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Operatunity Foundation for the Arts

Subtitle

 

 
Season of Women Performers                       

 Dorothy Kirk, storyteller

I recently retired after a forty- five year career as a systems analyst, information technology consultant, project/program manager, and teacher. My teaching experience taught me that I had a gift for storytelling and performance. Teaching is, at its best, a performance art. I taught both English at a college level and project management to business professionals. I made the concepts come alive and kept the students engaged through my storytelling. I used stories to illustrate project management concepts, like risk management.Through my students’ feedback and the comments of my peers, I realized I had a gift and I developed a strong desire to pursue that gift.

A few years before retiring, I began writing my life stories in my memoir Born Gi!ed Need Help . After writing my memoir, I realized what I really wanted to do was perform my stories, not so much as individual stories, but as stories woven together by a common theme into a solo performance piece.

I chose several of my stories from which I created the show, Hold Still! I Can’t See Myself . I realized one of my life’s dreams when I performed it to a sold- out audience at The Altamont Theatre in Asheville, NC, on August 24, 2012.

The theme of Hold Stil! I Can’t See Myself  is that we spend our lives searching for our identity and for most of us, we do this by looking to other people to tell us who we are. We use other people as mirrors. If we’re lucky, one day we reach the point when we put aside all those external mirrors and look to our own internal mirror for our identity.

Diana Amos, Soprano

Diana Amos is Assistant Professor of Voice and Musical Theater at Columbia College in Columbia, SC. She has performed over sixty leading roles on the stages of thirty-five European opera companies.  Career highlights include the role of Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Berlin State Opera, Olympia in The Tales of Hoffman at the Semper Oper in Dresden and   the Cologne Opera, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel in Luxembourg, and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Staatsoper in Hannover, Germany.  After joining the Bielefeld Theater in Germany as a soloist, Amos was presented with the North Rhine Westphalia Young Artist Award in Duesseldorf.  She was also a first-place winner in the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra, MI competition. Her appearances as featured soloist include concerts with the Cologne Radio Orchestra, North West German Philharmonic, Bielefeld Philharmonic, and the Hannover Johann Strauss Orchestra, as well as appearances in recital and oratorio throughout England, Germany, and the U.S. 


Amos sang the the role of Zemire in Gretry's Zemire and Azor with the Houston Grand Opera and was the soprano soloist in Brahms' “German Requiem” with the South Carolina Philharmonic.  She has recently performed the roles of Miss Havisham in Miss Havisham's Wedding Night, the Fairy Godmother in Massenet’s Cendrillon, and Martha in Martha at Opera with Opera at USC..  Amos performed the role of Lucy in Menotti’s The Telephone with Donald Portnoy, conductor, at Piccolo Spoleto, Charleston, SC, in Brevard, NC, Aiken, SC and at the Koger Center in Columbia.


She received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a performance diploma from the Cologne Conservatory in Germany, and a M.M. degree from the University of South Carolina.  Amos is currently a D.M.A. candidate at the University of South Carolina.

 

 

Jolene Flory, soprano

Ms. Flory is a second year doctoral student in Vocal Performance at the University of South Carolina.  She 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 opera, oratorio, and art song.  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 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 worked as a college professor at Mary Baldwin College  in Staunton, VA where she taught private voice lessons, Diction for Singers, and directed the choir, Bella Voce.  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 vocal performance, she has enjoyed working as a professional coach and accompanist on the side since 2003.

Jennifer Parker-Harley, Flute

Praised by the Columbus Dispatch for her "beautiful sound," flutist Jennifer Parker-Harley enjoys a versatile career as a teacher and performer. Having joined the faculty of the University of South Carolina in 2008, Parker-Harley is committed to training a new generation of performers, educators and advocates for the arts.

An experienced orchestral flutist, she was a member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Ohio for eight years before moving to South Carolina. During her tenure there she appeared as soloist with the CSO, as well as many other orchestras in the central Ohio area. Parker-Harley has also been a member of the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra and the Heidelberg Schlossfestspiele Orkester.

An active recitalist and prizewinner in several national competitions, Jennifer appears as a frequent performer at the National Flute Association's annual convention and in schools and music series across the country. She has a special interest in presenting interdisciplinary programs such as her current project, "Pan- in music, poetry and art," which combines three art forms for a character study on this fascinating mythological figure. She has also worked with North Carolina composer Kenneth Frazelle to present his watercolors of the Blue Ridge Mountains during the performance of his wonderful piece, "Blue Ridge Airs" for flute and piano.

