Artists and Production

Shelly Traverse - Pamina - Lyric soprano Shelly Traverse recently made headlines for her “standout” performances as Hero in Seattle Opera’s world-premiere version of Berlioz’s Beatrice & Benedict, after stepping into the role at the last-minute. The Seattle Times noted Traverse as the “scene-stealer” of the performance “charm[ing] the audience with her voice and stage presence, both lovely and unaffected”. This season Ms. Traverse also successfully debuted with Tacoma Opera as Valencienne in The Merry Widow. As a part of Seattle Opera's community engagement programs Ms. Traverse was selected to perform the leading role of Dora in the world-premiere of a shortened version of Lori Laitman’s The Three Feathers currently touring throughout Washington state. Equally at home on the opera stage as in other genres, Ms. Traverse is a seasoned veteran of both musical theater and operetta. In the Seattle area, Traverse has performed the roles of Johanna in Sweeney Todd with the Renton Civic Theatre, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music at Second Story Repertory Theatre. Other favorite roles performed by Ms. Traverse include Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. As a founding member of the Living Music Ensemble, Ms. Traverse has performed in concerts throughout the Pacific Northwest singing works exclusively by living composers. Most recently, she premiered works by Alexandra Bryant. Other concert highlights include the soprano soloist in a staged version of Handel’s Messiah with The Inverse Opera and as a soloist in Sun Valley Opera’s Rising Star Concert.

Brendan Tuohy - Tamino - Brendan Tuohy (tenor) was recently seen singing the role of Chevalier de la Force in Vashon Opera's production of Dialogues of the Carmelites. Mr. Tuohy's roles with Vashon Opera also include Albert in Britten's Albert Herring, Ferrando in Così fan tutte and Martin in The Tender Land. He spent most of the 2014-2015 season performing with several companies in France. Mr. Tuohy performed his role debut of Tito in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito with Opéra Orchestre National de Montpellier. This season also included his role debut as the title role in Mozart’s Idomeneo with OONM as well as singing Diomede in Cavalli’s recently rediscovered opera Elena with l’Opéra d’Angers-Nantes and l’Opéra de Rennes. This role has been a staple for him the past two seasons after he performed it with Festival d’Aix en Provence in the summer of 2013. Mr. Tuohy in 2014 had the opportunity to sing Male Chorus with the Vespertine Opera, he made his hometown Tacoma Opera debut as Alfredo Germont in La traviata, his Opera Memphis debut as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore and was the tenor soloist in Oregon Symphony’s and Seattle Symphony’s performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. As a former member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio program, Mr. Tuohy performed the roles of Conte Almaviva in HGO’s new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia, 1st Prisoner in Fidelio, Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Goro in Madama Butterfly, Tchaplitsky and the Major Domo in Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame, and 1st Noble in Wagner’s Lohengrin. Tuohy graduated from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) with a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance. In 2008, he had the honor of singing and competing in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Semi Finals in New York.

Jennifer Bromagen - Queen of the Night - Hailed by the Tacoma News Tribune for her “shining coloratura and brilliant high notes”, soprano Jennifer Bromagen enjoys performing on opera and concert stages throughout the Pacific Northwest. She has performed as La Contessa di Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with Bellevue City Opera, with Puget Sound Concert Opera as the title role in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, and as the Soprano Soloist in Golijov’s She Was Here with the Northwest Sinfonietta. Most recently, Ms. Bromagen performed as Alice in Seattle Opera’s production of The Wicked Adventures of Count Ory, as well as Violetta in Seattle Opera’s community previews for La Traviata and covering Die Konigin der Nacht for Seattle Opera’s production of Die Zauberflöte. Ms. Bromagen was an Associate Artist in Residence with Cleveland Opera and performed on their main stage as Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and as Edith in The Pirates of Penzance. She has also been seen in such roles as Fiorilla in Il Turco in Italia, Amina in La Sonnambula, and Adele in Le Comte Ory. As a featured soloist on the concert stage, some favorite works include Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Great (C-Minor) Mass, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. In the 2017-18 season, engagements include a return to the Puget Sound Concert Opera as the title role in Flotow’s Martha, a return to the Northwest Sinfonietta as the Soprano Soloist for Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, as well as her debut with Pacific Northwest Opera as Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffman.

