Originally from Southern California, soprano Ariana Wyatt enjoys a diverse career on the opera stage and in the concert hall. On the stage, she has performed for Gotham Chamber Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Omaha, Spoleto USA, Opera Roanoke, Opera on the James, the Juilliard Opera Center and Aspen Opera Theater. This season she looks forward to Nellie Forbush in South Pacific with Opera Roanoke, recitals in Maryland and Mississippi, multiple performances of James Whitbourn's Annalies including the Israeli premiere in Haifa, and performances of Finzi's Te Deum and Bach's cantata Jauchzet Gott.
An avid concert artist, recent appearances include those with the Ameropa Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, the Parma Festival, the Red Rocks Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Musica Viva series, as well as appearances with Steve Blier as part of the New York Festival of Song. Her oratorio credits include Messiah with Charleston Symphony, Dvorak’s Requiem for the Prague Festival Orchestra, Vivaldi’s Gloria at Carnegie Hall, Haydn’s Creation and Mozart’s Requiem for Davidson College, the Brahms Requiem for the Bulgarian Youth Orchestra and the University of South Carolina, Bach’s St. John Passion for the Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra and a Holiday Pops concert with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. An enthusiastic advocate for contemporary art song and opera, she has premiered and championed chamber works by Alan Louis Smith, Daron Hagen, Gregory Hutter, Lori Laitman and Kent Holliday.
Ms. Wyatt won first place in the Metropolitan Opera Competition Western Region in 2003. She has also been a finalist at the Charles A. Lynam Vocal Competition and a winner of the New West Symphony and Pasadena Opera competitions. She is a graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center, the Santa Fe Apprentice Program for singers, the Glimmerglass Opera Young Artist Program, and the Florida Grand Opera Young Artist Program. Wyatt earned the bachelor of music degree from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where she was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate for the class of 2001, and she completed the master of music Degree at USC in 2003. She is currently assistant professor of voice at Virginia Tech.
A native of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, bass-baritone Marc Callahan (Assistant Professor of Music at UNC Chapel Hill) received his Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College, where he studied with the renowned pedagogue Richard Miller and worked as a lab technician in the Otto B. Schoepfle Vocal Arts Center, in association with the Cleveland Clinic. He holds a Master of Music degree from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts in vocal performance and opera direction from the same institution. Dr. Callahan was also the recipient of the Rotary Scholarship from the Cincinnati Chapter, which allowed him to travel to France, where he earned a Diplôme Supérieur d’Exécution de Chant from the École Normale de Musique de Paris and a Diplôme d’Artiste Lyrique from the Schola Cantorum. He studied French at the Institut de Touraine and French art song with mentor François Le Roux at the Académie Françis Poulenc. He was winner of the Prix Lili Boulanger at the Concours International d’Interprétation de la Mélodie Française and has sung a duo recital of French song alongside the legendary soprano June Anderson and pianists Noël Lee and Jeff Cohen. While at university, he apprenticed with the Central City Opera (where he was awarded the Studio Artist Award), Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Britten-Pears Academy and the Centre National d’Insertion Professionelle des Artistes Lyriques.
Dr. Callahan’s performance career has taken him around the world, singing at opera houses including The Royal Opera House, Santa Fe Opera, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Théâtre du Capitole, Opéra National de Lyon, Opéra de Montpellier, Opéra Comique, Théâtre Royale de Versailles, Opéra de Marseille, Polish National Opera, Bucharest Opera, Miguel Delibes Cultural Center (Spain), Estonia Festival, Central City Opera, Dayton Opera, the Ohio Light Opera and Opera North (UK), among others. Opera magazine has reviewed him as “a powerful baritone, providing wickedly glamorous tone.” He has recorded with Virgin Classics, FRA Productions, Passavant, Radio France, ARTE, and Newport Classics.
As an opera director, Dr. Callahan has received critical acclaim for his production of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes, saying it was “designed and directed with jaw-dropping invention.” He has also assisted Martin Duncan’s productions at the Royal Opera House, the Aldeburgh Festival and the Holland Festival (The Cure/The Corridor), acted as collaborateur artistique on Les Fiançailles au Couvent at the Théâtre du Capitole, provided research for Thomas de Mallet Burgess’s La Vestale for the Wexford Festival, was assistant director on Stephen Barlow’s production of Flight for Scottish Opera and David Toulson’s production of Dead Man Walking at the Miami Music Festival, and observed Bijan Sheibani on The Virtue of Things for the Royal Opera House. Recent productions include Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Louis Aubert’s The Blue Forest (National Opera Association Prize Winner 2017) for Oregon State University’s opera program, where he was a Visiting Professor in Opera and Voice; Massenet’s Cinderella for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Help, Help the Globolinks! for Wingate University.
Richard Masters is a soloist, opera coach, chamber musician and orchestral pianist based in Blacksburg, VA, where he is an assistant professor of piano and collaborative piano on the music faculty at Virginia Tech's School of Performing Arts. Significant collaborations include concerts with baritone Donnie Ray Albert, mezzo-soprano Marta Senn, the late mezzo-soprano Barbara Conrad, and many others. He has appeared with former Boston Symphony principal trombonist Norman Bolter, former Juilliard String Quartet violinist Earl Carlyss, saxophonist Harvey Pittel, and under the baton of the late Lorin Maazel. Masters has performed solo, chamber and vocal recitals throughout the U.S. and in Europe.
As a solo pianist, Masters plays a wide variety of standard and non-traditional repertoire, including contemporary pieces written for or commissioned by him. A strong proponent of contemporary American composers, he has performed world premieres of pieces by Kenneth Frazelle, Charles Nichols, Kent Holliday, and many others. He is an enthusiastic performer of British music from the early 20th century, focusing in particular on the solo piano music of John Ireland. On MusicWeb International the critic John France wrote, "Richard Masters approaches [John Ireland's Piano Sonata] with great style and understanding: all the facets of Ireland’s art are present here: ‘…the lyrical, the dramatic, the extrovert and the melancholy – the intense self-questioning and the open, almost naïve, avowals.’"
Recent appearances include performances at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's "Music at the Gardner" series, the National Flute Convention in Washington D.C., the San Francisco Conservatory, the Schola Cantorum in Paris, and concerts in Toronto and Trinidad/Tobago. In the 2018-2019 season, he will tour Texas, performing the complete songs of Henri Duparc with Ariana Wyatt, soprano, and Marc Callahan, baritone. Solo appearances will include performances in Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, at the Percy Grainger Museum in White Plains, NY, and on the concert series at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California.
In addition to his performances as a pianist, Masters is active in the world of opera and musical theatre as a coach and conductor. He recently conducted performances of Carousel, Fiorello!, Oh, Kay!, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Le Nozze di Figaro, Babes in Arms, and in Summer 2018 served as associate head coach with the Pittsburgh Festival Opera, working on Wagner's Das Rheingold and Strauss's Arabella. Prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, he was principal opera coach at the University of Texas at Austin. Richard Masters holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (DMA), the Juilliard School (MM) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (BM).