MEET THE ARTISTS OF CALLIOPE’S CALL
CHRISTINA WRIGHT-IVANOVA, piano
Dr. Christina Wright-Ivanova, hailed by critics as “a brilliant pianist” (Wiener Zeitung, Vienna) and “an ideal partner” (Huffington Post), is currently Assistant Professor of Music and the Coordinator of Piano & Collaborative Piano at Keene State College, NH and is on faculty at New England Conservatory’s ‘Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice’. She is also the Vocal Coach at UMass Amherst.
Dr. Wright-Ivanova has premiered over one hundred works by living composers and has performed both solo and collaborative new works in such venues as Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Berklee School of Music, MIT, The Harvard Club, Opera America (NY), Jordan Hall, Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall, Old North Meeting House, and in the NEXTET series in Las Vegas. Recent international concert performances at the Berlin Art Song Festival, Teatro Sociale in Como, Reaktorhalle (Munich), Humboldt University, École Normale Supérieure Lyon, Joanneumsviertel Museum, Amici della Musica Paisello Concert Hall (Lucera), and Schloss Frohnburg (Salzburg).
She has enjoyed collaboration with singers from the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Greek National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Lithuanian National Opera, Calgary Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and has been the official pianist for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. As a chamber musician, she has been heard in over fifteen countries throughout North & South America, UK, Europe, Asia and Australia, appearing in recital with many established musicians, including members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Kansas City Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, and Boulder Philharmonic.
Previous Employment: University of Nevada Las Vegas, Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, BU Tanglewood Institute, and AIMS (Austria). Artistic Director: ‘Bijou de la Vida Concert Series’ in Boston (NEMPAC); Recordings: Albany, New World Records, ARS Produktion, MSR Classics. Degrees: University of Texas at Austin (DMA), New England Conservatory (MM), University of Victoria, Canada (BM). www.christinajwright.com
EVANGELIA LEONTIS, soprano
Evangelia Leontis, soprano, has extensive experience on the opera, concert and recital stages. She has been seen on the operatic stage as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Frasquita in Carmen, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Lucy in The Telephone, Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflӧte, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro and Le Feu in L'Enfant et les Sortilèges. On the concert stage, Dr. Leontis has been the soprano soloist in works by Britten, Haydn, Fauré, Rossini, Bach, Bizet, Mozart, Grieg, and Handel with Greensboro Opera, the Greensboro Oratorio Society, the Newburyport Choral Society, Newton Choral Society, Clear Lakes Chorale, Fine Arts Chorale, Polymnia Choral Society, and the UNCG Sinfonia.
An avid recitalist, Dr. Leontis has sung recitals in Rochester, NY, Greensboro, NC, and Boston, as well as in her hometown of Bowling Green, OH. In recital she aims to program music by women composers and she has worked with the composer Sarah Hutchings on her music. Dr. Leontis won the Bel Canto Award in the 2015 Orpheus Competition, was a finalist in the 2015 Kentucky Bach Choir Competition, a semi-finalist in the American Prize in Voice Professional Art Song Division Competition in 2015, and was a winner of the 2010 Greek University Women’s Club Music Competition.
Dr. Leontis completed the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts at UNC Greensboro. She holds a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from Boston University and a Bachelors of Music degree in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music. Her research interests lie in the work of women composers. Dr. Leontis serves as a voice teacher and lyric diction instructor on the voice faculty of the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and maintains a private studio in the Boston area. As a yogi, she completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in Bali, Indonesia with YogaWorks and has presented Yoga for Singers Workshops at the NEC Preparatory School, Greensboro College, the New School of Music, the Manchester Music Festival, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Her blog entitled Inner Voice: the Intersection of Yoga and Singing explores topics relating to the ways yoga can help singers. More information can be found at evangelialeontis.com.
