Hailed for his “ringing and confident tenor,” Alan Taylor, a native of Atlanta Georgia, is a graduate of Northwestern University (M.Mus.) and Samford University (B.Mus.) under the tutelage of W. Stephen Smith. He is a two-time winner of Samford’s Concerto-Aria competition and the National Association of Teachers of Singing audition, and won first place in the Federation of Music Clubs annual collegiate competition.
He has been the tenor soloist for Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Vaughan Williams’Serenade to Music, Britten’s Saint Nicholas, and Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit pour Noël. He was featured in recital at the Aspen Music Festival with pianist Kenneth Merrill and has sung for Maestri Nicholas McGegan and Jane Glover.
Taylor’s opera credits include title roles in Britten’s Albert Herring, the Chicago premier of Musto’s Bastianello as well as Alfredo in J. Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Arnalta in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Ralph Rackstraw in Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore, praised for his “delightfully pretty singing.” He maintains voice and piano studios and is a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Grant Park Chorus, and Chicago’s historic Saint James Episcopal Cathedral and its choir.
Bass-baritone Dan Richardson is known for his “clean, clear, declarative” tone and “lovely core sound and earnest musicianship”.
Recently, Mr. Richardson appeared as Elijah with Choral Union in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with the Salt Creek Chamber Orchestra, as Papageno with Candid Concert Opera, and performed with the New Millennium Orchestra as Death in Viktor Ullmann’s the Emperor of Atlantis on the Pritzker Pavilion Stage at Millennium Park.He has also performed with the Florentine Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Louisiane, Des Moines Metro Opera, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he performed the role of Don Bartolo for their “Opera in the Neighborhoods” production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
As a concert soloist Mr. Richardson has performed with the Fox Valley Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Virginia Consort, the Milwaukee Ballet, Music by the Lake, and the Grant Park Chorus.
Rosalind Lee, soprano, has been described as “a beautiful soprano with a glowing voice.” Among many other performances, Ms. Lee sang the “Echo” in “Flößt, mein Heiland” from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Kathleen Battle under the baton of Raymond Leppard and was the soprano soloist in the Vivaldi Gloria under Bernard Labadie, both with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Lee has presented Beethoven’s magnificent concert aria, Ah! Perfido with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and has appeared as a soloist in numerous other concert works including Bach’s Magnificat, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore, Orff’s Carmina burana, Schubert’s Mass in G, and the Chicago premiere of Mollicone’s Beatitude Mass. She has been a featured artist with the Bach Week Festival, Chorus Angelorum, the Chicago Summer Sings festival, the Elgin Choral Union, the Handel Week Festival, the North Shore Choral Society, the Saint James Cathedral Concert Series, the Te Deum Ensemble, and the Windy City Strings. Ms. Lee has also appeared in the Kraft Family Concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and in a concert of works by Benjamin Britten at the Glimmerglass Festival. Ms. Lee is very pleased to be making her debut with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in this performance of Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis (Lord Nelson Mass). Other upcoming appearances include performances of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, a concert of opera selections called “Seasons of Song” at Governor’s State University and her debut with Haymarket Opera Company in a concert performance of Stradella’s oratorio San Giovanni Battista.
On the opera stage, Ms. Lee has appeared in the baroque opera, La Purpura de la Rosa (Venus) with the Bloomington Early Music Festival, as the title role in Floyd’s Susannah, in Argento’s The Boor (Widow), and in Verdi’s La Traviata (Annina) at Music by the Lake. She has also appeared in the ensemble of many productions with Lyric Opera of Chicago, including the recent productions of Carousel, The Sound of Music and Porgy & Bess. Other appearances include productions with the Glimmerglass Festival, Music by the Lake, Light Opera Works, Main Street Opera, Indiana Opera Theater, Illinois Opera Theatre and The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera
Company. Ms. Lee is pleased to appear regularly with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the Grant Park Festival Chorus, and the choruses of Soli Deo Gloria’s Chicago Bach Project and Music of the Baroque. She’s also very proud to be heard singing in the Chicago Symphony Chorus on Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 2010 Grammy-winning recording of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, under the baton of Maestro Riccardo Muti and again with them on the soundtrack of Dreamwork’s film, Lincoln, under the direction of Maestro John Williams.
Mezzo-soprano Angela Young Smucker has earned praise for her “rich, secure mezzo-soprano” (Chicago Tribune) and her “powerful stage presence” (The Plain Dealer). Her performances in concert, stage, and chamber works have made her a highly versatile and sought-after artist.
Highlights of the 2015-16 season include debut performances with Spire Chamber Ensemble in the Duruflé Requiem and Handel’s Messiah, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn), and with the San Diego Pro Arte Voices as featured soloist in Copland’s In the Beginning. Ms. Smucker will make return appearances with Haymarket Opera Company in the dual role of Diana/Jove as Diana in Cavalli’s Calisto; Newberry Consort’s presentation of the newly-edited Juan de Lienas Vespers; Bach Collegium San Diego in Handel’s Messiah and Monteverdi’s Vespers; Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra under the baton of new conductor Matthew Kraemer; and Chicago Bach Ensemble lead by Baroque specialist Rubén Dubrovsky.
Concert work from past seasons includes Mozart’s Coronation Mass (Music of the Baroque), Mendelssohn’s Elijah (Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival), Haydn’s Creation (Oregon Bach Festival), Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience under the baton of Philip Brunelle, Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, and Duruflé’s Requiem. She has been a featured artist in the U.S. premieres of Robert Kyr’s O Word of Light and Thunder (Evangelist), Francis Grier’s The Passion (Herod), and Siegfried Matthus’ Te Deum (Mezzo Soloist). Ms. Smucker has also appeared on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, WFMT’s Impromptu, and WTTW’s Chicago Tonight.
Ms. Smucker’s work as a chamber artist has earned high praise. Her debut performances with French Baroque ensemble Les Délices were chosen as a 2013 “Cleveland Favorite” by The Plain Dealer. She has also worked with Grammy-nominated Seraphic Fire and Grammy-winning ensembles: Chicago Symphony Chorus, Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, and Conspirare.
Ms. Smucker holds degrees from Valparaiso University and the University of Minnesota and was awarded acceptance into the 2015 NATS Intern Program while serving as an adjunct voice instructor at Valparaiso University (2008-2015). For more information, including audio and video recordings, visit www.mezzoangela.com.