May 01, 2019

NEW FACES AND VOICES: Three Singers Join the Ryan Opera Center for 2019/20

Three gifted artists from Illinois, Texas, and Minnesota—soprano Mathilda Edge, mezzo-soprano Kathleen Felty, and bass Anthony Reed—join The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center this month, and we’re delighted to welcome them to Lyric's internationally acclaimed artist-development program.

The 2019/20 Ensemble started May 6, with the new singers joining returning artists soprano Emily Pogorelc, mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker, contralto Lauren Decker, tenors Eric Ferring and Mario Rojas, baritones Christopher Kenney and Ricardo José Rivera, bass-baritone David Weigel, and pianist Madeline Slettedahl.

Soprano Mathilda Edge, originally from Chandlerville, Illinois, is a recipient of a 2019 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. As a Santa Fe Opera apprentice artist in 2018, Mathilda covered the title role/Ariadne auf Naxos. With the Merola Opera Program, she sang an extended scene from the title role/Thaïs and a selection from I vespri siciliani in concert performances. Mathilda earned her master’s in vocal performance and is currently working towards a Ph. D. at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, following undergraduate studies at Southern Illinois University. Her student roles included Cio Cio San/Madama Butterfly, Fiordiligi/Così fan tutte, First Lady/Die Zauberflöte, Sandman/Hansel and Gretel, Romilda/Xerxes, and The Milliner/Der Rosenkavalier. In Lyric’s 2019/20 season, Mathilda will portray Berta/The Barber of Seville and Gerhilde/Die Wälkure, while also understudying roles in Don Giovanni, Götterdämmerung, and Das Rheingold.

Mezzo-soprano Kathleen Felty, a native of Lubbock, Texas, was an apprentice artist at the Santa Fe Opera in 2018, where she covered the role of Composer/Ariadne auf Naxos and received the Katharine Mayer Award. She made her North Carolina Opera concert debut in the role of Clotilde/Norma and her Dayton Opera debut in the role of Maddalena/Rigoletto. In 2017 Kathleen participated in the Ravinia-Steans Music Institute Program for Singers. She is a four-time District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Kathleen earned undergraduate degrees in music and business administration from Texas Tech University and a master’s of music from the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute, where she portrayed Charlotte/Werther, Angelina/La Cenerentola, Unulfo/Rodelinda, Miss Jessel/The Turn of the Screw, Geneviève/Impressions de Pelléas, Dinah/Trouble in Tahiti, Composer/Ariadne auf Naxos, and Paula/Florencia en el Amazonas. In Lyric’s 2019/20 season, she will portray Laura/Luisa Miller and Siegrune/Die Wälkure, while also understudying in Dead Man Walking, The Queen of Spades, and Götterdämmerung.

Bass Anthony Reed, from Alexandria, Minnesota, is an alumnus of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Merola Opera Program. He was seen recently at Wolf Trap Opera as Frère Laurent/Roméo et Juliette. A former Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera, his highlights on stage there include King of Egypt/Aida, Speaker/Die Zauberflöte, and Dottore Grenvil/La traviata. Additional roles in Anthony’s repertoire include Sarastro/Die Zauberflöte, Don Magnifico/La Cenerentola, and Don Basilio/Il barbiere di Siviglia, among others. He has performed with leading symphony orchestras and some of the world’s most esteemed conductors including Nicola Luisotti and Donald Runnicles. In Lyric’s 2019/20 productions Anthony will portray Prison Guard #2/Dead Man Walking, Commissioner/Madama Butterfly, and Narumoff/The Queen of Spades, while also understudying roles in Luisa Miller, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, The Queen of Spades, Das Rheingold, and Siegfried.

Their new term officially began this week and the 2019/20 Ryan Opera Center Ensemble jumped right into vocal, dramatic, and language instruction. For the first four weeks they’ll rehearse and workshop a program of opera scenes with a wide range of standard and contemporary repertoire. Throughout the spring and summer they’ll receive individual and group instruction from several prominent opera professionals, including Director of Vocal Studies Julia Faulkner and Music Director Craig Terry.

Ensemble members may be seen throughout the summer months performing with various Chicago presenters, and will join forces with the exceptional Civic Orchestra of Chicago on June 5 for an evening of beloved opera scenes and orchestral interludes. Conductor Michael Christie returns to the Civic podium to conduct this collaboration between two of the nation's most prestigious training programs for emerging artists.

Information about public performances may be found on the Ryan Opera Center or Facebook pages. Some 2019/20 Ensemble members also have spring and summer engagements at venues across the U.S.A., Puerto Rico, and Europe. In late July, Lauren Decker and Mario Rojas will participate in Plácido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia Competition in Prague.