Lyric Coloratura Soprano, Jessica Stecklein, was recognized by the Washington Post as "Washington's gift to opera," possessing a unique voice of angelic beauty imbued with a luscious richness that has always succeeded in moving and delighting her audiences. She has enjoyed popular and critical acclaim in all of her performances: the role of Gilda in the fourth act of Rigoletto, Essy Baker in the premier of Democracy and as Pamina in Die Zauberflote with the Washington National Opera; Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Opera International, as well as Il Puritani for their Operatic Vocal Gala. Ms. Stecklein performed Samuel Barber's Knoxville, Summer of 1915 with the National Symphony as the winner of their Young Soloists Competition at the Kennedy Center, and also performed Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortileges and Gounod's Messe Solonelle. She recorded "Belle Nuit" from The Tales of Hoffman with Denyce Graves for PBS Television and performed with her in Grendel at Lincoln Center and at Los Angeles Opera where she was a Resident Artist. Other roles include Mozart's Mass in C Minor and Handel's Messiah performed at the Kennedy Center. Her most recent performance was La Traviata, Opera International at The Music Center at Strathmore in July.
Rachael Pavloski, mezzo-soprano, has a master's in vocal performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Toledo. She recently made her Canton Symphony debut as an alto soloist in Bach's Cantata No. 79 and was the mezzo-soprano soloist in Mendelssohn's Lobgesang. She has performed in the Opera Cleveland Chorus for several seasons. In addition, Ms. Pavloski has also sung with the Cleveland Opera Chorus, Akron Symphony Chorus, and Akron Lyric Opera Theatre Chorus. In 2007, she was awarded The Daniel Curtin Award for chorister of the year by Opera Cleveland. Roles that she has performed include: Lucy in Threepenny Opera, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Ramiro in La Finta Giardiniera, and various roles in the opera scenes at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Ms. Pavloski is also a vocal instructor at Hiram College.
Victoria (Munoz) Fiutowski grew up in New York City where she sang in the Collegiate Chorale (an adult madrigal group) while still in high school. She later joined the Oratorio Society, and was a member of the Springfield (Massachusetts) Symphony Chorus and Richmond Symphony Chorus. While in college, she played the leading female role in the original musical, Circus by William Joel, to excellent reviews. She has studied voice under Adriana Harding in Washington, DC and Suzanne Peck (of the Waverly Consort) and is presently under the tutelage of Dr. Lee of YSU. Mrs. Fiutowski has worked as a high school art teacher and was a drama coach. She is a member of the Stambaugh Chorus.
Shafica Kaleel, soprano, graduated from Youngstown State University this past spring with a B.A. in English and a minor in Music. While at YSU, she performed in several opera productions. In 2008, Shafica sang selected opera scenes from Eugene Ongin and Albert Herring with the Dana Opera Workshop. She performed the role of Laurie Moss in The Tender Land and Yum Yum in The Mikado for YSU. In November of 2009, Shafica was in the chorus for Opera Western Reserve's Main Stage production of Carmen and sang the role of Frasquita for the Young Artist Mini-Main Stage production. In addition, Shafica was a member of the Dana Vocal Society and is actively involved in Opera Western Reserve's Young Artist Program.
Soprano Kathryn Copeland earned a B.M. at Westminster Choir College, NJ and a Postgraduate Diploma at the Royal Academy of Music, London. During her time in the UK, Kathryn sang concerts at Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Royal Albert Hall, and St. Martin-in-the-Fields. She regularly performed with the Gabrieli Consort, English Concert, the BBC Singers, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Brompton Oratory Choir and has toured the UK and Damascus, Syria with the All Souls Orchestra. She has had the privilege of singing under several famous conductors, most recently Sir Colin Davis, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and the late Richard Hickox. Kathryn has presented the soprano solos in Bach's Cantatas, Christmas Oratorio, St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion, Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem, Couperin's Lecon de tenebres, Faure's Requiem, Handel's Messiah and Ode to St. Cecelia's Day, Mendelssohn's Hear my Prayer and St. Paul Oratorio, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Schoenberg's String Quartet No. 2 and Vivaldi's Gloria.
