Lauded as "a lush, rich baritone" (TheatreBloom) with "a brilliant vocal range," (DC Metro Theater Arts) Joshua Hughes has performed in opera, operetta, and theatre ranging from Gilbert & Sullivan to Mozart to Shakespeare.
Currently based in Dallas, TX, Hughes recently performed in Charpentier's Les Arts Florissants and Purcell's The Fairy Queen with Dallas Bach Society, Mame (Junior Babcock) with Lyric Stage, and The Winter's Tale (Antigonus and Florizel) with Barebones Shakespeare Company.
Hughes last performed with Young Victorian Theatre Company in their 2016 summer production of Iolanthe (Lord Chancellor) and previously appeared in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Ambrogio) with Lyric Opera Baltimore, Ruddigore (Robin) with Victorian Lyric Opera Company, and Così fan tutte (Guglielmo) with Bethesda Summer Music Festival.
Peabody Opera credits include Street Scene (Harry Easter), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Pasha Selim), Hansel and Gretel (Father), Charpentier's La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers, and Cendrillon. Other credits include Die Zauberflöte, L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, La Bohème, and A Little Night Music with Opera in the Ozarks, and Gianni Schicchi and Buoso's Ghost (Marco and Magistrate) with Bay View Music Festival.
Hughes hails from Smithville, MO and graduated with a Master of Music in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University where he studied with William Sharp. Hughes received his Bachelor of Music Education from Oklahoma City University where he studied with Jeffrey Picón.
Jeffrey Williams, baritone, has been hailed by Baltimore Sun, as "very likable, a winning performance sung with much confidence, phrasing everything stylishly," and Miami Herald as possessing a "commanding, sizable, effortless, manly baritone" and by Opera News as a "versatile, fearless performer."
He has portrayed Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Marschner's Lord Ruthven in Der Vampyr, Lionel in the Philadelphia premiere of Tchaikovsky's Maid of Orleans, Mozart's Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Tchaikovsky's Prince Yeletsky in The Queen of Spades, Rachmaninoff's Aleko, Mozart's Figaro, many of Gilbert & Sullivan's baritones and others.
Williams has been a Nashville Opera Mary Ragland Young Artist and a Seagle Music Colony Young Artist. He has taken part in the NATS Intern Program, SongFest, Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts, Middlebury College's Deutsch für Sänger Programm, and for many years was associated with the John Duffy Composers Institute in conjunction with the Virginia Arts Festival in Norfolk, Virginia, premiering operatic works of living composers. He appears on two world premiere recordings, both with Albany Records – Thomas Sleeper's series of operas Einstein's Inconsistency and Michael Dellaira's The Death of Webern.
Williams has received numerous awards including an Arleen Auger Memorial Fund Study Grant, the Cynthia Vernardakis Award at the Orpheus National Voice Competition, the Baltimore Music Club Prize in Performance, and the George Castelle Award in Voice.
In 2014, he advanced to the Regional Auditions in Memphis, TN, after winning the Middle/East Tennessee District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He is currently the Mid-South Regional Governor of National Opera Association (NOA), and is affiliated with American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).
In addition to being Assistant Professor of Voice at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN, Williams maintains an active performance schedule. In the 2016-2017 season, he performed with Nashville Opera, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Gateway Chamber Orchestra, Bach in Baltimore, and in many other concert/recital appearances across the country.
Hailed by Opera News as "the very picture of youthful optimism and potential," John Kaneklides is quickly establishing himself as a celebrated tenor of his time.
This season, he will return to St. Petersburg Opera to make his role debut in the title role of Les Contes d'Hoffmann. He will also star as Villiers, The Duke of Buckingham in the highly anticipated New York premier of Carlisle Floyd's, The Prince of Players and reprise the role of Rodolfo in La Bohème with the Arts Festival Boca. Additionally, Kaneklides will be a featured soloist with the Opera Orchestra of New York, Opera Experience Southeast, and several concerts throughout the USA.
In past seasons, he has earned notable acclaim for his portrayals of Alfredo in La traviata, Nemorino in L'elisire d'amore, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Rodolfo in La bohème, Jeník in The Bartered Bride, Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Cassio in Otello, Pong in Turandot, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Laurie in Little Women, and Micah in Floyd's Slow Dusk. Kaneklides is also making a name for himself in classic musical theatre roles such as Henrik in A Little Night Music and Tony in Westside Story.
Last season Broadway World noted his portrayal of Lt. Joseph was, "chillingly real," "simply brilliant," and "whenever he sings his voice makes the audience melt."
A decorated award-winner, Kaneklides has received honors from the Metropolitan Opera, the Orpheus National Competition, the Opera Guild of Charlotte, the International Liederkranz Foundation, and the Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition.
A native of Charlotte, NC, Kaneklides has sung from coast to coast, including engagements in Hawaii, St. Petersburg Opera, Opera Carolina, and Carnegie Hall.
