HOC General Director
“I have long admired Craig Trompeter's stylish musicality and proven leadership skills. He is a valuable part of the Chicago area's growing early music scene.” John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
“Tasteful…impressive in his mastery…delightful” Chicago Tribune
“First-rate…stalwart support” Chicago Classical Review
“Mastery of French baroque style” CCR
“Terrific playing in the restless, running cello passages” CCR
Swedish tenor Olof Lilja grew up in Stockholm where he studied at the Royal College of Music and at the State College of Opera. He has appeared in lyric and buffo operatic parts but is best known for his work in the early music field. He has performed at festivals in Utrecht, Dresden, Bremen and Wroclaw and made his U.S. debut at the 1997 Boston Early Music Festival as Vecchia/Gelosia in Rossi's L'Orfeo, returning in 1999 as Licco in Cavalli's Ercole amante. Olof Lilja is also very much in demand as a concert singer, especially as Evangelist in Bach's oratorios.
Meriem Bahri is a self-taught costume designer and maker. After completing a PhD in biology, she turned definitively to her great passion for costumes. Her interest for this field began with the Brazilian dance group Atabak in France and she has continued to enrich her knowledge with world-renowned companies such as Boston Early Music Festival, the Joffrey Ballet, and Opéra de Nice. Currently, she collaborates regularly with two groups specialized in baroque operas: Haymarket Opera Company in USA and Académie Desprez in Europe. She has also brought her costuming skills to dance and theater through the Beethoven Festival, Balam Dance Theater, Elements Contemporary Ballet, and International Voices Project. Outside of her work as a costume designer, she is a freelance illustrator providing unique and custom-made drawings. Meriem currently lives in Chicago after spending 18 years in France and 9 years in Tunisia. For more information, please visit meriembahri.com
Biraj Barkakaty's recent engagements include the Alto Soloist in the world premiere of 'Veal' by Harrison Atelier Productions, Pangar in the concert premiere of 3 Weeks by Yoav Gaal at LABA, and the world premiere of Empire Opera's Sweet Dreams, where Biraj created the role of the child. Opera credits include Oberon with the Aspen Music Festival in July 2011 under the baton of Jane Glover, Polinesso in Handel’s Ariodante for the Hub Opera Ensemble in November 2010, Tolomeo with Bel Cantanti Opera (2009), Oberon with the International Vocal Arts Insititute in Tel Aviv (2009) and Opera Minima in the UK (2005), and the title in role in the US premiere of Handel's Silla at the Bay Area Opera Institute (2007). A native of London, Biraj holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Manchester (UK), and vocal degrees with Distinction from Trinity College of Music in London and the Manhattan School of Music (Magna cum Laude). From 2002-06 Biraj was an Alto Lay Clerk in the full-time professional choir at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle where he performed in many royal events, tours and recordings. He now sings regularly with many of the nation's leading professional ensembles including Musica Sacra, the Concert series at St Ignatius Loyola, The New York Virtuoso Singers, the St Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, the Choir of St John the Divine Cathedral, Marble Collegiate Church, the Bard Music Festival, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, ARTEK (2008-09) and the Yale Choral Artists. This May Biraj will be the Alto Soloist in the Vivaldi Gloria for the Westchester Oratorio Society with the REBEL Baroque Orchestra.
Born in Strasbourg, France, Soprano Nathalie Colas made a critically acclaimed debut as Despina in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutti. She sang Julia in Boris Blacher’s Romeo und Julia in Bern, Roggiero/Tancredi and Serpina/Il curioso indiscreto (Sinfonie Orchester Biel), Rosina in Paisiello’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Opéra de Chambre de Genève), Alceste in Myslivecek’s Antigona in Hungary and most recently Clorinda/Il Signor Fagotto (Offenbach) in Arosa Switzerland. She is a member of Chicago-based ensembles Fonema Consort, Bach Chicago Ensemble, Aestas Consort, and her concert repertoire includes Bach’s Trauerode (Belgium), F.X. Richter’s Mass in C, the Dvorak Requiem, Schubert Mass in B (Switzerland), Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass (St Louis MO). She recently released “Ombre et Lumière”, an album of sacred music for Soprano and Organ. A graduate of DePaul University School of Music, Nathalie holds a MA in voice performance and baroque chamber music from the Brussels Royal Flemish Conservatory as well as a Specialized MA in Opera from the Swiss Opera Studio Bern. www.nathalie-colas.com
Sarah Edgar, stage director, is a dancer, choreographer, and researcher specializing in eighteenth century performance. She is the associate director of The New York Baroque Company and an adjunct professor in dance at Northwestern University. With The New York Baroque Dance Company, she has performed at Drottningholm Theater in Sweden, the International Händelfestspiele Göttingen, Danspace at St. Mark's Theater, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Potsdam Sanssouci Music Festival. From 2006-2012, she lived in Cologne, Germany, and toured Europe as a freelance dancer, performing in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and France. This season her choreography will be performed at Herrenhausen in Hannover, Germany, in Danceworks at Northwestern, and in the spring dance concert at Saint Mary's College. She is currently the period movement consultant for Joseph Caruana's new work for Elements Contemporary Ballet, The Sun King, to be performed in fall 2014. She has taught master classes in baroque dance at numerous universities in the United States and in Germany, and has given several lectures at symposia for eighteenth century performance. She holds a BFA summa cum laude in dance performance from The Ohio State University, and an MA in Tanzwissenschaft from the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln.
