Donnie Ray Albert
Assistant Professor of Voice
Donnie Ray Albert is a regular guest of opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera as Germont, Los Angeles Opera as Trinity Moses in Mahagonny, Simone in A Florentine Tragedy, and as the Father in Hansel and Gretel, plus numerous appearances with Opera Pacific, Houston Grand Opera, Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Dallas Opera, Arizona; Atlanta Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera,Utah Opera, and the opera companies of New Orleans, Baltimore, Columbus, Kansas City, Omaha, Pittsburgh, and, in Canada, with the companies in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Manitoba, and Vancouver. In Europe, he has appeared at the Cologne Opera singing all Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, and Frank in Die Tote Stadt, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as the Four Villains, the Royal Opera Wallonie in Liege for Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy, the National Theater in Prague as Jack Rance, the Deutsche Opera Berlin, Lithuanian National Opera in the title role of Der Fliegende Holländer, plus the opera houses in Bordeaux, Köln, Bregenz, Milan, Mannheim and Hamburg, and in Vienna in the title role in Ernst Bloch’s Macbeth for the Vienna “Klangbogen” Festival. He has appeared in Japan with the New National Theater in Tokyo as Wotan and the Wanderer in Der Ring des Nibelungen, and in Brazil as Jochanaan inSalome in Sao Paolo. As a concert artist, Mr. Albert has sung with the orchestras of Washington DC (National), Cologne, Southwest Florida, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Dallas, Minnesota, Seattle, St. Paul, Los Angeles, Austin, Palm Beach, Greensboro, Grant Park Music Festival, and Madison, Vienna and Linz, in Austria and in Jerusalem. He is also a resident artist with the Center for Black Music Research at Chicago’s Columbia College. In recent seasons, Mr. Albert has appeared as Rigoletto for Vancouver Opera, Amonaso in Riga, Latvia, and Phoenix, Alfio for the Orlando Opera, Iago for the Kentucky Opera, Il Giuramento for the Washington Concert Opera, Das lied von der Erde with Rhode Island Philharmonic, Elijah with the Southwest Florida Master Chorale, concerts with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the Atlanta Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra for their performance of d’Indy’s Fervaal, Nashville Symphony, the Kentucky Opera as Germont, Latvian Opera as Giorgio in I Puritani, Prague’s National Theater as the Four Villains in a new production of Les Contes d’Hoffman, and the Semper Opera in Dresden for Keith Warner’s new production of Faust, in Paris for Aida, in Riga, Latvia for Otello, Madison Opera for La Traviata, and Washington Concert Opera for Adriana Lecouvreur. Future engagements includes appearances as Amonasro in Edmonton and in the title role of Verdi’s Falstaff for the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen. Donnie Ray Albert was born in Louisiana. He earned a Bachelor of Music Degree at Louisiana State University and a Master of Music Degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Albert may be heard on RCA’s Grammy Award and Grand Prix du Disque winning recording of Porgy and Bess, NOW’s recording of The Horse I Ride Has Wings with David Garvey on piano, EMI’s Frühlingsbegräbnis and Eine Florentinesche Tragodie by Zemlinsky conducted by James Conlon, and Simon Sargon’s A Clear Midnight on the Gasparo label.
