Our guest artists for the May 1, 2015 Season Finale Concert


Guest Artists

2014-2015 Season

Helen Lyons, soprano

Friday May 1, 2015

A native of Vermont, soprano Helen Lyons holds degrees from Wellesley College (BA in Music, 1996) and The Royal Academy of Music (London, UK, Diploma of Vocal Performance, LRAM, 2001) and an Artist Diploma in Opera from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM, 2008).

Ms. Lyons made her German stage debut in April 2011 as the title role in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride with the Coburg Landestheater and in the 2011-2012 season sang with Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Düsseldorf) as Mme. Lidoine in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites. She appeared in the 2012-2013 season as Chrysothemis in Mainz Staatstheater’s production of Richard Strauss’ Elektra.

Whilst at CCM, Ms. Lyons sang the roles of Iphigénie (Iphigénie en Tauride), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro), and Mme de Volanges (Susa: Dangerous Liaisons), and performed as a soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasie with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Paavo Järvi. She was also the soprano soloist in Mahler’s 2nd and Beethoven’s 9th Symphonies with the CCM Orchestra. After recital engagements in New York City and Frankfurt in 2010, Ms. Lyons has returned to Cincinnati on several occasions for performances with the CCM Philharmonia Orchestra in the title role of Puccini’s Turandot (2011), as the Soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem (2013) and the role of Elisabeth de Valois in the US Premiere of the 5-Act Paris 1867 version of Verdi’s Don Carlos (2013). She will return again in 2015 to sing the title role in Richard Strauss’ Salome. She appeared with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in Verdi’s Requiem in March 2011 in Manila.

Other performances include Concert projects at the Guangzhou Opera house in Guangzhou, China with Tenor Wang Feng (Beijing Opera), and with the Thüringen Philharmonic in Frankfurt. She has sung two roles with the Bronx Opera; First Lady in The Magic Flute with 2009 and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte in 2006 and covered the role of Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata (2004). She sang the role of Irene/The Virgin Mary in a 2008 Cincinnati regional production of the controversial Jerry Springer: The Opera (Thomas/Lee). Ms. Lyons has also sung with Opera East Productions in the UK, where she sang Governess (Turn of the Screw, 2000) and Lady Billows (Albert Herring, 2001) in Benjamin Britten’s hometown of Aldeburgh. Ms. Lyons also participated in His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales’ charitable program Live Music Now, bringing recitals to those around the UK who are unable to attend live concert performances (1999-2001). She has also created her own solo recital programs in New York City and Burlington, Vermont (2010, 2011, 2012) to raise money for local churches, charities and historic organizations.

Ms. Lyons completed apprenticeships with the Aix-en-Provence Féstivale des Arts Lyriques (2001, 2004), Di Capo Opera (NYC) where she covered the role of Puccini’s Tosca (2004) as well as with the Sarasota Opera (2005). She has sung with the Santa Fe Opera Chorus under the baton of Alan Gilbert (2005).

Ms. Lyons was a semi-finalist in the Loren L. Zachary Prize in Los Angeles; a finalist in New York City’s Liederkranz Competition, and won several prizes while at CCM, including the Norman Treigle Memorial Prize and the Italo Tajo Prize. She has also won awards from the Sarasota Opera (Anne J. O’Donnell Award), The Royal Academy of Music (Major van Someren Godfrey Award, Michael Head Prize for Song) and Wellesley College (Alice Freeman Palmer Award for Overseas Study, Billings Prize in Music).


