Featured Artists

Teresa Wakim Soprano

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With a voice of “extraordinary suppleness and beauty” (The New York Times), Grammy-nominated soprano Teresa Wakim is “a marvel of perfect
intonation and pure tone” (New York Arts), and perhaps known best for her “perfect early music voice” (Cleveland Classical). First place winner
of the International Competition for Early Music in Brunnenthal, Austria, she was also honored as a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow at Emmanuel Music Boston. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, she maintains a busy career as a concert soloist spanning the medieval to new music, and on the baroque opera stage. She played the role of La Musique in Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles with the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) nominated for a Grammy in the 2020 awards. Also with BEMF, she sang the role of Flore in their 2015 Grammy award winning album of Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphee aux Enfers album. Other solo recordings include BEMF’s Acis & Galatea in the title role, Handel’s Almira, Charpentier’s Acteon, Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Coronation Mass with the Handel and Haydn Society, and the Grammy-nominated recording of Brahms’ German Requiem with Miami’s premier choral ensemble Seraphic Fire. Acclaimed concert performances include Bach’s wedding cantata Weichet nur and Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer with the Cleveland Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Houston, San Antonio, and Charlotte Symphonies. Passionate about period performance and scholarship, she has performed concerts and toured with many of the best period instrument ensembles, including the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, BEMF, Wiener Akademie, and Apollo’s Fire: The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra. When not performing, Tess can be found caring for her young daughter, and discussing all things blue whales, gene therapy, and space exploration with her scientist husband in Boston.

Jonas Budris  Tenor

jonas_budris.jpgTenor Jonas Budris is a versatile soloist and ensemble musician, engaging new works and early music with equal passion. He appears frequently in concert with the Handel and Haydn Society as a soloist and choral singer, and he is a featured soloist in Boston Baroque’s Grammy-nominated recording of Monteverdi’s opera Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. Mr. Budris also performs in more intimate musical settings; he particularly enjoys singing with such groups as Blue Heron, Cut Circle, Spire, the Thirteen, and the Skylark Vocal Ensemble. Mr. Budris is a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow at Emmanuel Music, where he performs regularly in the Bach Cantata and evening concert series. On the opera stage, he has performed principal and supporting roles with numerous musical organizations, including Opera Boston, OperaHub, Guerilla Opera, and Odyssey Opera, originating such roles as John in Giver of Light and the title role of Chrononhotonthologos. Originally from Martha’s Vineyard, Mr. Budris holds a degree in Environmental Science & Engineering from Harvard College.

Aaron Engelbreth Baritone

aaron_engebreth.pngAaron Engebreth enjoys a varied solo career in opera, oratorio, recital, and devotes considerable energy to the performance of established music and contemporary premieres. He made his Kennedy Center debut in 2012, and has been a guest of the Tanglewood, Ravinia and Monadnock Music Festivals, as well as many fine symphony orchestras: this season he performs Carmina Burana with the Columbus Symphony. Recent appearances include concerts and recordings with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Lexington, Bangor and Boston Landmarks symphony orchestras, Vancouver International Song Institute, and the Firebird Ensemble. Past seasons featured a New York City Opera debut as monodrama soloist in Argento’s A Water Bird Talk, a Bernstein Centenary recital in collaboration with Boston Symphony Orchestra and Museum of Fine Arts, performances with Le Central de Lyon, Concert de l’Hostel Dieu, Rutter’s Messe des enfants with Écully Musical, and as Bunthorne in Patience with Odyssey Opera. As a recording artist, Mr. Engebreth is featured with the Boston Early Music Festival and Radio Bremen, both nominated for Grammy Awards for Best Operatic Recording: Thésée and Psyché, by Lully. He produced and recorded The Complete Songs of Virgil Thomson with Florestan Recital Project and New World Records, which is garnering international acclaim.

David Kravitz Baritone

david_kravitz.pngHailed as “a charismatic baritone” by the New York Times, “magnificently stentorian and resonant” by Opera News, and “a first-rate actor” by Opera (UK), David Kravitz’s recent opera engagements include lead roles at Washington National Opera (Davis Miller in the world premiere of Approaching Ali), Chautauqua Opera (Captain Balstrode in Peter Grimes), Skylight Music Theatre (Scarpia in Tosca), Opera Santa Barbara (The Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen) and Grand Harmonie (Don Pizarro in Fidelio). He created the lead role of De Sade in Nicola Moro’s Love Hurts at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, Italy, and at Symphony Space in New York. His many concert appearances include the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony. His 2018-19 season brought two orchestra debuts: Leporello in Don Giovanni with the Jacksonville Symphony, and Bernstein’s Benediction (from Concerto for Orchestra) with A Far Cry. He also returned to Odyssey Opera for Gounod’s La Reine de Saba, he appeared as a guest artist with Boston University’s Opera Institute as The Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen, and he performed Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with the New England Philharmonic. An exceptionally versatile artist, Mr. Kravitz’s repertoire ranges from Bach to Verdi to Sondheim to cutting-edge contemporary composers such as Matthew Aucoin, Mohammed Fairouz, Paul Moravec, and Elena Ruehr. Mr. Kravitz has recorded for the Naxos, BIS, Sono Luminus, Koch International Classics, BMOP/sound, Albany Records, and New World labels. His distinguished legal career has included clerkships with the Hon. Sandra Day O’Connor and the Hon. Stephen Breyer.