American mezzo-soprano Margaret Fox has been a recurrent advocate of early music. In 2011 She sang the title role in Ariodante at the American Bach Soloists Academy in San Francisco and returned the next year to sing the role of Céphise in Pygmalion, cover the role of Dido in Dido and Aeneas, and sing as a soloist in Bach's Mass in B Minor. Her solo repertoire has included Händel's Messiah, Haydn's Harmoniemesse and Mozart's Mass in C minor, Requiem and Vespers. In opera, Mrs. Fox made her national operatic debut in 2009 as the Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte with Florentine Opera, and in the same year performed the role of Meg in the European premiere of Little Women. Other major operatic roles have includedHänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, the title role in Iolanthe, and Dinah in Trouble and Tahiti. Awards include Oratorio Society of New York Competition (Semi-Finalist), Grammy wins of Florentine Opera's recording of Aldridge's Elmer Gantry from the Naxos label, and most recently was the recipient of Sigma Alpha Iota's Career Performance Grant to pursue Early Music. Mrs. Fox also has sung as a member of the Grant Park Music Festival Chorus and Chicago Symphony Chorus. She holds a B.M. and M.M. in vocal performance from Illinois Wesleyan University and The University of Wisconsin Madison.
William C. Kirkham (Lighting Designer) is thrilled to be working with Haymarket Opera Company after last Fall’s production of Pimpinone. Recent designs include: The Tennessee Williams Project (The Hypocrites); The Little Prince (Lookingglass Theatre Company); A Year with Frog and Toad, Bud, not Buddy (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Annie (Arizona Broadway Theatre); The Verona Project (American Music Theatre Project); The Iron Stage King, pt 1 (Co-Design, House Theatre - Jeff Award Nominated); the world premiere of Gidion’s Knot and From Prague (Contemporary American Theatre Festival); William received his MFA in Stage Design from Northwestern University. WCKirkham.com
David Mayernik is an architect, artist, educator and author; he has won numerous grants, awards and competitions, including the Gabriel Prize for research in France, the Steedman Competition Fellowship to the American Academy in Rome, and the International Competition for the Minnesota State Capitol Grounds (with then partner Thomas Norman Rajkovich of Evanston); that project won an Arthur Ross Award from the Classical America society. In 1995 he was named to the decennial list of the top 40 architects in the U.S. under 40 years old. He studied architecture at the University of Notre Dame; he also studied fresco painting with renowned restorer Leonetto Tintori in Tuscany. He has taught at the New York Academy of Art, and is currently an Associate Professor with the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture. He is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Since 1996 Mayernik has been the campus architect for TASIS The American School in Switzerland. The TASIS Switzerland campus has been published widely, and his M. Crist Fleming Library there won a 2005 Palladio Award from Traditional Building magazine. His design work was included in the Third Biennale of Architecture, “Historicism Tendency,” in Moscow, May-June 2012. Mayernik is the author of Timeless Cities: An Architect’s Reflections on Renaissance Italy, Westview Press (Icon Editions). His forthcoming book The Challenge of Emulation in Art and Architecture: Between Imitation and Invention will be published by Ashgate (UK).
Eric Miranda's singing career spans two decades and has included solo appearances at Orchestra Hall, at the Ravinia Festival, and in Millennium Park with the Grant Park Symphony Chorus. His regional opera credits include The Elixir of Love, Le Nozze di Figaro, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Old Maid and the Thief, The Barber of Seville,and the title role in the Chicago premiere of Traveling with Gulliver by MacArthur Fellow John Eaton. Sought after for his versatility and musicianship, Eric has appeared in concert with Newberry Consort, Callipygian Players, Elgin Symphony, South Bend Chamber Orchestra, DePaul Community Chorus, and Chorus Angelorum. In March, he performs works of Buxtehude and David Lang with the Bella Voce Camerata, and makes his debut with the Tower Chorale as soloist in Brahms's Ein Deutches Requiem. Actéon marks Eric's third appearance with Haymarket.
