VOICE/OPERA FACULTY:

Peter Kozma -​ Artistic Director

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Mr. Kozma's work has been hailed “free-spirited and inventive, showing an excellent grasp of the drama and the space." Born in Hungary, he has studied flute, voice, conducting, and directing which allows him to bring a wide range of experiences and broad musical perspective to his innovative and energetic productions.

Mr. Kozma’s directorial credits include Eugene Onegin, Idomeneo, Don Giovanni, Rinaldo, Agrippina, and L'incoronazione di Poppea for Opera NEO, The Merry Widow for the Szeged Open-Air Festival in Hungary, Don Giovanni for Sarasota Opera, Le nozze di Figaro and Eugene Onegin for Opera San José, Rossini's Il Signor Bruschino, the American premier of Mercadante’s Orazi e Curiazi for Minnesota Opera, and L’Orfeo for the Budapest Chamber Opera. He also directed the American premier of Handel’s Faramondo as well as productions of L’elisir d’amore, La Calisto, The Magic Flute and Le nozze di Figaro for The Ohio State University Opera Theater where he served as director of the OSU Opera Theater program. 

Mr. Kozma conducted several productions for Opera NEO, including Eugene OneginIdomeneo, Armide, Così fan tutte, The Merry Widow, Le nozze di Figaro, The Magic Flute, Carmen, The Impresario, and Don Giovanni. He also conducted Handel' Faramondo for the OSU Opera Theater, as well as The Magic Flute and Il matrimonio segreto for the Ars Classica Chamber Opera and the Austin Chamber Opera Ensemble.


Mr. Kozma worked with such directors and conductors as Michael Cavanagh, John Adams, Doug Varone, Garnett Bruce, Thor Steingraber, Balazs Kovalik, Daniel Helfgot, and Francesco Maria Colombo. He also worked with opera companies including Wolf Trap Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theater and Des Moines Metro Opera. Mr. Kozma served as artistic director for the Ars Classica Chamber Opera in Hungary, where he produced and directed numerous opera productions as well as several outreach performances. He also worked at the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest, the Hungarian State Television TV2, and the Miskolc Summer Opera Festival. He presented master classes on topics from audition techniques to recitativo interpretation and vocal performance including Boston Conservatory, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Bel Cantanti Opera, Catholic University Summer Opera Festival in Washington DC, Opera Columbus Education and Outreach Program, Point Loma Nazarene University, University of San Diego, and San Diego State University among others.



Mr. Kozma received a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance and Pedagogy at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and a Master of Music degree in Opera Stage Directing from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Dr. Korey Barrett - Vocal Coach



Dr. Barrett is currently the Vocal Coach at the University of Northern Iowa School of Music, is a talented and diversely experienced musician and music educator.  His background includes training as a vocal coach, accompanist, pedagogue and singer.

Most recently, he served as coach and pianist for four seasons of the Des Moines Metro Opera's Summer Festival and the James M. Collier Apprentice Program. He is an active recitalist and master class clinician; recently he performed in recital and presented masterclasses with John Hines, bass-baritone, at the Herzen Pedagogical Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. Prior to his appointment at the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. Barrett served as Vocal Coach at the University of Oklahoma School of Music from 2006-2007.

Before entering academia he was resident artist coach and accompanist at the Minnesota Opera, where he coached the area's leading operatic talents in concert, recital, and in mainstage productions.  Additional work venues include Opera North, The Ohio Light Opera, the Columbus Academy of Vocal Arts, as well as projects with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Eastman School of Music Summer Institute, Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival, New Breath Productions and Grinnell Productions.


Dr. Barrett received his Doctoral degree in piano accompanying and chamber music from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He earned both his Masters and Bachelors degrees in voice from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Braeden Harris - Master Voice Instructor

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Braeden Harris is an American baritone who originally hails from Texas.  He now resides in Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife, the renowned soprano Brenda Harris.  His students have been heard in many of the great opera houses of the world including La Scala, The Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, Minnesota Opera and many others.  His students have also sung with many of the major orchestras including New York Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. He has acted as artist-teacher at Minnesota Opera, Portland Opera, Berkshire Opera, Taos Opera Institute, Colorado College Vocal Arts Symposium, and Saratoga Performing Arts center.  His students have won numerous major awards and grants including The Gerda Lissner Foundation, Metropolitan Opera National Council winners, Liederkranz Foundation, Sullivan Grants, Oratorio Society of New York, Center for Contemporary Opera and others.

He attended Cincinnati Conservatory where he studied with Andrew White.  He has sung with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Lake George Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera among others.  He has performed as soloist in many of the great oratorio works in the New York metropolitan area.  He has been featured in recital with the New York Festival of Song.