Teaching is an especially important part of Dr. Parker-Harley's musical life. She has a holistic approach to teaching the flute that includes extensive study of the mental aspect of performance. She has worked closely with peak performance psychologist, Dr. Todd Kays, which has greatly informed her own approach to performance as well as her teaching of young flutists. She has a very accomplished studio at USC; recent graduates have gone on to study at such prestigious institutions as the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Peabody Institute, the University of Texas School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her students have also been prizewinners in several competitions of the National Flute Association, the Florida Flute Association, the Kentucky Flute Society, the Central Ohio Flute Association and the South Carolina Flute Society. 

Dr. Parker-Harley is an honors graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, holds a bachelor's degree and a performer's certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and graduate degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She is privileged to have studied under wonderful flutists and teachers: Kay Borkowski, Jaqueline Hofto, Bonita Boyd, Richard Sherman, Dr. Bradley Garner and the late Jack Wellbaum.

Past teaching posts include positions at Otterbein College, Goshen College, Wright State University, Ohio University and the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan and the Vianden Music Festival in Luxembourg.  In the summers, Jennifer serves on the faculties of the National Music Festival and the Saarburg International Music Festival in Germany.

Tina Milhorn Stallard, Soprano

Active 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.

Lynn Kompass,pianist

Vocal coach and collaborative pianist, Lynn Kompass, joined the faculty of the University of South Carolina in 2002. Currently an associate professor, she provides musical preparation for all productions performed by Opera at USC and teaches courses in song literature and advanced diction for singers. 

As a collaborative pianist and chamber musician, Ms. Kompass has appeared in venues across the country including Weill Recital Hall and the Nicholas Roerich Museum (N.Y.C.), the Strings in the Mountain Festival (Colorado), Harold Washington Library (Chicago), North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh) and various other chamber music series in North and South Carolina. She has also given recitals at numerous colleges and conservatories nationwide, including the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico, Eastman School of Music, University of Tennessee, Western Michigan University, University of Florida and James Madison University. For five summers she was engaged as a pianist for the prestigious Steans Vocal Institute in residence at the Ravinia Music Festival. During this time she played in numerous voice recitals and for masterclasses given by Christoph Eschenbach, Christa Ludwig, Thomas Hampson, Thomas Allen, Barbara Bonney and many others. Upcoming collaborative recitals include tours of both Northeastern Brazil and Northern Thailand in the spring and summer of 2012.

As a coach/repetiteur, Ms. Kompass has worked at the Festival de Musique de St-Barthelemy in the French West Indies, as well as Chicago Opera Theater, Aspen Opera Theater, University of Tennessee and Opera Brasil in São Luis, Brazil. She has also given masterclasses and clinics at SUNY Potsdam, Florida State University, Charleston Southern University, Western Michigan University and Emory University.

Ms. Kompass has also been an active presenter/performer at a wide variety of conferences and conventions such as the International Convention of the College Music Society in Alcalà, Spain, the National Convention of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (Minneapolis), the 2006 Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities and the 34th annual conference of the International Double Reed Society. She was heard in numerous concerts as an official pianist for ClarinetFest 2006 (International Clarinet Association Convention). 

Ms. Kompass holds graduate degrees from the University of Michigan where she studied with Martin Katz. In addition, she has worked with legendary coach/accompanist Martin Isepp at the Banff Centre for Fine Arts, and with Margo Garrett, Roger Vignoles, and Warren Jones at the Steans Institute.  

Angela Blalock, Soprano

is equally comfortable in the classroom and onstage as a performer—two environments where she has shown herself to be highly skilled and respected by her peers.  Students past and present consistently demonstrate that her teaching methods are sound and effective (tailored to meet the needs of the individual); she has supervised numerous academic and studio recitals, with students going on to pursue graduate studies and professional careers as educators and performers.

 As a performer, she has appeared regionally with the Savannah Symphony Chamber Orchestra, the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, the Aiken Community Orchestra, the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra, and the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra.  A former Associate Artist with the Opera Columbus Company, she currently performs as a concert artist, with the following soprano solo roles to her credit: Bach’s Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Rutter’s Requiem and the Magnificat, the Fauré Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise and the oratorio Elijah, the Mozart Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. Notably, she will appear as the soprano soloist for the 2012 performance of Handel’s Messiah with the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra.

