Sam VanFossen " An exciting and promising tenor, Sam VanFossen is a singer with a history of performing opera and sacred music throughout the tri-state area.Sam has performed such roles as Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas. He has also performed as a soloist in a variety of choral works including Bach's Magnificat in D, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Charpentier's Te Deum, and Schubert's Mass in G.Sam will be relocating to the Baltimore area in the coming year and he looks forward to the numerous opportunities that may follow."
Sarai Johnson International Spinto Soprano Holds a BA in Acting from Rider University, and an MM in Opera Performance from Temple University.While at Temple University, Sarai was featured in Temple University Opera Theater's productions as The First Lady in The Magic Flute, Suor Angelica in Suor Angelica, and Lady Billows in Albert Herring. Of Sarai's "Suor Angelica" performance, director Linda Brovsky had this to say: "Sarai Johnson brought enormous dignity, compassion and heartfelt despair to the role of Suor Angelica. During the rehearsal process I watched her transform...into a confidant, very charismatic performer willing to plumb the depths of the soul to find Angelica's madness as well as redemption. She brought the audience to tears--and to their feet in admiration." During the production of Albert Herring with Temple University Opera Theater, Sarai was privilaged enough to work with director Leland Kimball, retired general director of OperaDelaware. "[Mrs. Cole] possesses a magnificent and unusually powerful voice with a burnished sound that she uses expressively and dramatically...I have rarely heard the exciting vocal power exhibited by [Mrs. Cole]. In the role of Lady Billows in the Albert Herring production, [Sarai] sang with musicality and authority, and her voice sailed over the orchestra and ensemble." - Leland Kimball. Aside from Temple Unversity, Sarai performs regularly with The Opera Project and Sunday Opera. Roles performed with these two companies, include Tosca, Santuzza, large excerpts from Aida, and La Bohème. Her résumé includes performances with a number of regional companies, including Harlem Opera Theater, Hunterdon Symphony Orchestra, Newtown Chamber Orchestra, in full roles, concerts, and scene programs. Mrs. Cole has given solo performanves in many distigished venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Kimmel Center (Verizon Hall & Perelman Theater), Teatro Sodre (Montevideo, Uruguay), Auditorio Astengo (Rosario, Argentina), Auditorio Juan Victoria (San Juan, Argentina), as well as numerous auditoriums, churches, and synagogues in the US, South America, and Spain. Sarai has won a number of competitions including the Barry Alexander International Voice Competition, the Harlem Opera Theatre Competition, the Long Beach Mozart Festival Competition, and has been a finalist in many more, the Philadelphia Orchestra Greenfield Competition (2012 & 2013) and the AIMS Meister Singer competition among them. Recently Mrs. Cole went on tour in South America with Harlem Opera Theater, in a concert feturing works by African American and Jewish composers like William Grant Stills, George Gershwin, and Scott Joplin. The concert was well recieved and reviewed in many cities in Argentina and Uruguay. Learn more of Sarai's singing on her website, www.SaraiCole.com .
Alyssa Lehman email@example.com Mezzo-Soprano Alyssa Lehman made her professional soloist debut with the Maine Music Society, and has since performed with various musicians, chamber groups, orchestras and opera companies. Highlights include the title role in Carmen, Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Angelina (La Cenerentola), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Bersi (Andrea Chenier) and Ottavia (L’Incoronazione di Poppea). Alyssa performed with the Tuscia Opera Festival (Viterbo, Italy), as well as studied and performed in the Spoleto Vocal Arts Symposium (Spoleto, Italy) and the Mozarteum Conservatory Summer Academy (Salzburg, Austria). Under the direction of Metropolitan Opera conductor, Joshua Green, Alyssa performed opera scenes with the New York Summer Opera Scenes, and has performed with groups such as the Newtown Chamber Orchestra, The Southampton Chamber Music Society, Androscoggin Players and The Delaware Valley Opera Company. A lover of art song, chamber music, as well as new music, Alyssa performs regularly as a soloist in numerous recitals and chamber music concerts.
