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In addition to esteemed resident faculty who guide weekly study throughout the Maryland Opera Studio curriculum, a robust roster of guest faculty and artists join the studio each year to further enhance the curriculum through masterclasses and individual sessions.

Maryland Opera Studio Faculty

Craig Kier, director of the Maryland Opera Studio

Craig Kier Profile Photo

In the 2014-2015 season, Craig Kier became the Director of the Maryland Opera Studio at The University of Maryland School of Music. Productions since the beginning of his tenure have included Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, and La clemenza di Tito, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Blitzstein’s Regina, Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, and Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites.

In the 2019-2020 season, he leads Tosca with Annapolis Opera, returns to Brevard Music Center to conduct their season opening concert and Die Enführung aus dem Serail, Houston Ballet to lead gala performances and The Nutcracker, which he has done since 2011, and returns to assist Gianandrea Noseda with the National Symphony Orchestra.  With the Maryland Opera Studio, he conducts Handel’s Ariodante and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen.

In the 2018-2019 season, he made his San Francisco Merola Opera Center debut, Indianapolis Opera debut, and returned to Opera Birmingham and Houston Ballet.  At the University of Maryland, he served as Artistic Director of the year-long Kurt Weill Festival, conducting performances of The Road of Promise, Mahagonny Songspiel, and Street Scene. Recent season highlights include conducting debuts with Wolf Trap Opera leading Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Brevard Opera Center leading La cenerentola, Anchorage Opera leading Don Pasquale, Arizona Opera leading Madama Butterfly, and Opera Saratoga leading Verdi’s Falstaff.

From 2010-2013, Kier was Associate Conductor under Patrick Summers at Houston Grand Opera. During his time with the company he led dozens of performances including Madama Butterfly, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Die Fledermaus, Trial by Jury and the world premiere of Huang Ruo’s Bound. Additional guest engagements for Kier include La bohème with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars with the Glimmerglass Festival, The Sound of Music with Central City Opera, Thomas’ Hamlet and La traviata with Opera Birmingham, L’italiani in Algeri with Opera Santa Barbara, and The Music Man at Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman.

Justina Lee, principal coach

Justina Lee Profile Photo

American collaborative artist Justina Lee has served as an assistant conductor, pianist and coach for such companies as the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Castleton Festival and the Wolf Trap Opera Company. Lee is a frequent recitalist with acclaimed tenor Lawrence Brownlee and can be seen with him on National Public Radio’s Tiny Desk Concert series. Other artist recitals include: Alyson Cambridge, Tamara Wilson, Dimitri Pittas, Alex Richardson and Linda Mabbs. Lee has appeared under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation residency program, and on such recital series as On Wings of Song at Carnegie Hall, the Harriman-Jewell Series, the Washington Performing Arts Series at the Kennedy Center and Renée Fleming’s VOICES recital series. She can also be seen on Medici TV as part of Carnegie Hall’s masterclass sessions with Joyce
Lee is an alumna of the distinguished Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera and holds degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles and the Manhattan School of Music. She joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, College Park in 2008 and currently serves as principal coach of the Maryland Opera Studio.

Amanda Consol, director of acting

 Amanda Consol.

Stage Director Amanda Consol has served as director, assistant director and acting coach for companies including Washington National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Omaha, the Glimmerglass Festival and the Castleton Festival. Directing credits include The Dialogues of the Carmelites, Street Scene and The Rape of Lucretia at the Maryland Opera Studio, The Turn of the Screw at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and The Songs and Proverbs of William Blake at the Bushwick Starr in Brooklyn.
Consol is currently the acting coach for the young artists at Washington National Opera, where she recently prepared young artist casts for mainstage performances of Carmen and Alcina, and staged scenes for a performance at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. As an assistant director, she has collaborated often with directors including Francesca Zambello, James Darrah and Anne Bogart. Credits in this capacity include Norma at LA Opera, Götterdämmerung at Washington National Opera and the world premiere of Breaking the Waves at Opera Philadelphia. In 2018, she joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, serving as the director of acting for the Maryland Opera Studio.

Voice & Opera Faculty

Jennifer Casey Cabot, soprano

 Jennifer Casey Cabot.

