The Grammy®-nominated countertenor & composer Ryland Angel has built an international reputation on both the opera & concert stage, in repertoire ranging from the Baroque to operatic commissions at major opera houses, concert halls & festivals.
Highlights of his operatic career include Radamisto/Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Agrippina/New York City Opera,Tolomeo/Muziektheater Transparant, Semele/Cologne Opera,Rodelinda/Carré Theatre, Amsterdam, Julius Caesar/Utah Opera & Opera Colorado, Il Sant’Alessio/Les Arts Florissants in New York, Paris & London, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria/Toulouse Opera,Theodora/Dallas Opera, Monteverdi’s Orfeo/Boston Early Music Festival, Acis & Galatea/Hobby Center Houston, & Doux Mensonges/Opéra national de Paris.
He has created roles in many world premieres – most recently Gregory Spears’ Wolf-in-Skins (Philadelphia), the title role in Tesla in New York written by Phil Kline & Jim Jarmusch (Hopkins Center, Dartmouth), & new work by Tarik O’Regan & Gregory Spears (Opera New Jersey/American Opera Projects). Angel has performed on over 50 recordings including music by Charpentier, Scarlatti, Stradella, Lorenzani, Peri, Händel, Monteverdi, Beaujoyeux, Purcell, Bach, Spears, Mercurio, Rosenmüller, & Bobby McFerrin. Warner Brothers’ forthcoming documentary The Mystery of Dante will feature his original score, as well as his voice on the title track.
Cameron Beauchamp, bass, regularly sings with Austin’s Conspirare, Boston’s Blue Heron, Miami’s Seraphic Fire, New York’s Roomful of Teeth, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and is co-director of Austin-based Convergence. He is dedicated to the performance of music, both old and new. He has been an artist in residence at Stanford University, Yale University, Princeton University, the University of Utah, the University of North Texas, Williams College, College of the Holy Cross, Harvard University, the University of Oregon, Principia College, Philadelphia University, and Mass MoCA. Recordings include works for Harmonia Mundi, New Amsterdam Records, Pro Organo, GIA, Edition Lilac, Klavier and PBS. He has performed on five Grammy-nominated albums and one Downbeat award-winning album.
Paul D’Arcy (tenor) maintains an active career as a singer and music educator. He resides in Austin, TX, where he regularly performs with Conspirare, ensemble viii, and the Texas Early Music Project. Paul also performs with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Vox Humana in Dallas, the Tucson Chamber Artists, the Apollo Master Chorale in Minneapolis, and Spire in Kansas City. For the past fifteen years, Paul has been a featured soloist with various ensembles and festivals. Works include Bach’s Magnificat, Saint John Passion, Christmas Oratorio, Easter Oratorio and many cantatas; Mozart’s Requiem, Vesperæ solemnes de Dominica, and masses; Haydn’s Stabat Mater and various masses; Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus; Schubert’s masses; Caldara’s Stabat Mater; Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, Monteverdi’s Vespers and Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien. Paul is co-founder of Convergence, a dynamic new music ensemble. He currently teaches voice lessons at West Lake High School in Austin.
Praised for his “winning portrayals” (The Dallas Morning News) and “sterling musical and physical work” (stagehappenings.com), young baritone Steven Eddy has exhibited extraordinary versatility in the realms of opera, oratorio and art song.
He recently returned to the 2014 Fort Worth Opera in critically acclaimed performances as Ponchel in Silent Night, one year following his company debut as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos. His other opera credits include Dancaïre (Carmen), Aeneas (Dido & Aeneas), Schaunard (La bohème), Nick Shadow (The Rake’s Progress), Ford (Falstaff), and Guglielmo (Così fan tutte).
A frequent concert artist and recitalist, he was a Marc & Eva Stern Fellow with SongFest at Colburn, a member of the Aspen Opera Theater Center, and a Vocal Arts Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. He has collaborated with such ensembles as The Mark Morris Dance Group, The Handel Choir of Baltimore, The New York Virtuoso Singers, Ensemble VIII, The Hall Ensemble, and The Saginaw Choral Society. He has also garnered awards and recognition in several competitions, including the District and Regional levels of the Metropolitan Opera National Council.
