Voice Faculty

Timothy Lefebvre

Nationally acclaimed baritone Timothy LeFebvre has wide-ranging experience from the operatic stage to the concert hall. Recent performances include Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs and Dona nobis pacem with Berkshire Choral Festival, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Pensacola Symphony, Britten’s War Requiem with the Jacksonville Symphony, and Mozart’s Requiem with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Mass in C with Wichita Symphony. He has also recently given solo recitals at Oberlin Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Michigan. LeFebvre has appeared in concert with numerous orchestras including Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Vermont Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony, American Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic, Rochester Bach Festival, Syracuse Chamber Music Society, the Skaneateles Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival. He has also appeared in concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall. LeFebvre’s frequently performed opera roles include Rigoletto, Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Germont (La Traviata), Count (Le nozze di Figaro), Falke (Die Fledermaus), Marcello and Shaunard (La Bohème), and Father (Hansel and Gretel). His operatic experience includes performances with Central City Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, Sarasota Opera, Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Syracuse Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Opera Delaware, and Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. LeFebvre is associate professor of singing at Oberlin, where he teaches private voice and oratorio repertoire for singers, and coordinates the Freshman Voice Seminar. Prior to Oberlin, he was assistant professor of voice at Binghamton University and also taught at Cornell University, Syracuse University, Hamilton College, and Colgate University.

Lorraine Manz

Mezzo-soprano Lorraine Manz has been featured as soloist in the United States in orchestral, oratorio, recital, and chamber music settings. She has performed as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, Blossom Music Festival (Cleveland), New Hampshire Music Festival, Round Top Festival in Texas, Bach Festival Society, Shreveport Summer Music Festival, and the Jefferson Performing Arts Society (New Orleans) with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, Marin Alsop, Gareth Morrell, and Steven Smith. She received critical praise for her performances with Lyric Opera Cleveland in Little Women, for which composer Mark Adamo was stage director. Manz has been heard on artist series in recital and contemporary chamber music ensembles, including performances at Lincoln Center, on the Contemporary Directions series at the Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, the Walker Arts Center (Minneapolis), and the New Music Festival (California). She has toured Japan, Hawaii, and the West Coast, performing a variety of chamber music works. A member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Manz was a Master Teacher for the prestigious Intern Program in 2006. She also served as clinician at a workshop at New England NATS in 2009. She presented at the 2002 First International Conference on Physics and Acoustics of Singing in Groningen, the Netherlands, and the Chicago Humanities Festival in 2010. Manz has studied with Elizabeth Mannion, Elisabeth Mosher, Jan DeGaetani, Adele Addison, Eugene Bossart, and David Garvey, as well as additional work in masterclasses with artists including Gerhard Hüsch, Gerard Souzay, Flor Wend, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. Prior to joining the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1993, Manz taught at the University of California and at St. Olaf College. She was elected to the American Academy of Teachers of Singing in 2014.

Delores Ziegler

American mezzo-soprano Delores Ziegler has performed in every major theater in the world and collaborated with many of the great directors and conductors of our time. Her extraordinary performances have been recorded and released as audio recordings and on video and film. With a repertoire that extends from bel canto to verismo, Ziegler has appeared in the world’s greatest opera houses with numerous companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro La Scala, Dresden and Cologne Opera, and the Bolshoi Opera. She has sung leading roles in Ariadne auf Naxos; Idomeneo; Così fan tutte; Le nozze di Figaro; Der Rosenkavalier; I Capuleti e i Montecchi; Orfeo; Faust; La clemenza di Tito; La damnation de Faust; and Falstaff. Her festival credits include the Salzburg Festival, the Glyndebourne Festival, Aix-en-Provence, Athens Festival, and the Florence May Festival. Ziegler has a discography of twenty-one recordings that includes the Mozart Requiem, Mozart's Great Mass, and Mahler Symphony No. 8 on Telarc with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra on EMI; the Bach B-minor Mass with Nikolaus Harnoncourt on Teldec; both the Boccherini and the Pergolesi Stabat Maters on Frequenz conducted by Claudio Schimone; and the Mozart Coronation Mass on Deutsche Grammophon with James Levine and the Berlin Philharmonic. In addition to two Cosi sets, Ziegler’s complete opera recordings include two of La Clemenza di Tito–one as Sesto conducted by Riccardo Muti on EMI and one as Annio with Nikolaus Harnoncourt on Teldec; the title role in Bertoni's L'Orfeo with Claudio Scimone on Frequenz; Margarad in Lalo's Le Roi d'Ys with Armen Jordan on Erato Disque; Fatima in Weber's Oberon with James Conlon on EMI; and Meg Page in Falstaff with Riccardo Muti on Sony Classical. She also recorded Sara in Roberto Devereux and Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena for the Nightingale label, both conducted by Elio Boncompagni. Her most recent CD is Ned Rorem's song cycle The Evidence of Things Not Seen; she took part in the world premiere of this work in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Zeigler is professor of voice in the Voice/Opera Division at the University of Maryland School of Music in College Park. She earned her B.M. at Maryville College and her M.M. at the University of Tennessee.