Charles Robert Austin - Sarastro - Charles Robert Austin (bass-baritone) has been described by critics as a "possessor of a strikingly beautiful voice" and "completely commanding on stage". He was recently seen singing the role of Raimondo Bidebent in Vashon Opera's production of Lucia di Lammermoor and other roles with Vashon Opera include Don Alfonso in Vashon Opera's production of Così fan tutte. On the operatic stage his successes include returns to the Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Cleveland Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Virginia Opera, Madison Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Canadian Opera Company, and Opera Pacific portraying such roles as King Mark, Rocco, Duke Bluebeard, Daland, King Henry the Fowler, Wotan, Figaro, Sarastro and Hunding. He created the role of King Hrothgar for the world premiere of Grendel for LA Opera. Recent concert performances include Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Seattle Symphony and Canton Symphony; Mozart’s Requiem with the Cleveland Orchestra; Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with the San Diego Symphony; a Wagner gala evening with the Canton Symphony Orchestra; Berlioz Romeo et Juliette with the Louisville Orchestra; Verdi’s Requiem with the Dayton Philharmonic. His recordings include, for Naxos - Peter Ibbetson, The Execution of Stepan Razin, Merry Mount, for Milken Archives - The Eternal Road, for Chandos - The Consul, for Phillips - Tosca, and for Arabesque - La Fedelta Premiata.

Andrew Krikawa - Papageno - Andrew Krikawa (baritone) was most recently seen by Vashon Opera audiences singing the role of Silvio in Vashon Opera's 2016 production of I Pagliacci. He has sung for numerous companies including New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Virginia Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Nashville Opera, Annapolis Opera, Central City Opera, Pensacola Opera, Eugene Opera, and DiCapo Opera Theatre. Andrew’s most performed roles include Marcello (La Bohème), Sharpless (Madame Butterfly), Germont (La Traviata), Albert (Werther), Silvio (I Pagliacci), and Guglielmo (Così fan tutte). Career highlights have also included appearances with Pittsburgh Opera as Albert in Werther and performances of Così fan tutte with the world renowned Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Mr. Krikawa is a Sullivan Foundation award winner and a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant. He holds a Masters degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Mr. Krikawa helped found Vashon Opera with his wife Jennifer and participates in much of the day to day work for the company. He was seen in the Vashon Opera productions of La Bohème as Marcello, The Tender Land as Top, The Barber of Seville as Figaro, Così fan tutte as Guglielmo, Albert Herring as SidThe Elixir of Love as Sargeant Belcore, and the title role in Gianni Schicchi and Eugene Onegin.

Jennifer Krikawa - Papagena - Jennifer Krikawa (soprano) was seen singing the title role in Vashon Opera's recent production of Tosca. She has sung for numerous opera companies such as New York City Opera, Virginia Opera, Connecticut Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera North, Augusta Opera, Annapolis Opera, Central City Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Israel Vocal Arts Institute. Jennifer's roles include: Fiordiligi (Così Fan Tutte), Mimi (La Bohème), Micaela (Carmen), Musetta (La Bohème), Laurie (The Tenderland), Gretel (Hansel und Gretel), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Frasquita (Carmen), Antonia (Les Contes d'Hoffman), Tatyana (Eugene Onegin), Giorgetta (Il tabarro), Nedda (I Pagliacci), and Madama Butterfly. Mrs. Krikawa has appeared at Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist for Scarlatti's Dixit Dominus, Vaughan William's Benedicite, and Poulenc's Gloria and has appeared at Benaroya Hall as soloist in Mozart's Requiem and Soprano II in Mozart's Mass in C Minor with the Vashon Island Chorale. She pursued contemporary music studies at The Banff Centre for the Arts and she holds a Master's degree from The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Her awards include First Place NATS winner, First Place Opera Theater of Connecticut Amici Competition, Olga Berzins Vocal Scholarship Award, Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Finalist in Boston and Metropolitan Opera National Council Honorable Mention in Connecticut. She has recorded a CD titled "Songs of Walt Whitman" composed by Malcolm Peyton with Centaur Records. Upcoming Ms. Krikawa will perform as a soloist for Vashon Maury Chamber Orchestra's spring 2018 concert featuring selections from Purcell's The Fairy Queen.