 Additional honors include the juried selection as a former Approved Artist for the state of State of South Carolina, as well as a Showcase and Community Tour artist. She serves on the Music faculty of Benedict College, Columbia, South Carolina, and is currently a D.M.A. (Doctorate of Musical Arts) candidate in Vocal Performance at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

 

Stephanie Beinlich, Soprano

is a native of Northern Michigan, is a versatile singer who is experienced both onstage and behind the scenes. She has performed, stage managed and directed with professional opera and choral companies in Michigan, Florida, and South Carolina, most recently with FBN Productions for their 2012 tour. In 2011, Ms. Beinlich studied at the Professional Choral Institute with Seraphic Fire, where she sang on their Grammy-nominated recording of Brahms' Ein deutches Requiem. Other recent recordings include Beneath the Ice, the debut album of electro-acoustic music from local composer George Fetner. Onstage, she has been seen most recently as Franca inThe Light in the Piazza and as the title role in Cendrillon, both with Opera at USC. This season she will be performing Cunegonde in Candide at the University of South Carolina, where she is a second-year candidate in their doctoral program. Ms. Beinlich holds degrees in voice and pedagogy from Western Michigan University and the University of South Carolina, where she studies with Dr. Tina Stallard .

Lauren Norton, mezzo-soprano

is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music Major. She started her career in her hometown; Aiken, SC; with productions at the Aiken Community Playhouse. She currently studies with Janet Hopkins and is a member of the University of South Carolina Concert Choir. Lauren has recently appeared in several Opera at USC productions including ensemble roles in Don Giovanni & The Tender Land, and Female Fan in Bambino. In July of 2012, she travelled to Rome, Italy and performed in productions through Operafestival di Roma such as Suor Angelica (Secunda Sorella Cercatrice) and Die Zauberflöte (ensemble).  This spring, she will be performing the role of Daphnis in Daphnis et Chloe with Opera at USC.. 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Beth Kirsten moved from the Midwest to Baltimore in 2004 to attend Peabody Conservatory. Previously a singer-songwriter in Chicago, she played at many of the cities smallest, but mightiest, nightclubs. Since then Ms. Kirsten has written music for orchestra, chamber ensemble, opera, and for solo instruments. Color, memory, voice, words, and breath are fascinations intrinsic to her musical language. She has received awards and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Fromm Foundation, The MAP Fund, ASCAP, and from the state of Connecticut. The 2013-14 season includes premieres by the Grammy Award-winning eighth blackbirdAmerican Composers OrchestraThe Calyx Piano Trio, a solo cello piece commissioned by Jeffrey Zeigler of Kronos Quartet, and a song cycle for the duo TwoSense. Ms. Kirsten is also a poet and librettist and lives just down the street from Pepe's famous pizza in New Haven, CT. She teaches music composition privately and at the HighSCORE Festival in Pavia, Italy.

Amy Beth Kirsten moved from the Midwest to Baltimore in 2004 to attend Peabody Conservatory. Previously a singer-songwriter in Chicago, she played at many of the cities smallest, but mightiest, nightclubs. Since then Ms. Kirsten has written music for orchestra, chamber ensemble, opera, and for solo instruments. Color, memory, voice, words, and breath are fascinations intrinsic to her musical language. She has received awards and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Fromm Foundation, The MAP Fund, ASCAP, and from the state of Connecticut. The 2013-14 season includes premieres by the Grammy Award-winning eighth blackbirdAmerican Composers OrchestraThe Calyx Piano Trio, a solo cello piece commissioned by Jeffrey Zeigler of Kronos Quartet, and a song cycle for the duo TwoSense. Ms. Kirsten is also a poet and librettist and lives just down the street from Pepe's famous pizza in New Haven, CT. She teaches music composition privately and at the HighSCORE Festival in Pavia, Italy.

Amy Beth Kirsten moved from the Midwest to Baltimore in 2004 to attend Peabody Conservatory. Previously a singer-songwriter in Chicago, she played at many of the cities smallest, but mightiest, nightclubs. Since then Ms. Kirsten has written music for orchestra, chamber ensemble, opera, and for solo instruments. Color, memory, voice, words, and breath are fascinations intrinsic to her musical language. She has received awards and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Fromm Foundation, The MAP Fund, ASCAP, and from the state of Connecticut. The 2013-14 season includes premieres by the Grammy Award-winning eighth blackbirdAmerican Composers OrchestraThe Calyx Piano Trio, a solo cello piece commissioned by Jeffrey Zeigler of Kronos Quartet, and a song cycle for the duo TwoSense. Ms. Kirsten is also a poet and librettist and lives just down the street from Pepe's famous pizza in New Haven, CT. She teaches music composition privately and at the HighSCORE Festival in Pavia, Italy.

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