Ashley Bell – Soprano
Ashley Bell has been performing from an early age, starting at age 9 as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus and making her Off-Broadway debut at 16 in the world premiere of the musical The Golden Touch. Ms. Bell has since performed as a soloist in the United States, Italy, Spain, France and Russia. Performances this past season have included Norina in Don Pasquale in Logroño, Spain, Violetta in La Traviata at the Bay Street Theatre, Fiordiligi and Donna Anna at the Narni Festival in Italy with the Orchestra Filarmonica di Roma, Isabella Colbran in the premiere of Discovering Mrs. Rossini at the new Sheen Center in NYC, and Musetta at the National Opera Center. Other recent performances include Beauty in Giannini’s Beauty and the Beast, Mimi in La Bohème and Katrina in Legend of Sleepy Hollow with Di Capo Opera, the soprano soloist in the Italian Cultural Institute and the Basilica of St. Patrick Old Cathedral’s commemoration of the 175th Anniversary of Lorenzo da Ponte, Dorothée in the U.S. premiere of Offenbach’s La Bonne D’Enfant with Salome Chamber Orchestra, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with Teatro Lirico D’Europa and Opera New Hampshire, Adina in L’Elisir D’Amore in New York and Tuxedo Park, Violetta in La Traviata with the Hawthorne Symphony, Serpina in La Serva Padrona Off-Broadway and on tour in Arizona, and Molpe in Choreo Theatro’s world premiere of the Odyssey at the 92nd Street Y.
Other roles have included Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi in Chiari, Italy, Clarina in Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio at the Teatro Sociale in Brescia, Feu and Chauve-Souris in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges as a young artist at the Crested Butte Music Festival, Guadalena in Offenbach’s La Perichole with Opera du Périgord in Thiviers, France, Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte), 1st Lady (Die Zauberflöte) and Filia in Carissimi’s Jepthe.
Ms. Bell is equally at home in concert and recital. Oratorio solos include Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Waterbury Symphony, Faure’s Requiem and Schubert’s Mass in G at St. Luke’s in Darien, CT, selections from Handel’s Messiah in Naugatuck Valley, Hadyn’s Missa Brevis in F Major with the Yale Glee Club and frequent recitals with organ including a performance at Trinity College Vespers under the direction of renowned organist John Rose. She has also performed as a soloist in several zarzuela concerts in Spain with Rioja Lirica under the direction of Pablo Zinger.
Ms. Bell is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale University with distinction in Italian and International Studies and speaks five operatic languages fluently. She is a recipient of Yale’s Browne Irish Performing Arts Award and of a Scholarship Award at the Crested Butte Music Festival. Ms. Bell was a participant in Renata Scotto’s Opera Studio at the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome. Upcoming performances are to include Norina in Don Pasquale at the Bay Street Theatre, her debut as Gilda in Rigoletto with New Jersey Verismo Opera and several recitals in the US and Italy.
Victor Starsky – Tenor
Victor Starsky is a native of Queens, New York where he works as a teacher, carpenter, martial artist, and socially conscious musician. After two years of Philosophy at St. John’s University, Mr. Starsky studied for three years at the Aaron Copland School of a Music under the guidance of Rose Marie Crouse. After singing the role of the Celebrant in Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” under the baton of Maestro Maurice Peress, Mr. Starsky went on to sing Don José in Bizet’s Carmen with New York Opera Exchange in May 2015. Opera Today writes, “Victor Starsky’s Don José is terrifying and compelling, with a voice that performs vocal acrobatics with strength and beauty that remains undiminished through his final line.”
Mr. Starsky has recently sung the roles of Tony in Opera North’s production of “West Side Story”, Gustav Mahler’s “Das Lied Von Der Erde” with M. Peress in October of 2015, and made his solo debut in Carnegie Hall in November of 2016. His future engagements include Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata, Ferrando in Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte, Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, an Italian Aria concert with the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra under Maestra Tong Chen, and a premier of “Song of Wandering Aengus” by Howard Lew, for tenor and orchestra, under Maestra Dorothy Savitch with Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra this spring.
Mr. Starsky studies with Andrea del Giudice, and is advised and mentored by Mr. Peter Randsman and Mr. William Thomas Smiddy.
Robert Heepyoung Oh – Baritone
Baritone Robert-Heepyoung, Oh’s recent appearances include Tonio in I Pagliacci, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, Speaker in Magic Flute, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Registrar in Madama Butterfly with Tri-Cities Opera. He has sung Elijah in Elijah, King Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors for the Binghamton University and Bass soloist, Faure Requiem in Midsummer Dream Music Festival, Quebec in Canada. He was a Kwang-Ju International Voice Competition; winner, Korea Voice Competition; 2nd Prize winner, Bimok Voice Competition; 2nd Prize winner in Korea.