Anthony Webb - Monostatos - Praised by Opera News for his “fine comic flair and well-schooled voice,” tenor Anthony Webb is in demand throughout the United States for both opera and concert engagements. Recent highlights include his Carnegie Hall debut as Jack Prence in Merry Mount under the baton of Michael Christie, Goro in Madama Butterfly with Opera Colorado, Opera Idaho and Annapolis Opera, Harold “Mitch” Mitchell in A Streetcar Named Desire with Union Avenue Opera, Pirelli in Sweeney Todd for New Orleans Opera, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Union Avenue Opera and Tacoma Opera, tenor solo in Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Omaha Symphony, Israeli Opera’s new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Gastone in La traviata with Annapolis Opera. Upcoming engagements include Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte, for Vashon Opera, Goro in Madama Butterfly for The Princeton Festival and a return to Israeli Opera in 2019 as Third Jew in Salome. In 2016, he sang the role of Judas in the U.S. premiere of Sven-David Sandström’s St. Matthew Passion at Pacific Lutheran University, joining a prestigious cast led by Angela Meade. Other engagements include Beppe in I Pagliacci and Spoletta in Tosca with Vashon Opera, and Carmina Burana with the San Antonio Symphony. A native of Spanaway, Washington, Anthony holds a Master’s Degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University. He is a 2010 District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a 2014 winner of the Irene Dalis Competition.

Holly Boaz - First Lady - Holly Boaz enjoys a varied career in opera, oratorio, chamber and choral music, with special interest in the music of the Baroque. She is praised by critics for her “lovely soprano” (Quad City Times), “well-defined” characterizations (Saginaw News), and “crowd-pleasing” performances (Midland Daily News). Her most recent performances of Erste Dame in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte were hailed by the Seattle Times as "expertly sung". Last season included a return to Seattle Opera for the Baroque trilogy, The Combat as well as engagements with the Emerald Ensemble, Canonici, Les Chanterelles, Tacoma Early Music Ensemble, Kirkland Choral Society, and Regency Voices. Last May, she portrayed Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with GRAMMY Award-winning Maestro Stephen Stubbs and Pacific Musicworks, garnering praise from Seattle Gay News; "Holly Boaz sang the pivotal role of Belinda with a lilting soprano and a vivid stage presence that urged the shy prince to 'pursue thy conquest love.' When it came time to switch sides in the second scene and become a witch, Boaz cackled gleefully over Dido's fate with equal commitment and effectiveness." Locally, she has performed as a soloist with the Vashon Maury Chamber Orchestra, the Vashon Island Chorale, and Vashon Chamber Music Series. She is the president of Vashon Choral Boosters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting choral education opportunities for the youth of Vashon Island. She teaches in the music department at Pacific Lutheran University and privately on Vashon Island and is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).

