Andrew Austin (Repetiteur)
Andrew Austin returns to JMU as a candidate for Master of Music in composition after spending the last ten years music directing and conducting for theatres and universities around the country. He has music directed and conducted over 60 musicals for Gateway Playhouse on Long Island, West Virginia Public Theatre, Birmingham’s Summerfest, Virginia Musical Theatre, Golden Fleece Opera in NYC, Luna Stage Company in Montclair, NJ, Hampton University, Fordham University, as well as many other theatres and universities. Andrew has also served as teacher, accompanist, vocal coach and music director for the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA, the Professional Performing Arts School in NYC, the Rudolf Steiner School in NYC, and the John Harms Performing Arts Center in Englewood, NJ. He is very excited to be back at JMU and has enjoyed working with all of the opera staff and cast.
Randall Ball (Don Jose)
Born in Texas, Randall Ball began his vocal career at Baylor University where he received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Vocal Performance, and is currently working on his DMA at JMU. At Baylor he performed leading roles in Le Nozze di Figaro, Dialogues of the Carmelites, L’elisir d’amore, and Così fan tutte. In 2004 Randall joined the Boston University Opera Institute where he sang leading roles in The Rape of Lucretia, La Finta Giardiniera, Gianni Schicchi, and A Month in the Country. Randall has also peformed with several summer festivals including Utah Festival Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera and Opera North. Randall was a member of the International Opera Studio at the Zürich Opernhaus from 2006 to 2008. In his time there he performed many leading and supporting roles such as Captain Macheath in The Beggar’s Opera, Tamino in the Die Zauberflöte and he made his Zürich Opernhaus debut in Busoni’s Doktor Faust. This is Randall’s JMU Opera Theater debut.
Kristina Blehm (Chorus) is a sophomore vocal Music Education major. She has been a part of the JMU opera program for two semesters now and was a member of the Opera Scenes last spring.
Briana Calhoun (Chorus)
Briana Calhoun is a senior Vocal Music Education Major, sings in the JMU Chorale, and is the secretary of JMU’s chapter of American Choral Director’s Association. She is excited to be making her JMU Opera Debut.
Mattia D’Affuso (El Remendado)
Mattia D’Affuso is a freshman Vocal Performance and Italian Language Major. In the past he has played Spoletta in Tosca, Prunier in La Rondine and will be playing Goro in Madama Butterfly with the American Center for Puccini Studies next Spring. This is his JMU Opera Theater debut.
Sarah Davis (Chorus, Carmen cover)
Sarah Davis, mezzo-soprano, is a senior Vocal Performance major, and this is her fourth opera theatre production at James Madison. She is a previous finalist of the JMU Aria/Concerto Competition, and recently won Best Overall Collegiate Female Classical Singer at the 2009 Virginia NATS Competition, placing Second at the Regional level.
Natalie Dewey (Mercedes)
Natalie Dewey is a 5th year undergraduate student with a double major in Instrumental Music Education and Vocal Performance. She was a violinist for 13 years before beginning studies in voice during her Junior year at JMU. Natalie is fluent in both French and Italian and this production of Carmen is her first opera.
Josh Eflin (El Dancairo)
Josh Elfin has been a part of JMU Opera theatre and Musical theatre production since his freshman year. You may have seen in as Jimmy Powers in City of Angels or as an ensemble member Cosi Fan Tutte and The Merry Widow.
Kelly Flick (Chorus)
Kelly Flick is a Sophomore Mezzo-Soprano Vocal Performance Major. Though she was in several scenes in James Madison’s Opera Scenes class in Spring 2009, this is her first time performing in a full production with JMU Opera Theater.
Uhnyak Goo (chorus)
Uhnyak Goo is a sophomore currently pursuing a double major in Voice Performance and Education along with a double minor in French and Spanish. This is his debut with JMU Opera Theater.
Sarah Heisler (Carmen)
Sarah Heisler is a senior vocal performance major. At JMU she has appeared in Cosi Fan Tutte (Fiordiligi cover), The Merry Widow, Dido and Aeneas (Second Witch), and Die Zauberflote (First Lady cover). She sang the role of First Spirit in Die Zauberflote with JMU Opera in Germany and the role of La Badessa in Suor Angelica with Operafestival di Roma. As an Apprentice Artist with the Caramoor International Music Festival, she has appeared in La Forza del Destino, L’Elisir d’Amore, and Semiramide.
David Hill (Rehearsal Pianist)
David Hill holds a B.A and M.A in Piano Performance from Pensacola Christian College. For the past three years David has taught and accompanied professionally, as well as appeared as a recitalist. This is David’s first collaboration with JMU Opera Theater.
Leah Hill (Michaela)
Leah Hill holds a B.A and M.A in Vocal Performance from Pensacola Christian College, and is currently pursuing her M.M at JMU. While at PCC. Leah appeared in many operas, musicals, and plays; most recently she sang the role of the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. Carmen is Leah’s debut with the JMU Opera Theater.
