Erika Grace Anderson is currently a second year Master of Music candidate in Voice. A native of Springfield, VT, Erika completed her Bachelor of Music in Voice at Boston University, summa cum laude. At BU, Erika was active at the university, working in residence life, university admissions, and performing in the choruses and small roles for the BU Opera Institute’s Mainstage productions. Erika is passionate about the community she comes from, and often performs in recital to benefit local veterans programs, school arts programming, and other community based projects. While at Peabody, she has performed the role of Pamina in Peabody Opera’s outreach production of “Papageno!” and covered the roles of Sandmann and Taumann in their fall 2016 production of Hänsel und Gretel. This spring, she looks forward to performing the role of Nina in Peabody Opera’s production of Chérubin.
Hailed by the Washington Post for her “supple, haunting soprano,” Katelyn began her professional career with the late J. Reilly Lewis and his beloved Washington Bach Consort. Her interest in early music led her to the Oregon Bach Festival where she was the first soprano Vocal Fellow under Matthew Halls. She went on to back-to-back solo engagements with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra for their Messiah and a stint at the American Bach Soloists Academy. In the D.C. area, Katelyn has soloed with the City Choir of Washington, Washington Master Chorale, University of Maryland Summer Chorus, and the Washington Bach Consort. She also sings with chamber ensembles such as Third Practice, Church Circle Singers, the choir at Christ Church Georgetown, and Three Notch’d Road. Following her undergraduate studies, Katelyn taught elementary general music in Montgomery County Public Schools and currently serves as the Assistant Artistic Director for the Six Degree Singers of Silver Spring, Maryland. Katelyn is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Early Music from Peabody Conservatory in Ah Young Hong’s studio. While her studies will occupy some of her time, she will still appear with the Washington Bach Consort as the soprano soloist for the St. John Passion in 2018.
Soprano Mercy Calhoun is a senior voice major at the Peabody Conservatory. In the 2016-17 season, she attended the Wintergreen Performing Arts Vocal Intensive, performed the Soprano 2 solo in Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, and appeared as a bridesmaid in Le nozze di Figaro with the Peabody Opera. She also performed the role of Susanna from Le nozze di Figaro at the Narni Arts Festival and the role of Giunone in Cavalli’s La Calisto with the Peabody Opera. In 2015, she performed the role of Dorinda from Orlando by Handel with the Peabody Opera. Mercy has attended the Interlochen Center for the Arts and Brevard Music Center. She has also been a guest artist with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and with the Appalachian Children’s Chorus during their Italy tour. In addition to solo work, she has had a vast choral performing background with the Appalachian Children’s Chorus and Peabody Singers. She has previously studied with Mariel van-Dalsum and currently studies with Ah Young Hong. In the 2017-18 season, Mercy will be singing with Now Hear This and the Peabody Opera Theater.
Soprano Madeline Huss is a second-year master’s student at Peabody from Stillwater, Minnesota. She is a vocal performance and music theory pedagogy major and studies with Ah Hong. She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, in May of 2016 and studied with Peabody graduate Dr. Anne Jennifer Nash. She was a studio artist at SongFest in Los Angeles June 2015, she was a vocalist for New Music on the Point in Leicester, Vermont, June 2016, and she was a studio artist at Little Patuxent Opera Institute (LPOI) in Columbia, Maryland, in the summer of 2017. She has been a vocalist in six world premieres, including an opera scene, art song, and chamber ensembles. She was the soprano soloist in Peabody’s oratorio performance of Vaughan Williams’ “Dona nobis pacem” last winter. Her opera performances in the past year include the title role of Thomas Whitman’s Sukey in the Dark with Peabody Opera and Miss Titmouse in Edwin Penhorwood’s Too Many Sopranos with LPOI. She is looking forward to singing the cover role of Adina in the Peabody Opera production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, and scenes of Bernstein and Friends.