Soprano Jennifer Casey Cabot is a seasoned opera singer who throughout her exciting career has always nurtured an interest in teaching. Having studied with Richard Miller (Oberlin) and Doris Yarick-Cross (Yale), she is keenly aware of passing on that legacy. Her teaching experience began during her Oberlin years, continued while at Yale and throughout her active 30 year international career she has never been without a steady stream of students. “My mentors taught me not only how to sing well but also how to handle the demands and expectations of a career, I always wanted to share that information and understood the need for a skilled teacher and mentor who demands as much of themselves as they do from their student.”

Jennifer Casey Cabot’s opera career centers around the heroines of Mozart, Puccini and Verdi and Strauss, as well as a recent focus on Russian song repertoire, and the role of Liza in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades. Her engagements have spanned the globe, including Germany, Greece, Chile, Canada, Latin America, Japan, Hong Kong and the United States. Her engagements brought her into collaboration with many leading conductors and directors; Naami Jarvi, Stuart Bedford, Hans Vonk, Alan Gilbert, Leonard Slatkin, Leon Major, Ken Cazan, John Copley, Justin Way, Tito Capobianco and Placido and Marta Domingo, to name a few.  Ms. Cabot’s more recent focus has been local to Washington, DC, (where she lives and teaches) and she has enjoyed working closely with the Russian Chamber Arts Society, as well as with Opera Lafayette, the Post Classical Ensemble, the Bay Atlantic Symphony and the National Philharmonic. 

Jennifer Casey Cabot’s career was launched in Europe as an apprentice at the Deutsche Opera in Berlin and led to an ensemble engagement in Braunschweig, Germany. Soon thereafter she expanded her career to include the US and Canada singing leading roles with the New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Boston Opera, San Diego Opera, Minnesota Opera, Arizona Opera, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera, Central City Opera and singing concerts with the Washington National Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. Her trademark roles are Mozart’s Countess, Donna Elvira, Pamina, Fiordiligi and Konstanze followed by repeat successes singing Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata as well as both Mimi and Musetta in Puccini’s La Boheme. Her concert repertoire include, Mozart’s C minor mass, Mahler 2, 4 and 8th Symphonies, Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder and Verdi’s Requiem.

During her formative years she gained entry to the Operalia Competition and following her status as a finalist in both the Bordeaux and Tokyo competitions she was invited to sing duet recitals with Placido Domingo in Oberhausen, Germany and Fukuoka, Japan. She attended Oberlin College and Conservatory, where she received a double degree in German and Voice. She also received a Masters of Opera from Yale University.  Ms. Cabot’s most recent pursuits in addition to teaching and performing include serving on the MD/DC NATS board, adjudicating for vocal competitions such the 2014 Three Centuries of Classical Romances Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia and the Vocal Arts Society of DC’s 2016 Discovery Art Song Competition and working with the Potomac Vocal Institute as faculty and administrative planning consultant.

Kevin Short, bass-baritone, Italian diction

Kevin Short Profile Photo

Versatile American bass-baritone Kevin Short is thrilling audiences around the globe in a wide range of repertoire ranging from the depths of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Monteverdi’s L’Coronazione di Poppea to Verdi’s Attila, Carmen’s Escamillo and Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer.

A sampling of his North America appearances include performances with the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Pacific, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Sarasota Opera Company, Spoleto Opera Festival, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera, Edmonton Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Opera de las Americas.

