Performers

Photo of Sonia Alexis
Sonia Alexis
Mezzo Soprano

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice, Dido and Aeneas, Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2012, Opera Selections 2014

Bio: Sonia Alexis is a soloist, who has performed at a number of community events and concerts in Bellingham.  She has been very active in the music and theatre scene in Whatcom and Skagit counties, participating in productions by the Bellingham Festival of Music, Mt. Baker Theatre Rep, Shakespeare Northwest, Free Key Productions and the Bellingham Theatre Guild to name a few.   She looks forward to being a part of another Opera Popolare production, and would like to thank all of the friends and family who have supported her efforts thus far.

Photo of Jared Anderssel
Jared Anderssel
Tenor

Performances:  Dido and Aeneas, The Fairy Queen

Bio:  Music has been an important part of Jared’s life for as long as he can remember. He  has sung in choirs and other performances for almost 16 years. From international tours and choir competitions with the Piedmont Children’s Choir as a child to singing with his church choir and local productions today, he feels blessed to be able to sing every day.

Photo of Ann Balfour
Ann Balfour
Stage Manager

Performances: La Serva Padrona and Coffee Cantata 2016

Bio:  Ann is known as duct tape and bobby pins on wheels.  A true back stage mom, she has done costumes, hair and make up, props, stage manage, set design and whatever else needs doing since her daughters Savanna and Sidney started in theater over 12 years ago.  Thanks to Rob and this wonderful cast for allowing her to work with her favorite substance… Coffee!  !Sabrosisimo!

Photo of Bryce Bernal
Bryce Bernal
Tenor

Performances:  The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2012

Bio:  Bryce likes playing piano and he composes music for a brass quintet that he leads. He is president of the Sehome High School band and plays trumpet, saxaphone, and french horn. As for getting drafted into singing, one of his best friends forced him to audition for school choir, which, in hindsight, was one of the better choices he’s ever made.

Photo of Kendrick Bradley
Kendrick Bradley
Baritone

Performances:  The Fairy Queen

Bio:  :Kendrick was immersed in music from a very young age taking lessons in various instruments; however, Kendrick’s true passion is singing and theater. He participated at BAAY in the Boys Choir and in Beauty and the Beast, Scrooge, and Oklahoma under the direction of David Post. Kendrick attends Sehome High School and is involved with its drama program and school choirs under the direction of Vicki Chaney and Jessica Schlichting.  Kendrick is a voice student of Rob Viens.

Photo of Monica Burlingame
Monica Burlingame
Soprano

Performances:  Paride ed Elena, Semele, The Immortal Handel, Samson

Bio:  Monica Burlingame is off to college in fall 2014.  She loves to sing and recently went to state for the WMEA solo contest.  Along with singing opera, Monica also participated in Ferndale High School’s productions of “Oliver”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “West Side Story” and NWTG’s production of “Cinderella.”

Photo of Lori Childs
Lori Childs
Costumer
Performances:  Paride ed Elena, Semele, Opera Selections 2014, Samson
Bio: Lori fell in love with theater when she saw The Mikado at age 5.
She has costumed Iowa Dance Theatre, Virginia Ballet Theatre, re-enactors for 273 years.
She also enjoys ballroom dance.


Photo of Dorothy ChildsWeber
Dorothy ChildsWeber
Mezzo Soprano

Performances:  Opera Selections 2012, Paride ed Elena. Opera Selections 2013, Semele, Opera Selections 2014, The Immortal Handel, Samson

Bio:  Dorothy ChildsWeber, a 2014 graduate of Bellingham High School, has lived from coast to coast in her 17 years of life.  She looks forward to advancing in music, particularly singing.  She currently studies voice with Rob Viens.

Photo of Roger Clark
Roger Clark
Baritone

Performances:  Dido and Aeneas, The Immortal Handel, Samson

Bio:  Since moving to Bellingham in 1999 and retiring, Roger has been very active in area choirs:  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Choir, Whatcom Chorale, Adoramus, Bellingham Chamber Chorale and the Festival Chorus of the Bellingham Festival of Music as well as Opera Popolare. His only previous staged opera experience was in the chorus of Lohengrin many years ago in Portland.  He currently studies voice with Edward Cook.

