Current Singers |
Q. When are the auditions?
A. The 2013-14 District auditions will be held on Saturday, October 19th, 2013 at Harris Theatre, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, WI.
Q. Where do I send my application?
A. We are requesting that all applications be submitted electronically. Please click on the Application link at the top of the page for more information.
Q. Is there a deadline for applications?
A. Yes. District materials must be received by Monday, September 30th, 2013. Due to time constraints we need to limit the number of singers to 40. It is therefore strongly suggested that you submit your materials as soon as possible as applications will be processed in the order that they are received.
Q. How do I get to Harris Theatre at the Wilson Center?
A. Please click here for directions.
Q. I have friends and family that would like to see the auditions, do I need tickets?
A. No. The auditions are free and open to the public.
Q. What time do I need to be at the auditions and where do I go?
A. You will receive an email from the District Co-Directors with all the pertinent information approximately 2 weeks before the auditions.
Q. What do I wear for the District Auditions?
A. It is suggested that all contestants dress as if they were singing a mainstage audition. Suits and ties or sport coats and ties for the men and dresses or pants suits for the women.
Q. Will there be a place and time to warm up?
A. Yes. You will be assigned a warm-up room approx. 30 minutes prior to your audition. Ten minutes before your audition the rehearsal room chairman will have someone take you to the back stage waiting area. We have very limited space for warm-ups, we can only guarantee 20 minutes for each contestant, please plan accordingly.
Q. Can I bring my own accompanist?
A. Yes, however, the District provides two excellent accompanists at no cost to the singer. You must let us know if you plan on bringing your own.
Q. Can I change my arias from my original list?
A. Yes, you can change your arias right up to the day of the auditions. The District Co-Directors will be in contact with you approximately one week before the auditions for your latest aria list. If your arias change after that, please bring 5 copies of the new aria list noting the five arias you are prepared to sing to the auditions. Include the opera and the composer for each aria.
Q. When will the results be announced?
A. The judges will deliberate immediately following the last singer. It is possible that the judges will ask to hear “call-backs”. The judges’ decisions will be announced in the Harris Theatre approximately 45-60 minutes after the last singer is heard.
Q. Will I have an opportunity to speak with the judges about my performance?
A. Yes. After the results are announced, you will have one of the most valuable benefits of the auditions – a chance to speak with each judge one on one. We will schedule the interviews in the same order as you sang.
Q. How many singers advance to the Regional Auditions?
A. There is no preset number of winners. The judges will select as many or as few contestants as they deem qualified to advance.
Q. If I advance, what is the date and where are the Regional Auditions?
A. The Upper Midwest Regional Auditions take place on February 1st, 2014 at the Ordway Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Q. If I advance in the Regional, what is the date and where are the National Auditions?
A. The Semi-Final National Auditions take place on March 23rd, 2014 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Grand Finals are the following week on March 30th, 2014.
Q. How do I receive information about the auditions and other events sponsored by the Wisconsin District?
A. Contact Kathy Pyeatt at (414) 881.8766 or email:email@example.com
Curtis Bannister, tenor
In the 2012-13 season, Mr. Bannister makes his professional ballet debut as an ensemble member (Ravel’s Bolero) with the Paris Opera Ballet as part of their 2012 U.S. Tour, returns to the St. John Cantius Resurrection Choir & Orchestra to sing both Mozart’s Missa brevis [F Major] and Schubert’s Mass No. 2 [G Major], makes his role debut as Lt. B.F. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with the American Chamber Opera, and makes his debut with Utah Festival Opera as the soloist in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Steuermann in Der fliegende Höllander and covering the title role in Verdi’s Otello. Mr. Bannister is an award recipient of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the 2008 Charles Lynam Vocal Competition, and the Jack Tolbert Music Trust.
Daniel J. Brylow, tenor
Aspiring opera and
theater director, dramaturg, performer, and arts administrator Daniel J. Brylow
is a recent graduate of Bennington College, where he studied Music and Drama,
with a particular emphasis on the creation of new works and adaptations of
classics. While at Bennington, Danny
developed and performed an original theater piece based on Schumann’s Dichterliebe, sang the role of Charlie
in the Brecht/Weill collaboration Mahagonny-Songspiel,
and performed in Time and Motion Study
and Border Towns—two world premiere
experimental music-theater pieces by New York-based composer Nicholas
Brooke. In 2011, Danny took part in the
premiere of Kocho, a new opera by
Seattle-based composer Garrett Fisher in both the Seattle and New York
productions of the piece. Danny’s
interest in arts administration has led him to pursue internships with The
Skylight Music Theatre, The Fisher Ensemble, and the California-based theater
group, The Independent Eye, as well as serving as a co-artistic director of the
Seattle-based arts non-profit, The Heroes (www.heroeseverywhere.com). In Milwaukee, Danny has performed with the
Florentine Opera Chorus (including the world premiere of Don Davis’s Río
de Sangre in 2010), as well as with Milwaukee Opera Theatre, where he looks
forward to performing in their upcoming production of Candide.
