JULIE DE VAERE, MEZZO-SOPRANO
Praised as a mezzo-soprano who is “skillful and passionate”, Ms. De Vaere has performed with Michigan Opera Theatre where she delighted Detroit audiences with her portrayal of Olga in Eugene Onegin, the Detroit Symphony, where she sang the role of Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, and Dayton Opera where she debuted as Mercédès in Carmen. Acclaimed in her Opera Carolina debut as Loma Williams in Carlisle Floyd’s opera, Cold Sassy Tree, she was engaged to reprise the role with Opera Omaha. Her rich array of operatic roles has grown to include Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, Cherubino, Marcellina, Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw, Nicklausse in Les contes d’Hoffmann, L’enfant in L’enfant et les Sortilèges, Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Florence Pike in Albert Herring, The Secretary in The Consul, the title role in Massenet’s Thérèse, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Cecilia March in Adamo’s Little Women and Desirée Armfelt in A Little Night Music.
Her New York concert debut in the role of Carmen was reviewed as “a rich mezzo-soprano in splendid vocal form...a fiery, passionate gypsy girl with dramatic intensity and a dash of fatalism.” Ms. De Vaere’s performance of Hélène in Chabrier’s Une education manquée was heralded by the New York Times as “elegant and direct” and by Opera News as “warm-voiced and gracious." A champion of rarely-performed works, Ms. De Vaere was delighted to debut the role of Laura in the first New York staging of the Weber/Mahler opera Die Drei Pintos as well as the role of Mrs. Malaprop in the New York premiere of Kirke Mechem’s The Rivals. Upcoming engagements include singing a trio of roles (Maya/Sylvia/Tina) in the premiere of David Wolfson’s The Faith Operas with Hartford Opera Theater.
As a concert artist, Ms. De Vaere has appeared as the mezzo-soprano soloist in works including Mahler’s Symphony #2 and #3 with the University of Michigan Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem with the Hartford Symphony, and the Requiems of Duruflé and Mozart with the Connecticut Chorale Society. Ms. De Vaere made her Carnegie Hall debut as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and Bruckner’s Te Deum with the New England Symphonic Ensemble and returned to Carnegie Hall for Handel’s Messiah under the baton of John Rutter. As a recitalist, she journeyed to France for a recital debut as part of the Atelier Concert Series at the American Church in Paris featuring the music of 21st century American composers.
Ms. De Vaere earned a Master of Music degree in Voice from the University of Michigan where she received the prestigious Jessye Norman Graduate Fellowship. Her Bachelor of Music degree was received from California State University Fullerton. She currently resides in New York City and studies with Arthur Levy.
TONY LEATHEM, BARITONE
Anthony Leathem, bass-baritone, holds a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy from the New England Conservatory where he was the recipient of the prestigious John Moriarty Presidential Scholarship. Anthony is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance at the University of Connecticut studying under Dr. Constance Rock and is involved in the Voice and Opera program. Recent roles include Frank in UConn Opera Theatre’s production of Die Fledermaus, as well Dr. Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore. This season, Mr. Leathem will be singing the roles of Captain Corcoran in UConn’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore, as well as the title role in Le nozze di Figaro. In November, he made his return to Hartford Opera Theatre to sing the role of Stanley in Liam Wade’s, The Stranger the Better for HOT’s New in November Festival.
LISABETH MILLER, SOPRANO
Lyric soprano Lisabeth Miller is sought after for her musically sensitive and dramatically compelling performances on both the opera and concert stages. The 2016 included recital performances as part of the Twenty-First century music series at the Prosser Library in Bloomfield and the Noon Concert Series at the First Congregational Church of Windsor, CT. Lisabeth performed as a guest soloist with the New Britain Chorale, and as Donna in A Fine Invention by David Wolfson as part of Hartford Opera Theater’s New in November festival. Next up for Miller is the world premiere of David Wolfson’s The Faith Operas with Hartford Opera Theater.
2015 included performances as the soprano soloist in “Carmina Burana” with the University of Connecticut Festival Chorus, and a debut as soloist with the Farmington Valley Symphony. Miller sang as a soloist with the Farmington Valley Chorale for their 2014 “A Festival of Carols and Dance” as well as her debut with Connecticut Concert Opera in Gianni Schicchi (Nella). Miller has been featured in performances at Opera Theater of Connecticut, and was a soloist for CONCORA’s spring 2011 opera excerpts concert conducted by Willie Anthony Waters. She sang the title role in Alcina with Hillhouse Opera, and was soloist with the New Haven based Nutmeg Symphony for all of their 2010-11 concerts. As a DMA candidate in voice performance at the University of Connecticut, Miller sang the role of Ann Putnam in The Crucible and First Lady in Die Zauberflöte. An enthusiastic performer of new music, Miller has been featured in Hartford Opera Theater’s “New in November” festivals from 2010-2016
Lisabeth Miller is pursuing a DMA in voice performance at the University of CT, studying with renowned pedagogue Dr. Constance Rock, and was also a student of Willie Anthony Waters. She also holds a master of music degree from the Hartt School of Music, as well as a bachelor of arts degree in music from Brandeis University where she was a student of Frank Kelley. She is proud to be the artistic director of Hartford Opera Theater, as well as director of music at Old St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Bloomfield, CT
GREGORY ZAVRACKY, TENOR
Praised for his fine musicality, “glowing intensity,” and “clarion tone,” Gregory Zavracky maintains an active performance schedule on concert and opera stages alike. Recent engagements include the Officer in The Barber of Seville with Boston Lyric Opera, Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville with Townsend Opera, Tamino in Boston Lyric Opera’s family production of The Magic Flute, Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi and Buoso’s Ghost with Lake George Opera, Ferrando in Così Fan Tutte and Camille in The Merry Widow with Cape Cod Opera, Ernesto in Don Pasquale with Opera in the Heights in Houston, Lechmere in Owen Wingrave with Boston University Opera Institute, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Metrowest Opera, Face on the Barroom Floor with Charleston Chamber Opera, Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola with Capitol Heights Lyric Opera, and Prince Dauntless in Once Upon a Mattress and Schmidt in Werther with Chautauqua Opera, where he also covered Nemorino in the Elixir of Love.
