2017 Fellowship Artists & Special Guests

Chelsea Whitaker is a collaborative pianist in the Boston area, enjoying a diverse career involving art song, opera, chamber, musical theatre, worship, and choral performances in the United States and Europe. She is in high demand for her supportive and reliable collaboration, coaching, and teaching. A native of Kansas, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City: Conservatory of Music and Dance under the instruction of Dr. Robert Weirich. She continued her studies at the University of Southern California: Thornton School of Music and received her Master’s degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts in 2014, studying under Dr. Alan Smith.

Chelsea has performed in the masterclasses of Roger Vignoles, Susan Graham, John Moriarty, Barbara Bonney, Margo Garrett, Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Emma Kirkby, and numerous others. Her most recent work in the Boston area has included serving as the assistant music director and keyboardist for Show Boat at the Shubert theater; Liederabend concerts with New England Conservatory and the Boston Art Song Society; a performance of John Harbison’s Mirabai Songs and John Heiss’ Songs from James Joyce in New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, coached and directed by the composers; and a salon-style performance collaborating with Greer Grimsley and Luretta Bybee.

Chelsea currently studies under Cameron Stowe and Jonathan Feldman at New England Conservatory, where she is working on her DMA.


ChoEun Lee, a native of Korea, is an active pianist, vocal coach and chamber musician. She has given numerous performances in Korea, the United States, Austria, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand, in major venues including Carnegie Hall in NY City, Ozawa Hall in Tanglewood Music Center and Harris Concert Hall in Aspen Music Festival. She has worked extensively in recitals and masterclasses with renowned musicians, including Stephanie Blythe, Martin Katz, Anne Sofie von Otter, Christine Schäfer, Dawn Upshaw, Jake Heggie, and Linda Watson. She was a pianist in Opera gala concerts in Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy. She was twice invited to Tanglewood Music Festival, and has been named as a recipient of the Grace B. Jackson Prize. One of her performances in Seiji Ozawa Hall was broadcasted on WAMC. In summer of 2016, she was invited as a repetitor to American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria and she will be returning to the festival this summer in 2017. As a harpsichordist, she has performed in many Baroque music concerts and is also passionate about discovering and performing contemporary classical music and vocal chamber music. She has appeared many times at the Grandin Vocal Chamber Music Festival, and she is one of the core artists of the LotusFlower New Music Project. In addition, she has premiered various works and have worked with many living composers, including John Harbison, Michael Gandolfi, Jake Heggie, Thomas Pasatieri, John Plant and Chinary Ung.

ChoEun Lee was awarded a master’s degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and earned her doctoral degree at the University of Southern California. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda and a recipient of the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Keyboard Collaborative Arts scholarship four times. Previously Lee has taught at California State University, San Bernardino. She served as a vice-president of CAPMT Riverside-San Bernardino Chapter, and recently she was recognized as an Outstanding Member. ChoEun Lee is currently teaching at Lee University (Cleveland, TN) as an assistant professor in collaborative piano and vocal coaching.


Daniel Overly, Pianist, recently graduated with honors from the Vienna Conservatory with a Masters in Vocal Coaching and Accompanying. The recipient of a Fulbright grant to Austria, he studied song interpretation with Carolyn Hague, Angelika Kirchschlager, and Birgid Steinberger, and opera coaching with David Aronson and Kristin Okerlund of the Wiener Staatsoper. He has participated in masterclasses with Julius Drake, Helmut Deutsch, Warren Jones, Susan Manoff, and Roger Vignoles, among others. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Overly recently appeared in recital with Karl-Heinz Schütz of the Wiener Philharmoniker. He has also performed at the Kennedy Center, Wiener Musikverein, Mozarthaus Vienna, and the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford upon-Avon, England. He continues his studies in chamber music with Anita Pontremoli at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

As a pianist for the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Mr. Overly has assisted in the preparation of the Brahms Requiem, Duruflé Requiem, and Dvorak Stabat Mater. This past summer, he received a fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center, where he appeared as a solo pianist, chamber musician, vocal accompanist, and helped to prepare the US premiere of George Benjamin’s Dream of the Song for countertenor and orchestra. In October 2016, he attended the mastercourse of the Oxford Lieder Festival in Oxford, England, working with Wolfgang Holzmair and Robert Holl, among others. In addition, he assisted in the choral preparation for Cleveland Orchestra performances of Stravinsky’s Threni and Bach’s St. John Passion with music director Franz Welser-Möst this season. This coming summer, he will return to the Tanglewood Music Center as a Vocal Piano Fellow.

