Recently a winner of the 2022 Gerda Lissner Lieder/Song Competition and District/Regional Winner in the Laffont Competition, Korean-American mezzo-soprano Alice Chung is rapidly being recognized for her “operatic tonal glamour” (Parterre) and being “a force of nature with a sound both powerful and appealing” (San Francisco Classical Voice). 

In the Spring of 2022, Ms. Chung made her company and role debut at Hawaii Opera Theatre as Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. She also covered the role of Granny Jia in Dream of the Red Chamber in San Francisco Opera’s co-production with the Hong Kong Arts Festival and was invited to return and cover the role of Suzuki with San Francisco Opera in the summer of 2023. She will also enjoy a debut with Arizona Opera as the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte during the 2022-2023 season.

A graduate of The Academy of Vocal Arts, Ms. Chung has performed with Tulsa Opera, Central City Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. A few role credits include La zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), Ježibaba (Rusalka), Die Hexe (Hänsel und Gretel), Mrs. Grose (The Turn of the Screw), Larina (Eugene Onegin), Eduige (Rodelinda), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte), and Mariana (Luisa Fernanda). On the concert stage, she has sung with the Kansas City Symphony, Bucks County Symphony and, most recently, the Naples Philharmonic at Artis-Naples. Concert credits include Duruflé’s Requiem, Op. 9, Saint-Saëns’s Oratorio de Noël, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky Op. 78, and Beethoven’s Fantasia, Op. 8 and Mass in C Major, Op. 86.

As a 2017 and 2019 alumnus, Ms. Chung has garnered attention from the San Francisco audience through the prestigious Merola Opera Program, during which she was acclaimed for her excerpted portrayals of Santuzza (Cavalleria rusticana), Augusta Tabor (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Azucena (Il trovatore) for her “riveting dramatic intensity” by Parterre, and a “ringing, magisterial” Gertrude (Hamlet) by the San Francisco Chronicle.  In 2020, she returned for her Schwabacher Debut Recital, presented by the Merola Opera Program in conjunction with the San Francisco Opera. A lover of collaboration and recital and chamber music, Ms. Chung has worked with several contemporary composers, premiering new works as well as performing well-loved pieces such as Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder, Brahms’s Zwei Gesänge, Op.91 and Bridge’s Three Songs with Viola and Piano.  

Ms. Chung has been an honored recipient of numerous grants as well as a winner of various competitions. During 2020 and 2021, she was awarded the Richard F. Gold Career Grant by the Shoshana Foundation, won First Place in the Cooper-Bing Competition, placed Third in the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition and was a winner of the 2021 William Matheus Sullivan Foundation Audition Awards. She has also won awards through the Orpheus Vocal Competition (2020), Gerda Lissner Lieder/Song Competition (2018), the Metropolitan National Council Auditions (2018 Second Prize Midwest Regionals), Chautauqua Opera Guild (2015), and Pasadena Opera Guild (2014). 

During her time offstage, Ms. Chung works with several nonprofit organizations in the industry.  She is a founder of Wear Yellow Proudly, an arts and advocacy initiative devoted to bringing awareness to Asian culture by showcasing and celebrating Asian art and artists worldwide.  Ms Chung also collaborates with The OmniARTS Foundation Inc., an organization dedicated to the cultivation of interdisciplinary art through new work commissions, arts education, and performance events.

American mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook has excelled in a wide range of roles with leading companies throughout the United States. Of her performance as the title character in Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne, Opera Today wrote that “to say that Ms. Cook was a revelation is an understatement, since she stamped the part as her own, and experienced a triumph for her sensational performance…. Ms. Cook is possessed of a round mezzo tone of great beauty, admirable control and potent power in all ranges and at any volume.” In the 2022-23 season, Cook returned to Opera Colorado as Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana and debuted the role of Mère Jeanne in Dialogues of the Carmelites for San Francisco Opera’s Centennial Season. During the Carmelites run in November 2022, Cook was awarded the San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Opera Medal, the company’s highest honor, in acknowledgment of her 31 years of performance with the company.

In April 2023, Ms. Cook will sing selections from the Copland’s Old American Songs for the 60th Anniversary Gala of the Golden State Youth Orchestra, appearing with fellow soloist David Kim, Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Among her engagements in the 2020-21 season included a return to San Francisco Opera as Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Drive-In. 2019-20’s season featured returns to San Francisco Opera as Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and to Opera Parallèle as Julia Child in Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit! which she reprised at the Sun Valley Music Festival. In the 2018-19 season, Cook’s engagements included Mother Bailey in Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life with San Francisco Opera, Death in the world premiere of Tom Cipullo’s The Parting with Music of Remembrance in Seattle, as well as its recording on Naxos Records, and Mrs. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera with West Edge Opera in Berkeley. In the 2017-18 season, Cook returned to The Metropolitan Opera as Camila in Thomas Adès’ critically acclaimed opera The Exterminating Angel, and sang The Innkeeper in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov with the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting.