His European and Asian credits include appearances with multiple opera companies, orchestras, and festivals. A few of which include Paris’ Opera Comique, Welsh National Opera, Kazan State Theater-Russia, Theatre Caen, Grand Theatre du Luxembourg, Oper der Stadt Köln, Stadttheater Stuttgart, Theater Aachen, Theater Basel, Theater Bern, Theater St. Gallen, Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos, Savonlinna Festival-Finland; Bregenzer Festspiele-Austria, Baden-Baden Festspiele-Germany, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence-France, Festival Montpellier-France, l’Opéra de Rouen-France, l’Opéra de Reims-France, Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Japan and festivals in Beijing, China; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Granada, Valencia, and Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Kevin also enjoys an active concert and recital schedule and has worked with the Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Handel and Haydn Orchestra-Boston, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Filharmonisch Orkest, Swiss and Italian RAI Orchestra, Radio France Orchestra, Marseille Philharmonie, Gulbenkian Orchestra-Lisbon, Portugal, Parma Reggio Emilia Orchestra, Malta Philharmonic, Thüringen Symphony Orchestra-Germany, Jena Symphony-Germany,Moscow Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Symphony, Russia, Omsk Philharmonic-Russia, Siberian State Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic, Hiroshima Symphony, the Kazan Symphony for the opening of the Universiade Games in Kazan, Russia, and the Winter Olympics Festival Orchestra for the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Kevin received his training at Morgan State University, B.S., the Curtis Institute of Music, M.M., and the Juilliard School of Music’s American Opera Center.  While attending these institutions he was a prize winner in numerous competitions and garnered many awards. A few highlights include the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Internazionale Concorso per Voce Verdiane, the Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition, the Bruce Yarnell Competition for Basses and Baritones, the Liederkranz Competition, and awards from the Sullivan Foundation, Opera Index, Shoshana Foundation, and the George London Foundation.

Gran Wilson, voice & opera division coordinator, tenor, French diction

Gran Wilson Profile Photo

Gran Wilson, a native of Bessemer, Alabama, has distinguished himself as an interpreter of the bel canto repertoire with a performing career spanning three decades and four continents. He has sung with companies such as the New York City Opera, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Australian Opera, Oper Frankfort, Netherlands Opera, Vlaamse Oper, Teatro di San Carlo Lisboa, Opera de Nice, Teatro Galdos Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, L'Opera de Toulon, L'Opera Royal de Wallonie, Theatre Graslin Nantes, L'Opera de Nancy et de Lorraine, St. Paul Symphony, Edinburgh Festival, Lincoln Center Festival, Spoletto USA Festival, and Mostly Mozart Festival.

Mr. Wilson can be seen on Kultur Video as Tamino in the Australian Opera's Magic Fluteconducted by Richard Bonynge. A best-seller in Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Company's telecast was a nominee for the Australian Emmys. He has also been seen in televised broadcasts throughout Europe. In the U.S., Mr. Wilson has appeared on "Live from Lincoln Center" in Anna Bolena with Dame Joan Sutherland, and on "CBS Morning" as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi'sRigoletto.

On radio, Mr. Wilson has been heard on NPR affiliates with The Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Seattle Opera, Miami Opera, St. Louis Opera, Central City Opera, Boston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and Richmond Symphony.  Mr. Wilson was chosen by composer Ned Rorem as the tenor in his premiere of "Swords and Plowshares" heard on live broadcasts of The Boston Symphony. His recording of Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite with Gerard Schwartz and the Seattle Symphony is on the Delos Label.

Locally, Mr. Wilson has appeared with the Washington National Opera, National Symphony, Baltimore Opera, Opera Vivente, Washington Lyric Opera, Capital Symphony, Hopkins Symphony and Baltimore Choral Arts Society.  Mr. Wilson often performs on campus in collaborations with the Maryland Opera Studio and various ensembles, including the University of Maryland String Orchestra for a "Music of the Mind Series" concert performance of Britten's Les Illuminationswhich can be viewed on YouTube.  Mr. Wilson resides in College Park, and maintains an active teaching and performing schedule throughout the United States.

Delores Ziegler, mezzo-soprano, German diction

Delores Ziegler Profile Photo

American mezzo-soprano Delores Ziegler has been heralded as "the mezzo we have been waiting for" by Martin Bernheimer in the Los Angeles Times. Her career takes her to every major theater in the world and into collaboration with the great directors and conductors of our time. Many of these extraordinary performances have been recorded and released as audio recordings and on video and film.

With a repertoire that extends from bel canto to verismo, Ms. Ziegler has appeared in the world's greatest opera houses. At the Vienna Staatsoper, she made a debut as the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos, returned for Idamante in a new production of Idomeneo, for Dorabella in a new Cosi fan tutte and for Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier. At Teatro alla Scala she has opened the season as Idamante in a new production of Idomeneo, as well as having appeared as Dorabella, Romeo in I Capuleti e I Montecchi and Meg Page in a new production of Falstaff. She opened the prestigious Salzburg Festival as Sextus in a new staging of La Clemenza di Tito. At the Glyndebourne Festival she was heard as Dorabella and at the Bastille in Paris she sang Cherubino and Idamante.

