Utah District Finals: Judges and Accompanist

Richard Bado | Director of Artistic Administration for Houston Grand Opera

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Richard Bado made his professional conducting debut in 1989 leading Houston Grand Opera’s acclaimed production of Show Boat at the newly restored Cairo Opera House in Egypt. Since then, Mr. Bado has conducted at Teatro alla Scala, Opéra National de Paris, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, the Aspen Music Festival, the Tulsa Opera, the Russian National Orchestra, the Florida Philharmonic, the Montreal Symphony, Wolf Trap Opera, Houston Ballet, and has conducted the Robert Wilson production of Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts at the Edinburgh Festival. This past season he conducted Houston Grand Opera’s production of Carousel. An accomplished pianist, Mr. Bado appears regularly with Renée Fleming in recital. He has also played for Cecilia Bartoli, Frederica von Stade, Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Marcello Giordani, Ramon Vargas, Samuel Ramey, Jamie Barton, Ryan McKinney and Nathan Gunn. Mr. Bado, who holds music degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he received the 2000 Alumni Achievement Award and West Virginia University, has studied advanced choral conducting with Robert Shaw. Mr. Bado is the Director of the Opera Studies Program at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He also is the Chorus Master for the Houston Grand Opera, where he received the Silver Rose Award in 2013. He has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He has served on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Dolora Zajick Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, the International Vocal School in Moscow, Le Chiavi di Bel Canto and has served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, the Bolshoi Opera Young Artist Program, Opera Australia, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Chautauqua Opera and Wolf Trap Opera. Mr. Bado regularly judges for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and served as Houston Grand Opera’s Head of Music Staff for 14 seasons.

Judith Forst | Canadian mezzo-soprano

Canadian mezzo-soprano Judith Forst has sung with most major opera companies throughout North America and Europe, including over 250 performances with the New York Metropolitan Opera, where she returned in 2013 for her 20th season. She has performed frequently with the San Francisco Opera Company, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Dallas Opera, Houston Lyric Opera, New York City Opera and the Vancouver Opera Association. Recent European engagements have included performances in Italy, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. She made her debut at Italy’s legendary La Scala in 2006 singing KABANICHKA in Janacek’s Kata Kabanova. Ms Forst’s most recent North American successes have included highly-acclaimed performances as KABANICHA at the Met, KOSTELNICKA in Janacek’s Jenufa with the Dallas Opera, and Dead Man Walking with the Pittsburgh Opera. She has sung for over 10 seasons with the Santa Fe Opera. Her 2013 performances of the OLD PRIORESS in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites with the Canadian Opera Company were hailed as “emotionally shattering” and “magnificent.” Ms Forst scored a personal and critical triumph in 2010 with her world premiere performance as LILIAN ALLING with the Vancouver Opera Association. She performed another world premiere with the Calgary Opera in January 2011, singing in Bramwell Tovey’s The Inventor. Ms. Forst’s busy schedule includes a return to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, where in 2017 she will perform in DEAD MAN WALKING. In 1991 Ms Forst received an honourary Doctorate of Letters from the University of British Columbia, the first performing artist alumna to be so honoured, and in 1995, the University of Victoria conferred upon Ms Forst an Honourary Doctorate of Music. In 1992, Forst was inducted into the Order of Canada and in 2001 she was inducted into the Order of British Columbia. In 2004, she received Canada’s prestigious RUBY AWARD marking her distinguished worldwide career in opera.

Dr. Carol Anderson | Principal Coach & Accompanist at Utah Opera

Carol Anderson is currently principal coach for the Utah Symphony and Opera, while spending her summers on the music staff of the Santa Fe Opera. Dr. Anderson has also worked on the coaching staffs of Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Sarasota Opera, Brevard Music Center, Nashville Opera, Baltimore Opera Company, Opera Festival of New Jersey, and Rice University's Shepherd School Opera.