Claire Iverson is entering her second year in the undergraduate dual-degree program between Peabody and Johns Hopkins University, pursuing both a BM in Voice and a BA in International studies and French. She graduated from the Baltimore School for the Arts in 2016, where she studied voice with Janice Chandler Eteme and Robert Cantrell. There, she sang the soprano solo in Carmina Burana and performed in scenes as Lakmé (Lakmé) and the Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte). This past summer, she studied and performed in Aub, Germany, as a member of the Neil Semer Vocal Institute, and sang the role of Cousin Hebe in Young Victorian Theatre Company’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore in Baltimore. In years past, Claire has attended the Brevard Summer Music Festival and studied with Joseph Evans. She looks forward to partaking in Peabody Opera’s production of Chérubin this spring.
Hailing from Davis, California, Soprano Lisa Parente is known for her effortless high notes and agile coloratura. She has been seen as The Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel, Amore in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, and was most recently seen in Le Nozze di Figaro where she was described as “the perfect Susanna.” Lisa has also participated in many renowned opera programs, like Manhattan Opera Studio, Harrower Summer Opera Workshop, OperaWorks, Si Parla Si Canta, and San Diego Opera’s Opera Exposed! In addition to opera, Lisa performs in other solo settings. She has been featured as the soloist in Poulenc’s Gloria, the Soprano soloist in Stephen Paulus’ To Be Certain of the Dawn and the soprano soloist in Faure’s Requiem, all with the San Diego State University orchestra. She has placed in many competitions, including First Place in the California Women’s Choral Competition, Second Place in the San Diego Choral Club Competition, Honorable Mention in the La Jolla Young Artist Competition. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from San Diego State University. This summer, she made her Carnegie Hall Debut with Manhattan Opera Studio singing Zerbinetta in scenes from Ariadne auf Naxos.
24-year-old soprano Rachel Sandler has been praised for her ability to “bring life and character to a neglected role.” Sandler’s operatic roles include Zoe in Sukey in the Dark (Peabody Opera/Theatre Project), Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte (Trackside Theatre), First and Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte (NY Lyric Opera Summer Festival/James Madison University) and Cousin Hebe in HMS Pinafore (James Madison University), of which “Gilbert & Sullivan would have been very satisfied” with her interpretation. Maryland Theatre Guide has described her voice as “mesmerizing and smooth as silk.”
Sandler is currently studying with Soprano Ah Hong at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute (MM 2018 Vocal Performance/Pedagogy). She has received her BM from James Madison University in Vocal Performance, where she studied with Dorothy Maddison. While at JMU, she studied piano and accompanying with Gabriel Dobner.
Sandler has been chosen to collaborate with the Peabody Opera Department and Young Audiences for Learning on an opera outreach project called “Where in the World is Opera?” The project will target Elementary School students in Baltimore City, and hopes to provide children with a fun and comprehensive introduction to opera, integrating both music and geography. Sandler and Soprano Madeline Huss will co-write and perform the program during the 2017-18 school year.
Festival credits include the Summer Music Festival at the Manhattan School of Music and the Little Patuxent Opera Institute, where Sandler performed the Sandman in Hansel and Gretel. This summer, she will cover the role of Cendrillon in Cendrillon, and will sing the role of First Lady in an English version of The Magic Flute with the New York Lyric Opera’s Summer program. Sandler has taken on many roles in the world of musical theatre, including rehearsal pianist, conductor, music director and assistant music director. Credits include Sweet Charity, Spring Awakening, All Shook Up, Sweeney Todd (James Madison), Assassins, Cabaret (Stratford Players), Avenue Q (Red Branch), and Cry Baby (Statesmen Players). She frequently accompanies musical theatre auditions in the Baltimore area. Rachel has experience teaching classical, pop and musical theatre repertoire to both voice and piano to students of all ages. She runs a private home studio in Hanover, Maryland where she sees approximately 30 students per week. Rachel also runs an online studio in partnership with the California-based company “TakeLessons”. Her students live all over the country, from North Carolina to Alaska, and have auditioned for and performed with a variety of programs, including NBC’s “The Voice”, The Alaska Bluegrass Festival, and NASA’s music and drama ensemble.