Stephanie Weiss, mezzo-soprano

Friday May 1, 2015

Stephanie Weiss, a San Diego native and regular guest artist at Deutsche Oper Berlin, holds degrees from New England Conservatory (voice), Tufts University (biology and drama), University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Mannes College of Music, where she was the recipient of a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation. Ms. Weiss was a Regional Finalist in the Midwest Region of the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Some of her roles at the Deutsche Oper Berlin have included Musetta in La Bohème, Erste and Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Gerhilde and Grimgerde in Die Walküre, Schlafittchen in the Berlin premiere of Das Traumfresserchen, Marianne Leitmetzerin in Der Rosenkavalier, Aufseherin in Elektra, cover of Johanna in Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna, and the cover of Venus in Tannhäuser in the company’s tour to the Beijing Music Festival. With the Opera Orchestra of New York under Eve Queler, she sang the role of Rose in Lakmé. She has appeared at the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden as Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro and Marthe in Faust, at Oper Frankfurt as Musetta in La Bohème, and at Stadttheater Bern, Cologne Opera, and San Diego Opera as Marianne Leitmetzerin in Der Rosenkavalier. Other recent roles include Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos and Klementia in Sancta Susanna. In 2010, she made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic as the Cook in Le Rossignol conducted by Pierre Boulez. She debuted as Venus in Tannhäuser at the Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin in 2012. In 2013/2014, she sang the Wesendonck Lieder with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra, and performed Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore with the San Diego Opera. In 2014, Ms. Weiss joined the faculty of University of Nevada, Las Vegas as Assistant Professor of Voice. In addition to her teaching, in the 2014/2015 season, she has sung Marianne Leitmetzerin in Der Rosenkavalier at Opernhaus Dortmund, Grimgerde in Die Walküre at Oper Leipzig, a concert of Mahler (Symphony 4 and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen) with the L’viv Philharmonic, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana with Singakadamie Potsdam, and will be appearing as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Opera Las Vegas.


Tod Fitzpatrick

Sunday April 19, 2015

Tod Fitzpatrick (B.M. Chapman University; M.M. & D.M.A. University of Southern California) Associate Professor of Music in Voice at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is an active singer and teacher.  Interested in a variety of vocal repertoire, his performance experience includes over forty operatic and music theater roles in addition to a substantial number of oratorio and concert works.  He also has a passion for song recitals and new works for voice.  In December of 2013 he appeared as the Father in Virko Baley’s opera Holodomor at the national opera house in Ukraine.  Other ensembles with which he has sung include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Pacific, the Virginia Symphony, Virginia Opera, the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, the Sacramento Choral Society, the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and the Utah Festival Opera Company.

American composers Jennifer Barker, Judy Cloud and Virko Baley feature him on recordings of their songs.  Current research includes the editing of unpublished works and recording of songs by the American composer Celius Dougherty with Alan Smith, pianist and Maria Jette, soprano.  Fitzpatrick is the past Cal-Western Regional Governor for the National Association of Teachers of Singing and is currently coordinating the 2015 NATS Intern Program at UNLV.  Students with whom he has worked have gone on to win national voice competitions, perform with professional opera companies, and earn university teaching positions.


Mark A. Thomsen, tenor

Friday May 1, 2015

As one of America’s most accomplished tenors Mark Thomsen enjoys a successful career in critically acclaimed performances. Often working repetitively with major companies, Mr. Thomsen has performed to acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, La Scala (Milan), Wiener Staatsoper, Wiener Volksoper, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera among others. Highlights of recent seasons include singing the role of Faust in Berlioz’ The Damnation of Faust (in English) in Anchorage, tenor solos of Handel’s Messiah and in Dubois’ The Seven Last Words of Christ in Las Vegas, performing the tenor solos with the Indianapolis Opera in their multi-media production of Opera Goes To The Movies and singing the role of Dick Johnson in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West, performing the roles of The Governor, Vanderdendeer and Ragotski in Portland Opera’s production of Bernstein’s Candide; jumping in at the last minute to sing the tenor lead with the Peoria Symphony in their rendition of Edward J. Collins’ Daughter of the South; singing a recital for the King and Queen of Sweden with Maestro Caraher at the piano in Minneapolis; performing the role of Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca in Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy; and performing the role of Don Ottavio in Opera Las Vegas’ production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. In January of 2015 Mr. Thomsen directed and sang the role of Alfredo in the Imperial Symphony Orchestra’s production of Verdi’s La Traviata.

Mr. Thomsen is Founder and Director/Master Teacher of the vocal festival La VOCE Totale, http://lavocetotale.com/, which is based in Las Vegas, and co-founder of the vocal summer program IOPE, http://www.internationaloperaperformingexperience.com/, which is based in Italy. Mark Thomsen is appearing courtesy of Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL, where he is Professor of Music and Artist in Residence.

web page: www.markthomsen.com