Brenda Harris - Master Voice Instructor

One of America's finest sopranos, Brenda Harris has appeared in leading roles with many of the world's most prominent opera companies and orchestras. Praised for her "drop dead gorgeous singing, soaring on high, glowing with mezzo-ish warmth in lower registers", she has performed with The Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Italy, Washington National Opera, Arizona Opera, New York City Opera, Opera du Rhin in Strasbourg, the Canadian Opera Company, Edmonton Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, among others. In North America, she has been heard at the Metropolitan Opera (Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito), The Washington Opera (title role in Agrippina and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni), Washington Concert Opera (title role in Roberto Devereux), The Minnesota Opera (title roles in Norma, Ermione, Armida and Semiramide, Abigaille in Nabbuco, Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito,  Elizabeth I in Donizetti's Roberto Devereux and Camilla in Orazzi e Curiazzi), New York City Opera (title role in Handel's Agrippina, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni),

Austin Lyric Opera (Chrysothemis in Elektra and Katarina in Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk), Atlanta Opera (Desdemona in Otello, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Countess in Le nozze di Figaro), Michigan Opera Theatre (Norma and Countess), Arizona Opera (Lady Macbeth in Verdi's Macbeth), Opera Theatre of St. Louis (Countess), Cleveland Opera (Tosca), Portland Opera (Lady Billows in Albert Herring and Governess in The Turn of the Screw), Chicago Opera Theater (Mrs. Julian in Owen Wingrave), Des Moines Metro Opera (Agathe in von Weber's Der Freischutz and Lady Macbeth in Verdi's Macbeth), and Utah Opera (title role in Ariadne auf Naxos and Lady Macbeth).

In Canada, she has sung leading roles with the Canadian Opera Company, Montreal Opera, Edmonton Opera, Opera de Quebec, and Vancouver Opera.  In Europe, Ms. Harris has appeared in Spoleto, Italy as Eva in Die Meistersinger, with Opera du Rhin in Strasbourg as Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito and the title role in Barber's Vanessa, and most recently again as Vanessa with Teatro Massimo in Palermo.
 
Ms. Harris has recorded leading roles for Newport Classic, including Scarlatti's Ishmael, Haydn's La Cantarina and The Creation, Handel's Tolomeo on Vox, and Daron Hagen's Shining Brow on Naxos.

Benjamin Bayl - Conductor, Director of the Early Music Program


Benjamin Bayl, Australian-Dutch conductor is Associate Director of The Hanover Band, and Co-Founder & Guest Director of the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra. He recently made his conducting debut in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Collegium Vocale Gent and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and was immediately re-invited to conduct them on a European tour with the music of CPE Bach. Working extensively in the early music field (both as conductor or directing from the keyboard) recent and regular collaborations include The Hanover Band, Concerto Copenhagen, Akamus, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra, {oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna and Warsaw Chamber Opera. In the realm of opera, he has conducted at Wiener Staatsoper (Fatima oder von den mutigen Kindern), Opera Zuid (Die Zauberflöte), Theater an der Wien (Candide),

Dutch National Opera / Nederlands Reisopera (Il matrimonio segreto), Staatsoper Berlin (Fairy Queen / AscheMond), Royal Danish Opera (Don Giovanni), Danish National Opera  & Cartagena Festival (Così fan tutte), Opera Vlaanderen (Idomeneo), Den Norske Opera (Don Giovanni), Opera Australia (Orlando), Opera de Oviedo (Agrippina& Le nozze di Figaro), Budapest State Opera (Fairy Queen & Così fan tutte), Polish National Opera (La clemenza di Tito), Deutsche Oper am Rhein & Teatro Comunale di Sassari (Carmen), NorrlandsOperan (Le nozze di Figaro), Warsaw Chamber Opera (La finta semplice, Pygmalion & Lully Armide), Opera Neo San Diego (La Calisto& Partenope), and Nordic Opera (L’incoronazione di Poppea& Cavalli’s Gli amore d’Apollo e di Dafne). 

 

Benjamin has also made highly successful debuts in recent seasons with such orchestras as Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Musikfest Berlin in the Berlin Philharmonie, and Ruhrtrienniale Festival), Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester Aachen, Britten Sinfonia, Netherlands Youth Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín, Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano, Orchestra Sinfonica G.Rossini, Orchestra i Pomeriggi Musicali and Orchestra Filharmonica di Torino, as well as the Slovak Youth Orchestra, whom he led this summer in the Konzerthaus Berlin’s Young Euro Classic Festival.

 

He was the first Australian Organ Scholar of the Choir of King’s College Cambridge, UK, after which he studied historical performance at Basel’s Schola Cantorum and orchestral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music with Colin Metters and George Hurst. An alumnus of the National Opera Studio, he became Assistant Conductor to the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer in 2006, and was also mentored by and assisted Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Richard Hickox, Harry Christophers, and Ivor Bolton. From 2007-2010 he served as Assistant Artistic Director to the Gabrieli Consort & Paul McCreesh, and also worked with Fischer and Konzerthausorchester Berlin.

