A Vintage Diva
~ The New York Times
Of the rest, one must single out the luxury casting of Janet Hopkins as a prim, rich-voiced Marianne
(in Der Rosenkavalier).
~John Briggs, Opera News
"Janet Hopkins exemplifies wine, women,
~The Washington Post
American dramatic mezzo-soprano Janet Hopkins is renowned for her powerful, rich voice. Her 16+ years as a soloist at the New York Metropolitan Opera have seen her garner critical acclaim and enthrall audiences around the world with her broad repertoire.
At the Metropolitan Opera, Miss Hopkins has performed and delighted audiences in a wide array of productions including Die Walküre, Der Rosenkavalier, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Elektra, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Das Rheingold, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, War and Peace, Les Mamelles de Tiresias, L’Enfant et les Sortileges, Doktor Faustus, Rigoletto, The Makropulos Case, and Katya Kabanova.
Miss Hopkins has performed with numerous opera companies world wide, including three tours in Japan with the Metropolitan Opera. Her many recordings have been well received and critically commended, particularly her Ulysses Kay’s “Three Pieces after Blake” for soprano and orchestra on Albany Records.
Always stretching the boundaries of her performing repertoire, in October 2010, Miss Hopkins was featured soloist on the Concert Stage of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. at the performance of the historic Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin. The production honored those who were interred in the World War II concentration camp at Terezin. The Defiant Requiem:Verdi in Terezin is a powerful multi-media production which tells the story of the courageous and innovative prisoners who used their performances of the magnificant music of Verdi's Requiem to show their defiance to their captors.
Janet Hopkins is known for her innovative style and approach to bringing classical music to broader audiences. In November 2007, Miss Hopkins revolutionized the wine and music worlds with her introduction of ARIA. This limited-edition wine and music project included her own blended red wine paired with a Capitol Records recording of well-known Italian love songs. A first-of-its-kind music and fine wine project, ARIA received rave reviews from the New York Times and USA Today.
Miss Hopkins is co-host of Everyday Opera, an internet magazine, radio program, and pod cast application. The program Center Stage interviews opera, companies, directors, and performers along with travel/food/wine of different locations. Everyday Opera, a non-profit organization was created with the sole intent of promoting opera and classical music through education and information. Its goal is to educate the listener and encourage them to become involved with the Arts in their own community.
Early in her career, Miss Hopkins was awarded grants and prizes from The Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition, the American Opera Auditions and the Wagner Society Grant. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education, cum laude, and a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance, cum laude.
Miss Hopkins is also Assistant Professor of Voice for the School of Music at the University of South Carolina (USC in Columbia).
For additional information about Miss Hopkins and her upcomin schedule of performances please visit: www.JanetEHopkins.com
Follow Miss Hopkins on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/TheMetDiva
The Laura Kirkham Agency
Tina Milhorn StallardActive as a concert artist, soprano Tina Milhorn Stallard has performed solos in works such as Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Haydn’s The Creation, Bach’s St. John Passion, Poulenc’s Gloria and Handel’s Messiah. In June, 2011, she made her Lincoln Center debut as soprano soloist in Timothy Powell’s Incarnation Mysteria. As part of the cultural prelude to the 2008 Summer Olympics, Stallard performed the soprano solos in Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and members of the Beijing National Ballet Orchestra. She has also performed with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Johnson City Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra, Bowling Green Western Symphony and the University of Arkansas Orchestra.
A frequent recitalist, Stallard has presented programs in Bulgaria, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, New York, Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and throughout South Carolina. Stallard premiered Lori Laitman’s song cycle The Perfected Life at the 2008 College Music Society National Conference. Later that year, she premiered Songs of Time and Tide, a cycle of songs written for her by composer John Fitz Rogers. Stallard may be heard singing the role of “Principal” in the recording of Robert Bradshaw’s new opera .Gabriel (Beauport Classical). Other opera credits include roles in Cosi fan tutte, Die Fledermaus, Little Women, Hansel and Gretel, The Crucible and the Italian premiere of Casanova’s Homecoming. She has sung with Opera Omaha, Central City Opera, Opera Theatre of Lucca (Italy), Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera and The Palmetto Opera.
Stallard won the Annemarie Gertz Prize in the national finals of The Artist Award Auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, was district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, semi-finalist of the Eleanor McCollum Competition sponsored by Houston Grand Opera, and winner of the Grace Moore Vocal Competition.
She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and is an alumnus of the University of Kentucky (Haggin Fellow) and Belmont University (Presser Scholar). She is a student of master teachers Barbara Honn and Stephen King. She is Associate Professor of Voice at the University of South Carolina, where she teaches applied voice and vocal pedagogy.
