Seattle Opera continues its commitment to training young artists and preparing singers for opera careers with the launch of Seattle Opera Academy, a three-week intensive voice and performance training program for young adults ages 16-22. Presented in collaboration with Seattle Youth Symphony’s Marrowstone Music Festival, the Academy takes place at Western Washington University in beautiful Bellingham.
Interested in applying for SO Academy 2018? Program dates will be July 15 through August 5, 2018. Details and application information will be posted in the fall.
Pianist and Composer
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Daniel Arthur began classical piano studies at the age of 7. In high school, he discovered his passion for jazz and composition. At this time, he began to work as a collaborative pianist for the Seattle Opera. He was then accepted into the prestigious Jazz Piano Performance Program at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal, where he is currently pursuing a double degree in Music and Honours Linguistics.
Daniel has studied with and performed alongside internationally renowned jazz musicians such as Jean-Michel Pilc, Remi Bolduc, John Hollenbeck, Christine Jensen, Theo Bleckmann, and more. He has studied with classical pianists Mark Salman, Ann Cummings, and conductor Christophe Chagnard.
His main project, The Daniel Arthur Trio, has performed at the renowned Montreal International Jazz Festival and will be competing in the Bucharest International Jazz Competition in Romania in Summer 2017. Following the release of two EPs, the trio is currently producing its first full-length album, set for release in 2017.
His musical work does not cease on the stage; he has musically directed many groups in Montreal such as the McGill Savoy Society (2014-5) and Cote-St-Luc Dramatic Society (2015). He has extensive experience with vocalists as a collaborative pianist. His work with the Seattle Opera includes a full production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, selections from Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a performance of a new work commissioned by the Seattle Opera, Our Earth, and accompaniment for auditions.
Emily Gantt spent close to 15 years traveling throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico with the national Broadway tours of The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia!, and most recently with Billy Elliot, Annie, and Beautiful. Prior to moving to Bellingham this June, Ms. Gantt served as the Senior Professional Accompanist at the University of Washington, School of Music. She is thrilled to be a part of this summer's Academy and is looking forward to continuing her musical collaboration with local musicians in the Bellingham area. Emily studied at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.
Baritone, Guest Master Class Artist
This season baritone Weston Hurt makes his role debut as Valentin in Gounod's Faust in a return to New Orleans Opera, and makes his company debut at Tulsa Opera as Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca. He returns to Seattle Opera in his signature role of Germont in Verdi's La traviata, appears in recital with Wagner and More, and inaugurates the Berkshire Opera Festival as Sharpless in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. When not onstage himself, Mr. Hurt will mentor students at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and Loyola University New Orleans in Louisiana.
Recent opera engagements have included his role debut as the title character in Nabucco at Seattle Opera, his debut with New Orleans Opera as Germont in La traviata, his house and role debut with Houston Grand Opera as Scarpia in Tosca, his role debut as Iago in Otello with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, and a return to Seattle Opera in another role debut as Talbot in Maria Stuarda.
A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard Opera Center, Mr. Hurt has received many notable vocal awards, including 1st place and the People’s Choice Award from the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, the Vienna Prize from the George London Foundation, and 1st Place in the 2003 Oratorio Society of New York Competition, as well as various awards from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Competition, Liederkranz Foundation, Metropolitan Opera National Council, Opera Index, and Palm Beach Opera Competition, and two career grants conferred by The Santa Fe Opera.
Barbara Lynne Jamison
Barbara Lynne Jamison
Director of Education and Community Engagement, Seattle Opera
Barbara Lynne Jamison is currently the Director of Education & Community Engagement at Seattle Opera. Before coming to Seattle Opera in 2011, she served as Director of Programs, Curriculum and Artist Development with the Metropolitan Opera Guild. She received her B. Music in Vocal Performance from Florida International University, and her M. Music in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, with doctoral studies as Dean's Scholar in Music Education at Boston University. As soprano, she has sung under the batons of such notable conductors as Michael Tilson-Thomas, Eduardo Mata, and Martin Pearlman. Her performances have been broadcast on New York Public Radio and can be heard on Hänssler Classics, Arsis, and Naxos labels. She has presented master classes and workshops, and has served as adjudicator and guest conductor throughout North America.
Gregory Award Winning Stage Director
Kelly Kitchens is a professional director, actor, adaptor, and teaching artist. She received the 2014 Gregory Falls Award for Outstanding Director; named Best Director by the 2015 Seattle Weekly Readers Poll; and was named in Seattle Magazine’s inaugural list of “Top 20 Most Talented People in Seattle”. She is the Interim Artistic Director at Seattle Public Theater, a member of the Sandbox Artists Collective, and a member of Actors’ Equity Association. Locally she has worked with Seattle Opera, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Book-It Repertory Theater, Seattle Public Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, MAP Theater, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Wooden O Theatre, Strawberry Theater Workshop, upstart crow collective, Endangered Species Project, Taproot Theatre, Annex Theatre, The Seagull Project/Great Soul of Russia, NCTC Pipeline, Sandbox Radio, 14/48, Northwest Playwrights Alliance, Cornish College of the Arts, Pierce College, and The University of Washington. Kelly earned her B.A. in Theater and English from Vanderbilt University and her M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Texas at Austin.