Jessica Louise Coe, soprano
Chicago-based soprano Jessica Louise Coe is an active performer throughout the Midwest. While a graduate student at Roosevelt University, (Chicago College of Performing Arts), she recently sang the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte as well as Maguelonne in Pauline Viardot's Cinderella.
Other appearances include Belinda and Second Woman in Dido & Aeneas with Elgin Opera where she placed second in the Fourth-Annual Vocal Competition, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, (Opera Grand Rapids) Cousin in Madama Butterfly (Opera Grand Rapids), soloist with the Chicago Chorale (Fauré: Requiem) and member of the Grant Park Chorus and frequent soloist at St. Gregory the Great Church in Andersonville.
Also an accomplished pianist, Ms. Coe frequently accompanies auditions and performances, most recently working as accompanist for The Lyric Opera of Chicago's "OperaKids" outreach program.
She is on the board of the Chicago Chapter of The National Association of Teachers of Singing and a full-time faculty member at the Old Town School of Folk Music where she teaches voice and piano to students of all ages.
Ms. Coe holds a B.M. from DePaul University a M.M. from Roosevelt University, CCPA and studies with counter-tenor Mark Crayton.
Kristen DiNinno, mezzo-soprano
Kristen DiNinno is a promising up and coming mezzo-soprano. She most recently was Suzy in La Rondine with The Des Moines Metro Opera. This coming year she will be doing the role of Mercedes in Carmen and Mrs. Herring in Albert Herring, both with The Florentine Opera Company. Last year with The Florentine Opera Company, she was in Turandot, Susannah as Mrs. Ott, and Idomeneo as a Cretan woman. Kristen was also a Gerdine Young Artist with The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2011 where she covered the three roles of Swiss Grandmother, Austrian Woman, and British Dancing Girl in John Adam’s The Death of Klinghoffer. With the Shreveport Opera Company, she performed in Don Giovanni as Zerlina, The Fantasticks as The Mute, and covered The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Ms. DiNinno received Third Prize in the Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition in 2010. While obtaining her Masters Degree at The Manhattan School of Music in New York City, Ms. DiNinno was involved in a new contemporary chamber opera through American Opera Projects called Love/Hate where she debuted the role of Laura.
Duncan Doherty, bass-baritone
Duncan Doherty, Bass-Baritone, hails from the small village of Cascade. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, where he studied vocal performance under the tutelage of Brygida Bziukiewicz-Kulig. While attending Whitewater, he had the opportunity to perform in many workshops and various shows, some of which includeThe Pirates of Penzance, as "Mr. Bluff" in Mozart's The Impresario, Simone in Puccini's Gianni Schicci, and as Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro. He also had the opportunity to travel to Italy in 2007, where he played the title role in Gianni Schicci as part of the La Musica Lirica summer program. An equal opportunity musician and thespian, some other favorite non-opera roles include Mr. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera, Constant Coquelin in The Ladies of the Camellias, and Fagin in Oliver! the Musical. Though absent from the stage in recent months, he hopes to change that quite soon, and aspires to be a main stage singer/actor.
Bryan M. Elsesser, baritone
American baritone, Bryan Elsesser, holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam. Bryan has coached opera and studied voice in New York with Kathleen Miller, David Pittman-Jennings, Garth Bardsley and Kirk Severtson and in Salzburg, Austria with Stephen Rainbolt and Mary Dibbern under the auspices of the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. In Milwaukee Bryan has met with tremendous success under the tutelage of his current teacher and mentor, baritone, Kurt Ollmann.