Maria Servodidio, soprano from New Jersey, is pursuing her Master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at Peabody Conservatory in the studio of Ah Young Hong. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University. Throughout her undergraduate career, she studied with Amy Jarman. Her past roles with Vanderbilt Opera Theatre include Meg March in Adamo’s Little Women, Street Singer in Bernstein’s Mass, and Prince Orlofsky in J. Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.
Maria will make her Peabody Opera debut in the outreach production of ANON by Errollyn Wallen in the Fall of 2017. She will continue to tour with her fellow cast mates and perform this production throughout the Spring of 2018 in the greater Baltimore and Washington D.C. area.
Soprano Kristi Spicer, originally from Northampton, Massachusetts, is a second year master’s student at Peabody Conservatory, studying Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. Spicer most recently played the roles of Despina in Cosí fan tutte and Musetta in La Bohème as part of the Mediterranean Opera Studio and Festival in July 2017. She has participated in other summer programs such as the Alba Music Festival, Opera Works’ Emerging Artist Program, the Florence Voice Seminar, and Wesley Balk Opera/Musical-Theater Institute. Spicer holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Ithaca College. While at Ithaca, she performed in the chorus of Dana Wilson’s The Wolf by the Ears and participated in performances of baroque opera scenes such as L’Eternità in La Calisto. She spent her first year at Peabody performing the roles of Papagena and Second Lady from Papageno in Peabody’s outreach opera program. She will be performing Louise from Louise in an upcoming scenes production this fall.
Esther Yi-An Tien, mezzo-soprano, was born and raised Tainan City, Taiwan. At the age of 15, she started her training in classical voice. Tien studied in one of the most academically prestigious Taiwanese high schools, National Tainan Girls’ Senior High School, where she received many awards, including 3rd Prize in the 2014 National Taiwan Student Music Competition, 1st Prize in the 2011 Tainan Student Music Competition. She was not only the recipient of The Mayoral Award of Excellence of Arts given by the Tainan Government, but also a finalist in 2013 Japan Classical Music Competition. In the summer of 2016, Esther had her Taipei debut by holding a solo recital in the National Concert Hall in collaboration with NewArt Inc., and was titled as one of the youngest singers to ever perform there alone. This summer, she performed as the guest artist of the year/ soloist with two choirs in New York City and in Tainan City respectively. Last season, Esther performed Satirino in La Calisto, Papagena/ 2nd Lady in The Magic Flute outreach. This season, Tien will be covering Edka in Jake Heggie’s Out of Darkness. Esther Tien currently a senior in the studio of Ah Young Hong at Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University.
Siwei Zhang, soprano. Siwei holds a bachelor’s degree from Xi’an Conservatory of Music in China and received the tittle of Outstanding Graduate. She also gave a performance as the representative of students in the 2017 “Graduation Song” concert of Xi’an Conservatory of Music. Zhang started to play the piano at the age of 7. After attending the conservatory to study music education, she got involved in singing for the first time and immediately found out it to be what she truly wanted to pursue. Siwei worked with Xi’an Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra, Xi’an Symphony Orchestra, Shaanxi Philharmonic Orchestra, and Chinese baritone Liao Changyong, Swedish soprano Liine Calsson as the section leader of Xi’an Conservatory of Music Chorus under the direction of Chinese conductor Ye Cong, Australian conductor Dane Lam, giving the performance of works from Chinese composer Zhao Jiping, Xian Xinghai, and La Traviata from Verdi. She held the National Endeavor Fellowship and Second Grade School Scholarship during her undergraduate studying and now holds a Peabody Scholarship.
Learn more about Ah Young Hong in her bio.