Artists and Production

Marie Masters - Lady Billows - Marie Masters (soprano) is delighted to join Vashon Opera in the role of Lady Billows. Recent highlights include creating the role of Jeanette in L’Amant Anonyme with Little Opera Theatre of New York, and the role of Tess in Floyd’s Markheim also with LOTNY. James Jordan praised Marie’s 2014 performance as Mrs. Ford (Salieri’s Falstaff) with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble in the New York Observer, writing “by far the strongest singer in the cast was the delightful soprano Marie Masters. Her lyric voice easily soared and dipped through Mrs. Ford’s playful music.” Marie made her New York City debut in the role of Ännchen in Der Freischütz with Eve Queler and Opera Orchestra of New York, and returned to the company to sing Pisana in I due Foscari. Recent concert engagements include the soprano solos in Vivaldi’s Gloria and Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and Four Russian Peasant Songs with The Cleveland Orchestra, the soprano solo in Faure’s Requiem with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, the Young Patrons of Lincoln Center’s Opera 101 at the Kaplan Penthouse, and Camerata New York’s Arias for Spring. A native of Fairlawn, Ohio, Marie currently resides in New York City with her husband, tenor Anthony Webb.

Beth Madsen Bradford - Florence - Beth Madsen Bradford (mezzo soprano), has been praised by critics for her “lovely, vibrant tone” and “gutsy” portrayals of some of opera’s greatest characters. She performs regularly throughout the West Coast, where her roles encompass the dramatic and comedic repertoire. Recent highlights include Mrs. Grose (The Turn of the Screw), Filipyevna (Eugene Onegin), Juno/Ino (Semele), Miss Todd (The Old Maid and the Thief), the title role in Carmen, Princess Eboli (Don Carlo), Zita and Zia Principessa (Il Trittico) and The Witch (Hansel and Gretel), as well as several of Gilbert and Sullivan’s favorite operetta roles: Phoebe (Yeomen of the Guard), Little Buttercup (H.M.S. Pinafore), Dame Hannah (Ruddigore) and Ruth (Pirates of Penzance), for which Beth won the Portland Area Musical Theater Award for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress. Beth has appeared with Portland Opera, Oregon Symphony, Portland Chamber Orchestra, Tacoma Opera, Skagit Opera, Aspen Opera Theater Center, Juneau Symphony, Opera Theater Oregon and Walla Walla Symphony, among others. She received training with the International Vocal Arts Institute, the Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Program and Aspen Opera Theater Center. Beth makes her home in Portland.

Jessica Milanese - Miss Wordsworth - Jessica Robins Milanese (soprano) is critically acclaimed for the depth and sparkle she brings to her performances on the concert and opera stage. With the Northwest Sinfonietta, The News Tribune stated “Jessica Robins Milanese's performance of the well known Exsultate, Jubilate by Mozart was all that could be wished for. Milanese’s voice rang like liquid gold, and she produced some goose-bump coloratura.” Ms. Milanese has performed with many of the regions leading arts organizations such as Seattle Opera, Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Nothwest Sinfonietta, Tacoma Opera, Tacoma Symphony and Orchestra Seattle. On the opera stage, Susanna, (The Marriage of Figaro), is one of Ms. Milanese's favorite and most frequently performed characters. She has performed the role with Tacoma Opera, Washington East Opera, Skagit Opera and Opera Pacific. Other memorable roles include Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Héro (Béatrice et Bénédict) , Blonde (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Norina (Don Pasquale), Marie (Daughter of the Regiment), Pamina (The Magic Flute), Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Gretel (Hansel and Gretel). Along with singing the role of Ms. Wordsworth (Albert Herring) at Vashon Opera this spring, Ms. Milanese will keep busy by performing the soprano roles in Seattle Opera’ s production of Our Earth, she will record and perform with the Seattle Symphony’s Lullaby Project and continue her teaching as a faculty member at Pacific Lutheran University.

Eric Henry Olson - Mr. Gedge - Eric Henry Olson (baritone) is excited to be returning to perform with Vashon Opera. Eric is currently a student at Pacific Lutheran University, studying vocal performance and philosophy. Eric has recently performed the roles of Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Melisso in Alcina, all with Pacific Lutheran Opera program. He returns to Vashon after making his debut as Johann in Vashon Opera’s recent production of Werther.