Elsesser has also been heard in recitals, concerts and oratorio throughout the metro Milwaukee area. He is on staff with the Florentine Opera Chorus, has performed with Present Music-Milwaukee, and is a frequent soloist of the Fond du Lac Symphonic Band. Bryan has also been seen as a soloist for the Florentine Opera’s production of “Florentine on the Lake”. He has sung the role of Ben in Menotti’s The Telephone, Bob in Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief and Micah in Carlisle Floyd's Slow Dusk at UW-Milwaukee, where the latter two productions were later featured in a southern Wisconsin tour. In New York City he has performed scenes from The Pearl Fishers, L'Elisir d'Amore and The Old Maid and the Thief for Shetler Studios in Manhattan.
Bryan has competed in and won many vocal competitions, including the Wisconsin State NATS Auditions, the UW-Milwaukee Concerto and Aria Competition and the Classical Singer Magazine University Competition preliminary. He also received a stipend from the UWM Graduate School for thesis research on the life and works of current American composer, Stephen Lias of Nacogdoches, Texas.
Bryan is a proud member of the National Association for Music Education (MENC), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity and founder of the award-winning Potsdam Pitches (the only mixed a cappella choir on the SUNY-Potsdam campus).
Toni Esker, soprano
Toni Esker, soprano, recently finished her Masters Degree
in Voice Performance from Northwestern University where she studied with Sunny
Joy Langton. While at
Northwestern, Toni was seen as Zemfira in Aleko, First Gossip in The Ghosts of Versailles, First Spirit in The Magic Flute and was a finalist in the 2010 Concerto Competition. Other
roles and concert appearances include Micaëla in Carmen, Schubert’s Mass in C Major, and Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate. Toni
also holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education from Eastern Illinois
Holly Flack, soprano
Holly Flack is a coloratura soprano with a tessitura that extends to the A flat (A6) above high C. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she holds a Bachelors degree in Vocal Performance from St. Olaf College, and a Masters degree in Vocal Performance from The University of Kentucky. Holly has been performing in productions from a young age. Her roles include Serpetta in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, Despina in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Gretel in Offenbach’s Christopher Columbus, and cover for Adele in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. In addition to roles performed while attending school, Holly has also participated in productions presented by programs such as the Bel Canto Opera Festival, Astoria Opera Festival, and Operafestival di Roma. Her roles in these programs include Sister Victoria in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, a Demon Girl in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Ida in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. She has won numerous NATS awards, 2nd place her freshmen and sophomore years of college and 1st place her senior year, as well as 2nd place her first year of graduate study and 1st place in the Mid-South Region her second graduate year. She is also a recipient of the Encouragement Award in 2009 and a Winner of the 2010 Kentucky District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms. Flack currently lives in Chicago.
Saira Frank, soprano
“With her strong, silvery soprano, Frank shines” Madison’s Capitol Times writes of Saira Frank, a frequent Madison performer. Frank most recently sang the Duchess Christina in Philip Glass’ Galileo Galilei with Madison Opera. Other recent local performances include Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Adina in The Elixir of Love, and Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte with Candid Concert Opera as well as the Bello Rose in Fresco Opera’s original ballad opera The Good, the Bad, and the Divas. A favorite of Madison’s Opera for the Young, Frank has performed in their past four productions and is currently Cinderella in the 2012/13 tour. She holds a master’s degree in opera from UW-Madison and two bachelor’s degrees, one in vocal performance and one in French from Northwestern University. Other roles in Frank’s repertory include Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, the title roles in The Merry Widow and Alcina, Josephine in HMS Pinafore, and Armidoro in La Buona Figliuola. Saira lives in Delafield and teaches at Carroll Academy.
Cassie Glaeser, soprano
Cassie Glaeser, soprano, is pursuing her Master of Music degree in Opera Performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studies with Julia Faulkner. This past summer Cassie was an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera where she performed in scenes from Aïda, Der Freischütz, Don Carlo, Elektra, and Norma. She will return to Des Moines Metro Opera again as an Apprentice Artist to perform the mainstage role of 4th Maid in Strauss’s Elektra, as well as cover the role of Chrysothemis in the same production. This year at UW-Madison Cassie will perform the roles of Medea in Cherubini’s Medea, and Suzel in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz. Her recent performances at UW-Madison include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, as well as in scenes from La Gioconda, and Andrea Chénier. As a Young Artist at Seagle Music Colony in 2011, Cassie performed the roles of Antonia and Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann. In 2010 Cassie covered the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni as a Young Arist at Sieur Du Luth Opera Training Program. A native of Manitowoc, WI, Cassie received her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Lawrence University, where she studied with Dr. Karen Leigh-Post.