Artists and Production

Ryan Bede - Fiorello - Ryan Bede (baritone) has appeared with numerous area opera organizations and is quickly establishing himself as an exciting young artist. Performances during the 2009-2010 season included Guglielmo in Cosí fan tutte (Puget Sound Concert Opera), Marullo in Rigoletto (Concert Opera of Seattle), Don Perlimplin in Love’s Fool by Seattle-based composer Kam Morrill (Ladies Musical Club of Seattle), and Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore (Lakewood Playhouse). Mr. Bede has performed with Kitsap Opera (Schaunard in La Bohème), Lyric Opera Northwest (Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro and Baron Douphol in La Traviata), and Puget Sound Concert Opera (Paolo Albiani in Simon Boccanegra and Wagner in Faust) and also participated in Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen as a chorister with Seattle Opera. As a past participant of the Next Generation Artist Program with Tacoma Opera, his roles included Ben in The Telephone and Commendatoreador in The Stoned Guest. Other performances include Figaro in The Barber of Seville with Northwest Opera In Schools, Etc. (NOISE). He has also frequently performed preview concerts for the Seattle Opera Guild (Papageno in Die Zauberflöte upcoming in 2011), and is a current recipient of a Singers’ Training Fund Grant. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Puget Sound, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Washington.

Ross Hauck - Count Almaviva - Ross Hauck (Tenor) is a resident of Issaquah, WA where he lives with his wife, Laura, and twin boys, Daniel and Benjamin. As a concert artist, Mr. Hauck has been featured numerous times with the Seattle Symphony, as well as the National Symphony, Tanglewood Symphony, Chicago Symphony, and the Cincinnati Symphony. He has sung lead roles in opera companies of Sacramento, Tacoma, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Aspen, Boston, as well as appearing at Wolf Trap National Park for the performing arts and Tanglewood. He has been heard live in broadcast recitals on PBS, and received mention in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Seattle Times, and Opera News. Mr. Hauck holds degrees from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is also a cellist, a pianist, an arranger, a professor of voice at Seattle University and Cornish College of the Arts, artistic director of the Sacred Music Foundation, and a soloist at the First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue.

Andrew Krikawa - Figaro - Andrew Krikawa (Baritone) moved to Vashon Island from New York City nearly six years ago. While based in New York he sang for numerous companies including New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Virginia Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Nashville Opera, Annapolis Opera, Central City Opera, Pensacola Opera, Eugene Opera, and DiCapo Opera Theatre. Andrew’s most performed roles include Marcello (La Bohème), Sharpless (Madame Butterfly), Germont (La Traviata), Albert (Werther), Silvio (I Pagliacci), and Guglielmo (Cosí fan tutte). Career highlights have also included appearances with Pittsburgh Opera as Abert in Werther and performances of Cosí fan tutte with the world renowned Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Mr. Krikawa is a Sullivan Foundation award winner and a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant. He holds a Masters degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

Sarah Mattox - Rosina - Sarah Mattox (Mezzo-soprano) has sung principal roles with Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Palm Beach Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Eugene Opera and many others. Hailed for possessing “…a warm voice that is smooth throughout her range, and…a winning dramatic flair”, she has long impressed audiences “…with sensitive singing, a warm, expressive voice and clear diction.” Favorite roles include Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and the title roles in Carmen and Cendrillon. Ms. Mattox is a First Prize Winner in the Belle Voci National Competition and her numerous solo appearances include concerts with the Seattle Symphony, Northwest Sinfonietta, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Eugene Concert Choir and the Northwest Chamber Chorus. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2007 under the baton of maestro John Rutter, and has since been invited back three times. Copland and Cole, her first solo CD with pianist Judith Cohen, was released in 2009. Her upcoming season includes performances with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Helena Symphony, Eugene Opera and the debut concert of her chamber music ensemble, the TangleTown Trio.

