Artists and Production

Brendan Tuohy - Ferrando - Brendan Tuohy (Tenor) is a native of the Pacific Northwest but quickly making a name for himself in the singing world. Most recently, Mr. Tuohy sang the role of Conte Almaviva in Houston Grand Opera’s new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia. Mr. Tuohy has spent the majority of last three seasons as a Houston Grand Opera Studio Artist. While in Houston, he has performed such roles as Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Goro in Madama Butterfly, Tchaplitsky and the Major Domo in Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame and made his debut with the company as the 1st Noble in Wagner’s Lohengrin. In addition, he sang the role of Martin in Copland’s The Tender Land with Vashon Opera in the company’s first season, Pong in Turandot with Portland Opera, and Ulrich Eisslinger in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger with Cincinnati Opera. Before living in Houston, Mr. Tuohy was a Studio Artist with Portland Opera. While in Portland he performed such roles as Albert Herring in Albert Herring, Remendado in Carmen, the Messenger in Aïda, Gastone in La traviata, Prologue in The Turn of the Screw, Pane/ Nature in La Calisto, and Borsa in Rigoletto. Mr. Tuohy completed his academic training at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) with a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance and one year of an Artist Diploma in Opera. While at CCM, he performed such roles as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Pylade in Iphigenie en Tauride, Albert Herring in Albert Herring, and the Doctor in The Voyage of Edgar Allen Poe. In 2008, Mr. Tuohy had the honor of singing and competing in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Semi Finals in New York. Mr. Tuohy’s future engagements include Conte Almaviva again with HGO in their end of season Miller Theater performances, covering Il Podestà in La finta giardiniera with Festival d’Aix en Provence, a return to Chicago to sing the Tenor Soloist in The Spectre’s Bride by Dvořak with the Grant Park Music Festival, and Ferrando in Così fan tutte with Vashon Opera.

Andrew Krikawa - Guglielmo - Andrew Krikawa (Baritone) moved to Vashon Island from New York City nearly seven 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 (Così 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.  Mr. Krikawa helped found Vashon Opera and participates in much of the day to day work for the company.  He was seen in the Vashon Opera productions of La Bohème as Marcello, The Tender Land as Top, and The Barber of Seville as Figaro.

Charles Robert Austin - Don Alfonso - Charles Robert Austin (Bass-baritone) has been described by critics as a "Possessor of a strikingly beautiful voice" and "Completely commanding on stage". On the operatic stage his successes include returns to the Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Cleveland Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Virginia Opera, Madison Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Canadian Opera Company, and Opera Pacific portraying such roles as King Mark, Rocco, Duke Bluebeard, Daland, King Henry the Fowler, Wotan, Figaro, Sarastro and Hunding. He created the role of King Hrothgar for the world premiere of Grendel for LA Opera. Recent concert performances include Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Seattle Symphony and Canton Symphony; Mozart’s Requiem with the Cleveland Orchestra; Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with the San Diego Symphony; a Wagner gala evening with the Canton Symphony Orchestra; Berlioz Romeo et Juliette with the Louisville Orchestra; Verdi’s Requiem with the Dayton Philharmonic. His recordings include, for Naxos - Peter Ibbetson, The Execution of Stepan Razin, Merry Mount, for Milken Archives - The Eternal Road, for Chandos - The Consul, for Phillips - Tosca, and for Arabesque - La Fedelta Premiata.

Jennifer Krikawa - Fiordiligi - Jennifer Krikawa (Soprano) has sung for numerous opera companies such as New York City Opera, Virginia Opera, Connecticut Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera North, Augusta Opera, Annapolis Opera, Central City Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Israel Vocal Arts Institute. Jennifer's most performed roles include: Fiordiligi (Così Fan Tutte), Mimi (La Bohème), Musetta (La Bohème), Micaela (Carmen), Gretel (Hansel und Gretel), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Susannah (Susannah), Frasquita (Carmen), Antonia (Les Contes d'Hoffman),and Yum Yum (The Mikado). Mrs. Krikawa has appeared at Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist for Scarlatti's Dixit Dominus, Vaughan William's Benedicite, and Poulenc's Gloria and has appeared at Benaroya Hall as soloist in Mozart's Requiem. She pursued contemporary music studies at The Banff Centre for the Arts and she holds a Masters degree from The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Her awards include First Place NATS winner, First Place Opera Theater of Connecticut Amici Competition, Olga Berzins Vocal Scholarship Award, Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Finalist in Boston and Metropolitan Opera National Council Honorable Mention in Connecticut. She has recorded a CD titled "Songs of Walt Whitman" composed by Malcolm Peyton with Centaur Records. Jennifer has been seen as a soloist with The Vashon Island Chorale for the past five years and cantors at St. John Vianney Church.