Nerys Jones - Second Lady - Nerys Jones was born and educated in Mid Wales and studied at both the Royal Scottish Academy and Guildhall schools of music and drama. In 1994 she joined English National Opera where she was a company mezzo-soprano for six seasons, roles including Cherubino, Despina, Zerlina, Second Lady, Melissa in Princess Ida, Bird Blond in Eckbert, Proserpina in Orfeo, Flora in La Traviata, Pitti Sing in Mikado, Mercédès in Carmen, Kitchen Boy in Rusalka, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Flower Maiden and Second Squire in Parsifal, and Sister Mathilde in Dialogues des Carmélites. She has performed with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Early Music Consort and the National Youth Orchestra of Wales, St John’s Smith Square, London. Other appearances include Cherubino, Rosina and Dorabella for Grange Park Opera, Dryad in a concert performance of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Barbican Concert Hall, Stewardess Flight with Reisopera in Holland, Vlaamse Opera and the Adelaide Festival, the title role in La Cenerentola for Opera Zuid and Pitti Sing in The Mikado for La Fenice in Venice. Since moving to Seattle she has worked with Seattle Opera, PNB, Seattle Chamber Society, Tacoma Opera, Northwest Philharmonia, Northwest Sinfonietta and Vashon Opera. Nerys just sang her first Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro for Tacoma Opera. In January of 2019 she will make her main stage debut at Seattle Opera as Inez in Il Trovatore.

Julia Benzinger - Third Lady - Julia Benzinger (mezzo soprano) opened the 2017-2018 season with Seattle Art Song Society in a recital celebrating the works of beloved Seattle composer, Bern Herbolsheimer. She makes her Pacific Symphony debut as Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte and was seen singing duets with Limmie Pulliam in Vashon Opera's recent concert event. The 2016-2017 season saw Ms. Benzinger make her role debut as Mére Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites with Vashon Opera. She performed with Orchestra Seattle and Seattle Chamber Singers in Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky and returned to Seattle for an evening in celebration of John Cage, performing his radical compositions Aria, 5 Songs for Contralto, and Sonnekus. With Pacific MusicWorks, under the musical direction of Grammy Award Winner Stephen Stubbs, Ms. Benzinger portrayed The Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas. She ended the season with the Miami Music Festival as Erste Norn in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, a performance that led the South Florida Classical Review to write: “Julia Benzinger’s warmth of timbre, silvery top register, and declamation were riveting”. Ms. Benzinger was a member of the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 2007-14, during which time she performed a large and varied repertoire, highlights of which include Der Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos), Flosshilde (Das Rheingold) and the title role in Gnecchi's Cassandra under the baton of Donald Runnicles, Meg Page (Falstaff), Olga (Eugene Onegin), Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen), Annina (Der Rosenkavalier), Der Page (Salome), Bersi (Andrea Chénier), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro). Julia makes her home on Bainbridge Island with her partner and three young sons.

Elizabeth Binkley - First Spririt - Born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, Elizabeth Binkley graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Ms. Binkley’s passion for classical music began while attending Stadium High School, where she had the opportunity to compete and rank first place in the WMEA Solo and Ensemble Contest in the Soprano category. She then went on to earn an annual Music Scholarship at PLU. While attending PLU, Ms. Binkley’s performances included the roles of Pamina in Mozart's The Magic Flute, and Alcina in Handel's Alcina. Her other credits include the role of Mustardseed in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well as several workshop and scene performances. A member of the award winning and internationally acclaimed Choir of the West, she has performed for diverse audiences across Europe and North America. Since graduation, Ms. Binkley has had the opportunity to play Abigail Angel in Life Center's 2017 production of The Singing Christmas Tree: The Christmas Key, followed by the role of Sam in their 2018 production of The Singing Christmas Tree: Coming Home. She had the pleasure of joining Vashon Opera Chorus for the 2017 production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and is thrilled to be returning as 1st Spirit for this production. 