David Stutz - Dr. Bartolo - David Stutz (Bass) is a singer, composer, and recording artist whose forays into staged works range from medieval mystery plays to grand opera. He has recently appeared as Grandpa in Vashon Opera’s production of Copland’s The Tender Land, and as Coviello in Paisiello’s Pulcinella Vendicato at the Northwest Puppet Center. Besides his interest in opera, he is known as a specialist in early music, having participated in hundreds of performances over his career. In this regard, he is currently a member of two highly regarded Northwest vocal ensembles that specialize in early music: The Tudor Choir and Cappella Romana, and sings with other Northwest early music ensembles such as Seattle Baroque, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Pacific Masterworks. David has also sung, composed, and/or produced incidental music for plays, ballets, and films, and records. He currently performs and records his own electro-acoustic compositions, in which he uses computers and mathematical structures to process field recordings of natural sounds.

Holly Boaz - Berta - Holly Boaz (soprano) has appeared with the Seattle Symphony, Aldeburgh Festival, Hartford Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, Connecticut Opera, Tacoma Opera, The Russian Chamber Music Foundation of Seattle, the Bellevue Philharmonic, and Opera Quad Cities, among others in recent seasons. She is a recent member of the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program, where she sang Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff and Micaëla in The Tragedy of Carmen. She is a winner of the LMC Seattle Competition, and awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, The Richardson Awards, and Sun Valley Opera. She was a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival and Music Academy of the West and holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin and the Hartt School. She can be heard as the Sparrow in Krasá’s children’s opera, Brundibar, with Music of Remembrance and Gerard Schwarz on the Naxos label.

Gordon Millar - Ambrogio - Gordon Millar (Actor) Gordon Millar is an expatriate Scot who has resided on Vashon for over thirty years during which time he has performed in many Drama Dock plays and musicals. Most recently he had four different roles in Vashon Parks District’s outdoor production of Cyrano de Bergerac. He is also an accomplished folk musician playing pennywhistle and singing Celtic songs. This is his first role in opera, for which he is truly grateful even if he doesn’t get to sing!

Jonathan Silvia - Don Basilio - Jonathan Silvia (Bass-baritone) joined Des Moines Metro Opera in the summer of 2010 to perform the title role in Markheim, by Carlisle Floyd, with the composer in attendance. Closer to home in the Pacific Northwest, he debuted on Seattle Opera’s mainstage as Marchese d’Obigny in La Traviata. Recently, he has sampled other Verdi repertoire, as Filippo II in Don Carlo with Bellevue Opera, and Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra with Puget Sound Concert Opera. Other opera credits include the title role in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro with Kitsap Opera, Baron Douphol and Dottore Grenvil in Verdi’s La Traviata with Skagit Opera and Lyric Opera Northwest, Sam in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti with Tacoma Opera, and Benoit/Alcindoro in La Bohème with Vashon Opera’s inaugural season, and Luther/Crespel in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann, Alidoro in Rossini’s Cenerentola and Colline in Puccini’s La Bohème with Bellevue Opera.

Gary Koch - Captain - Gary Koch (Tenor) is a frequent soloist with the Vashon Island Chorale and in local recitals. Gary’s opera roles include Mr. Splinters in The Tender Land, Parpignol in La Bohème, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief, Ben in The Telephone, and Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas. Musical theatre roles include Tommy in Brigadoon, Strephon in Iolanthe, Freddy in My Fair Lady, Koko in The Mikado, Ralph in H.M.S. Pinafore, and Tito in Lend Me a Tenor. Gary studied with the late William Eddy.

James Brown - Conductor, Stage Director, Musical Director, Orchestral Arranger, and Chorusmaster - Praised for his “generous tenor” by Early Music America, tenor, conductor, stage director, and voice teacher James L. Brown is the Chair of Vocal Studies at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA where he oversees a large and diverse voice program. As the director of that school’s Opera Workshop, he has been the recipient of several grants including a Regency Scholarship Grant and a Production Grant from the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music in New York, NY. James has directed repertoire as diverse as Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. Recent productions include Britten’s Albert Herring (which he also conducted) for PLU Opera, Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore for Lakewood Playhouse and Verdi’s Don Carlo for Bellevue Opera. After this production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Vashon Opera, upcoming productions for the director include Handel’s Semele with PLU Opera (Stephen Stubbs, music director), La Bohème with Bellevue Opera and Sweeney Todd with Lakewood Playhouse. Brown holds a Bachelor’s Degree in voice performance from Loyola University/ New Orleans, a Master of Music degree in voice from The Juilliard School and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Karin Choo - Violin - Karin Choo holds Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the New England Conservatory, where she studied violin performance with James Buswell, and Tufts University, where she studied economics. She teaches and performs as a free-lance artist throughout the greater Seattle area, and is currently serving as Music Director of the Vashon-Maury Chamber Orchestra. She worked previously as Executive Director of The American String Project and as Operations Manager and Assistant Artistic Administrator at the Seattle Symphony.