Julia Katherine Walsh, Soprano, most recently performed the roles of Königin der Nacht in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and the Taufee and Sandmann in Humperdinck's Hänsel & Gretel in Munich and Stuttgart, Germany with the Freies Landestheater Bayern. She has participated in Masterclasses with Margo Garrett in the 2020 NATS Winter Workshop in NYC, and at the 2017 & 2016 Schubertiade with Thomas Quasthoff and Justus Zeyen, and with Thomas Hampson and Wolfram Rieger, in Schwarzenberg, and Hohenems, Austria. She has also performed in Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the Richard-Strauss- Festival's 2016 and 2014 Masterclasses with Angelika Kirchschlager, and Brigitte Fassbaender and Michelle Breedt. She has performed many solo recitals in and around Munich and Straubing, Germany, as well as in New York City, Princeton, Philadelphia, Reading, and Allentown, and received critics’ praise for her technical vocal mastery and her believable interpretations. She is a champion of the music of women composers as well as the lesser-known works of Franz Schubert, Hugo Wolf and Richard Strauss. She's enjoyed operatic successes in both the USA and Germany, singing the roles of Konstanze in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Theater Lünen, Oper Schloss Laubach), Königin der Nacht in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Junge Oper Detmold, IVAI), Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Papagena in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Oscar in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera (Center City Opera Theater), and Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (Charlottesville Opera), and in concert she’s sung Lucia in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and Zerbinetta in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.
“Bass Baritone, Clayton Mathews (9) as Don Alfonso was great. His low, rich tone left nothing to be desired and I was very happy every time he sang.” Dominic Santos, Stage Magazine
"Bass-baritone Mathews’ diction and bright, forward tone ensured that pitch and text were never lost in the texture, delivering with a charming smile."
Dorthy Hindman, South Florida Classical Review
Baritone Clayton Mathews, a native of St. Louis, Mo has been praised for his rich colorful tone and animated interpretations. He has performed professionally in opera companies such as On Site Opera, Harlem Opera Theatre, Miami Lyric Opera, Riuniti Opera, Sunday Opera and the Opera Project of Lambertville, NJ. Mr. Mathews' most distinguished roles includes Amonasro (Aida), Don Alfonso (Cosi Fan Tutte), and Giorgio (I Puritani). Currently performed Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia) and Mike in George Gershwin’s Blue Monday. He was a featured soloist in the “Rising Stars from the Metropolitan Opera” annual concert for the Manchester Music Festival. In 2012 he has performed with the Miami Symphony Orchestra in an Opera Gala called A Night of Opera. In musical theatre he has performed roles such as Javert (Les Miserable) and Agwe (Once on this Island). In 2012, he performed an opera gala with the Miami". He holds a B.M in Voice Performance from Barry University and currently attending Rutgers University's Opera Institute.
Soprano Susan Myers began studying voice in 2007. She has studied at Westminster Conservatory and with Deborah Maher. She currently studies with Diana Broderick. She has appeared in recital with the Opera Project and as a supernumerary in non-singing roles with New Jersey Opera.
Baritone Don Sheasley has appeared in over fifty roles on the stages of most New Jersey opera companies. His favorites are Rigoletto, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, Count Almaviva inLe Nozze di Figaro, Tonio and Silvio in Pagliacci, Scarpia in Tosca, and Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana. With Berks Grand Opera he appeared as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly. Besides his opera performances he can be heard singing oratorio, cabaret and concert throughout New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and the New York metropolitan area. A long-time academic and community theater actor-director, Mr. Sheasley has been seen as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Emil deBecque in South Pacific, and Horace Tabor in the seldom produced Ballad of Baby Doe. He is a former high school English teacher and golf coach, and resides in Princeton.
