Utah District Finals: Judges and Accompanist

Erie Mills | Associate Professor at the School of Music, San Jose State University

In a vocal career of over twenty-five years, Erie Mills has received critical and popular acclaim throughout the world, dazzling audiences with her sparkling coloratura voice, captivating personality, and vivid portrayals of operatic roles. She has performed in the world's major opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna Staatsoper, English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera and many others. In concert, she has appeared with the orchestras of Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the VARA radio Orchestra at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. An accomplished recitalist, she has performed both as a soloist and in chamber music, having sung with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Bravo Colorado Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, and at St. John's Smith Square in London.

Robert Orth | Baritone

Robert Orth is a leading baritone with major opera companies including those in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, D.C., Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami, Portland, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Denver. He was named “Artist of the Year” by both New York City Opera and Seattle Opera. New York City Opera also gave him the Christopher Keene Award for new and unusual repertoire. He has appeared as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Seattle, Denver, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., in repertoire ranging from Brahms' REQUIEM to Broadway pops to his most repeated symphonic piece,CARMINA BURANA.

Darren Keith Woods | Artistic Director, Fort Worth Opera

Darren Keith Woods is an American opera director and operatic tenor. A graduate of the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, he began his career as an opera singer in 1982, making his professional debut at the Santa Fe Opera (SFO) as Don Curzio in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. He spent most of his singing career portraying comprimario roles with opera companies throughout North America. Some of his performance credits include appearances with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Connecticut Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Seattle Opera among others. He was a frequent performer at the SFO during the 1980s and 1990s.
He retired from the stage in 2001 and assumed the position of Artistic Director of the Fort Worth Opera.[1] He also currently serves on the board of directors of OPERA America.

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.

Top

Colorado-Wyoming District Finals: Judges and Accompanist

Darren Keith Woods | Artistic Director, Fort Worth Opera

Darren Keith Woods is an American opera director and operatic tenor. A graduate of the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, he began his career as an opera singer in 1982, making his professional debut at the Santa Fe Opera (SFO) as Don Curzio in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. He spent most of his singing career portraying comprimario roles with opera companies throughout North America. Some of his performance credits include appearances with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Connecticut Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Seattle Opera among others. He was a frequent performer at the SFO during the 1980s and 1990s.
He retired from the stage in 2001 and assumed the position of Artistic Director of the Fort Worth Opera.[1] He also currently serves on the board of directors of OPERA America.

Cynthia Lawrence | Soprano

Cynthia Lawrence sings at the leading opera companies around the world. Most recently she sang Lady Macbeth at the Metropolitan Opera under the baton of Mo. Levine. Last fall she made a highly acclaimed debut as Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera with Minnesota Opera as well as a gala concert appearance as Maddelenawith Ben Heppner as Andrea Chenier with Cultur Arte de Puerto Rico. During the spring she appeared again as Lady Macbeth with Milwaukee's Florentine Opera, and as Tosca at Vancouver Opera. At the Met Cynthia just performed the title role in Hollywood director Anthony Minghella's (The Talented Mr. Ripley) much anticipated new production of Madame Butterfly

Cynthia Munzer | Associate Professor of Vocal Arts and Opera at USC

Associate Professor of Vocal Arts and Opera at USC Thornton School of Music Cynthia Munzer (mezo-soprano) has sung over 20 roles in 223 performances with the Metropolitan Opera, in New York at Lincoln Center, and on tour in the United States and Japan. Audiences across America have known her through weekly Metropolitan Opera Saturday Broadcasts and over 20 Met Opera broadcast recordings with Pavarotti, Milnes, Domingo, Sutherland, Caballé, Kraus, Corelli, Birgit Nillson, Scotto. Munzer has garnered rave reviews as a leading guest artist with over 90 opera companies and major symphony orchestras. L’Opéra de Montréal, the New York City, Dallas, Houston Grand, Florentine, and Washington Operas have presented Munzer in diverse leading roles such as Carmen, Amneris, Dame Quickly, and Octavian. She has been guest soloist with The Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, Los Angeles and Hong Kong Philharmonics, San Francisco, National, and American Symphonies.

Robert Spillman | Accompanist

Robert Spillman, Professor Emeritus, was Chair of the piano faculty and Music Director of the Opera Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He studied at the Eastman School of Music, receiving a BM degree and Performers Certificate in piano and a MA degree in music theory. In 1964 he received a Fulbright Scholarship and moved with his family to Stuttgart, where he studied with Arno Erfurth (piano), Hermann Reutter (Lied), Hubert Giesen (accompanying) and Henk Badings (composition). Shortly thereafter, he moved to West Berlin where he spent the next seven years accompanying well-known artists. He returned to the United States and joined the faculty at Eastman in 1973, where he coached opera and taught piano, accompanying and vocal literature.

Rocky Mountain Regional Finals: Metropolitan Opera Judge

Gregory Henkel | Director of Artistic Adminstration, San Francisco Opera

David Gockley appointed Gregory M. Henkel as Director of Artistic Administration at San Francisco Opera beginning June 1, 2008. A native New Yorker, Greg joined San Francisco Opera directly from his position as Artistic Planning Manager with Los Angeles Opera, where he worked directly with Plácido Domingo and James Conlon on casting, concert programming and other areas of artistic planning. Prior to working with the Los Angeles Opera, Greg was Associate Artistic Administrator at Lyric Opera of Chicago after serving as a member of the administration of Lyric Opera Center for American Artists.
Greg has served on the judging panels for the Metropolitan Opera National Council including the Grand Finals Concert and has been a frequent judge for the their regional auditions throughout the United States. He has also judged international voice competitions such as the Seoul International Music Competition, the Concorso Lirico Giovanni Martinelli - Aureliano Pertile in Montagnana, the Concorso Lirico Ottavio Ziino in Rome, and the Elardo International Voice Competition in Brugges, Belgium.

Top