Miranda Brugman, soprano, is a first year Master of Music candidate at The Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she is studying with Stanley Cornett. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2018 with a BM in Vocal Performance and a BS in Physics. She attended the Vancouver Early Music Festival and the Bel Canto Institute. Her previous roles include the Sandman in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (2017), La Novizia in Puccini’s Suor Angelica (2016), and Ernesto in an outreach production of John Davie’s The Billy Goats Gruff (2017) with the OU Opera Theatre.
Mezzo-Soprano, Tess Clark, is a second-year undergraduate student at the Peabody Institute in the studio of Stanley Cornett. In the Summer of 2018, she was heard as Hermia in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival. This season she will sing the role of Zita in Peabody Opera Theatre’s production of Il Trittico. Programs she has attended include: the Boston University of Tanglewood Young Artists Vocal Program, Washington National Opera Institute, and the Crittenden Opera Institute. Previously, she studied with tenor John Aler. She is the recipient the William W. More PhD Scholarship and the Fanny B Thalheimer Memorial Scholarship. She has won both 1st and 3rd place in Virginia’s State-Wide Bland Competition.
Christopher Hartung is a second-year transfer student at the Peabody Conservatory. This year, he will be performing the role of Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with the Peabody Opera Department. Most recently, Hartung was seen in H.M.S. Pinafore in the role of Dick Deadeye with the Young Victorian Theatre Company. He has also been seen with the Peabody Opera Department in their production of Le Nozze di Figaro in the role of Dr. Bartolo and as the Figaro cover. He previously performed the role with the Amalfi Coast Music Institute. Prior to attending Peabody, Hartung attended Temple University. While there, he had the opportunities to partake in the Boyer Opera Theatre’s productions of La finta Giardiniera and The Merry Widow. Outside of Temple, he was honored to be in the production of Lenard Bernstein’s MASS with Yannik Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He is also a regular young artist with the Berk’s Opera Company where he most recently sang the role of Lodovico in Verdi’s Otello with Metropolitan Soprano Jennifer Check. Hartung has also sung the Bass solos for the Brahms Requiem and Handel’s Messiah over the past year. Hartung is beyond grateful for the blessings God has sent his way.
Tenor Mofan Lai is from Hangzhou, China. He recently performed Monostatos in Peabody Institute’s outreach production Papageno, touring across Maryland state during 2016-17 academic year. He won the Grand Prize of 2015 Chinese Vocal International Competition, High School Division; the first place of the vocal competition of both Zhejiang Province’s and Hangzhou City’s High School Art Festival; the Outstanding Singer Award (2015 Classical Singer’s Convention). He published his album: Chinese Art Songs and Folk Songs after he won the third place in Hong Kong International Vocal Competition, Chinese Art Song Division in 2014. Invited by the Hangzhou Public Library, he held his high school recital in 2015, reviewed by Metropolitan Express: “Talented young tenor with gifted golden voice”. His school-wide elective and online course–Sing More Fun was awarded as the Top-quality Model Course by Hangzhou Foreign Languages School. He served as the lecturer and the director. At Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, he was the only undergraduate recipient of the “Dean’s Incentive Grant” in 2016 and founded the Peabody Chinese Students and Alumni Association. He is an academic peer advisor at Peabody and also a student representative t both Peabody and JHU alumni council. He is an amateur photographer (and please follow him on Instagram: @mofanlai). He would like to thank Dr. and Mrs. Allan and Clair Jensen for establishing the Clair and Allan Jensen Endowed Scholarship at Peabody which largely supports him.
Soprano, Savannah McElhaney, is a third year undergraduate student at Johns Hopkins Peabody Conservatory where she is studying under Stanley Cornett. She transferred to Peabody after spending one year at Duquesne University where she studied with Guenko Guechev. This fall, she will be performing as a soloist and street singer in Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, conducted by Marin Alsop. This past summer, she sang the role of Pamina in the New York Lyric Opera summer program’s production of Die Zauberflöte at the National Opera Center. She performed a scene from Le nozze di Figaro as Countess at Lincoln Center and sang in the chorus for Suor Angelica in their Love, Passion & Betrayal concert at Carnegie Hall. Last season, she was in the chorus for Peabody Opera Theater’s productions of L’elisir d’amore and Chérubin. She is currently a member of the Peabody Singers and has a chorister position at First and Franklin Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, MD.