Ms. Cook has been recognized as “San Francisco Opera’s go-to-choice” for a wide range of roles (San Francisco Chronicle), with recent highlights as the title role in Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne; La Frugola in Il tabarro; Mrs. McLean in Floyd’s Susannah; and Marcellina. Past highlights with the company include Arlene Kamen and Wang Tai Tai in the world premiere of Wallace’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter; Jade Boucher in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which was recorded and released by ERATO; Annina in Der Rosenkavalier, and Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress.

Other previous engagements include Countess de Coigny in Andrea Chénier, Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and featured soloist in David Gockley’s Farewell Opera Gala Concert with San Francisco Opera; Marthe in Faust and Glasa in Kát’a Kabanová with The Metropolitan Opera; Ježibaba in Rusalka with Opera Colorado; Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and Tisbe in La Cenerentola with Houston Grand Opera; The Witch in Hänsel und Gretel and a recital with San Francisco Symphony; Older Woman in Jonathan Dove’s Flight with Opera Parallèle; Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd with Mill City Summer Opera; and two world premieres with Music of Remembrance: Zosha in Heggie’s Out of Darkness and Gertrude Stein in Cipullo’s After Life, as well as a reprise of the latter with Urban Arias. Cook can be heard as Gertrude in the world premiere recording of After Life with Music of Remembrance, released by Naxos.

Cook has also appeared with the Toledo Symphony OrchestraPasadena Symphony, and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. She can be heard as soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra, released by Centaur Records.

Ms. Cook was a participant of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera Program. She is a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as well as the Merola Chicago Regional Auditions Yoder Award. Ms. Cook holds a Master of Music degree from Wichita State University and an Artist Diploma from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, where she won the Norman Treigle Award in their Corbett Competition. She has received Outstanding Alumni awards from both Millikin University and Wichita State University.

Catherine Cook is a Professor of Voice at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she holds the Frederica von Stade Distinguished Chair in Voice.

Tesia Kwarteng is a versatile and multi-faceted Ghanaian-American artist who is equally at home on the operatic stage, on screen and in the studio.

Ms. Kwarteng recently led and sang with the vocal ensemble Vox Noire on the recording of the original film score for The Woman King by Terence Blanchard, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and starring Viola Davis. Tesia’s first libretto commission (titled A Sable Jubilee) also premiered this year at the Aspen Music Festival, with music composed by Jasmine Barnes and sung by Will Liverman. Highlights of the 2022-2023 season include the casting of Ms. Kwarteng as Lady Catherine in Lincoln Center Theater‘s new production of Lerner & Lowe’s Camelot, featuring a book by Academy and Emmy Award-winning writer Aaron Sorkin and directed by Bartlett Sher.

During the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Kwarteng made her principal debut at The Metropolitan Opera as a Pit Singer in Brett Dean’s Hamlet and also made her Off-Broadway debut at Lincoln Center Theater in Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage’s new opera Intimate Apparel, where she was seen as Mayme and in the ensemble. Tesia also covered the role of Ruby/Sinner Woman in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones at The Metropolitan Opera and sang the role of Woman 5 in Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from The Great War with American Opera Projects and the role of Maurya in What Lies Beneath with On Site Opera. She also participated in a workshop for Written in Stone at Washington National Opera, where she sang the role of Laurel in Carlos Simon’s It All Falls Down and Victoria Wilson in Kamala Sankaram’s Rise.

In previous seasons, Ms. Kwarteng made her Austin Opera debut featured in recital as a part of the Live from Indy Terrace broadcast series and was also a featured soloist in the ensemble of the GRAMMY Award-winning production of Porgy and Bess at The Metropolitan Opera. As a Resident Artist at Tri-Cities Opera, she was seen as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, Madeline Mitchell in Three Decembers and Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore. She has also participated in training programs at the Opera Theater of Saint LouisThe Glimmerglass FestivalVirginia Opera and Chautauqua Opera

A champion of contemporary compositions, Tesia has performed in several world premieres and workshops of new works, including the role of Bertha in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones with Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Lee in Marie Begins, a soloist in Beyond Liberty with Thomas Hampson at The Glimmerglass Festival, Frances in a workshop performance of the new chamber opera The Flood at Opera Columbus, Melba Patillo in excerpts from Little Rock 9 by Kennedy Center Honoree Tania Leon at the MacDowell Colony National Benefit, the ensemble of Dear Erich at New York City Opera and Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom with American Opera Projects, Abigail in Sleepy Hollow: The Musical at the New York New Works Theater Festival, and the premiere of Jeremy Gill’s art song Rose (based on Ann Patchett’s book The Patron Saint of Liars, which was written for Ms. Kwarteng and performed at Chautauqua Opera). 

