2016–2017 Artist Biographies

 

Michael Adamyk (Toby, The Medium), originally hailed from McPherson, KS, though he now lives in Hillsboro. He has held five roles in theater productions at Tabor College (Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird, Thomas Putnam in The Crucible, Joe Stoddard in Our Town, Egeon in Comedy of Errors, Dr. Jens Rank in A Doll’s House), and numerous performances with Tabor College Opera, including as the Lieutenant in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Yeoman of the Guard. Additionally, he has performed with McPherson Community Theatre (Palace Dancer in Cinderella and Avram in Fiddler on the Roof). Michael graduated from Tabor College with a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design, and is a staff member of the Tabor College Library. He is currently completing coursework for a second Bachelor of Arts degree in music.
Soprano Karina Brazas (Monica, The Medium), described as “fiery and fetching” (Ladue News), and as performing with “sweetness, clarity, great beauty and innocence,” (Broadway World) begins the 2016-17 season in recital as a guest artist and clinician at Washington State University, and continues with a Puccini-inspired program for National Opera Week with Opera Omaha and conductor Hal France. She will also continue in the development process of a new opera, Stranger from Paradise, about the life of William Blake, singing the role of Enitharmon in the Opera Omaha workshop. Early in 2017, Ms. Brazas will make her debut with the Omaha Symphony as First Fairy in Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, and will join Music On Site as Monica in The Medium. She also returns to Orchestra Seattle as the soprano soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria and makes her debut as Sophie de Palma in Terrence McNally’s Masterclass with the Circle Theater.In the summer of 2016, Ms. Brazas returned to Union Avenue Opera in Saint Louis in the role of Yum-Yum in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, and was described as “gifted with a wonderfully flexible voice and a fine comic sense” (KDHX Radio). The 2014-15 season saw her as Young Pilgrim in Opera Omaha’s new work preview of Stranger from Paradise, in recital with conductor Hal France, as the soprano soloist in Fauré’s Requiem with Orchestra Seattle and the St. Cloud Symphony and as Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Union Avenue Opera.

Ms. Brazas made her main stage debut at Central City Opera as Kitty Hart in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. As an apprentice artist with Central City Opera, she performed Susanna in the family performance of Le nozze di Figaro, and covered Liesl in The Sound of Music. Other recent operatic roles include Suor Genoviefa in Suor Angelica, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel and Rosina in The Barber of Seville. She has been a regional finalist and multiple award winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and has been featured as a soloist with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony, Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, and Washington-Idaho Symphony. Favorite concert and oratorio solo work include Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Bach’s Cantata 36 and B Minor Mass, Schubert’s Mirjam’s Siegesgesang, and James Syler’s Storyville.

Ms. Brazas spent the first 12 years of her life as a U.S. Army brat, before settling in Olympia, Washington. She graduated magna cum laude with her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from Washington State University, and received her Master of Music from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She currently lives in the Midwest.

More info can be found at www.KarinaBrazas.com.

Baritone Joel Rogier (Mr. Gobineau, The Medium; Ben, The Telephone), from Glen Carbon, IL, has performed with regional opera companies in St. Louis and Wichita, appearing most recently as Viscomte Cascada in Winter Opera St. Louis’s production of The Merry Widow. He has also recently performed in Union Avenue Opera’s production of Doubt (chorus/Working Man). With Opera Kansas, he appeared in the new ballad opera Two Patriots, educating Wichita-area children about opera and US history.

Rogier’s flexible, wide-ranging voice has allowed him to perform in both opera and musical theatre. Recent roles include Ali in Les Indes galantes and Clayton McAllister in Cold Sassy Tree. Other favorite roles include Don Giovanni, Papageno, Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), and Father (Hansel and Gretel). Musical theatre highlights include Signor Naccarelli in The Light in the Piazza, Aldolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone, Rudolph Reisenweber in Hello Dolly!, and Lt. Brannigan in Guys and Dolls. Rogier has performed in Italy with the Musica nelle Marche program and participated in the 2012 OperaWorks Emerging Artist program. He has won first place in various regional and state NATS competitions and was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Naftzger Young Artist Competition. Rogier is also an alumnus of Opera Theatre of St. Louis’s Artist-in-Training program.

Rogier recently completed his Masters of Music in Opera Performance at Wichita State University, where he studied with acclaimed bass-baritone, Alan Held, and worked with renowned bass, Samuel Ramey. He received his Bachelors of Music in Voice Performance from Ouachita Baptist University in 2014.

Alana Sealy (Madame Flora “Baba,” The Medium) is an operatic mezzo-soprano, born and raised in Raleigh, NC. As quoted in a CVNC review by Ken Hoover, “Her well-controlled dynamic expressiveness communicates the soul of the character beyond the written notes and cues on the page of the score.”