Highlights of her many appearances in Germany include the Composer in a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos in Munich, Marguerite in a new staging of La Damnation de Faust in Hamburg and Salieri's Falstaff in a new production by Cologne. Other European appearances have included the Florence May Festival, where she sang Idomeneo, Octavian and Dulcinée in Massenet's Don Quixotte, Athens Festival for her first Gluck's Orfeo and Dresden for a rarity, Bertoni's Orfeo.

An acclaimed interpreter of bel canto mezzo roles, she has the honor of being the first singer in operatic history to sing Romeo in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the Bolshoi in Moscow, at the San Francisco Opera and in Japan. In another milestone, Ms. Ziegler is the most recorded Dorabella in operatic history, first on two audio recordings, one with Bernard Haitink on EMI and another on Teldec with Nikolaus Harnoncourt. She can also be seen as Dorabella in a videodisc of the La Scala production with Riccardo Muti and in a film of "Cosi" which has been televised throughout Europe, this the last project of director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.In South America she has performed Adalgisa in Norma at the Teatro Colon in Argentina and in Rio de Janeiro. In the United States, this Georgia native has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera as Octavian, Dorabella, Cherubino and as Siebel. Her initial appearances at the Lyric Opera of Chicago were as Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte.

On January 6, 1986, Delores Ziegler was featured in the initial "Pavarotti, Plus! - Live from Lincoln Center" PBS Television Special. Ms. Ziegler had the honor of making her Carnegie Hall debut as soloist in the Rossini Stabat Mater with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra, this in Maestro Muti's last performance in America as music director of that prestigious orchestra. She has also appeared with orchestras throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. With London's BBC Symphony she sang Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder; with Santa Cecilia in Rome the St. John Passion and at Aix-en-Provence and in Venice, the Rossini Stabat Mater. She is a gifted Lieder singer and has appeared in that capacity in such cities as Paris, Florence, Vienna, Cologne and Bonn. In 1992 she made her New York City recital debut in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall Series.

Delores Ziegler has a discography of twenty-one recordings that includes the Mozart Requiem, Mozart's Great Mass and the Mahler Symphony #8 on Telarc with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony; Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra on EMI; the Bach B-minor Mass with Nikolaus Harnoncourt on Teldec; both the Boccherini and the Pergolesi Stabat Maters on Frequenz conducted by Claudio Schimone; and the Mozart Coronation Mass on Deutsche Grammophon with James Levine and the Berlin Philharmonic.

In addition to the two Cosi sets, Ms. Ziegler's complete opera recordings include two of La Clemenza di Tito – one as Sesto conducted by Riccardo Muti on EMI and one as Annio with Nikolaus Harnoncourt on Teldec; the title role in Bertoni's L'Orfeo with Claudio Scimone on Frequenz; Margarad in Lalo's Le Roi d'Ys with Armen Jordan on Erato Disque; Fatima in Weber's Oberon with James Conlon on EMI; and Meg Page in Falstaff with Riccardo Muti on Sony Classical. Ms. Ziegler recently recorded Sara in Roberto Devereux and Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena for the Nightingale label with Edita Gruberova, both conducted by Elio Boncompagni. Her most recent CD is Ned Rorem's song cycle "The Evidence of Things Not Seen"; she took part in the world premiere of this work in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall.

Resident Faculty

Naomi Jacobson, improvisation

 Naomi Jacobson.

Naomi Jacobson holds a master’s degree in acting from Temple University and has been a professional actress and teacher for the last 30 years. An award-winning actress, she’s performed in classics and numerous world premieres in theatres all over the country. Credits include the Shakespeare Theatre Company (affiliated artist), Arena Stage, the Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre (company member), Signature Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Round House Theatre and Theater J, as well as Center Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, the Guthrie Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory, Delaware Theatre Co and the Berkshire Theatre Festival. She’s taught in the Maryland Opera Studio for the last 20 years and locally at George Washington University, Catholic University, Theatre Lab and Shakespeare Theatre Company. A professional public speaking coach, she also teaches voiceover technique for EDGE Studio out of NYC and spearheads the Actors Arena through Arena Stage, continuing education for professional actors. Her TV/Film work includes Homicide, Her Father’s Eyes for A&E, narration for PBS, NPR, Discovery Channel and Smithsonian, along with audio books for Harvard University Press. Jacobson has received three Helen Hayes Awards along with 16 nominations, a Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship (with Lynn Redgrave), the Anderson-Hopkins Award for Excellence in Theatre and an Individual Artist Grant from the D.C. Arts Commission for her work as an actress.