Stage Director, Butler Opera Center
Known especially for his large-scale work of opera’s most well-known productions, Bruce has created stagings of Turandot, Carmen, Tosca, Aida, Pagliacci, and La bohème that have been seen coast to coast. Bruce’s body of work includes directing at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and his European opera debut staging Turandot for the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. From 2008 to 2011 he was at Opera Omaha, where he led a cycle of the Mozart-Da Ponte operas. He began directing for the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in 2004, receiving a faculty appointment in 2006. Bruce regularly participated at the Aspen Music Festival and School from 1993 to 2019. Recently, Bruce became Artistic Advisor to Opera San Antonio. Born in Washington, D.C., Bruce was a choirboy at Washington National Cathedral and holds degrees in English and Drama from Tufts University. After internships with Harold Prince and Leonard Bernstein in the early 1990s, he joined the staffs of the Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, The Dallas Opera, and Opera Colorado. This summer, he stages Don Giovanni at Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Lecturer in Vocal Arts
Leah Crocetto is a grammy award winning, internationally acclaimed soprano. Recently, Ms Crocetto performed Leonora in a new production of Verdi’s il Trovatore for Opera Australia, as well as Margarita in Boito’s Mefistofele, alongside Ferruccio Furlanetto. She has performed many great opera works in some of the most prestigious opera houses across the globe, including Verdi’s Otello (Desdemona), Il Trovatore (Leonora), Don Carlo (Elizabetta), Aida (Aida), Luisa Miller (Luisa), Falstaff (Alice Ford), Puccini”s Tosca, La Boheme (Mimi), Turandot (Liu), Rossinni’s Maometto Secondo (Anna), Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites (Mdm Lidoine), Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Donna Anna), at such opera houses as The Metropolitan Opera, Opera Australia, San Francisco Opera, Opera Frankfurt, English National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Washington National Opera, Fondazione di Petruzelli, Teatro La Fenice, Opera National de Bordeaux, Arena di Verona, Settle Opera, to name a few. Ms Crocetto is also no stranger to the concert stage, she has performed such works as Verdi’s Messa di Requiem, Mahler’s Symphony No 2, Symphony No 8, Poulenc’s Gloria, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Grand Teton’s Music Festival, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Leah’s performance in Mahler’s 8th symphony with the Los Angeles Philharmonic garnered her a grammy award in 2022. Leah has also performed solo concerts and recitals across the USA, including a critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut recital. She is a member of Price Hill Trio, with fellow performers Ronny Michael Greenburg and Christian Pursell. They will record their first EP album in late 2022. As a teacher of voice, Leah has worked with students of all ages and levels. Her students have won international competitions, are performing on International stages, and entering top tier universities and programs across the world. Her greatest passion is mentoring the next generation of singers.
Douglas Kinney Frost
Principal Conductor, Butler Opera Center
Douglas Kinney Frost has led orchestras and opera companies on four continents, consistently thrilling audiences and inspiring the musicians with whom he works. “Under the baton of music director Douglas Kinney Frost the orchestra consistently presents concerts that are interesting, stimulating and thought-provoking,” says the Deseret News.
Hailed as “fearless” and praised for his consistent “vigorous display of artistic strength” by the national press during his eight-year tenure as Artistic and Music Director of Syracuse Opera he has demonstrated an ability to engage audiences and artists with creative programming and stirring performances. Maestro Kinney Frost has a national reputation for dynamic education and audience development initiatives, and his advocacy for emerging vocalists and conductors remains a significant national calling card. His podcast AMPED UP OPERA features many of opera’s finest talent, and reaches thousands of listeners.
The LA Times commented, “the orchestra and chorus conducted by Douglas Kinney Frost were excellent, and at times it was fun watching Frost with his colorful style of conducting,” on his sold-out performances of Figaro 90210 at LA Opera. He also recently served as Music Director and conductor for a co-production of David Lang’s the difficulty of crossing a field for Beth Morrison Projects which received a concert performance in New York and was released on Cantaloupe Records. The concert and recording have received kudos for Maestro Kinney Frost’s music direction from the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer and Musica l America, and a Critic’s Choice acknowledgement in Opera News.
Labelled a Britten specialist by Maestro James Conlon, Frost was invited to serve as associate conductor for his work on Benjamin Britten Operas numerous times including: The Turn of the Screw, Albert Herring, and Billy Budd with Los Angeles Opera and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Curlew River with the Fondazione Teatro dell’Opera in Rome and The Burning Fiery Furnace with the Ravinia Festival.
Other recent highlights as conductor include performances of Porgy and Bess at the prestigious Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, La bohème at Florida Grand Opera, Madama Butterfly for Utah Opera, L’elisir d’amore for Opera Saratoga, the Boston première of Little Women, The Turn of the Screw and The Magic Flute at The New England Conservatory, The Prodigal Son with University of Southern California, Gluck’s Armide and Argento’s Postcard from Morocco at the University of Michigan. He also conducted the premiere of Libby Larsen’s Dreaming Blue at the Kennedy Center’s Imagination Celebration.
