Katherine Oates Small is the founder of small opera. Her bio can be found here.
Melanie Burbules is a Chicago-raised, Atlanta-based mezzo-soprano and is emerging as an exciting operatic young artist and singing actress. Her notable roles include Margaret Krusemark (Falling Angel – world premiere) with the Janiec Opera Company; The Mother (cover – Amahl and the Night Visitors) with Marble City Opera; The Secretary (The Consul), Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte) and Medea (Medea – world premiere) with the University of Tennessee Opera Theater; Annina (Der Rosenkavalier) and Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro) with the Harrower Opera Workshop. She has performed in solo outreach performances with Knoxville Opera and with Marble City Opera, where she also was Young Artist during their 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons. She was the 2016 University of Tennessee Concerto Competition winner, and she was a finalist in the 2015 Mid-South Regional NATS Competition. Melanie received her MM from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and her BM from Boston University. In the Atlanta-area, she is a staff singer at Johns Creek United Methodist Church, a co-director of Atlanta's Opera on Tap, a director of small opera atlanta (SMOPATL) , and teaches voice and piano with the Atlanta School of Musical Arts.
Daniel Weisman has been with small opera since its conception in 2016 and staged their inaugural production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. While working on his masters at Georgia State University, Daniel was mentored by Grammy award winning tenor, Richard Clement, and Classical Singer magazine’s “2010 Stage Director of the Year”, Carroll Freeman. At Georgia State University Daniel had the opportunity to direct a scene from Conrad Susa’s Transformations and was given the opportunity to coach the school’s productions of Mozart’s Der Zauberflöte and a scenes program that allowed him to coach scenes from fairytale operas for the themed Fables, Forests, and Fairytales season. As a performer, Daniel has appeared with Harrower Summer Opera Workshop as The Magician in Menotti’s The Consul, Valzacchi in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Doctor Caius in Verdi’s Falstaff, and Flute in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has additionally appeared with Red River Lyric Opera as Little Bat in Floyd’s Susannah, Solon Opera as Giuseppe in Verdi’s La traviata, and with the Kent Stark Theatre as Giles Corey in Ward’s The Crucible. During his studies at Georgia State University and Kent State University, Daniel performed roles such as Der Hexe in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Monostatos in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Gherardo in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro. Recipient of the Frances Crawford Award for Excellence in Voice, Daniel also was a featured soloist in the Canton Women’s Club’s fundraiser A Night in Italy. He is a co-director of Atlanta's Opera on Tap and small opera atlanta (SMOPATL). Daniel recently directed small opera’s Love and Death (stage director, La Boheme and Romeo & Juliette). Upcoming engagements include, Capitol City Opera’s Man of La Mancha (Sancho Panza), and appearances as a performer in our smop’s pops! series.
Susan McAdoo is a solo and collaborative pianist, teacher, vocal coach and choir director. She has performed in Spoleto, Piccolo Spoleto, in numerous concerts throughout the East Coast, as well as France, Switzerland, South Korea and China. Last year she performed in London and Vitoria, Spain and regularly plays venues throughout the Lowcountry. A dedicated educator, Susan loves sharing her passion with students of all ages. She is the founder and director of Music Café, a monthly soirée for adult amateur musicians. Before moving to Charleston, she served on the piano faculty at Campbell University and UNC-Chapel Hill. As the pianist for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Susan has worked with many esteemed conductors. She has sung with the Westminster Choir, Duke Chapel Choir and Schola Cantorum, as well as the CSO Chorus and Taylor Festival Choir. She is also the director of a church choir in McClellanville. She holds performance degrees from Westminster Choir College (Master of Music) and UNC-Chapel Hill (Bachelor of Arts).
