2016-17 Artist Roster

Stephanie Ann Ball
Mallory Bernstein
Michael Bevers
Jack Branning
Adam Ewing
Eapen Leubner
Amy Maples
Sarah Reynolds
Pablo Romero
John Seesholtz
Kristen Smith
Hallie Spoor
Sarah Stone
Karen Tucker

Stephanie Ann Ball

Stephanie Ann Ball, sopranoStephanie Ann Ball, lyric coloratura soprano is swiftly taking her place in the world of classical music with her warm, strong, lyric voice.  From a young age, her parents introduced Ms. Ball to many different types of music.

Her father was a funk drummer who taught her about popular forms of music, and her mother gave her daughter more of the classical and gospel musical experience.  Stephanie was a performer from the get-go and found her niche when she began studying voice in High School.

Ms. Ball began her journey into the opera world as an undergraduate at Northern Arizona University where she sang the roles of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Adele in Die Fledermaus. Ms. Ball continued her studies at Washington University in St. Louis where she received a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance. She performed several roles there, including Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, and Papagena in Die Zauberflote. Following graduate school, she made her professional debut with the role of Annina in Winter Opera St. Louis’ production of La Traviata.

A favorite of Midwestern and Southwestern audiences, her operatic roles include Adina in Mid-Ohio Opera’s production of L’elisir D’amore, Frasquita in Boulder Opera’s Carmen and more. Ms. Ball is equally comfortable on the recital stage and frequently performs art songs and African American spirituals with passion and sensitivity.

Matt Daniels of St. Louis’ Tavern of Fine Arts says this of her singing: “She… is able to express its meaning to an audience through both the agility of her voice and dramatic movement that can encompass her entire body…”

Ms. Ball spent two years as a Young Artist for the Bach Society of St. Louis where she developed a passion for oratorio when she performed as a soloist for Mozart’s Requiem. Since then she has performed solos all over the country for Fauré’s Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria, Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël, von Weber’s Mass in G, Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate, and many others. Additionally, her credits include many prestigious awards, including district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in both Arizona and Kansas City. Offstage, Ms. Ball continually makes an effort to introduce opera to her community and has done educational outreach with several companies, most notably as a voice teacher for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Artist in Training Preparatory Program. Now residing in Denver, CO, she is enjoying becoming a part of that musical community as well. If you would like to know more about her career, please visit her website: www.stephanieannball.com.

Mallory Bernstein

mmbheadshotBorn in White Plains, New York, pianist Mallory Bernstein has given solo performances throughout the United States as well as in Germany, Italy and Portugal.  She was invited to numerous summer festivals where she studied with acclaimed teachers such as Boris Slutsky, Emanuel Krasovsky, Jura Margulis, Alexander Braginsky, Joaquin Soriano, José Ramos Santana, Alon Goldstein, and Leslie Howard.  Mallory has performed in masterclasses for artists such as Richard Goode, Aviram Reichert, Jerome Rose and Ilya Yakushev and has studied privately with Ilya Itin, Gerald Robbins, Gena Raps, and Ann Schein.  Highlights of the last few seasons include performances of Mozart’s “Jeunehomme” Piano Concerto in Alaska, Erik Griswold’s Concerto for Prepared Piano and Percussion with Ensemble 64.8, Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, several solo performances in various parts of Germany and world premieres by up and coming composers Emerson Eads, Dean Shannon, Tim Girard and Claire He.  After completing her Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance at Ithaca College in 2008 with Dr. Charis Dimaras, Mallory ventured to Fairbanks, Alaska where she completed her Master’s Degree with Dr. Eduard Zilberkant.  This year she is attending the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver where she is pursuing an Artist Diploma in Piano Performance with Steven Mayer.

