Featured Artists

Dana Varga • Soprano

dana_varga_2023.jpgPraised for her “stunning voice,” soprano Dana Lynne Varga continues to amass accolades for her numerous operatic roles that include Musetta in La bohème, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, and Anna Maurrant in Street Scene. Dana has performed with Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, Grand Harmonie Orchestra, PORTopera, Opera Boston, and Boston Opera Collaborative, amongst others. An avid concert soloist, highlights of Dana Lynne Varga’s recent performances include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Cantata Singers, Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42 with the Andover Choral Society, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with Coro Allegro, Amy Beach’s Mass with the Commonwealth Chorale, the Fauré Requiem and Neilsen’s Symphony No. 3 with the Springfield Symphony and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Granite State Choral Society. Other highlights include Beethoven Mass in C at Tanglewood, Dubois’ Seven Last Words with Coro Allegro, Handel’s Messiah and the Bach B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra. Dana was the first-place winner of the 2016 Classical Singer National Vocal Competition. Dana was a finalist in the lieder division of the 2009 Liederkranz Competition and winner of the Arlington Philharmonic Competition, and was among the winners in the Boston Regional Auditions of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions. She won first place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, Boston, in both 2004 and 2005. Upcoming engagements include the Faure Requiem with Manhattan Concert Productions at Carnegie Hall, the Mozart Requiem at Wellesley College, and the creation of the role of Magistra in new opera The Onion by Eric Sawyer.

Clare McNamara • Mezzo Soprano

clare_mcnamara_2023.jpeg“Otherworldly” mezzo-soprano Clare McNamara brings her versatility to a wide variety of early and new repertoire throughout the United States and abroad. She has maintained affiliations as a soloist and ensemble member with groups such as Skylark (a 3-time GRAMMY nominee), Handel+Haydn Society, Cut Circle, Lorelei Ensemble, The Boston Camerata, and Boston’s Emmanuel Music. Clare’s “astonishing” voice is heavily featured in the recent “pathbreaking” release of Cut Circle’s one-to-a-part compendium of the works of Johannes Ockeghem (Gramophone Magazine). She was also hailed as “pure-toned” and “as good as they come” (MusicWeb International) for her solo Hildegard chant on the GRAMMY-nominated Skylark album “Seven” (2018). During her nine years with Lorelei, engagements included collaborations with A Far Cry (Kareem Roustom’s Hurry to the Light) and the Boston Symphony Orchestra/Andris Nelsons (Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Debussy’s Nocturnes, and George Benjamin’s Dream of the Song). The 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 seasons have marked a gentle return to performance and studio recording, including four Skylark albums: “It’s a Long Way” (2021), “A Christmas Carol” (2021), “La Vie en Rose” (2023), and “Clear Voices in the Dark” (2024). During the pandemic, Clare recorded a solo recital and a program of women’s trios for Skylark’s digital subscription platform, Skylark+; she also co-founded a new vocal trio, Ourania. In January 2021, Clare appeared as the vocal soloist (works by Michelle DiBucci and Gustav Mahler) for the United Nations’ Chamber Music Society’s concert for the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, which was globally broadcast on the UN’s YouTube Channel and on Facebook. Clare holds an A.B. in Music from Princeton University and an M.M. in Early Music Performance from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Her most recent appearance with Coro Allegro was also as soloist in Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis in March 2017.

Omar Najmi • Tenor

omar_najmi_2023.pngBoston-based artist Omar Najmi splits his time between composition and performance, maintaining a busy schedule as an operatic tenor. Praised as “a world class voice in every respect,” Najmi recently made his international debut creating the title role in Joseph Summer’s operatic adaptation of Hamlet with Bulgaria’s State Opera Rousse. Other recent and upcoming engagements include Rodolfo in La Boheme with Opera Steamboat, Shakur in Thumbprint with Portland Opera, and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet with Boston Lyric Opera, and featured soloist in Boston Lyric Opera’s virtual concert series B., highlighting works by Asian and Asian-American composers/poets. Najmi enjoys a longstanding relationship with Boston Lyric Opera, where he began his professional career as an Emerging Artist (2013-2015). He has performed over 15 productions at the company, and served as their first ever Emerging Composer in the 2020/2021 season. Other operatic engagements have included Opera Colorado, Chautauqua Opera and Annapolis Opera. Najmi made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2018 as the tenor soloist in Mark Hayes’ Gloria. He has performed several times as a soloist with the touring concert Video Games Live, including an appearance with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at the Red Rocks Amphitheater. Najmi has been the recipient of the Harold Norblom Award from Opera Colorado, the Stephen Shrestinian Award from Boston Lyric Opera, and 2nd place nationally in the Handel Aria Competition, 2nd prize from the Wilkinson Young Singers Fund, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellowship from Emmanuel Music, and has been a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. With Coro Allegro, Najmi performed in Dixit Dominus by George Frideric Handel in May 2015.

Wayne Arthur Baritone

wayne_arthur_2023.jpegBaritone Wayne Arthur is an artist with a heart-felt intelligence concerned with telling new stories and re-imagining older ones. Recent engagements include Baritone 1 in Anthony Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X (Detroit Opera, Odyssey Opera). Wayne was in the Ensemble of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut up in my Bones (Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago) which won a 2023 Grammy Award for Best Opera Record. During the Fall of 2022 Wayne covered the Baritone soloist in MacArthur Grant recipient Tyshawn Sorey’s Monochromatic Light: Afterlife at the Park Avenue Armory directed by Peter Sellars. Wayne was in the Ensemble of Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess (Metropolitan Opera) which won a 2021 Grammy Award. Past credits include Jonathan González’ Lucifer Landing II (Abrons’ Art Center), Errollyn Wallen’s Liverpool Crossing (the cell), Kathleen Battle’s Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey (Metropolitan Opera), Missy Mazzoli’s Songs from the Uproar (LA Opera), Courtney Bryan’s Yet Unheard (National Sawdust). Wayne is a current member of the Opera Institute at Boston University pursuing an Artist Diploma. While at the Opera Institute, Wayne has performed the roles of Dr. Rappaccini in Daniel Catan’s La Hija de Rappaccini and John Brooke in Mark Adamo’s Little Women. Upcoming engagements include Melisso in Handel’s Alcina at Boston University, Ragtime with Boston Pops in May 2023 and Baritone 1 in X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X at Seattle Opera in 2024.