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Marina Bien-Aimé

Marina Bien-Aimé

Marina Bien-Aimé is a classical soprano originally from Brooklyn, New York. She works to bring a sense of interdisciplinary cohesion to her music by drawing inspiration and context from different sources including the visual arts, culture, language, poetry, and history.

Although she got her start as a classical pianist, she always had an interest in singing. When she was twelve, she was in Judith Berkson’s The Vienna Rite as a choir boy; this experience caused her to decide to pursue classical singing seriously. In high school, she studied under Sherry Overholt and participated in the Queens Summer Vocal Institute. She also has extensive choral experience, having participated in six different choirs from sixth grade until the present.

At Peabody, Marina was a part of the Bernstein MASS¬†as part of the Congregant Choir in 2018, and performed solos in the Peabody Concert Choir, Peabody Singers Chamber Choir, and Peabody Treble Vocal Ensemble. She has participated in several compositional and contemporary music programs, including composition studio collaborations, Peabody‚Äôs Opera Etudes Program, and the Junior Bach community outreach program. This year, she performed selections from Das Italienisches Liederbuch with Arlene Shrut during her residency at Peabody, and won the ‚ÄėOutstanding Performance of a Piece by a Black Composer‚Äô award in the undergraduate division of the Peabody Vocal Art Song Competition. Her upcoming performances include the Peabody Opera Workshop showcases, a Friday Noon:30 concert series, and her bachelor‚Äôs recital.

Marina is in her fourth year at Peabody Conservatory, studying voice performance under the tutelage of Ah Young Hong. She was also accepted this year into the fifth-year master’s program for vocal performance, and is additionally pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree at The Johns Hopkins University in History of Art.

Tara Dougherty

Headshot of Tara DoughertySoprano, Tara Dougherty, is an artist who uses her passions for music and education to promote change within the arts. Originally from Bristol, Pennsylvania, Tara is currently pursuing her Master of Music Degree at The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University in the studio of Ah Young Hong. In 2021, Tara completed her Bachelor of Music degree at Boston University where she studied in the studio of Dr. Lynn Eustis. Tara has most recently performed as an ensemble member in the Boston University productions of The Rake’s Progress (2020) and La Traviata (2018), under the baton of conductor William Lumpkin. She has performed scenes by Puccini, Weber, Humperdinck, Mozart, Gounod, and Mechem. Tara has been a participant of programs such as the VIVA Festival with Opera Project Columbus and CoOPERAtive at Westminster Choir College. Tara was the 2020 recipient of the Ellalou Dimmock scholarship award and recital at the Boston University College of Fine Arts. Tara has also been involved in multiple studio recording projects, performing the works of Alan L. Smith, Margaret Bonds, Johannes Brahms, and Clara Schumann. Tara has special interests in opera and art song from the 20th and 21st centuries and plans to delve into this repertoire more in the coming years. Future engagements include singing the role of Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with Peabody Opera in Action (2022). In addition to performing arts, Tara completed a minor in Education at the Wheelock School of Education and Human Development at Boston University. She is committed to forging a career that emphasizes the importance of artistry and education in the 21st century. She hopes to research new ways for music education to be more accessible and to promote change within 21st century artists. Tara works to find new ways to celebrate individuality and expression within her own work and the work of her fellow artists.

Olivia Heaner

Headshot of Olivia HeanerBorn and raised in Los Angeles, California, soprano Olivia Heaner graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Vanderbilt University, where she studied with tenor Dr. Tyler Nelson. Currently, Ms. Heaner is studying at The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University under the tutelage of internationally renowned soprano Ah Young Hong to receive her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance with a concentration in Vocal Pedagogy.

While attending Vanderbilt University, Ms. Heaner was a featured soloist in the Vanderbilt Chorale and performed soprano solos in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart‚Äôs Requiem, Ralph Vaughan Williams‚Äô Serenade to Music, Johann Sebastian Bach‚Äôs MatthaŐąus-Passion, and Leonard Bernstein‚Äôs Chichester Psalms, and performed as a soloist on their debut album, Music in the Listening Place. Ms. Heaner covered the roles of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and The Old Lady in Candide, in addition to performing in several scenes with Vanderbilt Opera Theater.