Gregory has recently sung in the world premieres of Matthew Aucoin's Crossing with the American Repertory Theater, the Five Borough Songbook with Five Boroughs Music Festival, Steven Sametz's A Child's Requiem with the University of Connecticut Orchestra, Ketty Nez’s The Fiddler and the Old Woman of Rumelia with the Xanthos Ensemble and James Yannatos’ Rocket’s Red Blare with Intermezzo Opera, and Three American Songs by Anthony DeRitis (soon to be released on CD).
A 2009 Gerda Lissner Foundation Encouragement Award recipient, a 2010 Liederkranz Competition finalist in the art song divison, and a 2011 finalist in the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition, Gregory’s concert experience includes opera and pops concerts with both the Chautauqua and Utah Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Vespers with the Providence Singers, Schubert’s Mass in G with Coro Allegro; Britten’s Les Illuminations with the Aurea Ensemble; the Bach Magnificat and Cantata 191 with Back Bay Chorale, Janácek’s Otcenás and Respighi’s Lauda per la Natività with Chorus Pro Musica, Carmina Burana with Masterworks Chorale; Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Haydn’s Creation with Nashoba Valley Chorale; Mozart’s Mass in C minor with Quincy Choral Society, and Bach’s B Minor Mass with the Connecticut Virtuosi.
Gregory received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from Boston University. Previous degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in music from Emory University, followed by two Master of Music degrees from New England Conservatory in voice performance and opera studies as a student of Edward Zambara. He currently teaches voice at the University of Connecticut, Brown University, Eastern Connecticut State University, and Boston University Tanglewood Institute.
DAVID WOLFSON, COMPOSER
David Wolfson is currently working towards his PhD in composition at Rutgers University, and has taught at Rutgers University, Montclair State University and Hunter College. He is enjoying an eclectic career, having composed opera, musical theatre, touring children’s musicals, and incidental music for plays; choral music, band music, orchestral music, chamber music, art songs, and music for solo piano; comedy songs, cabaret songs and one memorable score for an amusement park big-headed-costumed-character show. Current projects include two musicals and a chamber opera. His CD Seventeen Windows, featuring the solo piano suite Seventeen Windows and the Sonata for Cello and Piano, is available from Albany Records, iTunes and Amazon.com. For more information: www.davidwolfsonmusic.net
KRISTY CHAMBRELLI, STAGE DIRECTOR
Kristy Chambrelli has mounted Operatic and Musical Theatre productions throughout the United States and Europe. She is the Associate Artistic Director for Hartford Opera Theater and a previous resident opera director for the Asolo Art Song and Aria Festival in Asolo, Italy. She has taught and directed for New England Conservatory, The Hartt School, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Florida State University, Clark University, and The College of New Jersey. Her production of Jekyll & Hyde was awarded the 2014 Moss Hart Award in the College/University Division for "...fresh, imaginative, creative treatment within the intent of the playwright". (NETC) She recently directed plays at 13th Street Rep, Leela NYC Festival and Manhattan Rep She was named to the SDCF Observership Class for 2015-2016. Kristy has been nominated for several Broadway World CT & RI awards in Directing. She is a semi-finalist for this year’s American Prize in Opera Direction. She was an SDC Respondent for KCACTF Region 1. Kristy served as the Youth Director assisting Maxwell Williams on A Christmas Carol (Hartford Stage). She worked with Michael Bolton, Shelton Becton and the New Haven Choir in preparation for BBC/NBC’s Clash of the Choirs. Kristy is a Co-Founder and Artistic Director of IN MEDIAS ARTS - a new media and performance art collective. She has a BM from The Boston Conservatory. She studied Film Scoring and Composition at Berklee College of Music and Opera Directing at Florida State University. She is a Directors Lab North Alum and is a proud associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
JOSEPH A. HODGE, CONDUCTOR
Praised for his "musicianship and energy on stage" (Manchester Journal Inquirer), Joseph Hodge currently serves as the Music Director of Hartford Opera Theater, Manchester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, and the Connecticut Valley Symphony Orchestra. As Music Director of Hartford Opera Theater, Joseph recently led performances of Robert Ward's The Crucible, and will conduct Copland's The Tender Land in May, 2017. Guest conducting engagements bring him to Texas each year to work with the Abilene Opera Association, and he is the Assistant Conductor of the Ash Lawn Opera Festival in Charlottesville, VA. He has previously studied conducting with Edward Cumming, Christopher Zimmerman, and Kate Tamarkin.
CAITLIN LEIGH FLEMMING, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR/STAGE MANAGER
Caitlin Leigh Flemming is a stage director with a primary focus in Opera. Caitlin was selected for the Summer Directing Seminar at Yale University. She has served as Assistant Director on several productions with Hartt Opera Theatre, Opera Connecticut and Hartford Opera Theater. Some of her favorite credits include The Crucible (2016 Broadway World Nominee), Owl Moon (World Premiere), Prescription and Tosca. Caitlin recently directed Amahl and the Night Visitors for Hartt Opera Theater this fall. This season, she will also be assisting Kristy Chambrelli on the World Premiere of David Wolfson’s The Faith Operas and a new multilingual production of The Tender Land which will feature both sung English and ASL. Caitlin studies Vocal Performance at The Hartt School and is a student of Claude Corbel.