PERFORMERS

SOPRANOS

Photo: Lu Zang Photography

SOPHIE AMELKIN (2nd Season) | 2017 Summer Festival

Hometown: Wilmington, NC
Current Residence: St. Paul, MN

Upcoming Engagements: Soprano soloist, world premiere of Paul John Rudoi’s oratorio Sermon on the Mount; Concert season with
VocalEssence Ensemble Singers.

Past Career Highlights: Despina in Così fan tutte with Opera Wilmington; Saint Teresa of Avila in Four Saints in Three Acts with VocalEssence and the Metropolitan Symphony.

Educational Background: Master of Music (Vocal Performance), University of Minnesota; Bachelor of Music, University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

Passion Outside of Singing: Great food, travel, and spending time with my fiancé Matthew and his sweet little beagle, Lucy.

Special Desert Chorale Memory: “Every moment of music-making during my first season with the Chorale. There was a particularly brilliant day when a group of us drove out to a mountain hot spring and we were able to witness a group of visiting Tibetan monks who performed a traditional ceremony of blessing the waters.”

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Photo: Amy Coady

SARAH HAWKEY (Debut Season) | 2017 Summer Festival

Hometown: Florissant, MO
Current Residence: New York, NY

Awards & Distinctions: Recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Grant for the study of J.S. Bach in Germany; First Place Winner of the Opera Theater of St. Louis Artist-in-Training Competition

Upcoming Engagements: A collaboration with Rome Prize-winning composer Chris Cerrone and New Vintage Baroque on a world premiere piece for period instruments and soprano; Residencies and touring with Duo Seraphim, the acclaimed viola da gamba-soprano duo, combining re-imaginings of early song with new works for gamba and voice; The Gotham Early Music Scene, Inc. debut of Perennia, an ensemble dedicated to invigorating the Lute song repertoire.

Past Career Highlights: World premiere of Kverndokk’s Upon This Handful of Earth (Role of Child), New York Opera Society & Sacred Music in a Sacred Space; Mozart’s Mass in C minor, K.427 (Soloist), The Gotham Early Music Scene, Inc., Greeley Philharmonic and Western New York Chamber Orchestra; Vivaldi’s solo motet
In furore iustissimae irae RV 626.

Educational Background: University of Missouri-Kansas City
Conservatory of Music.

Passion Outside of Singing: “I love nature, especially backcountry alpine hiking and wilderness camping.  In my spare time, I study the metaphysical properties of stones, dive deeper into my meditation/trance practice, and teach both yoga and viola.”

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Photo: Ben Siegel

REBECCA MYERS (3rd Season) | 2017 Summer Festival

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Current Residence: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Upcoming Engagements: Touring with The Crossing to Harvard University, Northwestern University, and Ojai Music Festival; Performing in Monteverdi’s L‘Orfeo on an Apollo’s Fire Tour to the University Musical Society (University of Michigan), Cal Performances (U.C. Berkeley), and Green Music Center (Weill Hall) in Sonoma, CA; Programming and performing with Variant Six as Founder.

Past Career Highlights: One of three female soloists on the GRAMMY®-nominated Bonhoeffer CD with The Crossing; Bach motets with Seraphic Fire; Maintaining a private voice studio in Philadelphia for students of all abilities.

Educational Background: Master of Music (Vocal Performance), Temple University; Bachelor of Music (Music Education), Westminster Choir College.

Passion Outside of Singing: Being outside and enjoying the sunshine, running, yoga, hiking, and travelling.

Special Desert Chorale Memory: “Being introduced to some unique and beautiful carols and having the opportunity to perform them for packed audiences at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis last winter in this special part of the Southwest.”

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Photo: Sarah DeNeui

SARAH MOYER: (2nd Season) | 2017 Summer Festival

Hometown: Bixby, OK
Current Residence: Boston, MA

Awards & Distinctions:  Featured in a 2014 article in the Boston Globe Magazine for her work as a professional singing artist and critically acclaimed as “the kind of church singer who will rock your sacred-music world.“ Recipient of the 2015 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award.