Amy Jean Suznovich,Coloratura Amy Jean Suznovich, noted for her "impressive vocal range," was recently nominated for the Main Street Tony Awards for Best Leading Actress for her portrayal of Cunegonde in Candide and Best Female Solo for her performance of Glitter and Be Gay. This summer Amy originated the role of Frenchie in A Night in the Wilde Wild West with the Baroque Orchestra of NJ and performed Azerbaijani arias at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Past performances include: Angelica in Handel's Orlando, Rodelinda in Handel's Rodelinda, Gilda in Rigoletto, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Rosalina in Giordano's Il Re. She has performed with the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra, Queens Opera (NJ), Opera Siena, and Main Street Theatre, among others. A Hungarian-American, Amy has performed Hungarian Operetta with the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra, at the Hungarian Festival for 2 years in New Brunswick, at the Carousel Ball Gala for the American Hungarian Foundation and collaborated with Csurdongolo, a hungarian folk dance group.
Amy is a magna cum laude graduate of Ithaca College where she performed the roles of Le Rossignol in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges and La Prima Sorella Cercatrice in Suor Angelica. Also active in theater, Amy has portrayed Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Serenity in Mitch Albom's And The Winner Is and Rapunzel in Into the Woods, all at the Villagers Theatre in Somerset. She appeared at the Access Theater (NYC) in When Words Fail as Elizabeth Swan and Helen. A singer for weddings and other special events, as well as private voice/piano teacher, Amy welcomes correspondence at: firstname.lastname@example.org and www.amysuznovich.com
Mezzo-Soprano Kaitlyn Tierney 2123 Murray Street, Philadelphia * Cell (267) 495-9905 * E-mail - Kbtierney7141@gmail.com
Performance Experience: Soloist, Vivaldi Gloria, Christ Church, Villanova, PA, December 2012
Pitti-Sing (Cover), The Mikado, Savoy Opera Company, Philadelphia, PA, June 2012 , Mother (Cover), Amahl and The Night Visitors, Delaware Valley Opera Company, Philadelphia, PA, December 2011, Recital, New England Conservatory, Boston, MA, May 2011, Dido, Dido and Aeneas, New England Conservatory Undergraduate Opera, Boston, MA, March 2011, Habanera, Carmen, New England Conservatory Chorus Concert, Boston, MA, March 2011
Recital, New England Conservatory, Boston, MA, May 2011, Liederabend Concert Series, New England Conservatory, Boston, MA, December 2010
Rosina, Il Barbiere di Sivilglia, New England Conservatory Undergraduate Opera , Scenes Program ,Boston, MA December 2010 , Cat and Squirrel, L'enfant et les Sortilèges, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, 2010, Recital, New England Conservatory, Boston, MA, 2010, Third Knitter, A Game of Chance, New England Conservatory Undergraduate Opera, Boston, MA, 2010, Dorabella, Così fan tutte, New England Conservatory Undergraduate Opera Scenes Program, Boston, MA, 2009, Rosine, Signor Deluso, New England Conservatory Undergraduate Opera, Boston, MA, 2009, Mrs. Grose, The Turn of the Screw, New England Conservatory Undergraduate Opera Scenes Program, 2008, Duchess of Monteblanco, A Dinner Engagement, New England Conservatory Undergraduate Opera,Boston, MA 2008, Soloist,Excerpt from Margaret Garner, All-Philadelphia High School Choir, Phila, PA, 2007, Recital, Newtown Presbyterian Church, Newtown, PA, 2007, Recitals, Settlement Music School, Phila, PA, 2004-07, Soloist, Vivaldi Gloria, Central High School Choir, Phila, PA, 2004 Delaware Opera Company Chorus, Phila, PA, 2004-Present.
Awards/Honors: Recipient, New England Conservatory Scholarship, 2007-2011, Dean's List, New England Conservatory, 2007-2011 Outstanding Student Award, Settlement Music School, Phila, PA, 2007, Recipient, Settlement Music School Scholarship Phila, PA, 2004-2007, Delaware Valley Opera Company High School Apprentice Program, Phila, PA, 2004-2007, Boheme Opera Company High School Apprentice Program, Trenton, NJ, 2004-2007
Education, New England Conservatory, Boston, MA, BM in Vocal Performance & Music Theory, 2011
Principle Teachers Conductors: Emily Golden Donald Teeters, Patricia McCaffrey David Loebel, Wiliam Cotten Erica Washburn
Susan Rheingans, mezzo-soprano, began her career as a soloist with the Roger Wagner Chorale on tours of the United States and the Orient. Most recently she has been heard in performances of Brahms’ Zwei Alto Gesänge with members of the Newtown Chamber Orchestra and the role of Martha in Gounod’s Faust with Bohème Opera New Jersey. She has also appeared with Los Angeles Opera, New York Opera Forum, Bel Canto Opera of Los Angeles, Concert Opera Philadelphia and Delaware Valley Opera Company, among others, and she includes the roles of Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Giulietta in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Meg Page in Falstaff, Geneviève in Pelléas et Mélisande, the Princesse de Bouillon in Adriana Lecouvreur and Laura in La Gioconda in her repertoire.