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Justin Cook
Bass

Performances:  The Fairy Queen

Bio:  Justin participated in WWU’s “Haman and Mordecai”. Since earning his degree he has premiered the role of the Critic, in Hau Wei Chang’s opera “The Critic”, been a chorus member with solo parts with the Skagit Valley Opera’s production of “La Boheme”, and one season as chorus member and soloist with the Whatcom Chorale, and has joined Bellingham’s Inspire Choir, and looks forward to a life filled with singing.

Photo of Kyle Dalvit
Kyle Dalvit
Bass
Performances:  Samson
Bio:  Kyle teaches English and Public Speaking and coaches JV girls basketball and JV boys tennis at Burlington-Edison High School. He recently celebrated two years of marriage with his beautiful wife, Charlyn. Kyle has always loved singing in the car and the shower but Samson is his first foray into vocal performance and opera.  He is honored and thrilled to make his operatic debut with Opera Popolare!
Photo of Charlotte Sather Davis
Charlotte Sather Davis
Soprano

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice, Opera Selections 2011

Bio:  Charlotte graduated from WWU with a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance. Her dual emphasis vocal training (in early and new music) prepared her for everything from baroque opera to premiering new works.

She has appeared as a featured soloist many times with the Bellingham Chamber Chorale, in works such as Mozart’s Requiem and more recently Britten’s Ceremony of Carols.

She teaches voice lessons and yoga classes in Bellingham.

Photo of Lauren Delorme
Lauren Delorme

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice, Dido and Aeneas, Opera Selections 2011

Photo of Wendy Donaghy
Wendy Donaghy
Soprano

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice, Dido and Aeneas, Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2012, Paride ed Elena, Opera Selections 2013, Opera Selections 2014, The Immortal Handel 2014, Samson 2014, La Serva Padrona 2016

Bio:   

Wendy stays busy as a soprano soloist for concerts, music festivals, sacred cantatas, operas, and churches throughout the Pacific Northwest.  She studies voice with Rob Viens of Bellingham, and Dr. Michael Warren of New York.  She recently released her first CD entitled “Up Close”.  Wendy and her husband Tom organize and present benefit concerts each year for local charities.  When Wendy isn’t singing, she enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, walks with her Pug, and adores living close to the sea.

 

 

Photo of Matthew Dunn
Matthew Dunn
Baritone

Performances:  Semele

Bio:  Matthew Dunn (Cadmus) is no stranger to the stage or music, with an MFA in Directing and a successful theatre career in his distant past. He studies voice with Rob Viens; this is his first operatic role in many years. Singing with his son, Hunter, in the production makes it special.

Photo of Hunter Dunn
Hunter Dunn
Baritone

Performances:   Semele

Bio:  A lifelong musician, Hunter has only recently come to opera through the influence of friends, family, and teachers. He currently studies voice with Edward Cook. In addition to singing, Hunter plays piano, guitar, and bass in a wide variety of styles and is also pursuing interests as a composer and producer.

Photo of Maria Cristina Fantini
Maria Cristina Fantini
Soprano

Performances:  Opera Selections 2012

Bio:  Maria completed her Masters of Music Degree in 2004 and has been active in the opera community since graduating performing in Opera Nuova’s 2004 production of Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio and in Vancouver Opera’s 2006 production of Gounod’s Faust.

In addition to her opera singing Cristina has established her own music school (Blue River Music Studios) and produces events, workshops and recitals.  She also fronts Canada’s foremost operatic bluegrass trio ‘Fantini, Wood&Wells’.

Photo of Peder Fedde
Peder Fedde
Tenor

Performances: Samson

Bio: Peder received an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD and a graduate degree in Music Composition from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO. With musical experience as an organist, pianist, vocalist and composer Peder has had the pleasure of performing in quality musical groups in South Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, California and can now include Washington State in the list.

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Scott Fleischman
Tenor

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice, Dido and Aeneas, Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen

Bio:   From the subtle melodies of Gregorian chant to the dramatic beauty of grand opera, Scott brings a wide variety of singing experience to the stage. He sings in the Assumption Church choir and has sung with the Bellingham Chamber Chorale and the Festival of Music chorus. He thanks Rob Viens and Opera Popolare for this opportunity to fulfill his passion for singing opera.