Mallory is deeply passionate about vocal repertoire.  She is very active as an accompanist and has collaborated with many talented students and professional musicians.  As a graduate teaching assistant for the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Mallory accompanied the voice studio of Dr. Jaunelle Celaire as well as many student recitals and juries.  She has been invited to accompany many choirs, solo vocalists and instrumentalists for regional festivals, concerts, workshops and competitions.  In Denver, Mallory is enjoying an active schedule freelancing and playing for various groups and artists such as Opera on Tap and Opera and Beyond.

Mallory is excited to be developing her private teaching studio in Denver and is currently accepting students.  Please contact her for more details.

Michael Bevers

Michael Bevers, guitar and engineer
Michael Bevers, guitar and engineer

Michael Bevers is committed to giving authentic performances to audiences everywhere. Whenever he plays, he strives to maintain the composer’s intentions as best as can be on the classical guitar. This usually leads him to making his own transcription for almost everything that he plays. One of his most exciting endeavors involved transcribing and playing the B minor suite by Robert de Viseé written for Baroque guitar. Even when the composer is more modern Mr. Bevers does his best to try and work from an unedited score. Sometimes even a score in the composer’s own hand!

Michael plays a wide range of repertoire ranging from the courtly Baroque to the Brazilian jungle, from tonal J. S. Bach to atonal Reginald Smith-Brindle. Not limited to solo guitar, he performs with instrumentalists of all sorts. Recently he performed with the Collegiate Chorale playing Reconciliation a choir and guitar piece by Jeffrey Van.

Michael is a veteran performer of the Denver Metro Area and the Front Range. He has appeared as a featured soloist at churches, coffee shops, retirement homes, libraries and almost anywhere there are people who want to hear him. In addition, Michael enjoys competing in both local and international guitar competitions.

Mr. Bevers has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Denver where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the Dorthe Garrett Carillo Award for Outstanding Graduating Guitarist as well as a Recital of Distinction award for his junior recital. Michael has studied with Ricardo Iznaola at the University of Denver as well as Jonathan Leathwood and Nicoló Spera at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Jack Branning

Jack Branning, oboe
Jack Branning, oboe

Mississippi native Jack Branning currently studies graduate oboe performance at the Lamont School of Music, University of Denver under Ian Wisekal, where he has served as principal for the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and Lamont Wind Ensemble. Jack received his undergraduate degree in music education from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he performed on tour in Ireland.  He has previously studied with oboe teachers, Dr. Euridice Alvarez, Dr. Anna Pennington, and Sabina Ivy.

With past performances in the Meridian Symphony Orchestra, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Magnolia Chamber Orchestra, Denver Pops Orchestra, Steamboat Symphony Orchestra, Boulder Opera Company, and several community theatre pit orchestras, Jack has much experience in principal, 2nd, and English horn positions.

Jack currently serves as 2nd oboist for the Lakewood Symphony Orchestra and also works as an early childhood music teacher. When he is not playing in orchestras or making reeds, Jack enjoys choir, dancing, hiking, and running.

Adam Ewing

Adam Ewing, baritoneLyric baritone Adam Ewing is an Affiliate Professor of Voice at Regis University. He recently made his operatic debut as Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance with Loveland Opera, and his orchestral debut as the lead of the barbershop quartet in The Music Man with the Colorado Symphony.  Ewing has appeared as Schaunard (La Boheme), the Celebrant (Bernstein’s Mass), Sondheim (Side by Side by Sondheim), John Brooke (Little Women), Gianni Schicchi, Man 2 (Songs for a New World), Miles Gloriosus (A Funny Thing…Forum), and Schroeder (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown), among others. He regularly performs with Central City Opera’s Education and Community Engagement ensemble, as well as teaching, coaching, and accompanying singers.

In addition to dramatic works, Ewing is an avid performer of art song. In summer 2013, he was one of six singers chosen for the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar where he studied with Stephanie Blythe and Alan Smith. He also spent a month in Canada as a student at the Vancouver International Song Institute, an intensive summer program for singers and pianists focusing on art song, particularly French repertoire and the songs of Schubert. Ewing enjoys singing contemporary American art song as well, working with both student composers and celebrated masters. He has sung in masterclasses and recitals for Roger Vignoles, William Bolcom, Lori Laitman, Jake Heggie, Bob Spillman, and Libby Larsen.