Ms. Rheingans has been on the voice faculty of Settlement Music School in Philadelphia since 2001, and maintains a busy private voice studio in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. A former first prize winner in the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition for the southern California region, Ms. Rheingans was President of the New Jersey Chapter of NATS from 2008 to 2012. For more information, visit www.susanrheingans.com.
Fred Cushman 1928-2020
Fred Cushman, 91, international operatic tenor and president of The Opera Project, died peacefully in his Lambertville home on May 7, 2020. Fred was born on September 25, 1928 in Stamford, Connecticut, the son of Carl Louis Fraser and Doris Florence Cushman. Fred was lovingly raised into young adulthood by Kathryn and William Haug of Stamford. He was pre-deceased by his wife Judith Lynne Crusan Cushman and his dear friend Deborah Covener Maher and he is survived by the many friends, neighbors and opera aficionados and students who loved him. As a young man, Fred attended the Mt. Hermon School in Northfield, Massachusetts and then pursued vocal training at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Miami School of Music. In the early 1950s, Fred served with Company H of the 60th Infantry Regiment at Fort Dix, NJ and eventually saw service in the Korean War. His early performing experience in college led to a professional singing career with several prominent opera companies, including the NBC Opera Company, where Fred performed the soloist parts of Borsa in the 1958 production of Rigoletto and Jaquino in its 1959 production of Fidelio. He toured with the Metropolitan Opera Studio in the early 1960s, singing lead roles in various productions including Sganarelle, a comic opera by Walter Kaufmann, as well as Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte. In 1961, Fred was the featured soloist in the University of Miami Summer Symphony Orchestra concert at the Miami Beach Auditorium where he sang numerous selections from La Boheme and Carmen. The Miami Herald music critic reported, “Cushman’s is a big, earthy, appealing, resonant voice and he holds it in fine control.” Fred’s career also included notable performances in 1956 of Madame Butterfly with the Pro-Arte Opera Company of Havana, Cuba and Turandot, La Traviata and Un Ballo in Maschera with various companies in Germany in the 1960s and 70s. Several of these performances can be accessed by searching for ‘Fred Cushman’ at www.youtube.com. Fred was a long-time supporter and president of The Opera Project, a non-profit foundation dedicated to the support and nurturing of classical singing, in particular of emerging artists. Singers from the Opera Project have performed nationally and internationally at venues which include the Kimmel Center, Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. Fred personally sponsored and coached numerous young performers, providing encouragement and valuable assistance at the beginning of their careers and he funded the Project’s Lynne Cushman Award in honor of his wife, given to deserving young performers. Fred’s many close friends will remember him as a true gentleman, a natural performer, a quick wit and a lover of art and the arts. He had a charming smile, an endearing laugh and a mischievous twinkle in his blue eyes that hinted at his adventures as a young man. His stories of encounters with famous people of his time were unforgettable, including singing for Nat King Cole while serving him in a restaurant when Fred was a student at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Fred’s resonant tenor voice stood the test of time as evidenced through his many memorable performances of ‘Happy Birthday’ for his friends. His strong will and fiercely independent nature were clearly at work until his very last moments. Fred will be greatly missed and always remembered. His beautiful house and garden in Lambertville, NJ, and the City itself, will never be the same without him. Bravo! Bravo! Fred Cushman. Your smile will shine – and your singing will reverberate - in our hearts forever! A celebration of Fred Cushman’s life and achievements will be scheduled at a later date. Donations to The Opera Project may be made at http://www.theoperaproject.us/1.html.