Walter Cuttino, Tenor
Upon completing his education, Mr. Cuttino performed throughout Europe, with over 1,000 operatic performances to his credit. Ferrando (Cosi fan Tutte), Almaviva (Barber of Seville), Tamino (The Magic Flute), Lenski (Eugene Onegin), Alfredo (La Traviata) and Rodolfo (La Boheme) are a sampling of the more than forty roles in his repertoire. He has also performed over 500 concerts, including a concert tour with the late Leonard Bernstein to London and Moscow. Since the fall of 1996 Mr. Cuttino has been a member of the Voice Faculty (which he now chairs) at the University of South Carolina where he performs regularly and, in addition, continues to perform on American and European stages. He is also Artistic Director of the Palmetto Opera, conductor of the Palmetto Mastersingers and Director of Music at Lake Murray Presbyterian Church.
Jacob Will, Baritone
made his New York Philharmonic debut as bass soloist in the American Premiere of the Messa per Rossini, a performance televised live nationwide.
An experienced concert artist, Mr. Will has been featured with orchestras throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He has appeared with the Berlin Radio Symphony under the baton of Vladamir Ashkenazy and with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra under the baton of Dennis Russell Davies. Other engagements of note include appearances with the San Francisco Symphony in the St. Matthew Passion, the International Bach Festival of Schaffhausen, Switzerland in the St. John Passion, the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra in Frank Martin's Le mystère de la Nativité and the Tokyo Salzburg Festival in the Mozart Requiem. He has also recorded Cherubini’s Messe solennelle and Zemlinsky’s Kleider Machen Leute.
Equally at home on stage, Mr. Will has sung frequently with the Zürich Opera, performing roles such as Giorgio in I Puritani, Mustafa in L'Italiana in Algeri, and Colline in La Boheme. He has also appeared with the New York City Opera as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, the Vancouver Opera as Oroveso in Norma, the Bavarian State Opera as Samuel in Un Ballo in Maschera and the San Francisco Opera as Masetto in Don Giovanni.
Mr. Will participated in the Merola and Adler Fellowship Programs of the San Francisco Opera and has been a prizewinner in various international singing competitions including the Munich Competition and the Queen Elizabeth Competition of Brussels.
Tayloe Harding, Lecturer,
is a composer and music administrator, Dean of the School of Music at the University of South Carolina, and former Interim Dean of the South Carolina Honors College. A seasoned higher ed administrator of twenty-nine years, Tayloe Harding is passionate advocate for advancing the impact of higher education music study and experience on American communities and national society. He is devoted to an array of organizations whose missions are consistent with this advocacy.
As President of the College Music Society from 2005-2006, he led the creation of the Engagement and Outreach Initiative where the efforts of the music professoriate are articulated with a variety of national constituencies, including other higher education disciplines and populations, music businesses and industries, and general audiences all in an effort to meet common musical and civic goals. He has been a founding member of the leadership teams for the Brevard Conference on Music Entrepreneurship (BCOME), the Round Top Roundtable: The Next Generation of Music Leadership in America and the independent National String Project Consortium (NSPC).
As Dean at South Carolina he has brought a bold idea to fruition: to more fully prepare tomorrow’s professional musicians by combining conventional professional music study with a systematic curricular and co-curricular exploration of music advocacy, music entrepreneurship, and community engagement in music by forming the Carolina Institute for Leadership and Engagement in Music, the first such entity of its kind in American higher education. An active member of and consultant for NASM, CMS, SCI, and ASCAP, he is a frequent presenter on issues facing the future of university music units and their leadership, and remains active as a composer earning commissions, performances, and recordings for his works around the world.
Dr. Jami Rhodes, mezzo-soprano
Serena Hill-LaRoche , Soprano
(DMA), originally from Laurel, Mississippi, is an active performer. She has recently been featured in works such as Poulenc’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Seasons, Brahm’s Requiem, Mozart’s Lord Nelson Mass, Charpentier’s Te Deum, Vaughan William’s Dona Nobis Pacem and Handel’s Samson. She has performed with the South Carolina Philharmonic and Firenze Lirica. Hill’s recital engagements include performances in both Italy and Spain. Her opera credits include Micaela (Carmen), Lady with the Cake Box (Postcard from Morocco), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and the title role in Dominick Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night.
She has sung with Opera at USC, Opera in the Ozarks, Studio Lirico, Greenville Light Opera, Central Florida Lyric Opera, and Piccolo Players.
