SOPHIE BERMAN, soprano, 2022 Young Singer Competition Winner
Known for her skillful musicianship and engaging character work, New York and Boston-based soprano Sophie Berman has captivated audiences all over the country. Throughout her musical career, Berman has studied and performed pieces from a variety of musical eras, allowing her to explore the versatility of her voice within the classical realm. As a recitalist, Berman has performed many works by women composers, including Undine Smith Moore, Abbie Betinis, Clara Schumann, Barbara Strozzi, and Isabelle Aboulker. Berman also enjoys performing on the operatic stage, and she has sung the roles of Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief, cover), and Musetta (La Bohème). Now at the Longy School of Music for her Master of Music degree, Berman is studying under Professor Carol Mastrodomenico, expanding on her foundation of vocal technique through the lens of vocal pedagogy.
CLAIRE BURRESON, soprano, 2022 Young Singer Competition Winner
Claire Burreson is a soprano currently studying Voice Performance at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Her home town is Seattle, Washington where she was a member of Seattle Opera’s Teen Vocal Studio and Youth Opera Project as well as a performer with the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society and the Pacific Lutheran University opera program. Claire recently earned first place in the NATS Boston Auditions, performed in the Lift Ev’ry Voice Masterclass at Harvard University, and placed in the Calliope’s Call Young Singer Competition. This summer she participated as a studio artist at the SongFest Art Song Festival and traveled to Barcelona as an apprentice artist with Berkshire Choral International. Claire is honored to perform with Calliope’s Call as she finishes her degree and begins her career in classical performance and opera.
JULIA SCOTT CAREY, pianist
Julia Scott Carey is the Minister of Music at the Central Square Congregational Church in Bridgewater, where she leads the adult and children’s choirs from the keyboard. She is one of the accompanists for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir. She also serves as the accompanist for the Metropolitan Chorale, the Dedham Choral Society, the Boston College University Chorale, and the Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus. Julia teaches musicianship at the Suzuki School in Newton. She is also a founder and core ensemble member of Juventas New Music Ensemble.
As a composer, her orchestral works have been performed by numerous orchestras, including the Boston Symphony and the Boston Pops, and have been broadcast on national TV and radio in the U.S. and in Russia. She was the youngest composer ever published by the Theodore Presser Company. She was also chosen to arrange a folk song for Yo-Yo Ma and Lynn Chang to play at Deval Patrick's inaugural ball.
Julia Scott Carey received a master’s degree in composition from the Harvard-New England Conservatory joint degree program, as well as a master’s degree in collaborative piano from Boston University.
EVANGELIA LEONTIS, soprano
Evangelia Leontis, soprano, has extensive experience on the opera, concert and recital stages. She has been seen on the operatic stage in roles including Woglinde in Das Rheingold, 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 with companies including Barn Opera, Tundi Productions, MassOpera, Opera del West, Longwood Opera, Riverside Theater Works, Odyssey Opera, and Opera Boston. On the concert stage, Dr. Leontis has been the soprano soloist in works by Berlioz, Britten, Haydn, Fauré, Rossini, Bach, Bizet, Mozart, Grieg, Orff, and Handel with the Keene Chorale, Greensboro Opera, the Greensboro Oratorio Society, the Newburyport Choral Society, Newton Choral Society, Clear Lakes Chorale, Fine Arts Chorale, Polymnia Choral Society, the UNCG Sinfonia, and the UTRGV Master Chorale and Orchestra.
Dr. Leontis was a finalist in the American Prize in Voice Professional Art Song Division Competition in 2020, won the Bel Canto Award in the 2015 Orpheus Competition, was a finalist in the 2015 Kentucky Bach Choir Competition, and was a winner of the 2010 Greek University Women’s Club Music Competition. She holds the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts from UNC Greensboro, 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. Dr. Leontis currently serves on the voice faculties of Keene State College and Castleton University.
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 Boston Conservatory, UTRGV, Texas A & M Kingsville, NATS Boston, the Manchester Music Festival, the New Music School, the NEC Preparatory School, Greensboro College 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. Dr. Leontis lives in beautiful southern Vermont with her husband, twin baby daughters, and dog. More information can be found at evangelialeontis.com.
JJ PENNA, pianist
J.J. Penna has performed extensively with a variety of eminent singers, including Kathleen Battle, Harolyn Blackwell, Measha Brueggergosman, David Daniels, Denyce Graves, Ying Huang, Susan Narucki, Roberta Peters, Florence Quivar, and Andreas Scholl. He has held fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Center, Banff Center, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program. He received his training under Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, and Diane Richardson. Devoted to the teaching of classical song literature, he has been on the faculties of The Juilliard School, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Bowdoin Festival, Westminster Choir College, the Renée Fleming Song Studio, and Vancouver International Song Institute. He currently teaches at the Yale University School of Music and the New England Conservatory.