Erica Row - Despina - Erica Row (Soprano) is a captivating singing actress known for her intelligent interpretations and well-rounded musicianship. Hailed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as “extraordinary”, with a “beautifully clear and agile voice”, she has recently appeared locally in Lyric Light Opera of the Northwest’s productions of The Music Man (Ethel Toffelmier) and Camelot (Nimue/u.s. Guenevere) and Last Leaf Productions’ Nunsense (Sister Mary Amnesia). Operatic and concert highlights include Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Handel’s Dixit Dominus with the Hartford Chorale and Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with the Mannes College Pierrot Ensemble, and the premiere of Tamara Kurdadze’s song cycle Confession at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Upcoming engagements include her Village Theatre debut in Fiddler on the Roof, appearances with Inverse Opera and continued engagements as a performer and co-producer for Seattle’s chapter of Opera on Tap. Ms. Row is a recipient of a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from the Mannes College of Music in New York and a Bachelor’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, where she studied Vocal Performance and was a past winner of the Tacoma Opera Guild Competition.

James Brown - Conductor, Stage Director, Musical Director, Orchestral Arranger, and Performance Harpsichord - Jim Brown enjoys an eclectic career of singing, teaching, stage direction, conducting and composing. His work has been seen at Vashon Opera in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (stage director, conductor and arranger), Madama Butterfly (stage director), Carmen (arranger, stage and music director), and Eugene Onegin (conductor, arranger and musical director). Other recent productions as stage director include Handel’s Semele (PLU Opera), La Bohème (Bellevue Opera), Sweeney Todd (Lakewood Playhouse) and Francesca Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina (producer) for Cornish School of the Arts. Upcoming productions for James include Il tabarro/Gianni Schicchi (arranger, stage and music director) with Vashon Opera and The Magic Flute (stage director) with PLU Opera. As a singer, Jim has distinguished himself on the opera and concert stage. The tenor has appeared with Seattle’s world-renowned community of early music specialists in concerts and operas at Seattle’s Town Hall, St. James Cathedral, Intiman Theatre and the Moore Theatre. At the Moore Theatre, Jim performed with Tony award winners Handspring Puppet Company under the direction of celebrated artist William Kentridge. Jim has appeared as concert soloist at the Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. He recently sang the tenor solos in the 2011 Messiah with the Tacoma Symphony under the baton of Geoffrey Boers. Jim has sung with New Orleans Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Rogue Opera, Skylight Opera Theatre and Tulsa Opera. He is the Chair of Vocal Studies at Pacific Lutheran University where he directs the opera and oversees a large voice program. Jim holds degrees from Loyola University/New Orleans, The Juilliard School and 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.

Mary Manning - Violin/Viola - Mary Manning enjoys a versatile career as a chamber musician, orchestral player, and teacher. A Tacoma native, she graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio where she studied both modern and baroque performance. While there she received the Kaufman Prize for an Outstanding Violinist and performed the Mozart Concerto No. 3 under guest conductor Alexander Schneider. Her extensive work as a baroque orchestral musician has included being a member of the Seattle, Portland, and Pacific (Vancouver BC) Baroque Orchestras as well as appearing with the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, the Carmel Bach Festival and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Her performance of chamber music on baroque instruments includes many appearances on the Gallery Concerts in Seattle and with the Tomasini String Quartet and Puget Sound Consort. On modern violin Mary has served as concertmaster with the Northwest Sinfonietta and Seattle Pro Musica and has performed with the PNW Ballet Orchestra. With the Chinook Trio, South Sound Strings, and Aurora String Quartet she has played chamber music at the Governor’s Mansion, Second City Chamber and Antique Sandwich Sunday Series. She is principal second violin with the Northwest Sinfonietta and Tacoma Opera. She is a lecturer in violin at Pacific Lutheran University and teaches privately at her home. Mary lives with her partner, John McMillan, near the shores of Gig Harbor.

Douglas Davis - Cello - Douglas Davis held principal positions with St. Louis Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Pasadena Symphony. Davis also played principal cello at Oregon Bach Festival and Bach Academy in Stuttgart. He has played for film scores, including John Williams' Jurassic Park and James Horner's Apollo 13. He currently performs as guest principal cello for Seattle Symphony Orchestra. To the delight of Vashon Island chamber music aficionados, Hammill and Davis are entering their third year as artistic directors for Vashon Allied Arts’ popular Chamber Music Series.

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, The Tender Land, The Barber of Seville, Carmen, and Eugene Onegin. 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.