Praised for her “radiant soprano”, soprano Dana Lynne Varga has established herself as a dynamic interpreter of a wide variety of repertoire on opera and concert stages. She regularly solos at Carnegie Hall, with recent 2022 engagements including the Mozart Requiem with Manhattan Concert Productions and the Brahms Requiem with Mid-America Productions. Dana was a featured 2022 performer with the Calliope’s Call Art Song Society in works by contemporary composers Tom Cipullo and Kile Smith. She stepped in last-minute for the 2021 Boston Pops Christmas shows (Symphony Hall), as first soprano in the professional octet.
Dana maintains a busy schedule on the concert platform. The Boston Globe praised a recent appearance with the Cantata Singers in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, noting that she “streaked up into the stratosphere and back down with ease.” Other notable recent engagements include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with Greenwich Choral Society, Bach’s Magnificat with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra and both Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Creation with countless organizations. In past seasons, Dana has appeared as soprano soloist in Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with Coro Allegro, Fauré’s Requiem and Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3 with the Springfield Symphony, Amy Beach’s Mass with Commonwealth Chorale, Vaughn Williams’ Sea Symphony with Metropolitan Chorale and Beethoven’s Mass in C at Tanglewood. Upcoming 2023 concert engagements include the Haydn Lord Nelson Mass and Daniel Pinkham’s White Raven with Coro Allegro as well as the Brahms Requiem with the Andover Choral Society.
Dana’s 2019 appearance as Pallas Athene in Gluck’s rarely heard Paride ed Elena with Odyssey Opera garnered critical acclaim for her “soprano of impressive scale … that nearly stole the entire show” (EDGE Media Network). Notable recent operatic engagements include Kayla in the workshop world premiere of Taking Up Serpents presented by MASSOpera and Washington National Opera under the baton of Lidiya Yankovskaya, Stacy Helson in On Behalf of a Madman with Grand Harmonie and zweite Zofe in Der Zwerg with Odyssey Opera. Dana’s other favorite roles performed include Musetta in La bohème, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Micaëla in Carmen, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, and Alcina in Alcina.
Dana received her MM from New England Conservatory and her DMA from Boston University. Also an accomplished voice teacher, career coach and producer, Dana is a fierce advocate for singers, devoted to progressive change in the classical vocal industry. Please visit www.danavarga.com and www.theempoweredmusician.com.
Dr. Christina Wright-Ivanova, hailed by critics as “a brilliant pianist” (Wiener Zeitung, Vienna) with a “warm and reassuring sound” (Boston Intelligencer) is currently Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Keene State College. She also recently joined the faculty at the New England Conservatory in Boston. For the past nine years, she has been serving as the Artistic Director for the North End Music & Performing Arts ‘Winter Concert Series’.
Dr. Wright-Ivanova is on faculty at the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (New England Conservatory) and has premiered over 125 works by living composers. She has performed solo and collaborative new works throughout the US, and recent international concert performances at the Berlin Art Song Festival, Teatro Sociale in Como, Reaktorhalle (Munich), Humboldt University, École Normale Supérieure Lyon, Joanneumsviertel Museum, Amici della Musica Paisello Concert Hall (Lucera), and Schloss Frohnburg (Salzburg).
As a chamber musician, she has been heard in over 25 countries throughout North & South America, UK, Europe, Asia and Australia, and enjoys frequent performances with musicians from leading orchestras in the US. She collaborates frequently with singers from the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and several leading opera houses around the world, and has been the official pianist for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. With her ‘duo au courant’ partner, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Weiss, she tours regularly, presenting Art Song with a focus on issues of immigration, social justice and peace.
Previous Employment: UMass Amherst; University of Nevada Las Vegas; Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices; BU Tanglewood Institute; AIMS (Austria). Previous director appointments include the Artistic Director for the Redfern Arts Center for the 2022-23 season.
Recordings: Albany Records, New World Records, ARS Produktion, MSR Classics. Degrees: University of Texas at Austin (DMA), New England Conservatory (MM), University of Victoria, Canada (BM). www.christinajwright.com
Known for her “rich character portrayals” and “versatile voice,” mezzo-soprano Megan Roth enjoys a varied career performing opera, oratorio, art song, and chamber music, with repertoire spanning from early to contemporary music.