Vocal Coaches

Enza Ferrari was born in Milan where, at age 15, she received a Diploma in Piano Studies from the Conservatorio di Musica "Giuseppe Verdi" di Milano. She earned a degree in Composition from the same institution a few years later. She has also studied orchestral direction under the mentorship of Maestro Antonino Votto. Ferrari’s work has been supported by numerous grants from the city of Milan and Project “Vacanze Musicali” in Venice. Her performances have been broadcast and documented by radio and television stations in Italy, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and Mexico. She has participated at numerous festivals, among them Aix-en-Provence, Edinburgh, Holland, Macau, and several across Italy including Estati Musicali di Verona, Fiesole, Citta' di Castello, and Valle d'Itria. She works with publishing houses and recording labels such as Curci, Fabbri, Ensayo, Rivo, and Alto. Ferrari has collaborated with and accompanied on piano the renowned singers of Maria Callas, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Renato Capecchi, Nicola Rossi Lemeni, Bianca Maria Casoni, Ghena Dimitrova, Nicola Martinucci, Maria Chiara, Maria Luisa Nave, Alfredo Mariotti, Vincenzo Bello, Gianfranco Cecchele, Beniamino Prior, Giovanni Furlanetto, Roberto Scandiuzzi, Giorgio Surian, Elisabetta Tandura and, among the newer talents of Walter Fraccaro, Young Ok Shin, Vivica Genaux, and Kathy McCalla.

Pianist Anna Fre has served as a coach and staff pianist at the International Academy of Music in Milan for ten years. She has also held music staff positions at the IES (Institute for the International Education of Students) in Milan, working specifically with American singers at the Franceschini Theatre in Pavia, at As.Li.Co. (Lyric and Concert Association) in Milan, and at the Academy Tito Gobbi in Pavia. In 2007, she joined the faculties of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Boyer College of Music at Temple University. She has collaborated with the Santa Fe Opera and served as an Italian coach for the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Florence Voice Seminar held in Florence, Italy. Fre graduated from the Boito Conservatory in Parma and studied vocal accompanying and opera repertoire at the International Academy of Music in Milan. She holds further degrees in Modern Languages and Literature from the University of Pavia.

Danielle Orlando enjoys an active career as accompanist to many international opera singers and serves as a distinguished vocal coach and artistic consultant to several prestigious organizations throughout the musical world. She is principal coach of Curtis Institute of Music and master coach for the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. She has been seen on Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Live by Request on A&E, and The Rosie O’Donnell Show accompanying celebrities Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, and Michael Bolton. She also appears in the Metropolitan Opera documentary The Audition. Orlando collaborated with Luciano Pavarotti as accompanist, judge, and artistic coordinator for the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competitions and spent nine seasons in Spoleto, Italy, working with Gian Carlo Menotti for the Festival Dei Due Mondi. She was artistic administrator and head of music staff for Opera Company of Philadelphia for many years and has served on the music staffs of numerous opera companies, festivals, and young artist programs around the world including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Dresden Semperoper, and Savonlinna Opera Festival. She is a guest coach for WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and Palm Beach Opera’s Young Artist Program, and a guest judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She has had recent collaborations with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Orlando has performed in the Châtelet (with bass Eric Owens), in the Supreme Court of the United States (with tenor Marcello Giordani and again with tenor Stephen Costello and soprano Ailyn Pérez), and in Carnegie Hall. She added recently the Harriman-Jewell recital series, Peralada Festival in Spain (soprano Angela Meade), Schubert Club (tenor James Valenti), Vocal Arts DC (Michael Fabiano), Festival Classique des Hautes- Laurentides (baritone Luis Ledesma), Drake University Jordan Concert Series, Florida Opera Festival, Music at the Morgan Library, recital at the Phillips Collection, FPC Concerts Inc., and the Astoria Music Festival. Her recent residencies include Curtis Summerfest, University of Tennessee, University of Peking Academy of Opera in Beijing, and Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