As a member of the Natchez Festival of Music the past three seasons, she’s performed various roles including Ruth (The Pirates of Penzance), Buttercup (H.M.S Pinafore), and the covers of Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) and Julie LaVerne (Show Boat). Other previous work includes Mother (The Consul), The Mother (Hansel and Gretel), Katisha (The Mikado), Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana), and Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street).

She holds an M.M. in Vocal Performance from the University of Alabama and a B.A. in Vocal Performance from Case Western Reserve University in collaboration with the Cleveland Institute of Music. She currently studies with previous Metropolitan Opera National Auditions winner Katherine Kaufman Posner.

More info can be found at www.AlanaSealy.com.

Krystin Skidmore (Mrs. Nolan, The Medium), mezzo-soprano, is a graduate of Wichita State University making her debut with Music On Site, Inc. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she has studied with Kathleen Kaun at Rice University, with Dr. Melanie Emelio at Pepperdine University and with Dr. Dorothy Crum at WSU. Locally, she has performed with Opera Kansas as Sarah in She Never Lost a Passenger, as Mrs. McLean in WSU’s production of Susannah, and as a featured performer in the Forum Theatre’s Words and Music Concert Series.

Other performance highlights include being filmed in a 2008 documentary about a group of performers under the direction of Dr. Henry Price retracing the route of Emanuel Schikaneder’s 1779 acting group across Germany and Austria, participating in Songfest 2008 under the tutelage of Martin Katz and Paul Sperry, and touring Europe and South America under the direction of Mark Andrew Shaull, performing in notable concerts such as in St. Peter’s Basilica, in Temppeliaukio Church in Helsinki, in Lovrijenac with the Dubrovnik Symphony, with the San Felice Orchestra in Florence and with the Buenos Aires Conservatory Orchestra.

Emily Sternfeld-Dunn (Mrs. Gobineau, The Medium; soprano, Ceremony of Carols), soprano, is a strong advocate for new music and unconventional performances of art song and opera. Ms. Sternfeld-Dunn regularly gives recitals across the country, featuring works of contemporary American composers. Most recently she was the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s 9th symphony with Mid-Columbia Symphony and sang the role of Love Simpson in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree. In 2013 she sang the role of The Mother in Opera Kansas’ production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. Significant performances with Hartford Opera Theater include Laetitia in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief and Aunt Polly and Susy Harper in Tom Sawyer, a new work commissioned by the company. She has performed with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Connecticut Concert Opera, the Idaho Washington Symphony, and the Palouse Choral Society. Ms. Sternfeld-Dunn was a finalist in the Art Song and Oratorio categories of the American Prize in 2014.

Ms. Sternfeld-Dunn has a Bachelor of Arts degree in music with an emphasis in piano performance from California State University, Hayward where she graduated magna cum laude. She also has a Master of Arts degree in music with emphases in piano and vocal performance from Washington State University, Pullman. Ms. Sternfeld-Dunn holds a Graduate Professional Diploma in vocal performance from The Hartt School. She lives in Wichita, KS with her husband and daughters.

While living in Hartford, Ms. Sternfeld-Dunn founded Hartford Opera Theater, which has since produced over 30 operas and remains a vibrant and exciting musical highlight of the greater Hartford region. She also regularly produces recitals of new music; most recently incorporating contemporary dance during her performance of “Too Few the Mornings Be,” a song cycle by the living American composer Ricky Ian Gordon.

As an educator Ms. Sternfeld-Dunn has taught piano and voice lessons for the last sixteen years. In addition to maintaining an active private studio, she taught on the faculty at Washington State University and for the last five years at Wichita State University. Her students have performed professionally within both the classical and music theater genres. Regionally, her students perform with Music Theater Wichita, Wichita Grand Opera, Wichita Chorale, Crown Uptown, and Roxy’s. Ms. Sternfeld-Dunn’s students are nationally competitive, having won awards through KCATF and NATS.

More info can be found at www.EmilySternfeldDunn.com.

Holly Swartzendruber (soprano, Ceremony of Carols), soprano, is an adjunct instructor at Tabor College and Hesston College, teaching Applied Voice and Vocal Pedagogy and Diction. She also works as Coordinator of Music in Worship at First Mennonite Church in Hillsboro, KS. She earned a B.A. in music from Goshen College, and a Master of Music in vocal performance with a vocal pedagogy emphasis from Ohio University. She her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas in 2001.

Among the operatic roles Holly has performed are the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Lucia from Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and Despina from Mozart’s Così fan tutte. She has performed the soprano solos for Handel’s Messiah, the Brahms Requiem, Mozart Requiem, and Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate. In February 2012, she performed as the soprano soloist in a concert with the Goshen College choirs and Toledo Symphony under the direction of Grammy-award winner Vance George. In addition to performing and her duties at Tabor and Hesston, Holly teaches voice master classes, adjudicates regionally and statewide, and serves as a member of Western District (Mennonite Church USA) Music and Worship Task Force.