Karen Frankenfeld
Violin
Photo of Beth Fuller
Beth Fuller
Mezzo Soprano

Performances:  Immortal Handel, Samson

Bio:  Beth has been singing in the Bellingham area for the last 25 years. She and fellow Opera Popolare member, Laura Shelton, were founders of the vocal ensemble “Equinox”. Beth also happily sings in the quartet “Calyx”, with Laura, Lesley Rigg, and Karen FitzGerald. She spent several years in Ann McDonald’s Bellingham Sings choral groups, “Allegra”, and “Whatcom Sound Jazz Singers”. But Opera was her mother’s favorite musical genre and is certainly Beth’s earliest (in the womb) musical influence. Beth is very grateful to Rob for allowing her this opportunity to participate in “Samson”. Thank you Celie and Rob for bringing opera to the people of Whatcom County, and for your faith in the local talent.

Photo of Carlo Furlan
Carlo Furlan
Tenor

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice, Opera Selections 2011, Opera Selections 2013, Semele, The Immortal Handel, Samson
Bio:  Carlo is music minister at Hillcrest Chapel.  He has been involved in music all his life.

Photo of Norman Hale
Norman Hale
Bass
Performances:  Opera Selections 2014, The Immortal Handel, Samson
Bio:  Samson is Norman’s first venture into opera. He works as a child and adolescent psychiatrist at an agency and at his private practice. Norman and his wife celebrate 25 years of marriage in September and have been blessed with four beautiful children.
Photo of Caitlin Hill
Caitlin Hill
Soprano

Performances:  The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2011, Opera Selections 2012, Paride ed Elena, Opera Selections 2013, Semele, Opera Selections 2014

Bio:  Caitlin is a Bellingham native currently studying opera at the University of British Columbia. Her past roles in Bellingham include Semele in Semele (Opera Popolare), Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (BHS), and Paride in Paride Ed Elena (Opera Popolare). This coming summer she will be singing her first role at UBC as Frantik in The Cunning Little Vixen. She hopes to continue returning to Bellingham for future performances with her beloved friends and mentors at Opera Popolare.

Photo of Sage Hoag
Sage Hoag
Baritone

Performances:  The Fairy Queen

Bio: Sage, Puck for Opera Popolare’s The Fairy Queen in 2011,  played the murderous Bill Sykes in BAAY’s production of Oliver, and has had major roles in school productions.

Photo of Calyx Hoag
Calyx Hoag
Oboe

Performances:  Orfeo ed Euridice, The Fairy Queen, Paride ed Elena, Semele

Bio:  Calyx Hoag was a double major in music at WWU, and has been a long time business owner in Whatcom County. He has played in 14 different orchestras in Washington and in many groups locally, including the 108 Quintet.

Photo of Marilyn Junkersfeld
Marilyn Junkersfeld
Mezzo Soprano

Performances: Dido and Aeneas, The Fairy Queen

Bio:  Marilyn first went on stage at age six singing a duet with her brother; went on to star in the juvenile lead in a Texas small town theater guild, and was hooked on performing by the age of 10. She sang in selected choirs in state competitions and began composing and arranging songs in high school.  In college as a music major, she sang alto and mezzo-soprano solos in numerous oratorios and other works. She particularly loves to participate in small groups that specialize in a cappella contrapuntal music

Photo of Katie Kennedy
Katie Kennedy
Soprano
Performances: Dido & Aeneas, Opera Selections 2012, The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2013, The Immortal Handel.
 Bio:  Katie has performed with The Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Skagit Opera, and several local theatres. Last year she portrayed Johanna in Bellingham Theatre Guild’s Sweeney Todd. She was in two of the Opera Popolare Concerts, Dido and Aeneas, and played Titania in The Fairy Queen. Katie is assisting with costumes in their upcoming production of Samson. In July she will be performing with the Bellingham Festival of Music.

 

Photo of Christopher Key
Christopher Key
Actor

Performances:  La Serva Padrona 2016

Bio:  Christopher Key (Scapin) has been performing since age three, but this is his first opera. That sound you hear is the local musical community sighing with relief upon discovering that he is playing a mute. Love to Reiko for the joie de vivre.

Photo of Kathlyn Kinney
Kathlyn Kinney
Oboe

Performances:  Paride ed Elena, Semele, Samson

Bio:  Kathlyn Kinney studied harp with Jill Whitman and oboe with Jennifer Weeks, both of Whatcom Symphony, while a student at Western.
She has made appearances in the Whatcom Symphony performances of “The Planets” and “The Composer is Dead”. Musical theater has fascinated her since a young age and she is thrilled to be joining this group of talented performers for the production of Paride ed Elena.