TYLER REECE, baritone
Baritone Tyler Reece serves as Assistant Dean of Enrollment and Student Services at Longy School of Music of Bard College, where he also serves on the Vocal Studies faculty. Originally from Aspen, Colorado, he holds degrees from Luther College (BM) and the University of California, Santa Barbara (MM, DMA).
At home on the recital stage, Reece has performed Lieder staples such as Winterreise, An die ferne Geliebte, Dichterliebe, and—notably—Frauenliebe und Leben. Using the latter as a case study in his doctoral dissertation, Liebe und Leben: Exploring Gender Roles and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Lieder, Reece focused on the intersection of gender, sexual identity, and the evolution of performance practices in classical vocal music. By portraying the Frauenliebe protagonist as a gay male in the twenty-first century, he gave a much-needed modern makeover to Schumann’s antiquated and often maligned cycle.
On the operatic stage, Reece was praised for his “comedic skill and solid singing” (BravoCalifornia!) in portraying Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. He has also performed roles such as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, John Styx in Orpheus in the Underworld, Marco in Gianni Schicchi, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, the title role of Thomas Pasatieri’s Signor Deluso, Malvolio in Joel Feigin’s Twelfth Night, and Harold von Reckenburg in the North American premiere of Franz Léhar’s Die Juxheirat.
Dr. Reece is also the winner of numerous awards through the National Association for Teachers of Singing for his interpretation and performance of art song.
GWYNETH RIX, soprano, 2022 Young Singer Competition Winner
Gwyneth Rix’s experience thus far has been mainly choral; having sung in churches and in orchestral ensembles for several seasons. She is a sophomore studying vocal performance at Boston University with Dr. Lynn Eustis, where she performs with the Symphonic Chorus, opera scenes program, and Boston University Singers as both a soloist and ensemble member. In 2020, she played the titular character in Amahl and the Night Visitors (Amahl, not the night visitors) with the Delaware Valley Opera Company. During the summer, she has attended the Philadelphia International Music Festival, Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy, the Washington National Opera Institute, and Songfest.
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 “smoldered” in the role of Tisbe in La Cenerentola with Boston Midsummer Opera, receiving accolades as she “...vamped about with sufficient trashy glitter, bringing the angry coloratura across the footlights with comic menace.”
In June 2021, Megan performed in the company's first post-pandemic live performance as Despina in excerpts of Cosi fan tutte, along with other scenes and arias. Additional roles include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Summer Garden Opera in Virginia and in Little Women with MassOpera, where she was praised for her “warm and sonically sumptuous Meg.” Other notable engagements include soloist in Copland’s In the Beginning with Vox Humana in Dallas, Texas and Handel’s Messiah with The Keene Chorale as well as the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra.
As an active chamber musician, Megan performs with several renowned national ensembles including GRAMMY® nominated Skylark Vocal Ensemble and True Concord, Yale Choral Artists, and the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble. Also an accomplished violinist, Megan was honored to have a featured violin solo on the 2021 GRAMMY® nominated album It’s a Long Way with the Skylark Vocal Ensemble.
Megan belongs to Beyond Artists, a coalition of artists that donates a portion of their concert fee to organizations they care about. She supports NYC Second Chance Rescue and The Bail Project through her performances. www.meganroth.com
EDWARD ROTHMEL, pianist
Dr. Edward Rothmel has worked extensively as a pianist, coach, and conductor throughout the United States and abroad. A frequent vocal coach to students, Dr. Rothmel strives to guide them in developing their independent musicianship while fostering stylistically appropriate interpretation throughout their careers. In preparation for the premiere of Letters from Georgia by Kevin Puts, Edward served as rehearsal pianist and coach to Renée Fleming.
Previously, he has served on the faculty of University of Northern Colorado, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and Si Parla, Si Canta in Urbania, Italy. Other appointments include Vocal Coach at Mo. Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival, Assistant Conductor and ongoing private coaching studio in Arlington, VA. Dr. Rothmel’s students have gone on to many of the nation’s most prestigious programs such as the Lindemann Young Artist Program and the Merola Opera Program.
As a collaborative pianist, Dr. Rothmel has appeared in recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall with tenor Albert Lee, and as a guest at institutions such as Pennsylvania State University and University of North Texas.
Eddie received his DMA in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music, with a Minor in Vocal Coaching from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Dr. Jean Barr and was the recipient of the 2019 Jean Barr Award. He is also a graduate of Florida State University’s College of Music, where he earned both his BM and MM in Piano Performance.
ANDREW STACK, baritone
Originally from Manhasset, New York, baritone Andrew Stack is a recent alumnus of the Graduate Diploma program at New England Conservatory, studying under the tutelage of Michael Meraw. Stack most recently rejoined the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina this past summer understudying the role of Johnson/Owen in the world premiere of Omar and the North American premiere of Nico Muhly’s The Street.
This season’s highlights included performances as Malatesta in Don Pasquale at Jordan Hall, L’holorge comtoise in L’enfant et les sortilèges, in scenes as Creon from Marjorie Merryman’s Antigone and Guglielmo from Così fan tutte, Marquis de la Force/Dr. Javelinot in NEC’s digital film production of Dialogues of the Carmelites, and appearances in NEC’s Liederabend concert series.