In concert, Tesia has been seen at 54 Below, as Consuelo in West Side Story at The Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra, as a soloist in Laura Karpman’s GRAMMY Award-winning Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz at the Apollo Theater with Jessye Norman, and as Alto Soloist in Mozart’s Requiem at First Presbyterian Church in Stamford, Connecticut. Her regional theater credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Ronette) with Barn Arts Center for the ArtsHairspray (Dynamite) and The Sound of Music (Nun) at Casa Mañana Theater and Ragtime (Sarah’s friend) at Manhattan School of Music. She also toured the Abyssinian Mass with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra as a member of Chorale le Chateau, and also toured with the American Spiritual Ensemble in 2017. 

Tesia was a finalist in the 2020 George London Foundation Competition, was selected as a 2019 Top 30 under 30 Pioneer by the Future of Ghana publication, has received a career grant from the Bagby Foundation for Musical Arts, was an Encouragement Award winner at the Houston district Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, was a 2016 recipient of an encouragement grant from the Career Bridges Foundation, was a fellow at the CoOPERAtive Program in 2015, and received the 2013 Legacy Award in the National Opera Association competition. 

One of the most celebrated artists of our time, in a career spanning over 45 years, Rosalind Plowright has sung at the major international theatres such as the Royal Opera House, Covent GardenThe Metropolitan Opera, the Opéra National de Paris, the Bavarian State Opera, the Teatro alla Scala, the Arena di Verona, the Teatro Real, and the Grand Théâtre de Genève. Acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest spinto sopranos, her colleagues included Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras. Conductors with whom she has worked include Claudio Abbado, Semyon Bychkov, Sylvain Cambreling, Mark Elder, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Michael Gielen, Carlo Maria Giulini, Hartmut Haenchen, Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Jurowski, Gustav Kuhn, Charles Mackerras, Riccardo Muti, Roger Norrington, Kazushi Ono, Seiji Ozawa, Giuseppe Patané, Antonio Pappano, David Parry, Jérémie Rhorer, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Ulf Schirmer, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Jeffrey Tate.

In 1999, she entered the mezzo-soprano repertoire, and has since sung roles such as Principessa di Bouillon in Adriana Lecouvreur, La Madre in Il Prigioniero, Kostelnicka in Jenufa, Mila’s Mother in Osud, Marfa in Khovanschina, Mme de Croissy in Dialogues des Carmélites, La Zia Principessa in Suor  Angelica, Adelaide in Arabella,  Klytämnestra in Elektra, Amneris in Aïda and Fricka in Das Rheingold / Die Walküre.

Ms. Plowright’s recordings include Il trovatoreLa forza del destino, and Mahler Symphony No. 2, for Deutsche GrammophonMary Stuart, Hansel and Gretel, Elijah, Aïda and Otello for Chandos, Les contes d’Hoffmann for EMI and La vestale for Orfeo. Her solo recital disc La Belle Dame Sans Merci, a program which she performed at the Buxton Festival, is also available on Romeo Records. Performances available on DVD include Andrea Chénier from both the Bregenz Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent GardenHänsel und Gretel from The Metropolitan OperaDialogues des Carmélites from the Théâtre des Champs-ÉlyséesSuor Angelica from Teatro Alla ScalaIl trovatore from the Arena di Verona and Not the Messiah with the Monty Python team.

Ms. Plowright made her Glyndebourne Festival debut in 2018 as The Old Baroness in Vanessa. Engagements during the 2018-2019 season included Contessa di Coigny in Andrea Chénier for the Royal Opera, London, Mila’s Mother in Osud and Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana for Opera North, Mamma Lucia for Gothenburg Opera, Mme de la Haltière in Cendrillon for Angers Nantes Opera and Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera for Opera Holland Park. During the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Plowright appeared as Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana, which she also sings on Lise Davidsen’s recital for Universal Classics and at the Staatsoper Stuttgart. Engagements during the 2021-2022 season include Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes at both Teatro La Fenice and the Theater an der Wien, her debut with Norwegian National Opera as Grandmother Burjovka in Jenufa, and appearances with the Festival Castel Artès as the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas and a recital of Kurt Weill songs.

Her current repertoire includes Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes, The Old Baroness in Vanessa, La contessa di Coigny – Madelon in Andea Chénier, Kabanicha in Kát’a Kabanova, Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana, Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon, Mme de Croissy in Dialogues des Carmélites, La zia principessa in Suor Angelica, Klytämnestra in Elektra, The Countess in The Queen of Spades and Mme Arvidson in Un ballo in maschera.

