Corey Jamason, co-artistic director, is a Grammy-nominated harpsichordist whose playing of Bach was described in the Los Angeles Times as displaying "the careful, due balance of objective detachment and lofty passion." He appears frequently with American Bach Soloists, with whom he is principal keyboardist and co-director of the ABS Academy held each summer at the Conservatory. He has performed with a variety of ensembles including the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Opera, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Yale Spectrum, Musica Pacifica, El Mundo, and Camerata Pacifica for whom he directed a series of concerts for several years in Santa Barbara. Festival appearances include the Berkeley, Bloomington, San Luis Obispo Mozart, Music in the Vineyards, Whidbey Island, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg (Germany), Echi lontani (Sardinia) and Norfolk festivals. He is co-artistic director and conductor of Theatre Comique, a new San Francisco-based ensemble specializing in late nineteenth and early twentieth century American musical theatre. In 2007 he conducted performances of Monteverdi's Orfeo at the Bloomington Early Music Festival in celebration of the 400th year anniversary of its premiere and from 2007 to 2014 was artistic director and conductor of the San Francisco Bach Choir. Recordings include performances with American Bach Soloists, violinist Gilles Apap, El Mundo, and recorder player Astrid Andersson. He is a contributing author to the History of Performance, published in 2012 by Cambridge University Press and is preparing an article on the performance practice of early 20th century musical theatre for Oxford Handbooks Online. Born in New York City, Jamason received degrees in music from SUNY-Purchase, Yale University, and the Early Music Institute at Indiana University where he received a D.M. degree. He joined the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory in 2001, where he holds the school’s Distinguished Chair in Historical Performance and is professor of harpsichord.
Eric Davis, co-artistic director, is a musician and researcher who specializes in early American popular music. He is co-editor of the book The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer, published in 2009 by Alfred A. Knopf. He is also a contributor to A Cole Porter Companion published in 2016 by University of Illinois Press. He prepared the orchestral scores and parts for the Early Broadway Orchestral Project at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2012. As a composer, he was commissioned to write Thanksgiving for Heroes for chorus and dancers by the San Francisco Bach Choir on a program featuring several of his works. He was a finalist in ASCAP’s Grants for Young Composers Competition, and winner of the Diana Barnhardt American Song Competition. In 2004, he received a grant from the California State Library to preserve and catalogue 2,000 historical recordings of theatre music from shows that opened on Broadway between 1844 and 1939. Since 2003, he has been the Associate Director of The Institute of the American Musical in Los Angeles. He received a BA from Indiana University and a PhD in musicology from the University of Southern California, where he won the Presser Music Award in 2012 and received an Endowed Fellowship in 2015. His dissertation focuses on the contribution of Frank Saddler to the art of orchestration for the American musical theatre.
Katherine Growdon is a critically acclaimed singer whose voice has been described as “full of dusky colors and pathos” (Boston Globe), “sweet and creamy-toned” (Boston Musical Intelligencer) and capable of “heartrending emotion” (San Francisco Classical Voice). She is known for her total commitment to music, character and text: “...she used her eyes and expressive face to heighten the meaning of all she sang; I was riveted and felt like she was singing directly to me” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). As Myrtle Wilson in the Boston premiere of Harbison’s The Great Gatsby with Emmanuel Music she “was thoroughly in character.... Everything about her physical presence and slightly quivery voice said yearning” (Boston Classical Review). Her operatic roles include Sesto (Giulio Cesare), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Idamante (Idomeneo), Hansel (Hansel und Gretel), Nicklausse (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Charlotte (Werther), and Mercédes (Carmen). In concert, she has performed with renowned ensembles including the Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music, Boston Pops, American Bach Soloists, Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and the Albany Symphony, performing a wide range of repertoire from early renaissance to contemporary works. As a vocal fellow at Tanglewood she sang with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and was subsequently featured in numerous productions including Dido and Aeneas, in which the New York Times called her performance as Dido/Sorceress “incisively authoritative.” Recent appearances include Zephyrus in Mozart’s Apollo and Hyacinthus with Emmanuel Music, alto solos in Bach’s Magnificat with the Handel & Haydn Society at Symphony Hall, Peter Lieberson's Rilke Songs with LiederAlive!, and a performance of Ligeti's Clocks and Clouds with the Lorelei Ensemble at Tanglewood. Katherine received her Master's in Voice from SFCM, studying with Jane Randolph, and has a BA in Comparative Literature from Oberlin College. She currently lives in Jamaica Plain, MA.
