Artists

Karen Archbold

KarenArchbold

After receiving a Bachelor of Music Performance from Southwestern College, Mezzo-Soprano Karen Archbold continued her studies in Bremen, Germany at the Hochschule fur Kunste.  In 2016, she was the Sinfonietta Bel Canto's Voice Competition First Place Winner in the Emerging Artist Category.  She was a 2014 and 2015 finalist in the American Prize Competition Vocal Division and runner-up in the American Prize Chicago Music Theatre Award. She has appeared as Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw, Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, Abuela in La Vida Breve and Berthe in Barber of Seville. Karen’s solo appearances include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, John Rutter’s Magnificat, Lili Boulanger’s Psalm Profundis, the Verdi Requiem, and the Mahler Kindertotenlieder. Upcoming engagements include Katisha in the Mikado with the Northwest Indiana Symphony and Flora in La Traviata with Dupage Opera Theater.  She currently performs with the Belle Ensemble and with Duo Striata. She also performs in Music for the Mind, a music therapy program for people with Alzheimer's.

Samantha Baran

SamanthaBaranSoprano Samantha Baran is a recent graduate of Northwestern University where she studied opera, musical theatre, and acting. She studied voice with Karen Brunssen (NATS President-Elect) and has studied with David Hoffman, Patrizia Zinardi, and Ewa Iżykowska. She studied acting with Cindy Gold (Best Actress - Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Awards 2006), as well as Larry Yando (Scar, The Lion King national tour). Past roles include Meg in Little Women (Northwestern University Theatre Department) and Pamina in the The Magic Flute (Undergraduate Company of Opera Singers). She was a member of The Renaissance Singers and of the ICCA award-winning Northwestern Undertones A Cappella group. In 2015, she won third place in the Chicago Chapter NATS 2015 competition. Samantha has travelled across Europe, where she has performed in Milan, Italy and Iwonicz, Poland. She will be studying at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg in August.

Blake Buczkiewicz

BlakeBuczkiewiczThirteen-year-old boy soprano Blake Buczkiewicz began his journey in the arts as a child actor and has completed over 100 on-camera projects.  Blake started his music training as a toddler and continued his education in the choir at Encore Music Academy.  For the last two years, Blake has studied classical voice and opera with Ms. Tetyana Torzhevska.   His love for live performances came from being in a Concert of Rodgers and Hammerstein Selections at Metropolis followed by a performance in A Christmas Carol.  Blake then had the honor to perform at Northwestern in the opera Dead Man Walking.  From 2012-2016, Blake has performed in thirteen staged performances through his middle school and future high school.  His newest adventures have taken him on to the stage at the Woodstock Opera House with TownSquare Players as Michael Banks in Mary Poppins and in A Christmas Story.

Federico Caballero

FedericoCaballeroTenor Federico Caballero joined the studio of Ms. Sior last year.  He has performed at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin and at the 2nd Annual Music Camp Show at St. John United Church.

Cody Davis

CodyDavisBaritone Cody Davis began singing lessons less than a year ago with Tetyana Torzhevska, and has been playing piano for four years. He has competed in the Granquist music competition in Geneva and won first place in 2017. He also plays drums, guitar, trumpet, clarinet, and violin. 

Jessica Farfán

JessicaFarfanSoprano Jessica Farfán has studied music for 9 years and just recently performed at Carnegie Hall with the Junior Choir for the Honors Performance Series. Jessica has performed in more than 20 musicals, with some of her favorite roles having been Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, Sharpay and Kelsi in High School Musical, Gabriella in High School Musical 2.  Ms. Farfán was in her school’s girls chamber choir, Bella Voce, and placed in the Superior Division at the D300 Solo & Ensemble Contest and the Gold Division at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Youth Auditions in Chicago.

Rebekah Haynes

RebekahHaynesRebekah Haynes, soprano, has had opportunities to perform at recitals and in musicals and operas including  Joseph and The Technicolor Dreamcoat , Cinderella,  HMS Pinafore , and Trial By Jury. Upcoming performances include a summer recital at Harper College. She looks forward to continue pursuing music with a musical theatre / vocal performance degree.

Jim Hinton

JimHinton webJim Hinton, bass-baritone.  A native of Central Illinois, Jim has worked as a professional actor and singer since 1970 in Urbana, Chicago, Elgin and the Midwest. His credits include solo work with Elgin Opera, the Elgin Choral Union and the Elgin Symphony. His Chicago area credits include working with Light Opera Works, Whirlwind Performance Company and the Illinois Theatre Centre. He studied acting at the U of I in Urbana and his voice teachers include Roger Cooper (a student of William Warfield), Terri Brancaccio-Hanson, Solange Sior and Tetyana Torzhevska. He recently performed the bass solo in the oratorio, The Crucifixion, by John Stainer at the First Congregational Church of Elgin.  Jim has lived in Elgin for the last 26 years.