Notable previous engagements include Ms. Heaner’s European debut in the Czech Republic in the role of Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro), performing with Prague Summer Nights. Ms. Heaner returned to Prague in 2019, performing the role of Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) at the Estates Theater. In the fall of 2021, Ms. Heaner placed first in The Peabody Institute’s Art Song Competition’s graduate division. Currently, Ms. Heaner is preparing the role of the Witch in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel for Peabody Opera Theater’s Opera in Action.

Vivian Hilyard

Vivian HilyardVivian Hilyard, a soprano from Athens, Georgia, is a first-year student at Peabody pursuing a BM in voice performance. Her journey as a singer first began when she joined the Georgia Children’s Chorus in 2011, and instantly fell in love with choral singing. This love for choral music eventually evolved into a love for opera after starting lessons with Dr. Stephanie Tingler, a voice professor at the University of Georgia, in 2017.

During high school, she was heavily involved in her school’s chorus and theater programs, participating in 9 different vocal ensembles that covered a variety of musical genres, and 5 theatrical productions (her most recent role was Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream). In 2018, she was featured along with 7 other singers portraying a high school choir in the major motion picture Dr.

Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets (scheduled release: late 2020). In May 2020, she was awarded the Classic Center Cultural Foundation Scholarship (a scholarship for talented high school students in Athens) after winning the Voice category of their annual competition.

Vivian has also attended several summer training programs for singers, including the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Vocal Program (2019), the Oberlin Conservatory Vocal Academy for High School Students (2019), and the Summer Music Horizons Program at the Eastman School of Music (2018). At the Eastman summer program, she portrayed Susanna in an opera scene from Le Nozze di Figaro, and at Tanglewood she portrayed Amore in a scene from L’Egisto.

Cynthia Hu

Cynthia Hu

Cynthia Hu is a soprano from McLean, Virginia. She began studying piano at age four and began studying voice at age 12.

In recent years, Hu has competed in many state, regional, and national competitions including ones hosted by MTNA, NATS, and AYMTC, leading her to perform on stages such as Carnegie Hall. She has also traveled internationally to compete and perform, most notably at the Water Cube, the Beijing Olympic Aquatic Center, and film for TV broadcasts. Additionally, she has performed various roles in opera scenes, including Despina from Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Serpina from Pergolesi’s La serva padrona, and Susanna from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

She has appeared in masterclasses with Rod Gilfry, Sharon Daniels, and Deborah Voight. In 2019, she attended the BUTI Tanglewood Institute where she studied under Deborah Selig Zavracky.

She is excited to meet, collaborate, and learn from other artists as well as work on improving her art. Hu is in her second year of undergraduate study with Ah Young Hong at the Peabody Institute (Johns Hopkins University), in pursuit of a Bachelor of Music degree. She is a proud recipient of the Claire and Allan Jensen Endowed Scholarship.

Mira Fu-En Huang

Mira Fu-En HuangMira Fu-En Huang uses her voice to veer off the beaten path and bring underperformed repertoire to the forefront. She has had the pleasure of singing not just in the languages of the western classical canon, but in Spanish, Korean, Taiwanese, Czech, Bulgarian, Nisenan, and more. Her repertory sprawls across cultures and eras, from folk music to medieval motets to the works of living composers.

Hailed by her peers for her vocal control and silver voice, Mira especially enjoys bringing early and modern music to life. She has performed as Euridice in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. She also sang as a featured soloist in the ExplOratorio, a new music masterwork premiered in 2020.

Mira enjoys extensive experience with ensembles. She has sung with Vox Musica, a contemporary treble-ensemble, and Il Dolce Suono, the first student-led ensemble invited to an ACDA conference. Her choral accolades include launching the east-coast premiere of ńíriks EŇ°envalds‚Äô Sunset in My Hand at Carnegie Hall in 2017 and soloing at the Vatican in 2013. Mira also has instrumental experience; she has accompanied vocal ensembles both as a flautist and a viola da gambist.

Currently, Mira studies under Ah Young Hong while pursuing her M.M. in Historical Performance Voice. She received a B.A. in Vocal Performance, along with degrees in Psychology and English, from the University of California, Davis. Her coaches have ranged from early music specialists Jeffrey Thomas and Christine Brandes to the contemporary, all-female Quince Ensemble.