Photo of Aaron Kirby
Aaron Kirby
Tenor

Performances:  Orfeo ed Euridice 2009, Paride ed Elena 2012

Bio:  Aaron began studying voice with Rob while he was in high school.  These days he plays in local bands, Amish Warfare and Tripmadam, in such varying styles as Rock & Roll, Punk Rock, and Folk.  Aaron has composed music for films in Vancouver and in Bellingham.

Photo of Jana Koshinz
Jana Koshinz
Mezzo Soprano

Performances:   Semele

Bio: Jana enjoys singing in her church choir but that was the extent of her singing career until Semele.  Music has always been a source of happiness and after this experience of singing with true musicians she is thinking about actually taking a voice lesson.

 

Photo of Eddie Lester
Eddie Lester
Bass

Performances:  The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2012

Bio:  Eddies stage experience includes musicals, dramas and too many comedies. The Fairy Queen was his first opera. He thanks Opera Popolare for the opportunity, but most especially his own Fairy Queen. “Gee, thanks Katie.”

Photo of Fred Lund
Fred Lund
Bass

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice, Dido and Aeneas, Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2012, Opera Selections 2013, The Immortal Handel, Samson

Bio:  Fred, a retiree and lifelong Bellinghamster, and has been a voice student of Rob’s for many years. This has taken him from Barbershop and church choir to Whatcom Chorale, musical theatre, and now ventures into opera. Many thanks go to Rob for his guidance, and for the support of my wife Pat.

Photo of Candice Lundy
Candice Lundy

Performances:  Opera Selections 2013
Bio:  Candice Lundy is currently a senior at BHS and is enrolled in the Running Start Program at WCC. She is in Honors Drama III and the award-winning BHS showstoppers and Concert Choir. Productions you may have seen her in include: “Pirates of Penzance” as ‘Ruth’, “Hairspray” as ‘Amber’, “Little Shop of Horrors” as ‘Audrey’, “Into the Woods” as ‘Lucinda’, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” as ‘Ms. Dorothy’, and many others. Candice has performed in 35 productions in all and she plans to pursue a career in Musical Theatre and Opera/Voice Performance.
Candice studies with Jami Templeton

Photo of Wanda Maddox
Wanda Maddox
Soprano

Performances:  Dido and Aeneas, Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2012, Opera Selections 2013, Semele, Opera Selections 2014, The Immortal Handel

Bio:   Wanda currently studies voice with Rob Viens Voice Studio/Ensemble Enterprises Inc in Bellingham and with Dr. Michael Warren in New York City. She can’t imagine life without singing, but when she moved to Bellingham 12 years ago, she never dreamed there could be an opportunity here to sing in an opera!

Mary Mahoney
Violin
Photo of Amy Martin
Amy Martin
Soprano

Performances:  Opera Selectrions 2014, The Immortal Handel

Bio:  Soprano and Voice Teacher Amy Martin has been teaching voice for 16+ years.  Born in Bellingham, Amy earned her B.M. in Vocal Arts from the Thornton School of Music at USC, followed by postgraduate opera studies in Vienna, Austria.  Amy was blessed to study with Regine Crespin, Elizabeth Hynes, and many other talented professionals.  Amy has sung leading opera roles in Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic, and has explored the backstage world with Seattle Opera and Indianapolis Opera.  Amy also owns the local organic clothing store, “Naked Clothing.”  She is delighted to be joining Opera Populare! (web link to my music site – amyRmartin.com)

 

Photo of Chris Mitchell
Chris Mitchell
Bass

Performances:  Paride ed Elena, Semele
Bio:  Chris is a graduate of the vocal program at Shoreline Community College where he studied from 2004 to 2008. Some of Chris’ other performances include: Bizet’s Carmen, Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman, and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. While at SCC, Chris studied voice privately and sang with the select chamber choir The Shoreline Singers, Where he also met his soprano girlfriend. Chris has also had the fortune to travel with his choir to exotic and spectacular places such as Ireland in 04’ and Spain 06’. After Graduating SCC, Chris continued his education and recently graduated from the Woodring Education Department at Western Washington University in March 2012.