Rowena Hammill - Cello - Rowena Hammill, originally from Australia, came to the US to study with Raya Garbousova at Northern Illinois University and then was assistant to Janos Starker at Indiana University. She was Professor of Cello at the University of Northern Iowa and later California State University, Northridge. While in Los Angeles she played Associate Principal Cello for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and presently holds the same position at Los Angeles Opera. She has performed at many summer festivals including the Ravinia Festival, the Bach Aria Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival and the New Hampshire Music Festival. In the Pacific Northwest she has performed as principal cellist for the Seattle Opera Ring Cycle, section cellist for the Seattle Symphony, cellist for ODEONQUARTET as well as on many chamber music concerts for Chamber Music San Juans, Camerata Musica and the Victoria Summer Music Festival. She and her husband Douglas Davis are the founders and Artistic Directors of Vashon Chamber Music.

Jennifer Rhyne - Flute - Jennifer Rhyne serves as Affiliate Artist and Senior Lecturer in Flute at Pacific Lutheran University where she teaches flute, directs the Sølvvinden Flute Ensemble, and performs with the Camas Woodwind Quintet. She is also a member of the Tacoma Symphony. Before joining the faculty of PLU, Rhyne taught at Fort Hays State University in Kansas. She studied at the Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Michigan, Stony Brook University, and at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. She has been a prize winner in competitions sponsored by the National Flute Association, the Texas Flute Society, the Albuquerque Flute Association, and the Washington, DC Flute Society and has performed at Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden in New York. She has performed as a soloist with the PLU Wind Ensemble, the Fort Hays Wind Ensemble, the Stony Brook Orchestra, and the Charlotte Symphony. A dedicated pedagogue, her articles have been published in School Band and Orchestra Magazine and Flute Talk, and she has been a featured lecturer and masterclass clinician at the Kansas Music Educators Convention, the University of Oregon, Cornish College of the Arts, Ohio University, and Columbus State University in Georgia.

Evan Stults - Rehearsal and Performance Pianist - Evan Stults is an accomplished vocal accompanist whose experience spans opera, recital, musical theatre, choral music, and cabaret. Evan is the founding musical director of the Vashon Opera, and accompanied island productions of The Magic Flute, La Bohème, and The Tender Land. Since 1986, Evan has been the principal accompanist for the Seattle Men’s Chorus. He has played for the Seattle Opera and Seattle’s Fifth Avenue Theatre, toured the US and Canada for Columbia Artists and Community Concerts Association, and played for dozens of musicals in professional and community theatres and off-Broadway. Evan’s accompanying career includes international tours and performances in Carnegie Hall, Benaroya Hall, and leading concert halls across the US. He has accompanied artists as diverse as Frederica von Stade, Renee Fleming, Kristin Chenoweth, and Harvey Fierstein, and has played for premieres of new works by composers David Diamond, Gian-Carlo Menotti, and John Corigliano. Evan has a degree in semiotics from Brown University, and lives on Vashon with his partner Joe Farmer.

Sheila Bristow - Performance Harpsichord and Rehearsal Pianist - Sheila Bristow is a versatile keyboardist active in the Tacoma area. She has accompanied several Tacoma Opera productions and coached their 2009 and 2010 young artist programs. As coach/accompanist at Pacific Lutheran University, Ms. Bristow coached Die Fledermaus and Albert Herring and provides studio and recital accompaniment. She has accompanied many vocal recitals, opera workshops, and Seattle Opera previews, and also performed as a continuo player with Tacoma Opera, Seattle Academy of Baroque Opera, Seattle Pro Musica, and Concerto Baroque. Ms. Bristow studied music composition as a Kreielsheimer Scholar at Cornish College of the Arts, and received her MM in organ performance from the University of Washington, where she was a student of Carole Terry. She serves as Organist/Choirmaster for the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Kenmore.