Claire Iverson

Claire Iverson

Claire Iverson is a lyric soprano from Baltimore, Maryland.  She is an avid performer of classical vocal music from all eras, ranging from early music to new works.  This season, she will be featured as the Governess in Peabody Opera Theatre’s virtual production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw.  Ms. Iverson is also excited to be involved in Peabody’s Opera Etudes program, a year-long course which will culminate in the spring 2021 semester with performances of new operas from Peabody composition students.  Next summer, she looks forward to travelling to Prague for her role debut as Zerlina in Don Giovanni.

Earlier this year, Ms. Iverson performed in Kaija Saariaho‚Äôs √Čmilie with Now Hear This!¬† While working on this production, she was fortunate to coach with both Karita Mattila and Elizabeth Futral, who gave the world premiere and American premiere of √Čmilie, respectively.¬† In fall of 2019, Ms. Iverson sang as Jane Bennet in the world staged premiere of Kirke Mechem‚Äôs Pride and Prejudice with Peabody Opera Theatre.

Claire in her final year of undergraduate study with Ah Young Hong, in pursuit of a Bachelor of Music degree.  She is simultaneously pursuing a Bachelor of Arts through Johns Hopkins’ Kreiger School of Arts and Sciences, with a double major in International Studies and French.  She is a passionate learner, always looking to engage with new languages, cultures, and literature.  Ultimately, she hopes to encourage greater collaboration between these fields and the rich world of classical music.

Caroline Lacy

Caroline LacyCaroline Lacy is a lyric mezzo-soprano from Darien, Connecticut. She is known for her versatile ability to sing music of all genres and eras, including early music, new classical works, bel canto, and musical theater; additionally, she is an avid performer and arranger of contemporary acapella music, through her work with the Johns Hopkins Vocal Chords. This season, she will be appearing as Mrs. Grose in Peabody Opera’s virtual production of Britten’s Turn of the Screw. She is also taking part in Peabody’s Opera Etudes Program, through which she will collaborate with Peabody composers to premiere several new classical works throughout the year. In the past she has appeared as Suzy/Lolette in Puccini’s La Rondine and the Mezzo Monster in Barnes’ The Hiding Tree, as well as in the chorus of the staged premiere of Mechem’s Pride and Prejudice, all through the Peabody Opera Theater.

Ms. Lacy is in her fourth year of undergraduate study with Ah Young Hong. In addition to a Bachelor of Music, she is also pursuing a Bachelor of Arts through Johns Hopkins University, where she is studying Writing Seminars with a focus in fiction and screenwriting. She is passionate about bringing her two fields of study together, and much of her written work focuses on highlighting underrepresented queer perspectives in the music industry.

Noelle McMurtry

Noelle McMurtry

Noelle McMurtry, soprano, is interested in the intersection of music and theater, particularly through art song, new music, and early music to explore diverse and underrepresented perspectives. Highlights of her operatic credits include Calisto in La Calisto, Drusilla in L‚Äôincoronazione di Poppea, and Venus in John Blow‚Äôs Venus & Adonis. As an avid programmer and recitalist, Noelle is most interested in innovative, thematic programming to create new contexts in which to experience the ‚Äúcanon,‚ÄĚ particularly highlighting feminist perspectives and the works of historic women composers. With The Cantanti Project (NYC), Noelle collaborated on The Little Ghost, Ophelia Transformed, and Her Story, all programs focusing on the perspectives of women in song. Since 2015, she has presented her original programs, including Ophelia and Her Sisters, Femme en fleurs, The Heavenly Banquet, To the queen of my heart, Head, Heart, and Portraits: The Self Illuminated in New York City and Baltimore, MD concert venues. Noelle currently serves as Director of Live Content for The Pleiades Project, a production platform for female-identifying artists through digital and live performance opportunities with a focus on classical vocal repertoire. For The Pleiades Project‚Äôs 2020-2021 season, Noelle will co-write and create ‚ÄúA Splendiferous Women‚Äôs Suffrage Extravaganza!,‚ÄĚ an original music-theatre work exploring the centennial celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, through a Community Engagement Grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Arts Council. A frequent collaborator in new music, Noelle performed at The New Music On The Point Festival, and in 2017-2018, she performed Kate Soper‚Äôs Only the words themselves mean what they say with Peabody‚Äôs Now Hear This on the Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center. In the 2019-2020 season, Noelle performed the title role in excerpts from Kaija Saariaho‚Äôs monodrama √Čmilie with Now Hear This, debuted with The IN Series (DC) at the Women Composers Festival in Kate Soper‚Äôs Here Be Sirens, as well as co-programmed and performed in the Festival Gala concert with works by Louise Talma, Jessica Krash, and Caroline Shaw. In the 2020-2021 season, Noelle will collaborate with INVISION (DC) and The Pleiades Project, performing the role of Senator Ben Cardin in a virtual production of Melissa Dunphy‚Äôs Gonzales Cantata, as well as making her film debut in German Romantics: Clara, exploring Clara Schumann‚Äôs Op. 12. To further her programming methodology, Noelle is in the second year of a Doctorate in Musical Arts at Peabody Institute under the tutelage of soprano Ah Young Hong with an expected graduation date of 2021. She lives in Washington DC with her partner, Kevin, and her puppy Cashew.