Mr. Overly currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife Alayna, who is also a pianist. Aside from music, he enjoys reading, cooking, and Cleveland Cavaliers basketball.


As a singer, educator, and aspiring writer, soprano Kateri Gormley believes in the transformative power of art song in today’s society. Kateri has performed recitals in New York, Montreal, Vancouver, and Vianden, Luxembourg. A versatile musician, she is equally at home in opera, chamber, and concert repertoire, and has been praised as “irresistible” by L’Opéra magazine for her portrayal of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. Kateri has also performed lead roles in The Telephone, Suor Angelica, Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Turn of the Screw, and The Pirates of Penzance. As a soloist, her concert performances include the Rutter Requiem and Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël with the Trinity United Methodist Church Chancel Choir in Wilmette, IL, and Vivaldi’s Magnificat and Hadyn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai with the Western New York Chamber Ensemble.

Kateri is training to become an Alexander Technique teacher at the ATTiC training center in Chicago, IL. She maintains a private voice and piano studio. Kateri holds degrees from McGill University (M.Mus.) and SUNY Fredonia (B.Mus.)


Katie Hannigan, Mezzo-Soprano, is a vibrant performing artist teacher.

Hannigan’s operatic credits include: Amadora in John Musto’s Bastianello as part of a Composer in Residency Collaborative Project with Nazareth College and Rochester Lyric Opera 2016, Mercedes with Finger Lakes Opera in 2014, Prince in Williamson’s The Happy Prince with Rochester Lyric Opera, Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia with the Merola Opera Program , La Badessa in Suor Angelica, and Zita in Gianni Schicchi with Opera on the Avalon,  Maurya from Riders to the Sea, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Mother/Allison in This is the Rill Speaking (Recorded by Albany Records 2008) Maman in L’Enfant et les sortileges, Don Ramiro in La Finta Giardiniera, and Charlotte in A Little Night Music, Old Prioress in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Sandmann in Hansel und Gretel, and Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Orchestral credits include: Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Anthem no. 7, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Bach B Minor Mass with Rochester Oratorio Society, Handel’s Messiah with Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, excerpts from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Eastman School Symphony, Jake Heggie’s song cycle The Deepest Desire with Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra, and Vaughn Williams Serenade to Music with Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (Recorded by Harmonium Mundi Records 2011).

Hannigan was a Finalist in the American Prize Opera Division and Chicago Oratorio Award. She was winner of the Civic Morning Madrigals Award in Syracuse, NY and was the recipient of the Vocal Concerto Competition Prize at Eastman School of Music. Hannigan received a full tuition scholarship to attend the Professional Development Division of SONGFEST in Los Angeles in 2015, and she attended the National Association for Teachers of Singing Artist/Teacher Internship Program in North Carolina in June 2016.  Hannigan is an artist in Residence with Rochester Lyric Opera, and she currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Voice at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY.


Soprano Kristina Bachrach is emerging as a young artist confident in an extensive range of styles and languages. During the 2016–2017 season, Ms. Bachrach debuted with the New York Choral Society at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the American premiere of Joseph Vella’s The Hyland Mass, produced by the Order of Malta. She rejoined the Brooklyn Art Song Society throughout the season in concert programs ranging from Schubert Lieder to Hanns Eisler’s Hollywood Songbook. She also joined the Thompson Street Opera Company for her 6th and 7th appearances in chamber operas written by living composers. She was presented in NYC’s Music at the Park recital series, and appeared as Musetta in La Bohème with MetroWest Opera. She looks forward to a residency at the Marlboro Music Festival this summer.