An award winning vocal artist, Hill was a 2003 finalist in the Southeast Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions and most recently, a 2008 NATS Artist Award Regional Finalist and the 2006 Artist of the Year with FBN Productions, Inc. In 2003, she was the Bizet Award winner for the Orpheus National Young Artist Vocal Competition and a Palmetto Opera Competition Finalist in 2005.
Hill received a Doctorate in Musical Arts and a Master of Music from the University of South Carolina, both in Vocal Performance, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Alabama. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Music at Coker College, where she teaches applied voice, diction, and vocal pedagogy. Upcoming engagements include performances in Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina.
earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro where she studied with Ellen Linton. While at UNCG, Ginger was active in the music program participating in several recitals and performing with community music ensembles including the Greensboro Choral Society, the Bel Canto Company of Greensboro, the Durham Vocal Arts Ensemble, and the NC Symphony Baroque Choir. She appeared as a soloist in a joint production of Handel’s Messiah by the North Carolina Ballet and the North Carolina Master Chorale.
Ginger completed her Master of Music degree at the University of South Carolina while studying with Janet Hopkins. As the winner of the 2011 USC Concerto-Aria competition, she performed with the USC Symphony Orchestra. Ginger has appeared as a soloist with the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra and the Masterworks Choir in Florence, SC. After making her Opera at USC debut as Maurya in Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Riders to the Sea, she sang the roles of Marcellina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Madame de la Haltiere in Massenet’s Cendrillon and Pepa in Granados’s Goyescas under the direction of Ellen Douglas Schlaefer. Most recently, she performed with International Bass-Baritone, Sun Yu in a recital sponsored by the Confucius Institute and the University of South Carolina. In the spring, she will sing Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Concert Singers of Cary, and a concert version of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha with the Charleston Chamber Opera. Currently, Ms. Jones is a voice teacher at Allen University.
Composer Ayala Asherov-Kalus
Israeli-born composer and singer/songwriter Ayala Asherov-Kalus, resident of Charleston, South Carolina, is a recipient of the 2011 and 2012 ASCAPlus Award, winner of the 2011 Chamber Music Composition Award at the biennial Athena Music Festival, and 2010 recipient of the Wild Acres Residency. She is a member of ASCAP, The American Composers Forum, ACUM and ICL. Having been raised in a family of actors and directors (her grandparents were among the founders of the Habima National Theater of Israel), she tends toward the dramatic in her music, which ranges from songwriting to programmatic music in the concert hall, and to multimedia including film, museum exhibitions and compositions inspired by the written word. She received her Bachelor of Music Summa Cum Laude in composition and film scoring from the Berklee College of Music in 1998, and her Masters of Music in film scoring from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2000.She has written musical scores for The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel and National Geographic. She has underscored exhibits at the Jerusalem Theater ("Poetry and Pictures"), the Boston Aquarium and the Gesher Museum in Israel ("The Naharayim Experience"), combining live music, electronics, sound effects and interactive multimedia presentation. Her songs are published and recorded by many celebrated Israeli artists.
Her best known song, lyrics and music, “Along the Sea” (“Le’Orech Ha Yam”), was recorded by Ofra Haza in 1994, and is one of the most recorded songs in Israel. Ayala released her debut CD, “Crossing the River” in 2007. She has appeared and performed in Tel Aviv, Columbia, South Carolina, and at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina and continues to perform her own material on the piano.
In 2012 Ayala is working on the score for “Second Act”, a six part documentary mini series about the Israeli National Theater for Israel Educational Television. In 2010 Ayala scored “The Forgotten Founder”, part of the South Carolina ETV documentary series, Carolina Stories, which aired in October, 2010. Also from the Carolina Stories documentary series, Ayala finished scoring, “The Baruchs of Hobcaw” to be aired in November 2011. Her trio, “Three Rivers” for clarinet, viola, and piano, was released on “Claviatures” by Navona Records/Parma Recordings in October, 2011. She has been commissioned to compose a song cycle for mezzo soprano Janet Hopkins for voice violin and cello – the Children of Terezin - for the Opera–tunity foundation on Holocust memorial day, to be performed on April 18, 2012.
Susan J. Eischeid
Susan Eischeid currently holds the positions of Principal Oboe with the Valdosta Symphony, oboist with the Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra, and Professor of Music at Valdosta State University. Dr. Eischeid has performed widely, both in North America and in Europe, and played for several years with the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra. She received her doctorate in oboe performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and her Master of Music degree from the Philadelphia University of the Arts. Dr. Eischeid also serves on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina and has appeared with the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony and the Eastern Chamber Players.