Photo of Sam Muscatine
Sam Muscatine
Bass

Performances:  The Fairy Queen

Bio:  Sam has been entranced by the world of singing since first joining his high school choir at age 14. Now 21, he is excited to be performing in his first baroque opera. Past opera performances include singing in the West Bay Opera chorus in Cosi Fan Tutte and Carmen, and the role of Antonio in the Western Washington University production of The Marriage of Figaro. Thank you Mom, for endless encouragement, and to Opera Popolare for this fabulous opportunity.

Photo of Brian Myrick
Brian Myrick
Tenor

Performances:   Semele

Bio:  This is Brian Myrick’s first production with Opera Populare but Semele is his fifteenth opera performed.  Brian has a MA in conducting from the American Band College in Ashland, Or and a Bachelor’s of Music Education in Choral Music from Wichita State University.  He is currently the music teacher at St. Paul’s Academy Upper School. As a child Brian would often fall asleep listening to his mother play piano or dad singing in a barbershop quartet.  He would then sing to the birds on a bright summer’s morning or to the stars on a clear Kansas night.

Michael Neville
Viola
Photo of Jeremiah O’Brine
Jeremiah O’Brine
Tenor

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice, Dido and Aeneas

Photo of Katie O’Rourke
Katie O’Rourke
Accompanist

Productions:  Orfeo and Euridice; Dido and Aeneas, Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2012, Semele

Bio:  Katie received a Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance from Western Washington University. She teaches piano at Mojo Music and Bellingham Academy of Music, plays for a church, and accompanies throughout the community and at Western.

Photo of Ibidunni Ojikutu
Ibidunni Ojikutu

Performances:  Opera Selections 2011

Bio:  Ibidunni Ojikutu is a graduate of Western Washington University While at WWU she played the 2nd Spirit in their production of W. A. Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte  She was cast as Florinda in WWU’s production of Into the Woods.  In 2011 she sang the role of Strawberry Woman and cover the role of Serena in Seattle Opera’s 2011 production of “Porgy and Bess”.

Photo of John Poppke
John Poppke
Baritone

Performances:   Semele 2014, Opera Selections 2014, The Immortal Handel 2014, La Serva Padrona 2016

Bio:  John has been involved in community theater in Colorado Springs and in Auburn, Wa.  He was in the opera chorus for Tacoma Opera’s production of Tosca.

Photo of Aidan Poteet
Aidan Poteet
Costume worker

Performances:  Paride ed Elena 2012

Bio:  Ever since he was little, Aidan had a thing for fabrics. He could always pick out his mom’s best fabric from the massive collection she had. Now, he has his own fabric collection. Aidan regularly does commissions for costumes or props, usually for cosplayers and anime conventions,though he prefers to alter already existing clothes.
Aidan is 18 years old and headed of to Evergreen State College to study psychology and performance art.

Photo of Lee Potzler
Lee Potzler
Bass

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice, Opera Selections 2012, Paride ed Elena, Opera Selections 2013

Bio:  When Lee Potzler lost his voice for several years in the mid-1990′s, he realized how important singing was to his life. (The culprit was an asthma inhaler.) After he could talk again, he reported in to Rob Vien to help recover his singing voice and ended up singing classical music. He now sings in three other choirs. Lee has appeared in Godspell (Judas)  and in the chorus for Orfeo and Euridice.

Photo of Mark Power
Mark Power
Tenor

Performances:  Opera Selections 2012

Bio:  Mark has spent years studying, training and teaching vocal technique in Los Angeles, New York City, and now in Seattle. In Seattle, he has been seen on stage performing Opera, Musical Theatre, Classical, Sacred, Pop, and Rock; but considers teaching to be his greatest love and calling.

Photo of Karen Powers
Karen Powers
Soprano

Performances;  Orfeo and Euridice, Dido and Aeneas, Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2012, Paride ed Elena, Opera Selections 2013, Semele, Opera Selections 2014, The Immortal Handel, Samson

Bio:  Karen Powers is a cantor at Assumption Catholic Church and is one of the founding members of the Women’s Schola. She studies voice with Rob Viens. Karen has been a chorus member and soloist in Opera Popolare’s productions. She performed with the Women’s Schola Concert, Bella Notte, on November 9, 2013, at Assumption.