In concert, the breadth of his repertoire has been highlighted in performances with many of the world’s great ensembles. Some of the international orchestras have included the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Orchestra Sinfonia Siciliana. the National Symphony of Mexico and the Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and orchestras in Brazil and Uruguay, Russian Federal Orchestra in Moscow, St. Petersburg Festival Orchestra, Kharkov Philharmonia in Ukraine, and the National Orchestra of Korea in Seoul; and in the U.S. with the Colorado Bach Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Rochester Philharmonic, Westminster College, New England Conservatory, Utah, Baltimore, Memphis, Virginia, and Richmond Symphonies, among others.
As a conducting pedagogue, he frequently explores both the opera and orchestral repertoire with emerging conductors. Recent classes and workshops include the New York State Carmina Burana Sing-a-long, New England Conservatory, University of Michigan, Ithaca College, and the Conductor’s Retreat at Medomak. He remains committed to fostering emerging talent having shaped vocal and collaborative pianist young artist programs at Florida Grand Opera, Utah Opera, Syracuse Opera, and Opera on the James.
His rise to the podium came through the tradition of the world’s great opera houses, quickly advancing from rehearsal pianist, to assistant conductor, to chorus master. As a coach and accompanist he is frequently sought by acclaimed vocal and instrumentalists for musical preparation and recital work. A recent presentation included CBC’s Julie Nesrallah in concert at the international Turner to Cezanne exhibit at the Everson Museum, pairing two centuries of French art song with the paintings that inspired them.
As an advocate for arts education Mr. Kinney Frost has created numerous education and outreach programs for orchestras and opera companies. One of his opera education programs, OPERAMANIA, was broadcast for two seasons on PBS. He is frequently asked to lecture about music and the training of young vocalists and conductors. He has been a panelist at conferences for the National Endowment for the Arts, American Symphony Orchestra League, Conductor’s Guild, Utah Arts Council, Opera America and Virginia Commission for the Arts.
More information on Mr. Kinney’s work can be seen on his website- www.douglaskinneyfrost.com.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Voice
Before the pandemic, American mezzo-soprano Jill Grove returned to both the Metropolitan Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago as the Governess in Pique Dame, joined Minnesota Opera for Klytaemnestra in Elektra, and was scheduled at the Metropolitan Opera for their production of Káťa Kabanova before the pandemic shut everything down. Last season she sang the Fortune Teller in Arabella and Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana with San Francisco Opera, 1st Maid in Elektra with Canadian Opera Company, and returned to the Metropolitan Opera for their productions of Götterdämmerung and Dialogues des Carmélites. She also joined the Calgary Philharmonic for performances of Verdi’s Requiem. Jill will make her Arizona Opera debut in the winter of 2022 in their production of A Little Night Music.
The mezzo’s other recent performances include; Klytaemnestra in Elektra with Michigan Opera Theatre; Auntie in Peter Grimes with Canadian Opera Company; Ježibaba in Rusalka and First Maid in Elektra with Houston Grand Opera; Buryja in Jenůfa, and Madelon in Andrea Chenier at San Francisco Opera; Dame Quickly in Falstaff, Muschel in Die ägyptische Helena, Florence Pike in Albert Herring, Ursule in Béatrice et Bénédict, and Antonia’s Mother in Les contes d’Hoffmann with Santa Fe Opera; Erda in Siegfried, Nutrice in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, and Zita in Gianni Schicchi at Los Angeles Opera; Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress with Pittsburgh Opera and Utah Opera; Amneris in Aida in previous performances with Canadian Opera Company, San Diego Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago.. In Europe, Ms. Grove has performed the role of Haushälterin in Die schweigsame Frau with Théâtre du Châtelet; Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera with Welsh National Opera and Teatro Carlo Felice; and Erda in Siegfried and the First Norn in Götterdämmerung with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich under the baton of Kent Nagano.