Ewing is a founding member of the choral groups An die Musik and Vox Reflexa, and a past member of the Missouri Music Educators National Conference, the Indiana University student chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a national men’s music fraternity. Most importantly, he is the humble property of a domestic short-haired feline named Katie, who has deigned to let him share her apartment.

Eapen Leubner

Eapen Leubner, tenor and founderEapen has performed from Alaska to New York to Tirana, Albania.  He recently rejoined Opera Colorado as the Second Priest (Magic Flute) and both sang Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte) and directed “Act Up!- Scenes from Cosi and Carmen” (Boulder Opera/Opera on Tap).

In 2016-17, Eapen will sing the world premier of Firebringers (Boulder Opera).  He is thrilled to rejoin Opera Fairbanks at their Opera Ball to sing Alfred in Die Fledermaus.

Eapen  founded the Denver Art Song Project to entertain and educate audiences new to the genre. Eapen will be the featured singer on two new album releases, Begins a Journey… with music by composers from around the world and Die schoene Muellerin, a unique arrange for voice and guitar.

Amy Maples

Amy Maples, sopranoColoratura soprano Amy Maples is a Tennessee native who currently resides in Denver, CO, with her husband and furry child. Quickly gaining a reputation for her crystalline coloratura, relentless high notes, and witty theatrics, Amy compels audiences with her fearless artistry and attention to detail. Performing with such orchestras as the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Brevard Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Chamber Orchestra, and Orchestra Kentucky, among others, Amy is making her mark as a respected concert soloist as much as an operatic performer. Amy is a guest artist with such Colorado companies as Opera Theatre of the Rockies, Opera Colorado, Loveland Opera Theatre, Boulder Opera, and Flatirons Opera.

Amy’s favorite roles include Cunegonde (Candide), Susanna (Le Nozza di Figaro), Adina (L’Elixir d’amore), Gilda (RigolettoI), Thérèse (Les Mamelles de Tiresias), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Tuptim (The King and I), Cosette (Les Miserables), and Christine (The Phantom of the Opera).

Of Amy’s 2015 performance as Gilda in Piedmont Opera’s Rigoletto, Joseph Newsome of Voix des Arts described her as a singer “who met every technical challenge unflinchingly…and commanded the audience’s sympathy with gestures and actions of emotional meaning.” Of Amy’s “Caro nome,” he wrote that she delivered “an intimate reverie that was distinguished with sparkling trills and crystalline” high notes. “Maples was inspired to vocalism of impeccable poise and time-stopping expressivity…[and] the pathos of her phrasing in the final act was gripping.”

Of her 2011-2012 performances with The Ohio Light Opera, Todd B. Sollis ofOpera News wrote: “A star vehicle needs a star, and Ohio Light Opera has one in Amy Maples. Maples’ soprano is supple and rich, her pitch true, her dictation and comic timing spot-on. “

Amy received her MM in Voice Performance from Florida State University where she studied with tenor Stanford Olsen, after receiving her BM in Voice Performance at Lee University in her home state of Tennessee.

