Heidi Stober '00

"Lawrence truly made ALL the difference in my life!!"

American Heidi Stober is currently a principal artist at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she stunned audiences with her sterling lyric soprano voice and incisive stage personality in her house debut in fall of 2008 as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte.  She has since appeared there in a variety of leading roles including Micaëla in Carmen, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, and Nanetta in Falstaff.

Having already taken to the stages of the world’s most important opera companies, Ms. Stober made her debut with The Metropolitan Opera last season as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel conducted by Robin Ticciati as well as a role debut as Zdenka in Arabella conducted by Sir Andrew Davis with the Santa Fe Opera.

Highlights of concert engagements include Mozart’s Requiem with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (Edo de Waart, conductor) with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the role of Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Additional concert work includes soprano soloist in concert performances of Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Oslo Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Baltimore Symphony, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Houston Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Carmina Burana with Houston Ballet.

Heidi Stober’s professional training took place at the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and she holds degrees from Lawrence University and the New England Conservatory.  She is married to baritone Simon Pauly, and currently makes her home in Berlin.

To see up to date information on Heidi, visit her website at http://heidistober.com/Heidi_Stober_Soprano/Home.html


Kurt Link '77

"Lawrence Conservatory provided me with an exceptionally secure foundation in musical skills, voice training, performance experience and theory, ear training, and sight singing, enabling me to launch my career within a year of my graduation."

A winner of the Metropolitan Opera, Liederkranz, Opera Index and Sullivan competitions and featured by Opera News as a 'Singer to “Keep Your Eye On'”, Kurt Link has earned a reputation as one of America’s finest basses, both in opera and oratorio.

Mr. Link has won critical acclaim for a repertoire that has embraced major operatic roles from Purcell to Henze, and from Mozart to Wagner.  He has sung Baron Ochs, Daland, Figaro, Leporello, Osmin, Sarastro, Ramfis, Raimondo, Colline, Mephistopheles and other major bass roles with companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, La Monnaie (Brussels), Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington Opera, Dublin Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Atlanta Opera, New Israeli Opera, the opera companies of Portland, Minnesota, Michigan, St. Louis, Utah, Arizona, Edmonton and the opera festivals of Chautauqua, Wexford (Ireland), Hong Kong, Wolf Trap, Glimmerglass and Spoleto (USA and Italy).

He is equally at home in symphonic works, and has sung The Creation, St. Matthew Passion, Missa Solemnis, the Requiem Masses of Verdi, Mozart and Fauré, Bach’s Mass in b minor, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and many other works with the orchestras of Chicago, Philadelphia, Montreal, Baltimore, Tokyo, St. Louis, Atlanta, Florida, Israel, Minneapolis, San Diego, Indianapolis, Charleston, Phoenix, San Antonio and Milwaukee as well as the festival orchestras of Spoleto, Aspen, Chautauqua, Finger Lakes and Grant Park.  He has appeared as soloist with Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Charles Dutoit, Margaret Hillis, Erich Leinsdorf, Ricardo Muti, Eugene Ormandy, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Georg Solti, Edo de Waart, and David Zinman.

Mr. Link is heard on the Grammy Award winning recording of Schoenberg’s Moses and Aaron with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Georg Solti.

To hear Mr. Link and learn more about his operatic career, follow the link to his professional website: http://kurtlink.wix.com/home-page

Emily Birsan '08

Soprano Emily Birsan has been praised by the Chicago Tribune for her “fineness of expression...” and by Madison Isthmus as having “…strong, clear, handsomely balanced and beautiful voice,” and as “...an artist with a very great promise for the future.”

A third-year member of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, Ms. Birsan was most recently heard on the main stage of the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Sandman in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Trainbearer in Strauss’ Elektra, and as the Page in Verdi’s Rigoletto.  Additionally, Ms. Birsan covered such noted international sopranos as Marlis Petersen and Elizabeth Futral in leading roles including Sophie in Massenet’s Werther, Norina, Gretel, and Musetta in the 2012/13 season. In the 2013/14 season, Ms. Birsan will cover the roles of Adele in Die Fledermaus and Violetta in La Traviata, and will sing the roles of Servilia in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito and the 1st Flower Maiden in a new production of Wagner’s Parsifal at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Equally at home on the concert stage, Ms. Birsan has performed as the soprano soloist in Schubert’s Mass in Eb with the Grant Park Symphony, Bach’s Matthäus-Passion as well as a concert of Bach Cantatas No. 22 and 32 with the Madison Bach Musicians, and triumphed in “A Mirror on Which to Dwell” by Elliot Carter at the Ravinia Festival this past summer.

Ms. Birsan earned her Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Music in 2010, where she performed the title roles in Massenet’s Thaïs, Handel’s Alcina and Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda.  Ms. Birsan was Winner of the 2010 Rose M. Grundman Scholarship from the Civic and Arts Union League Competition, First Place in the 2007 Senior Women’s Division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, Finalist in the Richard Tucker Foundation’s 2012 Sara Tucker Study Grant, and multiple award wins from 2008-2011 at the Upper Midwest Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

For recordings of Ms. Birsan and news of upcoming performances, visit her professional website: http://www.emilybirsan.com/

Keith Harris '98

"Lawrence university in the primary reason I have succeeded in the field of music.  But more than that, Lawrence taught me HOW to learn.  Armed with the tools to expand your own mind you can do anything in life...  And THAT is the power of a liberal arts education."

Praised for the distinctive warmth of his voice, clear diction and exceptional musicianship, American baritone Keith Harris is captivating audiences with his performances on both the operatic and concert stage.

Mr. Harris made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the new production of Verdi's Don Carlo that opened the 2010-2011 season.  Also that season, he performed the title role in Karsa's Brundibar with the Phoenix Symphony and joined the roster of New York City Opera to cover Belcore in L'Elisir d'Amore

Next season, Mr. Harris returns to the Metropolitan Opera for the new production of Werther, will perform Valentin in Faust with Toledo Opera and Marcello in La Bohème with the Savannah Philharmonic. Recent performances have also included the Count in Le nozze di Figaro at the Bar Harbor Music Festival, Marullo in Rigoletto with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Silvio in Pagliacci with Opera Tampa, Carmina Burana with the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Lancaster Symphony and several appearances with the Lyrique en Mer Festival in Belle Ile, France, including Belcore in L'Elisir d'Amore, Iago in Otello, Ford in Falstaff, as well as in Les contes d'Hoffmann and La Traviata. Altamusica.com stated, "Iago manifests himself immediately. Keith Harris masterfully incarnates all nuances of perversity. The tone, the assurance, the mature power of the right voice, the complex expressivity of his desires bring this baritone to the top of a great cast."

For more information, including recordings and upcoming performances, see Mr. Harris' professional webpage: http://keithharris.net/index.htm

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