Maddalena Ohrbach

Maddalena OhrbachMaddalena Ohrbach is a lyric soprano; beginning as a classical pianist and a musical theatre lover, she grew up surrounded by the music of Philip Glass, Leonard Cohen, and Sweet Honey in the Rock. She stumbled upon classical voice by accident and soon fell in love with opera, as it integrates classical music, poetry, and drama in a grand labor of love. A lifelong practitioner of Theravada Buddhism and an Italian-American raised among immigrants in Buffalo, NY, she explores and integrates many cultural and spiritual influences in her vocal studies. Ultimately, she hopes to combine her love of contemporary poetry and mindfulness practice to use music as a healing mechanism in communities without the resources to study music traditionally. She hopes to deconstruct classical voice to its bare bones‚ÄĒthe physical practice and the understanding of poetry‚ÄĒand share these influences with trauma survivors, addiction outpatients, prison inmates, immigrants, and more, particularly empowering the music and poetry of underrepresented and underappreciated communities. Ohrbach has sung in the Buffalo Choral Arts Society, attended regional workshops including NYSSMA Conference All-State under Dr. Tucker Biddlecomb and NAfME All-Eastern under Tim Seelig, and toured Europe as the featured soloist with the American Music Abroad Honor Choir. Most recently, she was selected for a master class with Denyce Graves, and won first place in the Peabody Vocal Art Song Competition. She is currently a senior at the Peabody Institute studying with soprano Ah Young Hong, and is the grateful recipient of the Rosa Ponselle Scholarship in Voice.

Nicole Stover

Nicole StoverNicole Stover is a vibrant soprano with a passion for storytelling. By creating stories through characters found in music, she allows her audience to experience an introspective journey whether in opera, art song, chamber, or new music.

A genre bursting at the seams with stories and escapism, performing opera is where Nicole feels most at home. Often playing women with a dramatic flair to them, she has performed as Nella in Varna International’s production of Gianni Schicchi and as Noémie in UNT’s production of Le Testament de Tante Caroline. Most recently, Nicole has focused on the role of Miss Jessel from Britten’s The Turn of the Screw with Peabody Opera.

Nicole has always enjoyed being a part of a collaborative effort and sharing the stage with colleagues. Recently, Nicole was granted the opportunity to expand her knowledge of early music, delving further into chamber works with members of the acclaimed chamber group, Fantasmi, created and directed by Dr. Paul Leenhouts.

Currently, Nicole is working towards her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at Peabody Conservatory and studying under the direction of Ah Young Hong.

Previously, she completed her BM in Vocal Performance at the University of North Texas under Carol Wilson.