Jordan D. Boyd is an active conductor and singer based in Charleston, South Carolina. Boyd currently serves as the Director of Choral Activities for the Berkeley Center for the Arts (BCA) at Goose Creek High School. Previously, Boyd worked to build the choral program at Cane Bay Middle School. As an educator, Boyd leads a choral program of approximately 100 students across three performing ensembles. His ensembles have received high praise and ratings at state choral festivals. His ensembles have been lauded for their "beautiful tone" and "incredible musicianship". In addition to directing the choral program, Boyd teaches Music Theory and Music History courses and directs BCA's musical productions. Outside of his role as an educator, Boyd serves as the Associate Music Director for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus, a 130 voice volunteer ensemble that performs several concerts a year with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Boyd also serves as the director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Singers. Boyd has prepared the Chamber Singers for annual performances of Handel's Messiah under the direction of Ken Lam (2017, 2016) and Dr. Robert Taylor (2015). He is currently preparing the Chamber Singers for a Schubertiade style concert with the CSO. Additionally, in October of 2016, the CSO Chamber Singers performed a program of Bach Cantatas with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Boyd is also the Assistant Conductor and Principal Bass of the Taylor Festival Choir, a professional chamber ensemble based in Charleston that was placed on the GRAMMY ballot for their most recent recording that included a world-premiere of Michael McGlynn’s Celtic Mass. Most recently, Boyd conducted the ensemble as part of a benefit concert for the MUSC Hollings Cancer Research Center. As a performer, Boyd has been working to build a performance resume as a countertenor. Most recently, he was the featured soloist in Berstein's Chichester Psalms with the Taylor Festival Choir. Boyd has recently joined the roster of Small Opera, a nomadic opera company in Charleston. He also has appeared as a soloist in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival's Celtic Arts Series. As a lyric baritone, Boyd has appeared as the title role in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Ko-Ko in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, and Marco in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. Hi most recent operatic performances included premiers of new works with the North American New Opera Workshop (NANOWorks) in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is an active performer in the Charleston area and often sings at various churches in town. As a choral artist, he has appeared as a featured soloist with the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble under the director of GRAMMY-winning director Craig Hella Johnson. Boyd holds a Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance and Theory/Composition from the College of Charleston and Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied conducting under the tutelage of Dr. Earl Rivers and Dr. Brett Scott.
Mezzo-Soprano Sarah Rose Taylor is in increasing demand for her versatile voice and compelling musicianship. The warmth and beauty of her voice is admired by audiences and critics alike, with The Boston Musical Intelligencer writing “sung with gorgeous shading and intensity…whose clarity and focus brought the audience to rapt attention, setting just the right mood for the transition to the drama of the final movement.” (Urlicht from Mahler’s Symphony No.2, Resurrection) Having appeared as a soloist in Austria, France, Germany, Italy and The Bahamas, Ms Taylor maintains an active schedule across the United States, including recital engagements in Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington DC. In 2014, she performed her Weill Carnegie Hall solo debut singing selections of Elgar’s Sea Pictures. Ms Taylor has also appeared as a finalist in both the Peter Elvins Vocal Competition (Cambridge, MA) and the Talents Lyriques, Reims Voix Sacrées Competition (Reims, France). In 2015, MSR Classics released Ms. Taylor’s solo debut CD of Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, Elgar’s Sea Pictures and ‘The Angel’s Farewell’ from The Dream of Gerontius, which has been reviewed as “lends her rich, dark mezzo to the lush texture of the work.” Fanfare; “Sarah Rose Taylor’s voice is warm, radiant and creamy…first class…” Music & Vision, Sydney; “Ms. Taylor’s ravishing voice… filled with lyrical tenderness and power as needed. I am very impressed with her vocal artistry. It (Wagner/Elgar CD) is unforgettable and Sarah Rose Taylor is a marvel!” Gapplegate Music Review. Ms. Taylor’s wide ranging oratorio repertoire has included solo role performances of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Handel’s Messiah and Judas Maccabaeus, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, Debussy’s Cantate La Damoiselle Elue and Arvo Pärt’s Passio. In 2015 she sang with The Tallis Scholars, directed by Peter Phillips, for Carnegie Hall’s Spem in alium Tallis Project. On the operatic stage, Ms. Taylor’s roles have included Marcellina and Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, La Badessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Sally in Barber’s A Hand of Bridge, and Francisco in the world premier of Bruce Saylor’s The Image Maker. Most recently she performed ‘Se Romeo’ from Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi with the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria. Born in England, Sarah Rose Taylor grew up in a rich musical choral tradition, singing in many of England’s Cathedrals with the Royal School of Church Music’s Southern Cathedral Singers. Since moving to the USA, she has been a member of several professional choirs in New York City and Charleston, SC. Ms Taylor has a Master’s degree and an Artist Diploma in Vocal Performance from The Aaron Copland School of Music in New York City where she studied with Sherry Overholt. She continues private study with Barbara Quintiliani and coaches with former Metropolitan Opera conductor, Steven Crawford. She also has degrees in French Studies from the British Institute in Paris and a Maîtrise in French Language Teaching from La Sorbonne, Paris.