Professor of Voice
William Lewis is Professor of Voice, with the Butler Opera Center–focusing on undergraduate opera study–and holder of the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professorship in Opera at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Austrian American Mozart Academy in Salzburg, a six-week summer training program in opera performance. He received his education at the University of Colorado, Texas Christian University and New York University. He was professor of voice and opera at Penn State University and New York State University at Binghamton. Prof. Lewis enjoys a highly regarded reputation as a tenor whose versatility spans the operatic repertoire from Mozart to Schoenberg, having performed over one hundred thirty major operatic roles in ten languages. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Narraboth, where he continued as leading tenor for thirty-five years in such roles as Rodolfo, Cavaradossi, Pinkerton, Macduff, Arrigo, Alfredo, Gabriele, Turiddu, Hoffmann, Don Jose, Romeo, Aeneas, Dimitri, Ghermann, Stewa, Idomeneo, Alwa, the Tambourmajor, Oedipus Rex, and in the dual role of Steuermann and Erik. He made his San Francisco Opera debut in 1975 as Steuermann/Erik and appeared there in subsequent seasons as Stewa (Jenufa), Albert Gregor (The Makropoulos Affair), Boris (Katya Kabanova), Frank Sargent (Angle of Repose – world premiere), the title role in Le Cid, Sergei (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk), Golitsin (Khovantschina), Eumete (Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria) and Loge (Das Rheingold). In Europe, the renowned tenor has received critical acclaim at Teatro alla Scala (Milan), Teatro Comunale (Florence), Teatro la Fenice (Venice), Teatro Regio (Torino), Théâtre Nationale de Paris, Opéra Toulouse, Royal Opera Covent Garden (London), English Opera North, Glasgow Opera, Hamburg Staatsoper, Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro São Carlos (Lisbon), Cologne Opera, as well as the festivals at Salzburg, Edinburgh, Spoleto (Italy and U.S.A.), Wexford, Ireland, and Amsterdam. Opera.
Lecturer in Collaborative Piano
Pianist James Maverick joined the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music in 2021, where he teaches vocal repertoire and accompanying. He has worked as music staff at Cincinnati Opera, where he was pianist and assistant chorus master for Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Bizet’s Carmen, and Puccini’s Tosca, and Opera Philadelphia, where he prepared a workshop for the upcoming premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Woman with Eyes Closed. He was a Resident Artist at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, where he assisted in the preparation of nine opera productions, including serving as chorus master for Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles. He has been a coach on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and has also served as the official accompanist for the Kansas City district of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and an apprentice coach at the Merola Opera Program and Wolf Trap Opera. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he received a B.A.in Economics and B.M. in Piano Performance from Lawrence University, where he studied with Michael Mizrahi, and he received an M.M. in Piano and Choral Conducting and Performer Diploma in Collaborative Piano from Indiana University, where his teachers included Emile Naoumoff, Kevin Murphy, Anne Epperson, Walter Huff, Betsy Burleigh, and Dominick DiOrio.
Assistant Professor of Practice in Voice
A native of Virginia, Cynthia Morrow is a graduate of Hollins College (Phi Beta Kappa), The University of Maryland, and The Ohio State University, where she earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance. She has been a member of the music faculties at the University of Florida, Mississippi College, and Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Working with both undergraduate and graduate voice students, she has taught a variety of courses related to vocal performance, including vocal literature, vocal pedagogy, applied voice, diction, and opera workshop. As Director of Opera Theater at Mississippi College, she directed performances of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute, and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, along with numerous workshops and scene recitals. A number of Dr. Morrow’s voice students have won their divisions at the state and regional levels of NATS competitions. Dr. Morrow has performed a wide array of repertoire, including leading roles in Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte (Despina), Poulenc’s Dialogue of the Carmelites (Constance), and Britten’s Albert Herring (Miss Wordsworth), as well as in oratorios by Handel, Bach, and Mozart.