In recent seasons, Ms. Bachrach has also fulfilled several prestigious artist residencies. The summer of 2016 found her in residence at Yellow Barn Music Festival and at SongFest, where she gave a recital with composer John Musto at the piano. During the summer of 2015, she fulfilled a residency at the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum in Bolton Landing, NY, followed by a residency with the Lake George Music Festival, where she was featured in a performance of Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915. In 2014 she fulfilled a Winter Artist Residency at the Banff Centre (BAIR), focusing on the music of Elliott Carter and Judith Weir. She has been awarded fellowships for the Tanglewood Music Center, where she performed Pierrot Lunaire and was a featured soloist in the Mark Morris Dance Group’s production of Dido and Aeneas.

She has appeared with Gotham Chamber Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Nashville Opera, Lyric Opera of Virginia, and Bare Opera. She has been presented in concert by the Joy in Singing Foundation, the Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Cantata Profana Ensemble, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, the Moravian Music Society, Notre Dame University, Berkshire Choral International, Barge Music, and in eight cities around the country with the Brooklyn Art Song Society. Kristina is the Grand Prize Winner of the Inaugural Ziering-Conlon Young Artist Competition.


Mieczyslaw FitzDaniel, a native of San Luis Obispo, California, is completing his Masters of Music at Boston University. Credits include Baritone in Hydrogen Jukebox (BU), Simon Fenton in Emmeline (BU), Monsieur Bertrand in The Dangerous Liasons (Boston Opera Collective), Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (BU), as well as the ensembles of Le nozze di Figaro and Cosi fan tutte, both at BU. Other projects include Boston University’s scene program as Bastilio (Le nozze di Figaro) and Sid (Albert Herring). In 2016 he attended New Music on the Point. Mr. FitzDaniel received his B.A. from Occidental College, and is a student of James Demler.


Stephen Carroll, Tenor, is excited to return to Fall Island this year, having participated in the 2015 seminar, where he explored the music of Ricky Ian Gordon, Jeffrey Wood, Libby Larsen, and Tom Cipullo.

An avid interpreter of contemporary music, Stephen has workshopped roles for the world premieres of Jake Heggie’s Great Scott and Stella Sung’s The Book Collector. He also covered Richard Croft as the tenor soloist in the premiere of Jake Heggie’s Ahab Symhony.

Recent operatic roles include the cover of Diener 1 in Capriccio with Santa Fe Opera, Cassio in Otello with Dayton Opera, Siegfried in Act 2 of Siegfried with Queen City Opera, Malcolm in Macbeth, First Armored Man in The Magic Flute, and Jazz Trio in Trouble in Tahiti with The Glimmerglass Festival, and Steve in A Streetcar Named Desire with Kentucky Opera. Recent concert performances include Nicolas in Britten’s St. Nicolas with the Williamsport Chamber Choir, the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Rochester Chamber Orchestra and the Dayton Philharmonic, the tenor soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, and Sultan Achmet and the Alchemist in Candide with the Boston Symphony Orchestra while a Vocal Fellow with the Tanglewood Music Center.

This summer, Stephen will return to the Santa Fe Opera as an apprentice and will sing the role of Blind in Die Fledermaus and cover the role of Prince Gvidon in The Golden Cockerel. He will spend the following year in Norfolk, VA as an emerging artist with Virginia Opera.


Yeji Yoon, a versatile soprano, is enjoying a career that embraces opera, chamber music, and arts songs. She has been awarded the grand prize of Art Song Division in the 2017 Metropolitan, International Vocal Competition and she will make her Lincoln Center debut in the winner’s concert. She will be a fellow at the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar in 2017 summer.

Ms. Yoon has performed as a soloist credits including the Friday Morning Music Club, Wiscasset series, Italian Embassy, Bulgarian Embassy, concerts with orchestras including the Vladivostok Symphony Orchestra and Keyef National Chamber Orchestra, concerts with choirs, she sang Mozart’s Coronation Mass K.317, Gounod’s Messe Solenne, and Mozart’s Missa brevis.

Ms. Yoon trained as a Maryland Lyric Opera Emerging Artist where she performed the roles of Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and many concerts including Argentine Embassy venue. She also has performed Iolanta in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, Contessa in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with Bel Cantanti Opera.

Ms. Yoon recently graduated professional Studies from Manhattan school of Music, where she studied with Catherine Malfitano. She earned a Doctor in Musical Arts (DMA) from the Catholic University of America, where she performed Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Gounod’s Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. She received her Bachelor and Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from Seoul National University.