Nicholas Yaquinto, Baritone, received his BMA from Georgia State University in May of 2015, studying vocal performance in the studio of Grammy award winning tenor, Richard Clement. This past summer he was a 2016 Seagle Music Colony Young Artist, performing the title role of their world premiere production of Roscoe by Evan Mack. Other engagements included his professional premiere as ‘Paris’ in the Atlanta Opera’s performance of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, studying ‘Guglielmo’ for Small Opera’s inaugural performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and participation for a second year in the Atlanta Opera’s 24 Hour Opera Project. In the 2015 season he was a winner of the Georgia District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, received the FAVA Excellence in French Repertoire award at the 2015 CS Classical Singer Competition in Chicago, premiered at the Atlanta Symphony as Papagano in their production of My Family Valentine, and was a winner of the Casa Italia Vocal Scholarship in Chicago. In the 2015 summer season he performed in the Harrower Summer Opera Workshop as Ford in Falstaff and Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro and in the Hubbard Hall Opera Conservatory program as Marullo in Rigoletto and covered Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief. He also won an encouragement award at the District level of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He has performed several roles on the Georgia State Opera Theater stage, including Schaunard in La Bohème, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia,Thomas Putnam in The Crucible, and Demetrius in Harrower Opera Workshop’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Ruth Brooks, soprano, is an active performer based in the Atlanta area. She recently made her debut with GLOW Lyric Theatre as Juliette (Roméo et Juliette) where she was praised for her “rich lower register and silvery high notes” (Greenville News). In 2017, she will be performing with small opera for their Love & Death series as well as competing in the finals of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra Competition and the Semi-finals of the Orpheus National Vocal Competition. This summer Ruth will be joining Charlottesville Opera (formerly Ash Lawn Opera) as a Young Artist and will be performing roles in their productions of Rigoletto and Oklahoma. Other recent roles include Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Pamina (Die Zauberflӧte), Mrs. Gobineau (The Medium), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Adina (The Elixir of Love) and Anna Maurrant (Street Scene). She has sung with the Atlanta Opera Chorus and other Atlanta Opera events including the 24 Hour Opera Project. She is also a frequent soloist with various other performing ensembles throughout the Southeast. Miss Brooks completed her Master’s degree in Vocal Performance at Florida State University and her Bachelor’s degree in Music at Pensacola Christian College.
MEET our Werther & Don Jose for Love & Death February 2017!
Tenor Pedro Carreras, Jr., a native of Miami, Florida, has called Atlanta home for nearly two decades. Mr. Carreras has many leading tenor roles in his portfolio, including Lt. Pinkerton in Peach State Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly and Nemorino of The Elixir of Love. Mr. Carreras has also performed with various local companies, such as The Atlanta Opera, Georgia Southern Symphony, and Capitol City Opera, with whom he frequently appears as a soloist at their Dinner and a Diva and On the Light Side events. Recently, Mr. Carreras performed in the Southeast premier of The Fannie Lou Hamer Story and was a judges choice award recipient at the Atlanta Opera's 24 Hour Opera Project. He also appeared as Cavaradossi in Tosca with Peach State Opera and as Dandini in Capitol City Opera's outreach opera The Billy Goat's Gruff.
Timothy is the south Mississippi, born and raised tenor, who recently began his professional career in Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of 28, Timothy is already making a name for himself in the region for his lyric voice. Upcoming roles include Rodolfo and Romeo debuting with small opera and past productions include Cosi fan tutte, Gianni Schicchi, and Sweeney Todd. Timothy also stays very active in the choral community singing regularly at Northside Drive United Methodist Church and is a member of The Atlanta Opera Chorus with solo work in the fall production of Silent Night and upcoming engagements of both Don Pasquale and Turandot. Timothy received his Bachelor’s of Music Education in 2012 and his Master’s Degree in Voice in 2015 from William Carey University and The University of Southern Mississippi.
John Ford, baritone, is a native of Norfolk, Virginia. He currently lives in Atlanta and is a student of Kay Paschal. Mr. Ford has most recently been seen as Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte in Weimar, Germany and in Atlanta with small opera. He has also performed as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, the title role in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Marcello in La Boheme, and Faninal in Der Rosenkavalier. He has performed in recital in Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, and around the United States.