Sarah Linske

SarahLinskeSarah Linske, soprano, appeared in the Chicago premiere of John Bilotta’s one act opera, Quantum Mechanic, with Floating Opera of Chicago. She performs regularly with Chamber Opera of Chicago in their annual performance of Menotti’s, Amahl and the Night Visitors. Sarah is a member of the performing ensemble, Opera Inter Alia, and performs regularly in and throughout the Chicagoland area as a soprano soloist. She received her BM in Vocal Performance from Western Michigan University and MA in Vocal Pedagogy from Northeastern Illinois University. She spent two summers in Graz, Austria at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS), studying lieder and opera. Some of her favorite roles include Violetta in La Traviata, Lily in The Secret Garden and First Lady in The Magic Flute

Valerie Meachum

ValerieMeachum webValerie Meachum, soprano, was last seen borrowing songs from the boys in the "Backwards Broadway" revue at Side Street Studio Arts. Musicals and opera: Marmee in Little Women (Greenroom Productions), the Cousin in Madama Butterfly, Sally in Die Fledermaus (both with Elgin Opera), Jekyll & Hyde (Summer Place Theatre), and Beauty and the Beast (Magical Starlight Theatre). She was a frequent participant and occasional emcee for Elgin Opera's cabaret evenings at Villa Verone. Favorite straight theatre roles include Lady Macbeth, Charlotte in Pride and Prejudice (both at GreenMan Theatre), and the world premiere of Horror Academy with Babes With Blades.  She is in the process of producing a solo theatre piece, Unvarnished: A Portrait of Elizabeth Siddal, and stars as Donna on the webseries The Deadersons. Film roles include the award-winning short Witchfinder. You may also catch her playing heroes and princesses for kids at charity events as a member of Costumers With a Cause and the Rebel Legion.

Megan Marie Martinez

MeganMarieMartinezSoprano Megan Marie Martinez has been taking piano and singing lessons with Tetyana Torzhevska for the last seven and three years respectively. She also plays the violin in her school orchestra and is a member of her school choir. She was a participant in the Junior Chorus Division for the 2016 District 9 Illinois Music Education Association Festival. Megan enjoys performing in her school musicals. She was a Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and a chorus member in The Lion King Jr. musical production in her school.

Isabella B. Nicoli

IsabellaBNicoliSoprano Isabella Beatrice Nicoli, Elmhurst - High School student with many diverse interests/talents and currently pursuing vocal training in classical music. Isabella’s Musical Theater performances include both supporting roles and lead roles, in such productions as Cinderella, Pirates of Penzance, Macbeth, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and other productions. Isabella enjoys best performing traditional Italian Arias and Classical songs. Isabella’s academic goal is to further pursue a career in classical music along with a career in biological sciences. Isabella is actively participating in vocal competitions.

Julia Smitendorf

JuliaSmitendorfJulia Smitendorf, soprano and pianist, is twelve years old and has been studying classical voice and piano for over six years. Julia won first place in her division from 2013-2017 at the Granquist Music Competition, Geneva. Julia was a vocal finalist in the 2015 Village Voice competition at the Northern Kane Fest on the Fox, vocal contestant in the 2015 and 2016 Sinfonietta Bel Canto competition and a vocal/pianist contestant in the 2016 Lake In the Hills Got Talent! competition. Julia appeared for the following groups/organizations: 2017 Marlowe Middle School performer in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 2015 Huntley High School Variety Show (voice and piano), St Elizabeth Ann Seton Church Children's Choir (Cantor), and solo performer of the National Anthem for local swim meets, notably the High School Girls Fox Valley Conference, November 2014, and Regional Championships, July 2016, Woodstock.  Julia is a student of Tetyana Torzhevska.

Ronald Spriggs

RonaldSpriggsRonald Spriggs, baritone, was born in Virginia Beach.  He started performing at an early age in his church choir. Recognizing his passions for vocal performance he decided to pursue opportunities to perform outside of his church. As a performer, he was often a featured soloist for the Philharmonics of Hampton Roads in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Ronald has performed on many different stages and soloed with several Hampton Roads Area choral groups and theater companies, such as Norfolk State University Choir and Hollins International Academy for Music and the Arts in Virginia. Most recently Ronald lived in Elgin, Illinois a suburb about 30 miles outside of the City Center of Chicago. While living in the Chicagoland area, Ronald had the fortunate opportunity to perform the National Anthem, once for the City of Elgin Annual 4th of July Independence Day parade kickoff as well as at the commencement of the City of Elgin Annual International Festival. In addition, while in Elgin, Ronald was cast as a supporting cast member and a featured soloist with the Elgin Theater Company production of RENT

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