Katherine Sanford is a versatile and dynamic mezzo-soprano, hailing from Annapolis, MD. The 2015-2016 season included several important role debuts for Katherine, beginning with her performances as Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Nashville Opera, followed by performances as Prince Orlofsky in the company’s production of Die Fledermaus. In the summer of 2016, she sang the role of Iolanthe in the Young Victorian Opera Theatre’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe.
Other opera credits include Stephano in Romeo et Juliette, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea, 2nd Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Mercédès in Carmen, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly.
Katherine is increasingly sought out for concert and oratorio work, and she looks forward to performing as the mezzo-soprano soloist in John Rutter’s Magnificat with the Easton Chorale Arts Society in December of 2016. In the spring of 2017, she will perform as the alto soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Baltimore Chorale Arts Society. Katherine was the alto soloist in St. John’s Passion by J.S. Bach, performing with members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Chancel Choir of Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church in the winter of 2013. She also performed as a pre-concert recitalist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in both 2012 and 2013, performing songs by Debussy and Strauss.
Katherine sang as a young artist with Nashville Opera, Opera Colorado, and Des Moines Metro Opera. She completed her Masters degree at the University of Michigan, and her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland.
Praised for her “plush” voice by the Baltimore Sun and voice of “sweet clarity” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, mezzo-soprano Kristen Dubenion-Smith enjoys an active performing career in oratorio, opera and sacred vocal chamber music, particularly specializing in music of the medieval, renaissance and baroque eras.
Recent notable engagements include performances with The Folger Consort, NYS Baroque, The Bach Sinfonia, the Catacoustic Consort of Cincinnati, Ohio, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, Magnificat Baroque of San Francisco, The Bach and Baroque Ensemble of Pittsburgh and with the Mark Morris Dance group, singing in the pit at the Kennedy Center with the Washington Bach Consort. Ms. Dubenion-Smith has also performed concerts with various ensembles at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Berkeley Early Music Exhibition, the Indianapolis Early Music Festival and the Washington Early Music Festival.
Ms. Dubenion-Smith’s operatic career spans more than a dozen opera roles performed throughout the United States. Some of her more notable roles have included Endimione in La Calisto, Hecuba in La Didone and Cupid in Venus and Adonis with American Opera Theater, Humility in Ordo Virtutum with the Peabody Early Music Department, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Peabody Opera Outreach and La Baronne in Chérubin with New Jersey Opera Theater.
Ms. Dubenion-Smith also has a keen interest in contemporary music. She has had the privilege to work with The Evolution Contemporary Music Series the past three seasons where she has performed works such as David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize winning piece The Little Match Girl Passion as well as Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs and works by Arvo Pärt. Most recently, Ms. Dubenion-Smith performed, for the composer, selections from the chamber opera Song from the Uproar by NYC based composer, Missy Mazzoli.
Originally from Michigan, Ms. Dubenion-Smith graduated from Alma College before moving to Baltimore to complete her studies in voice at the Peabody Institute. Still residing in Baltimore, in 2010, Kristen co-founded the award-winning D.C. based medieval trio, Eya. Eya is a unique ensemble seeking to refresh and invigorate the interpretation and performance of medieval music for women. You can learn more about Eya at www.eyaensemble.com
2013-2014 solo engagements include concerts with: Apollo’s Fire, The Washington Bach Consort, Eya Medieval Ensemble, The Evolution Contemporary Music Series, Easton Choral Arts, The Cathedral Choral Society, The New Dominion Chorale and The Bach Concert Series of Baltimore.
Antony Zwerdling returns to Easton Choral Arts Society as the Bass Soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G Minor. In previous seasons, he has sung as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Marauder’s Mount of Olives with the group. As an Oratorio singer, he has also appeared as a soloist and professional member of the ensemble with Handel & Haydn Society, Washington Bach Consort, Washington Master Chorale, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Concert Artists of Baltimore, and Philharmonia Baroque. In addition, he has performed over twenty‒five operatic roles, including Papageno in The Magic Flute, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Eisenstein and Falke in Die Fledermaus, Sid in Albert Herring, Marcello and Schaunard in La Bohème , Mama Agata in Le Convenienze teatrali, and Pooh Bah in The Mikado.
He has performed with numerous opera companies, including Washington National Opera, Opera Lafayette, Wolf Trap Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Lake George Opera, Washington Concert Opera, Opera Boston, and Ash Lawn Opera. He received his Bachelors degree from Northwestern University and Masters from Boston University. In 2007, he earned his Doctorate from Shenandoah Conservatory, writing about songs of Samuel Barber. Dr. Zwerdling is an active voice teacher, maintaining a studio at Hood College and College of Southern Maryland.
Laura Choi Stuart
Hailed as “a lyric soprano of ravishing quality” by the Boston Globe, Laura Choi Stuart appears regularly with the Washington Bach Consort and the Washington Master Chorale, in addition to solo appearances with many area ensembles. Solo highlights of the 2016-17 season include Messiah and B Minor Mass with the Washington National Cathedral, Cantatas 140, 207a, and 10 with Washington Bach Consort, and Mozart Requiem with the McLean Orchestra.
Laura began her career in opera and has appeared on the mainstage with Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Annapolis Opera, Lake George Opera, the In Series, and Opera North in roles including Musetta, Adina, Gilda, Pamina, and Frasquita. Equally comfortable in recital and concert settings, Laura was honored for art song performance as 2nd prize winner at both the 2010 and 2012 National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards and as one of the 2009 Art Song Discovery Series winners for the Vocal Arts Society. She received her training at The Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program for Singers, Opera North, and Berkshire Opera, as well as The New England Conservatory and Dartmouth College. Laura is a student of Elizabeth Daniels and lives in Silver Spring, MD.
Born in Boston, MA, Joseph Regan is a successful singer and voice teacher based in the Mid-Atlantic region making appearances throughout the east coast. A regular performer at the Strathmore, Meyerhoff, and Kennedy Center Concert Halls, Mr. Regan has been privileged to sing under the batons of Marin Alsop, Christian Eschenbach, Masaaki Suzuki, Emil de Cou, Martin Issep, and many others. A specialist in French Mélodie, Mr. Regan is a deft interpreter of the unique poetic and musical characteristics that define this exquisite art form and is frequently engaged around the region to perform in this capacity. Joseph can be seen on the opera stage where he has performed the roles of Fenton from Verdi’s Falstaff, Tamino from Mozart’s Magic Flute, Jenik from Smetana’s Bartered Bride and many more.
Mr. Regan is also an accomplished performer of musical theatre. His credits include: Henrik in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Nicely-Nicely Johnson from Loesser’s Guys and Dolls, and has performed a number of cabaret and recital programs dedicated to the style. In addition to his work in opera and musical theatre, Mr. Regan is well known for his work in the field of oratorio. He has sung Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Rossini, and is particularly notable for his expertise singing Bach. He has performed the St. John Passion solos on multiple occasions and has performed more than a dozen of Bach’s Cantatas. Mr. Regan is also a highly sought after ensemble singer and sings regularly with top choral groups in the region, with whom he has toured much of the Eastern seaboard. Mr. Regan received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and his DMA in Voice Performance at the University of Maryland.