Photo of Talia Rayne
Talia Rayne
Soprano

Performances: Opera Selections 2014, The Immortal Handel, Samson

Bio: Talia has studied voice for thirteen years, and ever since she was young, singing has been what she can’t NOT do! She has been in various choirs in California and Washington, and performed as a church and professional soloist, in addition to being a chorus member in various operas including Rigoletto and Die Fledermaus. She is thrilled to be a part of the music community in Bellingham and to sing with Opera Popolare!

Photo of Denise Reynolds
Denise Reynolds
Soprano

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice, Dido and Aeneas, Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen

Bio:  Denise has always loved singing. She has been taking voice lessons from Rob Veins for a number of years. She sings on the worship team at church and in the choir. She has been involved in musical theater with Northwest Theater.

Photo of Annette Richardson
Annette Richardson
Soprano

Performances:  Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2012

Bio:  Annette has been studying voice for the past five years with Margot Hanson. During her vocal education she discovered a passion for opera, musical theatre, and jazz standards. She has performed with the Whatcom Community College Chamber Choir, as well as in the chorus of Fiddler on the Roof with the Bellingham Theatre Guild, as well as numerous solo performances on different local stages.

Photo of Lesley Rigg
Lesley Rigg
Mezzo Soprano

Performances:  The Fairy Queen, Paride ed Elena, Opera Selections 2013, Semele 2014, Opera Selections 2014, The Immortal Handel 2014, Samson 2014, Coffee Cantata 2016

Bio:  Lesley started singing with her family in Scotland, and it remains a constant source of joy and energy.  She performed with Edinburgh University’s Renaissance Singers, amateur operatic groups, and choral societies,  joining Opera Popolare in 2011.  Locally she sings with Calyx and Bellingham Chamber Chorale, and is expanding her range in voice lessons with Rob Viens.

Photo of Sue Rivord
Sue Rivord
Mezzo Soprano

Performances:  Dido and Aeneas, Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2012, Paride ed Elena, Opera Selections 2013, Semele, Samson

Bio:  Sue Rivord grew up in Bellingham and sang in the Assumption Church Choir for a number of years. Currently, Sue is a Cantor/Choir member at St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Everett and teaches Music/Physical Education at St. Benedict School in Seattle. She has studied voice with Rob Viens for several years and is excited to be in this Opera Popolare production

Photo of Heidi Roland
Heidi Roland
Soprano

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice, Dido and Aeneas, Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen

Bio:  Heidi’s sang the role of Hagar in Handel’s “Haman and Mordecai”, Charlotte in “Krenek’s Der Diktator”, and Prince Orlofsky in “Die Fledermaus”.   She can be seen singing at her church where she is a cantor and a member of two choirs.

Photo of Shelley Ross
Shelley Ross
Flute

Performances: Coffee Cantata 2016

Bio:  Shelley has a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in flute performance. She plays flute in chamber group Trio Affettuoso, has played in the Whatcom Chorale Sinfonia, and is in Bayshore Symphony. 

Photo of Charlotte Sather Davis
Charlotte Sather Davis
Soprano

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice; Opera Selections 2011

Bio:  Charlotte graduated from WWU with a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance.  On WWU’s opera stage she played 1st Spirit in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Cinderella’s mother in Into the Woods.  She has appeared as a featured soloist many times with the Bellingham Chamber Chorale, in works such as Mozart’s Requiem and more recently Britten’s Ceremony of Carols. She teaches voice lessons and yoga classes in Bellingham.

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Ken Sheets
Tenor

Performances: Paride ed Elena

Bio:  Ken is a published composer.  His adult gospel compositions are published by Tate Music.  He uses many of his own compositions in his job as Music Director at St John’s Lutheran Church.  Ken plays many instruments, among them are Piano, Classical Guitar, Native American Flute, and Appalachian Dulcimer.

Photo of Laura Shelton
Laura Shelton
Soprano

Performances:  Immortal Handel; Samson

Bio:  Laura has sung most of her life but has never been in an opera.  She is unbelievably thrilled. During her non singing time, she is a Naturopathic physician in Bellingham.

Photo of Tricia Sikes
Tricia Sikes
Mezzo Soprano

Performances:  The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2013, Semele

Bio:   Tricia sings in “The New Directions” at the Center for Spiritual Living and through a fellow band member was referred to Rob Viens as a vocal coach. After 30 years of voice lessons with other teachers, Rob’s teaching has taken Tricia to new heights.  Her background has been in everything from country to jazz. A native of Los Angeles, she started her career singing in clubs throughout LA. She was also a studio singer, singing for movies and television, and had a career in Las Vegas.