Soprano Rachel Eve Holmes has performed with Opera Lancaster, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Fresco Opera Theatre, Opera for the Young, Loveland Opera Theatre, Opera Fort Collins, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, The Ralph Opera Center, Four Seasons Theater, Children's Theater of Madison, The Intermezzo Festival (Belgium), La Musica Lirica (Italy), The Fort Collins Symphony, and the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra. She is the winner of the 2015 American Protege International Vocal Competition, the 2015 Roschel Vocal Competition, 2015 Schubert Club Competition, the 2014 Kenwood Symphony Orchestra Concerto and Aria Competition, the 2012 Wisconsin Public Radio Neale-Silva Young Artists Competition, the 2011 Carnegie Hall Weill Hall Young Musicians Concert Competition, the 2010 NATS Graduate Division Competition (Colorado, Wyoming District), and the 2009-2012 Schuyler Grant for Career Bridges, NYC. Holmes is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and the Ralph Opera Center of Colorado State University. Recent engagements include singing in concert at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, and performing the role of Valencienne in The Merry Widow with the University of Georgia Opera Theater. 2016 performances will include Despina in Cosi fan tutte with UGA and Juliette in Romeo et Juliette with Capitol City Opera's Dinner & a Diva series.
Robin Sewell is a soprano from Newnan, Georgia and a recent graduate from Georgia State University, where she earned her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and studied with Kathryn Hartgrove. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Mercer University, where she studied with Dr. Richard Kosowski. Ms. Sewell recently performed as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with Georgia State University Opera Theater. Other previously performed roles include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Nannetta in Falstaff, the Baronesse de Gondremarck in La Vie Parisienne, Idamante in Idomeneo, and The Bat in L’enfant et les sortileges.
Joseph McBrayer, tenor, recently received his BM in Music Performance from Kennesaw State University studying under Bass-Baritone Dr. Oral Moses. While in school, he favored studying the works of Fauré and Schubert and performed roles in KSU's Opera Theater program such as Tamino in Mozart's "The Magic Flute," Burton in "The Hotel Casablanca" by Thomas Pasatieri, and Strephon in Gilbert & Sullivan's "Iolanthe." He also performed the roles of Cinderella's Prince and the Wolf in "Into the Woods" by Sondheim and the role of Marvin in William Finn's "Falsettos" while working with KSU's Department of Theatre and Performance Studies. He has recently performed with Capitol City Opera and is currently working with the Atlanta Opera as well. You can find him on a regular basis as the cantor and tenor section leader at Our Lady of the Mountains Roman Catholic Church in Jasper, GA.
Catherine joined Capitol City Opera as its Music Director in 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in piano performance and also completed a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the Florida State University College of Music. She studied piano with Leonidas Lipovetsky and Dr. James Nalley and served as accompanist and stage manager to the Florida State Opera in addition to recitaling with numerous vocalists, instrumentalists, and ensembles in the region.
For five years, Catherine served as the accompanist in concert and on tour with the top undergraduate collegiate choral ensemble at Florida State, the University Singers, under the direction of Dr. Kevin Fenton. Previously, Catherine was the Education Manager for the internationally acclaimed Spivey Hall for over four years, where she facilitated extensive arts education programs for children and adults.
In 2008, Catherine founded, with Dr. Fenton as Artistic Director, the Orlando-based Festival Singers of Florida. Catherine maintains a dynamic performance schedule as a frequent pianist with The Atlanta Opera, has appeared as a Staff Accompanist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, and served as a collaborative artist for numerous venues, competitions, and auditions throughout the country. In Atlanta, Catherine is a sought-after vocal coach, specializing in the operatic and art song repertoire.
Grant Jones is a pianist and coach active in the Atlanta area since 2012. He is currently the pianist at Clayton State University, Peach State Opera, and keyboardist for The Highballs (Atlanta's premier 80s band). In recent years, Grant served as the Music Director for the Georgia State University Opera Workshop, including productions of I Barbiere di Siviglia and La Boheme, and served on the staff of the Harrower Summer Opera Workshop. He has also worked with Atlanta Opera, Toledo Opera, Arbor Opera Theater, Emory University, and Reinhardt University. Mr. Jones holds degrees from the University of South Carolina, the University of Georgia, and the University of Michigan, where he studied with Martin Katz.