Erica Schuller is a versatile performer, bringing committed artistry to a broad musical repertory. Her affinity for Baroque repertoire has brought her increasing attention from some of the country's finest Early Music ensembles. Upcoming engagements include roles and concert appearances with Apollo's Fire, The Haymarket Opera Company, Bella Voce and with San Francisco-based Theatre Comique. This past season, Ms. Schuller sang debut performances with Apollo's Fire and Ars Lyrica Houston, both internationally recognized Baroque orchestras. Regarding her performances of W.A. Mozart's cantata Exsultate, Jubilate, with Ars Lyrica, American Organist Magazine reported "Soprano soloist Erica Schuller made use of a vivid dynamic palette and assured, glittering coloratura to renew this classic." Other noteworthy debut appearances include performances of Mozart and Handel with New Trinity Baroque Orchestra in Atlanta, and Whitbourne's Annelies with the Lincoln Trio. This spring she reprised the role of Livietta in Pergolesi's Livietta e Tracollo with the Boston Early Music Festival, and also performed supporting roles in their opera centerpiece, Campra's Carnaval de Venise. Past performances include the roles of Oriana in Handel's Amadigi di Gaula, Vespetta in Telemann's Pimpinone, and Lisetta in Scarlatti’s Gli Equivoci nel Sembiante, all with The Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago. As Livietta in Pergolesi’s Livietta e Tracollo with the Boston Early Music Festival, she was praised for her "clear and perfectly articulated execution of her arias" by the Boston Music Intelligencer. She has performed several roles with Skylight Opera Theater, including Marzelline in Beethoven’s Fidelio and Soprano 2 in Glass’s Hydrogen Jukebox with Skylight Theatre. In 2015 she created the roles of Joan Strasinsky and The Princess for the world premiere of a newly composed opera, The Snow Dragon, by award winning novelist and composer Somtow Sucharitkul, and was described as "ethereal" by Broadway World Magazine. It was presented by Skylight Opera Theater, and she was invited to reprise these roles in Thailand with Opera Siam later that year. Additional roles include Elvira in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri and Second Woman in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with The Florentine Opera Company; and concert engagements with the Great Lakes Baroque, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Bach Choir, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Second City Musick and Bella Voce. Other operatic highlights include Armida in Handel’s Rinaldo, Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Amor in Cavalli’s L’Egisto, Noémie in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Euridice in Rossi’s L’Orfeo and Lazuli in Chabrier’s L’toile. In addition to her work on the opera stage, Ms. Schuller can be heard as the voice of Marte in Duron’s Salir el Amor del Mundo, recorded for the Dorian Record Label with Richard Savino and El Mundo. She can also be heard on the Boston Early Music Festival's Grammy-nominated recording of Lully’s opera Psyché, which was performed in Boston in 2007. Originally from Wisconsin, Ms. Schuller received her Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and holds degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. She currently lives and teaches voice lessons in Chicago through The Chicago School of Music.