Praised for her “impressive power” (Chicago Classical Review) and “richly evocative” voice (Chicago Critic), soprano Chelsea Morris is a performer who “has the ability to command the stage with grace and poise” (Hyde Park Herald). Operatic repertoire includes star turns as Lisa/The Land of Smiles, Pamina/Die Zauberflöte, Susanna/Le nozze di Figaro and Emily Webb/Our Town. Ms. Morris has appeared as soloist with The Madison Bach Musicians, Chicago Bach Ensemble, and Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra. A winner of numerous competition prizes, the Michigan native has been championed by The Schubert Club, National Opera Association, and Bel Canto Foundation of Chicago. www.chelseamorris.com
Alexandra Olsavsky is a Chicago-based soprano from the Pacific Northwest who is achieving great success with her baroque repertoire, chamber ensemble, and contemporary music work. This season she is thrilled to maker her debut with Haymarket Opera Company (Aréthuse in Charpentier’s Actéon) and with the Chicago Sinfonietta (soprano soloist for the American premiere of Jacob TV’s Mountain Top). Alexandra continues to work with CUBE (Collaborative Arts Ensemble) promoting small ensemble music in unique venues. Her past stage credits included Handel’s Dixit Dominus (Chicago Baroque Band), Clérambault’s Orphée (with harpsichordist David Schrader), and the role of Cunégonde in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. Contemporary music credits include the world premiere of Kyong Mee Choi’s Resilience, and a member of supporting ensemble for the Rolling Stones “50 & Counting” tour. Ms. Alexandra holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Roosevelt University. www.alexandraolsavsky.com
Kayleen Sánchez is an imaginative, inspiring, and deeply communicative artist and teacher, equally effective whether performing opera, singing art song, or teaching historically-informed performance practice and healthy vocal technique. Kayleen has appeared as soprano soloist on multiple recordings with the St. Charles Singers and performed with the Newberry Consort. The early music duo Bedlam, featuring Kayleen Sanchez and lutenist Dr. Laudon Schuett, will be touring Chicagoland in March of 2014. Kayleen will record two CDs this year featuring the music of composers George Morey and Paul Sanchez. She is excited to be joining HOC again this season! www.kayleensanchez.com
Tenor Corey Shotwell is currently finishing his graduate studies at the Cleveland Insititute of Music. He most recently appeared on stage in the role of Monostatos with CIM Opera Theater. He performs regularly with early music ensembles at nearby Case Western Reserve University. In Cleveland, Corey sings with Quire Cleveland and Apollo's Fire. He participated in the 2013 Boston Early Music Festival Young Artists Training Program under the direction of Ellen Hargis, Paul O'Dette, and Stephen Stubbs in a performance of Handel's Almira. In 2014, he will sing the role of the Evangelist in C.P.E. Bach's Passion According to St. Luke of 1775, performed for the first time in the United States, with Youngstown State University.
Samantha Umstead, wigs and makeup artist, is a graduate of the DePaul University Theater School where she studied costume design and art history. She is a licensed cosmetologist who does hair and makeup throughout Chicago for film and photography. She has worked at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater for three seasons as a wig maker. She is extremely excited to once again be working with the Haymarket Opera Company.
Angela Young Smucker has been recognized for her “rich, secure mezzo-soprano” by the Chicago Tribune. Her debut with Les Délices was chosen as a 2013 Cleveland favorite after receiving praise for “both a rich, expressive voice and a powerful stage presence” (The Plain Dealer). Other highlights of the 2013-14 season include a solo debut with Music of the Baroque led by Jane Glover; a Robert Kyr premiere paired with Bach’s Christmas Oratorio conducted by James Kallembach; and return appearances with Haymarket Opera Company, Newberry Consort, and Grammy-nominated Seraphic Fire. Ms. Smucker holds degrees from University of Minnesota and Valparaiso University. www.mezzoangela.com.
Concertmaster Jeri-Lou Zike is a versatile, energetic musician who enjoys a variety of artistic activities in symphonic, baroque, and chamber music. She is principal and founding member of the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra and principal second violin of the Chicago Opera Theater. She is also a member of the Chicago Philharmonic, the Joffrey ballet orchestra and the Ravinia Festival Orchestra.
As a period instrument performer, Ms. Zike is concertmaster of the Haymarket Opera Company which she manages alongside the General director, Craig Trompeter, cellist. The opera company is taking Chicago by storm in its third year and according to all the critics, the praise for its quality is of highest caliber. Other musical credits include principal of Baroque Band, soloist with the Chicago Baroque Ensemble, Concertmaster of the University of Chicago Rockefeller Chapel Concerts, as well as performances with His Majestie’s Clerkes, Kansas City Music Consort, and Music of the Baroque’s first period instrument concert.
Ms. Zike is also a well-regarded contractor of musicians, providing orchestras for the Apollo Chorus, Chicago Chorale, the Cathedral Singers, and Rockefeller Chapel choirs among others. Jeri-Lou Zike has recorded with GIA, Centaur, and Cedille Records. To balance the intensity of music making, Jeri-Lou loves to swim, bike and run and is a three time Ironman.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Craig Trompeter, President
Jeri-Lou Zike, Vice-President
Rupert J. Ward , Treasurer
Susan Rozendaal, Secretary
ARTISTIC ADVISORY BOARD
EXECUTIVE ADVISORY BOARD
Jerry Fuller, Executive Director - Associated Colleges of Illinois