Philip Barsky, bass, is a third year undergraduate at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University studying under the tutelage of William Sharp. His mission as an artist is to profoundly connect with his audience to provide a momentary escape from reality. He is from Manhasset, New York and is a recipient of the G. Raymond Zeigler Endowed Scholarship.
At the New York State Summer School of the Arts’ School of Choral Studies he performed his first operatic role as Reverend Olin Blitch in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah. This transformative experience whet his appetite for operatic material propelling him into the classical world. That same year he won first place in the Long Island Choral Society’s Young Artist Competition. He also participated in New York’s All-State Conference Mixed Chorus for two years and was a featured soloist in 2017. He has also sung choruses from Le Nozze di Figaro, Il Trovatore, and Die Fledermaus at the Queens Summer Vocal Institute.
The Conservatory gave him the opportunity to sing the Bernstein Mass under the direction of Marin Alsop in collaboration with choirs from Morgan State University and the Peabody BFA dancers. Additionally, Philip portrayed the role of Mr. Bennett in the world premiere of Kirke Mechem’s Pride and Prejudice. This being his Peabody Opera debut he was truly able to bring his own youthful perspective to such a famed story. He has recently returned to Zion Lutheran Church in Baltimore as a cantor.
Soprano Min Ji Cho performs diverse genres including opera and art song, with a focus on communicating with audiences to create moving emotional experiences. Enjoying playing operatic roles on stage, Min Ji frequently represents energetic characters, such as the role of ‘Norina’ from Don Pasquale by G. Donizetti. Min Ji has also performed partial roles as ‘Despina’ from ‘Così fan tutte’ by W.A. Mozart and Constanse from ‘Dialogues des Carmélites’ by F. Poulenc.
Passionate about connecting audiences with classical music, Min Ji also enjoys performing art song. Through her unique and commanding voice, Min Ji authentically expresses poetry through music, bridging the gap between composer and audience. Her recent art song repertoire includes a song cycle <Walzer-Gesänge Op. 6> by A. Zemlinsky. In additional, she performed <A cycle of Life> by L. Ronald, ‘The year’s at the spring’ and ‘June’ by A. Beach and ‘A piper’ by J. Duke. She participated in additional study of art song at Vianden Music Festival and worked with various musicians around the world.
Min Ji currently attends Peabody Conservatory, pursuing a graduate degree in the studio of William Sharp.
Soprano Seeun Jo is a lyric-coloratura soprano with a very beautiful voice. In particular, she sings melismatic melodies and scales well, and is also good at high notes. Her representative repertoire includes Air des bijoux (opera Faust) by C. Gounod, Ah non credea mirarti…ah, non giunge (opera La sonnambula) by V. Bellini, Willow song (opera The ballad of baby doe) by D. Moore, Let the bright seraphim (oratorio samson) by Handel.
She performed opera scene Der Schauspieldirektor by Mozart at Peabody, and she took a role Miss Jessel in opera Turn of the screw by Britten at this semester. She was supposed to perform Beethoven mass in C as a soprano soloist in May 2020, but it was canceled due to the covid-19. She had worked for 7 years as a soprano soloist at Seoul Cathedral Anglican Church. Also, she got a 1st prize, 6th Haneum Music competition, Seoul, South Korea Dec. 2008, 1st prize, 52th Music Education News Concours, Seoul, South Korea Jun. 2016. She participated Euro Arts – Euro Music Festival in Leipzig, German Jul. 2005.
Soprano Seeun Jo graduated from Sunwha arts High School and graduated from Ewha Womans University, Vocal Music Department. She also graduated from the same Graduate School of Vocal Music with a master’s degree. Although she already got a master’s degree, she went to the United States with a passion for learning and is challenging her second master’s degree at Peabody Conservatory with William Sharp.
Gayssie Lugo is a mezzo-soprano in her final year of her master’s degree in music performance and pedagogy at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute and studies with baritone, William Sharp. She has most recently been seen as Julie in the American premiere of Béla Pintér’s The Champion with Peabody Opera Theatre. She has been seen previously with UCF Opera in the roles of Ma Moss from Aaron’s Copeland’s The Tenderland and Zita from Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida in music performance in 2019. In the spring of 2020, she was the first-place recipient of the Art Song Vocal Competition prize hosted by Peabody Institute. In addition to performing, she has also been teaching voice lessons since 2018 specializing in voice pedagogy for the young adult voice.
Praised for their enviable resonance, crystalline diction, and stylistic prowess, baritone Michael Manganiello focuses their solo and ensemble work on breaking down established preconceptions of identity and artistic expression. In addition to their coursework, they also maintain a voice studio, and work as a Peer Career Coach at Peabody’s LAUNCHPad, working collaboratively with students to reach their professional and artistic goals. Michael graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 2012, where they earned concurrent Bachelor’s degrees cum laude in Vocal Performance and Dance, with a minor in Visual Art/New Media. Michael founded, directed, and sang with the QED Vocal Ensemble in residence at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, NY. Michael has appeared as soloist and ensemblist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Camerata di Sant’ Antonio, Opera Sacra, Buffalo Chamber Players, Western New York Chamber Orchestra, Women of Vivaldi, Vocális Chamber Choir, Buffalo Master Chorale, and Harmonia Chamber Singers. Michael was a participant in the Baroque Opera Workshop through the Institute for 17th Century Music at Queens College, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, and ARTEK Madrigal Madness.