 

Vocal coach and repetiteur Matteo Pais has served as guest repetiteur at the Semperoper Dresden since 2012 where he is in charge of the musical preparation for new productions of Italian repertoire which have included Simon Boccanegra, Otello, Cavalleria Rusticana, and Pagliacci conducted by Christian Thielemann. Pais also collaborates with several other opera companies. With Theater an der Wien, he is music assistant and studienleiter and recently worked on the production Maria Stuarda under the direction of Paolo Arrivabeni. He will conduct a reduced version of Verdi’s Don Carlos in 2019-20 for their Kammeroper season. With the Baden Baden Festspiele, he has worked with such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle (Tosca) Daniele Gatti (Otello) and Stephan Soltesz (Mefistofele), and he has served as the primary vocal coach and pianist for the Canadian Opera Company of Toronto for productions of La Traviata, Tosca, L’elisir d’amore, Tosca and Aida. Pais regularly works with young singers and pianists on Italian operatic repertoire, recently giving master classes for the Opera Studio of the Opera di Firenze, and for the young artists studio of the Semperoper Dresden and Theater an der Wien. He has also worked as vocal coach for the Young Singers’ Project of the Salzburger Festspiele, and in 2015, he began working with Oberlin Conservatory’s Oberlin in Italy summer program in Arezzo. Along with tenor Francesco Meli, Pais performed on London’s Rosenblatt Recital Series, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, the Norwegian Opera in Oslo, and the Branscombe Festival. They can be heard on the Opus Arte label in recordings of Britten’s Michelangelo Sonnets and Liszt’s Petrarch Sonnets as well as music by Rossini, Verdi, and Donizetti. As a conductor, Pais has conducted Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Croatian National Opera and the chamber opera Mise in Abyme by Lucia Ronchetti at the Semperoper Dresden. He formerly served as assistant conductor to Antonello Allemandi at Opera di Roma, Opera Paris-Massy, Theater Bolshoi Moscow, Novaya Opera Moscow and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, India. Pais has served on the juries for several international singing competitions including Giacomo Lauri Volpi (Roma) and Ferruccio Tagliavini in Deutschlandsberg.

Collaborative Pianists

Bonnie Koestner has served as vocal coach, pianist, chorus master, and assistant conductor with opera companies throughout the United States. Her credits include the San Francisco Opera, where she prepared the American premieres of Reimann’s Ghost Sonata and Tippett’s King Priam, along with productions from the standard repertoire. At Florida Grand Opera she was chorus master and head of the music staff. She has worked on more than 200 productions with the professional opera companies of Baltimore, Atlanta, Sarasota, Des Moines Metro, Utah, San Diego, Palm Beach, Nevada, Sacramento, Shreveport, and Lake George. For 16 years, she was the head opera coach for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her summer appointments include positions as chorus master and pianist/coach for the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, music staff of Central City Opera in Colorado, and she has served on the Oberlin in Italy faculty for several years. She is Professor Emeritus at Lawrence University, where she was vocal coach and opera music director.

