Born in Québec, pianist Sylvie Beaudette has a diversified career as a collaborative artist, vocal and instrumental coach, soloist, and teacher. She has performed with several artists and groups in Canada, USA, and Switzerland. As a member of the Athena Trio, she performed extensively in Northern California, Pennsylvania and New York States, and recorded Fabulous Femmes, a CD of music by women composers released on the Centaur label in July 2000. She has also appeared on clarinetist Richard Nunemaker’s critically acclaimed CD Multiplicities. With soprano Eileen Strempel, she has been performing since 1998 in New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, Boston, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Toronto, and Montréal.
Known for dramatic and vocal versatility, soprano Amy Pfrimmer has performed across the US, Europe, and Canada. Career highlights include appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz (in Munich and Mannheim), Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and Baltimore Choral Arts Society, all in collaboration with pianist/composer Dave Brubeck. Notable engagements include the Montreal Opera, New Orleans Opera, Bulgarian State Opera Stara Zagora, Illinois Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Florida Grand Opera, Mississippi Opera, Atlanta Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Memphis Symphony, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Opera Grand Rapids, Virginia Opera, Mozart Festival Opera, Alabama Symphony, Ohio Light Opera, and Glacier Symphony
Brent McMunn is conductor/music director of USC Thornton Opera and assistant professor of vocal arts. His professional operatic conducting debut was with the New York City Opera National Touring Company in La fille du regiment. Shortly after, he made his Lincoln Center debut with the New York City Opera in Les contes dÂ’Hoffmann, and subsequently conducted in four separate seasons for that company. McMunn came to opera after an established career as a pianist, known especially for his collaborations with a number of eminent string players, including Lynn Harrell, Cynthia Phelps, and Ronald Copes, now of the Juilliard Quartet, appearing at the major Southern California venues as well as the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Carnegie Hall. His work in and love for opera began when he joined Grant Gershon as one of two pianists at the Los Angeles Opera in its early days.
Dramatic soprano Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet has established herself as a leading force in the German and contemporary repertoires. Having begun her singing Italian and ‘spinto’ Russian roles, she has naturally progressed into the more dramatic German soprano – and more recently ‘Zwischenfach’ – repertoire. Her intense stage presence has been widely praised by critics, with the New York Times proclaiming her a ‘spine-chillingly powerful’ performer. Recent performances include the title role of Ariane et Barbe-bleue for Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg. Recent highlights include the 2012 release as the title role in Strauss’ Elektra with the London Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Valery Gergiev; the title role of Ariane et Barbe-bleue in Barcelona and Dijon.
Dr. Martha Rowe
Dr. Martha Rowe is a gardener: of healthy voices, hearts, and thinking. She spent over three joyful decades in the university music world, first as a vocal coach/collaborative pianist, and then as head of vocal studies at New Mexico State University. She earned her DMA from the University of Arizona and both the Bachelor’s and Masters from the University of New Mexico. After retiring from NMSU, Dr. Rowe began a new career as a Certified Life Coach. Working with singers (and singing herself) created the need for vulnerability, honesty, and courage in order to communicate the power that song can offer. She continues to take great delight in seeing her clients discover their gifts and their own unique “voice”.