Holding degrees in both Music and Psychology, Sydney Macnabb, soprano, is fascinated with the effect of music on a person’s mind and emotional state, and works to blend her knowledge of both fields into her performances. Recent past operatic roles include Papagena (Die Zauberflöte, MMF, 2019), Susanna(cover)/Bridesmaid (Le Nozze di Figaro, MMF 2019), Student 2 (Der Jasager, UNC Opera 2019), and Sopranino (La Rondine, Oberlin in Italy 2018).
Ms. Macnabb also performs in concert settings, such as her role as a guest soloist for Asbury United Methodist church in early 2020 performing Handel oratorio, as well as a member of Carolina Concert Choir from 2015-2019. Ms. Macnabb placed in the top three singers of her division at NC NATS competition multiple years, and competed through the regional level. She was also a part of the cast of UNC Opera’s Der Jasager in Spring of 2019, which took first
place in Undergraduate Division II of the National Opera Association 2018-2019 production competition.
Sydney attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2015-2019 and earned Bachelors’ in Music and Psychology while studying under Dr. Marc Callahan. She is currently an MM Voice candidate at the Peabody Institute and studies with baritone William Sharp. Upcoming projects include the role of Despina in Peabody Opera’s production of Cosí Fan Tutte in Fall 2020, and she is excited to make her Peabody Opera Theatre debut.
Obi Okechukwu, baritone, is a graduate student in the studio of William Sharp. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. As a solid versatile musician concentrating in performing opera, musical theatre, chamber music, and art songs, he will also perform jazz, pop, and country on occasion. Outside of performing, Obi shares his love of music through educating and adjudication for individuals and groups. He had connected with other musicians and performed in professional ensembles and a cappella groups singing, not only classical, but contemporary music. In the past, Obi has performed internationally as Jigger Craigin in a South African production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. While remaining open to opportunities and premiering new roles, he performed as Mr. Collins in the world premiere of Pride and Prejudice by composer Kirke Mechem and has premiered many other works of his colleagues and educators. As a Soldier in the United States Army, Obi has learned self-discipline, accountability, leadership development and been afforded the opportunity to support military functions with his music as needed. Obi was last seen performing in La Boheme and La Rondine in the past year. He is preparing the role of Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte to be presented in a virtual setting.
Sophia Park is a soprano from Toronto, Canada. Sophia has always had an admiration for music, studying both classical violin and piano at a young age, and later discovering her passion for singing. From performing as a soloist in her high school and church choirs, to competing in local music festivals, she has had many opportunities to nurture her love for singing. In the summer of 2018, before her senior year of high school, she took part in the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music’s Youth Opera Program. There, she performed the role of the Countess in the duet, “Sull’aria” from Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.”
Sophia is currently a sophomore at The Peabody Conservatory, pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance under William Sharp. She is also pursuing a concurrent Bachelor of Arts degree in Behavioral Biology at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University. She is a proud recipient of the Claire and Allen Jenson Endowed Scholarship.
Kevin Paton-Cole is a native of Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa. He currently studies classical Voice and Organ Performance at the PeabodyConservatory, making his Peabody Opera Debut in 2018. He is also the organist at Saint Philip and James Catholic Church, where he also serves as a Music Director. Kevin performed as a soloist in the Peabody Organ Department’s Virtual Halloween Concert this Fall, and will be singing the role of Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte.
Harper Stevenson, soprano, is pursing her Masters degree in Voice Performance and Pedagogy, in the studio of William Sharp. She earned her Bachelors of Music in Voice Performance and Opera from the State University of New York at Purchase College in 2017, where she studied with Dr Sherry Overholt. In fall of 2020, she sang the role of Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw) in her first wholly-digital production. Past roles she has performed include Drusilla (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Sandman and Mutter (Hänsel und Gretel), Ann Putnam (The Crucible), and Flower Girl (Le nozze di Figaro), as well as scenes performances as Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and Zdenka (Arabella). As an ensemble singer, Harper has performed choral and chamber works ranging from Josquin de Prez to Handel’s Dixit Dominus, from Mozart’s C minor mass to contemporary works. She has sung under the baton of Arthur Sjögren as both a soloist and chorister in the Charis Choral Society, where she participated in the world premier of Michael Minard’s Pied Beauty. As a high school musician, Harper participated in multiple festival ensembles, including the National Association for Music Education’s 2013 All-Eastern Choir, conducted by Z. Randall Stroope.
Learn more about William Sharp in his bio.