In the U.S, his competition credits include the NATS Competition Rio Grande Chapter; Adult Division 1st Prize winner & Most Promising Singer Prize (2010), Fifth Lois Alba Aria Competition; 2nd Prize winner & Audience Choice Prize winner (2010), The Binghamton Harmony Club Adopted Artist (2011~2012 Season), NATS Competition Central New York Finger lakes Region; Advance Division 1st Prize (2012), Metropolitan International Voice Competition; Grand Prize winner (2013), NATS Competition Eastern region; Upper Advanced Division; 1st Prize winner (2013), George L. Hinman and Adele Bernstein Award (2013~2014 TCO season).
His previous oratorio solo appearances include Weber Messe in G-dur, Mozart Coronation Mass, Händel Messiah, Beethoven Symphony 9. Upcoming engagements for Mr. Oh include Escamillo in Carmen, Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni with Tri-Cities Opera and Metropolitan International Music Festival Gala Concert at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. He holds a Master Degree from SUNY Binghamton University and has a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Korea National University of Arts.
Lauren Rathbun- Mezzo Soprano
Lauren Rathbun is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. Since moving to New York, she has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, the National Opera Center, the historic Duplex, and Don’t Tell Mama NYC. Credits include: “Hansel” (Hänsel und Gretel), “Ottavia,” “Nerone” (L’incoronazione di Poppea), “2nd Lady” (Die Zauberflöte), “Mointress,” “Abbess” (Suor Angelica). This year she was a regional finalist in both New York Lyric Opera and Classical Singer’s vocal competitions. Recent graduate from the University of Utah’s BFA Musical Theatre Program.
Sara Beth Pearson – Soprano
Sara Beth Pearson’s distinct artistry, stage presence and rich vocal quality are leading the young soprano to an important operatic career. She recently appeared as Paolina in Donizetti’s Poliuto and Mimì in La Bohème with Amore Opera, and as Fenena in Nabucco at the Center for Jewish History in New York. 2015 featured role debuts as the title role of Puccini’s Suor Angelica at the Trentino Music Festival in Italy, and Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Amore Opera. In 2014, she performed the role of Nedda in Pagliacci in the inaugural season of the Maryland Lyric Opera, and she appeared as the title roles in Madama Butterfly with Amore Opera, and Floyd’s Susannah with Utopia Opera. She also performed the role of Anna in the Garden State Opera’s production of Puccini’s Le Villi. Upcoming engagements include Leonora in Trovatore with New Rochelle Opera, and Lia in Debussy’s L’enfant Prodiguewith the Lyric opera of Baltimore.
After completing her Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Conservatory, Ms. Pearson began her career in the Baltimore/Washington region where she was a frequent soloist with Baltimore Opera, Annapolis Opera and other area organizations. The 2009-2010 season brought her to New York City where she was a resident artist at Dicapo Opera, and performed the role of Lucy Perez in Pasatieri’s Hotel Casablanca, as well as covering title role of Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. She also appeared with the Baltimore Concert Opera as Nedda in Pagliacci, and with the Crested Butte Music Festival Opera as Mimì in La Bohème. For the 2010-2011 season, Ms. Pearson joined the ranks of the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Chorus. She made her solo debut with The Metropolitan Opera in its 2012 production of Manon, part of The Met: Live in HD series, and was a Met soloist in 2013 in La Rondine and Les Dialogues des Carmelites.
On the concert stage, Ms. Pearson has performed Beethoven’s 9th with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate with the Bergen Sinfonia, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with The Baltimore Sinfonietta, Mendelssohn’s Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt Walden and “Hear My Prayer” with the Prince George’s Choral Society, and in operatic concert performances with the Annapolis Symphony, Annapolis Choral Society, and Maryland Concert Opera. She is highly sought after as an entertainer and recitalist and has dazzled audiences in numerous exclusive events throughout the United States and Europe. Memorably, she was honored to perform at a private mass and reception for Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Nathan Meltzer – Violin
First Place Winners of Adelphi Orchestra 2015-2016 Competition
Sixteen-year-old Nathan Meltzer studies with Itzhak Perlman and Li Lin at Juilliard Pre-College, where he is a Starling Delay scholar. Nathan has performed in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Israel, and across the U.S., playing solo violin with the Berliner Symphoniker, the Bloomington Symphony, the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, the Evansville Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Muncie Symphony, the Orquesta Sinfónica Concepción, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. This season, Nathan joins the Omega Ensemble, solos with the Adelphi Orchestra and Ensemble 212, and returns to the Charlotte Civic Orchestra and the Orquesta Sinfónica Concepción. Nathan began his music education in a second-grade orchestra class in Vienna, joined the “Violin Virtuosi” at Indiana University in 2011, and entered the Perlman Music Program in 2013. Nathan has played on NPR’s From the Top, most recently with Mark O’Connor, appeared with The Piano Guys at Carnegie Hall, performed with Gilles Apap, David Chan, and Augustine Hadelich, and taken lessons and masterclasses with Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank, and Jaime Laredo, among others.
Nathan plays an 1844 Italian violin by Johannes Pressenda on generous loan from Juilliard.