Anthony Webb - Mr. Upfold - Anthony Webb (tenor) is delighted to make his debut with Vashon Opera as Mayor Upfold alongside his wife, Marie Masters. Praised by OPERA NEWS for his “fine comic flair and well-schooled voice,” Anthony is in demand throughout the country in both opera and concert. Recent career highlights include his Carnegie Hall debut as Jack Prence in Merry Mount under the baton on Michael Christie, Goro (Madama Butterfly) with Opera Colorado, Harold “Mitch” Mitchell (A Streetcar Named Desire) with Union Avenue Opera, Sam (Susannah) with St. Petersburg Opera, Blausius/Gavin in the world premiere of Hugo Kauder’s Merlin, and Count Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia) with Crested Butte Music Festival. During the summer of 2015, Anthony will make his role debut as Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Union Avenue Opera, and will sing the tenor solo in Carmina Burana with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, Anthony holds a Bachelor of Music from Pacific Lutheran University, and a Master of Music from Indiana University.

Konstantin Kvach - Superintendent Budd - Born in Russia, bass Konstantin Kvach is greatly admired for his versatility, having both the bel canto technique to sing Handel, Mozart, Rossini, as well as the power to handle the dramatic roles of Verdi and Puccini. He has performed internationally in Germany, Baltic States and as a featured soloist with the Prague Symphony at Dvořak Hall and Jablonec Municipal Theatre in the Czech Republic. Nationally, he performed with Portland Opera, Washington East Opera, Opera Idaho, Vashon Opera, Opera Coeur d’Alene, Vancouver Opera, PSU Opera, the Oregon Symphony, Southwest Washington Symphony, Newport Symphony, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Oregon Pro Arte Orchestra, Central Oregon Symphony, Lower Columbia Symphonic Band, Bravo!Vancouver, among others. Mr. Kvach is a regular guest artist at the Astoria Music Festival, Northwest Performing Arts, Portland SummerFest and Bel Canto Northwest. Roles include Judge in Orphèe, Soldier in Salome, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Grenvil in La Traviata, Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin, Eutifronte in Der Stein der Weisen, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Colline in La Bohème, Simone in Gianni Schicchi, Pistola in Falstaff, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro, Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Alidoro in La Cenerentola, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring, among others. Recordings include the critically acclaimed world premiere recording of Philip Glass’s opera Orphée on Orange Mountain Music, and Veljo Tormis’s On American Shores on Clarion.

Andrew Krikawa - Sid - Andrew Krikawa (Baritone) moved to Vashon Island from New York City ten years ago. While based in New York he sang 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 and the title role in Gianni Schicchi.

Brendan Tuohy - Albert Herring - Brendan Tuohy (tenor) spent most of the 2014-2015 season performing with several companies in France. Most recently Tuohy performed his role debut of Tito in Mozart’s final operatic masterpiece 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 several performances 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. Tuohy in 2013 and 2014 when not in Europe had the opportunity to sing Male Chorus with the Vespertine Opera, he made his hometown Tacoma Opera debut as Alfredo Germont in La Traviata, he made his Opera Memphis debut as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, he sang Ferrando in Così fan tutte with Vashon Opera, and was the tenor soloist in Oregon Symphony’s and Seattle Symphony’s sold out performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. As a former member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio program, Tuohy had several opportunities to perform with this amazing company. 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 made his debut with the company as the 1st Noble in Wagner’s Lohengrin. Tuohy completed his academic training at 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. Brendan is very excited to be returning to his home state of Washington to perform the title role in Benjamin Britten’s charming and hilarious masterpiece Albert Herring with the Vashon Opera.

Jordan McClellan - Nancy - Jordan McClellan (soprano), is a graduate of The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she sang the roles of  Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Virtu in L'incoronazione di Poppea, and Beth in Little Women. Ms. McClellan made her debut with Kitsap opera in the role of Suzuki in Madama Butterfly fall of 2011; shortly thereafter she sang the role of Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Portland Opera. In the summer of 2012, Ms. McClellan attended Si Parla, si canta, a six week language intensive program in Urbania, Italy. That same summer she participated in Stephen Stubbs' baroque program Accademia d'amore where she delved into baroque rhetoric, dance, and callaborated with baroque period instrumentalists. In the Spring of 2013, with Tacoma Opera, she covered Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte, Carmen in La Tradegie de Carmen, and performed the role of Annina in La Traviata. Equally at home in Lieder, and recital she was a participant in San Francisco's Lieder Alive!, with Master teacher Håkan Hagegård, and has given 4 solo recitals in Seattle, and Tacoma with Second City Chamber Series, and Music Northwest. 2014-15 Ms. McClellan sang Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and 2nd Lady in Mozart's The Magic Flute at Tacoma Opera. With Skagit Opera, she sang Cousin Hebe in H.M.S. Pinafore, as well as the world premiere of Tomoe in Yoshinaka where the Fisher Ensemble performed at Seattle ACT Theater for their "Central Heating Lab" series.