Timothy M. R. Culver has performed with the Cleveland Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Lansing Lyric Opera, Porthouse Theatre, Huron Playhouse and the Cleveland Orchestra. Some recent roles include Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Il duca di Mantua in Rigoletto, Alfredo in La Traviata, and Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore. At Opera Theatre of Lucca in Italy, Mr. Culver performed and studied under the direction of internationally renowned baritone, Lorenzo Malfatti. He also sang in the U.S. premiere of Erwin Schulhoff's H.M.S. Royal Oak with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. In 2002, Mr. Culver began as an Assistant Professor of Voice at the Hugh A. Blauser School of Music at Kent State University, where he earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Currently, he resides in Stow, Ohio with his wife and three children.
Brian Keith Johnson, As a member of Actors' Equity Association, has performed a variety of musical theatre roles ranging from Jim in Big River to Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar. Operatic roles include: Tonio in Pagliacci, Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Marcello in Rigoletto, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Opera Western Reserve; Henry Box Brown/Frederick Doublass in Vanqui, Opera Columbus; The Kaiser in Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Cleveland Public Theatre; Masetto in Don Giovanni, Valentin in Faust, Cleveland Opera; Bellomy in The Fantasticks, Dewain in I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I saw the Sky, Belcore in Elixir of Love, Figaro in Barber of Seville, Lyric Opera Cleveland; Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Giovanni in Don Giovanni, Peter in Hansel und Gretel, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Duke Symphony Orchestra; Crown in Porgy and Bess, Michele in Il Tabarro, Union Avenue Opera. Mr. Johnson also has an extensive concert performance history.
Peruvian Enrique Bernardo,tenor/pianist, has performed the roles of Nemorino, Elixir of Love with Undercroft Opera; Briguella, Tanzmeister, Ariadne auf Naxos and Alfredo, La Traviata with Cleveland Institute of Music; and Count Almaviva, Barber of Seville with Erie Opera Theatre. He has performed with Pittsburgh Opera in several choruses. Bernardo will be joining OWR's Young Artist program this fall, singing the role of Alfredo in their Mini Main-Stage production of La Traviata.
Robert Pierce, baritone, is a native of Painesville, Ohio. He has sung the title role in Haydn's The Apothecary, Claudio Beatrice et Benedict, Mr. Ford The Merry Wives of Windsor, Husband Amelia Goes to the Ball, and Frank Die Fledermaus. He has also sung in the Opera Cleveland chorus and as a soloist with the Westerville Symphony. In 2008, Mr. Pierce graduated with a Bachelor of Music dgree from Otterbein College, and he currently attends the Cleveland Institute of Music in the studio of Clifford Billions and is the Educational Outreach Associate Director for OPERA Western Reserve.
Max J. Pivik, baritone, has appeared in productions with the Dana Performing Arts Series, Opera Circle of Cleveland, Valley Lyric Opera, and OPERA Western Reserve. Mr. Pivik is the Educational Outreach Director for OPERA Western Reserve. He currently serves as the Music Director and Choral Conductor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Youngstown Ohio. As a successful competitor Max has won numerous NATS competitions including, First Place at the 2009 Great Lakes Region NATS competition. He is also a winner of the Dana Young Artist Competition.
Baritone Trevor Coleman is a major in Vocal Performance at Youngstown State University's Dana School of Music. Trevor was last seen in The Mikado as Pooh-Bah. He also performed in The Tender Land as Grandpa Moss. Trevor is a graduate of Boardman High School and has been seen in their productions of Little Shop of Horrors and Beauty and the Beast. Trevor has also performed at Bob Jones University in Rigoletto.
Charis Kasler & Gary Copley