Most recently, Megan “smoldered” in the role of Tisbe in La Cenerentola with Boston Midsummer Opera, receiving accolades as she “…vamped about with sufficient trashy glitter, bringing the angry coloratura across the footlights with comic menace.” In June 2021, Megan performed in the company’s first post-pandemic live performance as Despina in excerpts of Cosi fan tutte, along with other scenes and arias. Additional roles include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Meg in Little Women, where she was praised for her “warm and sonically sumptuous Meg.”
Notable engagements on the concert stage include soloist in Copland’s In the Beginning, Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Magnificat and Weihnacht’s Oratorium, Gretchaninov’s Passion Week, de Falla’s El amor brujo, Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore and Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria & Magnificat, and Duruflé Requiem. As an active chamber musician, Megan performs with several renowned national ensembles including GRAMMY® nominated Skylark Vocal Ensemble and True Concord, Yale Choral Artists, and the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble. Also an accomplished violinist, Megan was honored to have a featured violin solo on the 2021 GRAMMY® nominated album It’s a Long Way with the Skylark Vocal Ensemble.
Megan is also the founder and artistic director of Calliope’s Call, a not-for-profit art song performance group based in New England, which presents unique and culturally relevant programs of art song by contemporary and new composers, as well as traditional composers of the genre.
Megan belongs to Beyond Artists, a coalition of artists that donates a portion of their concert fee to organizations they care about. She supports NYC Second Chance Rescue and The Bail Project through her performances. She enjoys swimming and hiking with her husband Adam and their two totally spoiled Boston Terriers, Bronx and Brooklyn.
Tenor Brendan Buckley recently made his Boston Symphony Hall debut as Giuseppe in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. Brendan also made his Seiji Ozawa Hall debut in 2019 performing Schubert’s Mass in G with the Berkshire Lyric Chorus. Brendan played George Gibbs in Monadnock Music’s production of Ned Rorem’s Our Town, the premiere recording of which was released on New World Records. He can also be heard in Cape Ann Opera’s Global Music Award winning recording of Robert J. Bradshaw’s steampunk opera Deus Ex Machina. Brendan has also often worked with Guerilla Opera, most recently playing the role of the Nurse in Hannah Lash’s Beowulf.
Operatic role highlights include Fenton in Falstaff, Laurie in Little Women, (Boston Opera Collaborative) and Candide (Manchester Choral Society). Concert performances include engagements with the Amherst College Symphony, Nashua Symphony, Greater New Bedford Choral Society, Choral Art Society of the South Shore, and MIT Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Buckley is currently Visiting Lecturer of Voice at Plymouth State University, is a faculty member of the New England Conservatory’s School of Continuing Education, and is the former Massachusetts District Governor of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Students of Mr. Buckley are NATS competition winners and have gone on to perform and teach throughout New England and in cruise ships. Former students have also continued studies at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, King’s College – London, and the CAP21 Theatre Arts Program at Molloy College, among others.
Brendan received a Master’s degree in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from The Pennsylvania State University and his Bachelor’s degree in Music at The University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Brendan studies with Elisabeth Phinney. For more information, visit www.brendanpbuckley.com
Baritone Tyler Reece serves as Assistant Dean of Enrollment and Student Services at Longy School of Music of Bard College, where he also serves on the Vocal Studies faculty. Originally from Aspen, Colorado, he holds degrees from Luther College (BM) and the University of California, Santa Barbara (MM, DMA).
At home on the recital stage, Reece has performed Lieder staples such as Winterreise, An die ferne Geliebte, Dichterliebe, and—notably—Frauenliebe und Leben. Using the latter as a case study in his doctoral dissertation, Liebe und Leben: Exploring Gender Roles and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Lieder, Reece focused on the intersection of gender, sexual identity, and the evolution of performance practices in classical vocal music. By portraying the Frauenliebe protagonist as a gay male in the twenty-first century, he gave a much-needed modern makeover to Schumann’s antiquated and often maligned cycle.
On the operatic stage, Reece was praised for his “comedic skill and solid singing” (BravoCalifornia!) in portraying Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. He has also performed roles such as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, John Styx in Orpheus in the Underworld, Marco in Gianni Schicchi, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, the title role of Thomas Pasatieri’s Signor Deluso, Malvolio in Joel Feigin’s Twelfth Night, and Harold von Reckenburg in the North American premiere of Franz Léhar’s Die Juxheirat.
Dr. Reece is also the winner of numerous awards through the National Association for Teachers of Singing for his interpretation and performance of art song.