Mezzo-soprano Jenni Bank was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and grew up in Binghamton, New York. Ms. Bank performed the role of The Duchess in The American Premier of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and made her European Debut singing Chin's Scenes From Alice in Wonderland with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. She performed this work again with the Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester in Bergen and Oslo, Norway and reprised the role of The Duchess in 2015 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall and at the Barbican Centre in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Bank will soon be reprising the piece in Seoul, South Korea with The Seoul Philharmonic. Ms. Bank was thrilled to return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2016 to sing the role of Firdhaus Noman in the World Premier adaptation of Salmon Rushdie's novel Shalimar the Clown composed by Jack Perla with a libretto by Rajiv Joseph.
Following her studies in voice and opera at The Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University, Ms. Bank participated in prestigious Young Artist programs at Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Opera New Jersey. In the summer of 2015 Ms. Bank was a member of the world-renowned Filene Young Artist Program at Wolf Trap Opera where she performed the roles of Marcellina in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Samira in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles at The Barns at Wolf Trap. Ms. Bank will return to Seattle Opera for their 2017 season to make her Main Stage debut performing Third Lady in Mozart's The Magic Flute. This season also includes her debut with Knoxville Opera as Ruth in Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance and a Third Lady (cover) with The Chicago Lyric Opera. Next season includes a debut with Hawaii Opera Theatre and return to The Florentine Opera to perform Third Lady in the Magic Flute.
Ms. Bank’s recent performances include Mary in Die Fliegende Holländer and Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with Florentine Opera Company, the Old Lady in Candide and Mrs. Peachum in Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera with Amarillo Opera, and Golde in Fiddler on the Roof with Ash Lawn Opera. Ms. Bank has performed Azucena in Verdi’s Il Trovatore with Opera in the Heights in Houston and recently returned to the company to sing The Witch in Hänsel und Gretel to rave reviews. The Houston Chronicle praised her “lusty singing” and Susan Boyd, a Houstonia Magazine blogger, praised her performance saying “Perhaps most memorable was Jenni Bank, the hunch-backed villain Knusperhexe who flew in on a broom in the third act and made this opera her own. She might have been baked into gingerbread cookies, but her voice is what I’m still marveling over. With a complex mezzo-soprano timbre, flush with color but technically exact, it was a surprise that Bank could also cackle and crackle her evil spells “Hocus pocus!”
A standout in both seria and buffa roles and comfortable in concert and oratorio work, Ms. Bank’s performance repertoire includes Dame Quickly in Falstaff, Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos, Frugola in Il Tabarro, La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Martha in Faust, Giulietta and La voix de la mere in Les Contess d’Hoffmann, Miss Todd in The Old Maid and the Thief, Petra in A Little Night Music, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Ruth in Pirates of Penzance, Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore, Fairy Queen in Iolanthe, Katisha in The Mikado, Filipyevna in Eugene Onegin, Argento’s orchestrated Casa Guidi song cycle, and mezzo solos in the Verdi Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Bruckner Te Deum, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
Additionally, Ms. Bank has been featured on public television and public radio as an up-and-coming artist and has sung a recital in her birth country of South Africa. Ms. Bank recently returned to her home town of Binghamton, New York to sing the role of Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.
Ms. Bank is a winner of the prestigious Sullivan Foundation Award and receives a continuing career grant from the foundation. She has been recognized by numerous vocal organizations and competitions, including the finals of the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Competition, first place in The Harold Haugh vocal competition, second place in the Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year Competition, a semi-finalist in the Competizione dell’Opera in Germany, and was semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.
Claire Iverson is excited to be making a return to the Young Vic stage with this production of HMS Pinafore after singing with the chorus of The Gondoliers in 2014.
She recently completed her first year of undergraduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory, where she studies voice under the tutelage of Ah Young Hong, and at Johns Hopkins University, where she is majoring in International Studies with a focus in French and political science.
She frequently sings at local churches, and most recently sang for the Baltimore Bar Foundation's Spaghetti Opera fundraising event.
She graduated in 2016 from the Baltimore School for the Arts, where she also focused in voice performance. There, she was able to sing as a soprano soloist in Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, as Queen of the Night in scenes from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, and as the title role in scenes from Leo Delibes's Lakme. She has also sung the roles of First Lady in scenes from Die Zauberflöte, Almirena in scenes from Handel's Rinaldo, and Yum Yum in scenes from The Mikado with the High School Voice Program of the Brevard Summer Music Festival and Institute.
She enjoys performing across various genres, and has especially enjoyed portraying Cosette in Les Miserables with Children's Playhouse of Maryland, Rapunzel in Into the Woods with Spotlighters Theatre, and most recently the Mistress in Evita with Spotlighters Theatre, for which DC Metro Theatre Arts honored her in their "Best of 2016: Best Performances in Musicals in Community Theatres in DC/MD/VA" Awards. Later this summer, she looks forward to studying at the Neil Semer Vocal Institute in Aub, Germany.
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The Young Victorian Theatre Company is funded by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.