Photo of Daniella Smith
Daniella Smith
Mezzo Soprano

Performances:  Opera Selections 2012, Paride ed Elena, Opera Selections 2013

Bio:  Daniella Smith is a junior at Bellingham High School. She has studied voice with Jami Templeton for two years although she’s been involved in theatre and choir in her schools and the community her entire life. This past summer, she studied in New York City with Trish McCaffrey and plans to pursue a career there once she graduates high school. Daniella has recently won the district Solo and Ensemble Contest in the mezzo-soprano category and is extremely excited to perform at state. Daniella is also an educated piano player having taken lessons for seven years. She is also an honor student and avid reader.

Photo of Alec Smith
Alec Smith
Baritone

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice, Dido and Aeneas, Opera Selections 2011

Photo of Leith Swenson
Leith Swenson
Baritone

Performances:  Dido and Aeneas

Photo of Adrienne Syvertson
Adrienne Syvertson
Cello

Performances:  Orfeo ed Euridice 2009, Dido & Aeneas 2010, The Fairy Queen 2011, Paride ed Elena 2012, Semele 2013, Samson 2014, La Serva Padrona and Coffee Cantata 2016

Bio:  Adrienne Syvertson began taking cello and piano lessons at a very young age. She studied music at Arizona State University where she earned both a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in Cello Performance. In 1997, she moved to Bellingham, where she continues to perform and collaborate with other local musicians.

Photo of Jami Templeton
Jami Templeton
Soprano

Performances:  Opera Selections 2012

Bio:   Jami Templeton is a world renowned vocal technician, coach, adjudicator, and an award-winning songwriter and performer. She was featured as Bobby Valentino’s voice teacher on BET’s television show, “Played By Fame”, and was a judge for the ABC television show, “Karaoke Battle USA”. Jami studied vocal performance at Arizona State University and Manhattan School of Music and has received nods for her vocal excellence from the highly esteemed Metropolitan Opera. She has performed lead roles in Opera, Musical Theater, and countless solo recitals. For more information, visit http://www.jamitempleton.com.

Photo of Celie Thomas
Celie Thomas
Mezzo Soprano, Producer

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice 2009, Dido and Aeneas 2010, Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen 2011, Opera Selections 2012, Opera Selections 2013, Semele 2013, Opera Selection 2014, The Immortal Handel 2014, Samson, 2014, La Serva Padrona and Coffee Cantata 2016

Bio:  Celie, owner of Opera Popolare and producer of Opera Popolare productions.  She had added music classes to Opera Popolare’s offering. Celie has a Bachelors of Arts degree in music and has taught public school music, accompanied, and directed church choirs. She has sung with Whatcom Chorale, Ensemble Celeste, Skagit Opera Chorus, Whatcom Chorale, and Bellingham Chamber Chorale.  She is passionate about making opera accessible to all.

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Alexander Todd
Baritone

Performances:  Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen

Bio:  Alexander has sung throughout North America and Europe. His acting career spans from Shakespeare, to Mamet, to the 24/48 Festival at the Idiom Theater in Bellingham. He has sung Opera and Oratorio in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Metropolitan Opera. His roles range from Handel, to Mozart, to Puccini.

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Brian Toews
Bass

Performances: Immortal Handel, Samson

Bio  Brian Toews is thrilled to be in his first opera at Opera Popolare! Brian is an avid supporter of the arts especially in theatre. He is a playwright, actor and director. Recent acting credits include, WWU Theatre Ambassadors Tour, Equus and Twelfth Night. Recent writing credits include The Awful Real Thing (iDiOM Theater, premieres July 17) and The Hob Nob (WWU Student Theatre Productions). Recent directing credits include The Awful Real Thing, The Velociraptor (premieres July 17, @ iDiOM Theater), funGASM IV and III. Brian is looking forward to stepping outside his comfort zone performing in the Samson chorus!

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Kris Turner
Violin

Performances:  Orfeo ed Euridice, Dido & Aeneas, The Fairy Queen, Paride ed Elena, Samson

Bio:  Kris Turner attended Eastern Washington University where she studied with Kelly Farris as well as performed in the EWU Symphony Orchestra and Gonzaga University Symphony. Kris transfered back home to finish her Bachelor of Arts in Music at Western Washington University, studied violin with Walter Schwede and continued to perform in Symphony, Chamber, and New Music Ensembles. Kris has been teaching in Bellingham since 2000, is a registered teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and has been a member of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra since 2007.

