Alabama-born soprano Susanna Phillips, recipient of The Metropolitan Opera’s 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, continues to establish herself as one of today’s most sought-after singing actors and recitalists. The 2013-14 season sees Phillips return to The Metropolitan Opera for a sixth consecutive season. Starring roles with the company include Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, under the baton of returning music director James Levine, Rosalinde in a new staging of Strauss’s Die Fledermaus as part of the annual New Year’s Eve gala, and Musetta in La bohème, a reprise of the role in which she made her house debut in 2008.
Phillips’ 2013-14 orchestral engagements include Fauré’s Requiem with Charles Dutoit and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as well as with the Philadelphia Orchestra where it shares the program with Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas brasileiras No. 5 with Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Phillips also joins the St. Louis Symphony to sing Ellen Orford in a concert performance of Peter Grimes, under David Robertson, at Carnegie Hall on Britten’s 100th birthday and in St Louis. Other orchestral engagements include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Milwaukee Symphony and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Jacksonville Symphony.
In recital, Phillips is joined by bass-baritone Eric Owens at both Chicago’s Symphony Center and the Gilmore Festival for a program of Schubert lieder. Chamber music engagements include performances with Paul Neubauer and Anne Marie McDermott in a trio concert tour that culminates at Boston’s Gardner Museum.
Baritone Corey McKern continues to be a singer to watch, earning high praise and critical acclaim for his appearances with opera companies across the United States. Of his recent portrayal as Marcello in La bohème atThe Santa Fe Opera, the Santa Fe New Mexican raved, “McKern’s resolute, robust-voiced and rambunctious Marcello, a perfect picture of a wannabe Parisian painter, was one of the best I’ve ever heard.”
Highlights in Mr. McKern’s 2012/13 Season include his company debut with Austin Lyric Opera as Silvio in I Pagliacci, his role debut as Dandini in La Cenerentola withNashville Opera, and his debut with the St. Louis Symphony performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony andWozzeck. Mr. McKern will also appear as the Count in Le nozze di Figaro with Syracuse Opera, Anthony inSweeney Todd with Pensacola Opera, King Henry II inBecket with Long Island Masterworks, and will return to both Opera Omaha and Opera Birmingham as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte.
Mr. McKern has enjoyed long and artistically diverse relationship with The Santa Fe Opera where he has appeared as Marcello in La bohéme, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Pallante in Agrippina, the 1st Shepherd in Daphneand has covered Valentin in Faust, Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore andthe title role in Wozzeck. His most recent project with the company centered on a performance tour and a recording of Shoes for the Santo Niño.
The singer is equally a house favorite at Opera Birmingham where he has performed as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Escamillo in Carmen, Ping in Turandot, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia and the Count in Le nozze di Figaro. Mr. McKern has also made regular, notable appearances with Opera Omaha as John Brooke in Little Women, Ping in Turandot and Slook in The Marriage Contract.
Mr. McKern’s schedule highlights in previous Seasons include his Asian debut as Marcello in La bohème withOpera Hong Kong, a role he also performed with Nashville Opera and Opera Grand Rapids; the Count in Le nozze di Figaro with Nashville Opera, Opera Cleveland, Opera Columbus and Michigan Opera Theatre; Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Pensacola Opera and Syracuse Opera; Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Pilot in The Little Prince at Tulsa Opera; his role debut as Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de Perles with the Syracuse Opera; the Count/Rudolf in Schreker’s Der Ferne Klang in his debut with BARD Summerscape; Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Arizona Opera and Tulsa Opera; Silvio in I Pagliacci with Arizona Opera and Central City Opera; Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Indianapolis Opera; Valentin in Faust with Opera Carolina and Pish-Tush in The Mikado with Arizona Opera.
Equally active on the concert platform, Mr. McKern made his Carnegie Hall debut in Faure’s Requiem and recently returned to the prestigious concert hall for John Rutter’s Mass of the Children and Mozart’s Requiem. His other recent concert engagements include Mahler’s Ruckert-Lieder with the Missoula Symphony and performances with the New Choral Society in Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Requiem and Orff’s Carmina Burana, a work he also performed with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra and the San Juan Symphony in Colorado. Mr. McKern’s oratorio credits include Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and a concert of operetta highlights with the Indianapolis Symphony.
Mr. McKern is a former grant recipient from the Sullivan Foundation, as well as the first place winner of Opera Birmingham, Shreveport Opera, and Mobile Opera competitions. He holds a Master of Music degree fromIndiana University and Bachelor of Music Education from Mississippi State University. He is also a graduate of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program.