CLARE LONGENDYKE, piano
Hailed a “superlative pianist,” (Journal of the IAWM), Clare Longendyke is a passionate soloist and chamber musician recognized for her colorful musicality, technical fluency, and ability to interpret repertoires across the musical spectrum. Clare has performed solo and chamber music recitals across Europe and North America and has won 1st place prizes in national competitions in Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, and Massachusetts. She made her orchestral debut in 2012 performing Bartók’s 3rd Piano Concerto with the Indiana University Concert Orchestra.
Clare has been a featured soloist in the Fazioli Piano Series (Los Angeles) and the Silvermine Artist Series (Connecticut), as well as in performances on American Public Media’s Performance Today. An active performer of new music, she has premiered of over 75 new works since 2012. Clare is a founding member of the CT:2 Clarinet and Piano Duo, the Uproar Duo, the Longendyke/Wollman Viola and Piano Duo, and she is the pianist and Administrative Director of Calliope’s Call, a Boston-based art song performance group. Through her solo and ensemble work, she has worked with and performed the music of living composers Joan Tower, Frederic Rzewski, Tom Cipullo, and Joseph Schwantner, among many others.
In 2017, Clare performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto in E minor with the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra (Massachusetts) and Orlando Cela, conductor. Upcoming engagements include solo recital tours in San Francisco and Boston, and performances of Joan Tower’s Piano Concerto with orchestras in Indiana and Iowa in celebration of the composer’s 80th birthday. Clare holds degrees from the Boston University College of Fine Arts, the École Normale de Musique in Paris, France, and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She currently lives in Indianapolis, where she is completing a Doctorate of Music at Indiana University. Clare is Lecturer of Music in Piano at Franklin College. www.clarelongendyke.com
MEGAN ROTH, mezzo-soprano
Known for her “rich character portrayals” and “versatile voice,” mezzo-soprano Megan Roth enjoys a varied career performing opera, oratorio, art song, and chamber music, with repertoire spanning from early to contemporary music.
Most recently, Megan performed the role of Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Summer Garden Opera in Virgina and as Meg in Little Women with MassOpera, where she was praised for her “warm and sonically sumptuous Meg.” Other recent engagements include soloist in Copland’s In the Beginning with Vox Humana in Dallas, Texas, Handel’s Messiah with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra, and Dixit Dominus with the Metropolitan Chorale.
On the operatic stage, Megan made her debut with Boston Midsummer Opera as Dorabella in Così fan tutte and was invited back to sing the Woman in the Jazz Trio of Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, where she was praised for her “lovely singing” and for being “most at home with her Andrews-Sisteresque routines.” She reprised the role of Dorabella with Opera Providence the subsequent season. With Opera Boston, Megan sang the role of Francisca in Maria Padilla and covered Beatrice in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict, after her debut the previous season as Amélie in La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein. Other favorite roles include Angelina in La Cenerentola, Costanza in the rarely performed L’isola Disabitata by Haydn, and Sesto in Giulio Cesare.
Highlights of her solo concert performances include Bach’s B Minor Mass, Magnificat and Weihnacht’s Oratorium, Gretchaninov’s Passion Week, de Falla’s El amor brujo, Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore and Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria & Magnificat, and Duruflé Requiem. Megan was a 2014 finalist in The American Prize Competition, both in the Chicago Oratorio Award and Opera Division categories.
As an active chamber musician, Megan performs with several renowned national ensembles including the GRAMMY® winning ensemble Conspirare out of Austin, Texas, GRAMMY® True Concord and Seraphic Fire, Skylark Vocal Ensemble, Lorelei Ensemble, Yale Choral Artists, Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble, and The Thirteen. She also relishes collaborations with other artistic mediums and recently performed as guest artist with the Contemporary Dance Theatre at Indiana University and in a reprise performance with Nugent Dance at the Indianapolis Museum of Art performing Per te lascai la luce by Handel. She was also invited to give voice to the otherwise silent character Octavia in Britannicus, a play by Jean Racine at the American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.), where she was acclaimed for “her gorgeously sung arias that act as haunting respites in this gripping drama.”