Prior to moving to Boston, Stack earned his Master’s degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying under Dr. Brian Horne and Patricia Havranek. While at Jacobs, Stack was seen in performances of Stephen Paulus’ The Three Hermits (Bishop), La Traviata (Barone Douphol), and scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Starveling). Stack also appeared in recital alongside the collaborative piano and choral conducting departments at Jacobs in performances of Brahms’ Neue Liebeslieder, Fleeting Melodies: The Songs of Samuel Barber, and the North American premiere of the late Sven-David Sandström’s symphonic work, Uppbrott.
Stack has performed as a Young Artist through SongFest at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. While at SongFest, Stack collaborated and performed with Libby Larsen, Jake Heggie, Dr. Allan Louis Smith, and Roger Vignoles.
As a graduate of Westminster Choir College (B.M. Vocal Performance 2017, magna cum laude), Stack was a member of the Westminster Choir for three years under the direction of Dr. Joe Miller, where he regularly appeared as a soloist on tour. Shortly before graduating Westminster, he formed a close collaborative relationship with the late pianist Dalton Baldwin, which then continued at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria that summer. While at Westminster, Andrew worked with his mentor, Lindsey Christiansen, as a voice student and tutor/guest lecturer for her Song Literature courses before her untimely passing in 2017. She remains among his greatest influences on all things vocal, spiritual, and art song to this day. andrewstackbaritone.com
CHANCE JONAS-O'TOOLE, tenor
Praised by Opera News for his “charm, sharp diction, and ping,” tenor Chance Jonas-O’Toole is an artist committed to engaging audiences through passionate storytelling. In 2022, Chance joined the Merola Opera Program, singing Monostatos in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, as well as scenes of Donizetti and Britten with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Also in 2022, Chance was chosen as a finalist in the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition. He was a 2021 Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where he covered Captain Collins in the New Works, Bold Voices workshop, as well as performing in the Center Stage concert. Chance closed out 2021 with Liederabend, Op. Senses, a night of new vocal works curated by National Sawdust and Beth Morrison Projects in Brooklyn, New York. In 2019, Chance made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy under Andris Nelsons.
In the summers of 2017 and 2018, Chance was a tenor fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was able to explore his passions for song, chamber music, and new works, working with internationally-renowned artists such as Dawn Upshaw, Stephanie Blythe, and Simon Keenlyside. During those fellowships, he premiered works by Michael Gandolfi and Doug Balliett, and performed in programs of Bach Cantatas under the direction of John Harbison. Chance is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Music. While there, he performed multiple roles, including the Prologue in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, Mercure in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie at Juilliard, Jo the Loiterer in Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All at the Met Museum with Met Live Arts, and the First Sailor in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas on tour with Juilliard 415. Juilliard is also where Chance developed a love for song and concert repertoire, participating in New York Festival of Song, Juilliard Songfest, WQXR’s Midday Masterpieces, and premiering Jonathan Dawe’s Oroborium with the New Juilliard Ensemble in Alice Tully Hall.
Chance is a recipient of the Novick Career Advancement Grant from the Juilliard School. He is currently based in Boston, MA.
DANA LYNNE VARGA, soprano
Praised for her “radiant soprano”, soprano Dana Lynne Varga has established herself as a dynamic interpreter of a wide variety of repertoire on opera and concert stages. Over the past year Dana has been seen on the stages of both Carnegie Hall and Boston's Symphony Hall, performing as soloist in both the Mozart and Brahms Requiems and in a professional octet with the Boston Pops.
Dana’s favorite opera roles performed include Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, Musetta in La bohème, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Micaëla in Carmen, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, and Alcina in Alcina. Her 2019 appearance as Pallas Athene in Gluck’s Paride ed Elena with Odyssey Opera garnered critical acclaim. She has appeared with Teatro Nuovo, Opera Maine, MassOpera, Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, Opera Boston, PANopera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, the Aldeburgh (Britten-Pears) Festival, and many others.
Dana maintains a busy schedule on the concert platform. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2019 singing Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Mid-America Productions. Additional highlights of her concert career include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Cantata Singers, Bach’s Magnificat and B Minor Mass with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Greenwich Choral Society, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony with the Metropolitan Chorale, Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with Coro Allegro, and countless performances of Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Ms. Varga was the second place winner of the 2019 American Prize in art song and oratorio, and the first place winner of the 2016 Classical Singer National Vocal Competition. She won second place in the 2016 Rochester Oratorio Society Classical Idol Competition and was a semifinalist in the 2016 Oratorio Society of New York Competition. She earned her DMA in Vocal Performance from Boston University, and her MM in Vocal Performance from The New England Conservatory of Music. Also an accomplished voice teacher, career coach, and producer, Ms. Varga is a fierce advocate for singers, devoted to progressive change in the classical vocal industry. Please visit www.danavarga.com and www.theempoweredmusician.com.