Soprano Kirsten Hedegaard has enjoyed a duel career as a singer and conductor. As a soloist, she has been praised for her voice that “blends beautifully” (Chicago Tribune) and “soars perfectly in the upper registers” (Barrington Quintessential). She has performed numerous Bach cantatas and baroque chamber music and has been a soloist with many early music specialists including Nicholas McGegan, Paul Hillier, Ivars Taurins, Kenneth Slowik, Paul Hillier and John Butt. Ms. Hedegaard has sung with Tafelmusik, Philharmonia Baroque, the Newberry Consort, Ars Antiqua, the Opera Company and Bella Voce, among other ensembles. Also interested in contemporary music, Ms. Hedegaard has performed numerous new works, including an international tour of Louis Andriessens’s The Odyssey with the Beppie Blankert Dance Company. This past winter she made her debut with the Grammy-award winning new music ensemble, eighth blackbird. Currently on faculty at Loyola University, Ms. Hedegaard has taught conducting at Concordia University, River Forest and has conducted choirs and orchestras for various institutions including Chicago Choral Artists, Eastman House, Chicago Children’s Choir, Gallery 37, Loyola Academy, and the University of California.
Philippines born bass-baritone Enrico Lagasca is enjoying a career in oratorio, opera, and concerts with repertoire spanning from Early Music to Baroque & Renaissance to 21st century music. He is a regular soloist and chorister in the Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola and the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space with K. Scott Warren and the Bach Choir of the Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church with Donald Meineke. Enrico frequently appears with the Bard Festival Chorus, Musica Sacra, Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine, the Collegiate Chorale, the New York Virtuoso Singers, New York Choral Artists, and the Oratorio Society of New York. Noted performances include the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New York Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, to name a few. Highlights for the current season include bass solos for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Mass in b minor at Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, Buxtehude’s Musikalisches Exequien & Ihr Lieben Christen at Bach Vespers, Mozart Requiem at Fairfield County Chorale and Orchestra with David Rosenmayer, as L’arbre and Le fauteuil in L’enfant et les sortileges in the inaugural show of Bare Opera in May 2015 at the Robert Miller Gallery, as guest artist playing the role of Collatinus in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia with the Aaron Copland School of Music. Previous operatic roles include Lautsprecher/Tod in Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Blansac in La Scala di Seta, among others. Before migrating to the United States, Enrico had a distinguished career singing with the world renowned Philippine Madrigal Singers, two-time champions of the European Grand Prix for Choral music and UNESCO Artists for Peace. Enrico is also an avid performer of new music and has given world performances of works by Gerald Cohen, Sharon Farber, and Joel Mandelbaum. Among his upcoming new music performances are excerpts from Joseph Rubinstein’s song cycle Seeking You, Lowell Liebermann’s Night Dreams, Denise Hoffman’s Sleep-running, Stanislav Fridman’s Prorok, and Karlhein Stockhausen’s last opus, Klang. Enrico was also a finalist in the 2013 Das Lied International Song Competition headed by acclaimed baritone Thomas Quastoff and in the 24th International Vocal Competition in Centre Lyrqiue in Clermont-Auvergne, France in 2015.
Abigail Haynes-Lennox, soprano, quoted as angelic and stylish in her interpretations of Bach and Mozart, is equally at home with genres ranging from early plainchant to 19th- century Mélodie to improvised avant-garde. Originally from Bartlett, Tennesseee, she began her vocal studies at Ann Arbor, Michigan, where after finishing her bachelors degree in vocal performance at the University of Michigan, she served as music director for the Wesley Foundation of First Methodist, performed with the Michigan Opera Theater under Stephen Lord, and was a frequent soloist appearing on premier recordings of contemporary works. In 2007 Lennox completed her master’s degree study in voice at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music where she studied under James Taylor, Ted Taylor, and Judith Malafronte.
In addition to participating in masterclasses with Martin Katz, Stephen Layton, and David Daniels, she has performed as soloist in such performances as Bach St. John and Buxtehude Membra Jesu Nostri under Simon Carrington, Mozart Vespers with Sir David Willcocks and again with Sir Neville Marriner, Bach Magnificat in E-flat major with Helmuth Rilling, Beethoven Mass in C and multiple Bach Cantatas with Yale ensembles, a program of French Baroque music with the Ensemble European William Byrd, Steve Reich Daniel Variations with the New World Symphony, Purcell Dido and Aeneas with Apollo’s Fire, and Bach Weihnachts Oratorium and B minor Mass with the American Bach Soloists under Jeffrey Thomas. Inspired by her experiences, Lennox enjoys teaching and working with young musicians and engaging in collaborative projects with fellow artists in addition to pursuing a solo career.
Praised for her “skyrocketing coloratura,” “fluid and dexterous voice,” “piercingly clear soprano” as well as for being a “natural and convincing comedic actress,” Gitanjali Mathur regularly performs in Austin with the Texas Early Music Project, Convergence, and Conspirare. She also sings and records with Seraphic Fire and is featured on their Grammy-nominated CD A Seraphic Fire Christmas. She made her solo Carnegie Hall debut with Helmuth Rilling in J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in 2007, and has performed in France, Italy, Germany, and Denmark, in the Oregon Bach Festival and with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. This year she will debut with Bach Collegium San Diego and Tucson Chamber Artists, will sing solos for Handel’s Messiah with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and will perform a lead role with the Austin Vocal Arts Ensemble in John Blow’s baroque opera Venus and Adonis.