Ms. Roth holds an Artist Certificate in Opera and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Florida State University. Ms. Roth is also an accomplished violinist, and holds a Bachelor of Music with honor in Violin Performance from DePaul University. www.meganroth.com
LAURA STRICKLING, soprano
Soprano Laura Strickling was praised by The New York Times for her, “flexible voice, crystalline diction, and warm presence.” A devoted recitalist, she has performed with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, Lyric Fest of Philadelphia, Joy in Singing, Trinity Concerts at One, the American Liszt Society, Songfest, SongFusion, and was a featured performer at the 2016 New Music Gathering. She has presented recitals at the University of Georgia, Notre Dame University, St. Mary’s College, College of William and Mary, the American University of Afghanistan, the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, and was a featured performer at Liederfest in Suzhou, China. Ms. Strickling was Artist in Residence in December 2016 at the Yellow Barn Music Festival, where she presented a program of Granados and modern song, including the world-premiere of Ciudades del Porvenir by Reinaldo Moya.
Her concert engagements include Mass in c minor (Mozart) and Messiah (Handel) with the Richmond Symphony, Messiah (Handel) at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center with DCINY, and at the Kennedy Center with the Metropolitan Chorus, Luonnotar (Sibelius) and Les Illuminations (Britten) with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Mass in c minor (Mozart) and Stabat Mater (Dvorak) with Berkshire Choral International, Ein Deutsches Requiem (Brahms) with the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee and with Chorosynthesis, and Ninth Symphony (Beethoven) and Carmina Burana (Orff) with Choralis. Her performance of Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Exsultate jubilate with the Cathedral Choral Society was broadcast by classical radio station WETA.
Ms. Strickling’s recording of James Matheson’s Times Alone was hailed by MusicWeb International for, “shapely, nuanced voicings and emotional urgency...a striking directness.” Her recording of Glen Roven's The Vineyard Songs was acclaimed by Opera News, “Laura Strickling’s lovely diction and warm, clear sound bring attractive immediacy...” She can also be heard on the New American Song @SongFest CD, performing Jake Heggie’s Edna St. Vincent Millay, and on The Garden: Songs and Vocal Chamber Works by Tom Cipullo.
Upcoming projects include Confessions – her first solo recording of American art songs, Poulenc’s Gloria with the Asheville Symphony, the World Premiere of Tom Cipullo’s opera The Parting, and the publication of an anthology of 21st Century American art songs she has curated for the New Music Shelf. A Chicago native, Laura currently makes her home in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. This is her first collaboration with Calliope's Call.
DANA LYNNE VARGA, soprano
Dana Lynne Varga, Soprano, has worked with numerous opera companies including Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Caramoor, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Boston Baroque and Commonwealth Opera. An avid concert soloist, recent highlights include the Dvořák Te Deum with the Metropolitan Chorale (Jordan Hall), the Beethoven Mass in C at Tanglewood (Ozawa Hall), Vaughn William’s Sea Symphony with the Metropolitan Chorale (Sanders Theatre), the Dubois Seven Last Words with Coro Allegro and the Bach B Minor Mass with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra. Ms. Varga was awarded the 2012 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Grant for excellence in music, placed first in the Arlington Philharmonic Competition in 2008 and was among the winners in the Boston Regional Auditions of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2007. She won first place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition in both 2004 and 2005.
Ms. Varga has attended many young artist programs including the Caramoor Bel Canto Young Artist Program in NY, Britten-Pears Programme in the UK, PORTopera program in ME and Brevard Music Center in NC. Upcoming engagements include Handel’s Messiah with the New England Classical Singers and both the Fauré Requiem and Nielson’s 3rd Symphony with the Springfield Symphony. Ms. Varga holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Boston University and the Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of MetroWest Opera and is on the vocal faculty of the prestigious BU Tanglewood Institute. To learn more please visit www.danavarga.com.