Tzu-Jung Jennifer Wang

Headshot of Tzu-Jung WangTaiwanese Soprano, Tzu-Jung Wang is passionate about collaboration and continue to explore the vast music styles in different cultures. The recent work includes her featured in the pastiche project Isolation, a music film that reflected on the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. It used art songs and arias as the medium to connect different emotions, presented by the Peabody Opera Theatre. She performed with companies including Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, Taichung Artist Chamber Choir, and Tunghai University Chorus. In scenes productions, she has performed the roles of Vitellia in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito, Susanna and Barbarina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Bastienne in Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne, Sandman in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, and Masha in Ben Moore’s Enemies, A Love Story.

As a vibrant choral artist, Tzu-Jung engaged as a section leader in Peabody Camerata, and Grace United Methodist Church. In the past season she appeared as a soloist in Peter Gilber’s Tsukimi, and participate in the world premiere of Tina Tallon’s evolved air. The experience of working with living composer during her study at Peabody Camerata, cultivate her passion for new music.

Tzu-Jung’s upcoming Master’s Recital reflects on her personal connection through music. There are multiple songs associated with Lotus, which reminds her of the family, and the park right next to their home in Taiwan where it always grows beautiful lotus during the summertime. The recital program presents colorful cultures and Tzu-Jung’s personality as an artist. Including works by Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Dutch women composer Rosy Wertheim, Czech women composer Vitezslava Kapralova, and Taiwan’s folk songs.

Tzu-Jung holds a B.F.A. in Voice Performance from Tunghai University, and currently pursuing her M.M. in Voice Performance & Pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, studying with Ah Young Hong.

Emma Leigh Webster

Headshot of Emma Leigh WebsterOriginally from Chicago, Illinois, Emma Leigh Webster is a versatile soprano based in Baltimore where she studies at the Peabody Conservatory. Known for her strong acting choices across styles and genres, her prominent roles have included Flavia in Silla with Chicago Summer Opera, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi with Oberlin in Italy, Suor Dolcina and Suor Osmina in Suor Angelica with Cincinnati Conservatory of Music’s Summer Opera Bootcamp, and Ann in Speed Dating Tonight! by Michael Ching with Lawrence University.

Her education has provided multiple opera scene productions where she studied Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Soeur Constance in Dialouges des Carmelites, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Third wood sprite in Rusalka. In 2019, Ms. Webster made her Baltimore Symphony Orchestra debut under the baton of Marin Alsop in Hindemith’s Sancta Susanna. 

This spring, Ms. Webster will portray the role of Yadwiga in Enemies, A Love Story by Ben Moore during the Spring Opera Scenes performance with Peabody Opera. Additionally, in their main stage production, she will sing La Dame élégante in Les mamelles de Tirésias.

Ms. Webster received her Bachelor of Music, magna cum laude, from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where she studied under the tutelage of Kenneth Bozeman. She is currently pursuing her Master of Music in Voice Performance and Vocal Pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, under the tutelage of Ah Young Hong. She is the proud recipient of the Douglas and Hilda Perl Goodwin Endowed Scholarship for Opera.

Bryce Elliot Zimmerman

Bryce ZimmermanBryce Elliot Zimmerman, countertenor, is a native of Atlanta, GA. A lover of music, Bryce strives to live by a personal mantra he penned: ‚ÄúMusic and all forms of art is like Cupid‚Äôs arrow. You pull back, release, and let the art speak for itself. Specifically you recognize the rhythms, and the work. Now you have to shoot the arrow into the audience‚Äôs heart.‚ÄĚ

Bryce began his musical career when he joined The Atlanta Boys Choir (ABC) in the 5th grade. While a member of ABC, he toured Prague, The Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Austria, Vancouver, and British Columbia. When visiting the Terezin concentration camp (Czech Republic), ABC gave a performance of ‚ÄúI Never Saw Another Butterfly‚ÄĚ by Charles Davidson, with Bryce singing the role of the Shema. Recently, he performed before the Governor of Georgia during the annual lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree.

Apart from a choral career, Bryce performs as a soloist at many different churches throughout Georgia and North Carolina, including the All Saints Episcopal Church, where he was a choral scholar. Moreover, Bryce has twice been an artist in residence under the tutelage of Metropolitan Opera soprano, Indra Thomas.

Aside from his career in singing, Bryce enjoys playing jazz and old standards on the piano, as well as gardening with his mother.

Bryce is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at the Peabody Institute of Music (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD), under the mentorship, and guidance of Ah Young Hong.