Jessica Luffey is a recent MM graduate from Georgia State University in Atlanta from the voice studio of Mrs. Kay Paschal Freeman. At the young age of 23 she has already managed to make quite a mark on the operatic community. Known for her dynamic stage presence she has been hailed as “the goddess of timing” and delights audiences with her unique and rich soprano timbre. Most recent stage engagements include Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte with small opera), Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), Alice (Falstaff), and Musetta (La Bohème). She has performed nationally and internationally, including venues in Italy, Austria and Brazil. Past roles include Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Clorinda (La Cenerentola), Ann Putnam (The Crucible), and Berta (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), among many others. Other notable achievements include National Semi-Finalist among 14 singers in the well-known NATS National Student Auditions competition held in Boston, First Place Overall Georgia NATS, and consecutive Semi-Finalist and Finalist in numerous other national competitions including: Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year Competition, Orpheus Vocal Competition, Opera Foundation Scholarship auditions, and the Brumby Concerto Competition. Ms. Luffey and Katherine Small co-direct the Atlanta Chapter of Opera On Tap, a national, non-profit organization that seeks to bring opera to the community in fun, casual environments. Upcoming engagements: Orpheus Vocal Competition (Tennessee), Charleston Symphony Orchestra Competition (South Carolina).
Originally from the greater New York area, soprano Allison Mion currently resides in Atlanta, GA, where she completed her Master's Degree from Georgia State University this past May. She also holds a Bachelor's Degree from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.
Under the mentorship of voice teacher, Richard Clement, opera director, Carroll Freeman, and choral director, Deanna Joseph, Allison found great success on the stage of Georgia State. During her two years there, she performed the roles of Mary Warren (The Crucible--Robert Ward) and Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia). Previous roles include Adele (Die Fledermaus), Madame Kirsten (The Beautiful Bridegroom), Queen of the Night cover (Die Zauberflöte), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), and Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring). Allison was the soprano soloist for the Schubert Mass in G, presented by the Georgia State University Singers in 2014, and she was a finalist in the 2014 NATS Regional Competition (Southeastern Region), and a semi-finalist in the NATS District Competition (for the state of Georgia).
Allison also enjoyed many opportunities outside of Georgia State. She reprised her role as Schubert Mass soprano soloist, this time for the Atlanta Choral Guild, where she also starred in a concert version of Gilbert and Sullivan's, "HMS Pinafore". She was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Orpheus Vocal Competition, and in February, made her Atlanta Symphony Debut as the featured soloist for their "My Family Valentine" children's concert series.
Recent engagements include a workshop of Lady Susan (Frederica Vernon), a new opera by Atlanta composer, Cherise Leiter, and the semi-final rounds of both the Classical Singer and Orpheus Vocal Competitions.
While in Atlanta, Ms. Mion held a private voice and piano studio at The North Fulton School of Music in Alpharetta, GA, was a staff singer at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta, and an administrative assistant at Johns Creek United Methodist Church in Johns Creek, GA. She will be marrying small opera's Don Alfonso (Jason Arnold) in the summer of 2017.
Rafael Helbig-Kostka is a German-born tenor who grew up in the far Northern California town of Redding, where he began singing classical music as a boy soprano. He is a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he received his Master’s degree and a Graduate Diploma in voice. While at NEC he sang the roles of the Schoolmaster in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Pylade in Iphigenie en Tauride, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, and he will be a Gerdine Young Artist with the Opera Theater of St Louis this summer. This past summer he was a Featured Artist at Opera Theater Pittsburgh’s Summeriest, where he sang the role of the Italian Tenor in Strauss’ opera Capriccio and Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro. He earned his Bachelor’s in Music degree in 2013 from California State University Stanislaus, during which time he worked with the Modesto based opera company the Townsend Opera Players and sang such comprimario roles as Le Remendado in Bizet’s Carmen, and Giuseppe in La Traviata. He is also an alumnus of the International Vocal Arts Institute and the Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, where he just recently sang the role of Ferrando this past February. He currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts and is excited to be visiting and singing in Atlanta for the first time in small opera's Cosi fan tutte!
Jason Arnold, Bass-Baritone, is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He received his Bachelors of Music, with a concentration in Vocal Performance, from Georgia State University. He had much success at GSU having given two recitals, as well as participated in masterclasses with renown artists including Eric Owens and Johann Tilli. Most recent stage engagements include Peter Quince (Midsummer Night's Dream) and Dick Deadeye (HMS Pinafore). Previous rolls include Reverend Hale (Crucible), Johann (Werther), Gideon (Little Women), Sprecher/Armored Guard (Die Zauberflöte), Antonio (Le Nozze di Figaro), Balthazar (Ahmal and the Night Visitors), Baker (Into the Woods), Fred/Petrucio (Kiss Me, Kate), and many others.
Mr. Arnold recently worked as the assistant director of operations for the North Fulton School of Music. He was also employed a staff singer and payroll administrator for the Peachtree Road United Methodist Church Chancel, Parish and Chamber choirs. Future engagements include marrying small opera's Despina (Allison Mion) in summer of 2017.