 

Future season highlights include concerts with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic & Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, Sinfonieorchester Aachen, Slovak Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra, a Beethoven cycle with the Hanover Band, andDon Giovanniwith NorrlandsOperan.

Ophelie Wolf - Stage Director


Ophelie Wolf stage director grew up in France and in Germany and she studied in Britain. While at King’s College London, she was cast in shows for the King’s Players and the Waistcoat Company and she directed for her own company, City Lights TC. After graduating as Associate of King’s College with a Bachelor's degree in philosophy, she started working as an Assistant Director in Opera. Amongst other places, she has worked at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Opernhaus Zürich, the Washington National Opera, The Juilliard School (in Co-Production with the Metropolitan Opera) and The Santa Fe Opera, with directors including Graham Vick, Robert Carsen, Stephen Wadsworth and Francesca Zambello.  Ophelie was a revival director at Deutsche Oper Berlin at age 22 and was the first Opera Directing Fellow to be chosen two years in a row at the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts (The Juilliard School), where she worked as Assistant Director and Stage Director and she was under the mentorship of Stage Director Stephen Wadsworth.

​Ophelie directed for the Lindemann Patron Concert at the Metropolitan Opera in 2017. Her directing credits also include Cenerentola - Opera Neo & Opera Orlando), L'occasione fa il ladro (Glimmerglass Festival), Die Zauberflöte (Music Academy International), Love's Promise, an evening of scenes extracted from ten major operas, (The Juilliard School), An Ideal Husband (City Lights TC, London), The Importance of Being Earnest (City Lights TC), Hamlet (City Lights TC), and Romeo and Juliet (Greenwood Theatre, London).

She plays piano, she has received awards in fields ranging from Philosophy to Filmmaking and she spends her free time hiking and writing.

Elden Little - Vocal Coach / Accompanist

Elden Little joined the faculty of Michigan State University College of Music in the fall of 2014 as a vocal coach. Previously, he worked as a pianist/coach in more than 70 operatic productions that range from baroque operas to contemporary works by composers such as Jonathan Dove, Carlise Floyd, Philip Glass, Jake Heggie, and Andre Previn. While working at Austin Opera, he worked as a pianist/coach, music administrator, orchestra manager and orchestra librarian. Additional collaborations include Des Moines Metro Opera, where he has been a member of the music staff since 2006, Opera Birmingham, Kentucky Opera and San Antonio Opera. Since 2012 he has been a faculty member of Opera NEO, a San Diego-based summer festival/training program. For eight summers he was a festival artist as well as chamber music coach for the Austin Chamber Music Summer Festival and Workshop.

He has accompanied numerous singers, most notably internationally acclaimed soprano Gilda Cruz-Romo, in recitals in Texas and Mexico. He went on several tours with the Austin-based choral ensemble Conspirare, and can be heard as a featured soloist on their recording "Through the Green Fuse," available on the Clarion label. He has accompanied the master classes of Jane Bunnell, Denyce Graves, Brenda Harris, Marilyn Horne, Martin Katz, Catherine Malfitano, Elizabeth Mannion, Suzanne Mentzer, Samuel Ramey, Martial Singher, David Small, Pamela South and Gerard Souzay.

His educational training includes a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara in piano performance, and Master's and Doctorate degrees in applied piano from the University of Texas at Austin. His collaborative piano studies were with noted collaborative pianists Eugene Bossart, David Garvey and Gwendolyn Koldofsky.

In art song and in recital, Keeton’s creative expression takes many forms, and he delights in creating unusual song recitals for himself and his students. He has presented musical experiences in interesting settings such as an outdoor recital celebrating and hosting animals, and an evening of British song in the University of Utah Museum of Fine Arts during a visiting exhibition of British landscape paintings. As a performer he presents tightly knit recitals, singing pieces in unique combination and often including rarely performed works. As a scholar Keeton has created an online song index that will make it easy to find related song repertoire called SongHelix. This index will become an essential reference, helping singers and pianists find forgotten song repertoire as well as discover new vocal works.

 

Mr. Keeton received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota and is an Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Utah School of Music. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Angie and son, Miles.

Seth Keeton - Master Voice Instructor

Bass-baritone, Seth Keeton’s performances have been described by The New York Times as “driven” and “emotionally pointed.” He has performed roles on the stages of The Minnesota Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Central City Opera, Arizona Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Austin Lyric Opera and Opera Omaha, Chautauqua Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, Utah Opera, and Theater Bremen in Bremen, Germany. As an oratorio singer, Keeton has appeared in concert as the bass soloist in Mozart's Requiem, Verdi's Requiem, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat and St. Matthew and St. John Passions, Haydn’s Creation, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. In 2006, he was a national finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has received awards from the Sullivan Foundation and the Eleanor McCollum Competition.