Associate Professor of Practice
Pianist Rick Rowley is a very versatile musician and has appeared extensively as a recitalist, a concerto soloist and chamber performer with an exciting list of the world’s leading musicians. The Washington Post recently wrote that he is “a communicative performer who clearly enjoys playing.” He “takes the music on its own terms and infuses it with active interpretation, tempered with understanding of its point and purpose.” The San-Antonio Express-News praised his “resplendent performance … which crackled with infectious energy” and the Austin Statesman-American has praised his “dazzling technique” and “world-class expertise,” calling one of his concerts “concerto playing at its best.” The American Record Guide praised his release of piano music of Franz Liszt saying that “Rowley’s playing is wonderful in these favorites — poetic, tender, full of grandeur.” Of his American music CD they wrote, “By all means, grab this” and recently extolled his Chopin CD writing that “the ‘Fantasy-Impromptu’ can take on all challengers.” In the past Mr. Rowley has appeared as a conductor and in the dual role of conductor/soloist; in this latter capacity his performances of Mozart concertos have been particularly recognized. He has also taken part in concerts on period instruments, performing as harpsichordist with the Texas Bach Aria Group and on fortepiano with the Texas Baroque Ensemble. At various times Mr. Rowley has served in lectureship positions at the University of Texas in Austin and is again currently holding that position, in which he works with pianists, vocalists and chamber music groups. He was the music lecturer/performer for the prestigious Houston Series for three years and his programs were among the most popular in the Series’ history. He is also highly admired as a teacher in master classes and has often worked with pianists, instrumentalists and actor/singers in that framework. Mr. Rowley has recorded, produced and written liner notes for a number of compact discs; his solo recordings feature repertoire by Liszt, Guion, Chopin, Mompou, Granados, Barber, Gershwin, Cumming and Copland. He has recorded chamber music with cellist Peter Rejto; flutist Marianne Gedigian; and clarinetist Patricia Shands. Recently he contributed performances to new discs of music by American composers Kathryn Mishell and Kent Kennan. A CD of songs by Strauss, Turina, Smith and Ward with soprano, Cheryl Parrish, is now in current release. For several years Mr. Rowley maintained a busy career in the theater and is a veteran of nearly fifty productions as actor, musical director and director. His first performances were for children’s theater at Zachary Scott in Austin and he has also worked for several theaters in Houston, the Point Theater in Ingram and the remarkable Unity Theatre in Brenham. He made his directorial debut with a production of The Belle of Amherst for the Unity Theater where he also directed a new play based on letters of George Sand and Gustave Flaubert. He was the sound designer and composer for songs and incidental music for a play based on “The Firebird” legend for Stages Theater in Houston. He most recently appeared in a highly praised performance as Frank in Brian Friel’s “Molly Sweeney”. Three years ago Mr. Rowley became a founding member of Plum Pianos, a thriving company which rebuilds and restores pianos and other keyboard instruments.
Professor of Opera Studies
Director, Butler Opera Center
Head, Voice Division
Technically nimble and supportive pianist” (New York Times), “Accompanist with wondrous tact and virtuosity” (San Francisco Chronicle), “Vigorous and versatile” (Washington Post) and “Extraordinarily sensitive collaborative synch throughout the evening” (VOICE Magazine) Tamar Sanikidze gave her first performance with the Georgian Symphony Orchestra at age eight and has since appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout the Republic of Georgia, Russia, Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Since 2009, in capacity of an official pianist for Plácido Domingo’s annual World Opera Competition “Operalia” Dr. Sanikidze has performed in such renown opera houses as Hungarian State Opera house in Budapest, La Scala in Milano, Galina Vishnevskaya’s Opera Centre in Moscow, Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, Royal Opera house in London, Dorothy Chandler Auditorium in Los Angeles, Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara, São Carlos in Lisbon, and National Theater in Prague.
As a winner of the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award for Excellence in Vocal Accompanying she has performed regularly in the Marilyn Horne Foundation’s “The Song Continues…” and “On the Wings of Song”. Active Song Recitalist she has partnered with such luminaries as Thomas Hampson, Nino Machaidze, Isabel Leonard, Quinn Kelsey, Marjorie Owens, Elizabeth Futral, Nicole Cabell, Leah Crocetto, Nadine Sierra and Amanda Majeski in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall and other prestigious venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. By the special invitation, she has traveled to Beijing, China to perform with Mo. Plácido Domingo and also has performed at the White House for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. Recently Sanikidze joined much acclaimed Camerata Pacifica ensemble for a concert tour throughout South California.
