This season: Polyxo in Kate Soper's Here Be Sirens, as a part of FSO's "Concert of Nano Operas by Women Composers"; Director, Scopes
*Core Company Resident
Soprano Victoria Benson began her career at the age of eleven when she performed as one of the Three Spirits in Mozart's The Magic Flute at Virginia Opera. While still in high school, she attended the Washington National Opera Institute for Young Singers and performed as a soloist and choir member throughout the DC metro area, including at The Kennedy Center. Victoria received her musical degrees from Ithaca College and Westminster Choir College, where she performed in many operas and scenes programs as well as solo recitals. She currently studies with Kate Johnson. Last year Victoria took on new challenges: She sang her first pants role as Pedro in Utopia Opera's Don Quichotte, performed in her first Russian opera, Iolanta, with New Opera NYC, and premiered the new work La Zombiata with Fresh Squeezed Opera.
Past seasons: 2016, Director, The Yellow Wallpaper; 2015 Soloist, Showcase of New Songs and Arias; 2015, Tracy, Baby Shower; 2014, Chorus, La Zombiata
This season: I in Nicole Murphy's The Kamikaze Mind, as a part of FSO's "Concert of Nano Operas by Women Composers"
Shane Brown was born in Ocean City, New Jersey. He began studying voice at age eight with a local voice teacher. He was a founding member of The Youth Opera Company of South Jersey, and appeared in many of their performances in the Cape May and Atlantic County areas. Shane attended ChARTer Tech High School for the Performing Arts in Somers Point, New Jersey where he studied voice. He later went on to The Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University where he pursued a BM in Voice performance. The connections made, and experience acquired at Rutgers brought Shane to The Castleton Festival in 2013 and 2014 where he participated in the Castleton Young Artist Training Program under Maestro Lorin Maazel. Since then, Shane has continued performing in opera, concert, and choral settings in the New Jersey and New York areas. Shane currently lives in Denville, New Jersey.
This season: He in Nicole Murphy's The Kamikaze Mind, as a part of FSO's "Concert of Nano Operas by Women Composers"
This season: Conducting Nicole Murphy's The Kamikaze Mind in FSO's "Concert of Nano Operas by Women Composers"
Whitney George is a composer and conductor who specializes in the use of mixed media to blur the distinctions between concert performance, installation art, and theater. Utilizing a wide variety of material including literary texts, silent film, stock footage, and visual arts, George's compositions are characterized by an immersive theatricality that thrives on collaboration in all phases of the creative process. Her affinity for the macabre, the fantastic, and the bizarre frequently gives rise to musical programs that evoke the traditions of phantasmagoria and melodrama, challenging musicians to experiment liberally with their stage personae, and audiences to widen the scope of their attention. George's projects have incorporated the talents of photographers, actors, graphic designers, writers, and fellow musicians. She is the artistic director and conductor of The Curiosity Cabinet, a chamber orchestra formed in 2009 whose members were culled from a network of close collaborators within New York's diverse new music scene. The Cabinet's live performances often engage playfully with the prototype of the classical concert, imbuing even non-theatrical compositions with elements of drama. In addition to performances on the east and west coasts of the United States, George's music, performance art, and installations have had premieres in England and Hong Kong. George's compositions have been performed by Mivos String Quartet, Cygnus Ensemble, Transit Ensemble, Fulcrum Point String Quartet, CME (Contemporary Music Ensemble), The Curiosity Cabinet, Cadillac Moon, and Vigil Ensemble. George holds an undergraduate degree from the California Institute of the Arts and a master's degree from the Brooklyn College Conservatory, and is currently pursuing her PhD in composition at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she has studied with David Del Tredici, David Olan, Bruce Saylor, and Tania Leon. For more information, visit www.whitneygeorge.com .
Past seasons: 2016, Composer/Conductor The Yellow Wallpaper; 2015 Conductor Baby Shower; 2014 Conductor La Zombiata
This season: She in Nicole Murphy's The Kamikaze Mind, as a part of FSO's "Concert of Nano Operas by Women Composers"
This season: Peitho in Kate Soper's Here Be Sirens, as a part of FSO's "Concert of Nano Operas by Women Composers"
*Core Company Resident
Soprano Claire Myers has performed as a soloist in operatic and concert settings across the country. Currently appearing as Micaëla in Carmen with Golden Rose Opera, Ms Myers recently appeared in Susannah with Utopia Opera, performed the title role of Suor Angelica, and spent the summer with the Caramoor Music Festival. Ms Myers has been seen in diverse roles including Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Parasha (Mavra), Amor (Orfeo ed Euridice), and Maria (Coming to America). Ms. Myers has also performed as a soloist in works by Britten, Mozart, Haydn, Pergolesi and Johann Strauss with the University of Colorado University Choir, the Boulder Youth Symphony and the Emerald City Opera Orchestra, among others. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, she received her B.M. from the University of Colorado, and her M.M. at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Claire studies with Margaret Lattimore in New York City.
Past seasons: 2015, Soloist, Showcase of New Songs and Arias; 2015, Sallie Mae, Baby Shower
This season: Phaino in Kate Soper's Here Be Sirens, as a part of FSO's "Concert of Nano Operas by Women Composers"
Devony Smith, soprano, excels in both contemporary and traditional repertoire with her “sensuous” and “strong” voice (New York Times). From Santa Cruz, California, Smith continually makes her mark on New York City in two professional ensembles: Musica Viva!, a music ensemble that performs music from all periods of music history, and Guided Imagery Opera, a grassroots artistic project that incorporates new music, vocal improvisation, and sound healing techniques. Devony made her Lincoln Center recital debut as the Grand Prize Winner of the MIMF Art Song competition this past spring. Most recently on the operatic stage, Devony performed Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) with Bronx Opera and OperaRox Productions, Cendrillon with Utopia Opera, and Vicky with Fresh Squeezed Opera in the East Coast Premiere of Bruce Trinkley’s Baby Shower. Patrick Dillon of OperaNews praised her Susanna, describing it as “utterly alive and natural, and beautifully sung.” Devony particularly relishes the opportunity to premiere new works. She has worked with living composers Mark Adamo, Jake Heggie, Joan Tower, John Musto, and Harold Faberman. Smith received her B.A. from Pepperdine University, where she performed Meg in Adamo’s Little Women.
Past seasons: 2015, Vicky, Baby Shower, 2014, Soloist, Showcase of New Songs and Arias