Musician Bios: Nuptials for the Dead
Praised for her “delightful” (The Boston Globe) and “delicately compassionate” (Times Herald Record) singing, soprano Elizabeth Bell is gaining recognition as a dynamic and versatile performer. In her Carnegie Hall début, she created the title role of Lucy by Tom Cipullo, and her performance was acclaimed as “excellent” (The Big City). Other roles include Flora (The Turn of the Screw), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), and Jesse (Mahagonny Songspiel). Also an avid performer of new music, Ms. Bell sang in the world premieres of Insomnia by Tom Cipullo and Requiem by Christian McLeer. Ms. Bell has sung German Lieder in master classes and coachings with acclaimed collaborative pianists Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, and Terry Decima. She holds a DMA from The City University of New York Graduate Center and a MM from New England Conservatory. Elizabeth teaches private voice lessons, master classes, and career counseling at Dana V Music in Louisville and at her private studio in Erie.
Tenor Craig Blackard recently graduated from Colorado State University with a Master of Music degree in voice performance. An apprentice with Opera Fort Collins, he appeared as Ruiz in Il Trovatore, Spoletta in Tosca, and Borsa in Rigoletto. He has also performed with Colorado State Opera Theater and Loveland Opera Theater. A native of the Denver area, Craig is the Area Director for Sera Schools Music Programs in Fort Collins.
Praised for her “bell-like tone” and striking stage presence, soprano Ruth Brand is in high demand both as a solo concert artist and in opera. Among the roles she has performed are the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, and Adele in Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. With Denver’s Cabaret Otaku, she appeared in Hugo Distler’s Totentanz, and directed Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel; she performs frequently with Opera on Tap. She has been a featured artist in concert series presented by Denver’s Temple Emmanuel and the Dante Alighieri Society. While earning her B.M. in vocal performance at the University of Denver, Ms. Brand participated in the International Institute of Vocal Arts in San Juan, Puerto Rico; the Tuscia Opera Festival in Viterbo, Italy; and the IES Abroad music program in Vienna, Austria.
Ruth L. Carver
Mezzo-soprano Ruth Carver, a native of Denver, has used her “dark, romantic voice” (Muenchner Merkur) and “truly rich and variegated tone” (kcmetropolis.org) in many operatic roles, including Carmen (Tragedie de Carmen), Mere Marie (Dialogues des Carmelites), Meg March and Alma March (Little Women), Romeo (I Capuleti e I Montecchi), Miss Todd (The Old Maid and the Thief), the Witch (Haensel und Gretel), Bianca (The Rape of Lucretia), Olga (The Merry Widow), and the Voice of the Mother (Les Contes d’Hoffman). Earlier this year, she performed in the New York City and Kansas City concert premieres of the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Madame White Snake by Zhou Long. She has appeared with Opera in the Ozarks, Emerald City Opera, Opera Fayetteville, Wichita Grand Opera and others. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Victorian Studies from Vassar College and a Master of Music in voice performance from Peabody Conservatory, and is the recipient of numerous merit scholarships and grants.
Peter Roberts is a pianist, composer, singer, and improviser. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with both a BA and MA in piano performance, where he accompanied the UNI Concert Chorale and UNI singers. He also played, recorded, and composed for the award-winning UNI Jazz Band One. In 2008, Peter competed with The Aurora Quintet at the Gene Harris International Jazz competition, placing in the top 5. While at UNI, Peter taught group piano classes, jazz theory methods, sight singing, and aural training. He is the accompanist for Denver’s Orpheus Pagan Chamber Choir and teaches privately at the Harmony House in Boulder, CO and through Tickled Ivories in Broomfield, Westminster, and Arvada, CO.