Nevada District Finals: Judges and Accompanist


NewMexico District Finals: Judges and Accompanist


Colorado-Wyoming District Finals: Judges and Accompanist

Sheri Greenawald | Director of San Francisco Opera Center

Internationally renowned soprano Sheri Greenawald has been director of San Francisco Opera Center since 2002 and is the artistic director of the Merola Opera Program, two lauded organizations that recognize, cultivate and nurture the finest young operatic talent. She has performed leading roles with San Francisco Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Venice’s La Fenice, the Munich Bavarian State Opera, the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet, Welsh National Opera, Seattle Opera, Houston Grand Opera, the Netherlands Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Naples’s Teatro San Carlos and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, among others. She is featured on several recordings, including singing the title role of Blitzstein’s Regina conducted by John Mauceri and recorded for Decca. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and the Juilliard School of Music, Greenawald has been a recipient of a Rockefeller Grant, NEA Grant, and was named Seattle Opera Association’s “Artist of the Year” in 1998. She served as a professor of voice and opera at the Boston Conservatory, was a visiting artist at the University of Charleston, an artist-in-residence at the University of Northern Iowa, was the vocal coach of the Santa Fe Apprentice Program in 1999 and opera director of the program in 2000, and has given master classes with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Arizona Opera, Boston Conservatory, New England Conservatory, Boston University, Longy School of Music, Mannes School of Music and Manhattan School of Music.

Sally Wolf | American Coloratura Soprano

In a career spanning 34 years, soprano Sally Wolf has sung her brilliant dramatic coloratura and lyric repertoire all over Europe and North America. She achieved acclaimed portrayals of the title role of Norma at Seattle Opera and Florida Grand Opera, Mimi (La Boheme) at Seattle Opera, Violetta (La Traviata) with Opera du Rhin in Strasbourg, and Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor) with Seattle Opera. Ms. Wolf is an accomplished interpreter of the Mozart repertoire which includes Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with Frankfurt Opera, Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) at New York City Opera and Los Angeles Opera, Constanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) with Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin and Santa Fe Opera, The Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro) at Canadian Opera, and Austin Lyric Opera, Elettra (Idomeneo) with Frankfurt and Florida Grand Opera, and Giunia (Lucio Silla) at San Francisco Opera and The Salzburg Festival. A former interpreter of Queen of the Night (Die Zaubeflöte), she performed 192 career performances of the role in most of the world's prestigious opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper, Salzburg Festival, La Fenice in Venice, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Bayrische Oper (Munich), Theatre du Chatalet in Paris, Grand Theatre du Geneve, Trieste Opera, Monte Carlo Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera, Dallas Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and New York City Opera, among others. Other roles include, the title role of the Ballad of Baby Doe, Gilda (Rigoletto), the title role of Semiramide, and Amenaide (I Masnadieri).

Bruce Donnel | Stage director of the Metropolitan Opera

A stage director at the Metropolitan Opera since 1975, Bruce Donnell studied at Friedelind Wagner’s Master Classes in Bayreuth in 1965 before joining the staff of the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and spending a summer as an apprentice technician at the Santa Fe Opera. His work at the Metropolitan includes Die Frau ohne Schatten with Birgit Nilsson, La Gioconda, Die Meistersinger, Parsifal, Arabella, Don Giovanni, La Fille du Regiment and Fidelio, among many others. Winner of two Emmy Awards, his television credits from the Metropolitan include Lucia di Lammermoor with Joan Sutherland and Alfredo Kraus, Der Rosenkavalier with Kiri Te Kanawa and Tatiana Troyanos, Billy Budd and the Aida that marked Leontyne Price’s farewell to opera.

Allan Armstrong | Accompanist

Allan Armstrong is a highly sought-after collaborative pianist specializing in both instrumental and vocal repertoire. In 2009, Allan was an artist-in-residence at the Arrigo Pedrolla conservatory in Vicenza, Italy where he performed solo, chamber, and lieder recitals. Other recent credits include concert tours of Japan and the premiere performance and recording of the newly revised opera Bluebeard's Castle by Bela Bartok, prepared under the auspices of the composer's son, Peter Bartok. He has shared the stage with renowned opera singers Sherrill Milnes, Mignon Dunn, and the late Jerry Hadley in masterclasses and recitals. In the fall of 2011, Allan appeared with Opera Colorado's production of Sideshow as a pianist/music director.

Rocky Mountain Regional Finals: Metropolitan Opera Judge

Gayletha Nichols | Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

Ms. Nichols joined the artistic staff of the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2000 as Executive Director of the National Council Auditions. She brought to the Met two decades of experience as a singer, teacher and career advisor. From 1992-2000, she was Director of Houston Opera Studio, the young artist development program at Houston Grand Opera, where she created and individualized the training both for singers and pianists. Ms. Nichols auditions hundreds of singers across North America every year and in her travels addresses many universities, conservatories, and festivals on developing the next generation of opera singers. She is a frequent adjudicator in national and international competitions and consults for other young artist programs across the country.