Lucy Campbell Weber - Second Spririt - For the past three years, lyric Mezzo-Soprano, Lucy Campbell Weber has been a touring artist with the Seattle Opera Education Department. She has been performing opera for elementary schools and community centers throughout the State of Washington. She is currently performing the role of Tilda/the Frog Prince in Seattle Opera’s touring production of The Three Feathers. Last season, Lucy performed for almost 45 schools throughout the region and is a winner of the 2017 Seattle Opera Guild training grant. Lucy has sung with Seattle Opera, Ohio Light Opera, Tacoma Opera, Lyric Opera Northwest, Northwest Opera in Schools and Sun Valley Opera. Lucy has appeared with Seattle’s Spectrum Dance Company in Donald Byrd’s world premiere production of his acclaimed adaptation of Orff’s Carmina Burana. She has also appeared in the 2017 production of Medea with the Seattle Shakespeare Company. Ms. Campbell Weber has performed and covered roles including Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), Siebel (Faust), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Anna (The Seven Deadly Sins), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), Papagena (The Magic Flute), Third Lady (The Magic Flute), Angelina (La Cenerentola) and Rosina (The Barber of Seville).

Miya Higashiyama - Third Spririt - Miya Higashiyama is a recent Pacific Lutheran University graduate ('17) where she received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and German minor. While at PLU, Miya sang in Choir of the West, Chamber Singers, and performed many roles on the PLU opera stage, including Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Ruggiero in Alcina. Miya has performed with Symphony Tacoma and Vashon Opera and participated in master classes with opera singers Stephanie Blythe and Joyce DiDonato. This summer, Miya recorded and helped commission a new opera called Tacoma Method composed by Gregory Youtz . She was also a NATSAA (National Association for Teachers of Singing Artist Awards) regional finalist in Portland this past October. She currently studies with PLU Chair of Vocal Studies, James Brown, and coaches with Olympia pianist Jennifer Bowman. Miya will be attending the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music this upcoming fall to continue her musical studies and receive her Masters of Music in the Vocal Arts Program.

Joe Farmer - First Armored Man / First Priest, Chorus Master - Joe Farmer has participated in many Vashon Opera productions including Die Fledermaus (Dr. Blind), Il tabarro (Venditore di Canzonetti), Gianni Schicchi (Pinellino), Eugene Onegin (chorus soloist), The Tender Land and The Music Shop (Ivan). He has acted as chorus master for Vashon Opera's productions of Lucia di Lammemoor, Tosca, Dialogues of the CarmelitesI Pagliacci, The Elixir of Love, Die Fledermaus, Così fan tutte, Carmen, Madama Butterfly, Il tabarro and Don Giovanni. Joe has been a countertenor participant in Pacific Musicwork’s, “L’Accademia d’Amore”, a 10-day workshop at Cornish College of the Arts focusing on the musical and dramatic aspects of early Baroque Opera. He has performed with Illumni Men’s Chorale, the Seattle Men's Chorus, Philandros, The Esoterics, and Vashon Island Chorale, where he currently holds the position of Assistant Conductor. He has studied voice with Holly Boaz and Nancy Zylstra.

Brandon Hell - Second Armored Man / Second Priest - Mr. Hell is delighted to be returning to Vashon after making his operatic debut in last summer’s Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti. He was most recently seen as Vicomte Cascada in Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow at Tacoma Opera. Other recent credits include Billy Rogers in Tacoma Life Center’s Coming Home (2017) and Stewart in the previous year’s The Christmas Key (2016). Mr. Hell holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from Pacific Lutheran University. While attending undergrad, Mr. Hell appeared as a member of the evangelist quartet in Sven-David Sandström’s St. Matthew Passion (2016), the Baker in Into the Woods (2015) and portrayed King Herod in A PLU Christmas (2014). In addition to stage work, Mr. Hell has performed on KING 5’s New Day Northwest and sung for KIRO Radio’s Holiday Magic. Some even earlier credits include Enjolras in Les Misérables, Fred Casely in Chicago, Munkustrap in CATS and Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street, all performed with The Hi-Liners, a musical theatre company in Burien that offers invaluable stage experience to young performers. Mr. Hell would like to thank his incredible parents for their never-ending support and love.

