Faculty and guest artists

A notable roster of faculty and guest artists provide Ryan Opera Center Ensemble members with comprehensive training that prepares the artists for successful careers. Their unparalleled training includes master classes and private coachings with Ryan Opera Center Advisor Renée Fleming, Lyric Opera of Chicago Music Director Sir Andrew Davis, and other celebrated artists; voice lessons, acting, movement, and audition classes with distinguished instructors; intensive language instruction; and repertoire coaching from acclaimed resident staff.

Voice instruction

Robert and Ellen Marks
Vocal Studies Program
Endowed Chair
in honor of Gianna Rolandi

Julia Faulkner
W. Stephen Smith

Guest master artists

Deborah Birnbaum
Sir Andrew Davis
Renée Fleming
Enrique Mazzola
Gerald Martin Moore
Patricia Racette
Stefano Sarzani

Coaching staff

William C. Billingham
Christina Giuca

Alan Darling
Laurann Gilley
Celeste Rue
Eric Weimer
Pedro Yanez

Foreign language instruction

Irina Feoktistova
Julia Savoie Klein
Derek Matson
Klára Moldová
Sharon Peterson
Marina Vecci
Alessandra Visconti
Melissa Wittmeier

Acting & movement instruction

Omer Ben Seadia
Louisa Muller

Performance psychology

Orit Carpenter
Beth Clayton

Guest lecturer & consultant

Roger Pines


Dan Novak
Director, The Ryan Opera Center Board Endowed Chair

Craig Terry
Music Director, The Jannotta Family Endowed Chair

Julia Faulkner
Director of Vocal Studies, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation

Renée Fleming

Emma Scherer

Annika Donnen
Associate Librarian

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Board of Directors

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Board is led by longtime Lyric supporter, Donna Van Eekeren. Since its inception in 1974, the Ryan Opera Center has been recognized as one of the premier professional artist development programs in the world. Each season, several current and former Ensemble members perform important roles in Lyric's mainstage productions. The Board takes great pride in helping to nurture the talents of the best emerging artists of the next generation.

Ryan Opera Center Board Members

Master Classes with Sir Andrew Davis

Master Classes with Sir Andrew Davis

Lyric takes you behind the scenes as Music Director Sir Andrew Davis leads a series of one-on-one master classes with Ensemble members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, one of the premier professional artist-development programs in the world. Working with the artists on one of his favorite operas, Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Maestro Davis shares detailed insights to help them prepare for international careers.

Provide the stars of tomorrow with your support today

Provide the stars of tomorrow with your support today

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center prepares emerging singers and pianists for careers in opera by providing unique, comprehensive training. Your gift helps offset the expense of maintaining the high quality of Lyric’s stellar professional artist-development program.

Photo: Kyle Flubacker