Spring 2012 Concert Soloists
Known for her ability to bring great musical and theatrical depth to her performances, lyric soprano Carrie Hennessey is a powerful, talented artist. She’s been described as being “as gripping an actress as she is a singer” with “vivid stage presence”.
Ms. Hennessey’s embodiment of the title role in the West Coast Premiere of Tobias Picker’s opera Emmeline earned her a nomination in the 2010 Bay Area Broadway World Awards for Best Leading Actress in a Musical (Local). She brought “exquisite vocal purity and range to the title role” and was “nothing short of sensational”. With West Bay Opera as Mimì (La Bohème) , she was said to be “..possessed of a full, powerful lyric soprano, which delivers Puccini’s arias and duets richly". Her “Mi chiamano Mimì” (Yes, they call me Mimì) in Act 1 is gorgeous". On only one day’s notice, Ms. Hennessey made her debut with the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, as soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, to great acclaim.
2011/2012 engagements include her New York City debut as Elle in Poulenc’s one woman opera La Voix Humaine, her European debut appearing at the International Mahler Festival in Prague, Vaughn Williams Song of Thanksgiving with the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, the Mozart Mass in C minor, Mahler’s Ich bin der Welt, Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for Voice and Eight Cellos, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Carmina Burana, Mozart Requiem, and the rarely performed Dvorak Requiem. Ms. Hennessey will perform several concert and recital engagements as well as Master Class appearances for both choral and solo singers. In the 2010/2011 season, Ms. Hennessey debuted as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly. She performed the soprano solo in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Grand Rapids Symphony and with the Pacific Symphony in Handel’s Messiah. With the Oakland East Bay Symphony in the Brahms Requiem, Hennessey brought “bright tone and elegant legato”. She has also appeared with Townsend Opera Players as Hanna (The Merry Widow), and with Sacramento Opera as Giannetta (L’Elisir d’Amore) and Edith in (Pirates of Penzance), as soprano soloist in Stravinsky’s ballet Pulcinella at the Mendocino Music Festival and with members of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra in Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for Voice and Eight Cellos.
Megan Berti, mezzo-soprano, is currently studying with Melanie Sonnenberg at the University of Houston Moores School of Music as a Performance Certificate candidate. This season she performed the roles of Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, Annina in Der Rosenkavalier, and the title role of the new Daron Hagen opera Amelia. Megan performed with BCCO in the winter performance of Vivaldi's Gloria.
While earning her Master of Music degree at Eastman, Ms. Berti was heard as Anne in the Eastman Opera Theater premiere stage production of Heggie’s To Hell and Back, as Dryade in a scenes production of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, in J.S. Bach's B Minor Mass and St Matthew's Passion, and in the chamber orchestra version of Berg's Sieben frühe Lieder. She also sang as the soloist in Rossini’s Le Petite Messe Solennelle with the Gregory Kunde Chorale and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with California's Cantare con Vivo, and she premiered several chamber and choral works with Eastman's new music ensemble Ossia.
During her undergraduate studies at California State University Long Beach, Megan performed Sesto in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito and La Messaggiera in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. She has participated in the summer programs Le Chiavi di Bel Canto twice and SongFest’s Sterns Fellow program. Ms. Berti has earned scholarships from the Dramatic Allied Arts Guild and the Fine Arts Affiliates and was the recipient of the Presser Scholarship Award.
J. Raymond-Meyers, tenor
J.Raymond Meyers, "Joe" is a busy tenor who’s sung frequently with the opera companies of Anchorage, Tampa, Grand Rapids, Utah Festival, Toledo, San Francisco, Portland and many others. In 2009, as well as singing the role of Rodolfo in La Boheme with Oregon's Rogue Opera, he made his major motion picture debut playing an opera singer in the Oscar winning movie "Milk."
In January 2010 he sang Andres in Wozzeck with Ensemble Parallèle then reprised the role with the Astoria Music Festival that Summer. In April of that same year, the tenor returned to Opera San Jose tosing Prunier in the company's premiere of La Rondine. Recent engagements: Carmina Burana with the Spokane Symphony, Lippo/Buchanan in Street Scene with Oakland East Bay Symphony Four Saints in Three Acts with Ensemble Parallele, and Redshirt in Machine at the Crucible.
Upcoming: Dvořák Requiem with Berkeley Community Chorus, Hoffmann in The Tales of Hoffmann with Pocket Opera.
Richard Mix appears with over a dozen Bay Area opera companies singing a repertoire that embraces Wagner and Monteverdi as well as Scelsi and Stockhausen.
A former cellist, he made his singing debut as Truelove in Berkeley Contemporary Opera's 1992 production of The Rake's Progress and went on to the Darmstaeter Sommerferienkurse für neue Musik, where he was awarded a Patenring grant and re-invited in 1994 and 1996.
West coast premieres range from Arthur in Maxwell Davis' The Lighthouse to C.P.E. Bach’s 1789 Matthaeuspassion, and he is currently looking forward to staged productions of Vladimir in Butterfly Country, whose Nabokovian title role was written for him by his wife, Ann Callaway. He directs Bella Musica and the choirs at St. David of Wales Church in Richmond.