Elizabeth Peterson - Mrs. Herring - Elizabeth Peterson (nee Giesbers) (mezzo-soprano/contralto) earned her Master of Music degree from the University of Washington in 2012, where she sang roles including Florence Pike from Albert Herring, Maman from L'enfant et les sortileges, La Zia Principessa from Suor Angelica, and the Witch from Hansel and Gretel. In 2010 she received her Bachelor of Music from Washington State University, as a student of Dr. Sheila Converse. She performed roles including Mrs. Reed and Grace Poole from Jane Eyre, Dame Doleful from Too Many Sopranos, and Adah le Clerq from Naughty Marietta. Elizabeth was a section leader in the Musica Sacra Chamber Chorale, and regularly sings Messiah with the Seattle Mandolin Orchestra. She currently studies with Janeanne Houston, and is a regular chorister at Seattle Opera. Elizabeth first sang with the chorus in their 2012 production of Turandot, and most recently performed in Tosca and Semele. This is Elizabeth’s Vashon Opera debut, and she is thrilled to be a part of Albert Herring.

Alivia Jones - Emmie - Alivia Jones (soprano), a fourteen year old Islander, has sung as a Vashon Opera chorus member since 2009, and dreams of singing in a German opera house someday. Albert Herring will be the twenty-fifth production she's performed in; some of her favorite roles have been Milky White in Drama Dock's Into the Woods and Miss Hannigan in VAA's Annie Jr. Other credits include Alice (The Best Christmas Pageant Ever); Amahl (Amahl and the Night Visitors); Ethel Toffelmier (The Music Man Jr); and Jim (A Child's Christmas in Wales). Later this month she will appear as Princess Fiona in VAA's Shrek Jr. She is excited to have her first singing role in an opera, and hopes you will laugh along with her at this hilarious opera and enjoy this most talented cast!

Cypress Sechrist - Cis - Cypress Sechrist (soprano), a Vashon Island sixth grader, is thrilled to spread her performing arts wings with her first role in an opera playing the part today of Cis. Cypress has been involved in the performing arts since she was four years old with her first part in the ensemble cast for the Magic Circle Theater's production of Dragon the Line. She has performed in children's theaters in three different states with six different theater groups - enjoying roles in productions of Seussical the Musical, Willy Wonks Jr., The Wizard of Oz and most recently as the orphan Duffy in the Vashon Allied Arts production of Annie. In addition to singing and acting Cypress enjoys creative writing and adores animals; hoping someday to sing to her patients as a veterinarian.

Mead Gill - Harry - Mead Gill (boy soprano) is a sixth grade student at Vashon Island’s McMurray Middle School. He is excited to be invited to participate in Vashon Opera’s production of Albert Herring playing in his first principal role as Harry. Mead was in the children’s chorus in Vashon Opera’s production of Carmen and also played the young boy Max in Vashon Opera’s production of Werther. In addition to Mead’s interests in singing and acting, he plays the violin, the ukulele, and has recently begun studying the clarinet.

James Brown - Conductor, Stage Director, and Musical Director - James Brown enjoys an eclectic career of singing, teaching, stage direction and conducting. His work has been seen at Vashon Opera in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (stage director, conductor and arranger), Madama Butterfly (stage director), Carmen (stage director, conductor and arranger), Eugene Onegin (conductor and arranger), Così fan tutte, Die Fledermaus, Werther, and Don GIovanni (stage director, 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). Upcoming productions for James include The Elixir of Love and Pagliacci Palooza with Vashon Opera in 2015-2016. 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.

Evan Stults - Rehearsal and Performance 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, and Eugene Onegin. 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. Evan has a degree in semiotics from Brown University, and lives on Vashon with his partner Joe Farmer.