Between 2007- 2012 Sanikidze was a Young Artist Coach at the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera and an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, where she served as an Assistant Conductor and Coach for productions of Don Giovanni (Mo. Plácido Domingo), Rigoletto (Mo. Giovanni Reggioli), Hansel and Gretel (Mo. Steven Gathman), La Traviata (Mo. Plácido Domingo and Mo. Dan Ettinger), Carmen (Mo. Julius Rudel), Turandot (Mo. Keri-Lynn Wilson), Falstaff (Mo. Sebastian Lang-Lessing), La fanciulla del West (Mo. Nicola Luisotti), Aida (Mo. Nicola Luisotti), The Makropulos case (Mo. Jiří Bělohlávek), Die Walküre (Mo. Donald Runnicles), Carmen (Mo. Nicola Luisotti), and Xerxes (Mo. Patrick Summers).
Upon finishing the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program, Sanikidze joined the Music Staff at both San Francisco Opera and Los Angeles Opera where she works closely with Mo. Plácido Domingo, Mo. James Conlon and Mo. Nicola Luisotti. In the capacity of a Pianist, Prompter, Coach and an Assistant Conductor she has prepared and performed a wide range of operatic repertoire, including Simon Boccanegra starring Plácido Domingo, Tosca, Der fliegende Holländer, La Cenerentola, Falstaff, Evgeny Onegin, Die Zauberflöte, Billy Budd, Lucia di Lammermoor, Madama Butterfly, Un ballo in maschera, Le nozze di Figaro, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Aida, Turandot, Rusalka, Manon Lescaut, and Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Dr. Sanikidze is a prize-winner of numerous national and international piano competitions. She has received top scholarships, including a personal scholarship from the former president of the Republic of Georgia Edward Schevardnadze. She has also received the Vocal Piano Fellowship Award from the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and participated in summer programs at Wolf Trap Opera Company, Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, SongFest, Cleveland Art Song Festival and Aspen Music Festival. She has made several recordings for the Excelsior label and her performances have been broadcast on NPR, as well as Georgian and Russian National Television and Radio.
Sought after for her coaching skills and extensive experience, Sanikidze has been invited to work with young singers at the Merola Opera Program, Wolf Trap Opera Center and the Young Artist Programs both at Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera.
In 2015 Tamar joined faculty of Butler School of Music at University of Texas, Austin and Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA. In January 2019 Dr. Sanikidze became Director of Butler Opera center. Tamar Sanikidze holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Lecturer in Voice
Hailed as “phenomenal” (The Harvard Chrimson), “impressively epic” (schwäbische.de), and for his “wine-dark bass” (The Boston Globe), bass-baritone Mikhail Smigelski enjoys a career of vast and various genres, including opera, oratorio, early music, musical theatre, and contemporary music. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Mikhail sang on the world’s most prestigious stages including Carnegie Hall, Saint Petersburg’s and Moscow’s Philharmonias, Berliner Philharmonie, Kölner Philharmonie, and performed with established European and American opera companies such as Saint Petersburg Chamber Opera, Theater Aachen, Theater Solingen, Theater Leverkusen, Opera Leggera, Miami Lyric Opera, The Cleveland Opera, Opera in the Heights, and others.
From the outset of his professional career, Mikhail Smigelski toured Russia, Europe, and the United States, not only as an opera soloist but also as a music director and collaborative pianist. His operatic portrayals include over 30 roles including Alidoro in La Cenerentola, both Figaro and Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Don Alfonoso in Così fan tutte, Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Nikitich and Varlaam in Boris Godunov, title roles in Falstaff and Eugene Onegin, and many others. As a passionate advocate for contemporary classical music, Mikhail Smigelski participated in numerous festivals including New York Ferus Festival and the Cohen New Works Festival and performed in several world and U.S. premieres with collectives as East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, Density 512, and prismatx.
In addition to his performing and teaching career, Mikhail Smigelski is a Director of Music Ministries at The Woodlands Christian Church, Music Director of Houston-based musical theatre company Opera Leggera, Artistic Director of Russian Speakers’ Society of Austin, and an accomplished audio producer.