Barry Johnson - Speaker of Temple - Barry Johnson (baritone) was seen recently as Sacristan in Vashon Opera's production of Tosca. Other roles with Vashon Opera include: Doctor Dulcamara in The Elixir of Love, Il Bailli in Werther and Frank in Die Fledermaus. He has attracted national attention among leading conductors, directors, and opera companies as a versatile singing actor. Mr. Johnson is a frequent guest with companies throughout the country including Seattle Opera, Tacoma Opera, Opera Colorado, Anchorage Opera, Portland Opera, Central City Opera, Las Vegas Opera, and the Wildwood Festival in Little Rock, Arkansas. Notable roles in his repertoire include the title role in The Marriage of Figaro, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Marcello in La bohème, Dancairo in Carmen, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Prince Ottokar in Der Freischütz, Baron Douphol in La Traviata, Angelotti in Tosca, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Fleville in Andrea Chenier, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, and Jupiter in Orpheus in the Underworld. On the concert stage, Mr. Johnson has been a soloist with orchestras throughout the Northwest including Seattle Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, American Sinfonietta, Yakima Symphony, Northwest Sinfonietta, and Orchestra Seattle. Concert engagements have included Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Frahm’s War Cantata, Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiem, and Faure’s Requiem. Mr. Johnson’s professional stage directing credits include Puccini’s La Boheme, Rossini’s Le Comte Ory, Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Puccini’s Tosca, Bizet’s La Tragedie de Carmen, Menotti’s The Telephone, Bizet’s Dr. Miracle and Pasatieri’s La Divina with Tacoma Opera.

James Brown - Conductor, Stage Director, Musical Director, and Orchestral Arranger - James Brown enjoys an eclectic career of singing, teaching, stage direction and conducting. His work has been seen at Vashon Opera in Lucia di Lammermoor, Tosca, Dialogues of the Carmelites Pagliacci Palooza, The Elixir of Love, Carmen, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Così fan tutte, Die Fledermaus, Werther, and Don Giovanni as stage director, conductor and arranger, Albert Herring (stage director & conductor), Madama Butterfly (stage director) and Eugene Onegin (conductor and arranger). Other productions as stage director include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Handel’s Semele, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (all PLU Opera), La Bohème (Bellevue Opera) and a critically acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd (Lakewood Playhouse). Recent productions include: conductor and stage director for Les Contes d'Hoffmann  with Pacific Northwest Opera and Dido and Aeneas with PLU Opera. He is the Chair of Vocal Studies at Pacific Lutheran University where he directs the opera and oversees a large voice program. James holds degrees from Loyola University/New Orleans, The Juilliard School and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Upcoming productions for James include La Bohème with Vashon Opera in September to celebrate Vashon Opera's 10th Season.

Evan Stults - Rehearsal Pianist - Evan Stults is an accomplished vocal accompanist whose experience spans opera, recital, musical theatre, choral music, and cabaret. Evan is the founding musical director of the Vashon Opera, and accompanied island productions of The Magic Flute, La Bohème, The Tender Land, The Barber of Seville, Carmen, Eugene Onegin, Werther, Die Fledermaus, Albert Herring,The Elixir of Love, Pagliacci Palooza, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Tosca and Lucia di Lammermoor. Since 1986, Evan has been the principal accompanist for the Seattle Men’s Chorus. He has played for the Seattle Opera and Seattle’s Fifth Avenue Theatre, toured the US and Canada for Columbia Artists and Community Concerts Association, and played for dozens of musicals in professional and community theatres and off-Broadway. Evan’s accompanying career includes international tours and performances in Carnegie Hall, Benaroya Hall, and leading concert halls across the US. He has accompanied artists as diverse as Frederica von Stade, Renee Fleming, Kristin Chenoweth, and Harvey Fierstein, and has played for premieres of new works by composers David Diamond, Gian-Carlo Menotti, and John Corigliano.