Upcoming Engagements: Numerous appearances with Seraphic Fire: American Hymns Rediscovered, A Seraphic Fire Christmas, David Lang‘s The Little Match Girl Passion, Brahms‘ Liebeslieder Waltzes, Arvo Pärt’s Passio.Past Career Highlights: World premiere of Theofanidis‘ Four Levertov Settings with Seraphic Fire; world premiere of Runestad‘s The Hope of Loving with Seraphic Fire; American premieres of Nørgård’s Seadrift and Nova Genitura with Lost Dog New Music Ensemble of Astoria Music Society.Educational Background: Master of Music, New England Conservatory; Bachelor of Music, Oklahoma State University.Passion Outside of Singing: Coffee, hiking, sewing, sci-fi, being with friends.

Special Desert Chorale Memory: “I’ll never forget the way I felt after our first performance of the Rachmaninov Vespers. I was moved to tears when we sang the alleluias at the end of the ninth movement.“
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Photo: John Armato

EMILY NOËL (6th Season) | 2017 Summer Festival

Hometown: Frederick, MD
Current Residence: Warwick, RI

Upcoming Engagements: Release of Jessica Krash’s new song cycle Sulpicia on Albany Records; Program of 17th century songs with The Folger Consort; East Coast tour with folk band Floyds Row.

Past Career Highlights: Belinda in Dido and Aeneas and Mariana in Measure for Measure at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; The Merchant of Venice at the Wannamaker Theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe in London; The Second Shepherds’ Play with the Folger Theatre.

Educational Background: Master of Music, Peabody Conservatory; Bachelor of Music, University of Maryland.

Passion Outside of Singing: Directing the opera productions at the Community College of Rhode Island.

Special Desert Chorale Memory: “Meeting Harris Ipock during the 2013 summer season… we were married on June 10, 2017!”

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SOPRANO-Ritch-Kathlene

Photo: Summer Maulden

KATHLENE RITCH (8th Season) | 2017 Summer Festival

Hometown: Kerrville, TX
Current Residence: Santa Fe, NM

Upcoming Engagements: SFDC Fall 2017 tour!; Radio host on Classical KHFM; Voice Faculty at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

Past Career Highlights: Sweeney Todd with George Hearn and Patti Lupone, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Hermione in Die ägyptische Helena with Deborah Voigt and the American Symphony Orchestra; Considering Matthew Shepard with Conspirare, Symphony Hall, Boston.
Educational Background: Bachelor of Music Studies, University of Texas at Austin.
Passion Outside of Singing: My family.
Special Desert Chorale Memory: “My Community Engagement appearance last winter was as part of a quartet caroling at Christus St. Vincent. The people we sang for were so appreciative and even sang along. It was a wonderful hour of healing through music
and smiles.”

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Photo: Abdiel Thorne

GABRIELLE TRESLER (7th Season) | 2017 Summer Festival

Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Current Residence: Irvine, CA

Upcoming Engagements: Engaged for a full season of concerts with True Concord Voices & Orchestra (AZ); Soprano soloist on a French Baroque program with Irvine Valley College Master Chorale.

Past Career Highlights: 2015 Lincoln Center debut as member of True Concord Voices & Orchestra; World premiere of Sheldon Curry’s Concerto Sonora with True Concord Voices & Orchestra; Two GRAMMY®-nominated albums with Seraphic Fire.

Educational Background: Master of Music (Vocal Performance), University of Miami; Bachelor of Music (Vocal Performance), Northwestern University.

Passion Outside of Singing: Avid moviegoer, book reader, audiobook listener, language lover, and writer of silly little ditties.

Special Desert Chorale Memory: “I will always remember singing New Mexico Rain at the closing of our Santa Fe Centennial cameo concert. We clustered together around Andy Crane, the tenor soloist, and performed without a conductor. It was intensely beautiful to me, having such a heightened awareness of each other in that moment. To stay together without a director we really had to go outside ourselves, opening our ears and hearts wide to feel for those around us. Sometimes we supported Andy from the background, sometimes we swelled to the fore, but we always moved as one. The possibility for that kind of vulnerability, trust, and creative unity is one of the many reasons I love singing in this choir.”

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