Cody Vanderwerff
Baritone

Performances:  Opera Selections 2014, Samson

Bio:  Cody started exploring his love of singing at the age of 15. He joined the high school choir and advanced to Show Stoppers. After high school didn’t have any opportunities to pursue singing until this production of Samson.

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Kaleb Vanrijswijck
Tenor

Performances:  Opera Selections 2012.

Bio:  Kaleb, a Junior at Bellingham High School, has been singing and performing in local theatre and musical productions ever since he can remember.  Kaleb recently played Jack in the professional production of “Into the Woods,” at the Mt. Baker Theater.  In May, Kaleb will play Trevor Graydon in BHS’s Thoroughly Modern Millie, and in August he will direct High School Musical at Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth (BAAY). Music has always been his great love, and he wishes to pursue it as a profession throughout the rest of his life.

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Serena Viens
Soprano

Performances:  Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen, Opera Selections 2012, Paride ed Elena, Opera Selections 2013, Semele, Opera Selections 2014, The Immortal Handel, Samson

Bio:  Serena sang the roles of “Helen” in Opera Popolare’s production of “Paris and Helen,” “Juno” in “The Fairy Queen,” as well as singing in various Opera Popolare performances.  She was a performer with Bellingham High School’s “Showstoppers” through her senior year in 2012.

She looks forward to many other operatic opportunities in the future!

Serena has studied voice with her father, Robert Viens before day one out of the womb.

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Rob Viens
Music Director, Conductor, Stage Director, Vocal Coach

Performances:  Orfeo and Euridice 2009, Dido and Aeneas 2010, Opera Selections 2011, The Fairy Queen 2011, Opera Selections 2012, Paride ed Elena 2012, Opera Selections 2013, Semele 2013, Opera Selections 2014, The Immortal Handel 2014, Samson 2014, Coffee Cantata and La Serva Padrona 2016

Bio:  Rob’s work as a performer, conductor, educator, adjudicator & clinician has been featured locally at such venues as WWU, the Bellingham Theatre Guild, the San Juan Music Educators’ festivals, Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham Festival of Music, Lynden Festival of Music. He has been music and stage director for Opera Popolare since its inception.  Rob is passionate about helping the singers in his voice studio achieve their dreams—whatever their level and musical style preference!

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Anna Joy Walker
Soprano

Performances:   Semele, The Immortal Handel, Samson

Bio:  Never in a million years would you have been able to tell Anna Joy that she would be performing in an opera, never.  That was before Rob Viens told her it would be good therapy to get her voice back into shape, a little over a month before opening night of Semele.  Anna is the newest member of Opera Popolare, and this is her first time singing in an ensemble.  Gaining the vast majority of her singing experience in church over the years, she discovered opera as a secret passion about 4 years ago (not so secret to anyone within hearing distance of her practicing).  Her public operatic debut was this summer at Rob’s Studio recital.

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Andie Whitewing
Soprano

Performances:  Paride ed Elena 2012, Opera Selections 2013, Semele
Bio: Andie studies classical and jazz voice with Ann MacDonald.
She has 2 children who perform in musical theater at BAAY (Bellingham Academy of Arts for Youth)

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Vaughn Wine
Keyboard

Performances:  Paride ed Elena, Samson

Bio:   Vaughn is a software engineer for Attachmate, a Seattle-based software company that has a remote office in Bellingham.  In the mid-90s, he studied music at Western Washington University and has since enjoyed playing piano in church and for special occasions.  He has also taken a stab at composition, recently writing a piece for two voices, cello, and piano.  Vaughn also likes spending time with elementary students, teaching them the game of chess.

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Tristan Wine
Baritone

Performances: Coffee Cantata 2014

BioTristan is a senior at Squalicum High School. He is involved in both orchestra and choir. He has studied the cello for six years and voice for two years with Rob Viens. Earlier this year, he won first place in the WMEA high school solo and ensemble competition in the Vocal Bass soloist category. Outside of music he enjoys the sciences, mathematics and tennis. In his free time he plays late night games with friends, annoys his sister, and goes to social dances. He wants to go on to college and medical school to eventually become an anesthesiologist.