Ron Williams Baritone

ron_wiliams.pngRecognized nationwide for his artistry in the field of opera and oratorio, Ron Williams continues to gather acclaim for his work onstage and in the concert hall. He has sung leading roles with several opera companies nationally, including San Francisco Spring Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre and Opera San Jose, where he created the role of Edward in the world premiere of Alva Henderson’s The Last Leaf. Locally, Williams debuted with Boston Lyric Opera in Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars, receiving critical acclaim from The New York Times. He portrayed Nick Shadow in the much-heralded production of The Rake’s Progress with Boston’s Opera Laboratory Company at the MIT. The Boston Globe praised his performance of Figaro in Opera New England’s The Barber of Seville. Ron made his debut with Greater Worcester opera as Escamillo in Carmen and has since performed Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro. Mr. Williams was a regional finalist in the San Francisco Opera National Auditions. Ron remains passionately interested in arts education for young audiences, and has performed at the National Children’s Arts Festival at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Mr. Williams maintains a busy concert schedule, having performed with Cantata Singers, Symphony Pro Musica, as well as the Dartmouth College Symphony (N.H.), where he sang Beethoven’s Fidelio. He performed the one-man opera of Domenico Cimarosa, Il Maestro di Cappella, with Boston Civic Symphony. He made his debut with Boston Cecilia in Britten’s Cantata Misericordium and later performed Christus in J.S. Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion, all under the direction of the late Donald Teeters. Ron made his European debut with the Düsseldorf Chamber Orchestra in Germany. His stage debut was in Saint Gallen, Switzerland, and he has performed on the European stage in several countries. An artist committed to bringing to the stage the works of twentieth-century American composers, Ron performed the works of Hale Smith and Ned Rorem. Ron has been involved with the premiere of several works locally, including Elmer Gantry, a new American opera by Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein.

Celeste Marie Johnson • Accompanist

celeste_johnson.jpgWith a style described as “eloquent” by the Baltimore Sun, pianist Celeste Marie Johnson is deeply inspired by the unique power of words and music functioning in artistic tandem and constantly seeks diverse opportunities as a collaborative performer. She recently held staff pianist positions at Gonzaga and Whitworth universities and performed for multiple seasons with Inland Northwest Opera and Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre. Internationally, she has been on tour with the Gonzaga Chamber Choir in Colombia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Johnson is currently a DMA candidate in collaborative piano at Boston University, where she studies with Dr. Javier Arrebola. She holds degrees in piano performance and vocal accompanying from Baylor University and The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, respectively. This summer, Johnson was part of the Opera Saratoga Young Artist Program.

Yulia Yun • Accompanist

Uzbekistanian-born Yulia Yun is a graduate of the Uspensky Special Music School for Gifted Children in Tashkent where she majored in music theory, composition and piano performance. She has given numerous solo and chamber music concerts in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Korea, and has made appearances as a guest soloist with the Uzbekistan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tashkent Symphony Orchestra, the Tashkent Chamber Orchestra, and the Uzbekistan Youth Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Yun’s concert repertoire includes Rachmaninoff Concerti Nos. 2 and 4, Shostakovich Concerto No. 1, Grieg Concerto in A, Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 2 in G, Chopin Concerto No. 2, Shumann Concerto in A minor, Beethoven Concerto No. 4, and Mozart Concerti Nos. 20 and 23. A third prize winner at the Youth International Piano Competition in Turkmenistan, and first prize winner at the Uzbekistan National Piano Competition, Ms. Yun was awarded a full scholarship at Northern Kentucky University in January 2005, where she studied with Professor Sergei Polusmiak and was awarded degrees in Piano Performance and French. She holds a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance and Graduate Performance Diploma from the Longy Conservatory of Bard College, where she studied with Mrs. Eda Mazo-Shlyam and Mrs. Ludmilla Lifson. She has been a piano accompanist for Boston Ballet School and Company since 2012. In August of 2015, she was granted an Artist visa to continue her career as a professional musician in the United States.