Jo Greenaway is a Toronto-based vocal coach and collaborative pianist, and has performed across Canada, France, Italy, and China. She is much in demand as a recitalist and coach in song and operatic repertoire, with particular expertise in works in French. Greenaway is music director for the Opera Jeunesse China Project. She spent several years in London, Ontario working as a repetiteur and coach for the Western University Opera. Greenaway has participated in Edmonton’s Opera Nuova program and the Centre for Opera Studies in Sulmona, Italy. She has had the opportunity to play for master classes for such renowned artists as Cécile Ousset, Stuart Hamilton, Martin Katz, John Hess, and Michael McMahon. Greenaway holds a Master’s degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Western Ontario, as well as a Bachelor of Music with Honours in Theory and Composition, with a specialization in French. She is also a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music, where she completed her ARCT in Piano Performance.

Conductors

Kevin Class serves as director of collaborative piano and music director/conductor of the Opera Theatre at the University of Tennessee. He has previously served on the piano faculty of SUNY-Potsdam and on the opera studies faculty, as conductor, at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Born in Belgium, Class studied piano at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels with Daniel Blumenthal, as well as in the U.S. and Canada with Gyorgy Sebok and Ralph Votapek. As a soloist, he has been performed numerous times in venues such as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and Vienna’s Musikverein, including series of the complete piano sonatas of Mozart and Schubert. In response to performances and promotion of both standard repertoire and contemporary music, Class was named a Fellow of the Flemish Community by the Belgian government in 1998. In 2015, he was awarded third place in the American Prize competitions for solo piano (professional division). As pianist, he has most recently performed as soloist with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and has performed cycles of the complete collaborative works of Brahms and the complete sonatas for piano and violin by Beethoven. In addition to work as a piano soloist, Class has been active as a conductor for more than 30 years. Conducting teachers have included Zdzislaw Kopac, Michel Singher, Eduardo Diazmunoz, Jerry Blackstone, Donald Schleicher, and David Effron. He also participated in workshops with Carl St. Clair, Alasdair Neal, and Gustav Meier. With a repertoire of 60 operas and more than 150 orchestral works, he has taken the podium of the National Opera La Monnaie in Brussels and the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden and National Opera Studio in London, Shanghai Opera, and Opera Illinois (Peoria). From 2001-05, he served as guest music director and resident conductor of the Illinois Opera Theatre. He was principal guest conductor of Opera Illinois (Peoria) and music director/conductor of Seoul Opera (South Korea) from 2008-09. He has conducted the Northern Illinois Philharmonic, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Illinois New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Noir (Brussels), and orchestras in Taipei, Shanghai, Chongqing, Seoul, Kunming, and Manila. He has dedicated much of his attention to the training of aspiring conductors, and his students have appeared with San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Orchestra, Miami Symphony Orchestra, and Dallas Opera, as well as the Salzburg and Glimmerglass Festivals. ​For more than a decade, Class has held multi-week residencies in numerous Asian countries. He regularly conducts orchestras in Manila and has taught courses for pianists and conductors throughout China, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. He has held guest professorships at Yonsei University in Seoul and Southwest University in Chongqing, China, and he is a frequent guest conductor, teacher, and clinician at the University of the Philippines in Manila. As an active promoter of contemporary music, Class has led numerous new music ensembles in China and is responsible for commissioning several new works through his China-U.S. workshopping project “New Music from an Ancient Land.” This season’s activities include continuing collaboration on the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Series and collaborations with guest artists and international solo recitals in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Class has been profiled by PBS, BBC, CBC, CCTV (China), KBS (Korea), and Radio Noord-Holland. He has more than 15 commercial recordings to his credit on Centaur, Albany, MMO, CRS, and Jackal Records.