Concurrent with her oboe activities, Dr. Eischeid has pursued an active interest in promoting the fight against racism through the medium of music. In 1987 she began presenting recitals of Holocaust music and completed her doctoral dissertation on the same subject in 1992. She has received many grants supporting her work including awards from the Hilb and Littauer Foundations and various internal grants from Valdosta State University. In 2005 she was named recipient of the Christopher Browning Fellowship by the Holocaust Educational Foundation. Annually since 2002 she has continued her research in multiple archives in Poland, Germany, Austria, Israel, the United States, England and the Czech Republic. To date she has interviewed over 65 survivors of the Holocaust and recorded their stories.
Dr. Eischeid has presented multiple lecture/recitals of Holocaust Music in cities across the United States and in Europe. She co-authored the liner notes for a CD of Holocaust string music released by the Colorado Chamber Players in July of 1997 (Uplifting Discoveries of a Generation Lost, CENTAUR #CRC 2342) and has published an article about Holocaust survivor and Berlin Kulturbund Orchestra oboist Kurt Michaelis, whose oboe is on display at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Dr. Eischeid’s first compact disc (CD) of Holocaust music, Mystic Chords of Genocide, was released by the ACA Digital label in May of 2001. In April of 2004 Dr. Eischeid was the featured speaker and performer at a Yom HaShoah Remembrance Day sponsored by the Holocaust Center of Northern California in San Francisco. This program also included remarks by Natan Sharansky, former Soviet dissident and Israeli Cabinet minister, and the bestowal of a Righteous Gentile Award to Mrs. Milena Herbenova by Israeli Holocaust institution Yad Vashem. In May of 2005 Dr. Eischeid participated in a series of European events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. These culminated with a performance of Holocaust works in Passau, Germany, attended by many U.S. veterans who liberated the camps of that region in 1945. In May of 2006 Dr. Eischeid was featured in a Music of the Holocaust lecture/recital tour of the Czech Republic, appearing in the cities of Prague, Olomouc, and Brno. In May of 2007 Dr. Eischeid participated in a two week Holocaust Education Seminar held at Northwestern University sponsored by the Holocaust Educational Foundation. Dr. Eischeid is currently writing a book about SS Aufseherin Maria Mandl, who formed and supported the women’s orchestra at Auschwitz/Birkenau. She also collaborated with German composer Stefan Heucke to produce and premiere a new work commemorating the Pink Triangle victims of the Holocaust in San Francisco, CA in 2010.
Jolene Flory, Soprano
recently relocated to South Carolina to begin her Doctoral studies in Vocal
Performance at the University of South Carolina this Fall. Ms. Flory earned her Masters of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2005 and in 2003 she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA.
Ms. Flory has worked as a professional soloist, college professor, professional accompanist, and church musician. As a professional soloist, she has studied and performed in a number of musical venues including art song, opera, and oratorio. She has been seen in the roles of the Countess and Susanna in scenes from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro as well as the role of Tisbe in scenes from Rossini’s La Cenerentola. She has also performed the role of Cio-Cio San in scenes from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. In the genre of oratorio, Ms. Flory has performed as the soprano soloist in such works as the Vivaldi Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, Rutter Magnificat, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, and Brahms’ Requiem. Ms. Flory has appeared in numerous performances on the east coast, as well as traveling to Graz, Austria to study and perform in the venue of the Art Song with the American Institute of Musical Studies in the summer of 2002.
From 2005-2010, Ms. Flory taught voice lessons, Diction for Singers, and served as choir director at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA. From 2007-2010, she taught voice lessons and Aural Skills at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. In addition, even though her degrees and passion lie in singing, she has enjoyed working as a professional coach and accompanist on the side since 2003.
Eric Kesler , Baritone
holds a Master in Music Performance and Bachelor in Music Education degrees from Appalachian State University. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of South Carolina and is an adjunct professor of voice at Coker College, Hartsville, SC. Mr. Kesler has performed in several venues throughout the Eastern US and Rome, Italy. He is a previous NATS 1st place winner in Advanced Men and Musical Theater categories and guest soloist for Handel's Messiah, Mozart Requiem, Faure Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Dubois Seven Last Words, and Bach St. Matthew Passion. Opera roles include Masetto and Leporello in Don Giovanni, Falke in Die Fledermaus, Husband in Amelia Goes to The Ball, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. Most recently he was seen in his USC debut in the role of Plunkett in Friedrich von Flotow’s Martha; and the role of Vertigo in Offenbach’s Peptio.
Kesler is the voice instructor for the annual Windswept Music Conference and holds advanced level instruction certificates from the Creative MotionAlliance® as well as serving on the executive board.