Mark Jaster, mime

Mark Jaster studied with 20th-century masters Marcel Marceau and Etienne Decroux.  He served as teaching assistant to Mr. Marceau and teaches frequently in artist residencies, theatres, and dance programs. Movement consultant credits include Center Stage, Ford's Theatre, Round House Theatre, Adventure Theater, and Constellation Theatre.  Jaster has had a long career touring solo mime shows to countless venues, including Wolftrap’s Theater-in-the-Woods, the Philadelphia International Children’s Festival, The Cincinnati Playhouse, and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  He has appeared many times for over 30 years with the Washington and Cambridge Christmas Revels, as Herr Drosselmeyer in the Maryland Youth Ballet's Nutcracker, and as A Fool Named ‘O’ at The Maryland Renaissance Festival.  From 1996-2016 Mark performed as “Dr. Baldy” at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC with The Big Apple Circus' Clown Care Program. Since 2006, he has co-directed Happenstance Theater with Sabrina Mandell, devising and appearing in critically acclaimed collaborative, original works of "Visual, Poetic Theater." In 2016 he won the Helen Hayes/Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor for his performance in Impossible! A Happenstance Circus.

Marsha LeBoeuf, costuming

Marsha M. LeBoeuf has over 35 years of experience in costume design and management, and has been the costume director for Washington National Opera since 1988, overseeing more than 180 productions. She has many responsibilities related to costuming, but her overall responsibility is to ensure that every costume presented on any WNO stage measures up to the most exacting standards. Before coming to WNO, Marsha worked for Missouri Repertory Theatre, Indiana University School of Music, Chicago Opera Theatre, Central City Opera, and designed costumes for numerous theaters in the Chicago area. She designed costumes for Eugene Onegin and Xerxes at Maryland Opera Studio. In addition to her work at WNO, Marsha has been a guest speaker or lecturer at numerous organizations, including the Renwick Art Gallery, National Museum for Women in the Arts, U.S. Institute for Theater Technology, George Mason University and Towson University. Her essay titled “Apparel and the Opera Singer” was published in the Opera America Perspectives Series. She has been a member of the Opera America Technical/Production Committee since 1995, and serves on the Finance Committee for the U.S. Institute for Theater Technology.

David Lefkowich, mask

 David Lefkowitz.

David Lefkowich is an accomplished stage director, choreographer and fight director who has enjoyed success with different companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatre alla Scala, Gran Teatre Liceu in Barcelona, Spain, La Monnaie in Brussels, Belgium, San Francisco Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Colorado, New York City Opera, Minnesota Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera.  Lefkowich is a guest artist and performs master classes at several Young Artist programs and universities including the San Francisco Opera Center Adler Fellowship Program and Merola Opera Program, Atelier Lyrique at L’Opéra de Montréal, Indiana University, the Juilliard School, McGill School of Music and Ithaca College.  A graduate from Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Theatre, Lefkowich has a certificate from École Jacques-Lecoq in Paris, France.  Lefkowich also serves as the Artistic Director of Out of the Box Opera in Minneapolis, MN, a company dedicated to creating high-quality operatic experiences in site-specific locations.

Jenny Male, stage combat

 Jenny Male.

Jenny Male is a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors and a certified Intimacy Director with Intimacy Directors International. She is Resident Fight and Intimacy Director for the Equity theatre Rep Stage in Columbia, Maryland. Jenny has worked as the Intimacy and/or Fight Choreographer for Arena Stage, Rep Stage, Everyman Theatre, Factory 449, Adventure Theatre, Imagination Stage, Maryland Opera Studio, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Ozark Actors Theatre, Tecumseh!, Maryland Lyric Opera, and Red Branch Theatre Company. Jenny is Associate Professor of Theatre at Howard Community College and is a member of VASTA, ATME, and SDC. Jenny earned her MFA in Theatre Pedagogy with emphasis in Movement & Fight Direction from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2002.