Ari Pelto, music director of Opera Colorado, is widely known for performances that have been called poetic, earthy, vigorous, and highly individual. He is in demand in opera houses and with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. At 24, he was appointed assistant conductor at the Spoleto Festival and has gone on to conduct on stages worldwide. His international appearances include symphonic performances with the Bochumer Philharmoniker, productions of Le nozze di Figaro and Falstaff at New National Theatre of Tokyo, and Faust at the Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador. In 2004, he made his highly praised debut with New York City Opera, conducting La Traviata, after which he became a regular guest conductor, returning for productions of Madama ButterflyLa Boheme, and Carmen. In 2015, Pelto was named Opera Colorado’s first-ever music director, and there he has conducted acclaimed performances of Don GiovanniMadama ButterflyAida, and the recent world premiere of Lori Laitman’s long-awaited work The Scarlet Letter, a recording of which was released in fall 2017 on Naxos. From 2000-02, Pelto was assistant conductor of the Florida West Coast Symphony (now the Sarasota Symphony). In addition to conducting over 30 concerts in Sarasota, Pelto also was a frequent guest with the Florida Orchestra and the Toledo Symphony, and he led tours of the Western Opera Theatre (the touring company of San Francisco Opera), conducting La Boheme and Così fan tutte in over 20 states. Pelto is widely recognized as a gifted pedagogue and is devoted to providing guidance for young singers and aspiring conductors. He regularly works with leading conservatories and young artist programs including the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute, Manhattan School of Music, and Oberlin Conservatory as well as the Young Artist Programme at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House. With San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, he conducted the 2014 Grand Finale as well as productions of Così fan tutte and The Rape of Lucretia, in which he “evoked superb vigor and stylish beauty of playing,” according to San Francisco Classical Voice. At Wolf Trap Opera, he inaugurated a new production of Le nozze di Figaro and led a Don Giovanni that was “shaped and paced with consummate skill,” according to The Washington Post. A masterful collaborator with dancers, Pelto has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the Atlanta Ballet. He recently conducted world premieres of Twyla Tharp’s first story ballet The Princess and the Goblin and Helen Pickett’s Camino Real. Previously, he conducted Jean-Christophe Maillot’s groundbreaking production of Romeo et Juliette, as well as the Atlanta Ballet’s production of Prokofiev’s Cinderella, for which The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote: “Under Ari Pelto’s baton, the orchestra has never sounded better, nor the chemistry between the pit and the stage been quite so palpable.” After earning his bachelor of music in violin performance at Oberlin Conservatory, he studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, and with Imre Pallo at Indiana University.

Stage Director

Isabel Milenski’s career began staging the Long Beach Opera production of Iacopo Peri's Euridice at the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles to commemorate the birth of opera in 2000. She later returned to the Getty to stage Virginia Woolf's only play, Freshwater. For the Long Beach Opera, she has directed Jenufa, Milhaud's Trois Operas Minutes, the West Coast premiere of Richard Strauss' comic masterwork Die Schweigsame Frau, along with Semele and Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cherry Town. For five years, she has held the position of artistic director for Hofstra University's Opera Theater, where she has created the bold productions of L’incoronazione di Poppea, Die FledermausDon Giovanni, and Alcina. She is on the faculty of the Summer Voice Festival of the Manhattan School of Music. Milenski made her Lincoln Center debut directing Juilliard's Le nozze di Figaro and has directed La Calisto for the Manhattan School of Music. For Pocket Opera of New York, she has directed the double bill of L’enfant et les sortileges and La chute de la maison Usher by Debussy and the double bill of Handel's Apollo and Daphne and staged Monteverdi madrigals. Milenski was awarded the Directorial Fellowship from San Francisco Opera's Merola program, where she has been a returning teacher and coach for both the Merola Opera program and the Adler Fellowship program. Directorial projects with the Merolini and Adlers have included numerous staged scenes concerts and Carmen with the Opera Center’s Adler Fellows at the University of California, Davis. Internationally, she has conceived and directed a theater production of Carmen based on Merimee's novella at the Telemac Theatre in Nimes, France. In Denmark, she was assistant director to Roy Rallo for Der Rosenkavalier. Other national projects have included a rock opera called The Fire Odyssey, an adaptation of Homer's Odyssey, at the Crucible's Fire Arts Festival in Oakland, California, as well as a cross-cultural production, The Grand Seducers, with the Chinese Cultural Center in San Francisco. Conservatory productions include Così fan tutte and The Turn of the Screw at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, which won a National Opera Association award. In Cincinnati, she also co-directed Argento's The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe. Productions for Grand Valley State University include The Bartered Bride, Street Scene, The Pirates of Penzance, and L’enfant et les sortileges. Milenski teaches Viewpoints and Method Acting techniques. In Europe, she trained in the physical techniques of Grotowski and Meyerhold at the Universitet for Skenkost with Ingemar Lindt, and in Italy at Baule dei Suoni.