Stephen Rogers Radcliffe
Stephen Rogers Radcliffe
Music Director, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra
Stephen Rogers Radcliffe continues to fulfill the promise recognized when he made his Lincoln Center conducting debut with Metropolitan Opera sopranos Jan DeGaetani, Susan Graham and Dawn Upshaw. Since then Dr. Radcliffe has conducted orchestras on four continents, produced compact disc recordings of operatic, orchestral, and chamber music works, and has fostered the development of audiences through innovative educational and artistic programs. An Assistant Conductor of the Boston Lyric Opera, Radcliffe was Founder and Music Director of the New York Chamber Ensemble – performing for over a decade at Lincoln Center, Artistic Director of the Cape May Music Festival, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Hungarian Virtuosi, which he led in international touring, television and radio broadcast performances and recording projects. Stephen Rogers Radcliffe served as the Director of Orchestral and Operatic Activities at the University of Massachusetts and Music Director of the Five College Opera Project. Dr. Radcliffe holds a degree in Music Education from the New England Conservatory and has led youth orchestra programs throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia.
He holds a Masters Degree in conducting from the University of Michigan and has studied conducting at the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Centers as well as at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena where his principal teachers include Gustav Meier, Leonard Bernstein and Franco Ferrara. From 2004-2007 Dr. Radcliffe was the Harry and Mildred Bemis Endowed Fellow at Brandeis University where he received both a Masters Degree and a PhD in Musicology.
Artist in Residence, University of Washington
Coloratura soprano Cyndia Sieden makes regular appearances at the world’s great opera houses and concert stages, where she moves with ease from roles by 18th-century composers to the complexities of 20th- and 21st-century repertoire. She made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in Berg’s Lulu, wowed critics in the world premiere ofThomas Adès’ The Tempest at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and introduced his Scenes from The Tempest to the orchestral world. In September 2015, she created the role of Ratastok in Sunlief Rasmussen’s Second Symphony with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and baritone Bo Skovus, with John Stogaards conducting. Sieden has garnered acclaim as Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Blondchen in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (both recorded with John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists, Deutsche Grammophon) which she has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, Paris’s Opera Bastille, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre de Liceu, Brussels’ La Monnaie, and London’s English National Opera as well as in Beijing and Australia. She frequently appears with leading orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam; the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Cleveland and London Symphony orchestras; the Atlanta, Chicago and St. Louis symphonies; the Orchestra of the 18th Century; and at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival. In addition to being an artist in residence at the University of Washington, and a lecturer at Pacific Lutheran University, Miss Sieden is also an active recitalist.
Learning and Engagement Manager, Seattle Opera
Nicole Sonbert, Mezzo-Soprano is recognized for work as a performer, master clinician, guest presenter, adjudicator, and guest conductor. She has performed roles including Aunt Lou in Still’s Highway One, USA, Madame Flora in Menotti’s The Medium, Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, the Mother in Menotti’s The Consul, the ghost mother in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Buttercup in Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore, and Bloody Mary in Rodger and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. She is also known for her orchestral performances as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah.
She is a graduate of East Carolina University, holding degrees in Musical Theatre Performance (BM), Vocal Performance (MM), and Music Education (MM). Sonbert was previously on faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as performing and teaching in Spoleto, Italy. She has also taught in several other training programs, with many of her students winning first place awards for NATS and concerto competitions. In 2006, she was the recipient of the “My Teacher, My Hero” award, honoring her as a teacher and mentor for young voices. She is currently a DMA candidate at the University of Kentucky and the Learning and Engagement Manager at Seattle Opera.
Adjunct Instructor of Voice, Cornish College of the Arts
In demand as a voice teacher and historical performance coach, soprano Nancy Zylstra enjoyed a successful singing career throughout North America and in Europe. She performed with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik, American Bach Soloists, and Portland Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Jeffrey Thomas, Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman, and on numerous chamber music series and festivals. Since 1979 she has been on the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute. She was coordinator of the Artist Diploma in Early Music program at Cornish College from 2013-2016. She has taught voice at the UW, Pacific Lutheran University, and Cornish College of the Arts. Besides vocal technique and historical performance practice, her professional interests include choral vocal techniques and rehabilitation of individuals experiencing voice use issues. Recently, she was the vocal coach for a production of Handel’s Serse by Seattle Historical Arts for Kids. She can be heard on the Erato, Koch, and Wildboar labels. www.nancyzylstravoice.com
The SO Academy will offer two different programs of study; the Principal Artist Program and Opera Scenes Program. Each will spend time learning on the stage alongside other young performing artists, and will include opportunities to participate in masterclasses, workshops, and several performances. Auditions are required, to be submitted via YouTube, and financial assistance is available for both programs.