Brian Thorsett excels in opera, oratorio and recital across the world. Since taking to the stage, Brian has been seen and heard in over 100 diverse operatic roles, ranging from Monteverdi to Britten, back to Rameau and ahead again to works composed specifically for his talents. Upcoming projects include his role debut as Captain Vere in a concert version of Britten’s Billy Budd and the world premiere of Abraham in Flames, a collaboration between composer Aleksandra Vrebalov, Nobel-prize nominee poet Niloufar Talebi, The Living Earth Show and the San Francisco International Arts Festival. As a concert singer Brian fosters a stylistically diversified repertoire of over 250 works, which has taken him to concert halls across the US and Europe. Future highlights include Evangelist and soloist in both Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Magnificat, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, Berlioz' Requiem, Bruckner’s Mass in F minor, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. An avid recitalist, Brian is closely associated with expanding the vocal-chamber genre, and has been involved in premieres and commissions of Ian Venables, David Conte, Scott Gendel, Michael Scherperel, Peter Josheff, Shinji Eshima, Gordon Getty, Michel Bosc, Eric Choate and Noah Luna among many others. Upcoming projects include the premiere of Ian Venables Through These Pale, Cold Days, Eric Choate’s two poems of Carl Sandberg and a World War One-themed project with the Ives Collective. He will be featured on recitals in San Francisco, Sausalito, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, London and Paris in the coming seasons. Brian has also been heard in recordings, commercials and movies as the voice for SoundIron’s library Voice of Rapture: Tenor. His CD releases include song cycles of David Conte, Scott Gendel’s Barbara Allen and Voice of Firestone - an album of 1900’s drawing room ballads with salon orchestra. He is a graduate of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Glimmerglass Opera’s Young American Artist program, American Bach Soloists’ Academy, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme at Aldeburgh, England and spent two summers at the Music Academy of the West. Brian is currently Assistant Professor of Voice at Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts and served on the faculties of UC Berkeley and Santa Clara University. www.brianthorsett.com
Gina Morgano aspires to use her voice as an instrument of peace. She interprets uplifting stories with timeless fancy, inspiring hope so that goodness may shine. A musical wordsmith, she is a research connoisseur and utter bibliophile, serving old-souls who love to learn and dream. She is especially drawn to historical performance, believing that a classic elevates the future with the best of the past.Gina feels most at home in the sweet spot that bridges classical and popular music. With repertoire ranging from Handel to Sondheim, Gina embraces composers who blend formal and colloquial styles. This is Gina’s sixth season as a performer with National Chorale at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall. She has sung at such varied New York venues as Carnegie Hall, Don’t Tell Mama, The Strand and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. She is also an avid recitalist throughout the country. As an educator, Gina is in her second year on the voice faculty at the Professional Performing Arts High School as an artist teacher with National Chorale. She is also on the voice faculties of 92Y and 5th Dimension Music, vocal coaches with the Manhattan Girls Chorus and maintains a private voice studio in Manhattan. Gina believes that everyone deserves a story and a song and, by performing with organizations such as Sing for Hope and Vocal Ease, she strives to create a world of beauty for those who cannot easily access live performance. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Gina graduated with vocal honors from Northwestern University (B.M., M.S.J.) and San Francisco Conservatory of Music (M.M.)She is thrilled to collaborate with Theatre Comique and, for all who journey with her, she hopes that these songs will invoke nostalgia for yesterday, deliver gratitude for today and ignite faith in a better tomorrow.
Raeeka Shehabi-Yaghmai is an Iranian soprano who possesses a unique fusion of versatility, strength, and sensitivity in both her singing and stage presence. She made her lyric soprano debut in the role of Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) with both Project Opera and Redwood Symphony in 2011. For the 2016-17 season, she appeared as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi with West Bay Opera, and in new works as Nellie in David Garner’s Mary Pleasant at Land’s End conducted by Ian Robertson and as The Woman in Alden Jenks’ Afterworld. She was also seen as Mujer 1 in Federico Ibarra’s Despertar al sueño, co-produced by West Bay Opera’s New Opera Works and Escenia Ensamble of Mexico City. She finishes the season with two concert performances, the first in Washington, D.C. for the International Society of Children with Cancer, and as a guest artist for Solo Opera’s Opera in the Park concert. Her 2015-16 season included performances of Jenny Smith (The Rise and Fall of Mahagonny) and Mahler Symphony No. 8 with Redwood Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Prometheus Symphony, Despina (Così fan tutte) and Cinderella’s Step Mother (Into the Woods) with Center Stage Opera, Mrs. Gleaton (Susannah) with Pasadena Opera, Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) with Berkeley Chamber Orchestra, and Chrysothemis (Elektra) in a private performance produced by Maestro Kent Nagano. Previous seasons include the roles of Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly), Norina (Don Pasquale), Violetta (La Traviata), Nedda (Pagliacci), and Mimì (La Bohème) as well as over 20 roles as a mezzo-soprano. A favorite on the West Coast, she has worked with companies including San Francisco Opera Center, North Bay Opera, West Bay Opera, West Coast Opera, Livermore Opera, Oakland Opera Theatre, Mendocino Music Festival, Festival del Sol, Lincoln Theatre (Napa), Prometheus Symphony Orchestra, Berkeley Chamber Orchestra, and Ensemble Paralléle, among others. An avid interpreter of Persian folksongs and melodies, she founded the Persian Melody Project in 2007 and performed the songs with Oakland East Bay Symphony, Redwood Symphony and in orchestral concerts in Southern California, San Francisco and New York City with Maestro Loris Tjeknavorian. The Project’s first album is scheduled for release in 2017.