Kurt Hoffman (Chorus)
Kurt Hoffman is a junior Music Education major who has been a part of JMU Opera for all three years of his college career. He was recently the understudy of Don Alfonso in JMU’s production of Cosi fan tutte, and has played numerous roles in one-act plays and musicals, including Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, Harold Hill in The Music Man, and The Arab in Jacques Ibert’s Angelique. He is a member of the Madison Singers of JMU, and a Choral Intern at Emmanuel Episcopal Church.
John Holman (Chorus)
John Holman is a senior vocal performance major at JMU. He has enjoyed countless opportunities to perform with JMU Opera Theater over the past three years.
Allison Kinney (Chorus)
Allison Kinney is a junior music industry major, excited to be in the ensemble of Carmen.
Shannon Kingett (Chorus)
Shannon Kingett is a senior Music Theatre major who has enjoyed many opportunities to perform at JMU over the past three years.
Frank Mavilia (Escamillo)
Frank Mavilia, baritone, is a native of Richmond, Virginia, and in his final year of study for his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance at James Madison University. As soloist, he has performed with the JMU Chorale and Madison Singers on numerous occasions, including the Kennedy Center performance of Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, and at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington D.C. singing the Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G minor. His awards include being selected as the “Best College Male Singer” by the Virginia State NATS association in the spring of 2009, and winning second place in the Mid-Atlantic Conference, which covers five states. He has also performed lead baritone roles in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Bizet’s Carmen, and Ibert’s Angelique. with the JMU Opera Theater.
Amber McKinney (Chorus)
Amber McKinney received a B.A in Music from East Tennessee State University, and is currently pursuing her M.M at JMU. Previous roles include: Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel), Ma Moss (Tenderland). Professional credits include Pauline (Toy Shop) with the East Tennessee State Opera Theatre, and Annina (La Traviata) with the Asheville Lyric Opera Company. This is Amber’s debut with the JMU Opera Theater.
Tjaden O’Dowd (Chorus)
Tjaden O’Dowd is a senior music theatre major. She most recently appeared in JMU’s production of the student written show “The Originals”.
Ryan Olson (Chorus)
Ryan Olson is currently a sophomore Vocal Performance Major and has appeared in many theatrical shows outside of JMU but is proud to be making his JMU Opera debut in Carmen. He was last seen at JMU in JMU’s Opera Scenes production where he played a Chorus Member and Sid from Albert Herring.
Clarissa Parrish (Chorus, Carmen cover)
Clarissa Parrish is a junior vocal performance major. She previously portrayed Nicklausse and Carmen in scenes and Deuxième Commère in Angélique. She was in the chorus of Cosi fan tutte and The Merry Widow. Last year, she sang the Mezzo-Soprano solo in Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music.
Kelsey Ray (Chorus)
Kelsey Ray is a senior Vocal Performance major here at JMU. She has appeared in productions of Cosi fan tutte, Dido and Aeneas, The Merry Widow, Suor Angelica, and covered the title role in Angelique.
Abby Runkle (Chorus)
Abby Runkle is very excited to be a part of Carmen this semester. She is a senior Vocal Performance Major who has long enjoyed working o previous productions of Cosi fan Tutte and the Magic Flute, as well as spring Opera Workshop at JMU.
Philip Riley (Chorus)
Philip Riley is a freshman history major and is honored to make his JMU Opera Theater debut in Carmen!
Meagan Sill (Frasquita)
Meagan Sill is a freshman at JMU, and is excited for her debut with the JMU Opera Theatre. She is intending to major in Vocal Performance, and is a member of the JMU Chorale.
Dorothy Smith (Chorus)
Dorothy Smith is a graduate of West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. She is currently pursing an M.M in Vocal Performance at JMU. Dorothy is a Broadway, Virginia native and a 2004 graduate of Broadway High School. She is a member of the Valley Collegium Musicum, The Shenandoah Valley’s Ensemble for Early Music. This is Dorothy’s JMU Opera Theater debut.
Megan Steigerwald (Michaela cover, Chorus)
Megan Steigerwald received a B.A in Music Performance and Honors in English Literature from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and is currently pursuing her M.M in Vocal Performance at JMU. Recent roles include Mabel (Pirates of Penzance) at Sweet Briar College, and Miss Titmouse (Too Many Sopranos!) at R-MWC. This is Megan’s debut with the JMU Opera Theater.
Dan Westbrook (Chorus)
Dan Westbrook is a Theatre and Political Science Major (Music minor) from Springfield VA. This is now his 3rd year at JMU, during which time he has been involved with Stratford Players and their productions of Anyone Can Whistle, Ubu Roi, Director’s Fest, and the JMU Mainstage’s Blood Wedding. He also is a member of JMU’s Men’s Chorus. This is his debut with JMU Opera Theater.
Joel Wood (Zuniga)
Joel Wood is a sophomore vocal performance major in the School of Music. He is excited for his debut with the JMU Opera Theater and extends sincere thanks to the entire cast and crew for all of their work towards a wonderful production.
Caroline Yates (Chorus)
Caroline Yates is currently a sophomore voice performance major at James Madison University. With the JMU opera theatre, she has been in the chorus of Cosi fan Tutte as well as in opera scenes.