Sarah Reynolds

Sarah Reynolds, mezzo soprano

Sarah Reynolds is a singer and voice teacher based in Los Angeles. Equally at home in concert and opera, she has performed with Artes Vocales of Los Angeles, Pasadena Opera, Opera Animata, and Long Beach Opera. Sarah is also a member of the De Angelis Vocal Ensemble and sang on their debut recording released in 2016. An art song enthusiast, Sarah was a featured recitalist in Pasadena Conservatory of Music’s Mansions & Music concert series and recently made her debut with the UnSUNg concert series, specializing in the performance of both uncommon and new works. An emerging Baroque specialist, her past roles include Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with Opera Animata and Bradamante in Handel’s Alcina with the Napa Music Festival. A frequent concert soloist, Sarah’s recent credits include the Bach St. Matthew Passion, Duruflé Requiem, and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb with Artes Vocales of Los Angeles and Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with the Colburn Chorale. This season, she returns as one of Long Beach Opera’s four Education Artists. In addition to her busy career as a performer, Sarah teaches a full private voice studio and is a vocal coach for the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. Sarah received her Bachelors in Vocal Performance from The College of New Jersey and Masters in Vocal Performance from The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA.

Pablo Romero

Pablo Romero, tenorPablo Romero is originally from Ecuador, where he studied music at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. He continued his studies in art and music at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. Coming to Colorado to continue his vocal training, Mr. Romero graduated from Colorado State University with a Masters in Vocal Performance in 2015.

Mr. Romero made his US operatic debut in the role of Marco Palmieri in Gondoliers with Loveland Opera Theater. His past LOT performances include Tamino in Mozart’s  Die Zauberflöte and Nemorino in L’Elisir D’Amore. He made his debut with the Opera Theatre of the Rockies in March of 2010 as the Priest and Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte, and has performed the roles of Count Danilo (Merry Widow), Prunier (La Rondine), Hindley (Wuthering Heights) and Faust (Faust) in selected scenes for the Opera Theater of the Rockies’ summer festival.

A featured guest soloist at Arias At Avo’s by the opera Fort Collins Guild, he has sung with the Loveland Friends of Chamber Music, and has been a returning participant at the Colorado Vocal Arts Symposium. Mr. Romero’s recent roles include Pong in Puccini’s Turandot (Fort Collins Opera, ), Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (CSU Opera), Idomeneo in Mozart’s Idomeneo (CSU Opera) and Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Boudler Opera.)

John Seesholtz

John Seesholtz, baritoneJohn Seesholtz, baritone, holds vocal performance and pedagogy degrees from University of Michigan and University of North Texas. His most recent operatic performances include; Florencia en el Amazonas (Alvaro), Verdi’s Otello (Iago), Candide (Pangloss), Silvio (Pagliacci),Verdi’s Falstaff (Ford), and Gianni Schicchi (title role). Some of his solo concert performances include Camina Burana, Brahm’s Requiem, Five Mystical Songs, Sea Symphony, and Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams. He will be performing art song recital throughout Colorado and Texas in the coming year as well as a performance with the Colorado Symphony in a semi-staged production of La Boheme in the Fall.

Kristen Smith

Kristen Smith, sopranoColoratura soprano, Kristen Smith is excited to join the Denver Art Song Project.

She earned her MM in Voice from Colorado State University, where she received the Charles and Reta Ralph Opera Scholarship and served as an apprentice artist with Opera Fort Collins. She has performed with regional companies, including Loveland Opera Theatre, Boulder Opera, Opera on Tap Colorado, and Empire Lyric Players.

Past roles include Flora from The Turn of the Screw, Lucy from The Telephone, and the title role from Cendrillon. Current roles include Suor Genovieffa and Suor Dolcina from Suor Angelica, and Adina from L’elisir d’amore.

Hallie Spoor

Hallie Spoor, mezzo sopranoMezzo- soprano Hallie Spoor, from Denver, Colorado, attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles for her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance. At LMU, she has previously appeared as Singer 1 in John Cage’s Europera 5, Ruth (Pirates of Penzance), and has sung in numerous opera scenes as Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Mistress Quickly (Falstaff), Carmen (Carmen), and the Third Lady (The Magic Flute).  Other engagements have included Armelinde in Viardot’s Cendrillon, and recently Ms. Spoor joined the chorus at Opera Colorado for their fall production of Aida, and their spring world premier of Lori Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter. In the spring of 2016, she performed the role of Kaylee in the Emerald City Opera production of Speed Dating Tonight. She has participated in summer programs including Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and University of Miami Frost School of Music at Salzburg. Upcoming engagements include being in the chorus for Opera Colorado’s Lucia di Lammermoor in 2017.

