mein Herze Rein (Bach St. Matthäus Passion) with the Florida State Baroque Ensemble. In January, he received an encouragement award from the Florida District of the Metropolitan Opera Competition. This past summer, Mr. Paulson recorded James Whitbourn’s Annelies as a member of the Westminster Williamson Voices. This was in collaboration with Arianna Zuckerman, The Lincoln Trio, the BBC, and Naxos Recording. He also traveled to France to further study his love of the language and explored French art song in collaboration with Dalton Baldwin, Lorraine Nubar, and Alessandro Zuppardo. After his work in France, he competed in the Positively Poulenc Competition this spring in New York City and received the Gerard Souzay award. This summer Mr. Paulson looks forward to performing Georgio Germont in La Traviata and covering Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) at Opera on the Avalon. He is also singing Clayton McAllister and Luther in Sugar Creek Symphony and Song’s production of Cold Sassy Tree.
Christina Piccardi, soprano, Born in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, initiated her singing studies with Mazias de Oliveira in the year of 2000 with whom she completed her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) in 2003. In the years of 2004 and 2005, she received full scholarship at Duquesne University in PA to fulfill her Master of Music also in Voice Performance under the orientation of Claudia Pinza. At the age of eighteen Cristina won the Young Artists Competition for the Porto Alegre Symphonic Orchestra.
During the summers of 2003, 2004 and 2005 Ms. Piccardi received full scholarship to study in the Summer Program for Operatic Singers (EPCASO) in Italy, where she received intensive training with the coaches Enza Ferrari and Gianni Cappelletto and master classes with Maestro Maurizio Arena and the soprano Maria Chiara, as well as performed in several concerts in different towns in the northern part of Italy.
In June of 2005 she made her debut with the Orchestra of Stara Zagora Opera in Bulgaria singing “Carolina” in the opera Il Matrimonio Segreto by Domenico Cimarosa. Of that performance the Duquesne University newspaper wrote – “…Ms. Piccardi was born for the stage”. Followed by the opera at the Annual Opera Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Cristina Piccardi won the first prize in the Puldin 2005 International Competition for Opera Singers. In October of that same year she sang “Adele” from the opera Die Fledermaus by R. Strauss with the Washington Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra. In the year of 2009, with the South Texas Lyric Opera she sang “Gilda” from Verdi’s Rigoletto from which she received a South Texas newspaper review: “Ms. Piccardi rose to the occasion and offered a model of vocal execution and interpretation. She was a note perfect Gilda”. Also in the same year, she sang “Lola” from Mascagni’s Cavaleria Rusticana with the same opera company. In 2011 she performed the role of “Bell” as well as “Martha” at Andrews University in the Christmas musical The Stingiest Man in Town by Spielman. In the month of June of 2012 she sang Gabriel and Eve in Haydn’s Creation at UNIP Theater in Brazil and in December she sang Handel’s Messiah with the Andrews University Chamber Orchestra. Both in 2009 and 2012, Cristina was a finalist at the Ryan Center Young Artist Program of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Ms. Piccardi has also performed as a soloist for a number of concert pieces: Mozart’s Missa Brevis (2001), Exultate Jubilate (2002), Mendelssohn’s Oratorio Elijah (2002, 2003) staged version, Handel’s Laudate Pueri Dominum for soprano solo and choir, Oratorio Messiah (2006, 2008), Vivaldi’s Laudate Pueri (2007), Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass (2011), Haydn’s The Creation (2012), and many others. However, Ms. Piccardi also has a vast experience of operatic concerts with orchestra and solo recitals where she sang a great number of art songs as well as opera arias and scenes.
Hailing from Christchurch, New Zealand Miss Pike is currently a professional studies degree candidate studying with famed soprano Ashley Putnam. Miss Pike was a Pricewaterhouse Coopers Dame Malvina Major Foundation Emerging Artist with the NBR New Zealand Opera. Credits include Aufsteig und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Begbick), The Ghosts of Versailles (Samira), El Amor Brujo (Candelas), Elektra (Second Maid), Carmen (Mercedes), The Magic Flute (Third Lady) and Hansel und Gretel (Hansel cover) and mezzo soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. She has performed as a soloist for the Verdi Square Festival for the Arts, Southern Opera, the Southern Symphonia and the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra. Recently Miss Pike won the West Tennessee District Metropolitan Opera Council Audition and is a recipient of the Herman Lissner Foundation and the Mae Orvis Zenke Opera Scholarship. This summer, Miss Pike will be an Apprentice Artist with Chautauqua Opera where she will sing Aunty in Peter Grimes.
Ms.Rhie recently was received as the semi finalist in the Hans Gabor Belvedere International Competition and the International Ferrucio Tagliavini Competition both in Austria. She has won numerous awards from Mario Lanza Institute Scholarship Competition, Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, New York Lyric Opera Theater Vocal Competition, New York Foundation for the Arts, Violetta Dupont Vocal Competition, Orpheus Vocal Competition, Young Singers Foundation, Opera Idol Competition, and Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition. She has also been selected as a finalist in the Meistersinger Competition in Austria, Liederkranz Competition, National Opera Association Vocal Competition, and Connecticut Opera Guild Vocal Competition.
Upcoming engagements includes La descente d’Orphe aus enfers with the Gotham Chamber Opera in January 2014, the soprano fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center in summer 2013, and chamber concert with the Southern New Jersey Chamber Players.
She earned her Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College of Music, Master of Music degree from Indiana University, and Bachelor of Music degree Ewha Womans University.
Jonathan Winell, New York City born tenor, is beginning to make his mark on the operatic stage. In 2013, he was Cleón in Gluck’s The Reformed Drunkard with The Little Opera Theatre of NY and in 2012-13, he was Rodolfo in La Bohème with Amore Opera in NYC. Also in 2012, he had his Lincoln Center debut at Avery Fisher Hall as Baroncelli in Wagner’s Rienzi with The Opera Orchestra of New York under the baton of Eve Queler. New York Times chief music critic, Anthony Tommasini said, “…young artist, Jonathan Winell, made a strong contribution in the smaller role of [Baroncelli]…” In late 2011, he appeared as Alméric in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta with the Dicapo Opera Theatre.
In 2011, Mr. Winell was an Eastern Region Finalist at the Met National Council Auditions. He has also been a winner of competitions including Gerda Lissner, Giulio Gari, Licia Albanese, Career Bridges and Il Comitato Amici del Loggiato, Italy.
Mr. Winell began his vocal studies in 2002, with dramatic soprano, Doris Jung Popper, with whom he continues to work. In 2007, he graduated from the Hartt School of Music and during the 2008-09 season was a Resident Artist at AVA. In 2010, he returned to NYC to study with the world-renowned teacher, Patricia McCaffrey. Over the years he has worked with many great coaches and conductors, among them Jane Klaviter and Bob Morrison (Met Opera), Laurent Philippe, Chris Fecteau, Christofer Macatsoris, John Moriarty and Eve Queler.
This summer he will be a member of The Apprentice Singers Program, The Santa Fe Opera, 2013, and starting in September, he will be part of the Young Artists Studio at the Staatsoper Berlin for two seasons.