2017 Special Guest Artists


Praised by the New York Times as “dramatically astute” and a “stand out” performer, tenor Steven Brennfleck has been consistently acknowledged for his consummate artistry, vocal flexibility, and moving interpretations on the operatic and concert stage. He has received recognition from some of the country’s top vocal competitions: The Metropolitan National Council (District Winner ’06, ’09, ’10), Classical Singer Magazine’s AudComps, The Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, and The American Bach Society. His operatic credits include Don Ramiro (Cenerentola), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Laurie in Adamo’s Little Women, Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas), Gonsalve in Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnol, Tobias Ragg (Sweeney Todd), The Madwoman in Britten’s Curlew River, Dr. Binch in Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry, El Remendado (Carmen), Cégeste in Glass’ Orphée, Beppe (I Pagliacci), Testo in Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, Don Curzio (Le nozze di Figaro), Pang (Turandot), and with companies including the Alamo City Opera, American Opera Projects, the Caramoor Festival, Glimmerglass Opera, New York Lyric Opera Theatre, Opera Piccola of San Antonio, Portland Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, The Tanglewood Festival, Theatre Nohgaku and the Westminster Opera Theatre.

Mr. Brennfleck made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2012 in Handel’s Messiah under the baton of Andrew Megill. He returned to Carnegie Hall in 2015 in a performance with the MET Chamber Ensemble of Charles Wuorinen’s cantata, It Happens Like This. In 2012, he was among the first artists chosen for the Fall Island Vocal Seminar’s inaugural season. His many other collaborations include appearances with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Chorus Austin, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Princeton Baroque Orchestra, LA International New Music Festival, June in Buffalo Festival, and the Temple Symphony Orchestra.

Upcoming performances include appearances with the Georgetown Festival of the Arts, the Round Rock Symphony, and the Victoria Bach Festival.


Lauded by the legendary Marilyn Horne for his “superb technique” and labeled “a promising young conductor” by the Chicago Tribune, Mario Antonio Marra is an active performer in the opera world and on the song stage. Marra is a recent graduate of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. Until 2015, he was on the coaching staff of the Manhattan School of Music, while earning a Master of Music degree under the tutelage of Warren Jones. ​

During the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2015-2016 season, Marra served on the music staff for Rossini’s La Cenerentola, as well as playing continuo in the pit for the same production under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. For Lyric’s 2016-17 season, Marra served on the music staff for Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor under the baton of Enrique Mazzola.  He will return as music staff during Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2017-18 season and will also join the music staff of San Francisco Opera for Elektra.

An active recitalist, the 2016-17 season has included performances with Eric Owens, Quinn Kelsey, Lawrence Brownlee, Richard Ollarsaba, and Stephanie Blythe. As homage to his Neapolitan heritage and in keeping with his championing of Neapolitan vocal repertoire, Marra has curated recitals of Neapolitan Music for the Art Institute of Chicago since 2015.



Soprano Diana Newman holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Southern California. Her portrayals there included Poppea/L’incoronazione di Poppea, Pamina/Die Zauberflöte, Miranda/Lee Hoiby’s The Tempest, Lauretta/Gianni Schicchi, and Belisa/Conrad Susa’s The Love of Don Perlimplin. She has also been heard as the Page/Rigoletto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Her extensive concert activities include a diverse repertoire encompassing Bach’s Cantatas 211 and 209 (Whittier Bach Festival), Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate (USC Alumni Orchestra), Lukas Foss’s Time Cycle (Aspen Music Festival and School), Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (American Youth Symphony), Frank Ticheli’s Songs of Love and Life and Angels in the Architecture (both at UT-Austin), and George Crumb’s Madrigals Book IV (Music Academy of the West). She premiered Francesco Cilluffo’s The Land to Life Again with the UCLA Camarades Ensemble. The soprano can be heard in three feature films: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010), Sex and the City 2 (2010), and The Spirit (2008, featured vocalist). Newman is an alumna of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, the Aspen Opera Theater Center, and the Oberlin in Italy program. As part of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center she appeared as Woglinde/Das Rheingold, Pedro/Don Quichotte, Papagena/Die Zauberflöte, Frasquita/Carmen, Clorinda/La Cenerentola (debut), Beatriz/Bel Canto, and Milliner/Der Rosenkavalier. 


Elizabeth Bishop, Mezzo