In addition to her operatic engagements, Hallie is a singer-songwriter in the Denver area, and enjoys composing as well as performing. She is the musical director of Nourishment, which is an evening length performance experience aimed at provoking all five senses, through mediums including dance, live music, and visual arts. She also regularly performs in the Denver Metro area with her folk-rock band. Hallie is thrilled to be joining the Denver Art Song Project for their 2016-17 season!

Sarah Stone

Sarah Stone, sopranoAmerican soprano Sarah Stone has been thrilling audiences with her lush and powerful dramatic coloratura voice. A native of Colorado, Ms. Stone has been singing since she could speak, first in church choirs and then while performing in children’s theatre. As Richard Boldrey, vocal coach and author of the Guide to Operatic Roles and Arias once described Sarah, “she lives for her singing, she gives herself to her singing, and she makes you listen to her singing.”

Praised for her “fine vocalism and entertaining acting”, she has recently been see as Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) with Boulder Opera, Micaëla (Carmen), and Rose (Lakmé) with Opera Theater of the Rockies. Upcoming engagements include singing Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with the Aurora Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to her operatic engagements, Ms. Stone is a frequent concert and recital performer. Passionate about bringing opera into the community, she is a regular guest artist with the Lone Tree Arts Center’s Arts in the Afternoon series. Among other honors, Ms. Stone is a two-time award winner in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition, a Bel Canto Foundation Competition Bravo Award winner, and a semi-finalist in the American Institute of Musical Studies Meistersinger Competition in Austria. Ms. Stone holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University.

Ms. Stone’s rich and Italianate voice is especially suited to performing roles in Bel Canto, Verdi, and Mozart operas. In 2016, among other engagements, she will be making her role debut as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with the Aurora Symphony Orchestra. She is thrilled to be joining the roster of the Denver Art Song Project.

In addition to performing, Ms. Stone is committed to igniting creative passion in young people and she takes time to teach voice and pass along her love of opera.

Karen Tucker

Karen Tucker, SopranoKaren Tucker, Dramatic Soprano, is a Colorado native, and a graduate of the CU Boulder College of Music. She enjoys living life to the fullest, including such activities as hiking, biking, dancing and she’s even been snorkeling in Alaska!

Karen has performed with Opera Colorado, Opera Theatre of the Rockies, Denver Opera Company, Boulder Opera Company, Boulder Bach Festival, Boulder Philharmonic Academy, Colorado Music Festival Chorus, Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus and others. She is the founder and director of the “Sing for Life” voice studio and of Truth in Singing, LLC and has been teaching privately for more than 20 years.

She has traveled and sung in Germany and Austria, as well as New York City and other major US cities. Karen has performed the roles of “Leonora” in Verdi’s Il Trovatore and “Lady Billows” in Britten’s Albert Herring, as well as “Santuzza” in Cavalleria Rusticana and “Kundry” from Wagner’s Parsifal in addition to a variety of solo work. She continues to learn the lexicon of Brünnhilde from Wagner’s Ring Cycle. While Karen sings in six languages, her favorite language to sing in is German, as she feels it suits her voice the best and she finds it to be the most interesting.

Ms. Tucker premiered the role of Soprano in the premier of the new Requiem Op. 120 by James Myers (March of 2009) and was chosen to perform in the Boulder Music Institute Showcase Concert (July 2014.) Most recently Karen sang three performances of the Mother in the Boulder Opera Company’s production of Hansel and Gretel (Dec 2014.) Karen is inspired by her passion for singing, teaching and her enthusiasm for life. She is writing a book on authentic voice use. Karen is a long-time fan of Art Song and she is thrilled to be part of the Denver Art Song Project!