Mezzo-Soprano, Randa Melhem, is a second year Master of Music candidate at The Peabody Conservatory of Music where she studies in the studio of Stanley Cornett. This spring at Peabody, Randa will be performing the roles of La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica and La Frugola in Il Tabarro as part of Il Tritticoby Giacomo Puccini. Randa has also performed as a Street Singer and soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with Peabody Opera Theatre this fall, as well as playing the role of La Baronne in Massenet’s Chérubin last spring. Previous roles Randa has performed include the Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Baba the Turk in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, and The Witch in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Prior to attending Peabody, Randa completed her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Statistics at Harvard College. While at Harvard, she was a performer and board member for the Harvard College Opera Company.
Emma Nicholson, soprano, is pursuing her Master’s degree in Vocal Performance at Peabody Conservatory in the studio of Stanley Cornett. This season at Peabody, Emma will be singing the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica as well as portraying one of the street singers in the Bernstein MASS. Emma has also performed the role of Giannetta in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore with the Peabody Opera Theatre last fall. Nicholson is a recent graduate of Purchase College in New York where she earned her BM in vocal performance, and studied with Dr. Sherry Overholt. Previous operatic roles include Dew Fairy, and Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Flower girl in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Mary Warren in Robert Ward’s The Crucible, and Poppea in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. Emma has performed as a Soprano soloist for Händel’s Messiah, as well as for the Vivaldi Gloria with the Purchase College Chorus.
Tess Ottinger, soprano, is a first year Masters student at the Peabody Conservatory of the John’s Hopkins University pursuing her degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. In her previous instruction at Virginia Commonwealth University, Tess received both a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Vocal Music Education. Recently, Tess performed the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro as a Guest Alumni Artist at VCU. Her previous operatic roles include Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica, Fiametta in The Gondoliers, and covered the role of Sonia in The Merry Widow. At the 2016 and 2017 Virginia NATS Competition, Tess took second place in her category. This past year, Tess performed as a member of the Richmond Symphony Chorus and was a featured soloist with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in 2016 and 2018. Ms. Ottinger has also performed as a soprano soloist with the Williamsburg Choral Guild for Mozart’s Requiem, and Bach’s Magnificat in 2017 and 2018.
Arianna Rodriguez, soprano, is a recent graduate from George Mason University, studying under Stanley Cornett. As an aspiring opera singer, she has participated in Mason Opera productions as Barbarina in the Marriage of Figaro, Musetta in La Boheme, Miss Silverpeal in the Impresario, and the Squirrel in L’enfant et le Sortleges. Annually, she has been a featured soloist in George Mason University Singers and George Mason University Choral. Arianna was also selected to perform in the George Mason University School of Music Honors Recital. She placed 2nd in the Vocal Arts Competition for Emerging Artist, placed 1st at the second level, and went on to place 2nd in the third round. She also placed 1st in her category at the Virginia NATS Competition, and she went on to place 2nd in her category at the regional level.
Daniel E. Sampson, tenor, is a first year Master of Music student studying Vocal Performance with Stanley Cornett. A Baltimore native, Sampson graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education from Loyola University New Orleans and was an active educator and music director in the city before returning to home to attend Peabody. He sang the role of Monostatos in Loyola Opera’s production of The Magic Flute and sang with the New Orleans Opera Chorus for five seasons. He also covered roles for Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre. Sampson has been a featured soloist for many churches in both Baltimore and New Orleans, including an appearance as the Tenor Soloist for Vivaldi’s Magnificat at the historic St. Louis Cathedral.
Read more about Stanley Cornett in his bio.