Co-founder of Ensemble VIII, tenor Donald R. Meineke serves as Organist and Associate Director of Music at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity (New York), known as “the Temple to Bach” and Artistic Director of Bach Vespers, featuring the Bach Choir and Players. He held the post of Director of Music and Organist at Trinity Church in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he conducted the Choir of Trinity Church, Choristers, and was founder and Artistic Director of Vox Triniti, Worcester’s professional early music ensemble. He has also served as Director of Music and Organist at Austin’s First English Lutheran Church. He has sung with the Festival Ensemble Stuttgart, Junges Stuttgarter Bach Ensemble, Oregon Bach Festival, the Pro Arte Singers, Arcadia Players, Mon Choeur, Dresden Kammerchor, Toronto Chamber Choir and the Holy Trinity Bach Choir (NYC). He has given recitals, lectured, and performed throughout the United States, South America, Canada, and Europe with such conductors as Paul Hillier, Helmuth Rilling, Maria Guinand, Matthew Halls, and Järn Andresen. He has served as Assistant Chorus Master for Helmuth Rilling, preparing Mozart’s Mass in C minor in multiple cities throughout Venezuela and Bach’s B minor Mass in Germany and Italy.
Since 2006, John Proft has maintained an active singing career, traveling around the country to perform with professional choirs and chamber ensembles in Austin, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Kansas City, and Santa Fe. While getting his Bachelors in Music from University of North Texas, he began singing professionally with the Dallas Bach Society and the Orpheus Chamber Singers. Then, based in the thriving early-music scene of Boston, he began traveling to perform with ensembles like Austin’s Grammy-winning Conspirare, Miami’s Grammy-nominated Seraphic Fire, and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. As a soloist, he has performed with the Harvard Collegium Musicum and in Boston Early Music Festival’s 2010 opera, Dido and Aeneas. He has worked with world-renowned conductors Harry Christophers, Ton Koopman, and Craig Hella Johnson. In 2013, John received his Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from Southern Methodist University and is currently based in Sacramento, California.
Critics have praised Brenna Wells for her “angelic”, “soaring”, and “captivating” soprano voice. Her operatic roles include Galatea in Acis and Galatea, First Witch Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, La Musique in Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles, and she was Première Nymphe de l’Acheron in the Boston Early Music Festival’s production and Grammy-nominated recording of Lully’s Psyché. Ms. Wells has sung and recorded with such acclaimed ensembles as the BEMF Orchestra, Blue Heron, Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Opera Boston, L’Académie, and the Handel and Haydn Society. She has appeared in many festivals world-wide including the London Handel Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Amherst Early Music Festival, BBC Proms and in both 2008 and 2009, she performed at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, Italy. The 2013-2014 Season included solo appearances with the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Collage New Music, Connecticut Early Music Festival, and the Boston Early Music Festival’s tour of Charpentier Operas. This season’s highlights include appearances with Emmanuel Music as their Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow, Seraphic Fire, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Blue Heron, Lorelei Ensemble, Ensemble Viii, and the Yale Choral Artists, among others.
Austin soprano Shari Alise Wilson is among the new generation of singers specializing in early and modern music, demonstrating great versatility and stylistic sensitivity. Recent highlights include performances with The Crossing Choir at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Sydney Skybetter & Associates and Ear Heart Music in David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Conspirare at the Victoria Bach Festival, Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri with Pegasus Early Music and New York Baroque, a world premiere performance and recording of music by Gavin Bryars with Crossing Choir and Prism Quartet and a world premiere performance of John Luther Adams: Sila at the Lincoln Center. Ms. Wilson is an active ensemble and soloist, performing with the Grammy-award winning ensemble Conspirare (Austin), Texas Early Music Project (Austin), Santa Fe Desert Choral, Grammy-nominated Crossing Choir (Philadelphia), Spire Ensemble (Kansas City), Publick Musick (Rochester) and Boston’s Blue Heron and Emmanuel Music. She can be heard on Blue Heron’s five CD set featuring music from the Peterhouse Partbooks, Conspirare’s Grammy-award winning “Sacred Spirit of Russia,” Craig Hella Johnson’s “Considering Matthew Shepard,” and Gavin Bryars’ “The Fifth Century” with The Crossing Choir.