Additional recent engagements have included Mrs Sedley in Peter Grimes at the Theater an der Wien and the Opéra National de Lyon, Contessa di Coigny / Madelon in Andrea Chénier at the Bregenz Festival, Contessa di Coigny in Andrea Chénier for the Royal Opera, London, La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica for Opera Holland Park and Seattle Opera, Madame de Croissy in Dialogues des Carmélites at the Dutch National Opera and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Herodias in Salome for Portland Opera, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera for the Dorset Opera Festival and Mary in Der fliegende Holländer at Teatro Alla Scala, The Baroness in Vanessa for Wexford Festival Opera, Contessa di Coigny in Andrea Chénier at the Bayrerische Staatsoper, Mila’s Mother in Osud and Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana for Opera North, Kabanicha in Katya Kabanova at the Staatsoper Berlin, Klytämnestra in Elektra at the National Theatre, Prague, and The Countess in The Queen of Spades for Opera Holland Park.

In 2007, Ms. Plowright was granted the order of Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to music.

QAM proudly represents Ms. Plowright in North America.

French mezzo-soprano Julie Robard-Gendre garnered accolades from public and press alike with her appearances last season as Nefertiti in Akhnaten at Opera de Nice, Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito at Opera de Nantes/Angers and at Opera de Rennes, and her role debut as Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos at Opera de‘s Yvan Beuvard reported: “Of particular note in the excellent cast was Julie Robard-Gendre’s Sesto. She brings out the complexity, fragility, doubts and heartbreak, as well as the nobility and generosity of this sensitive soul, blinded by his love for Vitellia. Her dark and rich mezzo, exactly right for the role, is admirably deployed. Sesto’s psychological development is well portrayed, both musically and dramatically. The intensity of emotion, particularly in Act II (“Deh per questo istante solo”) made her Sesto steal the show, as evidenced by the warmth of the audience’s applause for her.”

Other recent and future engagements include Rigoletto with the Cercle de l’Harmonie at the Festival Berlioz in La Côte Saint-André and in Bremen, Falstaff (Meg Page) in Lille, Luxembourg and Caen, La Tragédie de Carmen at the Theatre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and on tour with the ensemble Miroirs étendusCarmen (title role) at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, a French version of Salomé (Hérodias) in Metz, La Mort de Cléopatre in concert at the Angers-Nantes Opera, and Ariane (Perséphone) by Massenet in Munich, which will be recorded under the Palazzetto Bru Zane label.

In recent seasons, Julie appeared as Gertrude in Hamlet in a new production with Opera de Nantes/Angers and Opera de Rennes. At Lausanne Opera she sang the title role in La Belle Hélène, a role she previously performed at Opera de RennesOpera de Vichy and in Avignon, and a new production of Don Quichotte as Dulcinée at Opera de Tours

Additional career highlights include Robard-Gendre’s Paris Opera debut as Dame d’honneur/Bohémienne in Les Huguenots and a reprise of Zweite Dame in Robert Carsen’s production of Die Zauberflöte. She made her debut in the title role of Carmen at Opera de Rennes and was highly acclaimed by critics and public alike as Ghita in Der Zwerg at Opera de LilleOpera de Rennes and Opera de Caen. Of her Lille performance, Stephen J. Mudge wrote in Opera News: “The best singing of the evening on November 18 came from Julie Robard-Gendre as Ghita, principal lady-in-waiting. With sure, penetrating mezzo timbre, Robard-Gendre appealed for the humiliation of the dwarf to stop. Her final confrontation with Vidal’s broken man was the most moving moment of the evening…”

Prior roles for the artist include: Orphée in Orphée et Eurydice at AvignonLiège and Opera de Nantes/Angers, where she also revived the role of Prince Charming in Cendrillon; Olga in Eugene Onegin in Nice, Metz and Reims; Fenena in Nabucco in Toulon and Nice, and a debut at Opéra de Monte Carlo as the Kitchen Boy in Rusalka. She also enjoyed a debut at Festival Aix-en-Provence in the role of Ramiro in La finta giardiniera, which was broadcast live via ARTE.

On the concert stage, Julie has sung the alto solo in Beethoven’s Mass with Insula OrchestraLes nuits d’étéwith Orleans Symphonic OrchestraEl amor brujo with L’Orchestre National de Bretagne and Le Poème de l’amour et de la mer and Il tramonto with L’orchestre Régional de Normandie. In contemporary repertoire, she has collaborated with composers such as Michaël Levinas, who entrusted her with the role of La Huppe in La Conférence des Oiseauxat La Biennale di Venezia, and Les Aragon, which she sang with Ensemble L’Itinéraire and the Philharmonic of Luxembourg. With France’s Arcal Lyrique, she participated in the creation of Ni l’un ni l’autre with the composer and inaugurated the role of Maria Smith in Régis Campo’s Les Quatres Jumelles.